Art of Selling

The sales pitch by the greats

From the Masters of Persuasion and Wordsmith Warriors.


  • David Ogilvy
  • Leo Burnett
  • Robert Collier
  • Claude Hopkins
  • Joe Sugarman
  • Dan Kennedy


Original article:



Agencies Must Keep Talent Fulfilled and Engaged

Here’s to the freaks! By Karen Kaplan

To help navigate the complex choice-based world of channels, tactics and trends that we all live in, I’ve recently been focusing on a simple concept that will be crucial to future success: Keep the freaks happy.

Let me explain. We can no longer rely on interruption and adjacency to make our work successful. Instead, we must always be creating things that are relevant and interesting enough for people to seek out on their own. It’s a useful filter that has had a profound impact on the way we think about making creative work; we now speak frequently about designing our executions and campaigns for choice.

Illustration: Niv Bavarsky  

But as a CEO, my job is mostly to create the conditions under which great work can flourish. So while our talented teams are thinking about how to design for choice at the campaign and execution level, I’m thinking about how to design a whole agency for choice. Things like structure and process must be considered as part of that challenge, but at the heart of it, the thing I’m most passionate about is talent.

During Advertising Week, I participated in a panel called “The New Narrators,” with several agency CEOs and industry leaders, and the conversation turned to talent. Troy Young, president of Hearst Digital, nailed it when he said, “Find the freaks. Find the people that are interesting, that have something to say, that are great thinkers, and that can solve problems.”

But if we want our clients to be happy and our agencies to be successful, we’ve got to also keep the freaks engaged and enthralled. Our people are incredibly diverse and smart—but that’s simply the cost of entry these days. A true freak is someone who is not only smart, obsessive and creative, but also someone who can blend these skills with the innate and rare ability to remain curious, open and collaborative through anything.

Designing for choice demands that people have to be constantly learning new things and broadening their expertise. It requires all participants to be open to ideas that come from anywhere. It means leaving your ego at the door and thriving in an atmosphere of constant change. And it most certainly means working in cross-functional teams where people are encouraged to leave their swim lanes. And it’s those traits, combined with best-in-class skills, that define our freaks and make them ridiculously valuable.

So how do we keep these people clicked in and happy? First, challenge them constantly. For the most part, freaks thrive on opportunities to push their thinking and their work further than they ever thought possible. And as a leader, there’s no greater satisfaction than watching people succeed at something they thought they couldn’t do. Challenge them to go above and beyond the brief. If it’s never been done before, even better.

You must also encourage them to wander intellectually. Applaud the art director who’s learning to play the guitar on the side or the strategist who decides it’s time to learn to code. It’s also crucial to set them free. Kernels of great ideas are rarely found within the walls of an agency office. Let it be understood that part of everyone’s job is to regularly go outside and experience culture.

And celebrate them. Our highly scientific research shows that when people party together, collaboration sharply improves. Never underestimate the positive impact of getting people together for no reason other than to relax, have fun and enjoy each other’s company. I’ve heard it said that the culture of a company is determined by what they celebrate. My motto? Celebrate everything.

Finally, just take care of them. This one should go without saying, but it sometimes gets lost. They’re people first—people who get sick and tired and have family crises. Pay them what they’re worth, offer great benefits and make it a point to include some unexpected perks. It’s hard to get great work out of people who don’t feel emotionally safe and appreciated.

We work in an industry where the ground is constantly shifting beneath our feet. Thriving in that environment can’t be about creating constricting structures and process. It has to be about the people—highly talented, curious, open and collaborative people—who make it work.

So here’s to the freaks. Take care of them, and they’ll take care of you.

Karen Kaplan is CEO of Hill Holliday.


Article courtesy of Adweek. View actual article here.


How will you spend your last 10 years?

The average Canadian will spend their last ten years in sickness. Change your future now.

heart-and-stroke-foundationA community service ad by the Heart & Stroke Foundation [] in Canada shows a series of 3 ads simply by using two colors, now and the future. This campaign – Make Health Last [] – calls for Canadians to look into their health in order to live longer. As many of us tend to neglect our health, statistics show that most Canadians will live their last 10 years with sickness.

Love the concept of the ads as it shows our healthy, younger days blended with the future that we might face. Best of it, the usage of just two colors. Love it!




Make health last!


Top 10 Billboard Ads


Best Use of Spotlight. Smart and creative.


Best Innovative Board. Not too sure who the client is but certainly tells you that back seat passengers too must wear safety belts. Or get slingshot out of your seat!


Best Use of Natural Sunlight. Just to let you know that anytime is a good time for McDonald’s.


Best 3D Visualization. Mini again proves that their little cars are packed with serious oomph!


Best Add-On. Play big. Nothing gets bigger than a billboard. Boards up!


Best Construction. The Dark Knight is here everybody!


Best Communication. Nothing is as simple as boxing up a billboard with your brand’s identity.


