Welcome to the Weiss Ideas blog. I’ve been thinking a lot lately and I’ve decided to write down all the things I think about. Some things are very witty, others, not so much. I’ve contributed lots of good thoughts to past clients but there are still lots of sparks flying. Stick around, I might dream up something new–after all this is the natural birthplace for a Weiss Idea.


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Lyft Slaps Small Agencies Virally

Lyft has put out an RFP virally on Twitter inviting agencies for a 10th slot on an RFP process that already has 9 candidates. The link is below. While each agency can decide what to do, I believe this fuels the already increasing syndrome of small agencies giving away their creativity for free to get a shot. I’ve seen this first hand. The mentality is that this is our chance to get noticed, so why not, go all out without any compensation for the work. I believe it is unfair to ask for ideas before intent. If Lyft was really interested in seeking out a new and undiscovered creative shop, it could just as well ask for examples of existing work before asking them to invest. Sadly, after the scramble, there may not even be the satisfaction of knowing what happened to your investment. I will be interested to see how many agencies jump in. Will it be just 10 or over 100? I fear it is more the latter.

Here is the link:

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Landor’s Five Design Secrets Work for Marketing Mavens Too

I found these five secrets to a successful design career on the Landor website. They are excellent for success in marketing as a marketer also. I hope you find them as beneficial as I.

First. Look critically at everything. Don’t take anything for granted. Don’t allow your vision to be numbed by routine and familiarity. I mean truly look. Go through life every day looking at every environment, every product, every package, every graphic design, every photograph, every piece of furniture, all the way down to the manhole cover—on a daily basis. Next, sit back and enjoy it. And then figure out what you could do to improve it. It’s a wonderful exercise that will keep your talents fresh and your creative skills well honed. It is an exhilarating way to go through life. Second. Learn to listen. This is difficult. We all enter a dialogue with preconceived notions—nearly unshakable convictions. It is all too easy to shut out another’s point of view, to dismiss it as irrelevant before we have truly heard it. A good way to overcome this is to postpone arguing against another’s point of view until you find yourself receptive to it. Then question it. This will do wonders for you in design critiques and client meetings. Third. Become articulate. “But we are designers,” you say. “We are not word people. We express ourselves through our creative work.” That’s not enough. The business world is verbal. Try to overcome your shyness and trap yourself into talking at crucial moments—quietly but articulately. You will be amazed at how well you can hide your insecurities once you start expressing yourself convincingly. Believe me, we all suffer from insecurity. You can see I’m shaking right now as I stand in front of you. Fourth. Trust your intuition. This is not to say that you should grab at the first design solution that pops into your head and declare it the final word. Many of you will go to work in design groups or in agencies where you will find yourselves required to attend design briefings, study copious market research reports, read statements of design objectives, and analyze the client’s competition. You may wonder, “When do I get to design? All that left-brain thinking for a right-brained designer? Something is wrong.” No. Nothing is wrong. Welcome to the world of strategic design. You may wish to develop what I call a “right-brain-left-brain volley.” Learn the rhythm of the game. And then, then trust your intuition. Finish the set with a smashing right-brain serve. Finally, and very importantly, develop a third eye. That’s the eye that views anything you design as if someone else were looking at it. You see it one way because you’ve created it. You are a prejudiced party in that sense, and you bring to it clusters of your own associations that do not necessarily exist in the design itself when perceived by others. Look at it with your third eye, as if you were just an average person who has just happened upon it for the first time. When you master that, you will be a great design communicator.
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A Great Example of a Very Simple PPT.

Remember Jeremy Irons in Margin Call, “Talk to me like I’m a third grader”. Here is a brilliant extrapolation of that into why China manipulates it’s currency.
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Fair Health Consumer Video

As the world of healthcare transparency is exploding. I thought this video from in NY was an excellent testimonial to what consumers face.

As NancyMarie Bergman points out, many times consumers have no idea what they have to pay until the first bill comes in after surgery. The bill was for $42,00 and they already $24,000 for only the first surgery. The testimonial is believable and clear and is directed toward a good cause. Non profit transparency.
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Movie and Music Recommendations for 2013

Top Films of 2013
This has been the best year for film that I can remember. Ever. The Academy Awards are going to be quite challenged. It’s tough but here are my top three films of the year so far. 

1. Dallas Buyer’s Club. Just a great script, cause, pacing, and some of the best acting you will ever see. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto both hit this so far out of the park that I think they should win the respective acting awards. And of course the incessant pictures of Marc Bolan and T. Rex music had me hooked too.

