🔑 3 Keys to Marketing in a Post-Pandemic World

The Ricks share some of insights on marketing's new normal. Non-essential worker Barbie makes the most of quarantine. Baby reveals come to Zoom. Plus, are virtual barbers head and shoulders above the real thing? From June 26. 

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✂️ Weeks into lockdown, Rick W. is digging for his Flowbee (at 1-min, 11-second)

💇🏻‍♂️ Rick M. decides to cut his own hair—so what could go wrong? (at 1:50)

📈 Do out-of-work barbers have a future in consulting? (at: 3:00)

🏠 Sheltering-in-dreamhouse: Meet non-essential worker Barbie (at: 4:10)

🛍 Just how much has the coronavirus pandemic changed marketing? (at 5:38)

🌎 The digital world's population boom (at 6:50)

🍕 BOPIS with a side of pizza: Your business model, revisited (at 9:12)

💈 Will the new barbershop experience come with nitrous oxide? (at 11:00)

🎪 Can VR save trade shows? (at 11:34)

🤑 Is it time to cut your marketing budget? Or double down? (at 16:05)

🤝 Deal making in a post-handshake world (at 16:57)

👶🏻 Baby reveals, by way of Zoom (at 19:30)

Approximately 20 minutes, 40 seconds. For US audiences.

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❤️ 5 Brands Millennials Love Most

It's a quick round of Loaded Questions as we reveal the five most beloved brands to Millennials. From March 22.


🥜 Enter: Gif Peanut Butter - but isn't it really a soft "G"? (at :25 seconds)

💘 Which 5 brands have Millennials needing a few minutes alone? (at 1:35)

💗 … And what about Generation Z? (at 3:05)

📖 Ebooks and white papers: Where do they best fit in the marketing funnel (at 3:3)


Listen: ❤️ 5 Brands Millennials Love Most Gif Peanut Butter & EBooks' Spot in the Marketing Funnel

Approx. 5 minutes, 12 seconds. For US audiences. Review cookie and privacy policies for iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and all other streaming services.

📺 Top 5 Spots You Didn't See During the Big Game

🍕 The top 5 spots you weren't allowed to see during Super Bowl 2020. From February 3. 

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Listen to: 📺 Top 5 Commercials You Did NOT See During the Super Bowl

Approx. 2 minutes, 54 seconds. For US audiences. Review cookie and privacy policies for iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and all other streaming services.

Pop Quiz: 2020 Super Bowl Commercials

📺 It's a super-sized game of Rick and Rick Loaded Questions about some of this year's biggest Super Bowl commercials. Who scores? Who fumbles? And which spots do you remember best? It's an AdBowl 2020 pop-quiz with a Rick and Rick twist.

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📸 Will the real Kyle Shanahan please wave for the camera (at 50-seconds)

🍎 In a first, Steve Wozniak is mentioned in a conversation about the Super Bowl (at 2-min, 2-sec)

🖖🏻 … Then again, so is George Takei (at 2:38)

☝️ Parachute Pants: 30 years later, and you still can't touch this—thanks to Cheetos Popcorn (at 3:47)

🍫 #SnickersFixTheWorld: Who knew the solution to all our problems was to feed the Snicker's Hole? (...anyone besides us, that is) (at 4:56)

💑 Google monetizes an old man's memories in a moving spot (at 5:58)

🎨 Missy Elliott and H.E.R. Paint it Black—but what exactly is "it"? (at 7:01)

🏚 Met Life sends you four different kinds of love—'cuz you're going to need it (at 8:20)

🧗🏻‍♀️ Microsoft Surface scores a touchdown (at 10:05)

🚙 "Tough Never Quits," but neither do Kia's product shots (at 11:46)

⚡️ Martin Scorsese and Jonah Hill par-tay with Coca-Cola Energy (at 12:47)

🍺 Budweiser celebrates the typical, awesome American—and automates "Wassup" with home smart devices (at 13:25)

🥑 Quibi, Pop-Tarts, Audi's "Let It Go" and more: The Super Bowl 2020 WTF Department (at 14:47)

🏎 The Porsche museum is ready to roll, and we're here for it (at 15:57)

📺 Our final takeaways on AdBowl 2020 (at 17:16)

Listen via the player embedded above, or click here:

Download 🏈 Rick and Rick Score the Super Bowl Commercials

Approx. 18 minutes, 26 seconds. For US audiences. Review cookie and privacy policies for iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and all other streaming services.

