One of My New Favorite Poems

I don’t wear Levi’s, but their “Go Forth” campaign totally resonates with me.

People right now are hurting. And for things to get better, others got to pick up, and do something about it.

What really won me over was the poem they used in their first video, Pioneers! O Pioneers! by Walt Whitman. I’ve pasted it below. If that poem doesn’t tug at you, then you’re not paying attention. I’ve bolded my favorite parts.

Come my tan-faced children,
Follow well in order, get your weapons ready,
Have you your pistols? have you your sharp-edged axes?
Pioneers! O pioneers!

For we cannot tarry here,
We must march my darlings, we must bear the brunt of danger,
We the youthful sinewy races, all the rest on us depend,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

O you youths, Western youths,
So impatient, full of action, full of manly pride and friendship,
Plain I see you Western youths, see you tramping with the foremost,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Have the elder races halted?
Do they droop and end their lesson, wearied over there beyond the seas?
We take up the task eternal, and the burden and the lesson,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

All the past we leave behind,
We debouch upon a newer mightier world, varied world,
Fresh and strong the world we seize, world of labor and the march,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

We detachments steady throwing,
Down the edges, through the passes, up the mountains steep,
Conquering, holding, daring, venturing as we go the unknown ways,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

We primeval forests felling,
We the rivers stemming, vexing we and piercing deep the mines within,
We the surface broad surveying, we the virgin soil upheaving,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Colorado men are we,
From the peaks gigantic, from the great sierras and the high plateaus,
From the mine and from the gully, from the hunting trail we come,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

From Nebraska, from Arkansas,
Central inland race are we, from Missouri, with the continental
blood intervein’d,
All the hands of comrades clasping, all the Southern, all the Northern,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

O resistless restless race!
O beloved race in all! O my breast aches with tender love for all!
O I mourn and yet exult, I am rapt with love for all,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Raise the mighty mother mistress,
Waving high the delicate mistress, over all the starry mistress,
(bend your heads all,)
Raise the fang’d and warlike mistress, stern, impassive, weapon’d mistress,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

See my children, resolute children,
By those swarms upon our rear we must never yield or falter,
Ages back in ghostly millions frowning there behind us urging,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

On and on the compact ranks,
With accessions ever waiting, with the places of the dead quickly fill’d,
Through the battle, through defeat, moving yet and never stopping,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

O to die advancing on!
Are there some of us to droop and die? has the hour come?
Then upon the march we fittest die, soon and sure the gap is fill’d.
Pioneers! O pioneers!

All the pulses of the world,
Falling in they beat for us, with the Western movement beat,
Holding single or together, steady moving to the front, all for us,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Life’s involv’d and varied pageants,
All the forms and shows, all the workmen at their work,
All the seamen and the landsmen, all the masters with their slaves,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

All the hapless silent lovers,
All the prisoners in the prisons, all the righteous and the wicked,
All the joyous, all the sorrowing, all the living, all the dying,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

I too with my soul and body,
We, a curious trio, picking, wandering on our way,
Through these shores amid the shadows, with the apparitions pressing,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Lo, the darting bowling orb!
Lo, the brother orbs around, all the clustering suns and planets,
All the dazzling days, all the mystic nights with dreams,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

These are of us, they are with us,
All for primal needed work, while the followers there in embryo wait behind,
We to-day’s procession heading, we the route for travel clearing,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

O you daughters of the West!
O you young and elder daughters! O you mothers and you wives!
Never must you be divided, in our ranks you move united,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Minstrels latent on the prairies!
(Shrouded bards of other lands, you may rest, you have done your work,)
Soon I hear you coming warbling, soon you rise and tramp amid us,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Not for delectations sweet,
Not the cushion and the slipper, not the peaceful and the studious,
Not the riches safe and palling, not for us the tame enjoyment,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Do the feasters gluttonous feast?
Do the corpulent sleepers sleep? have they lock’d and bolted doors?
Still be ours the diet hard, and the blanket on the ground,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Has the night descended?
Was the road of late so toilsome? did we stop discouraged nodding
on our way?
Yet a passing hour I yield you in your tracks to pause oblivious,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Till with sound of trumpet,
Far, far off the daybreak call–hark! how loud and clear I hear it wind,
Swift! to the head of the army!–swift! spring to your places,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Something to think about.



What Mad Men Did for the Ad Industry

Long Live Advertising!

Although Mad Men was filled with sexism, immorality, alcoholism, smoking, and terrible parenting, boy did it show off the agency life.

From being the kings of the world, to the agency startup life, Mad Men surely did for the Ad world what Sex in the City did for the PR world- a breath of new life.

Mad Men showed the exciting process of leading creative. Sterling, the traditional account man (and my fav person!) demonstrated the highs and lows of finding, managing, and losing accounts. I loved his observation in the beginning of the season when he said that you get a lot of no’s in the agency world, but “when you get that one yes, it makes it all worth it”.


