163: Are you creative director material?

Most creatives aspire to become creative director one day. And most creatives believe they have the chops to lead a creative department. But making the leap from art director or copywriter into a leadership role takes more than a promotion. Our guest this week is an old friend, TJ Bennett, owner and creative director at […]

157: A manifesto for Avis, or is it?

What is a manifesto? Is it a creative brief? Or like a creative brief? And how does a so-called “manifesto” help us understand a brand? These are some of the questions Henry Gomez and I discuss today on The Brief Bros. We review and dissect one of seventeen brand manifestos, this one for Avis, posted […]

Six ideas on how to write better single-minded propositions.

[Published originally in December 2021, but this one never gets old.] No one wants to write a bad single-minded proposition. I get it. There’s a ton of pressure on you to not just write the damn thing, but to write a brilliant one. When everyone expects, well, Just Do It, anyone would shrivel up into […]

I had not the time to make it shorter.

Writing a book is not like writing a weekly essay for a blog. This essay has a firm deadline. A book does not, or usually does not. I’ve written two textbooks, one of which has had two new editions. The second book is due for updating. But writing a textbook is nothing like writing a […]

E103: Creative Review—McDonald’s OOH by DDB New Zealand.

Airs February 1, 2023 Henry Gomez and I exchange our views on a new OOH campaign for McDonald’s by DDB New Zealand. We haven’t disagreed about much lately, but today we take opposing views. DDB New Zealand’s work brings a searing spotlight to the issue of advertising’s powerful role as an influencer. Henry and I […]

E102: A conversation with Bob Harrison, creative director at Luckie & Company.

Airs January 25, 2023 Bob Harrison is an old friend and colleague from my Minneapolis days. He worked for me as a copywriter when I ran the British Airways NA loyalty programs advertising business. Today, he’s a respected and award-winning creative director/writer at Luckie & Company in Birmingham, AL. And I could not be more […]

Emotion, reason and the unique selling proposition

Originally published April 2011 How do people make decisions? I’m not asking about the sequence of steps someone takes to arrive at a choice between, say, two options when she goes shopping for new jeans. I’m asking, rhetorically, what part of the brain fires on all cylinders when mulling that range of options? We know […]

E101: A conversation with Mara Rada, chief strategist at Feral Corp.

Airs January 18, 2023 On our way from episode 100, we plunge ahead into our next 100 episodes! Today we bring you a fascinating conversation with Mara Rada, chief strategist at Feral Inc. In a short phrase, Mara and her team launch brands from scratch. Most of us in Adland work on existing brands. Mara […]

What I want in a creative brief.

I’m speaking now as a creative, a former copywriter and creative director. I’m speaking as one of the people to whom the creative brief is directed, for whom the brief is written, of whom much is expected once I have this document in my hands. In my hands and my art director partner’s hands. It’s […]

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