There has been no shortage of public debate on volatile citizenship issues this year, from the Supreme Court ruling on Marriage Equality, the Confederate flag as a symbol of hate, or the blow-up of incendiary comments about immigrants by would-be Presidential candidates.
What is a company or brand to do when the public debate and social conversation turns to polarizing subject matter? Who will arbitrate the debate over divisive issues in America’s board rooms? How can a bold brand plant stakes in the ground that are in step modern perspectives? …Read More
During a recent rehearsal for an important client pitch, I asked the team to take notes on one another’s presentation, not to find fault in what we were doing or saying, but rather to identify at least one thing that they loved about each team member’s performance.
After what was arguably a very good rehearsal, we sat together for another 45 minutes of sharing feedback. The team went around the room sharing praise for one another. What started as light commentary about what we loved in their presentations — certain anecdotes, selected word choice or a note about flair — soon turned into deeper love notes about why that individual was important to the team, what value they brought to this prospective client’s work, and how they elevated the agency as a whole. …Read More
Mad Men is over, and so closes a saga where art imitated life, sometimes imitating art, always imitating life. Whether you enjoyed the show’s various and sundry plotlines or not, it is undeniably one of the best depictions of the advertising industry ever written. It’s also probably the most artful and stylistic time-capsule of life and business in the 60s ever created. That the story was told so beautifully and appropriately on television, arguably the medium that catapulted advertising to corporate hero status, is the gravy on the Swanson’s TV dinner. …Read More
Culture, in the corporate sense, is something of a mystery. We feel it, but we can’t touch it. We can see its signifiers, which tell us where we are, what to expect and how to act. But what is the meaning behind these messages? How to talk about the core of an organization’s culture? And if we can talk easily about culture, we must be careful not to imagine that saying we have a certain kind of culture will make it so. …Read More
Recently I was asked by NY Daily News to provide a quote about A-Rod’s public apology, which fans seemingly felt came up short. I told the reporter I was not willing to judge the situation from afar, but I was willing to provide my POV generally about what makes an apology strategic and compelling. …Read More
An effective campaign today must be comprised of a number of things. It must be impactful, unexpected, unique, memorable, and it must resonate with audiences. A great campaign must have a clear purpose, with a clearly conveyed message. Every once in a while we are fortunate to see a breakthrough campaign with an inspiringly simple approach that captures the hearts and minds of people everywhere. …Read More
I ended up at Disneyland the other week, which was kind of awesome. I hadn’t been there since I was a kid, so it was definitely surreal seeing it through adult eyes.
The park holds up nicely. It’s a little smaller than I remembered, and the animatronics are a little less lifelike. But the magic remains. The excitement on Main Street USA is real, even if the storefronts are not.
My afternoon in the Magic Kingdom reminded me of advice my dad gave me a while ago: Half of every business is show business. And in our industry, it’s probably more than half. So with that, here’s what I learned at the happiest place on earth. …Read More