Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Welcome Change. There's A New Agency in Town. It's Hoping To Kick Ass and Take Names.

Grad pride.

Amazing what I get to witness being part of the lives of young talented people on a regular basis. The future of advertising is in good hands.

Each fall I take a group of my students to New York Advertising Week. A couple of years ago we had the pleasure of being hosted by Scott Goodson of Strawberry Frog for a "meet and greet". Besides the opportunity to engage with one of the industry leaders the day turned into a day beyond inspiration. Scott asked each student introduce themselves and what discipline they saw as their niche. After presentation and Q&A session a simple question was dropped upon my crew by Scott, "with all the talent at the table, and each of your disciplines why not start your own agency?" Wow, start your own agency. Why not. A short 15 months later a group of those students in attendance took the led and did that. Born from a soft economy, abundant talent and passion Playground Digital was born. But that is just one story of well planned success.

A second group of talented young AdLanders have hung the shingle on the door and are planning to "switch" the thinking of advertising, communication and engagement.

Meet Switch. Welcome to Switch Advertising.

Recent grads Ryan Thomas, Stuart Chan and Neil Damania put their passion and vision behind their deep entrepreneurial skills to create a better advertising agency.  They started out as people who wanted to change and build things, not just for clients but to rock "communication culture". To make  clients' businesses better and more engaging. It's in their blood. These guys are all "culture vultures". They get the "new media", they are fueled by the power of "social media" and they want to help "switch" the minds of clients who don't understand the new power that is needed to build brand loyalties and switch the culture change needed to engage the "new" audiences living in a digital space.

To get things started they have launched their website last week and have collaborated with talented local artists to make a series of outrageous indie rock style posters, because between artists and indie rock bands, no one has to work harder to earn your attention. The site is a "social exercise" "something that could become a case study in itself. The site isn't designed as an info dump or sales pitch of services and talent, but a place to exchange insights, creativity and thinking.

I asked Stuart Chan, Operations & Branding Director, what was key to starting Switch, "We have the same passion as our clients. We wanted to own or work, our ideas, our sweat and our labor".  He added, "Creativity; there is a huge gap in knowledge and development in social spheres. About 80% of companies currently operating in this space have no real strategy or planned objectives to move forward with".

It became clear to the partners that there is a real problem in a cluttered media environment, especially when you need to communicate a single point. Stuart pointed out that being children of the wired generation, actually gives them a leg up on larger agencies. Simply put getting these kinds of "simpleminded" ideas to clients first means educating them on how technology can be used effectively and intelligently.

“This became clear after pitching at other, more traditional agencies; and we saw an opportunity to move on pace and in the same direction as the emerging social era. So we grabbed it and ran with it. There was never really any doubt” Stuart added.

When asked if there was a key "mission statement" of philosophy, the plan is to build the agency on three fundamentals; one, to create integrated work that involves consumers; two, we want to select clients that run a business we ethically and morally agree with and we do our damndest to really make them shine; and finally, they don’t just want our work to tell the story, we want our work to be the story – and in turn, have the consumer become the storyteller instead. In short: The best work possible, the best clients possible, the best results possible.

Ryan Thomas, Social & Digital Strategist added, “Honestly if you don't have those three things in this industry, it gets harder and harder to sleep at night".

When asked if they if this requires clients that are brave and willing to accept ideas that are nowhere near timid, and executions that span the three fastest growing sectors of advertising; Public Relations, Digital Development, and Social Marketing, Creative Director Neil Damania strongly believes, “we are an industry of ideas, and they should be able to live in all spaces; but if a concept or communication is not best utilized in these three mediums, it's often more expensive and less effective". 

So what's next for Switch now they are launched and poised to change the environment, the boys answered as one, "It's about choosing clients with similar vision, being prepared to scale, and leaving a global footprint. There’s no such thing as going home, only going big. We’re here to stay.

Bonne chance, keep the passion, change the world.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Alex Bogusky Returns... And He's Fearless!

Alex Bogusky returns... and he's live with FearlessQA!

Two short weeks ago to the day Alex Bogusky announced he was leaving MDC and his roll as Chief Creative Insurgent, and even greater was the impact of the announcement of his leaving advertising altogether. Speculation ran deep of what's next. The love and support posted on blogs, Twitter and other social media was endless.

Well fear not, Alex, FearlessQA and the Fearless Cottage is back and it might be better then ever before.

This Thursday marks the return broadcast of FearlessQA on Justin.TV and it promises to be as critical as any issue Alex has brought attention to. We are simply poisoning ourselves with the way food is processed and consumed at an alarming rate. Hey we are all guilty of the practice of unpackage, then hit '2:00 START' on the microwave. There's a reason for this simplicity. Its in the food, its in the way it's processed and it's killing us.

