Creating a Culture of Trust

A girlfriend of mine has recently been assigned to a cross department project at work. The assignment is a great opportunity for her. She’ll be involved in the decision making process of long range organizational planning, and she’s getting exposure to leaders she typically doesn’t access. Needless to say, the majority of the time, the assignment makes her want to tear her hair out. The fundamental issue she faces is being unable to collaborate with the other people assigned to the project. Is it because they work in different departments?  Is it because they work on different floors? Is it because the[…..]

Break the Stranglehold of the Status Quo

What I’m about to say may shock you coming from someone whose job it is to jumpstart brands: If you’re reigniting a brand you will probably fail. According to the Harvard Business Review, 80% of brands launched die and only 8% of those attempt to rejuvenate. Why? The status quo is nearly impossible to fight. People hate change. It’s not just an uphill battle, it’s an uphill battle in slippery mud with rocks being tossed down at you and wild, crazy, rabid animals coming out of the woods and eating your shoes. The question is, why? Why is it so[…..]

Think Big

“The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs Of course innovation takes innovators. But who are these innovators, and how do you become one? Innovators are people who think of new ideas that no one has ever thought of before; they are people who have an imagination. BUT, it takes more than just having an imagination. Innovators have an imagination in the face of adversity. If you have a new idea no one has ever heard of before, an idea that seems impossible or impractical, people[…..]

Lindsay, Stone & Briggs’ Bill Winchester quoted in New York Times

On September 18, LSB’s Chief Creative Officer Bill Winchester provided commentary in a New York Times piece titled “Samsung-Apple Fight Moves to Marketing.”

Speed to Market, But at What Cost?

We know how fast our world is moving. We live the new faster reality every day. I date myself (and I know better) when I talk about those halcyon days of 16 and 20 week production schedules, with seemingly leisurely weeks set aside for creative musing and problem solving. I get it. My attention span is as short as the next consumer’s, as squirrelly as any middle schooler’s who can’t focus on a conversation because their phone is vibrating with new information they could definitely live without. I get that our clients are vying for the attention of people doing[…..]

The Five Most Important Qualities of a Great Client

My career as an advertising copywriter began at some point between the time the earth was cooling and the Pleistocene. Or at least that’s what the interns that I work with believe. Because I’ve survived in a business notorious for chewing people up and spitting them out, I’ve worked with an enormous cast of characters, many of them clients. “So what makes a great client?” you might ask, if I were putting words in your mouth. Let me describe my five most important qualities. And then I’ll go away, and you can put on some soft music and relax. #1[…..]

Off Target: The Difference between Branding and Retail Sameness at Target

What’s happened to Target? Well, a lot of their advertising has gone stupid-retail for one. Their broadcast has become a big ho-hum that carries very little branding, almost zero concept and this means the brand linkage to Target is completely dependent on three seconds of logo at the end of the spot. Advertising like this relies on consumers actually paying rapt attention–which they don’t–and is a formula that makes it easy for them to confuse Target with one of their competitors.       For instance, check out this recent Target commercial for Champion sportswear:   The problem with this[…..]

Now Hiring: Creative Technologist

In advertising we’ve often mistaken creative technologist for someone who designs websites and also doesn’t mind doing a little coding. Or a writer who can fix your computer. But the real job description is something that is so much more. The confluence of unfettered creativity and the technology to make it happen is rare. The two things seem to live at odds in most people’s brains and being good at one (like coding) often is at the expense of the other (like kinetic movement). Ask most art directors about algebra and you’ll get the idea. I was surfing and I[…..]

Is Design Thinking Really Dead?

Impatient companies trying to incorporate design thinking into their organizations have become frustrated with the whole process and like children who’ve played with a toy so much they’ve worn down the batteries, they’re pouting and saying, “It doesn’t work.” Here’s the issue, people who don’t fully understand design thinking have made it a “codified process,” effectively pulling the wings off of it. The people I’m speaking of are the corporations looking to capture some of the magic of design thinking. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be able to do anything without making it a Stage-gate process, attempting to apply straight-line[…..]

Get Lost in the Creative Forest

Why getting lost in the creative forest is a good thing When asked where they got an idea, most creative people will think for a minute and say, “It just came to me.” Which is exactly what happened, right after they’d spent some serious time lost in what I’ll call “The Creative Forest.” Great creative follows a process but it isn’t and never will be a linear process. Why? Because the very definition of creativity is taking two unrelated things and putting them together in an unexpected way. Truth be told, for most creatives the process probably started several years[…..]