• Your Brand's Biggest Competitor: Apathy
    Coming back from Cannes, some people are jealous. They see the augmented reality, the glossy case studies, the hacks and the "best ever" results. They rightly think, how is it that I've missed out? Why isn't my promoted hashtag "setting the nation alight" like my competitors'? Why was my NFC campaign a failure, while the category leader's was "game-changing"? A thought: Perhaps we should worry less about everything and focus on literally the only people that count: everybody.
  • Did You Hear The One About A Consulting Shop Winning A Media Agency AOR?
    A few weeks back, I wrote a column about the evolution of the agency business that resonated with many of you. Still, a key concept I proposed in the column seems to have been too subtle and sped past many of the folks who read it, so I decided to clarify that concept this week. Simply put, a big change is in the air as a result of all the media business currently in review. I predict one of the large consulting companies will win a media review, stealing the business away from the media agency holding companies and signaling ...
  • A Few Words On Memories
    It's been a highly emotional weekend for me. After a long battle, my Mom slipped quietly away in the middle of the night last Thursday. My dad, my sisters Laurel and Heather and I held her hand and stroked her forehead for most of the night as we watched her increasingly shallow breaths. We spent a lot of time reminiscing. It was all horribly beautiful. It was life - and death.
  • Switching Cable Companies: Not The Horror Show You Might Expect
    I just moved to a new home in a new (to me) town in a new (to me) state. This meant changing cable providers for the third time in six months, as we had moved temporarily six months ago. I now have experience with Cablevision/Optimum, Xfinity/Comcast and TimeWarner Cable (soon to be CharterTimeWarnerCable. Or something like that).
  • Online Advertising Is In Grave Danger. Can Sony And Friends Save It?
    The year was 1996. A friend of mine had created a Web site to track bond prices in real time. He had just sold his first ad. "Can you click on it?" he asked me. "Every time you do, I make five cents." At the time, like the Internet itself, the problem he jokingly referred to was in its infancy. But that's no longer the case. As our media consumption has shifted online, the incentives to commit ad fraud have grown. And the Shakespearean irony is that the very thing that makes the Internet seem so compelling for advertisers -- ...
  • Why I Skipped Cannes
    I skipped Cannes this year. This isn't the first time I've done so, nor is it the first time that I've written about skipping Cannes. I'm not necessarily trying to sound triumphant, but I found a better place to for me to be this week. I was participating in Nielsen's Consumer 360 event in Washington D.C. instead.
  • The New Creatives Are Data Geeks Too
    Cannes is about creative, but this year the creative conversation is laced with something more than rose -- it's laced with talk of how data can finally be used to influence the creative process.
  • Fed Up With Feedback Requests?
    Sorry, Google. I realize this is my last chance to tell you about my experience. But you see, you're in a long line of companies that are also desperate for the juicy details of my various consumer escapades. Best Western, Ford, Kia, Home Depot, Apple, Samsung - my inbox is completely clogged with pleas for the "deets" of my transactional interactions with them. I've never been more popular - or frustrated.
  • Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley And Henry
    Last week I was fortunate to meet with start-ups on both the East Coast as well as the West Coast -- in other words, Silicon Alley followed by Silicon Valley.
  • Is The Sharing Economy Terrible For Sellers?
    Technology is awesome. No, seriously: awe-some, as in, I am continually in awe of what is possible. In moments, you can create your own versions of famous movie intros. For $5, you can hire someone to paint your logo on their body. You can contribute toward a campaign to make a woman's "relentlessly gay yard more relentless, gayer." We live in truly magical times. These three examples are quirky, edge-case examples of a major, mostly wonderful shift in our approach to transactions and exchange, a shift exemplified by phrases like, "sharing economy" and "enabling platforms." Suddenly, we aren't dependent on ...
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