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Eight Cues Madison Avenue Should Take from Broadway thumbnail

Eight Cues Madison Avenue Should Take from Broadway

As a creative in the advertising field, I’m constantly seeking new approaches, inspirations and strategies to fuel my work. Sometimes I find what I need through the usual suspects – design blogs, marketing publications and research articles – but recently, I found inspiration in an unlikely source that was both an entire industry away, and yet walking distance from where I sat.

Pulsing like parallel arteries through the center of New York City, Broadway and Madison Avenue notoriously house two of the greatest industries of the modern era: musical theater and advertising, respectively.


Thoughts from a Cannes Creative Effectiveness 2013 Jury member thumbnail

Thoughts from a Cannes Creative Effectiveness 2013 Jury member

“You don’t have to worry about scam in this category,” the organizers told us at the start of judging the Creative Effectiveness category at Cannes this year. Of course not, because each entry came with a case attached that sought to prove how well the creative had worked, so the work had to have run properly somewhere.


What’s Your Story? thumbnail

What’s Your Story?

As the father of two sons (5 and 8 years old) I read a lot of books at bedtime. I started with my oldest from the day he was born. Goodnight Moon. I can still recite it word for word. Board books, picture books, you name it – I read it. When he was about three years old I began to get bored with books about diggers, bunnies, aardvarks and bears, so I started to make up stories.


A Brand Ol’ Story thumbnail

A Brand Ol’ Story

I was founded many years ago.

Bringing something new that was better than the old.

I got some attention, interviews, positive reviews and even some fans.
People liked me. People talked about me. People bought, used and loved me.
It was absolutely great.
I was welcomed into their cities, streets and homes.


Can Geeks Save The World? thumbnail

Can Geeks Save The World?

This year we were lucky enough to go to Austin, the Mecca of geeks and digital hipsters from around the world. SXSW is the place where people like us go wild over the next big thing. After all, it’s where Foursquare and Twitter really exploded, and where everyone present is desperately seeking the app of the day and the next super-service that can instantly change our lives.


The Business of Creativity thumbnail

The Business of Creativity

I recently read a quote from John Cleese that said, “creativity is not a talent, it’s a way of operating.” This of course flies right in the face of how many of us “creatives” view what we do for a living. Seriously, if creativity isn’t a talent, then that would mean everyone could do it. And, if everyone could do it, why do we constantly have to explain what it is we do to our relatives, in-laws and the people we meet at neighborhood cook outs? How dare he – John Cleese – one of the most fantastically creative talents in the history of comedy.


The Shock of the Neue thumbnail

The Shock of the Neue

The single most important thing you need as a creative isn’t a fancy new Mac.

Neither is it a thick skin.

Or even a great sense of humour. Though that can help quite a bit.

Do you really want to know what it is?


With My Own Two Hands thumbnail

With My Own Two Hands

For the past two weeks, I have been suffering from a galactic-sized spell of writer’s block. I’m talking of debilitating proportions. The kind of extreme case where the sound of your voice (or in this case, the choice in your words) makes you just want to pack it in and make a drastic vocational change. Every time I created a new document in Microsoft Word or presentation in PowerPoint, it was as if that flickering cursor was flicking me off. Delusional? Perhaps. But if it was, in fact, the case, I can’t say I really blame it. Some days (or weeks) you just don’t have it.


Sometimes You’re Sh!t and That’s Okay thumbnail

Sometimes You’re Sh!t and That’s Okay

I imagine everyone who gets into advertising has someone they look up to in the industry. Mine was a guy called Festus. As we were coming out of Apartheid, this guy wrote an ad that made South Africans really take a second look at each other and the country they were now living in. It was powerful, razor-sharp stuff and year after year he’d always be on stage receiving some or other accolade for his work. I knew from then on that I wanted to be like that, and I’d do anything to get there. So I set out on this endeavor, spending the next few years working my way towards that mountaintop. Eventually I reached the apex and it was nothing short of amazing.


On Advertising, Gaming and iPhones as a Proper Noun, with PrettyLittleHead’s Farrah Bostic thumbnail

On Advertising, Gaming and iPhones as a Proper Noun, with PrettyLittleHead’s Farrah Bostic

Farrah Bostic has done a little bit of it all when it comes to the creative industries. Self-described as a “strategist, thinker and maker,” Farrah perhaps uses that description because to list her accomplishments into a succinct three-word headline would be damn near impossible. She has worked in some of the best creative shops in the world, including Wieden+Kennedy, TBWA\Chiat\Day and Mad Dogs & Englishmen, she’s worked inside media properties, hosted panels and salons and lobbied for women in creative fields, most recently with Clay Shirky in the studio on BBC’s World Have Your Say. Her strategizing, thinking and making have benefited clients in TV, media and music, technology, retail and CPG, sports and spirits. See what I mean? A little bit – or perhaps more aptly, a lot – of it all.


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