“Ideas” are almost worthless.

Most of the jobseekers who write to us note with great enthusiasm that they are uniquely employable because they have “ideas.” Lots of them. We are seldom (okay, never) moved to action by this claim, partially because so many people claim it. One becomes skeptical. Which brings us to Brainstorming, that good ol’ reliable exercise adored by many, misused by …

The Cocktail Napkin Effect

We recently had the pleasure of doing a portfolio review of 17 would-be creatives who had just completed an undergraduate course. One reason it was a pleasure was the instructor’s wise limitation put on the students: no computers. Each ad in each campaign was drawn by hand, and hand-lettered. The quality of the artwork, as you might expect, was pretty …

Seeding Labs CEO named Global TED Fellow

Our favorite pro bono client, Nina Dudnik, has been named a 2010 Global TED Fellow for her inspiring work to equip and uplift scientists in the developing world. Learn more about Seeding Labs, and you’ll see why we’re so proud to be associated with her.

A Foolish Consistency

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” said Emerson, long before GM management decreed that “Chevrolet” should not be “Chevy” in advertising for the sake of (wait for it) brand consistency. Yeah, why would you want millions of consumers to give your product an affectionate nickname?


We looked at a current Vogue and analyzed 500 pages of fashion advertising. All were photographic, mostly single image. Aside from the logos of the brands, a scattering of taglines, and some mouse-type copyright info, the absence of words was remarkable. 500 ads. Zero headlines. Zero text. A highly evolved art form aimed at an audience that does not, will …

A tiny findability hint

Don’t waste your money buying the .biz .tv .net variations on your web address. Nobody’s going to accidentally type them. But do buy the near-spellings of your url. The phonetic spellings, the fatfinger misspellngs, etc. United Airlines, for example, deeply regrets not buying untied.com….

How to Rename a Company

It’s a joy to name companies, but renaming can be a minefield. Even if the existing company name has utterly failed, there will be timid people who believe nothing should change. There are also fears, sometimes legitimate, of losing brand equity/visibility/reputation/whatever if the transition is badly handled. Yes, branding can be tricky, but fortune favors the brave. Suit up. Will …

Are you content with your SEO?

The single best thing you can do to be more visible on search engines? Have plenty of engaging, readable, relevant, original content. Why? Because over time, people will read it and link to it. It’s as simple as that. Inbound links are that big. (Not reciprocal links. Don’t be conned by offers of link exchanges – they’re essentially worthless.) We’re …

23 magazines killed in one day.

The publisher, Reed Elsevier, pulled the plug and pronounced them dead yesterday. This is not the recession. This is evolution. It’s just not a good time to be in the magazine business. Or newspaper. Or printed catalog. Or direct mail. Or buggy whip. Who’s next?