"We gather knowledge faster than we gather wisdom." - William Bell

Christian … What Do You Actually Do?

Posted: November 25th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Thought Starters | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

This post is for my Dad.
I don’t think he understands my job.
I work in advertising.
On the account side.
A lot of times people ask me what I do.
Here’s what I tell them:

When Churchill retired from politics he tried painting.
He set up his easel in his garden.
He got just the right size canvas.
He organized all his paints and brushes.
He’d chosen a perfectly comfortable stool.
He made sure everything was absolutely right.
Then he tried to decide where to start on the painting.
He stared at the pristine, white canvas.

Should he start in one area and work his way across?
Or should he sketch in the rough outline first?
Should he try to include the whole landscape?
Or should he pick one particular part to concentrate on?
How to begin exactly?

Two hours later his wife came out with a cup of tea.
He hadn’t painted a thing.
He was still sitting there thinking.
The canvas was still perfectly white.

His wife asked him why he hadn’t painted anything.
He said he couldn’t decide where to start.
So she picked up a brush and painted a huge squiggle in the middle of the canvas.
Churchill went ballistic.

What are you doing, you’ve ruined a perfectly good canvas.
She said, “Well now you’ll just have to fix it won’t you.
And he started to fix the mess.
Scraping off the paint, and painting over it.
And pretty soon he’d painted his first landscape.

See what was stopping Churchill was knowing how to start.
What his wife did was take the start-point away.
She gave him a problem to fix instead.
The man who could lead Britain in a world war didn’t know what to do with a blank canvas.
Give him a problem to fix, a massive mess that no one else could sort out.

But how do you start when there is no problem?
Creative people are good at fixing problems.
Good at responding.
Not so good at creating from nothing.
With no brief, no direction, no ideas, nothing to get hold of.

So that’s what I do. I draw squiggles on a blank canvas.

- Christian

Want To Own Pabst Brewing?

Posted: November 16th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Cool Ideas | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »


I was reading on Uncrate that two ad agencies are trying to crowdsource enough people to buy Pabst Brewing. It would work like the Green Bay Packers, where the fans own the company. You agree to pledge a couple of bucks towards the cause and then when they are able to reach their goal of $300 million, they will likely issue stock in the company. But for now, no money changes hands.

As a brief history, Pabst is the brewing company behind the infamous PBR (Or Pabst Blue Ribbon). They have been experiencing a revival over the past 10 years as a the “hip” counter-culture brand. The story is that PBR became adopted by a bunch of bike couriers in Seattle. They adopted the beer as their own badge and then the not-awesome tasting liquid became THE anti-brand beer across the US.

What Forza Migliozzi and The Ad Store (the two ad agencies behind the idea) have done is brilliant. They are trying to amalgamate the huge underground PBR fanbase and let them truly own a stake in the beer that they love. They’re not trying to bring PBR mainstream and ruin the brand.They are sticking with their core fans and letting them spread the message and control what happens to this beer and this brewery. Wicked. Check out the official “pledge” site here.

This is definitely going on my Christmas list.

- Christian

National Geographic's Best Pictures

Posted: November 12th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Inspiration | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »


I got an awesome present today. It was an email filled with National Geographic‘s best pictures of the year. I thought I would share. Click the image to see it big.

Whenever you’re feeling shitty, take a step back and check out how awesome the world is. Which one is your favorite?

- Christian

What Your Beer Tells People About You

Posted: November 5th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Thought Starters | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »


I came across a fascinating study here from Ad Age that more or less confirms your prejudices about different beer brands.  Over 2,000 (American) beer drinkers were polled about their lifestyles. Now, it due to note that American pallets skew to favour lighter beers, but the lifestyle information that accompanies each brand is interesting.

I’m an addict for this type of information. Check it out:


True to form, Bud drinkers are grounded and practical. They are the polar opposite of daydreamers and don’t easily get carried away. These beer drinkers also don’t like authority — can anyone say union?

Budweiser drinkers are 42% more likely to drive a truck than the average person, 68% more likely to choose a credit card with flexible payment terms and 42% more likely to use breath-freshening strips every day.

BudLight Logo

Are Bud Light drinkers just Bud guzzlers on a diet? Nope. Bud Light personalities actually skew quite different from their more-caloric sibling. They lack in carefulness. In regard to others, these good-time guys and gals are accepting of most everyone and generally easy to get along with.

Bud Light drinkers are also 48% more likely than the average person to play the lottery every day and 34% more likely to never buy organic products.


“Where’s the party?” is probably an oft-asked question by Corona drinkers. They are busy and energetic people who are also extremely extroverted. Corona drinkers do more and see more people in one day than most people see in a week. But the life-of-the-party drinkers also have a caring side; they care deeply about other people and see themselves as giving and warm.

Corona drinkers are 91% more likely than average to buy recycled products and 38% more likely to own three or more flat-screen TVs.


There’s a slang term that could sum up Heineken drinkers: posers. These self-assured people believe they are exceptional, get low scores on modesty and high scores on self-esteem. (Wow, so I guess this website thinks that it’s pretty good looking … with all of those pretty green bottles at the top and stuff.) They love their brand badges and this group is attracted to luxury products in general.

People who choose Heineken as their favourite beer are 58% more likely to have American Express cards, 45% more likely to be early adopters of new mobile phones, and 29% more likely to drive sports cars.

Crest Liquor_Beer_Blue Moon

5. BLUE MOON (Or Rickard’s White in Canada)
Blue Moon is actually branded as Rickard’s White here in Canada. The personality traits of people who prefer Blue Moon, tracked similarly to the same type of people who prefer craft beers—which means Blue Moon drinkers probably don’t know it’s a Molson Coors Brewing product.

They are socially liberal and usually quite willing to go against convention. They really hate moral authorities, and believe children should be exposed to moral dilemmas and allowed to come to their own conclusions.

People who drink Blue Moon/Rickard’s beer are 105% more likely than the average person to drive hybrid cars, 77% more likely to own Apple Mac laptops, 65% more likely to purchase five pairs or more of sneakers every year, and 32% more likely to not be registered voters.

All in all, this is interesting information, but not overly scientific. It’s kind of like a beer horoscope. But what it does do is reflect back to you what type of people are attracted to certain types of marketing. And as an Idea Drunk, it’s interesting.

- Christian