• Strategy Is NOT The Role Of a Single Person
    If you take on a new role, either in your current company or a new one, I'd urge you to think twice before taking on the mantle of "Strategy" or "Brand Transformation" in your title, because it tends to put a target on your back. Unless you're part of a team designated to work on strategic initiatives, and unless that team is truly cross-functional, you're destined to fail.
  • America, You're Great (But You Might Be Surprised Why)
    The first time I went to Washington D.C., I was struck by the extreme polarity I saw there. That day, the Tea Party was staging a demonstration against Obamacare on the Mall in front of the Capitol building. But this wasn't the only event happening. The Mall was jammed with gatherings of all types, from all political angles: the right, the ultra-right and left, the rich and poor, the eager and entitled, the sage and stupid. The discourse was loud, passionate and boisterous. It was -- in a word -- chaos.
  • Want Better Advertising? Write Better Briefs!
    Last week, I wrote about the relative lack of attention to the creative output of agencies, who are paying too much attention to tech, data and digital in general, while all the time keeping a watchful eye on the bottom line. Marketers are equally at fault, as they, too, spend too much time worrying about digital, and creating what P&G's Chief Brand Officer Mark Pritchard called "crap" and "noise," speaking at the annual Association of National Advertisers meeting. Well, if you want to avoid "crap" and "noise," start by delivering an awesome brief. Here are a few pointers to get ...
  • Security And Privacy Concerns Not Just A Yahoo Problem
    Yahoo: Time of death, oh about a week ago," said the headline in the IT Professionals newsletter I just got. The reason? The hacking that compromised up to a billion accounts. The secret backdoor access so the company could scan every email coming through the system, looking for certain keywords flagged by the Feds. The general "aimless wandering" of the company. These reasons certainly seem legitimate, and create a tempting opportunity for those who care about Internet security and privacy to get up on our high horses and sneer derisively about how far one of the original titans of the ...
  • Many TV Networks Growing -- Just Not The Big Ones
    Headlines about TV viewership have not been particularly positive. Common themes lately have been: "TV ratings plummeting," "NFL viewership in decline,""Millennials unplug from TV," or "Cord-cutting, cord-shaving growing." Then there's a big favorite lately: "TV can't deliver reach like it used to." While there's some truth in all of these ideas, they don't tell the whole story of TV viewership today.
  • Why Advertising And Marketing Are Actually Very Different
    Advertising and marketing; these two words get thrown around quite often and many people think they're synonymous at first glance, but in reality they are very different. I used to think advertising could be considered a subset of marketing, but I don't even think that's true anymore. They are different languages, different tools and different types of knowledge with very complementary outcomes. The differences are demonstrated in the ways we think about ad tech and martech.
  • You've Got A Friend In Me: Our Changing Relationship With A.I.
    Since Siri first stepped into our lives in 2011, we're being introduced to more and more digital assistants. We've met Amazon's Alexa, Microsoft's Cortana and Google's Google Now. We know them, but do we love them?
  • The Existential Crisis Of Art, Science And Dollars
    Agency leaders are standing at the proverbial crossing. Only this is not the standard T-crossing where the road leads either left or right, nor is it a fork in the road where one path leads to unknowns up the mountain, and the other unknowns will be on the path down the valley. This is the Ginza crossing of crossings. Spaghetti Junction. Roads are going every which way, and there is no telling which one is the right one.
  • The Anxiety of Authenticity -- Or, New Ways of Seeing
    Consumers spend an overwhelming amount of time in environments where brands are not always welcome. As good as the ad experiences are on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as a brand you are in constant competition with other people the user would rather talk to: friends, family, the random guy who just posted the funny cat video. How does a brand participate credibly in such environments? This is a subject of endless debate, and one that follows many paths, winding through the realms of content, media, and creative, before inevitably arriving at the doorstep of "authenticity." At first, this feels like ...
  • The Data Quality Imperative
    Earlier this month, OMD's Julie Fleischer and Neustar's Steven Wolfe Pereira poked at data integrity issues during a Chicago conference, creating some timely swirl by highlighting a simple truth: We lack data integrity standards. Advertisers are becoming skeptical of claims about data. We owe them some accountability, but they owe themselves some diligence as well.
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