I boldly proclaim this simple by the fact that Alex will be in his element 100%. Not that he ever feared speaking his mind on any issue that he felt concern for or felt needed attention, and now it's without the speculation of the public or the FearlessQA faithful saying, "how can he say that, won't one of his clients be upset?"

I asked Alex a few questions on the future of FearlessQA and the his future planning and development of the "Fearless Cootage" and I am awaiting his thoughts. Once in place I will post them.

Prior to Alex's departure on July 1st, he had scheduled author Robyn O'Bien to discuss "What's actually inside our food?" She is can teach us a thing or two on the food we eat and why so many of us are getting sick, overweight and generally unhealthy. Her book is titled "The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It".

Robyn who was raised in Houston on the typical "diet of meat and potatoes along with her fair share of Doritos and Ding Dongs" thrown in. She was not a "foodie" but as a mother (a mother of 4) she became concerned with what her children and children in general were actually eating. From her research proved to be a wake up call for her. She has noted, "I am an unlikely crusader for cleaning up our food supply. But fortunately, there is a lot that we can do about it. We simply have to get savvy and stand together so that our voices can be heard by leaders in our government and the food industry the same way that families overseas have made their voices heard over there".

Through this work Robyn became the founder of the Allergy Kids Foundation, an organization designed to help protect the 1 in 3 American children that now has autism, ADHD, asthma or allergies (known as the 4As). the organization funds research into the development and practice of techniques designed to heal children with the 4As using an integrative, biomedical approach developed by doctors in New York.

She demands "transparency in our food system, believes that we deserve full disclosure of financial ties behind industry funded research, our doctors and our medical organizations".

She has appeared in the New York Times, on CNN, the Today Show and Good Morning America and featured in People Magazine, in Forbes Women as one of "20 Inspiring Women to Follow on Twitter", in SHAPE as one of "Ten Women Shaping the World", and by the Discovery Channel's Planet Green as a "Visionary". Robyn has been invited to attend roundtable discussions with members of Congress on health care reform and to serve on the board of the Environmental Working Group, based in Washington, DC.

What an important and brilliant guest to kick-off the next chapter of Alex Bogusky and FearlessQA.
I urge you to tune in and hear the truth. It won't be pretty, BUT the truth never is.

Follow the this link to tune into FearLessQA





Watch the full FearlessQA Episode Here or Click on this Link or Below:

Watch live video from Fearless QA on Justin.tv

Sunday, July 11, 2010

WORLD CUP 2010 Final Nike vs Adidas vs Visa: And The Winner Is? Advertising.

So today is the World Cup final and we will all be cheering for Spain right... okay Netherlands. Okay, either way this has been an advertising bonanza and I loved it.

In addition, today's World Cup final may become one of the most watched events on the planet with viewers from New York to Nepal tuning in to see football’s (soccer) elite in action from South Africa. The overall rournement has garnered the biggest television audience yet. For advertisers, this is great news.

"We don’t want to speculate in numbers but we’re hoping this will be the biggest [event] ever," Niclas Ericson, FIFA’s director of television, said in a press conference from Soccer City Stadium, the final’s venue.

"We think it will be bigger than the 2006 World Cup final which had an audience somewhere in the region of around 700 million," he added.

The record to beat is that set by the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games, when in 2008 a global audience of one billion watched at least some part of the extravaganza unfolding in the Chinese capital.

This World Cup has brought some excellent football (soocer) ads for the first time at this level and I see the 2012 World Cup in Brazil being even greater.

But was Nike declared the advertising  winner of the World Cup prematurely?

Apparently so, even I declared in an earlier blogpost Nike scooped the press and hearts. Not so according to an updated Nielsen Co. study on the effectiveness of ambush marketers at the FIFA 2010.

Nielsen tracked national advertising in the U.S. during weekend games on both ABC and ESPN, as well as all Team USA matches between June 11 and 26, and found that FIFA sponsors connected better with World Cup fans than non-sponsors and that fans had higher recall of the sponsors' brands. This news comes after numerous industry experts declared Nike and other so-called "ambush" marketers victorious after they generated more buzz, according to an earlier Nielsen report, than their official sponsor rivals did in the lead-up to the event.

In the end the data revealed the five primary World Cup television sponsors -- Adidas, AT&T, Budweiser, Hyundai and Sony -- generated a 55% higher on average "net likeability" score among those polled compared to commercials from other, non-sponsor World Cup advertisers. In addition, the primary sponsors also scored 16% higher on brand recall on average for sponsors' World Cup in-game or in-studio promotions including the Adidas "First Half Highlights," compared with their in-game sponsorship performance for other sports events.

