41 episodes

Adweek's 2020 "Marketing Podcast of the Year." Webby-nominated. Profiled on Forbes.com.
On Lead Balloon, professional communicators share tales of the do-or-die situations that defined public relations and marketing careers--what went wrong, how unexpected obstacles were overcome, and what was learned in the process.
With immersive storytelling and a wry sense of humor, host Dusty Weis revisits epic PR disasters, intense communications scenarios, professional crises and half-baked marketing campaigns gone awry, and usually finds a reason to chuckle.
Because sometimes, there are important lessons to be learned from someone else's worst day.
And sometimes, it's just more convenient than group therapy. Tune in monthly for new episodes.
Visit podcampmedia.com/leadballoon to learn more.

Lead Balloon - Public Relations, Marketing and Strategic Communications Disaster Stories Dusty Weis

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 20 Ratings

Adweek's 2020 "Marketing Podcast of the Year." Webby-nominated. Profiled on Forbes.com.
On Lead Balloon, professional communicators share tales of the do-or-die situations that defined public relations and marketing careers--what went wrong, how unexpected obstacles were overcome, and what was learned in the process.
With immersive storytelling and a wry sense of humor, host Dusty Weis revisits epic PR disasters, intense communications scenarios, professional crises and half-baked marketing campaigns gone awry, and usually finds a reason to chuckle.
Because sometimes, there are important lessons to be learned from someone else's worst day.
And sometimes, it's just more convenient than group therapy. Tune in monthly for new episodes.
Visit podcampmedia.com/leadballoon to learn more.

    Trailer—The Lead Balloon Podcast—PR, Marketing and Strategic Communications Disaster Stories

    Trailer—The Lead Balloon Podcast—PR, Marketing and Strategic Communications Disaster Stories

    Adweek's 2020 "Marketing Podcast of the Year."
    Webby Award-nominated.
    Profiled on Forbes.com.
    On Lead Balloon, professional communicators share tales of the do-or-die situations that defined public relations and marketing careers--what went wrong, how unexpected obstacles were overcome, and what was learned in the process.
    With immersive storytelling and a wry sense of humor, host Dusty Weis revisits epic PR disasters, intense communications scenarios, professional crises and half-baked marketing campaigns gone awry, and usually finds a reason to chuckle.
    Because sometimes, there are important lessons to be learned from someone else's worst day. And sometimes, it's just more convenient than group therapy.
    Tune in monthly for new episodes. Visit podcampmedia.com/leadballoon to learn more.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 min
    Murder in Boston Blamed on Sega's Virtua Cop Video Game, with Lee Caraher

    Murder in Boston Blamed on Sega's Virtua Cop Video Game, with Lee Caraher

    On a busy evening in Boston's financial district in 1995, gunshots ring out. When the smoke clears, a prominent divorce attorney is dead and a police officer is wounded.
    And Lee Caraher, then the Vice President of Corporate and Consumer Communications for the Sega Corporation, doesn't know it yet...
    ...but she's about to have a public relations crisis on her hands.
    Police would eventually uncover evidence that shooter John T. Lin "trained" for his revenge rampage by spending hours playing Virtua Cop, an arcade-style video game that puts a plastic replica pistol directly in the player's hands as they blast bad guys on a screen.
    And media coverage of the shooting would add fuel to the fire in the growing debate over video game violence that played out in the mid-90s.
    So in this episode, we rehash the story with Lee and parse the PR takeaways.
    And, since video games have been blamed for dozens of other heinous acts in the years since the shooting, we'll explore the relationship between violent media and violent behavior with two experts whose opposing views yield some surprising common ground.
    Clinton "Paperthin" Bader is an Esports commentator in Seoul, South Korea who provides expert play-by-play on professional video game competitions, which is a major form of entertainment in Southeast Asia.
    And Dr. Myriam Miedzian is a prominent critic of video games who served on President Bill Clinton’s Violence Prevention Task Force and worked on faculty at Rutgers and Barnard. She also wrote a 1991 book called Boys Will Be Boys: Breaking the Link Between Masculinity and Violence.
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    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 58 min
    National Airlines' Saucy "Fly Me" Ad Campaign, and the Great Stewardess Rebellion of the 1970s

    National Airlines' Saucy "Fly Me" Ad Campaign, and the Great Stewardess Rebellion of the 1970s

