Thought Leaders - guest commentary from our community of industry leaders

Transparency is more than just dollar signs
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Transparency is more than just dollar signs

Here's how to build true partnerships with clients, says PMG's founder.

A brand's one purpose is to provide purpose to its employees

A brand's one purpose is to provide purpose to its employees

To build a strong core, a brand's highest priority should be instilling its employees with a larger sense of purpose, says Brand Union's senior manager of development.

App marketers, stand up to the duopoly! it is time for attribution standards.

App marketers, stand up to the duopoly! it is time for attribution standards.

Because no one wants to take on the industry giants, their attribution approaches go undisputed, says AppLift's Managing Director & CRO.

When A-List celebrities become unpaid spokespeople for the tobacco industry

When A-List celebrities become unpaid spokespeople for the tobacco industry

The fashion and entertainment industries seem stubbornly and dangerously stuck in the past as they fall back on old stereotypes, says Truth Initiative's CEO.

How to design your brand for disruption
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How to design your brand for disruption

Achieving the clear articulation of a simple purpose is anything but simple, says Mono's CMO.

The value of crossover storytellers in a media agnostic world
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The value of crossover storytellers in a media agnostic world

When advertisers engage crossover talent, they harness the power of formidable storytellers, says the founder of Independent Media.

A dozen things I've learned in 15 years at my own agency
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A dozen things I've learned in 15 years at my own agency

Honesty, transparency and fairness are the keys to success for a small agency, says Smith Gifford's CEO.

Modernizing Madison Avenue: The importance of agency diversity
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Modernizing Madison Avenue: The importance of agency diversity

As technology and globalization continue to change the corporate landscape, the pursuit of diversity in the agency world is more important than ever to drive creativity and innovation.

Getting a piece of the over-the-top action
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Getting a piece of the over-the-top action

Organizations and niche video creators are embracing OTT to deliver highly specific content on a global scale, says Accedo's SVP of business development.

Advertising's trust deficit: why branded content is the way forward
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Advertising's trust deficit: why branded content is the way forward

When branded content is doing its job correctly, it's not selling anything, says Mustache's founder and CEO.

Are campaigns like 'Real Beauty' real empowerment?
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Are campaigns like 'Real Beauty' real empowerment?

Self-esteem isn't as effective as self-efficacy, says Burns Group's director of strategy.

R/GA's Barry Wacksman on philosophy, strategy and building an agency
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R/GA's Barry Wacksman on philosophy, strategy and building an agency

The latest in our series of interviews between a rising copywriter and a senior executive about making it in the ad industry.

Good riddance to the White House press briefing
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Good riddance to the White House press briefing

Daily access to our government leaders is a pillar of U.S. democracy and should be taken seriously, but the White House press briefing is no longer a serious undertaking.

The One Club's Kevin Swanepoel responds to Publicis's decision
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The One Club's Kevin Swanepoel responds to Publicis's decision

Not all awards shows are created equal, says the CEO of The One Club for Creativity.

Brand homes create brand super fans
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Brand homes create brand super fans

A brand destination can deliver powerful business results, and even help define a city story, says BRC Imagination Arts' Christian Lachel.

MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan: It's a "brave new world for Cannes Lions"
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MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan: It's a "brave new world for Cannes Lions"

Cannes Lions is a precursor for what's next in the world of marketing, and newcomers have always met with opposition, he says.

Five ways to supercharge your product integration strategy
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Five ways to supercharge your product integration strategy

Traditional ads aren't reaching selective audiences, says Branded Entertainment Network's VP of Global Client Services.

Using data to find the unexpected audience
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Using data to find the unexpected audience

Data at its most granular gives brands deep insights into their customers

Brands

Will Amazon devour brands?
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Will Amazon devour brands?

Retail is being eaten alive by Amazon and brands could be next, writes the director at Furthr.

Why Coke was better than Pepsi at purposeful advertising
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Why Coke was better than Pepsi at purposeful advertising

Phil Teer explains why Coke's plea for perfect harmony was so much more persuasive than Pepsi's decades later.

Dove's body bottles botched the 'real' conversation
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Dove's body bottles botched the 'real' conversation

Brands must understand that there's often a gap between intended meaning, and how that meaning is received by others.

Creativity

Why your iPhone is killing your creativity
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Why your iPhone is killing your creativity

Every day, the insatiable parasite that is your smartphone makes you worse at your job, writes a group creative director at Ogilvy.

Early Cannes prediction: The bronzed beauty and the silicone beast
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Early Cannes prediction: The bronzed beauty and the silicone beast

A 50-inch statue of a confident girl and a life-size model of a man designed to survive a car crash will be happily ever after dancing on the awards stage, writes 180LA's executive creative director.

No laughing matter: Why advertising isn't funny anymore
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No laughing matter: Why advertising isn't funny anymore

A number of suspects today appear before the court of public opinion charged with crimes against comedy. Who of those taking the stand are guilty of perverting the course of amusing advertising? Paul Burke gives his verdict.

Culture

Why we need sponsored entertainment, not branded content
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Why we need sponsored entertainment, not branded content

Instead of making short form films and buying likes, more brands should consider investing in sponsored entertainment that people will pay to watch, writes the producer of Werner Herzog's "Lo and Behold."

Why working from home kills culture
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Why working from home kills culture

Remote work policies serve the needs of the employee, not the company. There is no shared value, writes the president of Boston-based advertising agency Connelly Partners.

Close the gap: The state of the 'total market' industry
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Close the gap: The state of the 'total market' industry

If we do not get the total market topic right, businesses could lose the next 50 years of market share, writes author and founder of Reframe: The Brand.

Media

The 6-step cure for senioritis
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The 6-step cure for senioritis

A former creative director and associate professor of advertising design shares strategies to shake off the doubt and land that first job.

Upfronts 2017: Deciphering the spin
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Upfronts 2017: Deciphering the spin

There was a lot of positive broadcast news coming out of the pitches last week, but there were also many warning signs too.

It's time for challenger brands to challenge the upfronts
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It's time for challenger brands to challenge the upfronts

The yearly broadcast pitch is stacked in favor of media agencies and brands with big budgets, writes the media director of Cutwater.

People

No, let's not take a step back
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No, let's not take a step back

Hey, "Big Picture Guy," your timing stinks.

What marketers can learn from Lavar Ball
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What marketers can learn from Lavar Ball

The retired football player and founder of Big Baller Brand is proof that you don't need an MBA to be a successful marketer, writes mono's creative director.

Why innovation stalls without diversity
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Why innovation stalls without diversity

Leaders who want to drive innovation through diversity need to be willing to expose themselves to some discomfort and awkwardness, writes Mirum's head of client services.

Technology

Meet Dawn: The customer of the future
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Meet Dawn: The customer of the future

How people shop, connect with and think about brands is evolving at a rapid pace. A senior associate of Lippincott's Innovation Practice gives six tips to staying ahead of tech-driven trends.

Third-party verification is just a first step toward transparency
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Third-party verification is just a first step toward transparency

To deliver true accountability, ad tech vendors need to do a whole lot more than providing outside confirmation, writes the president of AOL Platforms.

In the age of feeling, by the numbers is not enough
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In the age of feeling, by the numbers is not enough

Big Data has led us into a new age of reason, but real people aren't as predictable as research suggests, writes the global CEO and CCO of gyro.