Last week I read another interesting piece on who was winning the advertising wars between "official" sponsors and other advertisers. Yes, Adidas, Budweiser, Hyundai  paid some pretty big bucks to be primary sponsors but did they really win the hearts and attention of consumers? These partners that support the World Cup paid handsome fees for the privilege. The World Cup 2010 is expected to generate US$1.6 billion in sponsorship revenue during the period from 2007 to 2010 (according to IEG, a WPP group company). The sponsorship media coverage suggests Visa paid $170 million for its 2007-2014 rights, while Emirates Airline paid $195m. For these fees sponsors receive a mix of commercial and marketing rights including tickets, signage at the matches, the right to use the FIFA World Cup logo.

Is it worth all the fees and costs? This should give you a partial answer. Visa. may be the case study to build and to sell the future sponsors. Given that global consumer spending is down, the company said last week that international transactions using Visa during the first round of the Word Cup were US$176m, up 65 per cent on the same period last year. Not bad. First time advertiser, Chinese solar energy company Yingli used the World Cup to announce its global intentions and saw  web searches on the company’s name multiply dramatically. Turning these inquiries and engagements into customers will likely increase if it uses all this for business development properly and may become a major success. Intersting, the company’s support of FIFA’s African Legacy Project, the building of 10 football centers this year, each with solar energy technology provided by Yingli Solar. Add to this the fact that the company is FIFA’s first major Chinese partner is worthy of mention.

If we measure purely by sales, then Adidas beats Nike, Coke beats Pepsi, Budweiser beats Heineken. Creatively speaking...hmmm. Adidas will will win hands down. Why?  Adidas definitely delivered. Even though palyers were massive fans of the Jabulani ball but it will likely to sell more than 13 million units. With 12 World Cup teams wearing Adidas branded jerseys should generate sales of 7 million replica shirts, and if Spain wins today, that will be the icing and cherry on the sunde according to Herr Hainer, an Adidas chief executive. It's safe to assume Coca-Cola, Budweiser and McDonald’s will all show good sales, and there is a strong case for Sony 3DTV success and its future.

Personally by watching my Twitter feeds and classroom discussions it seems the most talked about spots came from advertisers that didn't buy into the FIFA costs of sponsorships and endorsements. FIFA made cart loads of money either way.

So we are now at the end of a month of great games and even better creative ads and I thought I would post my favorite Football spots of all time. Okay, "all time" is a bit shady, but the best spots I have seen. My choices are based on two basics, "entertainment" value and "insight" value. They appear in no specific order.



How do you take a football ad to the Next Level? Created in 2008, and and you let director Guy Ritchie have is his way, this is 3 minutes of gold story telling.


Okay, proof you don't need to be an official sponsor to take away the attention of consumers. Adidas may be the worldwide sponsor but 20+ million YouTube hits tell the truth. Some of the shorter edits work very well on their own. In addition, I posted that this spot was actually a curse for all the players that appeared. All the players featured in the spot had their teams eliminated by the end of Quarter Finals add to that one player, Ronaldinho was not selected to Brazil's final team. I have included below the "replacement" player spot featuring Robinho. Two days after the spot aired Brazil was eliminated by the Netherlands.




Created by Saatchi & Saatchi, this was one of the first World CUp 2010 spots to appear in the spring.


As creative as this Adidas spot is, it does not directly refer to their sponsorship.Star studded cast didn't impress, but the 3.9 million views does.


Umbro, makers of the England World Cup uniforms plays to the hearts of all of English football.


The 1998 Brazilian World Cup football team are waiting for their plane and get bored. This was one of the greatest teams for Brazil, when Ronaldo was young and Romário was still playing. The magic of music makes this spot. The song used is 'Mas Que Nada' by Tamba Trio


From Droga5 for PUMA. The spot was created for football fans to send a message of love to their girlfriends on Valentines Day. Brilliant!




Maybe the sexiest if not the most sexist spot ever. Okay, I love it. I'm a guy, what's not to love. No apologies.


This :90second spot for Carlsberg features English sporting legends Stuart Pearce, Trevor Brooking, Jack Charlton, Kelly Holmes, Steve Redgrave, Ellen MacArthur, Nigel Benn, Phil The Power Taylor, Carl Fogarty, Clive Woodward, Ranulph Fiennes, Jeff Stelling, Kasabian, Soccer AM Tubes, Soccer AM Rocket and Ian Botham.

Posted via email from anthony kalamut's posterous

Monday, July 5, 2010

Alex Bogusky Left CP+B, MDC and Advertising. But Does His Mom Know?

