business, marketing, advertising, branding

What Does a Creative Director Do?

I get asked this question a lot.

Over the years I’ve answered it by describing my functional roles, such as the one who oversees the creative process and team. The gateway between the client, and the client services and the creative departments. The creative bar raiser and standards bearer.

Other times I’ve described my role as cat herder. (If you’ve ever managed writers, designers, art directors, photographers, illustrators and the like you’ll know how appropriate this is.) Surrogate parent. (Don’t get me started on the topic of managing spoiled kids with a misguided sense of entitlement.) Brand and message platform police. (Self explanatory.)

But for the last couple of years, I’ve described what I do thusly: I encourage failure.

On the strange looks I often get, I continue to state that “creative” by its very definition is something that’s never been done before. There is risk involved in developing and championing the unfamiliar. The completely new.

It's important to note that I didn't say "irrelevant" creative. Don't mistake the pursuit of creative for its own sake with contextual creative. A truly creative solution is one that is on strategy, echoes a brand trait and solves the problem at hand.

But it does so in a completely new way. A surprising mash-up. A whole new perspective.

Those who have worked with me have heard me say often that I've not done my job unless I've made the client nervous. (Usually making the client services team nervous first.)

This is the kind of breakthrough, attention-getting, results-generating work I want my creative team and myself to feel free to create.

But if creative people don’t feel secure enough, don’t feel comfortable exposing their hearts and souls without fear of being crushed, don’t feel someone has their back (and their front), then all you’ll get is safe creative. Middle of the road ideas. Rehashed and recycled copy and art.

So my job as a creative director is to encourage failure. To support misfires. To buttress bumbling.

Because out of that free-flowing process will eventually emerge an idea so powerful that it can literally change the future.

A good creative director is one who, as Seth Godin recently wrote, “knows the difference between failures that are better off forgotten and failures that are merely successes that haven't grow up yet.”

So that's my job. I encourage successes that haven’t grown up yet.


A Culture of Non-Stop Innovation is a Culture of Non-Stop Learning.

I’d like to pick up on our past discussions about cultures of innovation. We’ve talked about what makes up a culture of innovation, where it resides, why we need more of it, what can kill it, and how to lead it.

Today I want to talk about how to teach it.

Since no two creative people and no two creative solutions are alike, how do you foster a shared understanding of the principles of creativity so that everyone has an opportunity to experiment, learn and grow?

In our culture of continually accelerating change,
how you learn is vastly more important than what you learn.

While both matter, the ability to quickly absorb and adapt to new information, knowledge and insights is what will keep you from becoming a dinosaur... irrelevant and extinct.

The ability to acquire new knowledge quickly is the fundamental skill that underpins a culture of innovation.

According to Drucker, “Every enterprise is a teaching and learning institution. Training and development must be built into it at all levels – training and development that never stop.”

If you want to build and foster a culture of non-stop innovation, then you must build a culture of non-stop learning and training.

But what does this training look like?

According to our good friend Marty Neumeier, he calls this “branded training.”

It’s training that “bridges the gap between university knowledge and industry knowledge, and between industry knowledge and company knowledge.”

It teaches personal mastery and collaboration, so that “personal mastery can inform collaboration and so that collaboration can inform personal mastery."

This kind of ongoing training and learning is what builds and feeds a culture of innovation.

It identifies and builds the value of your internal brand.

It aligns each individual’s actions in your organization with the overall business strategy.

And, most importantly, it creates happy and loyal customers who are benefiting from this ongoing and rapidly adapting knowledge as it is applied by you to meet and exceed their needs.

If you want a culture of innovation, you must have people who never want to stop learning and who know how to share what they've learned.


The Creative Pitch: Two Schools of Thought.

Without a doubt, ideas are the DNA of the advertising business. Ideas are the stock in trade of advertising agencies and the holy grail of the creatives who staff them.

A powerful idea can put an unknown brand on the map in an instant or can open a new market for an iconic brand and kick its sales into the stratosphere.

It’s more than a bit ironic, and has been the subject of many a contentious debate, that we simply give away these powerful ideas when pitching a new account, without any hope of compensation. Unless, of course, you happen to win the business.

Not only is presenting creative in a new business pitch not going away anytime soon, and it actually has been ratcheted up a few notches in this tough economy, but it is also finding its way into places it traditionally hadn’t been before, such as nonprofit account pitches. (For which I’ll take at least some of the blame.)

