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Original articles from Brian Keller.
Your Pancakes are following you. Direct Hit. (Really, they're watching you)
One day Sheri of AT&T said: “Hey signals or data expressed as series of the digits 0 and 1, typically represented by values of a physical quantity such as voltage or magnetic polarization are digital. Get me those clowns at our agency, and let’s do a banner ad.” (Her Assistant) Amber Leigh: “What’s a banner ad?” Sheri of AT&T: “ I have no idea, let them figure it out, but I think I’ve changed advertising forever. Soon everything will be Direct Response Advertising. No one will be safe from it. And, the targets will put the bulls eyes on their backs.

Who the hell is interpreting your resume? Sure, I could be Dean of the Law School
Once jobs in our field were hard to find. The good news was once you found a job and applied, there was a good chance that a human being had looked at your resume and they would invest a decent amount of time reviewing accompanying work (portfolio – hard copy, then links, etc.)

Gotcha! (We Know How You Feel)
Have you ever walked around and spied someone coming at you? Have you realized that that person, even if you stopped to make room, was going to run into you anyway?

The Apocalypse is Near: Hope You Can Live in a Fast-Paced Environment
Advertising has been a barometer on the state of the world as it borrows from culture, trends, and events. After studying some of this year's work in our last column, it’s decided that the apocalypse is close. Part two of 2016. Note: If there is a 2017, "generating the big idea in a fast-paced environment" will be a skill to nurture...

Really...Someone Thought This Stuff Up
If you love advertising, you love the awards. Here're a few awards for mind-boggling contributions to messaging, be it digital, TV, radio, social media, or out of home, in 2016. We couldn’t wait until the end of the year. Social media has become a go-to force in creating messaging that that can break down doors and reach millions in almost an instant. The winner of the Sorry: Foot in the Mouth Award… A tweet posted on International Women’s Day by the GOP (National Republican Senatorial Committee said: “Tammy Duckworth doesn’t ‘stand up’ for vets.”

How to Not Get a Job in Advertising
We’ve decided to give you tips on how not to get a job in advertising. This reverses our position of trying to help you get a job. This "sea change” occurred after watching Progressive’s spokesperson Flo advise a lactose-intolerant Progressive staff member.

EXPLAINED: Infographics, Memes, Native Advertising, and Content Marketing
Christopher Scheiner was a geometer, physicist, and astronomer who lived between 1575 and 1650. One of his gifts to man was his depiction of the rotation of the sun, via illustrations and text, in the book Rosa Ursina sive Sol. However, Scheiner’s contribution was far greater, according to Forbes and Drew Hendricks (October 10, 2013). Scheiner came up with the first infographic: “Illustrations that combine both information and graphics to convey information, visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly date back to the 1600s, when an infographic depicting the rotation of the sun appeared in the book Rosa Ursina sive Sol.” Now, infographics are rapidly spread across the Internet. Scheiner should have waited a few years and used a meme...

It Takes a Village. I Repeat, It Takes a Village...
Operation: Present Holiday Time 2015, BBDO (Atlanta and New York offices) produced a 60-second holiday ad for AT&T calling on viewers to be “present” during the holidays. A family is prepping for the holidays. The family includes a teen girl. They pick lights for a tree, there's ice-skating with the family, and they have all kinds of American family fun. But what gives? Our adolescent is, OMG...

You, Too, Could Go All the Way...If You Bet Enough
Two pretty bad teams (the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns) played the most exciting game of the weekend (Monday, November 30, 2015). The Ravens won on a game-ending blocked field goal return for a touchdown. This victory propelled Baltimore into the playoff picture. This team has lost three starting offensive lineman, two starting receivers, the starting running back...

Such A Nice Deal
Most people don’t realize that we, the people who create advertising, do so for the people who don’t create advertising. Most people who don’t create advertising are probably nice, so we in the business have taken our jobs with a sworn duty to inform...