A friend of mine reminded yesterday of a great piece Alex wrote back in early February on his blog titled, "My New Job. Mom, Please Read." The reason this even came up was the interest, class and grace Alex shows to his readers, but specifically how he responded to my "comment" I posted after reading the piece.

The piece was written to address his new position to all his MDC colleagues, but also to explain to his mother who asked him "how I (Alex) planned to run 32 plus agencies". Alex asked how she had come up with the question, Mom explained, “I read it on the internet.What she read was a piece written in Fast Company about his new position at MDC as Chief Creative Insurgent which he left behind on July 1st.
I urge you to read the piece. 

After I read the piece I realized that often it is difficult to explain what we do to our friends, but most confused often are our own families. I remembered the countless times I tried to explain my job first as an Art Director, then Creative Director and I stopped trying when the business cards said VP ECD, Mom's, shesh...

I directed my comment to Alex's mother to let her know what he has done for me and my students.

Like I said, Alex once again showed his grace, compassion and positivity after he read my comment.

Dear Alex's Mom...

There's a little something you need to know about your son that might not be on the internet (and g-d knows there is no shortage of Alex Bogusky postings on the internet) and he likely didn't share at Thanksgiving.

When I first met your son I had 20 hungry young AdLanders with me on the side of a stage in NYC @ AdWeek. I introduced myself to Alex and told him that, "I preach the good gospel according to Alex Bogusky"... he quickly told me to "Careful what you preach"... he had me at hello.

Then on a trip he took to Toronto, Alex graciously accept my invite to lunch with 20 other equally hungry future AdLanders... for over an hour he engaged us and told us to, "Follow your bliss" and "Find something you love and you'll never work day in your life". Your son added that "we need to think bigger about the world and not just do ads, make a difference". These maybe old cliche lines but the impact it had changed me and changed my students.

Last fall, your son wrote another amazing book, titled "Baked In". At the book signing Alex hosted my entire class of passionate, dedicated and now highly motivated future AdLanders who all walked away with their very own "Alex story"... but none more then one of my young ones who is visually impaired, and has fear greater then any of us can imagine, again your son politely told her to simply, "follow your dream, your passions and live that dream, because fear is your biggest enemy" and then Alex opened a line of communication with her, you can't imagine the impact that has had.

So I am writing this little note to you to let you know your son is okay. This new thing he's doing... don't worry it gonna work out, probably bigger then we can imagine. Why? Well simply, actually he is amazingly great, honest, passionate,and fun loving guy (and the girls think he's cute too)... it's no wonder the "big company" has given him a new role, a role that will likely motivate, innovate and inspire a whole group of folks as he has my young AdLanders. 

Love and peace,


ps. If you have second, please call my mother she still hasn't figured out what I actually do yet... or is this mother thing.

pss. Just wondering if 'The Ivory Cottage" has a fireplace, guitar rack and spare room for a longer visit.



That has to be the absolute nicest blog response in the history of the internet. Thank you sir. I'm humbled. 

I'll call your mom anytime. 

Much love,

An update on this comment, that student I mentioned not only followed her dream, but is living her dream. She is currently in the middle of her internship at CP+B in Boulder as a copywriter.

Employee Number 16 Resigns. The Day Alex Bogusky Said Good-Bye To CP+B, MDC and Advertising.

He was known as employee number 16 in early 1989.

He became Creative Director of the agency five years later.

He was named a partner in 1997.

He became Co-Chairman of Crispin Porter + Bogusky in January 2008.

He charted his own future as Chief Creative Insurgent at MDC in early 2010.

Then suddenly, Dr. Alexander M. Bogusky resigned. He resigned from his MDC post and maybe advertising life altogether.

I have had the privilege to meet, chat and exchange ideas with Alex and with each encounter I left feeling smarter, more passionate and humbled, fueled to bring more to my students and to what I love to do. I met Alex for first time during Advertising Week in New York City in the fall of 2007. Since then he has been a mentor, inspiration and friend.


Under his and Chuck Porter's direction, the CP+B has grown to over 900+ passionate minds. In Boulder, in Miami, and along with CP+B Europe in Sweden, he and CP+B have become the world’s most awarded agency in history including being named Agency of the Decade by Adweek and Alex being name "Creative Director of The Decade” in one of the most tumultuous times in advertising history. This growth and success showed no signs of stopping - as recent as last week CP+B was named Interactive Agency of the Year at the Cannes Advertising Festival and winning the Titanium Grand Prix for Best Buy Twelpforce.

