Thought Leaders - guest commentary from our community of industry leaders

Like a tough dad, Sears' holiday spot gets emotional only about tools
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Like a tough dad, Sears' holiday spot gets emotional only about tools

Craftsman ad scores well with viewers by focusing on products, not feelings, says AceMetrix.

Five to watch: Midseason's most promising new shows

Five to watch: Midseason's most promising new shows

More network misses than hits, the upcoming TV season offers a handful of hopeful debuts.

How storytelling defeated rationalism

How storytelling defeated rationalism

After half-a-century, the necromancers have finally defeated rationalism.

Ditching Breitbart: It's going to cost them

Ditching Breitbart: It's going to cost them

Values-based decision-making without cultural perspective is a dangerous pursuit, writes the founder of New Heartland Group.

Being 'too black' in corporate America
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Being 'too black' in corporate America

How many times have I put on a mask to avoid being perceived as "too black," asks the president of Ming Utility and Entertainment.

Rationalizing the irrational: Why creatives will always need data
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Rationalizing the irrational: Why creatives will always need data

Data is transforming the creative process, providing hard numbers for clients and facts to support creative intuition, writes the chief creative officer of Innocean USA.

Post-election: 5 ways brands can be a force for good
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Post-election: 5 ways brands can be a force for good

The need for brands to be responsible global citizens is now more essential than ever, write the co-authors of "Good is the New Cool."

Amazon Prime delivers an uplifting, well-timed story of two old friends
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Amazon Prime delivers an uplifting, well-timed story of two old friends

Audiences are falling in love with this tale of inter-religious pals who share more than faith, according to Ace Metrix.

Successful nonprofit campaigns begin long before #GivingTuesday
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Successful nonprofit campaigns begin long before #GivingTuesday

Although cultures differ, the fundamentals of for-profit branding and marketing still apply, writes one of the co-founders of Interplanetary.

The D Word
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The D Word

For all the talk about diversity, we have little to show for our efforts, writes the CCO of FL+G.

Focus group: America
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Focus group: America

The director of brand strategy at Grey San Francisco gives a briefing on the lessons learned from the surprising results of the election.

TV Turkeys: The 10 worst shows of 2016
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TV Turkeys: The 10 worst shows of 2016

From twisted horror plots to lame comedies, the season wasn't short on its share of stinkers.

Is Atlanta the next great creative destination?
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Is Atlanta the next great creative destination?

The city has always been good at growing talent, now its creative culture is keeping it, writes Iris' executive creative director.

The fear factor: It's timeless, borderless and effective
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The fear factor: It's timeless, borderless and effective

Brands have an opportunity to tap into the passion and volatility of this new era, writes the founder of StrawberryFrog.

Empathy trumps everything in a narcissistic world
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Empathy trumps everything in a narcissistic world

Love it or hate it, our job is to serve the needs and wants of people, writes the chief strategy officer of Olson.

The lesson of the Trump upset: Your reality may not be real
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The lesson of the Trump upset: Your reality may not be real

It's time for marketers to discard outdated assumptions about how certain 'types' think and behave, writes the global CEO of Havas Creative Group.

GoPro's first scripted ad delivers a relatable message about being in the moment
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GoPro's first scripted ad delivers a relatable message about being in the moment

"Capture Different" outperformed the camera brand's user-gen videos, according to Ace Metrix.

Why brand purpose in healthcare gets lost in a sea of goodwill
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Why brand purpose in healthcare gets lost in a sea of goodwill

When everyone has a purpose, does anyone's purpose mean anything, asks Gyro's director of strategy.

Brands

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.

The death of the anthem ad
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The death of the anthem ad

Clients love them, but not every brand can pull off an inspirational message, says a principal and writer at Young & Laramore

The power of purpose: What the hacked Clinton e-mails tell us about branding
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The power of purpose: What the hacked Clinton e-mails tell us about branding

Thousands of emails leaked from the Clinton campaign reveal little about the Democratic presidential nominee's beliefs, writes chief global analyst at Kantar Millward Brown

Creativity

Dear Mr. Figliulo: Creatives don't own creative leadership
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Dear Mr. Figliulo: Creatives don't own creative leadership

Carl Johnson, global CEO of Anomaly, takes issue with Mark Figliulo's argument that creative directors should be agency CEOs

50 first dates: Why digital marketing is so bad
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50 first dates: Why digital marketing is so bad

Consumers shouldn't have to remind brands who they are every time they see them, writes Conversant's senior vice president of business development

With creativity first, business will follow
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With creativity first, business will follow

Creative directors shouldn't just run departments. They should lead the whole damn thing, says Mark Figliulo

Culture

Marc Strachan: 5 things I've learned about leadership
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Marc Strachan: 5 things I've learned about leadership

My leadership style has been shaped by my experiences, my personality and my purpose, writes Diageo North America's VP of corporate relations and constituent affairs.

It's not just creatives who need to ditch the stereotypes
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It's not just creatives who need to ditch the stereotypes

It's great that we're battling the stereotypes in ads, but we won't win the war until brands apply the same logic to targeting, says Rob Bassett, the head of UK and EU multinational advertising at eBay

ANA report: A cure for what ails you?
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ANA report: A cure for what ails you?

Crossmedia's managing partner and co-founder reviews the ANA's prescription for media transparency

Media

Want to save the NFL? Get your brand off the field
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Want to save the NFL? Get your brand off the field

With the election behind us, the NFL can't continue to pretend Donald and Hillary were the only ones distracting from the game.

Did Hillary Clinton cost herself the election by ignoring digital media?
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Did Hillary Clinton cost herself the election by ignoring digital media?

The Democratic presidential candidate needed every millennial vote she could get, yet her campaign overwhelmingly focused on TV, writes the founder of TYT Network.

No longer just for reruns, diginets grab the eye of major advertisers
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No longer just for reruns, diginets grab the eye of major advertisers

These "sub-channels" have begun a slow move beyond low-cost content into original programming.

People

Nancy Hill: 5 things I've learned about leadership
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Nancy Hill: 5 things I've learned about leadership

It's important to learn from each and every one of your bosses, even the bad ones, writes the president and CEO of 4A's

Creating culture without breaking the bank
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Creating culture without breaking the bank

Possible's global chief talent officer and global chief financial officer share their tips on how to create agency culture and increase profitability

Marketers should wait 30 days before trying to make a mark
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Marketers should wait 30 days before trying to make a mark

"Fresh" is not always a good thing, writes Passion's partner. Give yourself a chance to grow into the role

Technology

Understanding the possibilities of personalization
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Understanding the possibilities of personalization

How to make the best use of available technology remains a perplexing mystery for most businesses, writes Mirum's business director

A few thoughts for Creatives about Data. Hey wait, come back!
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A few thoughts for Creatives about Data. Hey wait, come back!

Creatives have a tendency to roll their eyes when they hear the word Data, but it can often uncover truths that lead to unexpected places, writes the CCO of BBDO New York

Controlling the machine: The future of creative leadership
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Controlling the machine: The future of creative leadership

As creative automation becomes a reality, the CCO of SapientNitro China contemplates the role of artificial intelligence in the agency of the future

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