On Making Ideas

Brainstorming: Forget Playing Nice. Make It a Competition!

Maybe you’ve heard the rule: ‘Brainstorming is not a competition.’  I hear it a lot. But it’s simply ridiculous. Brainstorming is a competition! Isn’t everything in business? You can’t bring together driven C-Suite execs, high level creative teams, or top level sales people who bring in millions and ask them to leave behind the very… Read More »

All I See is Fabulous Me: #3 of 3 Blind Spots That Make Really Funny Commercials

Here’s the third of three classic character blind spots you can use to make really funny commercials. The blind spots we reveal by what we say and how we behave are rich raw material for creating funny, even poignant, commercials. A character’s blind spot both informs their behavior and makes it difficult -and sometimes impossible… Read More »

Brainstorming Fallacy: There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Idea. Yes There Are!

“There’s no such thing as a bad idea.” So goes the prompt at the beginning of just about every brainstorming sessions. No bad ideas?! Wait! Of course there are bad ideas!! Here’s the absolute worst idea in every brainstorming session and how it can derail even the best session. Unfortunately, it’s repeated again and again. Here’s how to avoid it every single time.

Brainstorming: The #1 Cardinal Rule and Why You Should Ignore It!

When I run a brainstorming session there are three rules that are non-negotiable: zero cell phones, one conversation at a time, and respect for my role as referee and ‘idea traffic cop’. But I’ve learned that one popular brainstorming ‘commandment’ is counter-productive. In fact, to ensure you have the most spontaneous and productive idea-making session… Read More »

Unbridled Optimism: #2 of 3 Blind Spots That Make Really Funny Commercials

Here’s the second of three classic blind spots you can use to make really funny commercials. The blind spots we reveal by what we say and how we behave are rich raw material for creating funny, even poignant, commercials. A character’s blind spot both informs their behavior and makes it difficult — and sometimes impossible… Read More »

The night I took a steam with Mick Jagger (and what he taught me about advertising)

When I putting my portfolio together many years ago, a chance encounter with Mick Jagger helped me get my first job in the biz and framed the way I think about advertising.

Manhattan Mini Storage: Thank you Seth Meyer

   Here’s why I’m sharing this ad for Manhattan Mini Storage. I want to point out that we not only pull conceptual ideas from the culture around us, but we grab grammatical ones as well. Not just catch phrases, but comedic structure that informs a joke. Here, the style is: Offer up an idea, then point… Read More »

Digging for the Bone: How to Jumpstart Your Creative Thinking!

Want to spark your creative thinking? Need to develop a huge amount fresh, killer ideas as efficiently as possible? In ‘Digging for the Bone: How to Jumpstart Creative Thinking”, I reveal a non-linear technique I’ve developed in my years working with creatives and execs alike. I was happy to learn that ‘Digging for the Bone’… Read More »