The "great work" and "awards" earned him many honors, but it also brought some unusual attention along the way. There were fake Facebook pages, fake Twitter accounts and even a curmudgeon who would retweet any reference to @bogusky as "Bogusky Garbage" devoted to him. From time to time many blogs writers gave "play-by-play of his every move. Some would ask, not always kidding, “What would Alex do?” There was even fake merchandise created from decorative "plates" and "WWABD" (What Would Alex Bogusky Do) bracelets.

During his career Alex has been profiled in almost every industry publication from Communication Arts, Adweek, Adage, Business 2.0, Fast Company and Business Week. His work and thinking has has been featured in main stream media such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Newsweek, and TIME, as well as countless appearances on national television and radio. Two honors placed upon to Alex that defined his career, but his personality where his 2002 induction into the American Advertising Federation’s Hall of Achievement and the highest of honors for an Art Director, induction into the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame. Pretty cool for guy who really wasn't sure this crazy business was in his cards. He remains humbled by all of this.

I asked him to offer my students some insights on the ADC honor, some advice to help them in their careers. His response to me remains and defines what makes Alex an inspiration to me:

"Thanks. It’s a great honor. Shocking actually".

"A friend of mine reminded me of a conversation we had when Lee Clow went into the (ADC) Hall of Fame. He asked me if I remembered what I said and i didn’t even remember the conversation. But he said I remarked that getting in the Hall of Fame was the ultimate achievement yet totally unattainable. I guess I was wrong. Again".

"But I will quietly admit that this sort of thing doesn’t really sit well with my sense of community and my connection with everybody I’ve ever worked with. I’m obviously not alone in a single thing I ever did. We did it all together and to be singled out isn’t right. I worry too that it continues to perpetuate this idea of singular achievement. Which to me it a potentially destructive way to look at the world. I’ll accept it for CPB but not for myself and I’ll accept it for all the people who supported all the hair brain schemes and plans we’ve had over the years".



Last fall Alex posted a great piece on his "posterous blog" on a significant turning point in his career titles "Flip Flopping to Success". This story was told several times over and over in the media and on blogs but Alex wanted to tell the story the way it happened. When he was promoted to art director in his first advertising job he wanted to attend an advertising seminar that he thought would be a good place to get exposer to some thinking and people he didn’t have access to, not like today's world of social media. He asked his boss if he would pay to send his to the seminar figuring it was win-win for the agency and Alex. "He seemed really impressed with me and my initiative and he carefully explained to me that the more I learned like this the more valuable I would become and finally he turned to me and said, “Never be afraid to invest in yourself." Alex found this to be the best and most "beautiful and true advice". Invest in yourself, true then true today.

What Alex learned during that seminar (he still can't recall if it was two days or a week) was to "be yourself". He noticed a tall lanky character strolling through the halls. This guy seemed out of place with all the suits and leather briefcases. Alex himself felt out of place. Who was this guy? Turned out to be the last speaker, a gentleman named Lee Clow. Alex recalls he was really excited to hear him speak because he recognized his name from the annuals and connected to a lot of his favorite things. "But by this point in the seminar I was pretty beaten down and didn’t really care to hear any more about how tough and confrontational you had to be to do good work" Alex recalls. "So I took a seat way in the back to make my ultimate escape from his presentation and advertising in general a little easier".

That curious guy walking the halls was introduced, "Lee Clow you can probably imagine how surprised I was to see the freak walk up and take the podium. This guy wasn’t faking it. He clearly didn’t have time for a lot of the bullshit or the false trappings of business". It was at that moment that Alex Bogusky discovered he could belong in advertising and make a difference. "Do great work and believe in your work".  Alex has told this story many times over (including a lunch I hosted with Alex and several of my students in Toronto) that day "Lee Clow kept me in advertising. I’m so thankful that I had the chance to see through his example I didn’t have to pretend to be anything. I could just be Alex Bogusky. A guy who works in advertising and does the best he can. In spite of the fact that he’s a freak, too".

He has remained true to the epiphany he had that day.

Remaining true to who what matter most to him he relocated from Miami to Boulder with his family when Crispin Porter & Bogusky opened its office there and since then he has been taking full advantage of the qualities of life style that Colorado offers.

In fact, Alex was on bike ride when he found out that MDC released its "official" statement on Thursday morning.


It what legends are made of.

Alex Bogusky, became one of the most-heralded creative executives in advertising for his work for brands like Burger King, Best Buy, Dominos and the BMW Mini Cooper. Not bad.

Just pick up a copy of Hoopla. This brilliant retrospective complied by CP+B and edited by Warren Berger chronicles the revolution with insider emails, emails between creative thinkers and illustrations, plenty of illustration of the great work.

