Tag Archives: sanderswingo

Why do we do that, anyway?

There’s a memorable scene in the second season of Mad Men, where Don Draper admits, “No one knows why people do what they do.” Among other ironies, this comes from a man who seems to have an intuitive understanding of exactly why people do what they do. That’s not much different that advertising now. We […]

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Research.

Market research has always been one of those elements in the creative process that fall between a necessary evil and an indecipherable treasure map. You need it, you can’t deny its critical role in identifying human insights, but you never really know if the insights are the best, or if the people (yourself included) responsible […]

We do not create art. We create belief.

Throughout history, civilization relied on the gods, saints and icons to assign meaning to the random events of our world. They gave reason to natural phenomena beyond our understanding. In their truest sense, brands are shorthand for what we believe. Are you a Wal-Mart person, or a Target person? Are you an Apple person, or […]

Feed the walls.

I like to put all my ideas on the wall, where I can gauge them more objectively. When we keep our ideas in our lap, on our note pad or on our computer, we protect them too much. We grade them on a curve and keep them from getting the fresh air of objectivity. Putting […]

#3. Plan to fail.

At the 4A’s Transformation Conference, Jeff King gave a great talk about Barkley parting ways with Sonic, it’s signature client. The agency produced the very successful “Two Guys” campaign — and was stunned when the business went into review. Barkley is not unique in this — many creative companies have one or two clients that make […]

#2. Invest in invention.

At Transformation, Lori Senecal and Ed Brojerdi of kbs+ pointed out the overuse of the term innovation. They prefer to invent. Innovation implies theory, whereas invention implies action. kbs+ invests in projects and experimental teams, in order to — as mentioned in the previous post — just try stuff. While many agencies and studios make […]

#1. Try something. Anything.

From the initial days of the dot-com era to social media, mobile apps, convergence, integration and so on, ad agencies and media companies have been trying to “crack the code.” As if there was a system or formula to connect brands with customers in the digital age. Transformation was another affirmation that all brands, all […]

Three Takeaways: Transformation 2013

Last week the 4A’s hosted their annual Transformation Conference. It was a well-produced affair at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans. Mayor Mitch Landrieu gave a keynote and musical entertainment included the legendary Irma Thomas. The conference started with an agency forum on Sunday, limited to 4A’s members, which thankfully includes my agency. While the […]

My dream job: An interview with KMBA

A few years ago I did an interview with my friend and colleague Craig Brimm for his award-winning blog, Kiss My Black Ads.  Evidence below. See the whole thing here. How did you discover advertising? I graduated from design school in the late eighties. There were a few avenues for work — graphic design, illustration […]

Long live the fragile.

As my old friend Tripp Westbrook has said, I wish I’d known how fragile great ideas really are. It’s pretty amazing how an invisible acknowledgement can gift lift and life to a creative notion. And an equally fleeting and gentle dismissal can banish it forever. Most of us will dismiss a good idea rather than […]