I support freedom of choice





McDonald's Free WiFi ad

Another wonderful example of simply great advertising. 





Man's Best Friend by Pablo Picasso

I just LOVE this line drawing because it's the essence of all great art, and advertising: a good idea that's presented clearly. 

plentyofcolour picasso lump1




CTC 100th Anniversary Ad


When I was a kid my father took me to CTC to buy me a wagon so-that I could take on larger paper routes; I delivered the Toronto Telegram. In my teens I went there, with my own money, to buy parts for my bike. When I got my 1st car and it needed service - CTC. All my camping supplies - CTC. 

It was, and still is one of my favourite stores. 

I quite like this ad. The graphic speaks to the company's roots and the copy does a nice job of summarizing the company history - and telling you why CTC is still a relevant retailer today.

Happy Birthday CTC. 




Applied Neuro-linguistic Programming

A while ago I really wanted a Junior Designer [JD] that I really liked working with to lead our next big client presentation, but the JD himself, and the agency’s Sr. Manager thought that JD wasn't up to the task because the client was a "seasoned marketing pro". The Sr. Manager's lack of faith in our JD and my coaching skills really pissed me off - especially because the Sr. Manager is not big on training. So I said "fuck-it" and pulled out my secret weapon: Neuro-Linguistic Programming [NLP].

In about two hours I defined the client's core business challenge, re-framed the situation from a marketing and advertising situation, and then asked JD to step into the intellectual void with me sothat we could co-explore how we could turn the client's business challenge into a presentation win for JD, a business win for the agency and a sales increase for the client in a few elegant business moves.

We solved the problem, came up with a few viable solutions and dropped the challenge and the creative solutions into a nice presentation deck. I asked JD to take the presentation deck home and practice, practice practice. Especially the night before. Well, while I had never dealt with this "seasoned marketing pro" before, the meeting went really well - much to the surprise of the client, the agency's Sr. Manager, and the JD. After the meeting I told the Junior to write me a short note on what worked, why and how he could turn what he learned today into his own formula for ongoing success. This is an anonymous summary of his note to me. I’m very proud of this kid because he’s seen the light. With proper preparation, planning, practice (and support from others) you can go far.


the client loved + bought our work because:

  • We planned and delivered a well orchestrated business meeting,
  • we ensured that we had a solid understanding of the role that advertising and marketing play in the company's sales funnel,
  • we ensured that our creative brief was brief, clear and on the mark,
  • because our creative brief was on the mark, the client expectations were clearly understood by the client and the agency,
  • the brain-storming, preparation and practice that Frank and I did before the meeting contributed to a great sale - for me, the agency and the client,
  • all of our design options were practical business-builders and aesthetic improvements over their current communications,
  • preparation for the client meeting was important; taking time to consider how to structure the introduction took the pressure off of having to come up with something clever to say on the fly. I also had time to practice how to deliver my opening comments and present the various design options,
  • because Frank sat me right across from the client, I could read the clients face which lit up and she immediately become engaged when I thanked her for coming to our office,
  • I think it also helped that we outlined what we were going to present and addressed the concerns we felt the client might have,
  • I think it helped that I told the client that a creative team with a wide range of experiences had worked together to deliver today's creative options; not just me,
  • I stopped and asked if she had any questions throughout the meeting - not just at the end. This is a simple, but great way, to pause and collect your own thoughts too,
  • for me, the introduction is normally the hardest part, but because I had practiced "breaking the ice" and then taking control of the meeting, I was more relax. So by the time I got to the design options I was relaxed and enjoyed presenting and discussing the pros and cons of each option.

This whole process has been a great learning experience for me. 

Thanks for all your help Frank.






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