The Best of a Wise-Man

Let Me Think
Sep 2023

Group Media Director Danny Weisman has a lot of opinions. So many that he started his own newsletter to share them with the world outside our office. Read on for a taste of his posts from the month of August, courtesy of the Let Me Think newsletter.

When the decisions are small or don’t matter as much, loyalty wins. When the decisions are bigger or have more ramifications, loyalty loses.

Stay Loyal - August 2

You need to have strong relationships to get people and companies to agree to upset their way of working, to push themselves and their peers to new things, to do things that have never been done before - especially when the check that you’re writing is pretty small. So, you still need to know how to foul off pitches intentionally, to hit the eventual home run later in the at-bat. How to time a call to an opportune time. How to hand-to-hand-combat your way to great work.

Something's Foul - August 4

Productivity was apparently up 4% in Q2, after modest gains or dips the last few quarters. Some people will say this is a sign that AI is making our jobs easier. Others will say its a sign that the balance of hybrid work is picking up steam. I say bullshit. It’s because less people are being forced to do more things at companies, and lay-offs have instilled the fear of god in workers.

Shit Stinks - August 5

People that work hard just have a larger “luck surface area.” Lucky things happen to them, but only because they expand their likelihood of getting lucky. They write, they build, they interact with the world, they surround themselves with optimists vs. pessimists. But at the end of the day, accidents happen. And accidents are good. The best way to approach any client or campaign is to increase its “luck surface area.” To have a strong string of ideas ushering out of the campaign. To be thoughtful, rational, yet creative as possible, and put enough big thinking into the world so that accidents can happen.

Accidents Happen - August 6

The same numbers that other professions cite as being evidence of a very unlikely event, we champion as something that shows what we’re doing is working. For them, the number represents validation that it is so small not to matter. For us, the number represents validation that it is significant. Let’s stop caring about 0.1% and 0.2%. Because the truth is, its 0.1% or 0.2% of a very big number. Instead, let’s start highlighting and focusing on the millions of people we’ve reached, the millions of people we’ve influenced, the millions of people we’ve gotten to take an action.

Babies & CTRs - August 8

[Banner] blindness isn’t just for shitty ads on right hand rails or below the fold. Blindness also kicks in when you’re too immersed, too captivated by the content you’re consuming.

Goin' Blind - August 11

1 / Millennial Inertia - Millennials are increasingly set in their ways when it comes to media. The Millennial media channel of choice, podcasts, hasn’t seen a new top 10 podcast in years.
2 / Concept of quality and quantity for brands of different life stages - Small, young, or challenger brands are best suited for quality. They are new or different, so they must display quality that people can’t get elsewhere in the category already. On the flip side, big brands rely on quantity. Quantity of ads, quantity of messages, quantity of time on-air, quantities of product, etc.
3 / The Netflix factor no one is talking about - is Netflix the underrated strategic partner ESPN is lookin for?

E-S-P-N - August 12

I couldn’t help but think of the last few years of technology and trends during this. The metaverse, AI, NFTs, whatever other bullshit has been thrown at the wall. A faster route to our destinations. To insights, fame, success, advancement. That if we don’t get on board with these new innovations, we risk being stuck in an endless slog of slow, unrelenting, and unfulfilling impatience. But when we click “accept,” we find everyone else is there too. They’ve been told the same thing. No one has beaten each other to the punch, instead we’re all just beating each other up, fed the same vision of the future because we haven’t thought of one for ourselves.

Faster Routes - August 13

So if you are trying to increase your creative output, don’t listen to the words of creative geniuses. They don’t know how to translate their greatness, and their words can be meaningless on the subject. Instead, work on maximizing your own creativity.

Bein' Creative - August 15

The hit spotter doesn’t need to be the one who thinks of the idea. They just need to be the one who really sees it, and know instantly that there’s a classic on their hands. Their lightbulb needs to screamingly go off. And they need to be aggressive in the fact that the biggest mistake the team can make is not pursuing the idea further; to park other, less worthwhile threads in favor of the bigger one the hit spotter has found. So if you’re not creative, not all hope is lost. Be the hit spotter.

Spottin' Hits - August 18

Because when the going gets tough, advertising decisions are not driven by innovation. They are driven by attribution...They are driven by a scared mentality. If you are working with a marketing team during a tough time, pay even closer attention to the decisions being made. Are they making them to help grow your business, or to save their own?

Bing Bing Bing - August 19

It represents an old way of thinking. A way of thinking that groups and looks at things together by medium or “channel,” instead of focusing more singularly on the content itself. Why? People don’t think that way. In 2023, they rarely settle for a show they don’t want to watch, just because it’s on a specific “channel.” More than ever before, people are able to pick within and across many channels for what they actually want: good content.

Good is Good - August 21

A plan is a differentiated way your brand needs to show up in the market to stand out, capture attention, and build a connection to sell a product or service. That plan takes commitment. It takes overcommitment. It takes saying no to a lot of things, and yes to only a few, in order to achieve it.

Be Inflexible - August 22

All marketing measurement comes with an asterisk. None of it is perfect. And as brand marketers, we default to this argument that the reason we’re not getting budget is because we can’t prove to the C-Suite that it’s working...The problem is is that we’ll never be able to prove it’s working without a shadow of a doubt. But when something works, you don’t have to prove it. You can feel it.

WAH! - August 24

Brand marketing is often thought of as flashy, exciting, and can change a company’s fortune quickly with a long run or a home run play. But it often gets the short end of the stick when it comes to investment. People want the flash, substance, and performance, but they don’t want to pay up for it. Instead, they want to milk a limited investment for all of its worth, and get enough tread on the tires just to skate by.

Running It Back - August 26

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