In season 2 of Mad Men, Sterling Cooper advertising agency brings in two young creative superstars to help Martinson Coffee – an old iconic brand – reach a younger audience. Here’s the dialog: “We don’t want to be told what to do,” says the hip, twenty-something copywriter. “That’s over. We want to find things for […]

Most of us know how “runners high” works. After an intense workout, our bodies produce endorphins. Then those “feel good” chemicals pump through our veins while our muscles heal. We feel achy, but we’re grinning. Free anti-depressants! But did you know that laughter – which has absolutely nothing to do with working out – is […]

I once had a steady gig playing piano at a Sunday brunch on a military base. I was never happy with my pay, so after a few months I met with the club manager to politely asked for a raise. “We can’t do that,” he said. “And in fact, next weekend will be your last […]

My latest binge has been “The Defiant Ones” on HBO, an edgy documentary that profiles the career paths of music moguls Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. These are the men who brought you Nine Inch Nails, Snoop Dog, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, Lady Gaga, Eminem, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Katy Perry and more. Gangsta rap […]

How do you convince a Grammy-winning, household-name that writing a jingle for an insurance company isn’t compromising his artistic integrity? By letting him re-write it…any way he wants. That appears to be how ad agency Oglivy Mather got Brad Paisley to sing the “Nationwide is on your side” earworm. This is so cool: Nationwide Insurance […]

Dominique and I were recently watching videos of X-Factor auditions on YouTube when this pre-roll ad for French’s Jalapeno Mustard appeared: Clicking “Skip Ad” has become second nature for most of us by now, but this spot was the exception. It totally got our heads bobbin’. Congratulations to ADROC – the retail marketing agency for […]

When Spotify started out, it took $1 billion in seed capital from Wall Street. As most of those arrangements go, 11 years later,  Spotify CEO Daniel Ek is racing to a place where he can rely less on those investors……and instead rely more on you and me. Companies go public for one reason; to raise […]

It’s understandable why classic songs are classic songs; even when they’re cheesy. Baby-boomers made out for the first time to Elvis’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love”. My first beer buzz was underscored by The Simple Mind’s “Don’t You Forget About Me”. Experts call that associative listening. What we were doing when we first heard the […]

Hearing Coltrane, Dizzy and Miles blow a solo in 1954 probably felt – at least to a layman – much like venturing out into metropolis currently feels to me. A brute force; all of it demanding my full attention and respect. Which explains why music lovers so hungrily consumed the relaxed, unhurried piano playing of […]

There is a phenomenon among live musicians that is unmistakable when it happens, but hard to label. So I’m creating a label for it….”road tight”. “Road tight” is the telepathy that occurs between musicians who have been on the road together for many weeks and have learned each other’s idiosyncrasies (both personal and musical). They’ve […]