Now, we can bemoan the fact that we give away immense brain power on a daily basis to win an account. And we can talk about how demeaning it is to put on a show to prove we know how to put on a show, even though we can demonstrate to clients case after case after case that what we do works and how well it works. But that’s a post for another day.

I want to talk about the pitch itself and the two schools of thought I often find taking place when preparing the creative that is to be presented.

The first I call the shotgun approach and the second is the surgical strike.

Now these are not just different approaches because of how much work is presented, they are completely different core philosophies as well.

In the shotgun approach, the thinking often is to present as much work as possible believing that this will dazzle the prospective client. Often, a lot of time is spent wondering what the client would like to see. Sometimes this question has even been asked of the prospect prior to the pitch.

Now, while on the surface it may make sense to want to please your prospective client. We are in a service business after all. But, bottom line, I think this approach couldn’t be more wrong. Especially in a new business pitch.

To begin with, creating lots of work may seem like it will impress a prospect, and it may actually impress some, but the smart ones will see though this and will come to a couple of conclusions that will not be favorable for you.

First, the client will see that you don’t really have a clear direction. How can they? Your work is all over the place. This will make them uneasy.

First and foremost, if they are a smart and potentially good client, they are holding a review of agencies because they know they need help finding a clear and compelling strategy and direction for their business.

And you certainly haven’t provided that.

Secondly, the client will see that you are simply too eager to please them. If this doesn’t bother them, then they may not be the kind of client you really want. If you have a client that wants to dictate the creative, do you really want to work for them? I certainly don’t.

So what is the right approach to pitching?

Well, I’ll let Lee Clow answer this question. He’s one of the founders and the head creative of one of the most successful and imaginative agencies in the country, Chiat/Day, now TBWA/Worldwide.

In his book,
Casting for Big Ideas, Andrew Jeffe interviewed Clow and asked this very question. Here’s some of what he has to say about pitching:

• Don’t spend too much time trying to figure out what the client wants
to hear. Figure out what you have to tell them.

• Present only ideas you believe in. Every idea you present should be
something you wouldn’t mind doing, not just for a few months but for a
few years.

• If you’re going to show disruptive work, take the time to give it the
context of a business strategy. It’s not disruptive for the fun of it – it’s
disruptive because it’s smart.

• Advertising that maintains the status quo is going to leave the client
company in the same place it was yesterday. Disruptive advertising might be scary at first, but it’s scary for a reason. It’s going to let the brand leap over the competition. Take time to show how this will happen.

• People with disruptive ideas don’t have to be jerks. Be smart and good
and intelligent – not arrogant – but if the client is going to dictate the
advertising, maybe you don’t belong in the room.

What Clow calls “disruptive ideas” are what I was referring to earlier as a “surgical strike.” These are the kinds of powerful ideas that cut so sharply, so directly and so accurately that your target audience has no choice but to notice them, internalize them and respond to them.

Notice I said “your target audience.” Your true audience is not your prospective client, it’s your client’s customers. Don’t mistake one for the other. While you may indeed be pitching to your prospect, it is their customers you are actually targeting.

Powerful, disruptive ideas like this can only come out of a deep, internalized knowledge of the brand and the brand’s customers.

Only from this intimate knowledge can you divine a clear, brilliant and relevant strategy.

Only from such a strategy can come the powerful, relevant and finely honed creative that will put the prospective client’s brand on the map.

And this can only happen with a scalpel, not a shotgun.


The Care, Handling and Feeding of the New Creative Team.

Even though it’s been a while since my last post, I'd like to continue a thread I started a few months ago and resume discussing ways to foster cultures of innovation.

Today I want to talk about a culture of innovation within a culture of innovation, as it were. Namely the creative teams of today’s marketing, advertising and design agencies, as well as creative departments within companies and organizations.

Since the 60’s ad agencies have embraced the Bernbach model for creative departments—which is to pair a writer with an art director to concept, create and present their work internally and to clients.

A number of people in the ad industry have recently been writing about the new creative team model, one that needs to reflect the realities of today’s digital landscape.

The writer and designer have been joined by the UX designer, the digital architect, the code and app builder, the digital and social media planner, the search engine strategist, the SEO copywriter, the Flash designer, the e-commerce designer and others.

In an editorial for
Communications Arts magazine a couple of months ago, Ernie Schenk said that the new creative team model for agencies is an “Avatar” model, where writers, designers and art directors move seamlessly between the online and offline worlds.

