Hashtag OMG I need to manage my time or my profile will slip slide away, Hashtag virtually critical.

I have to quit work and leave my embryonic freelance career. I just saw that my LinkedIn profile views are down 60% this week. Hashtag, not a thought leader.


Selfie 2d229b_b925d9057fdc4d1e8e9feba82dfd30a0

I am hysterical. I can’t even look at my Facebook likes. Likes are probably down. I have not sent an emoticon, wished a stranger a happy birthday, taken a picture of food asked for a hug or asked friends to copy and paste the new and heinous Facebook privacy policies.  God, some of you send hugs. Please.

Forget YouTube, YouTube Red, Vimeo, Vimeo Pro. No uploads as of late and haven’t looked.  I fear that there will be a view-drop there too.

As for Twitter, I have not had the bandwidth to do Twitter lately. Followers are dropping. It’s my fault, as I have shown no character(s) for too long.

There’s been no Reddit; Blogger or Word Press and views are probably in the digital gutter.  What about my numbers on Digg – Ooops?

Instagram, the hearts have probably slowed to a trickle and   Pinterest, I haven’t pinned anything recently. I haven’t added to the “world’s catalog of ideas,” Oh, my boards.

Oh, Captain my captain I’m standing on a burning deck, my digital space is dreck.

Moreover, Tumblr has been contacting me, and I haven’t responded I cannot look.

Maybe I’ll blog and go all “Add this.”

____________AOL, (that space before AOL is there for you to make mean jokes) I do not remember my AOL name I have not AOL’ed in 10 years, that’s going to hurt.

My Flickr is foul, and I am sure Friendster is not happy with me.

Admission, I don’t get MySpace, but I have it. Isn’t that where the Millenials went to hide from geriatrics on Facebook? I think they went there. I’m going to look for one. Hashtag, I’m millennial-centric.

Organic reach I have no organic reach I need organic reach. Do I Meme or Infographic or do I go native? Save me “Big Data.”

I can’t work; I mean who will know that I work when I haven’t watered my digital garden enough to get “views and the like, so what’s the point?

I haven’t paid attention to Google +, and Google communities, I can’t figure it out but no one else can either, that probably gets me views and a thumbs up just for my admission.

Stumble Upon? Four Square? Moreover, then there’s Vine, or is there? Probably no views lately. Okay, what’s Hive?

I do not know anything About Me, Opportunity or Angel List do they have views or likes I need likes and views? I’m having a digital breakdown. Hashtag Zoloft.

What if my growing lack of views and lead to unfriending and unfollowing. I may be tossed into a virtual digital gutter. Do not leave me virtual, digital trophies. (Emoticon) I have separation anxiety.  Hashtag neurosis.

To save myself virtually and get more follows, views, likes, and digital love I will have to be fast. First the creation of a list of action items, then the drill down to look for a way that I can embrace sustainability and meet stakeholder expectations. It will have to be out of the box thinking. I have to take a real look behind the kimono, and I can resonate again. Hashtag trending.

I will be digitally diligent and work my forty “properties with new material and post like a fiend it will help over the course of time.

I will create vertical versions of all my new “digital video” on Facebook then link them to YouTube and post on Vimeo which will double my material. A good friend, on the subject of vertical, said I should just blog on telling people to hold their phones differently. I think that may be too complicated to explain.

I think the bleeding is stopping, send a thumbs up. I may have to go back to work one day. OMG, Hashtag, Influencer.


The Apocalypse is Near: Hope You Can Live in a Fast-Paced Environment

Advertising has been a barometer on the state of the world as it borrows from culture, trends, and events. After studying some of this year’s work in our last column, it’s decided that the apocalypse is close. Part two of 2016.

If there is a 2017, “generating the big idea in a fast-paced environment” will be a skill to nurture as most people need slow-paced environments and they tend to generate small ideas. They may be able to compete by becoming team players and brand stewards while providing thought leadership and perspective for adoption after taking a deep dive.

Trending: Occupational Trends in 2016
“Digital advertising, also called Internet advertising (“Internet marketing”) is when businesses leverage Internet technologies to deliver promotional advertisements to consumers.”

Plain old advertising
“Advertising is defined as “the activity or profession of producing advertisements for the commercial products or services of businesses targeted to consumers.”

