Thursday, February 20, 2014

Know thyself.

When I turned 35, I got promoted to Vice President/Creative Group Head at Ally & Gargano. I was their youngest VP and most of my fellow VPs were 15 to 20 years older than I.

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The first thing I realized is that I had to start acting my age.

I had to shelve my usual tentativeness and be more assertive.

I had to, I figured, be as smart and experienced as my peers, even though they had been in the game longer than I had.

That meant, I had to work a little harder than they and measure things a little more carefully.

In other words, I had work to do if I were to live up to my title. I had to prove, every day and in every way, that I deserved it.

Too often we deal with brands who boast how big and important they are, yet when it comes to marketing communications, they act small and pusillanimous. They say they want to come across as sophisticated and up-market, and yet they either do something themselves that looks like it was done by a teenager with a Flip camera, or they give you a budget that is depressingly picayune.

I've said this before and I'm sure I'll say it again.

Important companies do important ads.

Big companies do big ads.

Don't mix metaphors.

If you're competing with, say, Goldman-Sachs, you can't come across like "the Money Store."

Cheap is cheap.

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