    Sexist advertising that objectifies women reached its heyday in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
    But, in that era, it was very seldom that any company actually faced backlash or consequences for its ad practices.
    That began to change, however, when National Airlines deployed a racy new ad campaign in which alluring young stewardesses invited travelers to "Fly Me" on their next business trip.
    National Airlines may have sold more tickets as a result of the ads.
    But, for a workforce of stewardesses who were fed up with sexist standards and unfair working conditions, the campaign proved to be a tipping point that sent them into the streets to protest, organize, and agitate for the respect they deserved—both in the workplace and in the media.
    In this episode, Nell McShane Wulfhart—author of The Great Stewardess Rebellion—charts a course through the aviation, advertising and labor history of this story.
    Plus, we're joined by Philippa Roberts and Jane Cunningham to explore the sexist tropes at play in 1970s advertising, and how sexism is just as pernicious in today's media, even if it's less blatant. Philippa and Jane are co-authors of Brandsplaining: Why Marketing is Still Sexist and How to Fix It, and are also co-founders of the agency PLH, the UK’s leading research consultancy specializing in female audiences.
    While you're here:

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    • 40 min
    Tesla’s Elon Musk Fires the Entire Public Relations Team—What Could Go Wrong?

    Tesla’s Elon Musk Fires the Entire Public Relations Team—What Could Go Wrong?

    As the world’s most valuable automotive manufacturer, electric car giant Tesla is the largest company in the world that operates without any kind of public relations personnel.
    That means no media relations arm. No crisis comms plan. No PIO. 
    In fact, the entire PR team was purged just a couple years ago in 2020, and CEO Elon Musk has defended the move, saying the company doesn't believe in "manipulating public opinion."
    Not only does this reflect a very unsophisticated understanding of what public relations practitioners do, but it also makes Elon Musk the sole public authority authorized to comment on Tesla's wheelings and dealings... and he doesn't exactly have a history of exuding stability.
    So in this episode, we revisit that history with Forbes Senior Editor Alan Ohnsman and San Diego-based crisis communications consultant David Oates.
    We discuss how Tesla is now struggling to control its own narrative, what risks it's courting, and how Elon Musk's leadership model might be setting up the company... and its shareholders... for their biggest disaster yet.
    While you're here:

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    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 52 min
    Snapple: Pitching the Best Catchphrase On Earth, with Jane Cavalier and Richard Kirshenbaum

    Snapple: Pitching the Best Catchphrase On Earth, with Jane Cavalier and Richard Kirshenbaum

    The strategy at the heart of the Snapple brand's precipitous rise... and its cataclysmic fall... is simple:
    Embrace your roots. Celebrate authenticity.
    It's a lesson that's been served up again and again in the brands and marketing ecosystem. But it never seems to sink in.
    So in this episode, we'll pop the top on a Snapple double feature.
    First, Jane Cavalier tells us about pitching Snapple's iconic slogan, "Made From the Best Stuff on Earth," and watching it flop with the company's original owners.
    And then, Richard Kirshenbaum outlines the genesis of the iconic "Snapple Lady" ad campaign, which catapulted Snapple into a multi-billion dollar brand--that is, until new owners changed course and sunk $1.4 billion in mismanaged brand value.
    Together, Jane and Richard will parse lessons hard-earned in the hustle of Madison Avenue and retell a tale as old as the Golden Goose itself: "If you've got a good thing going, but you don't understand how it works, for the love of God don't tinker with it."
    While you're here:

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    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 53 min
    BONUS: We're a Nominee! Help Us Win At The Webby Awards

    BONUS: We're a Nominee! Help Us Win At The Webby Awards

    Well folks, Lead Balloon has been nominated for The Webby Awards, "the Internet's highest honor."
    And we need your help to bring home the hardware.
    Click here to Vote for Lead Balloon as Best Creativity and Marketing Podcast.
    And if you want to learn more or tell your friends about the show,
    Check Out This News Release.
    As always, thanks for listening. It means everything.
    -dw-
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 3 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
20 Ratings

20 Ratings

momitts ,

Who knew marketing could be so interesting!

Dusty Weis provides great background and sets up lessons in marketing and public relations that even non-marketing mavens can enjoy.

OateseyInSD ,

TERRIFIC podcast

One of the best produced, most insightful, entertaining and informative podcasts around! I’m a huge fan now!

Pudelmom ,

Enjoyed immensley!!!!

New link via @The Rick Wilson. Always wondered how the pros handle thisl.

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