Schenk writes, “That’s the key to integration. We need someone who can move seamlessly between here and there, this side and that side, someone who can speak the language of concept and story, but who can also speak the language of digital technology. A bridgeling. A straddler of worlds.”

If you’re a creative director, the one who’s job it is to bring all of these players together to work harmoniously to deliver creative solutions to clients, then your job just got a lot more challenging.

You are now needing to be the conductor of an orchestra instead of a duet.

And the only way to put so many creative, independent, strong-willed people together in one room and not have the effort collapse under the weight of pettiness and confusion is to construct a new model for creative collaboration.

With rare exception, the world of business has been a training ground for non-collaboration, even in our more collaborative world of advertising, by rewarding individuals and departments for independent achievement. It has fed the “Lone Ranger” model of creativity that we all tend to be most familiar with, where peers are considered competitors instead of collaborators.

The benefits of reversing this model, according to Marty Neumeier, are substantial. We now need to build metateams. Neumeier states, “A high-performance metateam can turn an organization into a coherent, agile, muscular entity. It can raise innovation and lower costs. It can be scaled up or down in a moment’s notice.”

He goes on to state that “...for the record, metateams are strictly for grownups. Prima donnas, classroom bullies, and nervous nellies need not apply. Teamwork is an advanced form of creativity, requiring players who are humble and generous.”

While all of this sounds great, there is a common problem we all have with collaboration, which is that smart, well-meaning people tend to disrupt the creative flow by disagreeing. This is certainly no surprise for anyone who has been in even one creative collaborative meeting.

But take heart, it’s not really our fault.

In fact, we can lay the blame for this on Socrates. He and his students, Plato and Aristotle, believed that sound thinking came from discussion rather than dialogue, from finding flaws in the others’ arguments rather than advancing a concept together.

So what’s a creative director to do? How do you get a metateam to bring their unique gifts, independence and finely tuned talents to the table without everyone feeling the need to one-up the other?

Well, for starters, we should listen to Edward de Bono. He’s actually developed a way for us all to work together to solve problems constructively. He calls it “parallel thinking.”

Parallel thinking gets everyone in the group to think in the same direction at the same time, thereby neutralizing our Socratic habit of shooting down ideas before they get a chance to take flight.

In his book,
Six Thinking Hats, de Bono demonstrates the six ways a group can think and work through a problem or opportunity. The “hats” are metaphors for different ways of getting at problems.

By switching from hat to hat as the conversation requires, the group can quickly work through a large number of ideas, completely unencumbered by flow-stopping arguments and emotion-laden attacks.

So here’s an overview of the six hats that can be worn by anyone at any time in a collaborative team meeting:

The WHITE HAT represents information. What do we know about this issue? What are the facts, figures and other data that can guide our work?

The RED HAT represents hot emotion. Normally, there’s no room in meetings to display emotion, so it tends to end up coloring our logical thinking and conclusions instead. What are we feeling about this issue? Excited? Afraid? Curious? This is an opportunity to get it all on the table.

The BLACK HAT represents dark and cautious thinking. This is where most of us excel; it’s the Socratic thinking that reveres the “devil’s advocate” approach. What are the weaknesses of this idea? Why is it likely to fail?

The YELLOW HAT represents thinking that’s positive and sunny. Let’s forget the devil’s advocate for a moment and consider what’s great about this idea or concept. What wonderful things can come out of this approach? Where do we see optimism and hope?

The GREEN HAT represents growth and creativity. What can we do that’s never been done? How can some of our darkest fears be turned into opportunities?

And lastly, the BLUE HAT represents cool objectivity. This is the hat worn by the meeting’s facilitator, who acts as referee and directs the use of the other hats.

By allowing everyone in a collaborative meeting to wear any and all of these hats, which as you can see is a completely transparent and inclusive process, large-scale problem solving, agreement and buy-in will certainly result. And if done correctly, it can happen relatively quickly, even in large, metateam meetings.

It’s amazing how much forward progress can be made when a collaborative meeting doesn’t get bogged down in petty defensiveness and self-preserving posturing. Parallel thinking like this fosters the kind of humility and generosity that true teamwork requires.

Try this at your next creative meeting. Write the hat colors and what they stand for on the conference room white board and let whomever is talking state which hat they are wearing. I think you’ll find that in no time at all your meetings will become extremely productive and fruitful as a result.

And when you consider that Socrates has been dead since 399 BC, don’t you think it’s time we found a more productive approach for exchanging ideas that reflects our 21st century realities? I certainly do.

