How Open Floor Plans Beat You Unconscious

Here’s a really great presentation I saw at SXSW. It does an outstanding job of dissecting why open floor plans are terrible ideas. It also does a great job of pointing out how “we’ve become unconscious to sound” because of our constant overexposure to it.

One of the most significant aspects of moving to an experiential shop is how important the other senses become when you aren’t limited to creating for a device. Taste, touch and smell all come into play in ways that couldn’t happen in other channels.

While those senses provide the opportunity to create unique and new experiences, sound is an additional opportunity we often overlook because we are so used to it.

How Open Floor Plans Beat You Unconscious

The Madness of March Madness Commercials: A Running Diary

As we close up another year of March Madness, I’ll take a moment to ramble about the commercials. Here’s a running diary as I watch the Elite Eight games. Warning: I may have a few strong opinions after seeing every commercial approximately 100 times already.

– Big year for chickens.

– The old lady does not have a blog. No one should have a blog anymore. Not even me.

– Dear Buick, if you are going to buy this much air time, please make more than one new commercial. And run a commercial that does something other than say “Buick” 6 times.

– The anti-Buick commercials: the multiple Capital One spots where you can hardly understand what Barkley is saying.

– Those spots are endearing. I don’t know why.

– After seeing the same spots so much over the first weekend I’m genuinely excited to see anything new right now.


– Even when you don’t think FIAT is going to make a cliche Italian joke they sneak it in there at the last moment.

– New AT&T spot with Shaq crying and saying he feels “Not strong” = win.

– I would comment on the Enterprise commercial but I feel like it wasn’t meant for me.

– Big year for swiping.

Feed it! No.

– How does one invent low fares?


– Clyde the Glyde. I can get behind anything with him in it.

– There’s “wedding season”. The second weekend all-star. This household is Team Wetterlund. Apparently when she’s not killing Girl Code she’s crushing commercials.

I wish every truck was a taco truck. That’s some liberal tomfoolery right there.

– Whoa. Century 21 just blew my mind. They are introducing different edits of the same commercial. Imagine if Buick did this? Grandma would have twitter, medium and quora!

You stole my notes.That’s how we do it in Hollywood. I don’t like Hollywood. SENSITIVE BARLES CHARKLY STRIKES AGAIN!!!

Break Time. See ya tomorrow.

And we’re back.

– First commercial break. Southwest then Buick. The ad gods are mocking me.

– Spots like Apple’s and Samsung’s are great because they are all music and no dialogue. Someone could create a spot saying, “You are just great.” And I’d be sick of it after the 10th time.

– Does the BMW old lady have dementia? I dunno. Anyways, big year for old ladies in cars.

I ride the highway. I’m going my way. I lead a story uuuuuntold.

– If they run back to back chicken commercials followed by back to back old lady commercials, I’m sending my grandmother a gift certificate to KFC.

– Commendable use of the word churn.

Alright, that’s all. Lost some steam. Next year Clyde Drexel and Alice Wetterlund adopt a sensitive Barkely is who is allergic to chicken and old ladies.

The Madness of March Madness Commercials: A Running Diary

Why ya mama is on crack about SXSW sessions

I love SXSW. I don’t think it has jumped the shark House of Cards style. Of course it is a cluster F with tons of noise, but there is still lots of useful content. Here are three sessions I’m really looking forward to.

The Reinvented Food Festival: Sink or Swim

I’m a semi-foodie who is enthusiastic about Smorgasburg and Anthony Bourdain’s future food hall. Being able to sample tons of authentic food and flavors is such a great driver, and the resulting experience is a great opportunity for the vendors and brands.

Narratives, Platforms and Movements

Narratives and platforms are the two subjects that would define my POV for a great brand. This session is intriguing because, while the language is a bit jargon-y and clunky (“movements” = argh), I believe it is really touching on brand purpose, and creating an ongoing narrative by staying aligned to that purpose.

The New Cathedral: Sports Stadiums

Live sports is a beast. While watching live sports in-stadium has been slow to evolve, ESPN has become more important than the cable networks that provide it. Sports stadiums are being forced to re-think the experience, and often the most exciting innovation occurs when it has to happen.

Why ya mama is on crack about SXSW sessions

eBay joining the race to figure out physical retailing makes perfect sense

Interesting article talking about eBay moving into the physical retail space. It underscores the race to the middle of online and offline shopping. Traditional and online retailers are coming from different directions but both want to find the perfect mix.

“Though most consumers still think of eBay strictly as an online shopping destination, the company’s official corporate mission is to strive toward becoming a venue for all commerce. And that means integrating itself with the physical world, where the vast majority of retail still takes place.”

eBay joining the race to figure out physical retailing makes perfect sense

Two ways Tony Robbins can mess with your head

Two highlights from a James Altucher post.

1. Get real

“Tony told us of one time he asked people what their goals were. One guy said, “I want to make a billion dollars!” At first this would seem like an admirable goal – set it high! There’s that horrible saying, “Aim for the moon, because even if you miss it you’ll find yourself among the stars.”

But Tony said, this guy didn’t really understand his goal.

He broke it down. “Why do you want a billion?” And the first answer was, “I want my own plane”. Tony told him, “Well a plane costs $100 million and you might only be flying 12 times a year. If you charter a yet for $30,000 an hour then it will take you forever to spend $100 million.” So suddenly the guy didn’t need $1 billion anymore. He needed $900 million.

“By the end of that session,” Tony said, “it turns out to achieve the exact lifestyle he thought he needed a billion for, he needed $10 million.” This is still a lot of money but this was Tony’s way of bringing the target closer.”

2. Research the best

“Tony told us about a time when he was 24 years old and he wanted to train members of the military to shoot better.

 “I had never shot a gun in my life,” he said and laughed in his raspy voice. He was scared he wouldn’t do a good job.

 So how did he solve this problem? He spoke to five excellent sharpshooters, figured out what they all had in common, and then used that to increase the results of the students in the school by 50%.”

Two ways Tony Robbins can mess with your head

Change something: Real brand purpose

“For me the most important companies in the world, change something. They know what they are fighting for, and they fight tooth and nail to make that change happen. Apple, back in the day, fought on behalf of simplicity, and complexity was its enemy. And we wanted them to win. We wanted complexity to lose. Patagonia is fighting for the planet, and we are grateful they continue to do so. We want Patagonia to win. Kickstarter fights to get creative projects funded by the creative community, and take that decision away from banks. We want Kickstarter to win.”

“The reason purpose gives you a steel back-bone is because the goal is bigger than yourself, you are fighting for something far bigger than just your self-interest.”

This is in stark contrast to the reality of us planners preaching brand purpose. It is not going to happen because of an agency relationship. For all the reasons Ed Cotton outlines. It has to happen at the founder level. Way before agencies are involved. Simply put, too many companies are too far gone.

Change something: Real brand purpose