You can trust Jasmine Bina

Jasmine Bina made time in her day (evening, actually) to talk about how people develop trust. She is the CEO of Concept Bureau. Oddly, we lived this out as I (tried to) earn Jasmine’s trust in real time during this chat. It’s both a wide-ranging and extremely focused talk that you are going to play more than once.

Learning strategy with Kevin Rothermel

On this episode, we welcome VCU professor Kevin Rothermel. He’s at the front lines with students of advertising and seeing the challenges, the growth and the promise. In this conversation, we look at how strategy is taught, and what breaks through.

Shannon Pfeffer knows how to help

give back, mentor

This episode was a real treat. I was joined live and in person for a conversation with Shannon Pfeffer, Lead Brand Strategist at Midnight Oil. She is one of the few guests that I didn’t find on Twitter. In fact, I saw her post an open offer to listen to people who felt they were in need of mentoring on LinkedIn. In speaking with Shannon, I learned she is doing much more than that.

If you are a woman in advertising or marketing looking for someone to listen, Shannon wants to try to help you. Schedule a chat here


A guest post by Shannon Pfeffer on what mentors have meant in her life and career.

Aaron Dignan Sees the Way Forward in Brave New Work

Brave New Work

Founder of The Ready and two-time author joined Adam to talk about his insightful new book Brave New Work. He’s helped large and small companies develop plans for becoming more productive, faster or whatever they felt they needed to become to create companies that satisfy their teams, customers and stakeholders.

Companies change shape with the times*

Sears catalogs from days of yore

*if they want to survive In the 1900s Sears ruled what we now call DTC marketing. Their catalog came straight to American homes, bursting with products to be chosen by the customer and delivered. How dominant was the Sears catalog as a business? They sold houses. In the catalog. That people bought and lived in. […]

Ana Andjelic on brands in retail, digital and luxury

Ana Andjelic is a formidable thinker on brands, retail, digital and as a doctor of sociology, behavior. She also has an amazing understanding of the luxury market having spent years working in and studying luxury categories and consumers. She joins Adam today to talk about the confluence of digital, retail, luxury and brand when behavior is swirled together.

Julian Cole is looking for the answers

Julian Cole is just back from a year-long sabbatical from strategy. He spent the time traveling around the world with his fiancé, exploring different cultures and thinking about what he wants to do next. The answer will excite you.

Brad Kim Knows Your Meme

Brad Kim has been studying memes for a decade. He’s seen a lot of change in formats and in the way ideas spread. In this fun chat, we explore the way the internet has evolved for better and not so better. As editor-in-chief of Know Your Meme, Brad is someone who understands the internet better than most. And loves it. Warts and all. Follow Brad on Twitter or read more here: Know Your MemeYour intrepid host, Adam Pierno has written his second book. It’s also kind of about the internet. You can buy it here on Amazon.

If it’s like breathing

All day long, I see social posts from people who are telling me they just did something just, or right. Low level virtue signaling. You know what, though? It is better to do the right thing than the wrong thing. That’s cool. But if I may paraphrase Chris Rock: You don’t brag about something you’re […]

Jack Appleby on Speaking Out

Jack Appleby, Director of Creative Strategy at Midnight Oil, chats with Adam about the importance of transparency.

Brittany Hill Matching Cause with Corporations

Brittany Hill leads Catalist, a company designed to make sense of the purpose movement. She talks with Adam about the strategy she and her team employ with brands to apply purpose where it makes sense, and when to opt out. Listen here: Transcript: Adam Pierno: All right. Welcome back to another episode of The […]

Gareth Kay on Planning in the USA

Gareth Kay of Chapter joins Adam today to talk about the way planning has changed from its introduction. His perspective on planning from both sides of the Atlantic (and some on the Pacific as well) frames up this discussion very well. He takes Adam to school. Enjoy. *Note: If you haven’t heard Rachel Mercer’s episode, you may want to listen first. She makes light of how we have augmented English planning which was the impetus for this conversation with Gareth Kay.*

Rachel Mercer Still Thinks Like a Designer

I was blown away by this talk with the fantastic Rachel Mercer of RGA. Like many of us in strategy, Rachel came from a different discipline; in her case, design. She discusses what she learned in design that she brought forward in her strategy work and some of the bigger lessons she’s learned and taught.*NOTE: Some joking comments Rachel made at the end of this episode about the change to English planning spurred the topic for the next episode of The Strategy Inside Everything with our guest Gareth Kay of Chapter. Tune in to hear the spiritual sequel that was recorded the next day.*

Adam Singer: The Kids Aren’t So Alright

Adam Singer is extremely observant. That’s what’s made him an expert on Google’s tools for marketers, but also what makes him an interesting follow on Twitter. He’s been outspoken on the challenge the young face in booming places like San Fransisco.