So while you’re sitting there considering how parallel thinking can make your job as a creative director that much easier, I’ll need to ask you to pardon me—I’m going hat shopping.


The Aesthetics of Management

As a writer, painter and Christian, I resonate on a number of levels with the 13th Century philosopher and theologian, Thomas Aquinas.

For the purpose of our ongoing discussion on building and leading cultures of innovation, I want to focus on Aquinas’ premise that three qualities are required for beauty: integrity, harmony and radiance.

INTEGRITY is the quality of standing out from the background. HARMONY is how the parts relate to the whole. RADIANCE refers to the pleasure we feel when we experience beauty.

And, according to Aristotle, the language of beauty is aesthetics.

While the world of art and culture are fluent in the language of beauty and aesthetics, the world of business is not. At least not yet.

But it soon will be.

According to Marty Neumeier, author of the book, The Designful Company, which has also been the source of much of the content in my last three posts, “The same principles that activate other forms of art will soon be essential to the art of management.”

He believes that the more technological our culture becomes, the more we will need the sensual and metaphorical power of beauty.

While we can easily apply the principle of aesthetics to the design of a web page, the contours of a type font and the textures of a painting, Neumeier says we can also apply them to the principles of management.

“For example, when you increase differentiation, you are using the principle of integrity. When you optimize synergy, you’re using harmony. And when you enhance customer experience, you’re using radiance.”

Businesses and organizations striving to create and foster a culture of innovation need leaders who not only speak the language of business, but who are also fluent in the language of aesthetics.

Here are the elements that make up the discipline of aesthetics to which Neumeier has applied his Aesthetics of Management:

CONTRAST: How can we differentiate ourselves?

DEPTH: How can we succeed on many levels?

FOCUS: What should we NOT do?

HARMONY: How can we achieve synergy?

INTEGRITY: How can we forge the parts into a whole?

LINE: What is our trajectory over time?

MOTION: What advantage can we gain with speed?

NOVELTY: How can we use the surprise element?

ORDER: How should we structure our organization?

PATTERN: Where have we seen this before?

REPETITION: Where are the economies of scale?

RHYTHM: How can we optimize time?

PROPORTION: How can we keep our strategy balanced?

SCALE: How big should our business/organization be?

SHAPE: Where should we draw the edges?

TEXTURE: How do the details enliven our culture?

UNITY: What is the higher order solution?

VARIETY: How can diversity drive innovation?

The language of beauty and aesthetics may sound strange to the ear of business, at least it will at first. But only because it hasn’t been listening to those who have already been speaking it, some for quite a while now.

Buckminster Fuller, the renowned American architect, author, designer, inventor, and futurist said, “When I’m working on a problem, I never think about beauty. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.”

I’ve got a way to link aesthetics to business in a very powerful way, and it will only take two words.

These two words can literally weld aesthetics and business together in a seamless bond that will stand the test of time.

Simplicity and efficiency.

Not only are these two words the twin threads that run through the discipline of aesthetics, they are also the goal of every business and organization on the planet.

If you want your business to run efficiently as it fosters innovation and manages change, forget bringing in the so-called efficiency experts. Just hire more
third-brain thinkers.

And, if you’re interested, all three of mine are for rent. Winking


How to Lead a Culture of Innovation

For the last two weeks we’ve been talking about innovation—what it’s made of, where it resides, why companies and organizations need more of it and what can kill it.

This week I want to talk about leading a culture of innovation.

Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor and author of the book, “Supercapitalism,” said the job of leadership is to help people overcome denial and cynicism so they can “close the gap between the ideal and reality.”

This is the gap we discussed last week that lies between “what is” and “what could be.”

This gap can be hurdled by people in a company or organization when their leader articulates a compelling vision that gives them the courage to innovate — a vision so enticing, so soul-stirring and inclusive that it rivets everyone’s attention.

A compelling core vision of what a company or organization stands for and where it is headed can inspire a surprising amount of passion.

Deep, soul-stirring passion results in a culture that releases the talents of its people and, given enough time, will exceed its own expectations.

Unimaginative leaders reach for a vision from the ready-made rack and then wonder why their leadership has no followship.

Few people feel inspired by safe and easy.

Howard Shultz, the founder of Starbucks, put it this way: “Who wants a vision that is near-fetched?”

While a culture of innovation must be led from the top, it doesn’t necessarily need to start at the top.

The spirit of innovation and revolution already exists in the hearts and minds of motivated employees.

