Little Details

Today I went shopping at Nordstrom.

I know; tough life.

Regardless the overall experience of shopping at Nordstrom seems to exude an air of class.

The piano being played by the escalator.

The attentive (and well dressed) sales staff who provide you with space- just not too much.

No garish red CLEARANCE signs.

Everything seems to justify the clothing prices.

The receipts even are printed on slightly thicker stock.

However, as the customer goes to sign the receipt he is handed a Bic Round Stic.

Not a huge deal, but it  breaks the illusion Nordstrom has tried so hard to cultivate.

Instantly you’re reminded, ‘Oh yeah, I’m in a mall.’

What if instead of a generic pen Nordstrom used a Mountblanc?

Or a great fountain pen the sales person dipped in ink for you?

Or a Uni-Ball deluxe; a personal favourite of mine.

It may not improve the customer experience that much.

However the best additions are the ones most often taken for granted.

Little details that make people say, ‘shopping there just feels nicer.’

Details that make people to choose Nordstrom over Macy’s every time.



Heard the McDonalds mime commercial on the radio today. Cool display of how to utilize the “theatre of the mind”.

2010 Portfolio Trends

A great article from the St. Louis Egotist on the shift in the way portfolios are assembled and presented. It also gives sort of a benchmark for what is now generally regarded as a complete book. This is a must read for aspiring juniors or those who are back on the job market. 

One thing the site doesn’t mention is a trend that has not changed is the necessity of great ideas. However, that should be a given.

- Jeff

I Know You.

Yesterday I was listening to an presidential historian on NPR.

He spoke about the Obama presidency, but ended with a story about FDR.

Rather about FDR’s funeral.

The expert said on the day of FDR’s presidency a mourning man fell crying into the street. Another man approached him, helped him up and asked, ‘Did you know FDR?’ The crying man looked at the inquirer and answered;

‘No, but he knew me.’

This is what every brand should be looking for.

And what every creative should hope to help a brand become.

Thankfully for us this has become somewhat easier.

Brands with a message that resonates can find their audience utilizing social and traditional media.

Of course more brands are vying for attention, but if the message and effort is good people will create a real connection.

With that connection it is easier for someone to believe that their brand knows them.

I know that is what I’m striving to create, are you?


The Gospel of Godin

Whoa there! Didn’t realize it’s been a few weeks since my last long post. Thank you to my few readers for sticking with me while I devoted myself to my studies. Since it’s now summer you should expect more rapid postings, even if it’s just a video or a link I find really cool. With that let’s talk about the next blog that helped inspire me.

The blog belongs to Seth Godin, a writer, thinker and twitter non-user (you can read about his reasons here). Seth has some awesome videos on youtube and some great insights on his blog. You may have even watched a few of his videos without realizing who it was, I know I did. Like many of the blogs I read he does not preach about the state of advertising. Rather he is explains what people should strive for and articulates things you may not have recognized.

One of the greatest things about Seth’s blog is that he posts once or twice a day. The posts are easily digestible and I have an ah-ha moment about once a week thanks to Seth. Read back through his posts and I think you’ll be able to pull some great insights out.

I’m also excited about being able to see Seth live in Minneapolis this august. If you have a chance to see him lecture in New York or on his current presentation tour you should do it too. Student tickets are 19 bucks (Adult tickets are around $450). If you are a student there is no reason not to go. If you cant make it then just subscribe to his RSS feed and watch his videos online.

edit: I forgot to include a link the web address is



The frightening and most difficult thing about being what somebody calls a creative person is that you have no idea where any of your thoughts come from really- and especially you don’t have any idea about where they’re going to come from tomorrow.

Hal Riney, in ‘Art & Copy

Makin Ads


If you are a student of advertising you must read Makin Ads. This goes double if you feel as though you are not learning everything you can about breaking into advertising. The blog’s authors Jim Bosiljevac and Greg Christensen have become two extra professors, except they provide better advice for free. This blog doesn’t give you a road-map to getting a job but it provokes you to think about what you are gently placing into your portfolio.  They talk about their personal experience, students and concepts to guide students with the the friendly message “Please remember: everything written here might be wrong.”

Even if they are wrong the blog makes for a great read and is a perfect place to start for an ad student.