Eric S. Thomas: We are Killing Our Creative People

Eric Thomas, Senior Partner at Detroit’s Saga MKTG, posted a thought to LinkedIn that we were killing our creative people. Though he and Adam had never met, Eric agreed to come on the podcast and discuss this issue. His perspective on the ever-tightening timelines and expectations placed on creative people and knowledge workers is stunning. Enjoy this conversation.

Jay Baer: Talk Triggers

Jay Baer has been figuring out how to get people talking about brands for a long time. His book Talk Triggers dives deep into the psychology of what makes brands and products worth talking about and what makes people actually talk – and not just take note. This is a fun chat with an interesting guest. Also, Jay admits that host Adam Pierno is his-and we quote- “inspiration.”

Tim Leake Has Changed Everything

Former Creative Director has made a lot of changes as the industry has changed around him. He’s now the Chief Marketing Officer at RPA in LA – working with a new perspective. Tim and Adam sat down for a chat about how the ad world has changed since they both got started and what lessons Tim has learned about strategy. Enjoy!

Frank Speiser Knows Why Media is Broken

Frank Speiser is the founder of Social Flow. He also happens to be an old friend of host Adam Pierno. In fact, Adam was Frank’s RA at Boston University. This episode is two old buddies catching up and talking media, one of them is an absolute expert. (Hint: It’s Frank.)

Melanie Deziel Has Got a Story for You

Melanie Deziel, Founder of StoryFuel talks about her training in journalism and how she uses the tenets she learned in J school to solve problems for brands. She’s seen the change in media first hand, and come from the ever-shrinking newsrooms with some insights. Listen here:  

Professor David Carroll Cares About Your Data

Professor David Carroll of Parsons – yes, that Professor David Carroll comes on to discuss how he got embroiled in an international lawsuit with Cambridge Analytica that has far reaching implications for Facebook, marketers and our privacy. He sees all the facets to the issue as a former entrepreneur and professor of media design. 

Darien LaBeach Welcomes You to the Community

Darien LaBeach of Huge and Strtgst talks about the challenges of community? What do people want from one? What brings them together? What keeps them from sticking? He’s done the research and now putting his efforts into building a strategy community.

Richard Shotton and The Choice Factory

We were lucky enough to catch Richard Shotton just before his fantastic book The Choice Factory won BBH’s World Cup of Advertising Books (well deserved, though I was pulling for Decoded). He’s got so much information that our talk moves all over the board as it relates to decision making – but we sink our teeth into the pratfall effect and how we see it playing out in every day life; well beyond advertising.

Mike Monello Helps You Re-tell the Story

Mike Monello visits with Adam Pierno to talk about storytelling. Stop, don’t leave. Not storytelling in the cliché marketing way. Mike and his team at Campfire have an approach that is more about getting a person who hears the story to want to learn more or retell it. He’s been doing this for HBO and […]

Kevin Holesh Makes a Habit of Understanding

Listen here: Moment:

Rob Schwartz is a Creative in the C-Suite

I had the pleasure of sitting with Rob Schwartz, CEO or TBWA NY for a back-to-back pod session. He was interested in learning about what inspired me to write Under Think It, and made some time to tell me how his experience solving creative problems has equipped him to be a CEO in these wild times.

Navigating the spectrum of choice

We’ve finally stopped hearing about how the ‘consumer has won’. Admit it, you missed that battle cry. While I don’t believe the consumer has actually won anything, and never viewed it as a contest, choice has been unlocked. Which is why choice creates emotional challenge for brands. People get extremely frustrated when they lack choice […]

Kit Krugman Builds Teams Thoughtfully

Had the great fortune to speak with Kit Krugman, Chief Curator at co:collective and President and Chair of the Board at WIN: Women in Innovation (hat tip to Brian Dell for the intro). Kit walks me through how recruiting and team building has changed and how to build an organization with diversity and balance built into its core. Used the opportunities to take a lesson for future recruiting for guests on the show and talent at Santy. This is one of the best conversations I’ve had hosting this show.

