Being on AMC’s “The Pitch”: When A Loss Is Not A Loss.

Being on AMC’s “The Pitch”: When A Loss Is Not A Loss.

Well, now all of America knows — at least the millions who watched AMC’s “The Pitch.”  We lost. Or did we? IT’S NOT ABOUT WINNING OR LOSING. I’ve gotten so much feedback from my quotes at the end of the episode where they showed us playing pickup basketball at a local YMCA. There I said [...]

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Why WONGDOODY Said “Yes” To AMC’s “The Pitch.”

Why WONGDOODY Said “Yes” To AMC’s “The Pitch.”

To pitch or not to pitch?   That’s the question that many agencies have been asking themselves. Should they say “yes” to appearing on AMC’s “The Pitch?” Most have loudly said “no.”   The debate started last summer. Ad Age reported that scores of agencies were turning down the show, which films two agencies from [...]

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SAMSUNG

A Kindergarten Peace Plan

At the grade school my kids attend, there’s a sign on the inside of the kindergarten classroom door. (See photo.) Every time I see it, it makes me laugh. Sure, it’s written for 5- to 6-year-olds, yet it’s so incredibly brilliant. It reads: Kindergarten Peace Plan: 1. Stop. 2. Think about solutions. 3. Shake and [...]

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Understanding Agendas: Hitting A Brick Wall In My Very First Job

My first lesson in understanding agendas was a tough one. I almost lost my first job over it. I was just two months out of Art Center at advertising behemoth Ogilvy and Mather/NY, right smack dab on Mad Ave. My first account: the door-to-door cosmetics giant Avon. My first assignment: a print ad for a [...]

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The Agency “Creative Process” — Welcome to Medieval England.

The Agency “Creative Process” — Welcome to Medieval England.

In the middle ages, this is how major societal decisions went down. An issue was brought forth to the King by his magistrate. The King, being the King, then made a decision. If you challenged the decision, you were beheaded. Likely in public, in front of your closest relatives (if they weren’t beheaded too). Miraculously, [...]

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A Lesson In Humility Right In The Middle of An Ad Boozefest.

Pat Doody (the Doody of WONGDOODY) and I recently received the American Advertising Federation Silver Medal, a lifetime achievement award established in 1959 to “recognize men and women who have made outstanding contributions to advertising and who have been active in furthering the industry’s standards, creative excellence and responsibility in areas of social concern.” (Although, [...]

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Ego: Why Ad Agencies Are A**hole Factories

I was in Santa Monica last week and popped into one of my very favorite bookstores. In the design section was a book entitled “Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite” by Paul Arden, a legend of British advertising. This, and his first book, “It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To [...]

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Winning the Radio Mercury Grand Prize – with a client’s idea?

Winning the Radio Mercury Grand Prize – with a client’s idea?

There are two Schools of Thought about clients. School One: They are the enemy. You should avoid listening to them at all costs. And never, ever consider an idea they came up with – except at gunpoint. School Two: They are your partner in the creative process and should be embraced to contribute thinking and [...]

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The Birthplace of the “Democracy”

December 12, 1993. Open on a dingy, windowless 9- by 12-foot conference room belonging to a commercial real estate agent in a bland high rise in the heart of downtown Seattle. Remnant 1980s office furniture, beige walls and matching carpet, and a small, unframed photo of the Seattle skyline to remind us of what the [...]

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