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.

It Takes a Village. I Repeat, It Takes a Village… | Beyond Madison Avenue

Source: It Takes a Village. I Repeat, It Takes a Village… | Beyond Madison Avenue


Operation: Present
Holiday Time 2015, BBDO (Atlanta and New York offices) produced a 60-second holiday ad for AT&T calling on viewers to be “present” during the holidays.

A family is prepping for the holidays. The family includes a teen girl. They pick lights for a tree, there’s ice-skating with the family, and they have all kinds of American family fun. But what gives? Our adolescent is, OMG, preoccupied with her cell phone, much to the dismay and disappointment of her dad. Well, that’s a nasty bit of unexpected business coming from a teen. Double OMG! Fun time was represented in a montage of compelling shots. The non-participation of the teen illustrated that all teenagers should drown in their own blood.

Enough of that, and hold on! OMG! Let’s go back to AT&T (2015). The young girl is not an uncaring morose teen who makes you feel depressed at the thought of breeding; she’s a superhero kid. She gives her dad her phone (nicely wrapped) so she can be more present for the holiday. The commercial is called “Present.”

It’s déjà vu all over again.

After watching this commercial, we were transported to “Hey, I’ve Been There Before” Land. Beforeland starred an uncaring, miserable, holiday-avoiding morose boy who was preoccupied with his cell phone during family fun holiday time. Fun time was represented in a montage of compelling shots. The non-participation of the teen illustrated that all teenagers should drown in their own blood.

Enough of that, and hold on! OMG! Let’s go back to Apple iPhone (2013). The boy’s not an uncaring, morose teen that makes you feel depressed at the thought of breeding; he’s a superhero kid. He has made his family a film of their holiday adventures, all shot and then cut beautifully on an Apple iPhone! He was just misunderstood and was actually present the whole time. OMG! The commercial is called “Misunderstood.”

And OMG! The déjà vu went away as one ad was about a phone and the other was about a phone but it was brought to you by a service provider. That takes care of that.

Everyone Needs Credit in Advertising
Now that that’s over, let’s look at what kind of person power it took for BBDO to make AT&T’s holiday ad (the only ad they ran through the holiday season).

Let’s see. You have to have the client. It is unknown in this world how many on the client side were involved, so let’s be conservative with: 3.

Then, of course, you need:

  • (BBDO) Your Chief Creative Officer: He/she can make sure there are plenty of people to blame who are not him/her if something goes wrong.
    • 1
  • Chief Creative Officer New York: If the Chief Creative Officer expires, he/she is there to make sure that Donald Trump doesn’t take over.
    • 1
  • Executive Creative Director: Bosses everyone around except the people he/she can’t boss around.
    • 1
  • SR. Creative Director: He/she is very important as he/she has “senior” in his title.
    • 1
  • Executive Creative Director: Because there are no Creative Directors anymore.
    • 1
  • SR. Creative Director: This one was listed below the Executive Creative Director – on the way out. Upon leaving, he/she will announce the establishment of his/her new “shop” along with the Sr. Creative Director below.
    • 1
  • SR. Creative Director: (Look up at the previous listing).
    • 1
  • Associate Creative Director: The teenagers of the Creative Department; they have titles and not much power
    • 1
  • Associate Creative Director: Plotting against the ACD above.
    • 1
  • Director of Integrated Production: You need someone to integrate so there will be integration.
    • 1
  • Group Executive Producer: Very important, as he/she has “group” and “executive” in his/her title, so he/she can always explain away the poor behavior of others.
    • 1
  • Executive Producer: Could be boss of Group Executive Producer or not.
    • 1
  • Music Producer: Someone other than composers and musicians must produce the music.
    • 1
  • SR. Group Account Director: Again, all groups need to be directed by seniors.
    • 1
  • Account Director: Have no clue, but there were:
    • 3
  • Production Company
    • 5 (conservative) not including the director
  • Director (Oops, Directors): They sell a vision to the agency. On the shoot, the agency does what it wants.
    • 2
  • Director of Photography: Most people listen to him, as they are afraid of the matte box on the camera(s) and all the rigs, dollies, jibs, cranes and…and and and.
    • 1
  • Executive Producer(s): People who ask for money for overages from the agency and don’t get it.
    • 3
  • Head of Production: Someone who is usually sane.
    • 1
  • Editor: Someone who sells his/her vision to the directors before the directors are removed from the process by the agency.
    • 4 (editor, plus 3 staff — conservative as to staff)
  • Audio Engineer: Usually someone who is left alone, as no one can do audio. All take it for granted that anyone with “engineer” in the title must be good.
    • 1
  • Colorist: Not the hair kind, the film/video kind. Important as they set the color of the material that is shot. Usually left alone except by Art Directors – oops, no Art Directors or Copywriters listed here.
    • 1
  • Music Company: One really good composer and staff who usually manage not to laugh when the hundred people in the suite ask for different things but universally ask for something different in a manner such as: “Can you do it cerebrally like the “Beatles” but give it a “Killers” sound but make it not as angst-ridden as Coldplay or Passenger and maybe a touch of Nas like the cool stuff in Illmatic?” They will also ask the v/o talent to put a smile in his/her voice.
    • 5 (conservative)
  • Conform: No one knows what he or she does, so they are left alone.
    • 1

Add them up, and you should come up with 44 people (at minimum) who took an already tepid and previously produced concept (holiday home, family, apparent mega-disturbed teenager — surprise, they are nice) and executed it not that well. The 44 people who made the commercial have prominent credits listing their names. If you called any one of these people in their offices you would probably never get through unless you were a client or potential client. No one cares about that, but where are the ideas?

Operation Neptune Spear
In the early morning of May 1, 2011 (U.S. time) 25 (nameless) United States Navy SEALS, in two Black Hawk helicopters, flew into Abbottabad, Pakistan from Afghanistan and killed Osama Bin Laden. The operation took 40 minutes. Most Americans can tell you what a SEAL is and what a SEAL does, and most have a fairly good idea of how that mission was realized. Can anyone out there reconstruct how old ideas keep getting realized? The best answer gets tickets to the new movie Point Break.

We know a SEAL. His home number is listed. We called him. He picked up.



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.