Thought Leaders - guest commentary from our community of industry leaders

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

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.

Will Amazon devour brands?

Will Amazon devour brands?

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

Upfronts 2017: Deciphering the spin

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.

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.

CBS anchors 2017-2018 schedule with established hits
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CBS anchors 2017-2018 schedule with established hits

With six new shows and more "Big Bang," the Eye net is poised for another "most-watched" season.

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."

ABC comes out swinging with 14 new series, including a new 'Roseanne'
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ABC comes out swinging with 14 new series, including a new 'Roseanne'

Spin-offs for "Dancing with the Stars" and "The Bachelor," plus a relocated "American Idol," lead an aggressive 2017-18 lineup.

Fox unveils new series from Seth MacFarlane and Marvel for Fall 2017
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Fox unveils new series from Seth MacFarlane and Marvel for Fall 2017

Will new entries from proven sources compensate for the loss of the Super Bowl?

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.

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.

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.

NBC revives 'Must See TV,' and some other relics, for Fall 2017 lineup
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NBC revives 'Must See TV,' and some other relics, for Fall 2017 lineup

"Will and Grace" revival and a new "Law and Order" round out the upcoming blasts from the past.

A call to arms for branded film: How do brands entertain?
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A call to arms for branded film: How do brands entertain?

Despite some trailblazing exceptions, branded film content has failed to become a mainstream marketing tool. James Morris, global chief executive of Stink, explains why.

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.

How my career in advertising helped and hindered my first year of motherhood
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How my career in advertising helped and hindered my first year of motherhood

I truly believed I was very "prepared." Being prepared is what I do for a living. Boy, was I in for a rude awakening, writes a VP, account director at Motive.

10 ways to make every day a happy Mother's Day for moms in advertising
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10 ways to make every day a happy Mother's Day for moms in advertising

Don't assume everything is about the kids once a new mother comes back to work, writes the chief strategy officer of FCB New York.

Brands

Disempowerment: Why good intentions often backfire
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Disempowerment: Why good intentions often backfire

Brands typically dramatize transformative product benefits, but instead inadvertently take consumer power away, writes the director of strategy for Burns Group.

How's your Japan strategy coming?
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How's your Japan strategy coming?

If Western agencies are serious about helping Japanese brands go international, they need to treat them with the respect they deserve.

Advertisers stay faithful to online ads, despite mounting concerns
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Advertisers stay faithful to online ads, despite mounting concerns

WFA advertiser members were quizzed on their views regarding online advertising and their investment intentions for the year ahead. This is what the survey found.

Creativity

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.

A love letter to England's creativity
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A love letter to England's creativity

There is no better place to open an office than where the most inspiring work comes from--be it pop music or thought-provoking art.

Why the advertising world should take a long look at itself
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Why the advertising world should take a long look at itself

D&AD doesn't have all the answers -- but we are trying to do something about it, writes its chief executive.

Culture

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.

JWT's Tamara Ingram on leadership in a time of crisis
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JWT's Tamara Ingram on leadership in a time of crisis

How to focus a team on the future without denying its past.

Media

Programming 101: The best and the worst decisions of 2016-17
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Programming 101: The best and the worst decisions of 2016-17

Casting Melissa McCarthy as a sputtering, volcanic Sean Spicer? Good. Pairing (yawn) Ryan Seacrest with (yaaaawn!) Kelly Ripa? Not so good.

Let's play chess with the network lineups
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Let's play chess with the network lineups

With the broadcast upfronts just two weeks away, it's time to help the harried TV executives fill out their schedules.

Bill O'Reilly and syndication: A match made in desperation
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Bill O'Reilly and syndication: A match made in desperation

Because we all know podcasting just isn't big enough for Papa Bear.

People

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.

How influencer marketing created a disaster in the Bahamas
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How influencer marketing created a disaster in the Bahamas

The Fyre Festival was billed as a luxury Coachella, but famous Instagrammers ended up promoting a nightmare event, writes the president of Pure Growth Consulting.

China's one-child policy and the demographic headache it left behind
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China's one-child policy and the demographic headache it left behind

As China enters unexplored demographic territory, some entrenched cultural ideas will surely have to go.

Technology

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.

Don't worry (much), AI won't bite
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Don't worry (much), AI won't bite

Marketers are excited about the potential of machine learning, but it takes more than enthusiasm to turn the technology into a business advantage, write the CMO and content director of Ready State.