Lots of March Madness in the office this week, both in our hotly contested bracket pool and on our reading list. We also have the viral Dollar Shave Club video, the much-discussed Goldman Sachs resignation letter, and a recipe for 90s-style roasted carrots.
Behind SMFB's IKEA-branded Sewing Kit, Creativity Online. One of the things I’m currently working to improve is editing down ideas and campaign concepts to their most effective, but simple form. You often see in young, talented musicians or chefs a desire to play every note they know in every song or dish, whereas the most accomplished take something complex and make it beautifully simple. Enter an idea that was composed of nothing more than a needle and thread by SMFB for Ikea. I love the insight and research that went into the campaign and its fantastically simple execution. - Scott
Meet Magic Johnson, the Media Mogul, Fortune. With March Madness it seemed only appropriate to share a basketball-themed article. Now, even more than ever, Magic Johnson has stepped into the role of business and media mogul, cultivating a strong personal brand. From working with Howard Schultz on bringing several Starbucks franchises to predominantly African-American neighborhoods to his role as a venture capitalist at Detroit Venture Partners, Johnson seems to have his hand in nearly every business endeavor. He provides a nice case study of building not only a personal brand, but also a strong and growing business. I’ll look forward to seeing his next venture! - Annie
CFDA, Garance Doré. Bloggers are taking awards that used to be reserved for the print media elite. Where one day this CFDA award was received by the likes of Cathy Horyn (NYT) and Suzy Menkes (IHT), now online bloggers like the AH-MAZING Garance Doré are taking it home. How the landscape shifts…. – Julia
Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs, The New York Time. If you opened up a newspaper or turned on the TV this week, you probably heard about the very public resignation of a Goldman Sachs investment banker, Greg Smith. On the day he left the firm Smith wrote an Op-Ed piece for the New York Times that described his reasons for leaving the financial giant after a 12 year career. He blatantly called into question the moral fiber of Goldman’s leadership, pointing out that the company’s culture has gone from valuing teamwork, integrity and doing right by their clients, to one that puts company profit above all else, often at the expense of client’s success. I admire Smith for standing up for what he believes in, and for having the courage to bring an insider’s perspective to what is a huge problem in our country today. While distrust of Wall Street is nothing new, having one of their ‘own’ question the moral integrity of their actions reverberates much stronger than an outsider’s opinion. Goldman’s shared dropped 3% after Smith’s letter was published in the NY Times, which further proves the power that message delivery holds. - Megan
Blindfold Brackets take the bias out, Wall Street Journal. Late to the game completing your March Madness bracket? Here’s a handy tool that just might help you avoid letting hate and hope control your predictions. WSJ has created Blindfold Brackets which hide the real team names and replaces them with fake nicknames. Each team has its strengths and weaknesses listed, that way you can fill in your bracket based on the facts rather than just your hatred of Duke. – Matthew
Erich Brenn "Plate Spinning" on The Ed Sullivan Show, YouTube. Somebody pinch me! This week, I felt so fortunate to be working with such great clients on amazing projects. Although I felt a bit like this guy this week, I had a heck of a lot of fun! – Ann Marie
Dollar Shave Club. My link this week has to be this one. Silly as it may sound, the marketing behind this is genius and it makes me want to try the product. The spot is hilarious, the writing on the site is extremely clever and the social media campaign these guys are employing is top notch. Well done. – Dan
Crisp, Chewy Parmesan-Roasted Carrots Recipe, Gilt Taste. This is from last week, but I can’t stop thinking about it since I pinned it to my “Eat all the things” Pinterest board. I’ve been a fan of Francis Lam’s writing since before we brought him out here to be a panelist in our first Whole Foods Market Speaker Series event last year, and I love the way he brings humor and sass to a recipe about a simple side dish. If you haven’t check out Gilt Taste’s writing before, all their recipes are more like stories about the origin and personal history of a recipe, dish or ingredient.
Also, it’s not hard to sell me on anything involving the words “parmesan crisp.” - Lisa