Long Live the Indie Bookstore

As a former English major, professional writer, and fan of books, I was happy to read in The New York Times that “small booksellers not only survived the pandemic, but many are thriving.” More than 300 new independent bookstores have sprouted across the United States in the past couple of years. Given how bookstore sales […]

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Drift, Wait and Obey—It Worked for Kipling, It Can Work for You

“When your Daemon is in charge, do not try to think consciously. Drift, wait, and obey.” -Rudyard Kipling It’s Thursday and I’d like to throw it way back to ancient Greece and Rome and look at how ancient wisdom can guide us today. According to Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, the ancient Greeks […]

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Talented Writers Don’t Need The Ad Biz, The Ad Biz Needs Talented Writers

Richard Huntington is chairman and chief strategy officer at Saatchi & Saatchi. He also one of my favorite advertising thinkers. Here’s what he’s thinking now, care of Campaign: It’s the quality of our stories that matters. Stories that resonate because they come from real people and speak to real people and not from the faked […]

FORD v FERRARI: A Classic Tale of Suits Versus Creatives

Have you seen FORD v FERRARI? It’s the true story of the visionary American car designer Carroll Shelby and the fearless British-born driver Ken Miles, who together battled corporate interference, the laws of physics, and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford Motor Company and take on the dominating race […]

There Are No New Ideas. There’s An Abundance of New Ideas.

When someone utters the words, “there are no new ideas,” he’s either advocating for execution (where the magic happens), for the value of mashups and derivatives, or he has no imagination at all because new ideas sprout like fields of wildflowers in the minds of creative people with advertising problems to solve. But what about […]

FCB’s “456 Scale” Helps Global Agency with 8600 People Do Provocative Work

Agencies are judged by their award show hauls. Evidence is all around us. Just look at how much your agency spends to enter the back-slapping contests. Or read the industry press. Here’s a lede from a source I respect—Epica Awards: Until recently, Foote, Cone and Belding felt like a fairly discreet agency, doing solid work […]

Ding Dong. Where’s Your Candy Converter?

Reese’s is not sorry. The Hershey’s brand is not sorry that its candy is superior. Now that Halloween is here, Reese’s is not sorry if you choose to be an anti-social candy hoarder, instead of a good neighbor. In Related News Ad Age reports that Hershey Co. last year put brand PR within its marketing […]

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For Good Things To Happen, Brands First Need To Be Famous

Rory Sutherland is a deep thinker with the ability to cut through the bullshit. It’s an uncommon trait, so let’s pay close attention to the man’s words. When asked what is the biggest challenge for Ogilvy (where he works as Vice Chairman) in the next 10 years, Sutherland cooly replies: “Oh. I think that the […]

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When I Paint My Masterpiece, Everything’s Gonna Be Different

There’s a new website in town. OVER 30 UNDER 30 endeavors to highlight ageism in advertising—a topic a bit too close for comfort for me and many of my peers in the business. On LinkedIn, I recently highlighted the site’s feature on Kevin Kehoe, a creative director who left advertising behind to pursue painting full […]

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Rob Reilly Learns the Importance of Humility…You Could Be Next

Adland, like so much of corporate America, is a place where egotists go to gain control. Many of us have worked for royal pains in the ass, and some of us have been the royal pain. This is why I appreciate Rob Reilly’s recent confession and recommend this talk for all people who manage creative […]

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Entertainment Writers Do Battle with The Savages in Suits

Fade in. The writer’s room is oddly clean, bright, and empty. There’s a cog in the movie making machine. Writers in entertainment, as in advertising, dream it up and write it down. Writers are the spark that lights the story’s fire. In a city and in an industry that manufactures dreams, you’d think that writers would […]

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Unboxing Creativity at SXSW Interactive

AUSTIN—It’s a gray Monday morning in Bat City. My commute to downtown is easy and free parking is available on the east side of I-35. I walk to Rainey Street, where Bose, the country of Australia, and other big brands are temporarily encamped between the permanent food trucks. I am here to visit the Comcast NBCUniversal House […]

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When You’re Brave Enough To Be Vulnerable In Public, You’re Ready To Lead

Radical candor is a form of vulnerability. In business, we don’t see much radical candor or speaking truth to power, because we’ve been trained to bow down to authority and to show up at work with our armor on. Dr. Brene Brown is an authority on vulnerability. She said, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, […]

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Doner Sued for Age Discrimination

There’s an odor to ageism. Limburger smells better. According to Lindsay Rittenhouse at Adweek, the stench of age-based discrimination led copywriter and creative director Susan Walsh, who worked for Doner for 10 years, to file a lawsuit against the agency for age discrimination. Walsh says the only explanation she received for her termination was that […]

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Pantone’s Living Coral In the Spotlight — Time to Spread Its “Life Affirming” Qualities Around

Graphic designers and art directors know a lot about color and how it moves people to believe and to buy. Designers know these things because people who study color help them make informed decisions about the use of color for brands and products. For instance, the trend luminaries at the Pantone Color Institure just announced […]

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In-House Advantage: Why Agency Creatives Are Taking Flight

We are witnessing one of the great migrations. Art directors and copywriters, like Sandhill Cranes, are in flight. Their destination? Client-side opportunities. “A lot of people right now are intrigued by being closer to the core business and being much more effective,” says agency producer Jenny Gadd, who joined Airbnb last fall. According to Ad […]

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Cannapreneurial Activity Is At All Time High

So far, nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of recreational cannabis, and two dozen states have approved medical marijuana. According to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday, support for legalization hit 63 percent in the survey — the highest level of support recorded by a Quinnipiac poll. Support for medical […]

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Is Advertising Radical Enough? Weigel Weighs In

“Is advertising radical enough?” Martin Weigel, Head of Planning at Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam since 2009 was asked to present answers to this non-rhetorical question. He came up with 80 answers, all pithy, and all on point. Weigel’s radical vision is laid out in black and white on his website for all to see. Okay! Any questions? […]

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The Not So Mysterious Case of The Disappearing Referral

Anyone who works in sales, advertising, or media knows that referrals are worth their weight in gold. In the continual slog for new business, a referral from a colleague is often the door opener to real opportunity. Mark Sneider, owner/president of agency business-development firm RSW/US, writing in Adweek reveals data that referrals in the agency […]

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Will The Quants’ Conquest of Adland Be Short Lived?

In marketing circles, propeller heads rule the day, or so some say. They rule because they can quantify their work, parse the data, draw charts, and speak MBA-to-MBA. Since the dawn of time, clients have needed to muster the confidence to spend money on marketing, and bold ideas from the agency don’t exactly instill confidence, […]

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