If the world continues advertising, professionals must adapt to the digital space or face a career apocalypse. Digital advertising is tough to understand as opposed to traditional advertising.

An ad for a Digital Creative Director contains 912 enlightening words. A similar ad for a position titled just Creative Director came in at 508 words. Both were posted online. The  “Creative Director” post will probably not be viewed as it’s a digital post and beyond the reach of most people.

Sidebar: An ad for an Academic Cardiothoracic/Transplant Surgeon came in at 141 words.

Note: If you are lucky enough to hide your lack of “digitalness” and speak to a job poster (digital), it could go like this:

Them: “You don’t seem to be involved in the digital space.”

Turn the interview around with a digital interview saver like this: 

You: “I’m totally invested. I just bought Queen’s Greatest Hits Volume 1 on vinyl for just $32.39 at Barnes and Noble. I hear they brought in Bub Asman and Alan Robert Murray (Academy Award winners best sound editing 2015, American Sniper) during the remaster to recreate, digitally, pops and hisses, which had been digitally removed from the original tracks. I’m curating it now; you know analog to digital and back to analog is the new digital.

Them: “You curate. Wow.”

You: “Totally. I’d like to curate this: Let’s bring back the photographs of Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans and colorize those depressing  black-and-white Depression photos. Then we “Photoshop” Flo into them and create hysterical Flo memes for Progressive and boom, the Depression, hah, progressively becomes funnier.”

Them: “LOL, I was thinking that.”

You: “I totally love LOL.”

In 2016 copywriters were replaced by content strategists.

“Copywriting is written content based on a strategy and conveyed through various media and helps boost the client’s business objectives and raise awareness among customer’s or end user’s needs. Copy is content primarily used for the purpose of advertising or marketing. This type of written material is often used to persuade a person or group as well as to raise brand awareness.”

Content Creation
“The core function of the content creator’s job is developing a content strategy based on a company’s or client’s business objectives and raise awareness among customer’s or end user’s needs. Creative professionals in this role oversee content requirements and create content strategy deliverables across a project lifecycle.”

Content creation is very complicated. If you want to eat in 2017 and beyond then know the difference. We’ve included tips from an article written and published in 2014 on becoming a great content creator. Content creation is difficult for laypeople to understand.

From “7 Things That Really Great Content Creators Do” 

“Anyone can report on a topic, but it takes a seasoned content creator to actually reach people with their writing.” (Author’s note: This refers to creating content, not just writing regular old words.)

“In order to become a really great content creator, you must have a strong understanding of not only the subject matter itself but also the internal and external factors that help it take shape.”

1. “They Understand Their Audience” (Author’s Note: Writers understand their audience’s neurosis.)
2. “They Talk About More Than Themselves” (Author’s Note: Writers can’t do that)
3. “They Make Smarter Decisions” (Author’s Note: Writers decided to become writers…not a smart decision,)
4. “They Repurpose” (Author’s Note: Writers borrow.)
5. “They Update” (Author’s Note: Writers are too neurotic to look back.)
6. “Great content creators know how to keep their writing fresh.” (Author’s Note: Yes, like this refreshing article.)
7. “They Write Consistently” (Author’s Note: Why? We don’t understand this one.)

In 2016 art directors have been replaced by digital designers.

“Digital designers develop an agency’s digital design capability by creating inventive concepts that exceed client expectations and ensure the proper messaging and image is conveyed to consumers.”

“Art directors ensure that their clients’ desired message and image is conveyed to consumers. Art directors are responsible for the overall visual aspects of an advertising or media campaign.”

These jobs are close, but as you can see, an art director creates work that does not exceed client expectations and they create “noninventive” concepts. So, if you’re an art director, you’ll need more training in expectation exceeding and inventive concept creating.

Stuff We’ve Seen in ’16
Facebook announced that Facebook Attends Cannes Lions 

Mark Zuckerberg used Facebook Live to post video of his food (live and not static) at the many dinners he and the Facebook staffers attended.

An Advertising Announcement that Gave Some Hope: Yay for Google 
“In May Google announced that all payday loans and high-interest loan ads would now be banned. Later that month, Google also announced that ads from third-party tech support services would no longer be allowed because of ‘serious quality issues.’”

Miller Lite Redux
With nothing refreshing to say about Miller Lite’s beer, Miller Lite pulled out work from the past when the work and the beer were refreshing. And, not to be outdone by any direct mail messenger, Miller Lite also created work about their original bottles being back for a limited time only.

