I wish I did that

Two simple and beautiful ads for a bookstore in Brazil.

Screen Shot 2013-12-20 at 1.39.40 PM

Via the blog I Believe in Advertising

And now, your social media fail of the day

Mt Gox Fail



Not only does Mt Gox (a BitCoin exchange) have their Twitter account set to auto-reply (a big no-no), the auto-reply message is basically just telling you to fuck off. AND THEN, the message is more than 140 characters!

Maybe they’re too busy watching their BitCoin valuation shoot the roof to care about something as silly as Twitter. That’s okay!

But if that’s your plan, why use Twitter at all?

Probably, because internet.


Don’t email angry.

If you ever think “should I send this email?” you probably shouldn’t. That way you don’t send emails like this beauty, which I angrily wrote at 10:30 the other night:

I’ll do what can about slides but I’ve said since the beginning that it was a mistake to promise a social strategy and obviously the plan was written by someone who doesn’t understand social strategy at all.

You had none of the inputs required to formulate a solid strategy but why let that stop you? And for that matter why not just assign an impossible task to someone else, it won’t be your problem, will it?

You may be sick of pushing me on this, well I’m sick of you not understanding how strategy works and expecting miracles.



This one was wisely left to the unsent drafts folder, and then the trash (with a quick stopover on the blog). Especially being so close to the end of year, 360 feedback, promotion nominations, raises, bonuses, etc.

Looks like I dodged a bullet this time. The moral of the story is, as good as it may feel to write these things in the heat of the moment, it’s probably best to leave them unsaid.

How to present to an ad agency.

If you work in advertising (and even more so on the media side), you have attended MANY vendor presentations. Sometimes they are from media companies who want to show you why you should be buying space on their sites, or partnering with them on content creation. Some are measurement companies, social dashboards, app developers, Facebook community managers, the list goes on and on.

I’ve sat through hundreds of these presentations and have brought many of my friends’ companies in to speak to my colleagues. So here, from my experience, are the best ways to present your company to a room full of advertising people (in no particular order).

  1. BRING FOOD (I know I said these were in no particular order, but this is the most important). Seriously. If you want harried, overworked ad people to come and listen to your pitch, the least you can do is feed us (or give us beer. Or both). Bonus points go to vendors who bring in interesting or unusual food. We eat a lot of pizza and sandwiches. My friend at OnSwipe once brought us Chinese food. That was a good day. 
  2. Bring examples. As much as we want to learn the ins and outs of how your platform, technology, app, service, etc is new and exciting and different, what we NEED to hear is how it’s being used. Not how you think people should use it – how are people actually using it. Tell us about other agencies that you have partnered with, what client bought in, and what they did with it.
  3. Show results. Like above, tell us what really happened! Too often vendors either present case studies that are so new and fresh they don’t have results, or they can’t/won’t share the results, or they don’t even have them because they are compartmentalized away from the broader marketing.
  4. Do your homework. Find out who our clients are ahead of time. If you know we work with Pizza Hut or Ford, come prepared with some ideas about how you would use your platform for those brands. If those teams are in the room they will appreciate the ideas.
  5. Get a sponsor. It’s always a better presentation when someone inside the company is helping to bring you in. They can round up their friends, tell people about the presentation, etc to help get a better attendance. They can also remind people about it later when they want to use your product/service.
  6. Be patient. It’s rare that a vendor comes in, shows off their stuff, and we have an immediate need for it. More likely, if you make a good impression we will remember your offering when we are concepting and then give you a frantic call about how we need your help right away.

What else? Anyone want to chime in with some other ways vendors can make good impressions on agencies (and don’t say give us free stuff like Xboxes or ski trips – that only happens at media agencies).

Lessons on Advertising Culture from Stan Richards

I recently had the opportunity to take a tour of the offices of The Richards Group, led by the legendary Stan Richards.

Stan Richards the richards group

Stan Richards, founder of the The Richards Group

And I have to say, it was pretty cool. I’ve been to many other agencies – Arnold, Digitas, Saatchi & Saatchi, StarCom/MediaVest, Weber Shandwick, Publicis, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Sterling Rice, TDA, Hill Holiday, DeVries, MS&L, and countless others. But never has a founder of the agency taken the time to visit with me, to give me a tour, or tell me about the culture of the company he or she founded. Granted, most of them have long since passed away, moved on to other agencies, or retired, but still, this was cool.  Read more of this post

Call me a hypocrite but…

I guess it’s hypocritical to like things like this AND work in advertising,  but I can’t help it. I was raised with my father frequently lamenting about the “nightmare of capitalism” and while I may not have fully embraced it, I still get fired up by this sort of thing.


Click on the image to see others from this project from Brandalism (which by the way, is an AWESOME name for what they do).

And a shout-out to the blog ObsessiveCompulsive for finding this and sharing it with me.

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