I Am 13. I Am 18. I Am An Ad
I am 13. I am a girl. I can throw a baseball. I can throw a baseball very well. I can throw a baseball so well that I struck out a lot of people in the Little League World Series. It’s really neat. It’s so cool. Hey, guess what? I threw baseballs on television. I threw baseballs, I think, for my team. I’m not sure, though.

Who Knows?: The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things has been taking up space on the Internet and other places lately. We have come to depend on the Internet for things; it is incumbent upon us to understand this concept. This is a concept that’s been around, and all are in agreement about what the “Internet of Things” is. There is not one definition for “The Internet of Things.”

Don’t Get That Job and Be Happy About It: The Cover Letter
In part two of BMA’s blockbuster series “Don't Get That Job and Be Happy About It,” we take a final look, we hope, at some of the insanity and inanity that advertising and “regular folk” go through during the job application process. In this column, we land on more stupid questions and the dreaded cover letter. Remember, if the application is painful, just think about the job. Now, before we get to the cover letter, let’s remember that most of us, if we’re smart, have online portfolios, personal websites, Facebook accounts, LinkedIn accounts, Twitter accounts, Instagram accounts, Pinterest accounts, WordPress accounts, Blogger accounts, Tumblr accounts, Reddit accounts, and a host of other social media accounts that may give a potential employer...

Don't Get That Job and Be Happy About It: The Application Process
Occasionally our columns are about getting a job in advertising. We do this as a service for our millions of readers. Most of what we write can cross over into other industries as well, so we guess that we’re helping billions. This is the first of two pieces on how to not get a job anywhere and be happy about it. The way not to get a job in advertising, or anywhere else, is to not put up with the endless array of idiocies that populate job applications. Job seeking has always been a frustrating and humbling experience...

Is Ray Rice Paying for Our Sins?
These are, we hope, the final words on Ray Rice, his wife Janay, and the NFL. We hope that this is the start of a lot of words on the people who support these folks: the American public. Ray Rice, if you didn’t know, was a very popular and skilled running back for the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL. Ray Rice beat up his then-girlfriend, now-wife Janay in the elevator of a casino in Atlantic City. The American public was treated to a brutal video of Ray Rice dragging the unconscious Janay around the floor of the casino. People were horrified, as was the state of New Jersey. New Jersey prosecuted Mr. Rice and he was able to work out an arrangement that included no prison time that satisfied both the state and his employers — the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens. The NFL suspended the football player for the first two games of the 2014 NFL season. There was outcry, but not much, and the United States of America went about finding things to do until the NFL returned.

The Great Skateboard Massacre: How Did You Get Into Advertising?
Friday September 26, 2014: the guy who wrote this column smacked his face on a pole at a skate park, during a drizzle, on wet asphalt, on a skateboard he borrowed from “some kid” while attempting to do a difficult trick called “the kick-flip.” What possessed him to try and do a trick he’d never tried before is beyond the imagination of anyone who has even borderline sanity. The idea that this guy is the creative director of an ad agency is mind-boggling. It’s mind-boggling that he is the creative director of any ad agency (he has held the position at a number of agencies) because of where he came from. Today, he may not be afforded any opportunity at any agency. He started as an usher at the American Film Institute...

Protecting Your Image at the Line of Scrimmage
The young man who, as far as we know, has never been in trouble, took his fiancé, the mother of his child, on a trip to Atlantic City. We would suppose the trip was to have fun and relax for, we suppose, the wealthy young man and woman. The young man had time off before beginning work and the couple, who had been together since high school, took off for an adult reverie.

We Love Our Products: It's All How You Look At It
One day we were looking at an iPad. It had a retina display. Suddenly, we realized that we didn’t know what a retina display is. Suddenly, we realized that whatever it is, it sold lots of iPads and other Apple products. Suddenly, we were faced with a mystery that first surfaced when Alberto (no last name) and a chemist, no name at all, gave us Alberto VO5, a powerful line of hair-care products made with five essential vitamins.

