Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My DVR is the only piece of technology that actually works for me.

(My cell phone interrupts annoyingly, my computers are cold taskmasters, and my game consoles are gathering dust.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Is an “other-guy” ad really the best thing you can come up with?

An “Other Guy Ad” (as defined by yours truly) is an ad that features either a world without the product or the competitor’s product. So the whole thing is the opposite of the benefit.

I have grown weary of this creative gimmick / technique / crutch / template / default “solution”.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Before you brainstorm, brandstorm.

(By that I mean talk about the brand and its promise before jumping to ideas for ads and whatnot.)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A great writer can write him or herself out of anything.

I’m not saying I’m a great writer, but I just realized that I have written:

Radio and TV commercials and print ads. Web content for clients, two employers and one past employer. The annual report for the busiest airport in the world. A eulogy delivered to 600 people, a wedding ceremony, twenty graduation speeches and a self-indulgent daily blog, the readers of which likely need it very little.

But hey, if I have a problem, what do I do? Start a-writin’.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Relax. No career decision is forever.

I know, I know. This is reminiscent of my post of July 8th. But it deserves an encore in this rewritten form.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Be nice to people. In twenty years, you may run into them in a Chick-fil-A.

That happened to me Monday. I saw a client I worked with nineteen years ago. We chatted over free lemonade refills.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Vacation: good.

Posting to you today from beautiful, sunny, Portland, Maine.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ultimately, the sole goal of hard work is to create options.

Then you can pick whichever idea or job or home or city, wine, entrée, bed sheets, camera, HDTV, season tickets, cabana, flight or headline you want.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Random tip: How to adjust your side mirrors.

Speaking of peripheral vision, don’t just make it so you can see down the edge of your car from your seat. From the driver’s seat, lean over to your right and adjust the mirror out so you can just see the edge of the car when you’re leaning. That way, when you’re sitting back and driving, your mirror will show your blind spot. Do the same for the left side. You’ll notice a huge difference, especially on the freeway.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008

What is your favorite city, and what are the top three reasons it’s your favorite?

My favorite city remains New York.
Reasons:
  • Food
  • Public transportation
  • It’s stocked with the most talented people on earth

Monday, May 5, 2008

Some places just have better creative energy than others.

So I’m headed to New York (not to be confused with Liberty City).

Friday, May 2, 2008

What is your go-to guilty pleasure? (Besides porn, of course.)

Thank you, Liza, for your help with today’s question. You’ve earned your T.A.’s merit sash.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.

But you must have known that I am not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Based solely on its consistent delivery of a simple promise, what is your favorite brand? And what is its promise?

For me, that’s an easy one: Nintendo. Nintendo’s focus on accessible fun has never wavered. And playing a Nintendo game still delivers a sense of wonder and excitement that its competitors have never managed to achieve. Just hearing the name “Nintendo” makes me happy. Can’t say the same for Sony or (yikes!) Microsoft.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Complain less, and be more resourceful.

I have actually been to a village in Africa built entirely out of sticks and cow shit. Homes. Made of shit. 
See? One way or another, everything’s about advertising.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday Question: Can you tell when you’ve hit the wall? What does it feel like?

As you can tell by the time stamp of this post, I ignore the wall at all costs.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

If you want something done, give it to the busiest person you know.

   This is a paraphrased quote from my late grandfather, Meyer Balser, who had lots of these quips. Another great one was, “McDonald’s has the best flapjacks in the City of Atlanta!”

Friday, February 15, 2008

So far, what neither ad- nor design-related project has inspired you the most?

A few years ago I had an hour or so to kill on Manhattan’s upper east side when I noticed The Guggenheim was having a Frank Gehry exhibition.
It rocked my world. I could see, right there on tables and in sketches, how the most creative mind in architecture created, from idea stage to fully realized buildings. I was moved to see both his brilliance and how his creative process is so similar to ours as ad and design creatives. 

Then, a year or so later, I saw that Gehry had designed the trophy for the World Cup of Hockey. Not just another building, the trophy was a dramatic, soaring confluence of Gehry’s talent and his passion for a sport. 

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Marry someone smarter than you.

I realize this is only possible for half of us.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Monday, February 4, 2008

Never underestimate the underdog.

That applies to designers, art directors, copywriters and sports teams. 

Friday, January 25, 2008

This blog is an ambitious experiment. How long do you think I can keep it up?

I have no idea why I got into this thing, and now I have no idea how to get out.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

This blog may be ugly, but at least it uses real apostrophes.

There’s a difference between what’s right and what isn't.

Friday, January 18, 2008

How long do you you think you could go without a computer?

My Mac is fried. It can’t connect to the internet, some apps won’t open, and it restarts from sleep instead of waking up. I wonder if I could just ditch the whole computer thing and go some silicon version of vegan.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

Please describe your relationship with your computer.

   I have a love/hate thing going on with my computer. It’s useful and entertaining, but it’s also a ball and chain. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Monday, January 7, 2008

Friday, January 4, 2008

From whom or what have you learned the most?

   Every time I have to write a bio, I mention my kids. 
   My role as a father has been my proudest, and my kids have taught me some of my most important life lessons. Plus, they’re hilarious.
   So who (or what) has taught or inspired you?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008