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Dataheads Beware: Why Big Ideas are Stronger than Big Data

November 28, 2012

In the age of social media, data analysis has started to push the Big Idea to the side.

Big mistake.

Here’s why —


Make Me Different

December 9, 2011

Many creatives can attest to hearing these words during client presentations and interaction. But, “different” is a qualitative term.

If you are familiar with Adrenalin’s work (, you will see we enjoy pushing creative boundaries.

However, in some instances, there have been campaigns that our clients sometimes want to revisit just before release to ensure its communication.

Every industry has its creative threshold and every client depends upon its agency to understand its brand merits. Sometimes, a client gets the jitters just before a campaign’s debut. It happens, and it’s up to the agency to do a little hand-holding.

I smiled when I read this post today and wanted to share its keen words of wisdom.

KickBoX Burn/L.A. BoX Camp
What is the right way to hold a pencil? How about the right way to write a legal brief, compose a song or make a sales call? Ty Cobb, may have been the greatest hitter in baseball history. Have you ever seen the way he held a bat? Based on everything I’ve ever been taught, he did it wrong. He held his hands apart—not together. Pretty good result for doing it not right. We are so inundated from an early age by the right way to do things. I swear we need a revolution against the ‘right way’ syndrome. It’s time to do things wrong. How we practice medicine, work, make love, get energy, and think. We need a lot more of doing it wrong if we are going to find better ways of living, working, healing, loving and finding meaning in this world. So here’s to Ty Cobb, let’s all hold the bat with our hands apart; today, let’s all do stuff wrong.

Over the years I have been accused of doing things wrong once in a while. Now I don’t feel so bad about it. As a matter of fact, it kinda’ makes a lot of sense. Thank you^

I love creativity

October 21, 2011

I don’t even know where to begin. I read an article today that made me smile.

I remember when I was a kid I put together the proverbial ‘two cans and a string’ to create my first phone. In hindsight, this was my foray into the world of communication.

Today I read an article that made me remember this stellar moment. I read how one can use their beer can to enhance their wi-fi signal by two to four bars!

Makes you realize the past is always with us.

We are creatures of habit. We take what we know and employ it to assist us in (hopefully) doing better. But, in essence, we do what we are good at or used to doing in a way that’s familiar. We all have a propensity to run to the familiar.

I find at Adrenalin our clients depend upon us most to help them think differently. Discussion and communication between client and agency is instrumental in reaching a successful goal. It is the agency’s responsibility to not only present the client with a proposed solution in reaching the client’s set out goals, but also be responsive to the client’s understanding and emotional acceptance of the creative — being ecstatic, happy, sad, pensive or just maybe unsure — it all matters.

Whatever we do, wherever we do it, not everyone sees the same picture. This is what makes us unique. Simply put, we don’t know what we don’t know.


Built into every brand are unique selling features — “Brand Muscles”

October 12, 2011

I’ve been in LA for a bit now and one of the first things I did was join a gym. The gym is exceptionally clean and the people who come to work out here take it seriously. I like that. But, what I like the most is the innate sense of belonging to this community. The feeling of ‘safe’. Whatever that would mean to you — it is the basic heart and soul of this brand. I sometimes stop and think of all the effort and thought that is put into making brand deeds shine. Most importantly, it’s believability. A consumer can tell when they are being schmoozed and if the company’s communication is sincere.  Brand deeds begins at the top and hopefully work their way through the ranks. The combination of these deeds are what creates the unique chemistry that distinguishes a company in the marketplace and truly engages its audience. It delivers brand muscle. If you are in your dentist’s office or a local deli, the front of the room should always exhibit the company’s spirit. Sports Club LA does everything to make this happen each and every time I visit. Oh yeah, the Ads that made me smile were the ones that were only posted in the club and designed specifically for me, a member. Not necessarily to recruit new members, but for us — the members themselves. They were created to make us feel empowered and reconfirm that the decision to be here, at this time, in these shoes, doing that thing, is right. Nothing like that feeling of being right I say.

You gotta’ be you

March 27, 2011

I’ve had some incredible opportunities over the years.

The one thing that I’ve noticed in high-profile successful people is they are all true to their core. Their long term success’ come from being true to themselves. Their followers and loyal fans love them for who they are.

I’ve spent a bit of time with The Ramones. The first time we met was in the back of a limousine. I learned then they looked at a limo like it was a tour bus. The “flash” was not important to them. It was a giant car picking up a group of guys. More of a Gabba, Gabba Hey than a Yippee yi-o ki-a. Just a bunch of guys who wanted to go see a horror movie before they were to appear in front of 1000s of screaming fans.

Remember JJ Cale?  After Midnight, Cocaine? Known for his moody tracks and living in the shadows. In the 80’s I went with JJ to a major radio station interview. I introduced him to the radio interview host. They exchanged pleasantries and JJ took the celebrity chair. The mike was switched on, the on-air sign lit and this understated artist answered every question asked of him — with a nod or hand gesture! Not a word was uttered. It was amazing. True to form.

The radio host looked over at me and said “he knows he’s live on radio, right?”

This was viral promotion before we promo guys coined the phrase. JJ Cale was on the radio speaking (?) about his latest album release and his concert the next night and didn’t say a thing! Listeners engaged their friends, album sales spiked and most important, the concert date sold out.

Go figure. Who knew?

Built into every brand are unique selling features. Highlight those natural features and you have an honest, long lasting brand.

Unique Brands. Unique Solutions.

A Global name with a small perspective

March 22, 2011

I traveled Toronto by subway today. It’s not often I get the pleasure, however, this trip I made it a point to take in all the billboards and ads that were posted. I noticed one in particular from Global TV Toronto profiling their on-air 6p news team. Two news veterans who I happen to think are great news people. The sign read “We Know Toronto”. I commented to myself “Who Doesn’t?”. What TV station does not profess to be the be-all-and-end-all of local news? How will this Global TV print campaign motivate viewers? The Global TV people might want to look at CITY-TV, CTV, CP24 or CBC and ask what separates their local message from the pack. In this case, the answer is nothing.

You must be distinctive to survive. What is Global TV’s unique voice?


A little creativity could go a long way

February 22, 2011

Ever sit in a presentation and start to fidget because the presenter is just moving a tad too slow for you? Your mind begins to wander and soon you are just there in body but your mind is somewhere between here and Jamaica. I came across a clip that shows the strength of a simple creative idea and what it can deliver to the most tiresome of topics. Add a little sugar and music to North Korean training films and Kim Jong-il becomes a party planner.

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