All the Top Companies are Hiring: Don't Pay for a Job
Job seeking seems to be a theme that’s been explored a number of times. I think that we need to go into it one more time; it’s for the good of humanity. Beyond Madison Avenue is a site directly connected to Talent Zoo, which is a talent and recruitment website and not a paid search firm. This column is not an endorsement of Talent Zoo nor is it a call for anyone to use Talent Zoo.

Beyond Madison Avenue: Beyond Sanity — A True Story
This is our summer fun column. It really happened. The agency staffer in our TRUE story (the world’s politest human will be represented by 'E,' the work seeker by 'A' and italics, and our third character by Blank. This happened one October going into the holidays. We did not change the emails. These are real people.

Don't Be Over 32 If You Know What's Good For You: Advice from BMA
At the end of this true story is the advice. This is not a typical ad column; we were looking for inspiration for our first annual advice column and were trolling social media sites, and guess what? Yes, we found something inspirational, and also found more signs that prove that the ad apocalypse is here. Actually, the apocalypse may be here. I was on Facebook “friending” anonymous strangers, as that seems to be the thing to do on Facebook. I was looking for ad people to query about this column.

Steve Ain't Coming Back: There's No App For That
Someone once asked: “Why do you want to be the boss?” Answer: “There’s always someone to blame who’s not me.” That’s the best question ever asked and the best answer for the best question ever asked, even though someone may have made it up five minutes ago. The reason they are such a brilliant pair of sentences is the far-reaching implications that each has on the other and on almost any business. Now, let’s make up a scenario.

'It's the Support We Live For': Stuff We All Hear
It’s fun being in advertising. You get to do all kinds of interesting things, and you get to use your brain, most of the time, to figure out brands and positions and how to sell and how to move your client’s product or service or whatever forward. You deal in demographics and research and a multitude of things...

And the Beat Goes On: Living in the U.S.A.
Every year we celebrate a number of holidays unique to our country. And, to make things better for our populace, advertising agencies and advertisers help us celebrate by courageously cutting prices so we can be more content, fulfilled, and happy. This article is late. Memorial Day is over, but the savings keep coming under the Memorial Day banner.

We Know What We Do. Does Anyone Else?
Most people respond to your answer, “I work in advertising,” to their question of “What do you do?” with “Do you get your ideas from “Mad Men”? You politely explain about strategy, branding, creative, media, social media, account planning, production, digital, et cetera, and all that goes into a structured and successful effort. They respond with: One: “Did you do the duck for Geico?” Two: “No, the duck is Aflac.” One: “Are you sure? I like the cavemen. Do they still have the cavemen?” Two: “Have you seen the Camel?..."

Television Commercials: Does Anybody Watch These Before Release?
Take social media, all digital, UX/UI, print, newspaper, et cetera, then rationalize to yourself that this is the most fun you can have at an agency. Everyone knows that everyone you know, in the business we know, wants to do big TV commercials. Clients and agencies treat commercials with reverence. Commercials can take a year to produce and feature months of approval. All the work, all the expense, and the shrinking number of commercials makes them more special.

Do Brands Need Tag Lines? No. You Deserve a Break Today.
We love a good “slogan/tag line.” They wrap a brand in a few short words. They sell the product, move a service, and become a part of everyday speech that is forever associated with the brand. They are created after research, creative briefs, and sometimes a number of years of testing and angst and…and so on. They cost a fortune to create and they have brought fortune to brands smart enough and lucky enough to have tags that resonate and catch fire. They are irreplaceable nuggets of wisdom brought forth to become immovable brand identifiers. Or not. Are they still worthwhile? Let’s “go forth” and take a look at this fading phenomenon that probably really stopped working...

The Future of Advertising: If Kids Don't Care, We Have None
Recently we had the opportunity to go to a high school and speak about advertising to a group of (100) students that ranged from (ages 14–18) 9th grade to 12th grade. They were polite and nodded heads and smiled some. We were very happy. We then found out that the classes were four sections of honors physics...

