7 ways to keep your thinking stoked, creative and fresh

An art director I once knew had the U.S. Forest Service as a client for nearly 25 years. One project he worked on was a yearly poster, featuring the Forest Service’s iconic Smokey the Bear character. The goal of the poster was pretty straightforward: Remind…

2 simple tweaks to make brainstorming MUCH better

I think it’s safe to say that the word “brainstorm” has packed its dusty things and moved to the cliché section of our language. At one time, it was a smoking hot word, with a corner office in just about every ad agency and corporation…

Are you executing something already dead on arrival?

The marketing presentation deck sitting on my desk was a good quarter inch thick—probably more—perhaps designed to impress with its sheer bulk. I picked it up and admired its unabashed stage presence. It was like a hefty opera singer donning a Wagnerian horned helmet. I…

Want to be a stellar marketer? Master this skill…

“I dunno. They just sucked.” That was the answer I got, and from a friend I’ve known for 20 years no less. We had gone to a concert—an old band from way back that I plead the fifth on revealing—and we were on our way…

The ‘periodic elements’ of social media

This is a little embarrassing to admit, but I’ve kept an index card next to my home computer for the better part of a year (I know, that’s very analog of me). As I’ve poured over social media every day, I’ve used this 4×6” relic…

Awesome improv techniques to boost your creative thinking

I’ve seen the Second City improvisation troop twice in my life. The first time I was on assignment at an agency in Chicago (they brought in Second City to entertain their employees), and once more recently on a cruise during a stormy night (a much-needed…