Lessons from an agency Christmas card

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We weren’t going to do an original agency Christmas card. Everyone’s too busy. No one wants to take responsibility. It usually has to be approved by too many people. There are arguments over who’s ultimately responsible. So we sent out old-fashioned cards. In envelopes. With stamps. Seriously. But one day, a couple of weeks before […]


Lasting companies know how to re-invent themselves

Mike Markkula, right, Apple's first investor and father figure to Jobs. Fired by Jobs in 1997 his parting advice called for re-invention.

Like everyone else in America who still reads I am deeply engrossed in Walter Isaacson’s biography on Steve Jobs. It’s a remarkably honest and thorough account. It introduces us to Steve’s early influences. It explains the genesis of his design obsession. It reveals his many flaws. While the entire book chronicles the story of Steve’s life […]


When content and engagement aren’t enough: a case for having an idea

Nearly half of online consumers write comments to help others, not to engage with brands

This just in: 50 percent of all social media campaigns go unnoticed. They fall on deaf ears. Consumers don’t give a damn. And brands are wasting time and money. In large part because they don’t know how to listen to consumers or deliver content that matters to them. At least that’s according to the recent […]


Relationships versus ideas

A recent Twitter exchange between John Winsor of V&S and Marty St. George of Mullen client, Jet Blue

Most successful ad agencies have been built around a combination of the two:  relationships and ideas. The former yields the kind of partnership that lets a brand team totally immerse itself in a client’s business, work as a partner rather than a supplier and take a vested interest in the success of the business. That’s […]


I’m teaching a course at Boston University: Strategic Creative Development

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I’m a huge believer that we should constantly challenge ourselves by trying new things and starting from scratch sometimes. So my newest project is to teach a full semester at Boston University. Wish me luck. The College of Communication has offered me the chance to develop a syllabus for a course titled Strategic Creative Development. Granted […]