We All Need Awards, But at What Price?
April 24 marks the 50th Andy Awards presentation. This starts a run of advertising award shows that wraps in the fall with the CLIOs on October 1. Agencies take “their awards” seriously. The Marcus Bailey Worldwide awards team consists of Worldwide Chief Creative Officer of Global Creative M. L. Lee and award coordinator Kat Pearce. M. L.: “How’d we do?” Kat: “We lost The Spikes Asia, Grand Prix, probably, because we reintroduced the Geo as the iGeo in Vietnam. The Vietnamese weren’t ready…”

Why is Apple Fighting with Their Agency?
Everyone has an opinion on advertising, from the heads of marketing to the heads of advertising to the regular people like us. The end of the world is coming. Apple’s in a tussle with TBWA/Chiat/Day (Media Arts Lab). The wonderful partnership between them is suffering. Why is this happening? Why is it playing out in public?

An Unbelievably Successful Idea: Props to Big Boyz Bail Bonds
Baltimore has a population of 619,500. Big Boyz Bail Bonds distributes 500,000 pink-and-yellow pens, with their information celebrated on them, annually. This is their advertising: the pen. They are found in law firms, bars, businesses, restaurants, offices, and almost anywhere.

You Can't Escape Big Data, But You Can Hide...For Now
The merger of Nielsen and Arbitron assures that this one firm will be the sole supplier of advertising currency for all the major ad mediums — TV, online, and radio. They’ll be watching you and so will others as they look to master the media. They have friends and they'll be compiling. You can’t escape. You might as well buy that something you want now.

For Sentimental Reasons: Crazy-Mad-Sentiment at I-Com
In a beautiful suite in Seville, Spain, we met M. L. Lee (International Chief Creative Officer/Global), Maurice “Mo” Howard (Angel Paste Director of Connection Planning Effectiveness and Productivity) and Sonny Barger (CEO of Rabid Badger, a tech company offering real-time sentiment analysis of television and radio commercials). Rabid Badger uses technology rumored to have been developed in 1995 for Demi Moore as she pondered changing the ending to “The Scarlet Letter."

Just Stop Already: Use Your Brains
Searching our notes for topics this week, we found notes on different “goings-on” in the ad world (and even the regular world) that have coalesced into this column. The topic is good for us, but it’s — kind of — too bad that these items are woven into the entire fabric of our business. Smart thinking is being eroded. As a public service, we are fixing it with our service called “Just Stop Already.” We have brains. We have technology. We don’t seem to have the patience to use what we have properly. We are becoming lazy. We are becoming less human; we are becoming more disconnected. So, just stop already.

Campaigns Like No Other Campaigns: The Government Is Coming
It’s interesting how certain sectors use the lessons learned from humble ad people to get their platforms across. Avital Leibovich is in charge of running a more than 45 person department to tweet, Facebook, blog, build apps, edit videos, shoot Instagrams, and update Google+. Sounds like a good job to us. In November of 2012, Ahmed Jabari was killed in Gaza City by a drone flying above the city.

Is it Good or Isn't It? Just My Opinion
Beyond Madison Avenue wants to ask you a simple question. Is it good or isn’t it? People talk about this all the time, and the best thing about this subject is that there is no right or wrong answer. Many of you will debate that there is a right or wrong answer for everything. We say it’s usually an opinion. Is this opinion good or isn’t it?

How Do Copywriters Get it All Done?
12:06 AM, Thursday, February 27, 2014 I write for an ad agency and write a column, weekly, for Beyond Madison Avenue. This week I promised two columns. Now, I have to be lucid and think of columns and create a pitch deck, for work, too. Impossible. I’ll get up early tomorrow to meet deadline and complete the deck.

Exactly What is Digital, Anyway?
We were interviewed recently and the interviewer asked for work that we were proud of. We spoke of a TV commercial we loved because of the strategy, the execution, and, most importantly, the results for our client.

