Published on 2013-03-04 00:02:00
mind blowing. Eighty-percent of all household purchases are determined by
women, while only three-percent of our nation’s advertising creative directors
are women. (And let’s be honest, women probably practice veto power over the
Published on 2013-02-24 16:36:00
The new business pitch experience is kind of like a slow motion, extended director's cut fight scene. You have no idea where your competition or your breakthrough idea will come from, but you must be ready to defend it. All while maintaining your now
Published on 2012-10-28 10:40:00
Published on 2012-08-31 01:08:00
In a world where things move fast and everything gets overlooked, I'm endlessly amazed by the lives my grandparents have led. They did not disappoint tonight. Spinning crazy new stories and revisiting many favorites.
Published on 2012-08-21 23:21:00
In advertising, it's an overused phrase. For clients and brands, it gives us perspective. But what about our own expectations?
At the end of the day, all you have is...
Published on 2012-07-28 09:35:00
I'm not sure what I like most about this spot. The graceful overlapping of reality and surreality. The perfectly-woven dreamlike music. The regretfully-romantic voiceover of a favorite actor. The nostalgic-yet-timeless art direction. The flawless final scene transition, lingering on a fleeting look before taking us to a present day self actualization.
The idea that you could put an ad like this out into an audience that has previously been treated to humor, hijinks, and shallowness is impressiv [..]
Published on 2012-06-12 23:22:00
Experience is more important than we think. But, it doesn't start with that shiny new internship. It clocks in well before that. When you first become aware of the world around you and begin collecting insights.
Published on 2012-05-14 23:20:00
When you leave an agency, it's not like clocking out from a factory job. Your coworkers become your close friends and family. A safe little world where you can unleash crazy ideas at will. You're surrounded by young talent who you've helped mentor and by creative incumbents who have influenced what you are today. It's always harder than you think to say goodbye.
No matter how busy things get over the years, you take the good times and the small victories with you. Like the time I was nominated [..]
Published on 2012-04-14 14:23:00
People ask why I'm drawn to advertising over design alone. Without a doubt, it's the focus on copy first. Storytelling is the difference between decoration and intentional visual meaning. And here's what George Louis said about that:
Even though the synergy between words and images is crucial, Lois always tells people just starting out in advertising that when concocting a great ad, the words must come first. "They look at me stunned," he says. "They say, 'No, no, you create these powerful vi [..]
Published on 2012-03-24 16:05:00
For a couple of years, I've attended the Art Director's Club of Denver's Paper Fashion Show. It's always more impressive in person. And, this year I had full appreciation for the work that goes into creating a dress out of paper. Not easy.
Our team had a Neenah Classic Crest paper swatch book. We could use 35 sheets maximum. Ninety-percent of the dress had to be created from those 35 sheets. We were also encouraged to make an accessory, so we did a lantern with a light inside.
Unless you go th [..]
Published on 2012-03-02 09:15:00
Without any semblance of bedside manner, my alarm clock ambushes me every morning. The grating noise crashes my dream and sets my conscious mind loose. Oh man, it seems like I just contained that thing minutes ago. Here we go again.What day is it? What are my deadlines? How much coffee do I have access to?I lay there watching the clock slowly change. One number at a time. You get a sense for the true length of a minute when you do that. It feels like a long time, right? Throughout the day minute [..]
Published on 2012-01-07 16:14:00
For my contribution to The Denver Egotist's "What I Learned This Year 2011" series, I realized that learning is never really finished. Sometimes a contradiction leads to a revelation. In fact, opposition can drive innovation. You can change things. The overall concept of my post was inspired by this insight. And thanks to everyone out there who also inspired me. Here's the post, in its entirety:
What would happen if everything we’ve learned needs to be unlearned? (Within reason, of course. P [..]
Published on 2011-12-04 13:37:00
"So, are you going to get your book signed or what?" my friend asked as we exited the packed auditorium. "Nah, this place is a mad house. I don't stand a chance." I replied.
We moved to the side and discussed the presentation we'd just witnessed. I safely leaned on a table as the crowd somehow continued to grow.
Years ago, Stefan Sagmeister was promoting his latest book, Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far. If you haven't seen it, it's a celebration of visual thinking and life realizations [..]
Published on 2011-11-11 00:01:00
Sincere thanks to Bryce Boyer (photography), Ryan Johnson (copy), and Gneural (illustration).
Behind the thinking of The Denver Ad Club's call-for-entries campaign.
In advertising, there's an advantage when you're the audience. You know things outsiders won't uncover in a focus group. So, armed with a lifetime of subliminal creative knowledge, I took on the Denver Fifty creative brief with the excellent Ryan Johnson of Vladimir Jones.
