Book Review: Ship Of Ghosts

Right or wrong, more than one expert has compared the COVID-19 pandemic to WWII in terms of the global scale of its impact.  So perhaps it was fitting that I took the time to finish reading Ship Of Ghosts.  It’s a fascinating and terrifying account of the USS Houston and what happened to it in 1942, not long after Pearl …

Film Review: A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Brands come in all shapes, sizes, colors and flavors.  Just like people.  Some are funny.  Some are wise.  Some are innovative.  Some smell good. And some are really special.  With brand stories that can be quite fascinating. If you’ve watched 2019’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood starring Tom Hanks as the inimitable Fred Rogers, you’ve seen one of those …

Book Review: The Evolution Of Useful Things

I recently re-discovered a fascinating book that served as a great travel companion a number of years ago.  It is a 1994 book called The Evolution of Useful Things by Henry Petroski.  The author skillfully explores the drivers of innovation and invention by examining the history and, well…evolution…of some everyday objects to prove his point.  In this book, Petroski tests …

Train Wreck Review: Tiger King

What would a quarantine edition newsletter be without a Tiger King review? Where the heck did this show come from?! Out of nowhere the Netflix-reaching world was collectively binging, and then talking about and creating memes for a limited-series documentary about big cat owners. Now, we’re not talking big cats like Maine Coons (look it up if you’re not familiar) …

Why Prescribing Brand Authenticity Needs To Stop

There are lots of different formats for creative briefs out there.  We’ve even helped a couple of shops come up with a template for briefs:  what sections need to be completed, how things should be covered, what helps inspire the thinking, what doesn’t, etc.  However, in my experience, nearly all briefs include a section on “tone” or—in industry lingo—tonality.  It’s …

Ad Critique: Jared Jewelry

In case you missed it during the obligatory pre-Valentine’s Day blitz of engagement ring campaigns in February, it appears that one jewelry brand had finally upped its game. Jared, the somewhat oddly-named Bermuda-based chain, seemed like it had long employed a creative team whose best work had been those noxious Howie Long and Teri Hatcher Radio Shack ads of yesterdecade. …