Our Chromosomes Have Been Hacked: Some Promos for Magazine Covers in 2016
Is it Trump or is it the Russians or is it Trump and the Russians?

1. Cosmopolitan: “Sexy Hair.”
2. Bazaar: “What’s Sexy Now.”
3. Cosmopolitan: (saying sod off, Bazaar) “Sex Moves That Change Lives.”
4. Marie Claire: (Says nuts to Cosmo and Bazaar) “The Sex Toy That Broke The Internet.”
5. Women’s Health: “8 Guys Fess Up To Whether They’ve Been Naughty or Nice This Year….in Bed”

1. Esquire: “William Faulkner’s Hot Toddy Recipe”
2. Men’s Fitness: “Lose Your Gut”
3. Men’s Journal: “Be A Better Husband”
4. Men’s Health: “5 Heart Saving Foods”
5. Men’s Journal: “The Golden Age Of Beer”

Insight: As far as we can see, men now only sleep in bed.

Ads on a Desert Island 2016
Some twits of England make even our inner-directed advertising workers look good with their Ads on a Desert Island. If you have electricity, TV, etc. why look at ads when you can watch The Americans or Narcos or House of Cards, etc. without ads?

In 2016 we discovered there would be a Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (not a potato in a bowl a football game).

A recent post/promo on the site for the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl had this ESPN counter: 4 days 11 hours 5 minutes. (Author’s Note: Now that’s content, strategized and curated perfectly.)

We also found:

A Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (we think they serve chicken and they also serve “Zalads.”)
A Foster Farms Bowl (chicken, don’t know about “Zalads”)
A Quicklane Bowl (oil?)
A Russel Athletic Bowl (sports apparel) where the representative teams, West Virginia University and Miami, wear Nike.

The ad spending on the 41 College football bowl games will be over $1 billio. Some teams have records above .500.

In 2016 we heard this radio ad where a guy says:

“Hiring employees is the worst part of my job.” Now, instead of carefully vetting resumes and getting to know capabilities, you can let an algorithm do it for you. If you’re trusted to hire for your company, do it right.

If the world continues, maybe the survivors will circle back. We’ll have to de-integrate and begin talking to each other about ideas and perhaps not use ridiculous “business speak.”

Content was curated digitally in the writing of this piece.

Such A Nice Deal | Beyond Madison Avenue

Such A Nice Deal | Beyond Madison Avenue.

Most people don’t realize that we, the people who create advertising, do so for the people who don’t create advertising. Most people who don’t create advertising are probably nice, so we in the business have taken our jobs with a sworn duty to inform the masses about where they can buy the best stuff for the best price. Most of advertising is really about the deal and where to get the best one. It’s not all image.

On the day an agency staffer is hired, he/she is sworn in in The Secret Swear-In Room. Most people don’t know this, as The Secret Swear-In Room is a secret. Anyway, once the swearing-in is done and the new advertising workers start their official careers, they have the awesome power to give the public the best information possible in the most creative way.

We have taken the time to walk you through some of our favorite communications to the masses that need “cable.”

We went to each site based on a short online ad (with offer) that directed us to the site and the offer.

We found that if you go to comcast.com you can get two things: TV and fast Internet. It’s just $79.99. That seemed very reasonable. But, being frugal, we searched for more ads that led to other sites. At comcastconnect.com/doubleplay, they offer something called the Double Play (that’s two things) and it starts at only $79.99. You get a free gift card. Being true American bargain hunters, we hunted for another offer. We found, intuitively, comcastoffers.com and got a great offer. They offered the Double Play at $89.99 with no gift card. It’s a great offer…if you’re stupid. Well, we ran from that site. We didn’t really run. Saying we ran is poetic license. Actually, there is no “we.” I made that up. I was the one who didn’t run.

Now that that’s straight, I went to http://www.comcastauthorizedoffers.com. I figured that if it was Comcast authorized, it would present the best offer. It was. I saw a great hook in the online ad for a Double Play at ‎$59.99. Wow. So I went to the page and there it was: the Double Play starting at $79.99 with no gift card. That was okay, as everyone knows that $79.99 is the new $59.99. Even with that reasoning, I decided to continue to look at new ads and new sites. I found comcast.com/cable-internet-packages.html. It was really good, as the starter Double Play was only $79.99. I couldn’t really see the deal, as the “Starter” was obscured by the ad for Triple Play, which is only $79.99 a month. The Triple Play ad had the Goldbergs on it. I found this ad compelling, so I called Comcast.

