Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2010

What I learned at Lollapalooza.

I just returned from three days at Lollapalooza with my daughters. Great time with the girls.  Outstanding festival – really well planned and run.  (Chicago is a fantastic city!) While I've spent years creating events for youth marketing programs, often from the outside looking in, this gave me chance to experience youth marketing from the mosh pit out. By and large, the marketing was fairly flat-footed.   The usual branded swag became white noise.  The best efforts came from a handful of marketers whose presence added something to the fan's experience. The best by far came from my old friends at Toyota.  Their tent wasn't an escape from music – it celebrated music and creative expression.  There you could hop in a Corolla retrofitted to be a four-door photo booth; spin to win some cool prizes; listen to little-known, up-and-coming bands (the roots of Lolla, right?) who performed in the tent and were streamed over the interweb; as well as create art and posters.

Why Millennials will save Madison Avenue.

(As published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune .) Listen in on most brand planning meetings and one word comes up over and over –  Millennials .  Sometimes called GenY or EchoBoomers, this is the generation born between 1982 and 2000.  Millennials are no longer solely on the playground; they're running companies (Mark Zuckerberg), entertaining (Rihanna) and winning Olympic Gold (Shaun White).  To marketers, Millennials represent a 76 million strong brand-conscious demographic. Recently, however, I’ve started viewing this generation through a different lens.  Beyond being a coveted advertising target, the characteristics that define this generation make them extremely well-equipped to re-architect the modern advertising agency.   I believe this to be true because Millennials are widely viewed as a generation of collaborative, tech-savvy, multicultural, problem-solvers – the very skills necessary to address the questions marketers increasingly voice about their advertisi