Get people to enter their best ideas. End [..]
Published on 2011-09-06 00:26:00
I told you there would be better days.
I've seen the future, and the future is… well, actually it might be the past. Albeit a never-ending, future-feeling remix of the past. Yesterdays. Todays. Tomorrows. Layers upon layers of intuition gleaned from years of exploration. Reflections and realizations.
Dear Photograph, a blog by Taylor Jones, overlaps frozen moments from the past with present time and space. Old photographs lined up in current surroundings. Literall [..]
Published on 2011-08-14 18:29:00
As Garreth Kay beautifully articulated, the underlying strategy for everything from Making Digital Work was that "we need to become keen observers on human behavior." Technology advances. Digital strategy adapts. Motivation changes. No matter what the medium, remember, you are trying to reach people with something they find meaningful. And that's a constant.
"When people share content, they're building their brand. Not yours." – Daniel SteinEveryone is uncomfortable with the ever-changing tech [..]
Published on 2011-07-26 00:32:00
No matter where you reside within an advertising agency, you're going to need some political prowess. Trust me, I'm a creative incumbent. You need it. Internally and externally. Like it or not, you are being judged.
How do you masterfully persuade a room? Can you command respect from your team? Do you effortlessly inspire action?
Much like a hopeful politician, the optimistic creative cautiously begins a new campaign. Carefully crafting strategy. Aligning personal belief. Preemptively asking [..]
Published on 2011-07-17 20:44:00
What inspires you? It's different for everyone else, right? …or, is it?
What?! You mean I'm not the only one inspired by advertising, creativity, culture, design, and observation who admittedly has a slight music and film addiction? Do I have a doppelganger hanging out in a coffee shop somewhere getting excited about random things like this or that. (I won't go into all my what-I-thought-used-to-be-original intricacies, but yeah, it turns out they're really not. Sorry hipsters, you're probably [..]
Published on 2011-07-05 00:12:00
Poster designed by Bibliotheque.
In a time before complete brand integration, Dieter Rams feared the world was becoming “an impenetrable confusion of forms, colours and noises.” A very prophetic statement from the early eighties.
Published on 2011-06-25 18:25:00
Wieden + Kennedy has been embracing failure since 1988. And, as the mural demonstrates, sometimes doing things the hard way can be more meaningful.Fail harder. Fail faster. Fail better. Fail forward. For the love of awesome, would you just get it ove
Published on 2011-06-20 23:02:00
Think back. Back to a time before Tivo. It was the decade Chiat/Day changed advertising with their groundbreaking 1984 Apple commercial. Saving humanity from conformity in a spot officially airing once and barely mentioning Apple.
In 1985, I was int
Published on 2011-06-16 22:25:00
I feel nothing. I don't know if it's coming back.
I'm in the eye of a storm, surrounded by eerie calmness. A sea of gray. Just the periodic rumbling of the earth. Faint lightening in the distance reminds me to blink. Wind hypnotically choreographs d
Published on 2011-05-28 17:23:00
I'll admit, I'm addicted to ideas. Adrenaline-laced epiphanies. It just took one, and I was hooked. I want more.
It's not just the idea itself, it's the whole process. The inception of an idea. The rush you get when you make an idea better. The cont
Published on 2011-05-24 00:38:00
At our creative meeting, I issued a team-brainsqualling challenge. The task had absolutely nothing to do with anything we were working on. It wasn't supposed to. We had no reason to get hung up on preconceived notions or restrictive details.
Published on 2011-05-13 12:37:00
The new comes and goes. One thing after another. The first this and the last that. Emotionally-charged whiplash. Moment after exhausting moment. Then, out of nowhere, the crazy new drops off into a daily routine. Oh, hello adulthood. (Sigh.) Yes, the
Published on 2011-05-08 12:58:00
The surface glimmers with intrigue and anticipation. It promises possibility and invites speculation. It curiously holds our attention. Begging us to look closer. Denying us details. Leaving us wanting more.
Disenchantment is in the details.
Published on 2011-04-18 21:51:00
Design Thinking is dead. Well, sort of.
