Every now and then I get to work with a client that just wants to see one finished ad, or one campaign solution per defined advertising challenge, but most want to see three options.

I use this approach to sell in a winning idea in the 1st round of meetings over 95% of the time.

The first option responds precisely to what the client asked me for. Nothing more, nothing less.

The second reveals, and strategically leverages, brand insights overlooked by other agencies.

The third option is off strategy, but does the job (better) in an ingenious manner.

I round out all of my presentations with a few innovative ways and means of pooling out my campaign ideas into all of their customer facing and internal communications.

Importantly, I write my presentation to all the “unknown readers + judges” that are NOT at the meeting. Each slide is carefully designed to help those I am presenting to successfully share my work with their clients professionally and in my idea’s proper context.




say no to black friday

Across North America everybody wants more for less – plus a lifetime guarantee. To satisfy this insane and insatiable desire for more cheap food, goods and services, we’ve sent millions of jobs off to Asia and India. We’ve also done a wonderful job of teaching our kids that many jobs are not worth doing or having. This mentality has shut down industries and laid waste to cities, towns and individuals all across North America. Where is this madness end?

When companies do not earn decent profit margins their foundations crumble.

  • They no longer can afford to do research and development.
  • Without leading edge research and development their managers blindly follow the “best practices” of their competitors, and fail.
  • They cut back on staff training and development.
  • They cut back on benefits.
  • Full time staff is rehired as part-time staff with no benefits.
  • Part time staff juggles two, sometimes three, jobs to make ends meet.
  • Because they are just making ends meet, time, money and the will to support the arts and those who are less fortunate declines.
  • It impacts time at home with family + friends.
  • And on and on it goes.

Why not pay a fair price sothat companies can reinvest their profits in our people, communities, industries and our collective Canadian future?




I was talking to my mother (who is 95 years old) the other day about life in general when she shared this important observation with me.

It’s very easy to be closed minded. To look at the world from your perspective and judge things as (being) either right or wrong. Open minded(ness) is much harder because there are so many things that are not familiar to me, that I don’t understand, or that I have never seen before.

But just because they are foreign to me does not make them wrong.

Only different.

When you’re closed minded you live in a small black and white world.

When you’re open minded you live in a very big rainbow coloured world.

It’s wonderful.

Amen Julia.   

This lesson applies to brands + their brand ambassadors too.




in flanders fields




When I listen or watch President Obama (or The First Lady) speak, I am reminded of the most valuable debate lesson I've learned: listen, pause, then speak.

Listen carefully. Listen to what your opponent is saying and why. Instead of being eager to state your case or defend your position, ask questions that reveal more about the fundamentals and related issues.

Pause while you gather your thoughts. Pause as often as you need to. Don’t allow yourself to be rushed (into a trap).

Proceed with your argument only when you have divined an unassailable path forward.

Speak clearly and slowly to ensure you’re speaking slower than you’re thinking and making clear logical progress towards your objective. 

If you can learn to listen, pause and then take action in words or deeds, you’ll do better.