Tom Goodwin Didn’t Want to Write a Book

What if you were asked to write a book and genuinely had no intention to do so? As we discuss Tom’s approach to the giant task of writing a book, you’ll quickly learn that he has little to no filter, which makes his book a must read. Adam and Tom share insight on creativity and on getting things done. We had an absolutely delightful conversation with Zenith Head of Innovation Tom Goodwin.

Standing out

It’s never been easier to blend in. For a brand, for a person. It’s never been this easy to figure out what is going on at a given moment – a given second – and hide in that micro trend. Look at letter boards. Last spring, one brand got the idea to use a letter […]

My complaints make Netflix vulnerable

Everyone loves Netflix. From Wall St. to the bus stop on Wall St. everyone is watching Netflix. I’m a subscriber and in fact loved the service so much when I got my first envelope in the early 2000’s that I immediately bought stock. At about $15. I almost can’t believe that’s true – that it […]

Ana Milicevic and the Future of Work

Founder of Sparrow Advisors and all around brilliant Ana Milicevic joins Adam today for a talk on the future of work. Ana’s background around all different parts of the tech, entertainment and marketing complex gives her a unique perspective on what it’s all building towards.

Eaon Pritchard – Psychology Hasn’t Changed

UM Head of Strategy, and author Eaon Pritchard discusses applied evolutionary psychology with Adam. How does everything come back to a basic desire or fear humans have always felt. Fun to learn about Eaon’s unique pathway to strategy from life as a DJ. Eaon’s also written a wonderful book called Where Did It All Go Wrong that we discuss a bit.

Saturday mornings

She barely lifts her head. Lying on her side, she picks up her head and looks over, following me across the room with just her eyes. She waits patiently as I disappeared into the closet. She waits for me to dress, hoping I choose the right clothes for the occasion. When I return she is […]

Faris Yakob and the Masters of the Universe(s)!

Faris Yakob of Genius Steals sits down for a conversation about how fictional universes grip our attention. This chat wanders quite a bit as we chart corners of pop culture and strategy. As usual, Faris makes it worth a listen and a share.

Ian Sohn is not a runner.

Ian Sohn of Wunderman joins us to talk about his approach to running a marathon despite never running before. It gave him a chance to consider his approach for other endeavors. This is a great one. Get some Gatorade and enjoy.

This just in, the media is broken

The fourth estate has been a protected part of the US since its inception. The idea of protecting free speech was to make people more aware of events around them. Thomas Jefferson said “A well informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.” Great. I problem I’ve long observed as it related to publicly held entities with […]

Authentically authentic for real, y’all.

Authenticity means to do what you say you will do. People use it as a marketing goal. But there’s a much bigger problem. It turns out that holding up authenticity isn’t a job for the marketing team. You’re not executing ‘authentic’ messages. What makes the messages resonate as authentic is the way we perceive them […]

Sharing smart stuff does not make *you* smart.

There’s a sort of virus that infects social media users. We want to be seen as cool, trend setting, ahead of the curve, smart. This goes to me, too. I am also guilty of editing tweets – rewriting them to get the wording just so. But original thoughts are hard. I, myself, have only about […]

Alex Berger on Phish and Brand Loyalty*

Alex Berger loves Phish

Great conversation with Sr. Brand Strategist Alex Berger who brings the story of a band from New England who have created a loyal fan following that would make most brands jealous.

Farrah Bostic on Design thinking in the Political Process

Very – VERY interesting conversation with Farrah Bostic, founder of The Difference Engine and faculty at Parsons. We don’t usually talk politics, but this look behind the curtain is insightful and engaging. We went overtime because there was so much ground to cover.

Hallie Wright – Target is off target.

Sr. Comms Strategist Hallie Wright walks all the way down the hall (of our old office) for this lively chat on the not so clear strategy Target is employing to fend off Amazon and the retail implosion.

Keith Stoeckeler on Sports, Celebrity and Social.

Keith Stoeckeler dropped in via the internet to talk about the changes to sports fandom and celebrity due to the direct access afforded by social media. We get into who is getting it right and who is next in line to leverage this opportunity.

Mike Jones on Amazon, Whole Foods and Brand Culture

This conversation is all about the way brand culture is built up around a mission, and the single minded drive companies take, until they can’t. Mike Jones of Resound joins and makes many, many great observations about the two cultures and the output to consumers.