Most agencies are reactive vendors. The select few are deliberate partners.
Remember When?

Content for the win | Vol. 4, No. 11

When it takes hold, nostalgia can be a powerful emotion. Who doesn't like to get their rose-colored glasses on from time to time and remember things as being better than they actually were?

The habit is particularly appealing in the advertising and media industries, where seismic changes have shuffled several decks and the dust has yet to settle. Legendary ad man, Jeff Goodby, offers a sentimental look back at better times: "Cannes used to be a showcase for some of the most famous ideas in the world. This year, it felt more like a convention of industrial roofing specialists, discussing the latest in fiberglass insulation technology."

People have been bemoaning the loss of creativity in the wake of digital precision for years. But looking back fondly on the days when the ads I made were more compelling is not part of my reality. Unlike Jeff Goodby, I have never made a commercial that was recognized by taxi drivers or awarded by my peers as best in the industry. This is something I share with 99.999% of the people who make ads for a living. 

When you're working with the world's largest brands who buy attention like buying a new headquarters building, perhaps worrying about entertaining the taxi drivers of the world makes sense. Most business owners and marketing directors that I know (and work closely with) are intent on reaching a highly targeted group of prospects. 

Jeff Goodby and his cohorts have enjoyed their role as culture shapers. Now it's time to ask once again, is this advertising's role? Creating ambient awareness of a brand by spending hundred of millions of dollars on TV is a mass market approach. Personally, I work in a completely different business. The business I work in is a business concerned with developing leads and driving conversions via a variety of strategic marketing approaches. The creative challenges remain as daunting as ever. What's new is the increased complexity of the answers. 


  1. The U.S. Custom House in downtown Portland is an Italian Renaissance Revival masterpiece (and Bonehook's new home). 
  2. "What marketing truths do you routinely hear being ignored, contradicted or compromised?"
  3. My friend Charlie Quirk is helping Michigan State students plan for the future of planning.
  4. Tool Sharing Time: Moz Local creates and maintains business listings on the sites, apps, and directories that factor most into local search engine results.
  5. The motto of Oregon Territory is reimagined at WeWork/Portland.
  6. If the desire to make better advertising is divorced from the desire to make a better company, there's a snag in the line. 
  7. Contemporary poets use Instagram and other social media channels to reach an audience hungry for language.
  8. Pacific Northwest wines dominate Wine Spectator's Top 100. 
Bonehook is a guide service and bait shop for brands. We help you find, shape and share your best brand stories. To charter, call 503-970-3862. 
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"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently." -Warren Buffett

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