New York Times columnist Stuart Elliot writes,
CONTESTANTS on reality competition shows perform tasks like seeking spouses, racing around the world, eating bugs, losing weight, living in houses rigged with cameras and working for Donald J. Trump. A new series is arriving with a contest all its own: wooing advertisers to say yes to campaigns.
The series is “The Pitch,” after the pitch process by which agencies compete for assignments from marketers. (Perhaps the title of a coming reality series on TBS may be a better fit: “King of the Nerds.”)
“The Pitch” will appear on the AMC cable channel, which is seeking to increase its offerings in the unscripted genre that include “Comic Book Men” and “Talking Dead,” a live talk show about its hit scripted series “The Walking Dead.” …Read more
I don’t shoot the messenger. Ever.
When someone brings up bad news, raises a controversial subject, or just tells the ugly truth in a meeting, I go out of my way to praise the messenger right there and then.
I want to make an example of them for everyone else. THIS is what I’m looking for. Honesty. Openness. Realness. Challenge.
If you don’t do this, you will hear less and less of the truth. And then where will you be?
Early in my career, I came in to find I had a new boss. It wasn’t long before he shared with me the following priceless and absolutely useless advice, “Mark, being too smart can be a disadvantage in this business.”
Inside my big brain, I thank him every day for the motivation that remark still gives me. Every successful day of my career is at least in part a victory over the stupid, thoughtless, and hackish impulses that are inside of every one of us.
Of course, he did have a point. A workhorse is much easier to ride than a thoroughbred. The more power you have under the hood, the harder you are going to have to work to keep that vehicle on the road. We all know brilliant people who can’t seem to get anywhere. But, once you learn to ride that thoroughbred, or drive that Formula One… you find yourself flying through scenery the old workhorse couldn’t even imagine.
There are so many excuses. So many shades of red and yellow light. You need to see these for what they are, or you’re going to take “Wait” for an answer.
We never get all the facts. Speed chess masters. Champion poker players. Genius stock traders. Anyone who runs a business, a marketing campaign or a brand – they all have one thing in common. They make better decisions with nothing like all the facts.
In other words, they gaze into the same cloudy ambiguity that everyone else sees, and they choose a better path.
You will too. In order to do this well, you’ll need to understand a bit about the irrational biases and the distortions and limitations that the human mind — yes, even yours – brings to the table. You need to be able to see these things so that you can plan against them in yourself, and so that you can address, correct or exploit them in others.
You will need to be come and applied behavior economist. Good news is, you probably already are one. Now you just need to get better.
All of us. We are taught what it should be, but we’re not taught what to do about it.
Jason Fried, founder of 37 Signals, the little firm behind revolutionary products like Ruby on Rails open source programming language and BaseCamp, writes in his wonderful book REWORK, “Start making something.”
He quotes director Stanley Kubrick’s advice to aspiring filmmakers:
“Get hold of a camera and some film and make a movie of any kind at all.”
Kubrick knew that when you’re new at something you need to start creating. The most important thing is to begin. So get a camera, hit Record, and start shooting.
Tim Tebow is currently the hottest property in the sports world, but he is fast becoming Hollywood’s hottest property as well. The New York Jet is signed to the sports division of leading Hollywood agency CAA, following an alleged battle between the top agencies, who all wanted a piece of Tebow.
But could all the Tinseltown-type attention jeopardize his game and wholesome Christian image?
The NFL sensation – who works with brands like Nike, Jockey International and EA Sports, was even turned into a superhero “Super Tim” by Marvel Comics last year, and has been romantically linked to the likes of Taylor Swift and Diana Argon. Tebow’s also in-demand when it comes to A-list Hollywood parties.
All-in-all, Tebow is now considered a “number one get” for Manhattan and L.A party planners. With that, he has also become top prey for the paparazzi – and was even snapped getting a pedicure/manicure in Los Angeles this week. His fashion choices and sex symbol status are also routinely a subject of debate in the weeklies and online gossip sites.
But the Jets are reportedly trying to curb just how much Tebow can lend his name to.
“The Jets are trying to limit his endorsements and off the field commitments to ensure his focus remains on the field. If it becomes distracting, it could affect the team,” an insider told us. “There is definitely jealously among players if one starts earning too much money off-the-field, and after Tiger Woods, all sponsors and endorsers are increasingly skeptical.”
Still, another source close to the athlete shot down the rumors as being“not true,” and said the team wasn’t trying to limit Tebow’s endorsements or social presence.
Regardless, according to California-based publicist and sportswriter Angie Meyer, Tebow’s image could be tainted by Tinseltown if he doesn’t keep a relatively low profile.
