*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.

These Starbucks Ads Prove Texting Will Never Beat Real Life Interactions

Elite Daily:

In each instance, someone sparks the conversation with a remark they wouldn’t be able to make if the people weren’t face-to-face, such as “I know that look!” or “You’re blushing.”

I found these commercials from BBDO when I read about the new documentary for Starbucks by 72andSunny. While I love the idea of the 24 hour global documentary, the execution didn’t move me the way these ads do. They came out a few weeks ago.

Most of all, I love the nuance of these spots. I wish I could’ve been in the room when they were sold to hear how they convinced the client that people would understand that people weren’t texting in a Starbucks.

As much as I’m drawn to the new real-time documentary approach that brands are taking, it’s still hard to beat a good :30 second spot.

Bassett & Partners: “Briefly”


Is the creative brief one that gives you direction for your work or is it just a nonfunctional formality piece? Founder of brand and design strategy firm Bassett & PartnersTom Bassett, decided to explore just that in a short film. 

"The best briefs are audacious and seemingly impossible"— John Boiler, 72andSunny. The topic of the creative brief has been pretty much bludgeoned to death. But, this film, shows the power and beauty of a good brief from the perspective of architects, authors and agencies. Beautifully crafted and inspiring.

Kirsten Dunst: “Aspirational”


In the age of Instagram, it’s not what you know or even who you know. What’s really important is who you stop for in the middle of the road and force to take a selfie. In the case of Aspirational — a satirical short written and directed by Matthew Frost for Vs Magazine — Kirsten Dunst is on the awkward end of this exchange. 

This makes me cringe in so many ways. It was that well done.

Zumba: “Contagious”

Take something that looks ridiculous in a room and put it out on the streets. Genius. Every facet of this spot is perfection- casting, choreography, editing, music. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a spot that hits it out of the park on every dimension. The extended cut (shown) is the one to watch. 

Another thing I love about this spot is that Janet Champ, one of my early ’90s Nike ad heroes was the CD/Writer on this. Creative powerhouse longevity always gives me hope.

David Abbott memo warns of future adland mediocrity

Creative Review:

When Abbott died earlier this year, there were many tributes to his skills as an excellent copywriter and agency leader. Yet, this memo – intended only for internal staff – shows that in 1994, he was deeply aware of the significant changes that were sweeping across the ad industry, and would change the way that creative departments were run. The memo shows how Abbott’s creative principles were inherent to AMV, and also proves sentient to the changes about to come.

Oh, HELL yes. I agree with every single thing in this memo. Too often, agencies feel that creative shoot-outs are a way to flex their muscle. They think they will impress clients with their bounty of work. A savvy client would realize that this isn’t the best way to get good work. I love the notion in this memo that it actually devalues what we do.

I wish more CCO’s and ECD’s would hearken back to this kind of thinking. In an era where development is nearly non-existent, it’s a way to make teams feel valuable. Accountability and autonomy are the only ways we will foster and develop talent to foster and develop talent. . 

The Fableists: “The Epic Thread”

Lovely, whimsical tale of a girl and her dog following the thread to her t-shirt to understand how it’s made. This may be my favorite brand name, ever. The Fableists was created from a desire to know where their children’s clothes came from. The voice over is brilliant and the animation literally sucks you into the scene and makes you feel like you’re falling down and up hills.

SpY: “Error”


»error« street art in stavanger (norway)

(via nevver)

Paint pretty much anything on the side of a building and you have my attention. Paint big beautiful type that provokes thought and you have my heart. This artist started as a graffiti artist in the 80’s and has explored other ways to create urban commentary. 

Gatorade Sends Derek Jeter off with ‘Made in New York’ Commercial

bleacher report:

“Made in New York” is the latest product of the Jeter Farewell Tour consortium, a veritable cottage industry of sports goods and apparel companies scrambling to wring every last drop of publicity out of the shortstop’s final days in the league.

Clearly, we all want to believe that athletes are inherently good. Jeter has almost become a franchise for brands who also are looking to back solid human beings. What could have been cliche- Frank Sinatra, black and white, meet and greet footage, is humanistic and potent. He really does look like one of the good guys. The touch at the end of 2 becoming part of the G2 logo was nice. 

I asked Kevin Roddy if he would talk about his thoughts on climbing the ladder to creative leadership.

