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Here at the headquarters.

We didn’t lose an art director, we gained an illustrator.

So, over the weekend we had the privilege of attending Karen’s wedding to Mr. Benjamin Schipper. It was a really beautiful wedding (of course). The bride was elegant and sophisticated, yet sweet and beautiful. The groom was befitting of such a bride. We were especially touched by all the speeches at the reception. Everyone talked about prayer. We talked to some professors and esteemed professionals from our industry. Every single person spoke glowingly about Ben. Until that evening, we had only enjoyed limited time with him. So it was encouraging to hear so many third-party, unsolicited endorsements of both his…

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There is always hope—win a Banksy print!

We’re starting out the new year by sprinkling the love! We have two fine-art, mounted canvas prints of the Banksy installation, “There is always hope.” And we’re going to give them away. Maybe to you! At 5:00 on January 6, we are going to put all of the names of all of our Facebook friends and LinkedIn followers into a hat. Karen Kong will mix the names up, so that nobody can stack the deck. And Elizabeth Bordeaux (known for her prudence and forthrightness) will draw two names. If your name is drawn, we will contact you for shipping information.…

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Throwback Thursday—Abuse for Two.

Here’s a case study that is sufficiently terrifying for October 31. And this is not make believe. Believe it or not, women in America are more likely to be battered during pregnancy than at any other time. We developed this campaign back in 1994-96 to promote this horror. Take a look. Let us know what you think. Check out the television here:

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Adverbs. The barnacles of the English language.

If you need an adverb you got the wrong verb. Unless you’re William Shakespeare and you’re describing “the most unkindliest cut of all,” you’ll do well to avoid adverbs. They are barnacles on the hull of your composition. They slow you down as your prose glide through the waters of audible meaning. They hitch a ride and eat into the metal of your sentence structure. They make lovely paragraphs ugly and ugly paragraphs uglier. The English language is simple. Nouns. Verbs. Periods. Exclams. Question marks? Okay. Our beautiful mother tongue, when it sticks to its Anglo-Saxon roots, is a kiss,…

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What makes a great meeting?

Spent some good quality time with our friends Jerry and Karen Denny over the weekend. They are a breath of fresh air! Jerry is an expert on a few things. And one of those things is meetings. He is currently a traveling Bible teacher, but in his past life he was a product manager and trainer for a large technology company. So, he has a lot of practical insight. Here are a few things we gleaned from our conversations:1. A meeting needs a purpose. If your meeting has no purpose, you can’t know whether you accomplished anything. You can’t know…

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Reason Z: Why clients overpay—another reason one needs a plan.

As we approached Y2K, we MacIntosh people had a joke about Microsoft. “Everyone’s in a panic, because Microsoft didn’t plan on 2000 following 1999.” Ha-Ha-HA. Anyhow, the whole panic of the Y2K “virus” created a short-term bubble in the demand for software developers (and consequently in the earning capacity of software developers). Everyone was in a race to find and fix all of the date sensitive bits and pieces of all the software in … the … WORLD! It had to be done, and it had to be done now, before the clock struck twelve and who-knows-what-will-happen. So, for about…

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3 reasons for lists.

In the digital universe, lists win. It’s just a fact. If you want readers, you make a list. Top five third basemen in the minor leagues. Top 100 death metal albums. Top three swimsuit models. Top six most memorably annoying moments of this reality TV season. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. So, in the interest of doing what all the cool people do, here is a list of reasons for lists in social media.1. A list gives us a sense of hierarchy. Winners. Losers. Tweeners. Gives us something to relate to. Someone to root for. 2. A list creates a…

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Phunny Headlines. Punny Headlines. Rubber chickens.

William Shakespeare used puns. In fact, he might have invented them. In a headline, a pun can be effective in the same way a double entendre can be, but with similar risks. A double entendre, which is very common in advertising, runs two great risks. First, there is the risk that the reader won’t get it. In which case, the headline falls flat. Of course, you can always appeal to the two percent rule (that a very low percentage of your readers will get the joke, feel smart, and elevate your hipness quotient while deepening your brand’s relationship with those…

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What constitutes “creative?”

A while back, I was having a conversation with John Warner. If you aren’t familiar with John, he is a consultant, venture capitalist, and all-round visionary. John mentioned the book, The Rise of the Creative Class. This kicked off a discussion of what exactly constitutes “creative.” Our industry has always defined the term rather narrowly. In advertising, “creative” is the term for the people and processes by which promotional concepts are conceived, developed, and produced. The Rise of the Creative Class (and John) define the term more broadly. They would include engineers, architects, city planners, software developers… as well as…

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Mentors.

I’ve been thinking lately about my mentors. What’s funny is how different each of them is (was) from me and how different they are (were) from each other. My first mentor was my Grandfather Davies (my mother’s father). He was an upwardly mobile, politically conservative, Welsh coal miner turned steel worker. He died on Groundhog Day, a week before I turned five, so I had a short time to learn a lot of stuff. From him I learned that flowers are important (he lived in a shotgun house in a not-too-affluent neighborhood, which he decorated with flowers…wild and otherwise). I…

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4 Hurdles for community bank marketers. READ BLOG >

8 Bank Marketing Priorities—in order. READ BLOG >

“What does the data say? READ BLOG >