June 7, 2016
This past weekend we lost one of the greatest boxing legends of all time: Muhammad Ali. Known for his brash and outspoken demeanor, Ali was just as well known for his political activism as his marvelous exploits in the ring.
During the 1960’s, when segregation was prevalent, Ali became a global brand that stood for excellence, strength, courage and intelligence. His views on political matters, like opposing the Vietnam War, drew praise and rebukes across the political spectrum. Yet over time, the boxing great, evolved into a beloved figure widely embraced across America.
This got me thinking, is Muhammad Ali the greatest marketer of all time? Here are three reasons that would suggest yes:
He made a promise. And delivered on it.
Ali simply told people, “I am the Greatest.”
With each fight, he proved his statement was true. He won the heavyweight crown three times. Even to this day, he is acknowledged as the greatest of all time.
Marketers are really good at promising great things. A business claims that their product is going to help you, a politician claims to change society for the better, a school claims to build life-long learners. However, the business, politician, and school often do not deliver as promised. In many instances, the marketing is much better than the product. Ali made a promise and delivered.
He stayed true to his brand, even as it evolved.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Ali’s skill in marketing is only part of the reason he became such a global brand. He embodied much of his era and brought that into the ring: The Vietnam War, civil rights, Islam/Christian tension, racial tension, business and society. He gracefully danced around all of these forces with a singular and powerful voice, a voice that proclaimed, “I won’t be who you want me to be!”
And again, this holds true. Muhammad Ali isn’t a brand that will conform to the audience. He is who he is, and the audience accepts him for that.
He was social media before social media.
Ali generated content that got people talking and formed a shared social experience. He also cultivated tastemakers—some of the most important writers, artists and journalists of his time.
As a result, people watched his fights to not only witness a world heavyweight title bout, but to experience a cultural event.
Brands have been making headlines with increased frequency for viral PR blunders. Learn how to avoid their mistakes… https://t.co/xD9vyoUhgv
April 11 - 9:04 pm - View on Twitter
Would you want your #ad to run before a terrorist propaganda piece? It happened to Hyundai & it could happen to you… https://t.co/G2i2mNgkef
March 28 - 8:31 pm - View on Twitter
Our Director of Video Operations offers insight into the world of #VirtualReality: https://t.co/VE4cO1iciV https://t.co/k81r8hNhpk
March 21 - 7:49 pm - View on Twitter
Did you miss this week's Insight Tuesday? Graphic designer Carrie Nestel explores the importance of packaging: https://t.co/uZ0XD7NY51
March 9 - 4:14 pm - View on Twitter
Check out our CEO's insight into the Ad-Blocking cold war that is being waged between marketers and their audiences: https://t.co/b8CSJw3IjT
March 1 - 7:10 pm - View on Twitter
Account Exec. Leigh Cesanek pulls together some of Sunday night's most memorable #ads & speculates who really won: https://t.co/uxFDg8YmtK
February 7 - 8:41 pm - View on Twitter
Our CEO reflects on reasons we are not achieving the level of clarity that big data should be providing. Read it: https://t.co/Xap3aIysa7
January 31 - 9:59 pm - View on Twitter
Our CEO offers insights into the benefits of 'non-investments,' such as the annual family vacation he takes. https://t.co/NSJtyKRbEI
January 18 - 5:00 pm - View on Twitter
Use #socialmedia to spark meaningful discussions about the things your company cares about: https://t.co/4LrNHuLUOa
January 10 - 8:00 pm - View on Twitter
Paul Federico talks about a unique art show he is a part of, in which the individuality of the artist can shine:… https://t.co/C9kbQf7g8n
December 27 - 8:00 pm - View on Twitter
The Princeton Partners team wishes you a joyful holiday season! Watch our holiday video here:… https://t.co/n6tlEOpmXO
December 21 - 8:29 pm - View on Twitter
We're in the holiday spirit! Take PPI's quiz on the hilarious holiday classic, 'Elf.' https://t.co/0uAbOsWsNl https://t.co/DLU01euQtk
December 20 - 9:08 pm - View on Twitter
Our CEO discusses the strategic planning meeting he attended w. @PHAnews & why the White House Garden inspired him:… https://t.co/NJGXmBVq8G
December 13 - 8:58 pm - View on Twitter
Our CEO created a brief quiz to test your knowledge of financial literacy in the US. The results may surprise you: https://t.co/uVwDP9ECzp
December 6 - 8:49 pm - View on Twitter
Associate Creative Director, Aaron, has come up with ten #gifts to avoid giving your #clients this holiday season:… https://t.co/BL1Q6G5lvk
November 29 - 9:15 pm - View on Twitter
Tim Burr weighs in on the the viral mess that New Balance is currently dealing with since a Tweet was misunderstood… https://t.co/j2B4UdrftD
November 22 - 8:00 pm - View on Twitter
Check out our CEO, Tom Sullivan, on the homepage of @NJBIZ this morning for an 'Industry Insights' piece:… https://t.co/WxFVAoUvK2
November 22 - 3:15 pm - View on Twitter
Check out the latest in our blog series the "Intern Spotlight" & get to know digital development intern, Gabriela.… https://t.co/cgazIIY6Fc
November 21 - 4:15 pm - View on Twitter
Following the election, many people are feeling anxious about the future. Our CEO suggests taking local action: https://t.co/xP9r4v2F6e
November 15 - 8:10 pm - View on Twitter
We had Chris's daughter, Ellie, visit us in the office today. She helped us with website coding and even took us ou… https://t.co/YUCgbBuLpi
November 11 - 9:33 pm - View on Twitter