*Eunoia is the shortest word in the English language that contains all five vowels. It means beautiful thinking. This blog is a collection of just that, beautiful thinking from the worlds of art, advertising and culture.

Nike: “Genealogy of Innovation”

Minneapolis Egotist:

The film tracks back to Nike’s humble beginnings and takes us on a journey through their key innovative designs across seven game-changing eras — 43 years of history and 200 shoes. 

I love when projects that could easily be handed off to the Jr team are treated with love and care. Maybe this was done by the Jr. team—who knows? But the detail is deep. The periods are aptly named and the shoes are represented differently for each period complete with graphics and music shifts.  

Packaging: Coven Vodka

Communication Arts:

By day, Coven Vodka is a simple, elegant package. But darkness changes everything. When the lights go down, the ritual begins. The glow-in-the-dark overprint on the front label emerges to show a gathering of witches—some creepy, some seductive—all of them dark and foreboding.

Just broke in Design 2014 Annual. Love when concept drives execution—especially in packaging.

Guinness Africa launches ‘made of black’ campaign with Kanye West ad

Brand Republic:

"Through #madeofblack we will provide a stage for those who are an inspiration to others, as they carve their own path with confidence, flair and boldness."

Guinness boldly builds on their current “made of more” tagline. What i love about this is that they didn’t do this to appeal to a target audience. Yes, it was done for Guinness Africa, but the message isn’t an ethnic one. It’s a cultural one. The only thing that would make this more bold is if they ran it globally.

David Fincher’s Gap Ads Are Surprisingly … Cute?

Vanity Fair:

And the ads are, dare we say it, kind of cute? They depict a series of denim-clad young-uns smooching, scampering, and bopping to pop music. Sure, the ads are black and white and there’s a whiff of S.N.L.’s satirical “Les Jeunes de Paris” to them, but the overall effect is undeniably adorable.

W+K does it again. They brought edge back to Gap with this new campaign. The combination of film noir + normal is perfectly hipster. It’s safe to say- Gap is back.

The Power of +1

If there is anything that I look back on as formative in my career, it’s the idea of being proactive for your clients.

I call it the +1 philosophy.

Yes, clients have assignments, objectives and briefs. They are the basis for the majority of the work that we do. But why stop there? In my experience, the truly magical work happens when you’re not inhibited by a finite assignment. 

Because when advertising becomes invention, it’s unstoppable.

Typically, this kind of thought leadership is called “the big idea.” And today, more and more clients are looking for agencies to bring this level of value to their business. W+K did it recently for Sony. Instead of doing a compelling ad for the waterproof phone (which is table stakes by now anyways) they created a series of apps that activated when the phone was underwater. Essentially, they invented a product to showcase a product. Genius.

The beauty of these +1 concepts is that they don’t have to be airtight or defensible, which makes them inherently more bold. It gives a creative team permission to dream a little. Even if the idea never gets made, the agency still gets credit for going above and beyond, and for working for a client’s greater benefit, not just an estimate. Being a CMO is the hardest job in the industry today. There’s so much scrutiny on ROI that it’s increasingly difficult to take risks and be bold.

Years ago, we had a client who wanted us to do some FSI’s for their product—canned tomatoes. We did the research, wrote the brief and then did some of the most beautiful FSI’s that ever graced a newspaper.

But we knew there was still a residual skepticism around the idea that canned tomatoes were as good as fresh. And no matter how clever our headline was, it was hard to win that argument. So our team came up with an idea to paint a silo on a farm in Southern Indiana to look like a can of tomatoes. First it became a monument to the tomatoes and their origins. Later, it became a landmark.

That’s a classic +1 idea. 

So the next time a brief comes across your desk, ask yourself, “what’s the +1?” It’s good business. And it’s good for the soul.


Find Your Start to a Good Day in SMFB’s Interactive Ikea Spot

Little Black Book:

“‘Where Good Days Start’ celebrates the ordinary – the rituals we all recognize and live – to make for a story that everyone can relate to. IKEA knows life at home like no other, and the start of the day is the most important part of it. 

Delightful piece filled with easter eggs. Make sure you turn the English subtitles on. The dialogue is sweet. My favorite scene was the youngest riding a rocket ship. The blend of animation and cinema is perfect here. The effects enhance vs overpowering the story. IKEA owns imagination and play in a way that no other brand can. Well done.

"Don’t Drop It"

Don’t Drop it - Took me a while to get this one, but I like it :)
Advertising Agency: Grey, Tokyo, JapanVia

Always love a good product demonstration. Especially when it’s potentially dangerous.

"Don’t Drop It"


Don’t Drop it - Took me a while to get this one, but I like it :)

Advertising Agency: Grey, Tokyo, JapanVia

Always love a good product demonstration. Especially when it’s potentially dangerous.

The Creative Brief Is Just A Starting Point. Just Ask Sony.

Will Burnes for Forbes:

We didn’t want to do the obvious thing and show the phone in the toilet, say, or some other everyday water hazard. Instead, we wanted to focus on fun, real apps that only work underwater. That way consumers wouldn’t feel the need to be educated about how it works, they would just know – as evidenced by these underwater apps – that it worked.

So smart. So W+K. Invent the product that showcases the product’s best features. The entire series is delightful. The choice of music for each one makes each app endearing.

You’ll Never Hate Mondays Again Thanks to These Boisterous Axe Ads

Little Black Book:

With Axe’s new range of fine fragrance bodysprays, you can feel like a boss every day of the week. These ads are a pep talk to guys to go after Monday and knock Wednesday out of the park. To take advantage of the days where no one else tries

Fun, campy, and dead on for the Axe brand.

The 10 Best Things Coming This September: “Planet Series Beer”

Popular Science:

In the early 1900s, composer Gustav Holst wrote “The Planets,” so that each movement corresponded to one of Earth’s neighbors. Bell’s Brewery salutes that piece by releasing a new beer every two months starting in August. 

Galactic domination at it’s finest. And how refreshing to look back for inspiration for a new product launch. Bells is one of my favorite breweries. Listen to the piece that inspired this beer.