Now should we expect a mad rush of marketing and advertising degrees or resumes? I’m not sure. It takes a wonderful mix of creative/partier/workaholic to be in an agency environment, and there are not that many people that fit that mold anymore.

But I could be wrong.

Mad Men is a perfect example of how media can shift the conversation. During a time where advertising has become so dull, here comes a series that glorifies the Golden Age of advertising. How perfect.

But I’m not satisfied. I want to push the envelope more! For example:

A Black Mad Men:

Why? Ask a communications professional how many black colleagues they have. Their answer will be few and far between. PRSA, AMA, IABC, WOMMA and other organizations have done a piss-poor job of recruiting, retaining, and promoting minority talent. Let the media take control of the conversation, and let’s FINALLY have the debate about why blacks don’t stay in the profession, instead of tip-toeing around the subject.


More Emphasis on Advocacy for the Profession:

If you know or have talked to me, you would know that I have choice words for the organizations that advocate advertising, marketing and public relations. The only presence any of these organizations had in Mad Men (that I remember) is when Don and crew won a CLIO (which is not affiliated with any organization).

If this is the golden age of advertising, where are these “premier” organizations? Not once were these organizations even mentioned. I know Mad Men cannot cover everything about an Ad man’s life, but so far they’ve done a pretty good job, adding this piece (if Weinberg even knows about it) would be fun.

Thank you Mad Men for being awesome. I look forward to many (hopefully) seasons to come!

And what about you, other Mad Men followers? What would you like to see?

Did Crowdsourcing Kill the Creative Stars?


Chesterfield ad from 1926.

Image via Wikipedia


I would argue yes.

With crowdsourcing, the ideas and suggestions a marketing/communications teams receives, isn’t its own. Businesses, large and small, want their team to be creative, but then gets the idea of turning their communications team into designers from storytellers.

In these times, many teams are no longer a part of the conversation…teams are typing up and showing the conversation.

Brand Secretaries, if you will.

That’s why I found the AdAge article about the “results of the creative exodus” so appealing. Large and medium agencies lost their creative stars because some were getting burned out, and simply put “weren’t having fun anymore.”

Let the creatives have fun.

Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes communications teams have to ride the wave of a crowd. Sometimes. But to pull the idea mat under from your creative bunch is a huge mistake. Many agencies paid for that mistake, and lowered the switching cost of jumping to a small agency or starting one of their own.

If you are one of the few people who actually read this blog on a regular basis, you’re well aware of my hesitation and disapproval of using crowdsourcing (without assumptions being in place). I find it appalling to see businesses rely on the public to change its brand.

The public is not as bright as you think.

Small to medium size agencies are going to see budgets increase in market research and audience segmentation. Why? That is what they are going to need to do to survive.

Back to basics.

With the latest generation of marketing professionals, combined with the stars of former years, we should see some exciting and NEW creativity in the years to come. Should you get your popcorn ready?

I would argue yes.

I Want to Meet Rahm Emanuel

Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff, form...

Image via Wikipedia

I cannot tell a lie. I’m a fan of Rahm Emanuel.

Why? Well much like my post about Afshin Ghazi of Charlotte, this guy doesn’t hide anything about himself and how he does business. He’s fierce, ambitious, passionate, and polarizing.

And I admire that.

What is truly amazing to me is that his tactics and personality traits have been vilified by the media, his own party, and aware observers. I’m not too surprised about the Republican’ts and the ignorant observers, push-back against a liberal that gets stuff done is expected.

Rahm did exactly what he was expected to do:
-Implement the President’s campaign milestones
-Get Congress on board with the policies
-Keep the Dems in check
-Create a consistent environment around the Administration

And he did so almost flawlessly. In a cut-throat political environment like today’s, Rahm was the guy Obama needed to get started.

Today’s political and economical situation calls for more people like Rahm. He has his supporters, and granted, he has plenty of enemies. But he showed that an ambitious attitude and a will can get stuff done in the backwards community of Washington.

Now I don’t want to be BFFs with Rahm (though it would be totally cool!) but I would love to pick his brain as to some of the inside information and activities he had to do to get stuff done.

Along with that, while he has receiving extreme scrutiny and criticism about his approach, he conducted business-as-usual. Talk about resolve. I know Bush and Cheney were bad@$$es too, but I actually like this guy. And he wasn’t the one (technically) in the power chair.

Now when one talks about a Chicago democrat, the past Democratic Machines are brought up into the conversation (if you’re having an intelligent conversation). Is there a new Democrat Boss rising to power? Has the Democrat machine in Chicago ever left? I haven’t studied Chicago politics extensively, nor will I pay attention to the idiot ramblings on CNN, MSN, and the FOX storytellers, so I won’t give an opinion.

But if Rahm is the next Boss-to-be…that’ll be interesting to watch!

So Rahm, let’s talk. There aren’t that many Do’ers left in this society, and we need to stick together. Though I don’t see myself choking a democrat over a ledge to get a vote,  knowledge is power.