Category: Creativity

Sweeping Generalization #12: “Brainstorming is Dumb”

I read an article recently (in July, actually. I’ve been busy) with the catchy title “Brainstorming is Dumb.”  Caught my attention, because I’m a big fan of brainstorming, and facilitate “brainstorming sessions” fairly frequently. Turns out “brainstorming” is not dumb. A single technique, where people shout out ideas while others allegedly listen and create more […]


What We Wear

I’m connected (long story) to the founders/inventors of TAP – “the wearable Bluetooth keyboard that can turn anything you can touch into a typing surface.” So cool. Check out the video and think about the possibilities. I did, and thinking about being able to type on my thigh under the table, sending emails and texts […]


Hard Truths About Focus Groups

In an interesting article titled “Hard Truths about Making Great Advertising” about a brilliant commercial (Apple’s “1984,”) Steven Stark takes aim at my beloved focus groups. The premise of the article is that “…truly great ideas are hard to recognize, hard to sell, and hard to keep alive.” And focus groups are excoriated for being great […]


Words: Use With Caution

Words are my stock in trade. I use them to ask questions that elicit ideas, feelings, and reactions. The words I choose can keep a conversation moving or stop it cold. I listen to others’ words to analyze and interpret and to find insights for my clients. I love words. I read voraciously and there […]


Made You Watch #2

I’m apparently becoming a fan of BBR Saatchi and Super-Pharm. I loved their ad for their M6 razor blades, and I just came across another ad, for Splendid dark chocolate, that is brilliant. Thirty seconds of watching kids’ facial expressions as they try dark chocolate. Then the line “When you grow up, you’ll get it.” […]


Made You Watch

Here’s an example of an ad I think does a brilliant job of engaging viewers right from the beginning. It matters, because we struggle to get people to attend to our messages, remember our brands. There are so many techniques to try, from shock value, to music, to celebrities, to sex and on and on. […]


Yes, and…

Yes, it can sometimes be difficult to get consumers to tell you how they really feel about an idea. And yes, sometimes you need to get creative in order to encourage consumers in research to loosen up, open up, and be creative in their thinking. And yes it is true the humor is a great […]


Take a Walk

We’ve all heard of – and experienced, I hope – the benefits of letting ideas come to you while you’re engaged in other activities. Light bulbs go off while we’re in the shower, or washing dishes and we’re not even trying to solve a thorny problem. Doing tasks that engage different modalities and parts of […]


“New” Qualitative Methods

I came across a really handy article that very nicely explains and summarizes many of the different qualitative research methods that have grown as internet and mobile technology have grown. Written by Jay Zaltzman and Betsy Leichliter, “Choosing Qualitative Options to Meet Your Research Objectives” starts where I believe every project needs to start: defining […]


Celebrations of Life

Back in 2009 I did a project for a funeral home in Pennsylvania. They were looking for “blue ocean” strategies to increase share, in a business where everyone went where their other family members went. The question was, how do you get people to consider a different place for your last stop? One of the […]



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