Friday, August 31, 2018

What do we do?

I am not looking for a job. But some friends are. So every-so-often I look at the job notices that come my way on Linked In. Not only is it hard for me to understand what people do for a living anymore, many seem to me like they've been written with a rusty axe.

Here are a few I've come across lately. 

Try not to gag. (And this is not a gag.)

We’re the driving force behind life changing digital work for our clients and our agency. We’re seeking a VP, Digital Strategist with passion for making an impact, a curiosity to seek out whats next, and the ability to bring amazing ideas to life. We’re shaping the way the industry thinks about innovation in the healthcare space and we need you!

As a Digital Strategist, your primary responsibility will be delivering results-oriented digital strategies and plans for several clients. You will be working with the Director of Digital Strategy to lead the Discovery phase of our process, engaging clients, account teams, and partner companies to develop and execute a digital strategy that aligns with an overarching brand strategy.

Our aim is to collaborate with clients and agency partners to build and shape businesses that fully leverage the opportunities created by the digital economy.

Ultimately, we hope to help our clients to build and shape their businesses by fully leveraging the diverse opportunities created by connecting the unmet needs of people and businesses with the capabilities of convergent technologies.

To further accelerate this ambition, we are looking for an outstanding Vice President/Group Director, Connections Strategy – someone who champions a modern approach to connected experiences for brands; who understands consumer behavior and context, and architects and orchestrates strategic communications to define how brands connect to people in a digital world. 

While our Creative Strategy team inspires and refines the voice of a brand, the Connections Strategy team ultimately defines its expression – where and how it acts – providing a vision and guiding system for integrated and innovative campaigns.

Demonstrating an intimate understanding of how consumers interact with channels and technology, this pivotal role demands a focus on how to most effectively solve clients' business challenges through an orchestrated system of paid, owned and earned touchpoints that inspires connected creativity.

The right candidate will sit at the intersection where creative meets strategy to play a key role in new business and driving our creative approach to mastering clients’ business objectives. The individual we’re seeking should be a highly skilled storyteller adept at gathering, defining, and clarifying insights to drive creative earned solutions that get key stakeholders (media, influencers, etc.) talking—and sharing. We are seeking a dynamic, creative leader who is curious, clever, and loves to motivate. Individual must dazzle a room, sizzle in meetings and command respect with creative, smart thinking. Being an excellent presenter is a must. Our client roster includes some of today’s most notable passion brands across CPG, food, technology, automotive, B2B and experiential, including



Thursday, August 30, 2018

I’m a storyteller, goddammit.

Look, you can take your Homer, your Melville, your Jane freakin Austen, and toss them in the nearest trash bin. If you want to talk about storytelling well, I can tell you a story. I can tell you a thousand stories.

As far as I’m concerned, stories about a white whale, or a struggle against the gods, or even the class and culture dynamics of the gentry in Victorian England, shit, that’s easy. I can tell those stories in my sleep.

Because I'm a storyteller, goddammit.

But I'd like to see those so-called storytellers write a compelling, I-can’t-stop-watching story in just 30 seconds—23, if you take out the product demo, about the utterly astounding absorbent power of a Bounty paper towel.

Now, that takes storytelling, my friend.
And thank goodness, I'm a storyteller, goddammit.

A young man, home in his chic city apartment. Evening. The woman of his dreams is coming over for dinner. He’s trying to impress her with his cooking skill. But get this…he doesn’t know how to cook. And just as he’s about to flambe the duck a la orange, he spills the cabernet! A giant spill and then, the doorbell rings! He’s got to get rid of the spill before the woman arrives. Bounty to the rescue! They embrace! Exeunt.

That’s how it’s done, ladies and germs.

That’s storytelling.

Here’s another one. A young family is new in town and it’s little Jimmy’s first day in school. He sits alone in the lunchroom and unwraps a beautiful sandwich that looks crisp and succulent because his loving Mom has wrapped it carefully and lovingly and cling-freeingly in Saran Wrap. Little Jill, all pigtails and freckles sits next to Jimmy. She admires his sandwich. Jimmy gives her half. They become friends!

That’s how you do it, Herman fucking Melville.

You can take your high-falutin' literature and art. You can take the seminal stories that helped shape the essence of the Western mind. You can toss all those on the ash-heap of history.

They’re old, tired. I’d go so far as to say they're insipid.

I do modern storytelling. Driven by data. Experiential and engaging. Then driven by more data. 

That's how I curate stories around essential human truths. Stories about how to change a refrigerator filter. Human dramas about bratwurst. 30-second epics on buying life insurance for your teenager. Even talking heads on an ugly blue gradated cyc.

That’s storytelling, my friend.

And I am a storyteller, goddammit.

And I gotta go.

I have stories to tell.


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Nobody Asked Me But (there are no heroes edition.)

Nobody Asked Me But….is my occasional tribute to the stellar New York sportswriter, Jimmy Cannon. When Cannon had a column to write and no idea what to write about, he’d create one of these. I’m, modestly, stealing that page from his Hymn-book.

Nobody asked me but....What are all those User Experience people doing? Most of the websites I go to—especially agency websites—don’t work properly.

…I could give you specifics, but that would only get me in trouble.

…If you live in New York, or love New York, you owe it to yourself to read Robert Caro’s “The Power Broker.”

…Yes, it will take you at least three-months. But it’s worth it.

…Even if you don’t love New York, you should read it for the writing.

….I think Shakespeare’s line from “The Tempest,” “Hell is empty and all the Devils are here” sums up the swamp Trump claims he’s draining.

…Speaking of Trump, he makes me long for the integrity of such American heroes as Spiro T. Agnew.

…I’m not so sure John McCain is the hero people are saying he is. Has everyone forgotten the Keating Five?

…That is, the Savings and Loan scandal that cost the American taxpayer more than World War II.

….Sorry to rain on the hagiography, but enough already.

…He gave us Sarah Palin, after all.

…I think people should follow the guidance of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Before you’re enshrined or deified you ought to be retired for five years.

...Like they say, 'a different perspective is worth 100 points of IQ.'

…Besides, I’ve always believed something I read from the great writer Mark Harris, “the only hero is the man without heroes.”

…After all, there’s a difference between being a hero and doing something heroic.

…That’s an important distinction that most people miss.

…According to a publication called Leading National Advertisers, Comcast spent $5.6 billion (billion with a b) on advertising in 2016.

…Can you imagine spending $5.6 billion promoting yourself and still being universally reviled?

…These lists are harder to write than they look.