Are You Getting 'Juicy Feedback'?
Ad agencies, creative labs, designers, engineers, etc. create apps every day. If you look closely at every great app and every great user experience, its genesis is usually based on a very simple idea that people connect with. A great app is like your first bike. It’s easy to use, creates an emotional connection...

Random Stops on the Way to Advertising Apocalypse
A group of twits, some of whom are actual Knights, stirred a few pots by pontificating on ads they’d bring to a desert island. These musings actually got ink our "trades." Gee whiz. Most people would bring a boat or some food. Be passionate about your work, but the line between passion and overinflated ego is sometimes thin.

'You Wrote it On Paper?' or, Good Ideas Work Everywhere
“The medium is the message.” Marshall Mcluhan’s thought is resonating more now than it did during the early ‘60s. The digital space is fast moving and adaptable and can be used along with data and a plethora of tools, but the word “digital” is not a panacea, nor is it an idea. Oreo’s tweet “You can still dunk in the dark,” executed during the Super Bowl...

The Greatest Creative Director Ever
The work lasted around six and one-half minutes. “Just Do It!” “Why 1984 won’t be like 1984.” “Think small.” “Think different.” “Got milk?” “A diamond is forever.” “Expect more. Pay Less.” “Wings of Man.” “You deserve a break today.” “A coke and a smile.” These and others of their ilk are all nice campaigns done by small-brained people once revered as ad geniuses until Sunday, August 25, 2013. On that fateful night, friends, a campaign crafted and executed...

It's All About the Beer Bottle
A room at Marcus Bailey Worldwide: 20 creative teams, 10 Creative Directors, 40 Associate Creative Directors, 10 group heads, 30 Account Supervisors, 10 Media Supervisors, and their counterparts in Marcus Bailey Digital Interactive Social Worldwide. Waiting for Creative Chief M. L. Lee. M. L. Lee: “I was airlifted off one of my islands while vacationing with my wife Dakota..."

Do You Need a Cover Letter in the Ad Business, and Why?
Along with your resume, many companies ask for a cover letter. A cover letter is something you use to cover your resume and introduce yourself as a person wanting the job you sent the resume in for. People could be confused, in today’s high-tech, fast-paced world, that you may just like to send resumes...

You Want the Job, So Get Your Resume (On Your Own)
You need a resume. You need a good one because you are going into advertising or staying in advertising. What do you do to get one? You could do it yourself or you call the resume service. We went to our search engine of choice, selected an area, and found (on the first two pages) 56 resume services. One had “professional” in its name, one had “executive” in its name. We could find none with “professional” and “executive” in the name, so if you want to be professional, look for the former; if you want to be executive, choose the latter. If you want to be both professional and executive you may have to start your own resume writing service.

If You See My Mother, Don't Tell Her I'm in Advertising...
Most of us ad people have thick skins and pleasant dispositions. We have thick skins because we fail every day and even our “best work” usually appears in some kind of watered-down fashion after hundreds of revisions of what was a great concept. Remember, everything you see and hear was probably better when we first thought of it. At least, that’s what we think.

Don't Be Stupid; It Could Be Your Career
If you work in an ad agency, have been in an ad agency, have worked in an ad agency, have walked by an agency, or live in a state where they have a city that may have an ad agency, you have gotten calls or notes like this: “Hi, I’d like to get a job in an agency. I’ve sent resumes to at least one hundred agencies..."

So You Want to Start Your Own Advertising Shop
So, you’re one word away, one concept away, one design away from just the right age, just the right experience, just the right budget, just the right client, just the right agency and just the right job in just the right place where you will find someone who looks like January Jones or John Hamm and they’re interested in not only sleeping with you but staying with you after they sober up. And they have no personality flaws.

So, What Do You Do?: A Career in Advertising
Well, you’ve been fired, laid off, moved from one job to another for a chance to do something great. Doing something great usually means not doing what you were hired to do. You’ve written “Final Days,” “Ends Monday,” and the mind-boggling “Absolutely Ends Monday” for dumb TV commercials done for miserable little places disguised as ad agencies.