Best Message. Nothing beats a visual that makes you piss in your pants. Give ’em room, it’s the law!



Best ‘Live’ Board. Getting someone to pretend like they are working almost 20 feet in the air is unusual. But it delivers the message, and objective.


billboard102 billboard101
Best Creative Idea. Donatos Pizza is so good, it makes the neighbor take a slice. Worth mentioning that the entire billboard space is bought by Donatos. They just created a fictional character and brand to tell their story.


Other creative OOH billboards:
Local Hero – Nike Football
Local Telcos – Billboard Wars
German Vacuum Cleaner – Miele


World’s Most Creative Country

Care to give a guess?

If not, here goes. New Zealand have won more Cannes Lions per capita compared to any country in the world. This was in 2011.

The stats goes like this:

  • New Zealand: 1 Lion per 155,989 residents
  • Sweden: 1 Lion per 202,173 residents

Below is a video done by an Advertising Agency – Special Group [] – in promoting NZ’s achievement in the advertising world. Its humorous of course as they take a swipe at a few other countries. Its worth the watch and dare I say it could be the truth. LOL!


This video won a Lion, too.


Design Psychology – Business Cards

Just started your business? Well, this post is just for you.

How to design your business card with psychology in mind. Every position matters. Every type face matters. Every color matters. Now that you know, lets get started.

1. Typography & Font Choice.
Type faces are critical. Use either Serif OR Sans Serif. Never use two font types of the same family. Eg. Arial + Verdana (Sans Serif) OR Times + Garamond (Serif)

This is Serif. It means Accents, those little lines jutting out of the font edges.

This is Sans Serif. It means Without Accents.

Your choice of fonts must be merry with your culture of work. Fancy fonts often relate to the lighter note, the more fun-kind of business, i.e. Cupcake Shop, Events, Clown Agency… Elegant and straightforward fonts often show the serious note, i.e. MNCs, O&G, Advertising… Choose wisely as first impression really counts.

2. Text Spacing
Do NOT cramp your words. SPACE is glorious. Make room for your viewers to read. Line spacing, line height, etc… must be done nicely. Remember, nobody reads anything that are too cramped or tied closely. Never lose their first impression. If they can’t understand your text in 3 seconds, chances are that your business card design is a failure.

3. White Space / Base Color Space
Let your positioning of text and graphics do their business. Logos are often place alone. Then comes to the contact details. The more white space you have, the easier the reader acknowledges your business card. Remember, space = power. If budget allows, do a back and front print. If you are a dot com company, place your website at the back of the card – alone. This allows readers to concentrate on your business nature. Any information left alone on one side immediately reflects the nature of business.

4. Color
Every color reflects on the mood. Red attracts the most attention (ask Coke) and Black (ask magicians) often conveys a mysterious manner. This will relate back to the logo of your company. Mix and match the colors appropriately and ensure reading is as easy as 1-2-3. Try to single out fluorescent colors as it makes reading very difficult, especially on lighter backgrounds.

5. Positioning
Consider this, when presenting your name card to a potential customer, you would normally hand it with two hands. Look where your thumb is placed. Is it hiding your logo? Try this, place the logo slightly away from the thumb. This will indirectly point your customer’s vision to the logo (this is the focal point).  From here, the eyes will start to follow an invisible guide through your name, position and so forth.

Below is an Infographic on the Design Psychology. Check it out. And good luck!


This post was an inspiration from

My kid is running an Ad Agency

Here I am trying to run an Advertising Agency – cracking my skull, breaking my head thinking about ideas, ideas and more ideas. What if my 10 year old (IF I HAVE ONE) does a hostile takeover of my Agency? Would it be  like wtf?!

Anyway, found this very entertaining, eye-opening video on Vimeo – by Grip Limited. This Toronto-based Agency celebrated their 10th birthday and decided to put a bunch of 10 year-olds in charge of the Agency. Watch the kids eat, pray and love the advertising world. As a follow-up, wonder if those ideas were put into place… as it would make this birthday bash be a great campaign.

If only the clients were so giving and humble.


Kids tend to get their way (out of trouble, sometimes), can we really act like one and sell those ideas?




Original article here.

If we spend the money to advertise on TV, and we sell the product, we will make more money. So, we are practically getting our money back.


This is advertising

Advertising, call it a swear word, a money-making word or even just pronouncing it, gives people the jeebers. This is the platform where Agencies begin to charge big money for ideation, and another chunk at execution. Well, these two words are definitely different, and the best part, carries separate billings.

So, we know our good advertising campaigns. We even know the super bad ones. What do people actually say about your advertising spot/campaign? We will go into the minds of the Agency and also the Agency, the latter being what the Agency WANTS to hear and the former being what the Agency NEEDS to say. I assume its transparent enough what people think about the Agency/Client relationship – bittersweet.

If only…

Videos courtesy of Ads of the World’s blog. Visit here.