🍿 Gen Wow Review: 'Star Wars Ep IV: The Rise of Skywalker'

We need to talk about that final battle with Palpatine, his regenerative powers, his ever-changing strategy, that whole Force Dyad deal between Rey and Kylo Ren, what Finn wanted to tell Rey, where the Babu Frik is the Baby Yoda merch, and a whole lot more. It's our super-sized, spoilerrific review of the final chapter of "The Skywalker Saga." 


⚔️ Gen X-wing fighters: A nostalgic, 42-year history of The Force (at 1 min., 38 sec.)

🚀 From dystopia to the Death Star and heroic derring-do (at 4:02)

👽 Episode IV: An unsure thing—and an unmade, low-budget sequel (at 5:09)

👾 Where's the Baby Yoda and Babu Frik merch? (at 7:04)

💵 Box Office Bonanza? Or total bummer? (at 7:21)

🎥 The Fandom Menace: Was making "Skywalker" a mission impossible? (at 8:16)

💥 The plot quickens—is it the ultimate Chiasmus gift? (at 10:17)

🎬 Bond, Psychic Bond (at 13:39)

✌🏻 Rey of light—how she beat Palpatine (at 14:32)

♛  Master chess? Or random changes? (at 17:22)

🔌 What's with all these new Force powers? (at 19:36)

🎁  The ultimate Chiasmus gifts (at 21:30)

🍹  Sexuality and "Force sensitivity"  (at 22:50)

🙏🏻  Piece de resistance: Keeping the faith  (at 25:31)

💣  The empire's single point of failure (at 26:50)

👍🏻👎🏻 Final grades (27:50)

🎄 Party of 5? Or 4? (at 31:00)

📺  "Skywalker's" stars, as seen on TV (at 31:42)

🤖  How well do you know your droids? (at 32:30)

Listen via the player above, or:

Download The Ricks Review 'Star Wars Episode IV-The Rise of Skywalker

Approx. 33 minutes, 40 seconds. For US audiences. Review cookie and privacy policies for iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and all other streaming services.



🎄 'The Free Guy,' Coke Zero Lightsabers, 'Crisis on Infinite Earths,' 2019's Fastest-Growing Brands

🎄 "The Free Guy." Coke Zero bottles wage an OLED-based lightsaber battle. Netflix makes it safe for other nice brands to make the naughty list on Twitter. ''The Crisis on Infinite Earths" has begun. The Peloton Wife gets a new beginning—thanks to Aviation Gin. The 5 fastest-growing brands of 2019, and more. From December 8. 


🎁 One Rick is ready for Christmas—the other, not so much (at :40 sec)
Taskin logoWelcoming our new sponsor, Taskin—the first name in stylish, premium-quality travel gear—taskinsf.com (at 1 minute 32 sec)
💊 Blue Pill, Red Pill: DC or Marvel? McDonald's or Taco Bell? Rick W. has a surprising answer (at 2:55)
🎬 Ryan Reynold's "The Free Guy" trailer drops, and the Ricks are here for it (at 3:56)
💥 "The Crisis on Infinite Earths"—the mother of all TV crossovers has officially begun (at 5:57)
📣 Netflix tweets, "What's something you can say during sex, but also when you manage a brand Twitter account"—you won't believe how other brands respond (at 8:43)
🍸 The Peloton Wife gets a new beginning—courtesy of Aviation Gin (at 10:25)
⚔️ Coke Zero bottles use OLED diodes to wage a lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren (at 12:18)
📈 Door Dash, Impossible Foods, White Claw, Postmates and ?—the 5 fastest growing brands of 2019 (at 13:37)
🧒🏼 👴🏼 Which brands win most with Millennials and Boomers? (at 14:24)
🎅🏼 Which CPG brand helped create Santa as we know him today? (at 15:19)
Approx. 17 minutes, 32 seconds. For US audiences. Review cookie and privacy policies for iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and all other streaming services.

