Category Archives: Advertising

September 23, 2015

Advertising / Strategy

Your Ads Don’t Have to Suck

ads dont suck

In the reality series Project Runway, host Tim Gunn often tells stressed fashion designer contestants to “make it work.” That’s the same strategy my wife and I employ for getting through summer with five kids at home, while also trying …

March 21, 2011

Advertising / Blogging

All I Know About Blogging I Learned from Advertising

It’s true. Some of the best lessons I’ve learned about how to write compelling blog content were tips I first encountered reading some of the advertising industry’s most influential texts. Books like John Caples’ Tested Advertising Methods and, really, any of David …

January 31, 2011


Why Super Bowl Ads Still Matter

A few years back, I sat in on a meeting with co-workers discussing whether or not to exhibit at a large national conference. The ROI wasn’t clear for starters. Plus we were a medium-sized fish who had just been acquired …

September 2, 2010

Advertising / Branding / Customer Service

By Any Other Name

Last week I had the privilege of seeing Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh speak as part of his Delivering Happiness book tour (got the book — hope to toss a review up here soon). During the course of his time on …

June 11, 2009


Now Hear This

Now is the winter of our discontent … Those opening lines from Richard III crossed my mind earlier today while driving past our local Shakespeare Festival stage in Iowa City, where the Bard’s tale of a physically and mentally disfigured …

June 9, 2009


Call It What You Will — It’s All Advertising

In the recent issue of Creativity, modern advertising leaders offer their opinions on the state of the industry. Among the questions asked was should this business still be called ‘advertising.’ This is an especially relevant topic as all of us …

March 27, 2009


Market Like a Cardinal

The red birds debuted the “Play Like a Cardinal” campaign a year or so ago and are wisely continuing it for the upcoming season. It’s pretty easy to be ubiquitous with sports marketing but this campaign really cuts through the …

March 20, 2009


Muppets on Marketing

The above scene from The Muppets Take Manhattan is one that Dean and I both hold near and dear for obvious reasons. But there is a very simple truth exposed by Kermit as he helps an all-frog ad agency struggle …

February 27, 2009


Anatomy of an Ad: Reality + Gestalt

Like the Reality Coalition needs any help from us — I think I saw this spot between every break last night. But here is our quick take on why it works. First, the ad is good. Every piece works — …

February 23, 2009

Advertising / Strategy

Ads That Move the Needle

This morning Advertising Age reported that the Miller High Life one-second Super Bowl ad has created a year-on-year sales bump for the brand affectionately referred to as “the champagne of beers.” The real kicker is that NBC didn’t even air …