Crazy, Big Ideas

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It’s been a long time between posts.  I’ve been working on a new idea for the blog. Hopefully, it will launch in the new year.  Until then, I wanted to bring a new campaign to your attention. This was done to magnify the significance of type-2 diabetes in the world.

Yes, there are over 300 million people in the world with type-2 diabetes.  That more than the size of 60 Denmarks, 11 Saudi Arabias, 14 Australias, 392 Djiboutis, or 16,397 Palaus.  So yes, that’s a lot of people.

Check out the video on Vimeo:

You can also look at the website:

And while the cause is important, the real reason I’m bringing this to your attention is that it started with a few people having a crazy idea ‘what if we try to make diabetes its own country and petition the UN for a seat at the table?’

I love this kind of thinking. I love being able to dream so big that every idea seems impossible. I love when people come to me with ideas to help draw attention to a problem, an underserved population or in this case, a global issue.

You can only hit home runs if you swing big. Go to the video. Go to the website. Like it (if you do), Share it (if you like what  you see), tweet about it.  This type of thinking has to be rewarded.  If we can’t rally around a great idea, then we have no right complaining about the state of healthcare advertising.




Four New Business Pitches In Five Days

Wondering where I’ve been?

The past few weeks have been (possibly) the hardest and most exhausting weeks of my career. As the agency had four pitches in five days in four different states – New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. Plus we’re prepping another dozen for the next few weeks. That will include pitches in Florida, Washington, D.C., Basel Switzerland and glamorous Morristown, New Jersey.

Yes, It’s been busy.

On top of the new business activity, we’ve been creating some amazing work for our existing clients. I’m proud of the work we’re doing. One of our clients just approved an amazing new website that – the day it’s released – will be a huge step forward in pharmaceutical websites. We’re hosting an event for another company that will be huge and will frankly be unlike anything anyone has ever done before.  We’re shooting multiple TV campaigns, we’re creating a video for a pro bono client’s 50th anniversary, we’re shooting 3 print campaigns, designing multiple trade show booths and attempting to create a new agency website at the same time.

Not to mention all the daily projects that are too numerous to mention. Print ads, brochures, digital web banners, interactive visual aids, RM programs, eCRM programs, QR codes, out-of-home executions, and pharma’s coolest iPad apps.

And you know what? I love it. I love the buzz, I love the activity, I love the passion of the people working on these projects.

I’ve come to realize that when it comes to new business, it’s not really about the winning and losing. If you’re good, you’ll win your fair share. And even if you’re good, you’ll lose a few that you should have won. I’ve won pitches that I probably shouldn’t have won. I’ve lost pitches I never should have lost. But at the end of the day, I’m proud of the teamwork, the camaraderie, the intelligence, the passion, the drive, the determination, the guts, the depth and the vision of our team.

It’s hard work doing what we do. But I still wouldn’t want to do anything else in the entire world. And I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else. Yes, this week has been a hell of a week. And I can’t wait to see what happens next week.


I Don’t Care Who Wins The Super Bowl – I Just Want To Win The Office Super Bowl Pool

This week I invested $40 in our office Super Bowl pool. According to Fox News, this week is the second largest illegal betting week of the entire year. And even though many companies have policies that prohibit internal betting, everyone looks the other way for the Super Bowl. Well, if my company has such a policy, I know 100 people who are in hot water.

Now, I find myself in the unusual position of rooting for a score versus rooting for a team. Go, Pats, Go Giants, come on scoreboard. My numbers: Patriots 7, Giants 0 and Patriots 5, Giants 1. So here are some scores I can hope for. First quarter: Giants 10, Patriots 7 or Patriots 7, Giants 0. Sounds good, right? The problem is in the last 10 Super Bowl games; there has never been a first quarter score of 10-7 or 7-0. OK, I suddenly don’t feel so lucky.

How about halftime scores, Patriots 7, 17 or 27, Giants 0, 10, or 20. Hmmm, not feeling so good about halftime either. OK, what about the end of the game scores, Patriots 7, 17, or 27, Giants 0, 10, 20, or 30. The alternate score: Patriots 15, 35, 45, Giants 21, 31, or 41. I have just decided I’ve thrown my money away.

So it seems like my best shot is the first quarter. Tough, hard fought quarter where the Patriots squeak out a touchdown in the final moments of the quarter for a 7-0 lead. Or the defenses can’t stop the offenses, and both teams march up and down the field for a Giant lead of 10-7. Either way I cash my illegal check for 250 smackers.

After cashing in, I can enjoy the rest of the game knowing that there is little chance for me to win again. Unless, of course, the defenses stiffen and the score remains 10-7 or 7-0 for the rest of the game, and I run the table on all four quarters. But of course, that will never, ever happen.

So the odds are I won’t win any money. The odds are I’ll root for the Giants no matter the score. (Peyton’s little brother plays for the Giants. And I like Peyton.) And the odds are that I’ll play one of these pools again. In fact, the number one largest illegal betting week is right around the corner.

It’s called March Madness. And I have $20 ready to donate to somebody else.


Great, Good & Garbage

There’s a fine line between great and garbage.

I see it every day.  And the difference isn’t always right in front of your face.  For example, today I was looking at a portfolio of someone who has been in the advertising business for years.  Over 10 years to be exact.  I was looking at his work and I started to ask myself “how much of this work is really great and how much isn’t?”  Of the 15 campaigns in his online portfolio, I decided that exactly zero were great.  Don’t get me wrong, some were executed really really well. But at the end of the day, were they game-changing ideas?  I had to say no.  Then I asked myself “how many were good and how many were garbage?”  And I realized that good should be garbage.  In fact, good ideas are the most dangerous.  Because you can easily settle for a good idea.  We’ve all said to “wow, this is really good.”  But how often do we say “this is great.”  A creative director I know always said that good is the biggest obstacle to great. It’s not focus groups. It’s not legal requirements. It’s not bad talent.  It’s an idea that’s good enough. That’s because many will stop at good enough. And not aspire to great.

I’m currently reading Walter Isaacson’s book about Steve Jobs.  In the first 100 pages, he quotes the Apple founder countless times as saying ‘this is the greatest thing ever’ or ‘this is complete crap.’  There was rarely anything in between.  No gap in his decision making that says ‘good.’  Only ‘greatest ever’ or ‘crap.’

I have to respect that kind of courage.  And the courage of every creative team who aspires for great.  And won’t settle for good.

Good luck.  And mind the gap.