I first heard Kevin Roddy speak at the One Show’s Creative Leaders Retreat last February. He spoke of the difference between a Creative Director and a Creative Leader. It was as if he’d opened my journal (if I had one) and read through my questions and challenges with the transition I was experiencing. He has the most nuanced grasp on the topic of anyone I know, because he’s lived it. I asked him to reprise some of his talk here and he has done so in spades. He challenges us all to think twice about taking that promotion.

I’m going to talk about “career suicide.” You know, that oh-so-happy topic dealing with the self-imposed extermination of your day job—when you turn it from a successful job in advertising into a successful job folding fleece pullovers at Old Navy.

How does it happen? Why does it happen? And how on earth can someone like yourself stop it from happening to someone like yourself?

Believe it or not, most career annihilation doesn’t happen because of a lack of talent or a lack of ambition or even because you take too many tequila shots before noon (although, don’t get me wrong, those are all bad things for a career), it happens when you bite off more than you can chew. It happens when you believe you’re better than you are and that you can do a job before you actually can.

Too many creative people in this business want to climb the creative ladder ten rungs at a time. And too many advertising agencies are happy to help them try.

But why the rush?

Well, I can imagine that the promise of more money is a compelling reason. Or more power. Or a bigger office and a window. Or a sexier title on a business card that you can hand out at the bar. I can imagine there are all sorts of wild and wonderful things that people believe come with the next rung up the ladder. 

But none of those things actually matters if it’s only a doorway to Old Navy.

The truth, as I’ve seen it, is that when a creative person in advertising takes a higher job before they’re truly ready, and they fail (which happens more often than not), they almost never recover. Because when they fail they lose confidence in themselves and the industry loses confidence in them—and confidence is a necessary additive to the potion that makes success.

A wise man once told me, “It’s a marathon not a sprint.” He also said, “Build a strong foundation and things will last longer.” That wise man was John Hegarty, so if you don’t believe me, believe him.

This business is notorious for putting creative people on a career rocket sled without a seat belt. And creative people are notorious for letting them. This business is very good at seeing a creative person doing one or two great pieces of work and then saying, “Hey, here’s a new job where you can help other people do what you just did.”

But it ain’t that simple. Believe me.

The way to avoid it actually is quite simple … control your own destiny. But do it with open eyes and an honest self-appraisal of your abilities. Not to mention a true understanding of what success looks like in that job above. Because then, and only then, can you decide if you’re ready and want to move up.

You need to understand that moving up the so-called creative food chain of advertising means moving into very different jobs—different jobs that require very different skills to be effective. Being a writer or an art director is a whole lot different than being a creative director. And being a creative director is a whole lot different than being a creative leader. They may seem alike but, man oh man, they are far from it.

So if you want to be effective, if you want to be successful all along the way and actually last longer in this business, do what you’re good at. You can always be looking at the next job, but just don’t take it before you are truly ready. And the first step to knowing that you’re ready is to really know what success looks like. To know what will be needed of you so that you can decide if you’re good at that … can be good at that … want to be good at that … or are better off staying put and not even trying.

Generally, my advice is that while you are learning about the job above you, you should spend more time than you think getting “great” at the job you’re currently in. Think of it this way, the better you are at your current job, the better you’ll be able to help the person who gets that job once you’ve climbed a rung. And helping the people below you will always be one of the most important parts of any job you have on the ladder. The people below you are even more important to your success than the ones above you, because they are the ones that make you look good. Or not.

Career suicide is often just that, suicide. I’d like to believe it’s murder, but it usually isn’t. And that’s because you have more control over your own success or failure than you think. As I mentioned before, agencies will offer you the moon to move up the ladder, but you are the one who does it when you’re ready (success) or not (suicide).

At The One Club’s Creative Leaders Retreat (an event I would highly recommend), I gave a seminar on knowing the difference between Creative Direction and Creative Leadership. I won’t bore you with it now, but knowing differences like that and how to be successful at either or both is critically important to your trip up the creative ladder. I suggest you learn all that you can and be patient along the way. Know what will be expected of you on the next rung and be honest with yourself that you want it and can do it.

If you do, well, that job at Old Navy can just go screw itself. You’ve got better things to do.

image Kevin Roddy Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, Riney, San Francisco
Chairman Emeritus, The One Club
Metro: “News worth sharing”

Metro: News worth sharing
Agency: Rethink Via

Genius new product innovation. A shared newspaper. Rethink is always fresh and original. 

Metro: “News worth sharing”


Metro: News worth sharing

Agency: Rethink Via

Genius new product innovation. A shared newspaper. Rethink is always fresh and original.