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Original articles from Mike Ogden.
Lowe's 'Never Stop Improving' Needs Improving
I love this spot! I hate this spot! Let me explain my love-hate relationship with this Lowe’s "Never Stop Improving" commercial. As a creative, I love everything about it — the music, the dancing, the choreography, the emotional journey called life, you name it. I could watch it over and over again. To be honest, I have. It’s the kind of spot that makes creatives and agencies cheer.

Starbucks: The Way I See It Now
Starbucks brought back the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Here’s hoping they bring back “The Way I See It” cups next. Do you remember them? You’d order Starbucks and the cup would have a thought-provoking message from an author, poet, pundit, or blogger, among others. There were hundreds of different messages on the cups. Each cup sparked thought, conversation, agreement, anger; all kinds of emotions.

Work for the Man? Or Be the Man?
Sooner or later, your ad career comes to this: work for the man and collect regular paychecks or be the man and make your own living. Given the current state of our industry, many are opting for the latter either by choice or by necessity. Are you unemployed? Are you unhappy in your ad job? You are my reader.

Innovate or Die: Forward-Thinking is Survival
“The Time to Innovate is NOW” read the headline in a recent Wall Street Journal. It was for a special report on healthcare. It could have been the headline for any industry, any company and—hopefully this hits home—your career.

Super Bowl Ads: Why 2011 Won't Be Like 1984
Keeping it real—that’s what most of us do. We toil independently, slave away at an agency, or work in marketing for a company. Our reality is doing our jobs on a shoestring. So how can you survive and thrive in this brave new world of marketing and advertising?

With Groupon, Who Needs Advertising?
Groupon is the kind of idea you hear and go, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Who wants to pay for ideation, production, printing, postage, media buying, and other related costs when you can accomplish the same with a “charge less” approach? Groupon is here and we must live with it.

Marketing’s Future and What It Means For Advertising
I’m here this Saturday to splash cold water on your face and open your eyes to what’s ahead for advertising and, more importantly, preach where you fit in.

LinkedIn With POTUS
I blinked a little incredulously. Barack Obama, the President of the United States, on LinkedIn?

Fat and Old Websites and What to do About Them
Throw out the site map, build to search, and innovate beyond the ordinary website.

Last week: Creative Professionals Put to the Test. This week: Agencies Put to the Test.
Whenever you interview with an agency or company, these are the questions that employers need to answer.

Creative Professionals Put to the Test. Literally.
The kind of testing I’m referring to is company and agency tests that creative professionals must take in order to be hired. I think we’re witnessing an upswing in these tests. Why?

Paging J.J. Abrams! We're Stuck Between Parallel Ad Universes
Can’t we unite our parallel ad universes into one universe? Marketing to one is the future, and the future is now. Make the ad about one thing -- results.

Is Crowdsourcing Good for the Ad Business?
With crowdsourcing for creative ideas, mass collaboration is missing. It’s a contest to produce the best idea or the cheapest labor.

Using Social Media to Get to First Base
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social networks excel at connecting or what I call first base.The trouble is, it’s hard to score customers when you’re hitting singles and hanging out at first base. You have to push beyond connection to engagement or what I call second base. If the prospective customer becomes emotionally attached to the brand, you’re standing on third base and 90 feet from converting prospect into customer and kissing home plate.My point? Social media is great for connecting, not so great for conversion.

Welcome to the New Normal
To embrace the future, or what I’m calling the New Normal, you have to let go of the past. That’s true if you’ve been tossed out like expired milk or you’re pining for the ad glory days like Napoleon Dynamite’s Uncle Rico.

We’re All Peons and Gunslingers
It bothers me that the ad agency world has turned us into this. If you’re in your 20s and making peanuts and working ungodly hours, guess what? You’re a peon. If you’re 40 or over and all you’re getting is freelance gigs, guess what? You’re a gunslinger. In your 30s? Enjoy your third decade, my friend.

Work For The Man? Or Be The Man?
Sooner or later, your ad career comes to this. Work for the man and collect regular paychecks. Or, be the man and make your own living.

Labor Day Everyday
If you’re working, Monday is a day off. But for many of us, Monday is just another reminder we’re not working and we wonder if this uncertain time will ever end.

Madison Avenue, We Have a Problem
I never thought I’d live to see it---a deer photocopying its butt. What happened next was what every account executive, media buyer and creative wishes for. I hit “Reverse” and watched the spot again.

What Agencies Need. Respect.
Too many clients don’t respect their agency’s thinking, expertise, creativity, or even the golden rule. How else to explain clients who discount strategic thinking and chew up and spit out agency ideas like chewing gum?

Advertising is Subjective?
I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard that advertising is subjective.

Ideas. Your Best Shot at Immortality
Think about it. Every big decision in life or advancement for mankind starts with an idea. A man gets the idea to propose. A couple gets the idea to start a family. A 17 year-old Idaho farm boy had the idea of transmitting captured light.


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