🎁 Cybertruck Blows Up The Internet, The Lightsaber That ... Meows? And More

🎅🏼 Tesla's Cybertruck takes the Internets by storm, and not all goes well. The holiday yule log gets spit-roasted—ASMR style. Our Top 3 Tech Toys Gone Wrong. The 'Christmas Pizza' that's covered in turkey and gravy—and served in a singing box, plus a whole lot more. 

🚀 Rise of Skywalker: How will this chiasmus conclude the chiasmi? (at :42 seconds)
📺 What the hell is The Mandalorian? And why isn't that Boba Fett and Yoda? (at 2:28)
📐 Tesla Cybertruck: Big splash, or botched launch? (at 3:45)
🔫 Our Top 3 Tech Toys for Holiday 2019—including a Lightsaber that … meows? (at 6:30)
💣 Our Top 3 Tech Toys Gone Wrong—including one inspired by Tesla (at 8:30)
🍕 The Christmas Pizza comes lathered with turkey, gravy, and a psychotic theme song (9:54)
🥩 The Beef Drool Log comes with ASMR-like sound effects and … an AI-based personal assistant?  (at 11:15)
🎄 Cardi B or Anna Kendrick? Will the holiday TV spot imposter please stand up? (at 12:25)
🛍 From Santa's WTF workshop: animal dissection kits, fluffy pets with removable fur and other gifts for children (at 13:18)
☃️ Some holiday chestnuts about goosing the kids, making memories and more (at 14:00)
🥁 The Ricks reveal the title of their future Claymation holiday television special (at 14:58)
Approx. 15 min, 40 sec. For US audiences. Review cookie and privacy policies for iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and all other streaming services.

🦃 A Pringles Thanksgiving, Singles Day Stats, Twinkies Cereal, Why VR Stinks & More

Singles Day scores $1 billion in its first :60-seconds. "Arson Frog" and "Okay Boomer" have meme warfare raging among generations. Plus: Twinkies cereal ignites a social media storm, what fMRI tells us about holiday shopping behaviors, why the future of VR may stink, Loaded Questions, and more.  


📺 'Prime' Evil: 'Man in the High Castle' Season 4 (at 1 minute, 43 sec)

🤯 Meme Warfare: 'Arson Frog' Catches Fire as 'Okay Boomer' Explodes (at 3:26)

💩 Smell-o-Vision: Why the Future of VR Might Stink (at 5:50)

💰 $1 Billion Sold in :60-Seconds: Our Singles Day Scorecard (at 7:16)

🤢  Turducken Pringles: Any way you stack 'em, someone's sure to cry fowl (at 8:53)

🥣 Twinkies for Breakfast: Social Media Cause Célèbre—or Cereal Offender?  (at 10:08)

👺 Why Deep Fakes Mean Real Trouble for Business in 2020 (at 11:44)

🛍 Google Data: Top 3 Best (and Worst) Holiday Purchase Influencers (at 13:06)

🧠 What fMRI Brain Scans Tell Us About True Shopping Influencers (at 13:50)

🎅🏼 Six Fewer Days for St. Nick: Online Retail's Race Against the 2019 Calendar (at 14:58)

Listen via streaming, or click here

Approx. 16 min, 5 sec. For US audiences. Review cookie and privacy policies for iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and all other streaming services.

🍿 Gen Wow Review: 'Terminator Dark Fate'

It's our spoilerific review of Terminator: Dark Fate (trailer below)—complete with Sarah Conner, the Rev-9, and a Terminator T-800 named Carl. Plus Loaded Questions: The Terminator Edition. Warning: SPOILERS, SPOILERS, and more SPOILERS.



