Archive for May, 2009

angelI had the most marvelous encounter today. A transportation, really. It seemed an angel all clad in billowy white descended from the blinding heavens, grasped my hand, and carried me up to the lofty heights of pure delight. An angel named Alaska Airlines.

At least, that’s how my flight from Portland to Chicago felt today.

In contrast, my US Airlines experience of a few weeks ago was Dante’s field trip to the deepest, most sulfurous levels of air travel hell, where winged Gila monsters bite your limbs and tenders while two fiery demons bugger you with a spiny lobster.Bosch

At least, that’s how it felt.

Oh, yes, US Airlines could have gotten me to Chicago cheaper. But I was resolute, paid my slightly higher tariff, and took the path of righteous customer service.

It’s hard to believe that both companies are in the same business. It was such a staggering difference.

Thanks, Alaska. Begone, US Airlines!

– Doug


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Here’s a list of some of the books we love most right now. Just in case you’re looking for something to inspire you or stuff in your carry-on.

Built_to_LastBuilt To Last. Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. By Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras. This one’s a monster, importance-wise. One of the top two books we recommend to our employees.

Two Stanford business school profs did a six-year study of 17 of the most successful companies in the world, along with 17 also-rans. The companies have an average age of nearly one hundred years and the successful ones outperformed the general stock market by a factor of fifteen since 1926.

Collins and Porras build a very strong case for the importance of values to the winners. A vital must-read. (more…)

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Adelsheim_bottleIt’s wine. No question.

Fire was a good discovery, but we didn’t invent it. It just kind of happened naturally and we learned to repeat it. The wheel’s pretty rocking, but not nearly as satisfying. (Except maybe when I’m riding my motorcycle.) Sex…that was invented by some crawling mud things way before we came along.

Wine is one of the few human inventions that became a god. And it is the greatest thing we ever did for ourselves. One reason I love the business I’m in is because we get to work with both the Oregon Wine Board and Adelsheim as clients.

Which means drinking wine is work, really.

Here’s a nice article in the NY Times that talks about some Oregon wines. I love what he’s saying about boring American wines. We don’t make many up this way.

Yeah…I’ve got some work to do at home tonight.


– Doug

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NYTPDXOK, terminally hip potential employees. Next time ID Branding comes calling and you have any doubts about whether you should move to Portland, read this and drool.

– Doug

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Most_Interesting_ManFew advertising campaigns actually go beyond advertising and begin shaping an ethos and a worldview for a brand. But that’s exactly what Euro did for Dos Equis in the still-running and still-brilliant campaign, The Most Interesting Man in the World.

Ever since I blogged about the campaign and posted videos on the blog, we have had a steady stream of visitors who come via search. They’re using search terms like “Dos Equis,” “Most Interesting Man,” “I don’t always drink beer,” “I prefer Dos Equis,” etc. They’re even misspelling “Dos Eqius.”

Since August, 2008, we’ve had 1887 recorded visits to that post. It’s our second-most popular on the blog. And lately the numbers have been growing. (48 people just yesterday.) Crazy. (more…)

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wormNo matter what Buzz O’Halloran told you on the playground, it doesn’t work. A worm needs all parts of it’s body to be a worm. Cutting it in half with a broken Pepsi bottle just makes a small, tragic mess.

Same with strategic and creative work.

I’m not sure what makes people think, on both the agency and the client side, that you can severe these two things between two different agencies. I’ve seen it tried too many times.

We have a saying here. “Creative is just as strategic as strategy.” (more…)

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johnwanamakerMany of you know the famous saying of retailing magnate John Wanamaker: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

This once-true statement is based on an old model of branding which looks at advertising as essentially a cattle prod to spur sales. It’s a model based the now out-of-date and very dangerous sort of mechanistic notion of how a brand works. You zap the consumer with advertising, their nerves twitch, and they buy your product or services.

This used to be true. You just never exactly knew which ads were going to twitch the right nerves in the right people.

So making advertising, which, apart from a logo and some packaging, (more…)

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