Often, a leader needs to only act as a managing editor, shaping the ideas to align with the shared vision.

But here’s where it can get tricky.

A moment ago I mentioned that innovative cultures will invariably exceed expectations, but the key to this is “given enough time.”

Two weeks ago I mentioned an ad agency I worked for that had created an environment completely counter to innovation.

But this agency didn’t start out that way.

When I came onboard it had a deep, soul-stirring vision of the future and it wanted me to help it get there. They said this was the very reason they hired me.

But the agency’s leadership couldn’t maintain this vision when times got tough.

It backpedaled, reverting to its old ways of thinking and working, defaulting to the comfort of the familiar rather than continue down the unchartered terrain of the future.

The spirit of innovation can be a tenuous and fragile thing and will die if not fed.

Building and leading a culture of innovation is not for the fainthearted.

It requires leaders who will not back down in the face of adversity or retreat to safe and easy when met with external and internal resistance.

And I guarantee that resistance will indeed come. Usually sooner than you think.

The market may not yet be ready for what you’re offering. Customers will resist change or not yet see the value. Fellow employees who fear change will grumble and voice doubt.

This is when leaders discover what they’re really made of.

Will you adhere to the far-fetched, awe-inspiring vision of the future or retreat to the near-fetched, spirit-crushing myopia of the past?

There’s only one right choice if you are looking to maintain and lead a culture of innovation.

I know it’s not an easy choice. Particularly in the heat of shrinking margins, lost clients and uncomfortable change.

If it was easy then every company and organization would be fostering a culture of innovation.

But it is truly worth the effort.

Just ask companies like Google, Facebook, Starbucks and Apple.

So if you lead your people with vision and courage, holding steady to the course needed to foster innovation, then one day you will be adding your company or organization to the above list.

(When you do, call me. I could use the work. Winking

The Third Brain

I’d like to continue last week’s topic and talk some more about innovation and creativity and the need for businesses and organizations to foster more of both.

A lot has been written about our two-hemisphere brain, and I’m sure you’re familiar with the scientific discoveries in right-brain-left-brain functionality and the various attributes assigned each hemisphere.

Essentially, the two sides of our brain enable us to solve problems with both logic and intuition.

While each of us tends to favor one over the other, both sides of our brain can work together to solve problems, which is called “third-brain” thinking.

Third brain thinking lies between inductive reasoning (observation) and deductive reasoning (proof). Or better yet, it flips between both at any given moment and becomes “abductive” reasoning, which falls in the realm of creativity and imagination.

In other words, third brain thinkers see what could be instead of only what is.

Third brain thinkers have the ability to zoom in and zoom out on a creative problem — zooming out to see the bigger strategic picture and then zooming in to concentrate on the details, much like an artist working on a painting.

Third-brain thinkers tend to have the following traits in large quantities: empathy, intuition, imagination and idealism.

Unfortunately, the business world tends to translate these qualities as soft-hearted, illogical, scatterbrained and obstinate.

So let’s look at why businesses and organizations need more people with these very qualities.

Empathy: In today’s customer-centric world, people who truly understand how customers and supporters think, feel and act are worth their weight in gold credit cards.

And people with empathy form strong bonds with partners, fellow employees, contractors and their own staff. Tell me how that’s a bad thing?

Intuition: People with intuition see the whole picture. While the logical mind works through a problem in a linear a-then-b-then-c-then-d fashion, the intuitive mind jumps around in a d-to-b-to-m fashion, throws in z-x-p for good measure and, oh, by the way, did I mention q?

When logic is combined with intuition, you have the makings of a great leader. And what business or organization can’t use more of those?

Imagination: Do I really need to defend this one? New ideas only come from divergent thinking, not convergent thinking. Someone once said, “You can’t dig a new hole by digging the same one deeper.”

People with imagination come with their own shovels and a penchant for virgin soil.

Idealism: If your company’s or organization’s goal is to transform an existing situation into a new one, then you need people who are often described as histrionic, headstrong and pensive.

Idealists are notorious for focusing on what’s wrong, what’s missing and what needs to be changed.

Idealists can be hard to put up with at times, but they thrive on change and know how to make it happen.

If you want change to occur in your business or organization, you need at least one idealist with policy-making clout.

If you look inside today’s leading and growing companies and organizations, I bet you’ll find most are led and managed by third-brain thinkers.

After all, three brains are better than one.


Why the Elimination of Error Should be Eliminated.