Me: Hello.

Manny: Hello, and how can I help you today?

Me: I saw a Triple Play offer of $79.99 and a Double Play offer of $79.99.

Manny: Yes, the Triple Play; now, that’s an offer.

Me: I see that. I only want the Double Play. I’m not ambitious enough for a Triple Play.

Manny: Good. I’ll start the paperwork.

Me: It’s the same price. I don’t want the phone.

Manny: Yes, right. If you take the phone, it’s cheaper.

Me: I don’t want the phone. I’m scared of radiation.

Manny: That’s a cell phone.

Me: Thanks, Manny. I still don’t want the phone.

Manny: Okay. That’s $79.99 for the Double Play.

Me: Why?

Manny: Because you’re not taking the Triple Play. You get free phone service.

Me: Why is the Triple Play less than the Double Play?

Manny: Because you get a phone.

Me: Oh. Since you explained it that way, I’ll take the Triple Play.

Manny: Great move, sir.

Me: Thanks, Manny. Hold the phone, then discount it because I didn’t take the phone.

Manny: We can’t do that.

Me: Why?

Manny: You can’t just hold the phone. It wouldn’t be the Triple Play without the phone.

I went to http://www.comcast.com/corporate/shop/productoverview.html, where the Triple Play is $79, a savings of 99 cents. I was close. comcast.com/locations/in-my-area gave me an option on a drop-down of all the Double Play offers. All the Double Play offers are $79.99. There is one Double Play offer. It has its own drop-down. On that page, they let you know that the Triple Play starts at $79.99.
It all made sense, but I decided to follow another ad,http://www.comcast.com/corporate/learn/digitalcable/digitalcable.html, and learned that the digital starter program is $49.99 for cable and Internet (two things) and, yes, the Triple Play is  $79.99. There is no Double Play. Thwarted, I moved to comcast.com/customerdeals, but I had to sign into my account, which I didn’t have. So I called the 800 number and they advised me to sign up for a plan and then upgrade. They offered me the Double Play, which has no phone, for $79.99 as a starter and then told me I could upgrade to the Triple Play for $79.99. That has a phone, and a gift card. They also told me that if I got Blast with the Triple Play it would be $91. I asked them about Blast. They told me it was good.
Finally, I was getting somewhere. Then I went to xfinityauthorizedoffers.com. Xfinity is the name Comcast uses to sound futuristic, but they still use Comcast so as not to scare off too many Baby Boomers, who wouldn’t know how to hook up their VHS recorders to something called Xfinity. I didn’t get too far and moved on to an ad that led me tobundleplans.com/double-bundles, which opened with the Comcast Triple Play at only $99. Finally, I followed an ad that led me to comcastdoubleplay/newest/comcastlimitedtimeoffers. I opened the page. It came up with the Xfinity starter XF Triple Play for $99.

I want cable, but I got tired. I went to Netflix through an ad that said “Rent Movies from Netflix (Free Trial).” I went there and got really confused. It took five minutes. I got a free trial. The ad said it’s $11.99 a month. So far, it’s cost me $11.99 a month. I’m still confused by that ad.

NOTE: If you noticed that all the sites were Comcast sites with different names, I will offer you a Double Play at $79 a month. No gift card.

The Great Skateboard Massacre: So, how did you get into advertising



brian board band aid edit 2


Friday September 26, 2014: the guy who wrote this column smacked his face on a pole at a skate park, during a drizzle, on wet asphalt, on a skateboard he borrowed from “some kid” while attempting to do a difficult trick called “the kick-flip.” What possessed him to try and do a trick he’d never tried before is beyond the imagination of anyone who has even borderline sanity. The idea that this guy is the creative director of an ad agency is mind-boggling. It’s mind-boggling that he is the creative director of any ad agency (he has held the position at a number of agencies) because of where he came from. Today, he may not be afforded any opportunity at any agency.

