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Showing posts from April, 2012

Why diversity matters in advertising.

The imperative to create a more diverse agency culture is not something we should do because it is politically correct. It's something we must do to ensure the long-term success of our industry. We are in the business of helping clients build their business through our unique ability to understand and connect with main street America. We did this well over the years largely because we tended to mirror the face of America.  As the American landscape continues to become more diverse, so must agencies, or we risk falling out of touch with consumers and becoming less capable of providing clients with fresh, relevant ideas. In many states across the U.S., multicultural markets are increasingly mainstream – not just in California and New York, but also in states like Delaware, Maryland, Louisiana and Nevada.  In each of these states the white population accounts for about two-thirds or less of the total (2010 US Census). If you want a glimpse of the future, look no further than th

Tips on starting a successful agency career.

I was invited last night to speak to the Chapman University Ad Club and offer career advice to these aspiring advertising agency professionals. This is a switched-on group, many of whom are preparing to compete in the Ad Fed National Student Advertising Competition.  Having just judged the District 10 regionals in Shreveport, I know how long and hard they've been working on their presentation. As I told the group last night, this summer will mark my 30th year in advertising,  I still love what I love what I do for a living, mainly because advertising sits at the intersection of everything – business, art, pop culture, technology, societal trends, the media revolution. I thought I'd share an abbreviated copy of my slides in the hope that it will provide some inspiration and guidance to those who want to be equally passionate about their career in 2042. Starting your advertising career 30 years in 30 minutes: Tips for starting your advertising career. from Da

What agency vets can learn from students.

I spent the last two days being inspired about my profession by college students who would walk through fire to get a shot at a similar career. The occasion was AdFed's District 10 National Student Advertising Competition in Shreveport, where I served as a judge.  Students from 20 universities competed as full-fledged agency teams on a live case given to them by Nissan.  Their assignment was to help the automaker increase its share among multicultural millennials, and they did so by conducting their own primary research, developing positioning strategies, creating fully integrated creative campaigns against a $100m media plan that they researched, priced and designed.  The teams had been working on this assignment since last fall, and it showed. I was in awe of their poise, their professionalism and their fearlessness.  They rocked it. During my two days I couldn't help but think that agency professionals – those who already have the careers these kids covet – could

Lands' End chooses BD'M.

The best way to celebrate our five year anniversary is by adding a dream client to our roster.  We're thrilled to have been selected by Lands' End after a heavily contested review against some of the country's best shops. The creative opportunities are boundless, particularly since the company was launched by a former advertising copywriter (see, ad folk can grow up and get a real job!) and cherishes storytelling and wit as part of its brand voice.  (By the way, I'm not putting the Lands' End apostrophe in the wrong place – it was born as a typo in the very first catalog and became part of the company's lore). This latest victory helps mark our five year anniversary with continued momentum, adding to recent wins from Wagner, Dell and Medtronic. Five years ago this month we launched BD'M as the agency creating the beautifully distinctive Rhapsody in Blue campaign for United Airlines.  Today, BD'M is a multi-faceted agency: We work across a div