2. Gravity. It was everything a film should be: Suspense, drama, human emotion, surprise, loss, salvation and great cinematography. The acting was good too but the real prize was how lost we all felt in space.

3. Blue is the Warmest Color. No, not because of the lesbian scenes. Well. Actually, they were quite clinical. It’s because this film is so different than an American love story. Now the director, Abdellatif Kechiche, does kind of Steve McQueen all scenes be they eating, drinking, smoking, talking, licking, etc. but this portrays the real life drama of his characters. Never does one fall so hard in love only to be so devastated when it ends. Is it just me or was the color blue really present in every scene? Yes, Adèle Exarchopoulos deserves an Oscar.
I also loved Prisoners, American Hustle, 12 Years A Slave, Philomena, Place Beyond the Pine and more I can’t think of right now. Elysium was not bad by the way. I can’t wait to see August, Osage County. If it’s half as good as the play, it will be great.
Top Albums of 2013
What a great year for music as well as film. Here are my top three albums and some honorable mentions. 

1. The Arctic Monkeys, AM. I’ve always liked this band and here there are again, on their fifth album knocking it out of the park. It’s bluesy, Grinderman style pop that hooks you in from the beginning. It’s also Q’s album of the year but I loved it from day one.

2. Joseph Arthur, The Ballad of Boogie Christ. I’ve tried for years to get into a complete JA album. Every song is great. Mentored by Peter Gabriel and befriended by Lou Reed, what more do you need to know.

3. Wire, Change Becomes Us. Amazing Wire. The last of the punk bands who have reinvented themselves into damn good alternative rock. Their 13th album brings them back to form. Love Bends is a phenomenal song.

Some other great albums were the National’s Trouble Will Find Me, Kurt Vile’s Wakin on a Pretty Daze, Darkside’s Psychic and Queens of the Stone Age’s Like Clockwork.

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Forrester’s 2013 B2B CMO Imperatives, is full of smart insights that made me realize B2B marketing is catching up with B2C at a much faster rate. I love how the “Customer” is touted as the heart to any strategy.  Here are the 5 highlights that all make tremendous sense. 

Read more ›

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I love Agency Mania by Bruno Gralpois. It is extremely well written and provides invaluable insight into navigating agencies and getting the best work from them. The notion of a Chief Agency Officer makes sense for companies who have multiple agencies and are looking to get the best work from them in an integrated, efficient and effective manner. Here is the link:
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Recruiting in the Digital World

I’m just now discovering the many ways one can use the web for recruiting talent online. I am on assignment for The Clorox Company helping them to recruit outstanding Digital Brand Managers. Here are things that I am learning so far. Please add to this wherever you can. 

There seem to be 3 primary Social Media tools in addition to all the job posts you already know about on Monster, Career Builder, craigslist, University websites, vertical media sites, etc.

  1. The first and best is Linkedin. If you do not have an account, get one now. It is not just for job seekers, it is the ultimate networking site for business professionals helping them seek answers to a myriad of questions, stay connected with colleagues and get quick perspective on people you may be meeting with.

    So far I am learning, some clever ways to recruit on Linkedin:

    1. Generate word of mouth buzz by writing letters to your network and asking them both for good candidates and people they may know who do. You can also approach their connections by way of an introduction. This can be especially helpful as you search for people with your expected level of expertise. Within your note put together a compelling summary of the role. You can post the full brief to a website and/or create a doc that can be forwarded. 

    2. Post the job on Linkedin Jobs. You may need to pay for this but its worth it.

    3. Post a question about who may have the level of experience you are looking for.

    4. Update your status with what you are looking for. This generates response as your connections can see your status and may opt for emails when you change it.

  2. The second opportunity is Twitter. Post a description of what you are looking for to Twitter and then provide a link with more details. A friend recently got 300 people to look at an opening from the Twitter link. This is another good reason to build up a list of followers on Twitter.

  3. The third is Facebook. I am just learning about this. Create a group around what you are looking for. For example, “Clorox is hiring Digital Brand Leaders”. You will then need to drive traffic to this but some people will join as they search for your company. Again, per my last blog, it’s smart to get up on Facebook. If you built a Fan Page for your company, you can post jobs there.

I would love to hear some other ideas too.

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Forrester recently published an interesting article on “How To Optimize Your Interactive Agency Roster- A Process For Improving Agency Relationships In A Complex Landscape”

It’s a thought-provoking article that creates even more complexity in the digital landscape as it points out that marketers are increasing the size of their agency rosters while looking to cut costs. Here are three of the key issues facing marketers today, included within this article, and some personal insight.

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