Sign in

Philip S. Naudus

Over a century later, you still feel the effects of the Pepsodent ad campaign

Illustration of a koala bear holding a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Illustration of a koala bear holding a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Images by Philip and Linda Naudus. Based on images by upklyak and kjpargeter via freepik.

During the early 1900s, Claude Hopkins was already the most well-respected advertising genius in the world. He had made a fortune by engineering an ad campaign to transform Palmolive from an obscure company into a household name. But now, Hopkins turned his attention toward his greatest challenge yet — marketing toothpaste.

A friend of Hopkins had invented a cream that, when applied daily, could prevent tooth decay. But unfortunately, nobody wanted to buy “Pepsodent.” After all, preventative maintenance is boring. To expect people to pay money and apply this strange cream to their teeth on a daily basis seemed unthinkable…

The truth behind why creative advertising doesn’t work

Images by Philip and Linda Naudus. Based on an image by vectorpouch via freepik.

Marketing professor Dr. Renaud Lunardo was browsing bottles of wine when he noticed how much time consumers spent reading the labels before deciding on a purchase. An idea came to mind — why not make the labels more entertaining? If he could succeed in holding the customer’s attention longer, he might increase the chances of a sale.

Dr. Lunardo wrote a series of witty labels and placed them on bottles. Sure enough, customers spent a significant amount of time reading these labels and showing them to their friends. …

From terraforming to underground cities, every option is unsettling

Images by Philip and Linda Naudus. Based on photos by Patrick Perkins and Francisco Ghisletti via Unsplash.

If we destroy Earth by burning fossil fuels and discarding plastics into the ocean, what would we do next?

Science fiction would have us believe that moving between planets will be a piece of cake. Just buy a ticket and make sure to keep your phone charged during the 7-month journey. But as we all know, nothing is as easy as Hollywood would have us believe.

Back when I was a graduate student in astrophysics, the idea of living on Mars seemed dubious. But now that both Elon Musk and NASA are talking about sending humans to Mars within the…

And he didn’t even think to mention it in his autobiography

Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Holocaust had already begun. Jews were being herded into gas chambers and murdered by the thousands. Panic spread throughout the Jewish community. Escape was impossible. Nobody was allowed to leave Austria without showing proof of a visa to another country.

Eric Goldstaub, a 17-year-old Jew, was charged with acquiring a visa for his family. He spent months visiting every consulate, but the “J” stamped into his passport guaranteed that his request would be denied time and time again. Still, Eric refused to go home empty-handed. …


I sincerely want to help you increase my read time

Images by Philip and Linda Naudus. Background by upklyak via freepik.

Five years ago, I began wondering what in the world I was doing with my life. You see, working at a petting mill is a soul-crushing experience. Wake up. Go to work. Get hugs and kisses. Pretend to enjoy every moment. Try not to let the toddlers bite my tail. Collapse onto the rug at the end of the day. Rinse and repeat.

Given how much I endured, you’d think I got paid a fortune. But no, I only had a roof over my head and one scoop of generic dog food each day.

One scoop! And it wasn’t even…


There’s a reason why they’re called “secrets”

Images by Philip and Linda Naudus. Background by alicia_mb via freepik.

In today’s digital age, it seems as if everyone wants more followers. There are, of course, a few of you who are content with reading your own articles over and over again. But if you’re hoping to actually reach other people, this is for you.

For today’s edition of Growth Gossip, I’m pleased to be joined by our resident social media expert, Lové. As I’m sure everyone remembers, Lové is the most famous canine influencer on the planet. Let’s see what this genius dog has to say on the topic.

Lové, thanks so much for joining us today. …

He rescued more Jews than Schindler, but he died in poverty

Image by author. Based on a photograph of Chiune Sugihara and his wife.

The most dreadful perpetrator of the Holocaust doesn’t even have a name. He is known only as the Death Dealer. Because of this one man, the Holocaust in Lithuania was more severe than in any other country.

This beast of a man took great pride in how he could execute Jews with great efficiency. After decapitating the Rabbi of Slobodka with a saw, the Death Dealer placed the severed head in a window along with a sign that read, “This is what we will do to all Jews.”

Prior to his arrival in Lithuania, 15,000 Jews fled the country. The…

When integrity gets in the way of manufacturing a viral soundbite

Images by Philip and Linda Naudus. Based on an image by brgfx via freepik.

In 2011, an article from Psychology Today went viral. The guest author must have been ecstatic to finally get accepted into a prestigious magazine. But a few months later, the article was retracted as fraudulent and unscientific.

The article recounted an experiment where five monkeys were placed in a large cage with bananas at the top of a staircase. Every time a monkey started to climb the stairs, researchers would spray the entire group with ice-cold water. The monkeys soon learned to avoid the bananas.

One by one, researchers replaced the monkeys with ones who had never experienced the cold…

Philip S. Naudus

High school teacher by day, koala by night. My wife is a cartoonist with a Ph.D., and she co-authors all of these articles. Contact:

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store