What he leaves behind is a business that will never be the same. Not the business that shifts and changes like the weather. What he left behind is a business he and all those creative minds he worked with was a second "Golden Creative Age" and "Creative Revolution" (the Bernbach/Lois era being the first). Always creating messages that specialized in risk-taking, rule-breaking campaigns was the genius part is that defines his work. He persuaded clients to run ads that changed culture and their status, not simple companies peddling products and services. How interactive media would be used and defined happened under his watch.

Most significant was what CP+B did for a fading brand Burger King who at the time had advertising that was generally seen as boring, irrelevant and unimaginative. Think back to the "Subserviant Chicken" to see how that became the game changer and cultural movement. With 15 million hits the first 5 days and an average time spent on the site at an astounding 5 minutes and 44 seconds, word spread completely virally. Once the site and chicken were seeded mainstream they added more branding, commercials and easter egg commands to keep people talking and passing the site around. Now there have been well over 450 million hits to Subservient Chicken.

Creativity Online has a feature of the work that CP+B created under Alex's watch. (CLICK TO VIEW)


At 8:57am I received an email containing details of the MDC Media Release of Alex Bogusky resigning for MDC Partners and by 9:15am Advertising Age website posted the "news" that Alex Bogusky has indeed resigned as Chief Insurgent Officer of MDC Partners. By 9:16 the TweetDeck on my iPhone was vibrating every second. Timing is everything, the stock market opening (MDCA - Nasdaq) within the hour and the news was a shocker.

The tweets ranged from just people sending links to the adage.com story to "thanks Alex you're a legend" to speculation that is was a directive from Miles Nadal and his concerns from clients like Burger King who may be feeling that Alex had crossed the line with his personal view points he posted recently on his blog on the subjects of child obesity and even the concept of advertising to children.

Alex Bogusky, who will be 47 later this month, maintained his bright whit and sense of humor when he wouldn't characterize his decision to as a midlife crisis, jokingly he said, “I’ve had so many.” (Fast Company magazine is currently working on a profile of Alex is described as “a midlife crisis story,” focused on his personal interests the beyond advertising world.)

When I had the pleasure of hosting Alex for a lunch with a small group my students and alumni in the Spring of 2008, he was sure to remind us that what we are doing is art and craft, but be passioante and true to yourself. He said, “find and follow your bliss, there will be a time you will start to search for your genuine self”. In an interview with the New York Times shortly after his announcement, he made pretty much the same statement but added, "I'm at that point in my life, and I’m doing that. I’m exploring and figuring out what is that genuine version,” he added, “and it’s not really consistent with corporate life” because in that realm “you’re kind of in the ‘get yours’ mode.”

So what should Alex Bogusky’s next move be? Many think he will continue be a voice of reason for the many causes he keeps near and dear to his heart. He answered the New York Times with the honesty we have come to understand and respect:

“I don’t think I’ll do much advertising” moving forward, Mr. Bogusky said, because “I’ve done plenty of it; I’m not able to find challenges in it.”

“Mostly, what I want to do is participate in this cultural revolution that’s happening,” he added, “happening mostly outside of advertising.”

“The more interesting stuff is coming from the fringes,” Mr. Bogusky said, “and that’s where I want to be.”

“My vision of advertising was always sort of culture jamming,” he added, using a term that refers to efforts to upend or disrupt institutions that include advertising, and there are increasingly ways to get people to talk about brands outside of the traditional realm.

“Social media is a fun place,” Mr. Bogusky said, “and an amazing tool that’s making it more possible” to reach consumers “without the budgets” because “you don’t need the money now” that was once required to reach them through ad campaigns.

“I’m very curious about where it’ll go,” he said of social media. He also listed potential interests that include “ideas for TV shows I could be involved with, as a host or in a producer or director capability.”

And “a fair amount of what I will do will not be for profit,” Mr. Bogusky said, citing interests like mentoring.
Among Mr. Bogusky’s recent non-advertising pursuits, he has written a couple of books "9 Inch Diet" and "Baked In", hosted on an online talk show "FearlessQA" and spoken out about the nations food, child obesity, advertising to children and environment.

According to Bogusky, “Miles (Miles Nadal the CEO of MDC) started getting phone calls from some clients that didn’t like things that I had said”. Alex has been know to annoy clients as far back as when he published a book titled “9-Inch Diet” exposed the way America's diet and asses have been supersized.  Of course that didn’t sit well with clients Burger King and Domino’s. Today both his blog and online broadcast (FearlessQA) tackle the issues of genetically-modified food and certainly brings into questions overall "consumerism". Alex is quoted, “Miles (Nadal) was cool about it, but to me I just thought this is going to happen over and over, and I’ve barely begun. It’s like, everyone’s got enough going on, so I don’t want MDC to have to deal with damage control. So Miles and I basically went back to Plan A... retirement.”