And no, this doesn't mean we can stop thinking. Or that "because it looks cool" flies as a stand-alone concept. That's like ending a debate with "because I said so." You may have won the battle, but y
Published on 2011-04-09 12:05:00
Heroes walk among us. They're doing things and telling people what they're doing. Asking tough questions, and working to solve them. Taking responsibility, and delivering empowered action. The key idea from the inaugural TEDx Mile High was sustainabi
Published on 2011-04-02 12:36:00
It's been ten years since I first saw this movie. It still breaks my heart. Hell, I even watched the original Spanish version. It's a movie people either love or hate. Well, needless to say, I still love it.Never before had I been so moved by a sound
Published on 2011-03-28 22:04:00
We'd expect it to carry the weight of the brand on its back. Logos were single-handedly responsible for brand recognition and product legitimacy. On the start-up's list of things to do, having a good logo was perceived as a huge step between dream an
Published on 2011-03-26 17:56:00
Ever since I stumbled across David Sedaris's friend's 'four-burner stove theory' in a number of articles, I can't help but periodically evaluate my theoretical burner usage. This symbolic stove represents four quadrants of life we all try to balance:
Published on 2011-03-15 01:00:00
This is a covert operation – taking you deep behind the scenes of creative intrigue. Precariously dangling you over the edge of the obvious and testing your ability in the art of negotiation. How far are you willing to go to sell an idea?
Published on 2011-03-13 16:13:00
Last week was a blur. Most of them are. But, sometimes we need to stand back and admire the awesome. I'm not just talking about the work, though it damn-well better be awesome or why bother. It's a combination of things that inspire you – passion,
Published on 2011-03-07 00:58:00
Happiness is contagious.
Definition 6 proved that Coca-Cola could enable happiness. But, what was the catalyst for the Happiness Machine's success? Yeah, college kids like free stuff, but that wasn't the magic. For the people in the videos, it was
Published on 2011-02-26 16:02:00
Today. I'm working on a presentation. Listening to an audio book. Watching a movie. Thinking about a campaign. Catching up with a friend. Writing this blog post. All at the same time.
We've become comfortable in a state of constant interruption.
Published on 2011-02-19 15:27:00
There it is. A simple philosophical thought exponentially magnified through development and execution. Whether or not Jim Beam is worthy of such a grandiose movement, it's pure genius from StrawberryFrog.
Willem Dafoe embodies the "Bold Choices" cam
Published on 2011-02-05 16:22:00
About a year ago, I made a fairly bold statement when introducing myself to the Denver Ad Club board of directors. It went something like this, "I'm with Burns Marketing. If you haven't heard of us (insert dramatic pause) you will."
Those that had h
Published on 2011-01-23 12:02:00
I've been going through my old school papers and process/sketchbooks. The conclusion I've drawn from this mass of yellow-paged insanity? Art is weird. That, and I used to have legible handwriting.
It all comes back. The sleepless nights at my drafti
Published on 2011-01-09 14:38:00
It was the summer of 1981. I stepped into a movie theater for the first time, with my father. It was just us and The Fox and the Hound. I felt so lucky for this one-on-one adventure. For an hour and a half we enjoyed the show on the biggest screen I
Published on 2011-01-03 21:28:00
As we end a turbulent decade, I'm hopeful for what's next. Here's some advice I'm taking with me:
1. Don't wait. There are two ways to go through life, cautiously or courageously. Pivotal moments happen, whether you're ready or not. But, if yo
Published on 2011-01-01 12:49:00
It's Sunday morning. I'm surrounded by creatives, Play Doh, random craft items, and butcher-paper-covered tables. Just when I thought things couldn't get more bizarre, a very tall Stefan Mumaw, author and creative director for Reign, walks into the p
Published on 2010-12-29 17:43:00
Last week, an infographic defining audiences for Twitter and Facebook was making the rounds. BrandSavant had a great follow-up article calling out the comparison as descriptive, but not necessarily predictive. As noted, many Twitter users are also Fa
Published on 2010-12-13 23:54:00
One of my favorite posts lately was from Dave Trott. With four words, he summed up what we do: making the complicated simple. Now, don't get me wrong, this does not trivialize the art of advertising. The simplification process is quite complex. There
Published on 2010-12-12 01:02:00
Within every successful creative, two emotions maintain permanent residence – passion and fear.
Passion keeps us alive. It gives us a reason to create.
You've heard it all before… you can't sleep, can't eat, can't think about anything else
Published on 2010-12-06 22:29:00
Last June, I had the pleasure of hearing Scott Belsky speak at The How Conference. He announced the launch of his updated Behance Network (version two), spoke of plans for the 99 percent, and also offered insight from his celebrated book, Making Idea
Published on 2010-11-28 11:56:00
What will people think? Will they even notice? Will they want to connect?
As this Tech Crunch article points out, digital serendipity is less about magic and more about science. But, there's a fine line between meaningful connection and creepy assum
Published on 2010-11-23 23:24:00
When speaking to tomorrow's designers and writers, one question always comes up:
"What do you look for in a portfolio?"
This is the challenge. What all those years of college and experience have prepared you for, right? Well, maybe. The truth is, t