🤖 The latest Terminator: Dead on arrival? Or underrated awesomeness? (at 1 min, 15-seconds)

🎬 The plot quickens: Sixth in the series? Or third? (at 3:12)

✏ Erasure: The John Conner Controversy (at 5:04)

😎 I'll be (call)back (at 5:54)

⁉️ No, seriously: How did Sarah know to save Dani and Grace on the bridge? (6:35)

💉 Sarah and her sodium something-something (at 8:17)

😭 Carl's conscientiousness and bad SFX (at 9:34)

✈️ The mystery military man and his EMPs (at 10:34)

🇲🇽 The politics of Dani (at 11:28)

📖 Let's get Biblical: Rev(elations) 9 and beyond (at 11:50)

🤙🏼 Call me maybe: 1-888-WTF (at 12:49)

✅ Final grades (13:29)

👽 James Cameron plays musical chairs (at 14:56)

🥤 "Too nice": You won't believe who almost got Arnold's role (at 16:06)

🤘🏻 "Shock to the System": You won't believe who almost played the T-1000 (at 16:38)

Or Listen Here: 🍿The Ricks Review 'Terminator Dark Fate'

Approx. 17 min, 47 sec. For US audiences. Review cookie and privacy policies for iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, and all other streaming services.

Danger Ahead? The Rapidly Evolving World of Neuromarketing

Gw_fmri_neuromarketingjpgYou know the old joke: If Henry Ford had asked consumers whether they’d be interested in an automobile, they’d have told him no—they really just wanted a faster horse.

For all the targeting capabilities martech is bringing to bear these days, it may offer less than we realize in understanding, much less predicting, what products we are most likely to buy, or what we really want from a brand.

The fact is, people may not (in fact, usually don’t) really know what they prefer, or they may edit their real preferences when asked about them—revealing what they think they think, or what they'd like to think they think. Social desirability (the urge to seek approval) may shade their responses. Or they may just want to pick “the right answer” in surveys and focus groups.

Which brings in the whole field of neuromarketing and the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), or “brain scans,” to quite quickly and accurately assess the neurological impact of advertising across the parts of the brain associated with "value," "emotion," and "motivation," according to Insead Knowledge.

Ferreting Out Focus Group Fallacies

As I discussed in my book The On-Demand Brand, scientists at Baylor University, for instance, have used fMRI to determine true preference for Coke or Pepsi, and scientists at UCLA can tell whether you’re really a Republican or a Democrat. Meanwhile, Mars long ago discovered that fMRI had the most predictive of in-market ad effectiveness. Survey results didn't even come close. Put another way, fMRI "shows that when evaluating brands, consumers primarily use emotions (personal feelings and experiences), rather than information (brand attributes, features, and facts)."

As Insead puts it, advances in Electroencephalography (EEG) also show promise in assessing memory processing, attention, and emotional engagement. According to Martech Advisor, for instance, Cheetos once discovered that while focus group participants said they didn't like an edgy prankvertising-style commercial, brain scans showed they actually loved the spot. Participants said they didn't want to admit liking it for fear of being judged. The prank campaign was a huge success and helped Cheetos position itself around mischievousness and thrill-seeking.

Perhaps more importantly, these technologies are helping marketers understand how to manipulate consumer emotional response as well. Harvard Business Review once famously pointed out that fMRI showed that showing a higher price tag while people were tasting identical wines made the wine taste better—by "changing the actual neural signature of the taste."

From Brand Promotion to Breaking-and-Entering?

Still, the whole notion of neuromarketing raises serious questions. What happens when guesswork is taken out of advertising?

As Campaign recently pointed out, technological advances are such that we're not far from a day when your brain's activity signals will be made available to a degree in which "brands will be able to literally read the market's mind, in real time." One can just imagine what brands—or platforms such as say, Facebook—might do with that kind of intelligence.

What happens when the same technologies that track our behavior can also scan our brains as we drive past billboards or walk into stores, to send us just the right pitch—nearly guaranteed to work—right at the most opportune moment?

What responsibility do marketers bear in protecting consumer privacy and, for lack of a better term, mental sovereignty? What do we, as a society, need to do to make sure that happens?