Category Archives: honchos

overall …

image below sent to me by miss laurs, inspired (i think) by my latest internet suitor, courtesy of graphjam.


i was thinking more about the overalls dude and wuz reminded of the article from this week’s nytimes mag. excerpt:


Jack Hitt, NYTimes contributing writer: Let me give you a scenario. I’m the somewhat desperate C.E.O. of a company called Jack’s Overalls. We manufacture functional clothes, and in the era of corporate farming, our market is fading. My younger vice presidents are telling me that we need to try new media. So I’m turning to you: Why should I even consider these emerging media? Can’t I just spend my money on old-school, 30-second spots on prime-time television?

LARS BASTHOLM, chief creative officer at AKQA: Well, we do have a ton of different new media and new ways to use them. But before we get there, I would suggest that first, you take a step backward and ask yourself, How do I make my brand relevant? Overalls are a staple of Americana, a cultural icon. The question is, How can you make overalls relevant to people today, and how can you use these different media channels to accomplish that?

BENJAMIN PALMER, the C.E.O. of the Barbarian Group: Your customers in the past have been farmers. Overalls are a commodity.

ROBERT RASMUSSEN, the executive creative director of the Nike account at R/GA: Very functional. And your market is shrinking.

Palmer: So you have to create a new market. Farming may be going away, but what’s on the rise? Right now your overalls are made with special pockets and holders for farming tools. Maybe we retool them for urban farmers, as it were, and their specialized gear. You have special pockets for your iPhone and your BlackBerry, and a pocket for your headphones, another for your wallet, your subway card, your keys.

the article itself is old news … all the stuff they’re saying media companies should do to build brands, they’re already doing (and have been since the late 90’s). the trend will increasingly disintermediate advertising agencies … who needs ’em if you have the right media partners … and within the next 5 years you’ll see brands going directly to the media companies who will, in turn, continue to grow their boutique agency-like capabilities. 


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got to motivate

i found an awesome web site where you can make your own motivational posters. or de-motivational posters if that’s your thing:

to kick off the creativity, i give you a creation from the one and only miss laurs of team building is for suckers that made me pee my shorts:

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we’ve all known for a long time that bill o’reilly is a total douche. many high profile personalities are. many are also total rageaholics to boot. i’ve known a few in my day who’ve go as far as THROW blunt objects at their subordinates. it’s ridiculous. i love when these indiscretions become the world’s business. instant karma. think alec baldwin, david o. russel. and now bill. for a full, wonderful potpourri of bill meltdown videos, be sure to visit team building is for suckers.


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Makin’ Copies!

hat tip to miss laurs!


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Ugh. The term itself makes me wanna blow chunks. There’s little value-added to the term value-added.

Question: if everyone is dealing with the same problem, wouldn’t it be advantageous to mix up the approaches you’re taking? (Hence the appeal of Obama).

I’m so tired of hearing honchos brag about the Harvard MBA’s they’ve got on the payroll. Does a Harvard MBA REALLY add that much value? You like the thought of it … the idea that you can go to the store and buy yourself the exact thing you need. You want to think that Harvard has done some good weeding out for you, more than you could do on your own. And surely they’ve done something valuable … But there are hundreds of other Harvard MBAs where yours came from. And your competitors are hiring them too. They’ve learned similar things at the same time. I’m not saying your guy is bad, I’m just saying you may need to be more creative than that. In addition to him, you might consider, gasp, finding some talented women and minorities. People from different industries, nationalities, backgrounds and cultures. Certainly it’s hard to merge disparate cultures and sensibilities, but that’s  what it takes to  get the  advantage. To compete in today’s crazy mashup world, you actually NEED diversity (as opposed to doing it because you were shamed into it). Different kinds of people, different kinds of thinkers, different kinds of ways of viewing the world. The usual suspects can only take you so far …

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what’s an executive?

a few months back i was in an office with three alpha males under 40 … they nipped at eachother’s ears like frisky little puppies … it was exhausting to watch. the PR guy called the New Media guy an “executive,” to which the New Media guy took offense.

I’m not an executive!

labels matter. and over time i’ve come to the conclusion that New Media guy is a hollywood wannabe. a banker who wishes he were some sort of creative producer/director/shot caller. no one wants to be perceived as the type of heavy that inspires Medellin director Billy Walsh to wear his infamous tshirt. but we all want the dough and the ‘safety.’

Liz Lemmon goes Corporate


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do the dance

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” ─ Jerry Seinfeld

Public speaking can be terrifying. I sympathize with the speakers I work with … and understand why they get so nervous before speaking at a big event. When you go out there live and in person, you are vulnerable. You don’t control everything, and you can’t brute force your audience into agreeing with your point of view. You have to seduce them, and respond to their energy.

People respond favorably to speakers who are present, authentic, and authoritative without being arrogant. And to be authoritative without being arrogant, you have to prepare. Preparing requires thinking and reflecting on what you hope to achieve with the event, and what you want to convey. You also have to understand how the audience sees the world … and how they see you. Regardless of whether their perception is “accurate,” it’s the framework you have to work within.

Even if you have the best prep in the world (i.e. having col on the case), there are wildcards that can derail your best laid plans. In those cases, the best thing you can do is stay in the moment … go with it … do the dance.

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