I want to talk about something that has been bothering me for a few years now.

The ruthless elimination of error in corporate America.

This quest has been one of the most sought after business management objectives throughout much of the last century.

I even worked at an ad agency that put a quality management/error reporting process in place that was meant to eliminate mistakes across the entire agency, from creative to production.

While errors were indeed reduced, innovation also died. It was murdered. In cold blood.

If your goal is to kill innovation, then all you need to do is foster an environment where the fear of failure, aversion to unpredictability and preoccupation with maintaining the status quo at all costs rule the day.

Innovation will dissolve faster than Dracula in daylight.

And it did. Along with my soul as this agency’s creative director.

Innovation doesn’t follow fixed process rules. Creativity is usually messy and ambiguous. Errors are integral to the creative process that leads to true innovation.

If you want to foster innovation in your organization, then you must embrace error, not fear it or seek to stamp out even the hint of it, as this ad agency tried to do.

I’m not saying that your organization should run on chaos and anarchy or that all the safety mechanisms on your machines be ignored. That would just be silly.

But there is a middle ground.

It lies somewhere between logic and intuition. Somewhere between algorithms and experiments.

This middle ground, where paradox is embraced, where creative tension and the freedom to fail is braved and encouraged, is where the smart, innovative organizations live and thrive.

An innovative organization that allows and encourages its people to fail and fall, will find themselves almost always falling forward.


3 Steps to Brand Building.

It’s been said that your brand is nothing more than the promises you keep, not the ones you make.

Your brand is built upon who your customers or supporters believe you to be, what you do and how you do it, not who you think you are or what you would like to do.

Communicating with your audience in a way that resonates with them is hinged on building your marketing or fundraising communications on an authentic brand platform.

With an authentic brand platform you can begin to create truly effective and powerful marketing or fundraising communications by following these three steps:

1) Redefine your brand values and make them distinctive.

Don’t make the mistake of saying the same things your competitors
are saying. Don’t rattle off the same tired, thread-bare clichés about quality, value and service, for instance.

Either define these values in more distinct ways, or find other relevant values inherent to your brand and use these to build your brand personality and messaging platform.

2) Build intelligence, surprise, and wit into the brand personality and its expression.

Don’t talk down to your audience, talk up to them.

Treat your audience as the smart, good-humored people they are and they will reward you with their attention and support.

3) Get attention by being truly different.

But don’t mistake different for irrelevant.

And don’t mistake clever for creative.

Your communications must reflect relevant brand truths.

Creativity that doesn’t reflect who you really are or that is simply creative for it’s own sake will ring hollow and feel shallow.

Done right, getting attention by being different is a license to create something that’s never been done before.

And remember, being truly different and doing something that’s never been done before takes a lot of courage.

So, if you make your brand authentic, distinctive, intelligent, witty and different, you’ll be noticed, followed, purchased and supported. Sounds simple, but it isn't easy.



Greetings and welcome to my new blog, which I'm calling, "Weekly DeVeau-tions."

Given that I'm about six or seven years behind the curve in producing this blog, I hope to make it worth the wait.

Not that I think you've been waiting for me to blog, 'cause that would be silly.

That is unless you happen to be my mom, or my wife or one of my kids. Which, now that I think of it, may very well be the entire readership of this blog.

But if you're not related to me and want to know what this blog is all about, I'll be posting here once a week or so to talk about the business of writing copy for branding, marketing and fundraising communications across all mediums.

Big surprise, huh?!

I'll be sharing some of what I've learned over the last thirty or so years as a writer and creative director with twelve advertising agencies in Boston and Chicago, working for some of the world's most prominent Fortune 500 companies, blue-chip brands and non-profit organizations.

If you were hoping for a blog covering the reasoning behind the use of Bayesian inference to measure the validity of a given physical theory, then you're in the wrong place.

And if you actually know what the Bayesian inference is, then you're definitely in the wrong place.

But if you're interested in topics such as how to build a brand platform, making valid brand promises, customer and donor retention, the use of humor, writing taglines and similar deeds of daring do, as well as an occasional rant or two, then please stop by every week or so to see what's new. (Or to see what's old and only looks like it's new.)

So bookmark this page or subscribe to the RSS feed and drop by again.

Until then, you'll find me writing copy and directing creative for my clients. (Or you'll find me chasing a little white ball around the golf course. And if you do, please tell my clients I'm working.)

You'll also find me Googling words like "Bayesian inference."