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Beware Certainty thumbnail

Beware Certainty

I’m in the process of reading an extraordinary book, called ‘The Master and His Emissary’, by Iain McGilchrist, a neuroscientist concerned with the differing ways in which the left and right hemispheres of the brain attend to the world and bring it to consciousness. There’s a well-worn myth that the right hemisphere ‘is’ creative and the left ‘is’ logical, which the author explodes somewhat (in fact both are essential for creative and abstract logical processes) but what’s more interesting in relation to those of us who are paid to ‘be creative’ is the chapter on certainty.

Roadmap thumbnail


Feedback from clients about creative projects frequently comes in the form of a bullet-pointed list of requests. This is referred to as “direction.” And to a certain degree it is direction. It literally directs the creative person what to do. This is bad.

My Brand New World thumbnail

My Brand New World

As a Creative Director in the world of advertising, I’m obviously a fan of big ideas. They are the existential magic of our very careers. Ideas motivate us to go above and beyond. They taunt us through the rhythmic blinking of the cursor hovering on our blank MacBook screen. They are the focus of conversation shadowing late night pizza deliveries and they are the breakfast accompaniment of our double latte in the morning. Ideas blow away clients and win big pitches. They move consumers and compel them to laugh, share, engage, click and buy. And of course, big ideas make other ad creatives wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that idea… yesterday?!”

Girls Wanna Have Fun thumbnail

Girls Wanna Have Fun

One should drink water. One should exercise.

This we inherently know.

One should do many things to be healthy and to live a longer life by respecting one’s self, each other and the planet. But one also does not want to be told what to do.

Was it Loved? thumbnail

Was it Loved?

There is a phrase I use to describe creative work that I observe or interact with which feels like it has just fallen flat: “Nobody loved this.”

The end product reveals how the team that worked on the piece felt about it. But not merely about the creative. Of course there are times when an Art Director will put a project on his or her back and design the crap out of it to take it from average to greatness. Or when production values will disguise a mediocre idea as a revelation. When you look at work like the Google Chrome films, for example, you can see instantly that every person who touched those loved them. Everyone.

Friend, Enemy or Ally? thumbnail

Friend, Enemy or Ally?

My favorite ads of the past few years have been those from Ally Bank. You know the ones with the kids and the oily pitchman who symbolizes competing banks, the guy who dangles a bike or pony or something equally enticing under the kid’s nose? The child enthusiastically bites only to be crushed to learn that the conditions on the offer means the pony is snatched away as quickly as it appeared. Brilliantly cast and flawlessly executed you can’t help but appreciate the genuine expressions of disappointment, anger and contempt registered by the kids who, for the first time in their lives, may be experiencing marketing double talk.

Sky Is Not The Limit thumbnail

Sky Is Not The Limit

Unlike in advertising, when flying airplanes rules are definitely NOT meant to be broken.

Flying takes a considerable amount of skills, both mental and physical. The number of things you need to keep track of, paired with the high g forces a pilot can experience when flying aerobatics make for a really challenging experience. While being up in the sky gives a real sense of freedom, there are strict procedures and limitations that you better follow closely unless you want to find yourself spiraling towards the ground at 300 mph with a missing wing, or both. Yes, wings do come off an airplane if you exceed some critical limitations.

Sometimes, I Even Write Ads thumbnail

Sometimes, I Even Write Ads

I’ve been working in the communication arts industry for about sixteen years. I began as a graphic designer and later (about 8 years ago), I moved to advertising. I have been creative for much longer than that. If I had to put it into years, I’d say about thirty-five years. I’m not exactly sure what I did for the first five years of my life so thirty-five it is. I lost my way creatively twice.

If You Work In Advertising, But All You Make Is ’Advertising‘ – You’re Doing It Wrong thumbnail

If You Work In Advertising, But All You Make Is ’Advertising‘ – You’re Doing It Wrong

The ad industry is quickly evolving into a new industry – one that won’t offer only the limited menu of services that’s attributed to it today. I’m not sure if this new industry should even be called advertising anymore, as the term itself can be an albatross to innovation. But whatever the name is, it’ll be even more exciting and productive than in its current incarnation.

Random notes about e-publishing my second book thumbnail

Random notes about e-publishing my second book

Over the last twelve years, I’ve slowly been polishing a manuscript titled Thirty Rooms To Hide In: Insanity, Addiction, and Rock ‘n’ Roll in the Shadow of the Mayo Clinic. It’s a memoir, and the best way I can describe it is “The Shining… only funnier.”

Does the world need yet another touching memoir?

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Thoughts from a Cannes Creative Effectiveness 2013 Jury member thumbnail Thoughts from a Cannes Creative Effectiveness 2013 Jury member


Agency Profile: Advico Y&R thumbnail Agency Profile: Advico Y&R


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