Recently he produced a brilliant video message on "global warming". In this simple two minute video, Alex brings to point the current issue of  "global warming" and relating it to pollution. Using the famed "Crying Indian" featuring actor Chief Iron Eyes Cody (he wasn't really a chief or native american) from 1971, using the original spot and his updated message, Alex demonstrated that "pollution is bad, clean is good", so anything that effects global warming is bad. Carbon in the air is bad. Less of it is good. Focus on the problem. Solve the problem. And leave the scientific and political blather out of the room.

(Note: The "Crying Indian" was created by Marsteller Inc. The spot won two Clio awards and the campaign was named one of the top 100 advertising campaigns of the 20th Century by Ad Age Magazine.)


He hasn’t said what he’ll do next, but there are several interesting things he’s been exploring. Trust me if he can match his success at CP+B in any other endeavor, the results will be amazing. But that raises another question: What does his departure mean for Crispin Porter + Bogusky?

Crispin Porter + Bogusky has been left in great hands. In early 2008 when Alex and Chuck Porter were named co-chairman, they left the day-to-day creative voice and direction in the hands of great creative thinkers Andrew Keller and Rob Reilly. Together they have lead a brilliant team of inspired and brave "thinkers", Jeff Benjamin, Tiffany Kosel, David Wright, Ari Merkin, Bill Wright, Faris Yakob, Scott Prindle and many others who are rewriting the rule book every day for a stellar list of clients that grows with each new innovation or strategic approach that just makes the industry stop take notice. No just on the creativity, but the influence it has on the media, culture and most importantly the audience.

The current client list includes Burger King, Microsoft, Domino’s Pizza, Coke Zero, Guitar Hero, Old Navy, Gap, AMEX, Kraft, Best Buy and Geek Squad and remain one of the most awarded agencies in the world with the unprecedented distinction of winning the Grand Prix at the Cannes International Advertising Festival in five separate categories. The agency has been named Agency of the Year twelve times in the advertising trade press, as well as being named Interactive Agency of the Year at Cannes three times.

There is no sign of this stopping as they attract the top talent from around the world. They draw deep from the well of all the advertising schools were the work of CP+B is featured at the top of every case study whether on creativity, strategy and innovation. This year I am proud say that we have our first intern hired in the Boulder office.


There is certainly no shortage of content on the internet about Alex Bogusky, including lists of things you would never believe or think to ask.

Yes he loses his wallet way more often than most people. He would be perfectly content eating Tex Mex food every day for the rest of his life. Most Mondays, he will come to work with at least one bloody, puss-oozing injury.

He rarely drinks anymore, but when he does he goes straight for the tequila. He has the attention span of a mating fruit fly.

In grade school, his teacher recommended he be put in a special class.

He owns eleven bicycles, four dirt bikes and one crotch rocket He has a photographic memory, but only for ads.

He has an irrational dislike of St. Louis. Yet many of his favorite people are from St. Louis.

At one time, he was a good enough motocross racer to turn pro. His mom and dad are both designers and more talented that he is.

And he cuts his own hair. With a Flowbie.

One of the best things I stumbled upon was a comment posted on Alex's blog the day of his announcement where he described the day he knew it was time to "stop and smell the flowers". It was posted by a very bright, whity and now obsessed advertising creative former neurologist named Zayra Rubin from New York. After reading his posting Zayra summed things up perfectly, words I couldn't find but felt deeply. Thanks Zayra.

I guess this is all the more poignant after today's news. And I guess we'll be like two ships who pass in the night, both on similar journeys in opposite directions. We've never met but just know that you have inspired me to do courageous, foolish and awesome things.

A few short years ago I was a neurologist. No, really. I literally lived in the hospital, watched people die on a daily basis, and saved some lives along the way. But I certainly didn't smell any flowers. Hell, I barely saw daylight. But I did it because I knew it all mattered and I didn't really see any other way.
It's a long story with a lot of steps in between, but now I'm actually headed towards a career in advertising. I know, I know, crazy, right? But it's exactly like you said earlier this week: it's about knowing who you really are and truly living that.

It's also about a Turkish proverb I came across some years back that got me through the worst of it: "No matter how far you've gone down the wrong road; turn back." I guess sometimes that road can be right for a while, but wrong in the end.

Ironically, I just posted an old entry of yours about meeting Lee Clow as a young creative, almost exiting the business, but being inspired to stay, and I thought to myself: "Shit, Alex Bogusky almost quit advertising before he even started? Now THAT would have been a great loss!"