How to Get a Job in Advertising, Part II (It Still Ain't Easy)
"Dweller on the Threshold" Last week we explored getting a job in advertising by using a headhunter. Headhunters are good, as they need to get you a job so they can make money. If you don’t get the job they want you to get, they go on to forget about you in ways that make you think they haven’t forgotten you.

How to Get a Job in Advertising (It Ain't Easy)
Advertising “headhunters” help get jobs for people. They collect “portfolios” (also called books; these are mostly online, sometimes physical) of work done by advertising people and arrange interviews, etc. They usually have strong relationships with a number of different ad agencies and represent talent to the agencies.

If You Think You're Too Old, You Are
People are working longer. A whole generation is flying into their sixties and seventies. They are becoming a huge market unto themselves. Someone needs to speak with grace, humor, and insight to these emerging markets. There are products aimed at mature markets. There are agencies springing up and concentrating on selling to the aging and aged market.

Here's an Idea: Ideas Are Still the Commodity That Counts
Lately, many ad discussions have been centered around the always-delightful subject of writing vs. art direction et cetera, et cetera. “There aren’t enough writers.” “There are too many writers.” “No one hires writers." “There are plenty of jobs for writers.“ “Writers don’t get paid enough.” “Writers get paid too much.” "I’m a Copy Writer and Copy Writers used to come up with solutions; now they just write headlines. They can’t write real copy.” “Writers are neurotic.” “Art Directors are too popular now because everything is visual.” “We don’t have real Art Directors any more; they’re just designers.”

Is It True That Nobody in the Ad Industry Hires Writers?
You get a pencil in Kindergarten and, boom, there it is; anyone can write, or so they think. Some, the real writers, have taken pencils and traded up to pens, typewriters, word processors, and the computer keyboard and turned their knowledge of culture and business and suitcases of arcane trivia into careers as copywriters—the concept kings and stars of advertising.

So You Want a Job in Advertising
This is what you think will happen. You will spend Creative days in cool offices with basketball courts, ping pong tables, and espresso machines, amongst well-dressed attractive people. Your work will be crafted, creative, coveted, comprehensive. You’ll work on TV commercials all over the world and make the Internet hum with your intellect. Verbs will fly from your keyboard, be it virtual or viral (viral is now planned). Your adjectives will advertise. Your descriptions will not be denied. Your Art Director will never pander, never give in.

Complaints? What Complaints?
Overheard in the hallways of our mighty agencies are the complaints of many ad folks throughout this great land of ours and even in foreign countries, like Texas. One: “Dude, it’s all about the work. This is so bogus. The client’s crazy. What’s up at your place?” Two: “I got no budget. The Group Head is a jerk. I got someone looking around for me.” One: "Me too. We should start our own shop. Make some money and dictate what’s happening and not take on jerky clients." Two: "Dude, really? That’s my plan. Three years." One: "Dude!" Two: "Dude!" Most who engage in these conversations are dressed casually and stylishly. Some people who are writing this would need to take a few steps up in fashion sense to get to “train wreck.” But in most agencies this type of dress is just fine. This type of b*tching is usual. It’s part of the mentality. Folks should remember that in an agency you get to do all sorts of things.

Advertising on Social Media: Do We Have the Time?
Whether you are busy on FarmVille, SchoolFeed, or Glassdoor, you know there is a lot of time spent on social media. Quick to capitalize on this media is the advertising industry, where agencies have online media departments and “engagement agents” who plan online experiences and media.

Ad Folks on Summer 'Vacation'
Many things separate civilians from advertising people in that “ad folks” see things about services, products, etc. that may not be apparent to many. Where some see one store we see a nationwide chain. We don’t see a small-market TV spot; we see the next bold step into the expansion of a brand. We see a chance to create something out of nothing.

