May 2020 Newsletter


As a member of the Writer’s Guild for Clique Studios, I am responsible to contribute to our monthly “Open Tabs” marketing-focused newsletter. With the events of 2020, we opted to pause the newsletter for the time being. Before that decision was made, I wrote the following post to send to our 1200 subscribers.

Preparing for Surprise

This wasn’t what I planned to write. But what I had planned to write doesn’t quite feel right anymore. I couldn’t have imagined how out of touch my original topic would feel today. 

That’s why it’s important to be flexible. The best marketing speaks to the present, not to some projection of the present from the past. 

When our team plans newsletter content, we do it to give ourselves direction. But that also limits our ability to react. So, we pivoted on our plan—focusing on what matters most to our audiences, in this moment. 

Consider Oreo. 

When Super Bowl XLVII experienced a blackout, the most talked about marketing wasn’t any of the multi-million dollar ads. It was Oreo’s clever (and timely) response. By being ready to react, they were in the position to grab the industry’s biggest headline. 

What can we learn from Oreo? When you expect the unexpected, you give yourself the flexibility to respond in real-time. Of course it’s important to make plans, so long as you can change those plans when necessary. With recent events, we’ve all gained quite a bit of experience in reacting—many of our plans have changed. But even after this period, consider: “Is this something I should plan now, or react to later?” 

Let the present speak for the present, instead of being tied to the plans of the past.  

~From Jeff and The Team at Clique

Open Tabs: 

The oral history of Oreo’s “You Can Dunk in the Dark” Tweet

How improvisation and planning can work together to create a successful campaign.

Creative ways companies (and the governments) are using humor to share advice and drive action. 

We “Like” This: 

How Mayor Lightfoot’s reaction to meme culture helped communicate her message.


Many companies have unexpectedly had to adopt remote working. But as it turns out, remote workshops aren’t lesser than in-person ones. They’re just different. As a distributed team for some time now, we’ve learned a lot about how to facilitate workshops when we aren’t all in the same room.

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