• What City-Making Can Teach Google About The Way Our Brains Work
    I live in a city that has been almost entirely destroyed by earthquakes. I’m not being hyperbolic, either: over 70% of the footprint of central Christchurch either collapsed in the 2011 shakes, or has been or needs to be demolished as a result of quake damage.

    As a result, pretty much the entire city (population roughly 400,000) has become active in conversations they might never otherwise have contemplated, questions like: What should our transportation system look like? How do we make our streets friendlier to pedestrians? What kind of tradeoffs are we prepared to make between the cost of building ...

  • Nope, Sorry, You Should Still Shut Up And Love the Cable Bundle
    Everyone seems to be cheering yesterday's announcement by HBO CEO Richard Plepler that, starting next year, its content will be available as a standalone over-the-top streaming service. Boom! No cable or satellite subscription needed for "Game of Thrones" anymore! And now CBS is launching its own over-the-top streaming service, with live streams from a dozen markets plus a backlog of current and "classic" content. For a lot of TV junkies who have been itching to ditch their cable bundles, this is like Christmas morning. Hard truth for you: That big, bad bundle that everyone loves to hate is what makes ...
  • Does Dirty Data Detract From Your Day?
    How much time do you spend with dirty data? Are you even thinking about the time lost trying to clean it up? What would you do if you could have spotless data in real time?
  • Red Bull Gives You Whinge
    Last week, Red Bull, iconic "media company" -- and in its spare time, energy drink manufacturer -- lost a landmark (and borderline insane) lawsuit. It was sued by customers who said they were misled by the famous slogan: "Red Bull gives you wings."
  • Global Agency Media Deals: Trust Us Because We Are Big (And Thus Biased)
    You may have read that Omnicom Media Group announced a big deal last week with iHeartMedia (formerly known as Clear Channel Communications) worth $200 million per year. Omnicom also signed a deal with Twitter worth $230 million per year in May, as well as an Instagram deal worth up to $100 million. Don't think other agency groups have been quiet on the big-deal, big-money front, either. In 2013, WPP and Twitter closed a substantial "multimillion" agreement, as did Starcom MediaVest (SMV). SMV's parent, Publicis Groupe, also announced a multi-year, multimillion arrangement with Facebook earlier this year, as well as a ...
  • The Changing Face Of Democracy In The Digital Age
    Two years ago in this column, I wrote about billionaire Russian entrepreneur Evgeny Kasperskyand his concerns about democracy in the age of the Digital Native. To quote myself paraphrasing Kaspersky: "...[O]ne task that we really should be able to accomplish online is voting. But the security specifications for voting are significantly higher than those for Twitter, and if we can't meet those specs -- and, as of now, we can't -- there's not much point in allowing it to happen online.
  • The Future of Media Is About Business Outcomes -- Not Media Outputs
    Our industry could spend its time trying to wrangle the collection and valuation of a massive number of different media output metrics -- like making sense of TV GRPs and print pages in the face of banner impressions, search queries, social likes and tweets. Or we can shift our energies from the media outputs, which are proxies, to their provable contributions to clients' business outcomes. In fact, we as an industry must focus on the business outcomes sought by marketers, whether it is the generation of leads, driving traffic to stores, or sales of products.
  • Are You The Smartest Person In The Room?
    Are you the smartest person in the room at work? If you answer "yes" to that question, you might need to rethink how you operate in business. Humility is a very overlooked personality trait in business, but it's probably one of the most important characteristics that can lead you to success. I'm not saying you can't have an ego or take pride in your work -- you should have both. It's more about finding the balance between your ego and your willingness to learn.
  • What Facebook's New 'People-Based Marketing' Really Means For Advertising's Future
    Last week, many publications predicted that the "holy grail" of digital advertising would soon be within reach. The truth is, the pursuit of advertising's holy grail is only just beginning.
  • Marketers' Challenge: How To Slay The Marketing SERPENT
    I was in Athens, Greece last week. I am not telling you this to make you jealous, as the reason for my trip was not to enjoy a lavish holiday but to spend time with the media, digital and procurement teams from a very large global firm. I was lucky enough to join the team on Sunday night, when we visited the iconic Acropolis with its famous buildings the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Erechtheion and the temple of Athena Nike. Inspired by Greek mythology, I then had a dream about marketing mythology. I dreamed about Apollo and his battle with ...
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