Now I'm saying advertising's loss is going to be something else's gain; because whatever you pursue you will do it with grace, excellence and awe-inspiring brilliance.

And just know how many of us you have inspired along the way.

Peace out.
So, like I said at start of this posting I wasn't sure how to approach this since almost everything I have read these past few days was reading and sounding like an obituary. I wanted to honor and thank Alex, yet I don't want to be just another "Alex is gone. now what?" Sure I have referred to him as "Jesus of Boulder" for his working mud into miracles. Be it people, clients or causes he has helped build a creative revolution not seen since Bill Bernbach and George Lois both inspired the first "Golden Creative Age" of advertising.

Hopefully this isn't one of those postings.

Good-bye is may be to strong. As the french say " a bientôt pour le prochain".


Sally Hogshead: A View From An AdGuy Conversations

In the Spring of 2010 I had the privilege to sit down and speak with Sally Hogshead when she visited Toronto as a speaker during the Art of Marketing shortly after the release of her newest book "Fascinate".

Sally is passionate, bright and brilliant thinker. I have referred to her as a "big brain". Her newest book and our time together proved to be a wonderful learning experience and left me motivated and inspired.

Fascinate is very smart, easy and a great read. Sally divides her concept of fascination into seven universal triggers: Lust, Mystique, Prestige, Power, Vice, and Trust. Each is explained an in-depth study that explores the influence these seven triggers hold over people. Each is deeply a rooted pattern in how we react and become fascinated in our learning, engagement and influences our decision making in all parts of life. The book asks the question, what triggers cause us to make decisions, make purchases and motivates us to make changes in our lives.

Sally calls upon her experiences as a marketing innovation consultant and ad-agency entrepreneur for companies such as Target, Nike, Mini Cooper and Harry Winston Jewelers. Advertisers can longer just try to impress audiences with bold executions, the challenge today is communicate wth consumers beyond the bounds of rationality. Knowing what fascinates the consumer, building a personal message that triggers a response is the key.

Knowing your brand is one thing, knowing how to make it fascinating is now the key. When applying a trigger to a brand, take the Apple iPad as an example, the primary trigger is "Lust" and the secondary trigger would be "Trust". Apple has created a customer who lusts for their products, while based on a trust built on the quality. The more passionately someone feels about your product, the more successfully you’ve transformed a customer into a "lustomer".

Sally took the time to review my personal triggers. My primary is "Trust", secondary is "Prestige" and my dormant trigger is "Vice". Rare and interesting for me being a college professor. Episode Six below reveals her response and how I can call upon them.

This book is a very smart and fresh look at marketing, and how and why we need to change marketing strategies within the changing economy and new media available.

Our conversation was centered around how to help young AdLanders find their path and what it takes, and she had plenty of great advice and thoughts were we are are as a business and where we are heading.

She is one of the most engaging people I have ever met.

I wish to thank the kind folks at The Biz Media for providing me with the video and editing of each of the pieces. They are great group of guys who know how to get the job done and make everyone feel very at ease, and I really thank them for that.

Sally Hogshead Related Links:


Read more about 'Fascinate"

How Fascinating Are You? Take the "F Score" Test

Sally Hogshead YouTube Channel

HogBlog Thoughts and thinking on Radical Careering

Download a free PDF copy of Radical Careering


I asks Sally about how she got started in the ad industry. She reveals her interest in Sociology, and discusses the influence of society and on the consumer.

Sally offers some insight into the self-doubt that is inevitably experienced by every young "AdLander".


Sally discusses dealing with rejection, and the importance of finding a place that nurtures and supports young talent.

She touches on the advantages of working for a big agency and offers some insightful advice on the ever-important informational interview.


Sally offers her thoughts on the advertising industry today, including how it has changed since Madison Avenue was the capital of it all and where its going in the future. In addition she offers her opinion on social media, inventing new media, and coming up with big ideas that are persuasive beyond the media platform.


Sally talks about her career as an author and touches on the personal journey behind her first book, Radical Careering, and discusses how the career journey often affects the individuals self-perception. She talks about potential, and reveals her desire to bring a new way of thinking into the career category.


Sally talks toabout the origin of her newest book, Fascinate AND reveals the books non-marketing approach to understanding consumer behaviour and talks about interpreting marketing in a more instinctive way.

Sally offers her opinion on earning trust from the consumer, and the importance of effective reactive campaigns.

Anthony Kalamut talks to Sally Hogshead about the F-Score test - the main focus in her newest book, Fascinate.

Sally talks about the F-Score test - the main focus in her newest book, Fascinate and the importance of earning the consumers trust, and the inherent right-brained/left-brained nature of many consumer triggers.

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