Sticky Situation: An American Pastime
It’s an idea so simple, old, and cheap that no one uses it anymore...except for millions of people. I was riding my bike today. I was almost hit. It wasn’t a big deal. It almost happens all the time. So, the guy almost hit me and screamed at me. That was okay. I was wrong; I was riding down the street in the bike lane and I guess that my bike, and the stop sign he ran, got in the way of his texting.

Don’t Stop Believing
Stop Believing: Ads that say: I’m a sports drink that will enable you to smash your opponent and be victorious. I’m an athletic shoe that will give you that extra step and to allow you to smash your opponent. If you drink the drink and wear the shoe, you will smash your athletic opponents and go on to riches and fame.

Hey, They're Catching Up! We Should Advertise.
Miles ReCo was the premier “record store” in the country, specializing in vinyl recordings for audiophiles. The new love for old analog technology had left Miles of Miles ReCo with 70 stores throughout the country in neighborhoods that used to look like Baghdad on a bad day. Then, hipsters in black who buy fair-trade coffee populated these neighborhoods. There were people looking for the original “Love Forever Changes” LP, an album so hip that it was rediscovered by the hippest hippie hipsters of them all.

How Much Does it Cost?
Marcus Bailey Advertising is one of the great shops in the country. It has offices on a bunch of continents and Texas and is fully integrated with expert staff in all the disciplines. Marcus Bailey has been kind enough to allow BMA to be a fly on the wall at a number of important junctures. This week’s reality column is culled from a discussion with Executive Creative Director M. L. Lee.

Advertising: It's All About Relationships
Agencies spend time cultivating relationships with all who could pay off. Account folks keep in touch with the client side and creative staff stay “friendly” with friends at other agencies, just in case. Those going up the ladder stay in touch with those that are a little higher up the ladder and friendly. Relationships are a shortcut to more business and a method to stay employed. Now, there is a shortcut to get to the shortcut.

The Generation of an Idea
Overheard in the main idea creation lab at Marcus Bailey Advertising – NY Office. Copywriter: Cool, that’s a great idea. We can produce the idea that we got from an idea we saw on You Tube and put it up across all social media channels and have it go viral. Art Director: Cool, I thought that in order to go viral it can’t really be planned. It just has to go viral on its own. Copywriter: Cool. People will think that it’s viral because viral is like digital and no one really knows what it means and we will be telling them it’s viral on the viral microsites that somehow pop up all over inviting them to make their own viral video. Maybe they will buy the product, too.

Tag! You May Be It
We love tag lines. We know that tremendous effort goes into creating these short, masterful summations of a company’s brand. We know that the tagline, no matter how good, can backfire just a bit. I called Cisco Systems (Together we are the human network). I got an automated response.

The Pitch, Part 3: OMG, It's Not Your Spot...Or Is It?
You went through a number of rounds of creative on your TV commercial. You were victorious. You won the internal competition. You went to Cincinnati. You were ready to be on “The Pitch” and ready to “stumble into a rapper” on YouTube rapping about pancakes. You would be ready to use him as a concept for the Subway chain. You were ready to have Subway call you genius. You would be on the cutting edge of advertising. You would study “The Pitch."

The Pitch, Part Two: OMG, It's a TV Commercial!
Producing “your” TV commercial and having it look somewhat like you envisioned is the most miserable thing a creative can do. If you have read this far, then read this: “Your “commercial will not be recognizable when and if it’s done. Your concepts are picked for development and you are on a non-drug high as you get your creative ready for the internal pitch and then the client pitch.

The Pitch, Part One: OMG, It's TV
Our next few pieces are about TV. Face it; TV is still the most prestigious and fun thing a creative can do. If you haven’t, one day you’ll be asked to pitch TV to a client. It will be your ticket out of a windowless “Death Row” corridor office and maybe your portfolio school paying off. It may go like this: The toothpaste project begins for yourself and your beloved partner in the conference room.