He started as an usher at the American Film Institute and worked his way up to Assistant Theater Manager. He worked at two documentary companies and went to NYU in a Cinema Studies MFA program. He co-founded a production company with a guy who was in the NBA and would go on to Harvard Law School. They made a documentary film on a jazz musician because they thought they could. They agreed that they made it because they were too stupid to know they couldn’t. They had a passion, and they did well. They made films on different subjects and did commercials. Eventually, the ball player went to Harvard and the guy who wrote this piece sold the company to an ad agency and then took over the broadcast department of the agency. He constructed an in-house production company, which produced hundreds and hundreds of commercials, many of which he directed.

Eventually, he traded his production skills for a shot at writing. He and his original partner had really wanted to be writers. He went to an agency in Alabama and began his climb from copywriter to Creative Director. He had never written an ad when he arrived in Birmingham.

He did well, and along the way, the folks he met had backgrounds like him. They were some of the brightest people in the ad business. They had been physicists, teachers, cops, painters, doctors, accountants, statisticians, mailroom guys, construction workers, a print maker from Pratt, a drummer from Berkeley School of Music, ex-models, maids, and hair stylists. They had an interest in and a passion for advertising so they “went for it.”

The guy who is writing this met them as planners, account execs, media planners, media buyers, writers, art directors and more.

They were wind surfers, motorcycle racers, hockey players, good and bad softball players (everyone in agencies plays softball, where it really is all about the beer), bike riders, skateboarders, football players, moviegoers, avid readers, etc. They were filled with useless information about a number of useless subjects. When they started in their agencies, none of them had any experience and they turned out successfully, every one of them. Today, many of them would probably never have gotten into an agency unless they were delivering a package.

The guy who wrote this is still doing well and the folks he’s meeting don’t have backgrounds like him. They have been students. They are some of the brightest people in the ad business. They have taken courses like Introduction (concept), POP 501 (Ideas First), POP 503 (Idea Presentation), POP 504 (Video Storytelling), POP 512 (Short & Sweet — Headlines, Web Banners, etc.), POP 514 (Wordsmithing), POP 511 (Type Journey), POP 530 (Pop Culture Engineering), POP 534 (The Brand Called You — You are a Brand) and more. Many, depending on professional interest, can focus on Boot Camp for Account Planners or Boot Camp for Social Media & Consumer Engagement, Creative Track Copywriting and Art Direction, etc.
He is meeting many of the brightest ad folks populating the business today. They come out of ad schools, universities that now have ad majors, and other portfolio schools. They have an interest in and a passion for advertising and they are “going for it.”

They are wind surfers, motorcycle racers, hockey players, good and bad softball players (everyone in agencies plays softball, where it really is all about the beer), bike riders, skateboarders, football players, moviegoers, and avid readers. They, if they are smart, are filled with useless information about a number of useless subjects. When they started in their agencies, none of them had any experience and they turned out successfully, every one of them. Many of them probably will never get into an agency unless they are delivering a package.

The guy who wrote this doesn’t know who makes the “better ad person.” Is it the “school-trained” advertising person or the person that thinks the profession seems interesting and can apply compatible skills? Many professions have seen this phenomenon. Years ago, most nurses (RNs) came out of programs they entered right after high school. Today, many nurses come with degrees in nursing from universities. Who makes the better nurse? The guy who wrote this had a very bright (M.D.) dad who said, “Program nurses tend to have more empathy and are more patient-focused. University nurses are, because of training, a bit more clinically efficient but more removed from patient personality. Both groups have things in common. They want to be nurses very badly. They do a very good job. Most people who have a passion for something do very well. It’s in their nature.”

In today’s world, physicists and/or statisticians, etc., don’t walk into agencies and get jobs. Today, most folks major in advertising or attend portfolio schools. The guy who wrote this didn’t know he wanted to be an “ad guy.” He thought it would be cool. Two of the folks in his group went to ad school. The others in the group didn’t. They all thought it would be cool. All of them have wanted to be in advertising. Anyway, no matter the training, some are better at one thing and some at others. In most cases, those who have passion do very well. It’s in their nature.

If you decide to go skateboarding in a drizzle on a board borrowed from some kid, and try a trick you shouldn’t do, it’s probably passion. It’s in your nature. And, no matter how you were trained, you just have to try that trick, because you know you can do it, because maybe you’re too dumb to know that you can’t do it.

Where did you get your training? What is the best background for an advertising profession? Let Beyond Madison Avenue know.