Tide’s Super Bowl ads were too good not to spend a few minutes writing about. To help set the table for what’s going on with it, I’m going to crib the intro of a post I wrote in December:

One of my favorite marketing stories to tell is about how when I was working at an agency early in my career we were doing research for one of the big consumer electronics companies. Specifically, we were testing a new commercial another agency had put together. The commercial was “edgy” (it had snowboarders!) and got high marks by all the…


At the end of every year one of my favorite things to do is look back on all the amazing writing I read and try to choose a few favorites (and explain why I chose them). That is this list. To be clear on the format: I’ve broken things down into a few big themes. My picks are based on my own preferences, meaning it’s not always the best piece of pure writing, but often the things that stayed rattling around in my head the longest. I’ve tried to contextualize things as much as possible (hence the length). …


One of my favorite marketing stories to tell is about how when I was working at an agency early in my career we were doing research for one of the big consumer electronics companies. Specifically, we were testing a new commercial another agency had put together. The commercial was “edgy” (it had snowboarders!) and got high marks by all the random consumers who got pulled into a room in the mall to watch it. That is, until they were asked the last question: “What brand was it for?” To which they all replied with the company’s biggest competitor. The moral…


At the end of September we held Percolate’s annual Transition Conference in New York City. The theme was digital transformation and I opened the day talking about the future of marketing. As I joked at the beginning, I didn’t assign myself that title and I always get a little squeamish when asked to play soothsayer. But I also didn’t want to back down from the challenge, as I think we have a pretty unique point of view on the future of the marketing industry and how brands must adapt to best take advantage of our digital present and future.

Rather…


Best Articles of 2016

This hasn’t been my best year for blogging. My last post was June and, before that, January. Such is the life of an entrepreneur and new dad. However, while I haven’t found time to do the sort of writing I used to, I am happy to say I did a fair amount of reading this year and couldn’t let the holidays pass without sharing some of my favorite longform.

If you haven’t read one of these lists before (2011, 2012, and 2015), the basic gist is it’s a list of the stuff I read this year…


Thought it might be worth sharing here as well with a little extra context …

That embed, there, of course points to Hillary’s comment about “a man you can bait with a Tweet”:

That wasn’t just a throwaway line, either. It was effectively the hook of the speech. It became the headline to quite a few stories. And it’s about a service that is getting pretty hammered by the market …

So what gives? How is it that on one hand the service can have that kind of cultural impact but on the other be such a…


As everyone now knows the UK voted to leave the European Union today. I happen to be in London this week and so have been paying close attention to the vote and having many conversations with family, friends, and colleagues about how it came to this and what it means for the future. I’m no economist or pundit, so I’ll leave those takes to the professionals, but I wanted to take a minute to share a few thoughts on the obvious parallels between what’s happening here in the UK and with Trump in the US.

The two most enlightening things…


Really enjoyed this New Yorker profile of 14-year-old climbing extraordinaire Ashima Shiraishi.

On what makes great climbers (and specifically Ashima so amazing):

In terms of pure talent — climbers speak of “strength” — she is near the top, but she is not too keen on taking risks. Anyway, her parents won’t allow it. She has small, powerful fingers, a light but sinewy frame, and a seemingly effortless yet peerlessly precise technique. All this enables her to find holds in nearly imperceptible chinks in the rock. A rock climber’s key attribute is a high strength-to-weight ratio, but the ability to create…


A really interesting concept from this blog post on the recent very-avoidable crash of a private jet:

Social normalization of deviance means that people within the organization become so much accustomed to a deviant behavior that they don’t consider it as deviant, despite the fact that they far exceed their own rules for the elementary safety. People grow more accustomed to the deviant behavior the more it occurs. To people outside of the organization, the activities seem deviant; however, people within the organization do not recognize the deviance because it is seen as a normal occurrence. …


Aaron Dignan had a nice little 2016 post titled “New Years Resolutions for the Organization”. In it he outlines 5 resolutions organizations could/should take advantage of. I was particularly interested in number 3: Ditch Executive Reviews.

Ditch executive reviews. We have noticed a disturbing trend lately — one where employees view a meeting with senior management AS AN ACTUAL MILESTONE for their project. Not a technical breakthrough. Not an initial shipment. Not a new retail partner. A meeting. A meeting where someone who has less visibility than they do (but hopefully more experience) can influence the fate of their most…

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