Wanted: Not a Rock Star
We’ve explored hiring a “Rock Star” and the process. This week we extend our investigation into the non-“Rock Star.” It all begins with an ad that is both enticing and promises great job satisfaction. Anyone would want this job. POSITION: Creative individual to generate effective, results-oriented copy for “Not Organic Chips.” They are not organic so they last.”

Wanted: Rock Star
Advertising agencies have interesting ways of advertising for the personnel that create the communications that make the whole world buy. Some ads take longer to read than the time it took Germany to go through Poland. They will list pages of needed qualifications, experience, skills, secret clearance, and of course Photoshop and PowerPoint, etc.

Advertising: 'It's a Living'
There is a fascination about advertising in this country. It’s exhibited by the furor around Super Bowl commercials, funny TV commercial shows, and touring compilations of commercials that play as films and are found in theaters across this great country of ours. We’re praised for amazing websites, web films, vertical integration, UX, media manipulation, SMM, SEO, and making viral look viral even if it’s not viral. We’re all geniuses working at the heights of creativity, science, economics, art, writing, strategy, trends, business, and politics, and we are thought leaders. We’re thought of so highly that some of us have our own TV shows and some have retired to palaces in France. So, as a public service, we present some thoughts on our business.

How (Not) to Build an Ad Agency's Brand With a Press Release
Nothing builds an agency’s brand like a carefully placed Press Release. The problem is that you may not have anything to say, but you can turn that into a benefit by finding a subject that can be announced without any fear of anyone checking facts or knowing what or whom you are talking about. PRESS RELEASE: After an extended creative shoot-out spanning over three days, the Los Angeles office of the Marcus Bailey Agency (MBA) has won the (billings withheld) Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson his-and-her line: Stupefied by Ben & Courtney.

Youth is Wasted on the Young
These days the youth versus age is everywhere in our business. There are “web” pages for older practitioners of the art and science of advertising and there are “web” pages for the younger practitioners of the art and science of advertising. They all seem to be complaining about the other one. It seems that the biggest voices are coming from the creative side of the discipline. Actually overheard (although "actually" is a hard word to define): “One year out of portfolio school and they already have an ACD title..."

When to Walk the Other Way
In this era of advertising we have a lot; cool offices in ex-slums with a fair-trade coffee shop next door, a myriad of communication technologies for our brains, and all kinds of new stuff like Innovation Strategy, UX, and more. There's also shrinking budgets, fewer boondoggles, less time to think, more thinking to do, higher expectations, disappearing partnerships between agencies and clients, and more. Where relationships were once nurtured and trust was valued, we now seem to have many impediments to that. Follow these mating don’ts and one day, children of the Corn Flakes, there may be a working dinner without bad deli-trays.

Don't Ask Questions.
The Tweet was from the management company with a link to a site where there is an article: “20 Questions to ask yourself before accepting a new job.” Today there is one main question one should ask before accepting a job. “Can I have the job, please?” Everyone who is looking for a job wants a job, and no one asks questions. You usually nod in affirmation and say, “Right,” “Yes,” and many times may say in answer to salary questions “Money doesn’t motivate me. I’m here for the work!”

Rethink Communication
Once, I got three Instant Messages from three people asking me to call. The IMs came from offices next to mine. No one walked over. Instead of calling them, I emailed them non-existent assignments and asked them to call me to go over the non-work and to discuss the first IM requesting my call.

The Most Impactful Commercial of Super Bowl 2012: Twinkies Come Out on Top
The best commercial in this year’s Super Bowl “Advanganza” was by far for Twinkies, the resiliently resilient snack food created in 1930 by Hostess parent company Continental Baking Co. This commercial is probably the biggest thing to happen to Twinkies since the 1940s, when Continental switched from a banana-cream to a vanilla-cream filling.

Email Sign-Offs And The Agency Map of Power
People in agencies get emails for meeting times so they can be avoided, budgets to be complained about, concepts that need complaining about, schedules that mess up freelancers and need to be complained about, and traffic meetings that need to be complained about, etc.


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