“Athletes who mingle in Hollywood tend to lose both reliability and credibility from teammates, coaches and often times, fans,” explained publicist and founder of *, Angie Meyer. “If Tim Tebow wishes to remain a Christian role model, he must keep a far distance from Hollywood and celebrity. In order for him to improve his football career, and maintain his integrity within both the NFL and the religious communities, he should stay out of the tabloids completely.”
Lindsay McCormick, Comcast SportsNet Reporter, pointed out that the New York market is a completely different animal to Denver or even Florida, where Tebow started his career. Another sports insider said that there has been similar talk among trainers and athletes that Tebow may not be ready to deal with the brutal and incessant New York media.
“It does come with a new set of temptations and challenges, but as long as Tebow keeps his priorities in the right order and focuses on bettering himself at the game of football he will keep the public’s interest,” McCormick said. “Quarterback is a full-time commitment, which forces you to be ‘on’ at all times.”
On the flipside, branding expert Mark DiMassimo of DIGO Brands said that Tebow’s move to New York and frequent Hollywood presence are actually prime opportunities to build his brand – if he plays his cards right.
“Tim Tebow is a man, a Christian, and a pretty good player. And now he’s an icon and a star. Everything he does from now on is a brand choice too. He can make his choices, but he shouldn’t let them get made for him,” he said.
And so far, Tebow has been wise in ensuring his social life is mixed with a little philanthropy. For one, he recently attended the Cartoon Network’s Hall of Game Awards, and brought a 10-year-old girl with neurofibromatosis, a neurological disorder, as his date.
“There will be strict scrutiny on him like no other athlete in recent memory, he will really have to focus on the type of events he is attending,” Mike Grippo, Marketing Specialist, noted. “He is a smart guy, so I doubt he is going to do something that will hurt his Christian image. He lives that lifestyle; it is not just a show.”
But when it comes to his personal life, image experts are warning Tebow not to fall into the same trap as other footballers like Reggie Bush or Tony Romo, who fell for Hollywood girls (Kim Kardashian and Jessica Simpson, respectively) and according to some critics, their on-field performances arguably suffered.
“My advice for Tim Tebow,” Meyer added. “Marry a teacher, not an actress.”
A rep for Tebow and the Jets did not respond to a request for comment.
Read the original article at Foxnews.com
Foxnews.com’s Hollie McKay writes,
NBC’s new talent contest ‘Fashion Star’ is a hit with the retailers it plugs, but not so much with the viewing public.
The much-hyped Tuesday premiere drew just 4.6 million prime time viewers (its lead-in ‘The Biggest Loser’ drew 6.3 million viewers), but sales of the night’s winning fashions soared
The show’s original conceit is that the winning fashions you see on the show Tuesday will be available in stores Wednesday. Host Elle MacPherson and celebrity mentors Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie and John Varvatos spotlight 14 unknown designers and give them the chance to debut their collections in three of the nation’s major fashion retailers: H&M, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue.
A representative/buyer from each of the stores serves as a judge on the program, and at the end of each episode, Americans are able to purchase the weekly winner’s outfits online or at retail outlets.
So far for the stores, so good. …Read more
Why do some people almost always get better advertising?
In a word, it’s the BRIEF.
“Now hold on,” you may be thinking, “I’ve heard this before.” But stick with me, and I’ll share some hard-earned knowledge that changed my creative output and, yes, my life. Seriously.
More than twenty years ago, I began collecting creative briefs and the resulting campaigns. I’m not ashamed to admit I geeked out on this raw data, working with a tight team to do an ongoing content analysis of the briefs and correlating their qualities with the excellence of the resulting work.
The briefs had to be the ones that the creative people had received. We never used the cleaned up document created for awards submissions and agency new business!
In the end, the formula was simple: The simplest, most clear-headed briefs led to the best work. The most consistently excellent agencies, judged by their creative output, also write the simplest briefs.
Words like “strategy” “target audience” “demographics” and “psychographics” are notably absent in the best briefs. In their place are plain words about real people.
The first three campaigns I led after completing this initial research and putting my learning into practice all won Effie Awards and were famously successful at creating brand and business growth. I was able to start my own successful agency. That was fifteen years ago!
I’m still collecting and I’m still a student of briefing. If you’ve got ‘em, send ‘em. If you’ve learned something, please do share. As always, I answer my own email, so feel free to reply and your message comes directly to my personal inbox.
Ps: I’m tweeting about briefing quite a bit this month, and will share some gems (and no doubt a few unpolished stones as well). I would be honored if you were to choose to follow me @markdimassimo.