Woo Hoo!

Throughout our careers we all may come up with great ideas, but they don’t get too far if they don’t come across to our clients.

The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas, is a great read! Written by G. Richard Shell and Mario Moussa, the book offers a new approach to idea selling. The word “woo” in the book is defined as the ability to “win others over” to your ideas without coercion, using relationship-based and emotionally intelligent persuasion.

The Art of Woo has a four-step approach to their idea-selling process. 1) Persuaders need to polish their ideas for the social networks that will lead them to decision makers. 2) Confront the most common obstacles that can sink ideas before they get started. 3) Pitch your idea in a compelling way. 4) Secure both individual and organizational commitments. Throughout the book the author reference historical business cases that helps bring this approach to life.

As you can imagine, individual personality plays a key role in how you influence others. The book includes two personalized “diagnostic” tests that readers can take to discover their persuasion strengths and weaknesses (I won’t share my results!) One of the diagnostics is the “Six Channels Survey,” designed to help people learn which of the key channels of influence they feel compelled to use most often at work, and which they would prefer to use if given a choice. These channels include Authority, Rationality, Vision, Relationships, Interests, and Politics. Throughout the book you learn how to better understand these six channels.

The Persuasion Styles Assessment is in the book, and helps readers determine the degrees of assertiveness and natural social intelligence they bring to the idea-selling process.

The Art of Woo goes on to describe five distinctive styles:

The Driver—a highly assertive person who gives only limited attention to the social environment

The Commander—a grove-like person who has a quieter demeanor

The Chess Player—a quieter person who attends strategically to the social environment

The Promoter—a gregarious type who uses high levels of social intelligence

The Advocate—who strikes the balance among all the others

Definitely an entertaining read, and certainly relevant to what we all do every day.

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Wait Up!

Karen Rose Redworks Blog Image_EDCycling down the Greenway in NYC, I became separated from my friends and lost sight of them. I stopped and called my boyfriend from my cell phone but wasn’t entirely certain he had brought his phone with him on his bike. I figured, nothing to do but keep cycling and hopefully catch up with them.

Then my chain broke. Geez! I made another call, then sat down and thought, “Now what?”

Three options came to mind: 1) Find a bicycle store and get the chain repaired; 2) Walk my bike to the Port Authority and take a train home; or 3) Stay on the Greenway and wait in the hopes that my cycling friends would come back and find me.

I dismissed Option 1 quickly: If I left the Greenway, I wouldn’t know if they came by while I was gone. I wasn’t keen on Option 3: Wait?! For how long? No guarantee they’re coming back the same way. My impulse reaction was Option 2: Take a train home and catch up with my friends later.

And I almost went with Option 2. But then I forced myself to slow down, resist a gut response for immediate action, and think it through. What if I walked all the way to the PA and found that I couldn’t take my bike on the train? Then I’d need to return to the Greenway and, well…same concerns as Option 1.

I reluctantly gave in and decided to wait. Not thirty minutes later, I saw my friends cycling toward me. My knights in shining Under Armour! They rigged my chain and got me back in the saddle in record time. And off we went. Problem solved! And all it took was the presence of mind to take a deep breath…and…wait.

On the ride back to the George Washington Bridge, I pondered how often at work we are presented with similar decision-making each and every day. We may not have all the information we need, yet we often need to “keep the job moving.”

But how often do we end up with redos? Or missing something? Or wasting precious time and resources moving something to the next step that would have been better to wait for clearer direction?

Sometimes pausing is the best action you can take.

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Brain Candy: Byte-sized Creative Inspiration for Digital Minds—1st Edition

GKblogWhat I love about being an advertising creative is the eternal search for creative stimulus. Always on the search for something that turns your mind on, makes you “think different” and gets you excited to show your co-workers like it was a grade school show-and-tell.

But it’s this stimulus, or this search for stimulus, that really does inspire truly innovative ways to reach our fellow persons with a memorable experience. Sometimes it’s a cool social media tie-in, or maybe a super-sneaky hidden camera capture. Either way, it makes an impression on us and becomes a reference point for the next creative idea, the next killer pitch tactic.

I imagine everyone has his or her favorite sites to mine Internet gold. If you have a site like that, stop hoarding the good stuff and write the next Brain Candy post. Or maybe you just like calling people out for being “two-thousand and late” like an art director I know here at Ogilvy (who will go unnamed for now).

So for now, I’ve collected a few of my favorite inspirations over the last few months to share with you. I hope you find them as inspiring, hilarious and introspective as I did.

Before we dive in, have you seen the site This Advertising Life? No? Really? Then you have to go now… This should be daily viewing for all agency types.

OK, so here are some vids from across the interwebs that I think are pretty cool. Some of them actually lend themselves well as crossovers into the pharma world. But if you can’t sell-in selfies and Snapchat for the latest patient consumer pitch, at least you have some neat stuff to show before your weekly status meeting.

Every now and again you see something and think, “That is genius.” And you just sit at your computer in total awe of your self-contempt for not thinking of it first. Then you think about what must have been going on in that room for someone to have come up with it. Pure Genius.


How do you get a paper poster to turn into a musical instrument? I watched this video three times and I’m still amazed.


I guess you really can’t beat selfies, beer and Twitter. You have to love the Danes, and they definitely love their Carlsberg. Happy hour will never be the same.


This one has been making the rounds lately at the Chocolate Factory—a really impressive way to use augmented reality. We actually worked this into a pitch recently, and this is totally something you can build into a convention experience…minus the alien invasion, I would imagine.


I don’t mean to encourage duplicitous behavior, but you have to admit this is pretty funny. On the other hand, this is proof of concept for a CRM or patient reminder app. This app can pulse out reminder messages to patients to take their meds (adherence), get well soon (post surgical), have a good day (depression), or even send out appointment reminders.


I always loved reading about twin studies from clinical psych class. There’s something really cool about having such a perfect control for a study design. But multiples kind of freak me out in person though. Anyway, you should listen to your mother and not chew gum in mixed company, here’s why.


So you want to have a goof on that dude who’s using waaaaaaay too many hashtags? Here you go, courtesy of Axe. I encourage you all to try this, on yourself!


Now let’s close on a high note…if you’re somehow one of the 2 million people who have not seen this ad, just do it.

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We Can Be Sexy Too

Toby Pickford thumbnailHello, is that Terry Savage, the chairman of the Lions Festivals?

This is Toby Pickford here, Creative Director of Ogilvy CommonHealth Sydney. How’s it going? I hear health has been added to the largest and most prestigious annual event celebrating creative advertising and communications. This is great news! Finally we can stand side-by-side with our mainstream counterparts; the wall of health will come down, and creativity can be celebrated as one, whether it’s selling Viagra or Volkswagen.

Sorry, what was that? We won’t be celebrating on the same day? Oh, so health is a completely separate awards event? We go first? OK, a bit like a warm-up act, right? 


This is totally the wrong way to think about this. I could look at it as our time. Our time to really show the world and the most awarded creatives and their agencies on the planet that we are an amazing bunch of talented people who can tackle some of the most difficult and challenging problems and turn them into compelling communications. And what’s more, change lives!

That’s cool. Now we can show them that health can be SEXY! Not just mainstream…

Yes, that’s the way I should look at this… OK, I feel better now, special is good, special is SEXY.

Right, it’s on. Us against the rest of the world. Ogilvy CommonHealth united, seen as the most creative healthcare network. I can see it now—Cannes, the palm trees, the beach…

But how do we get there? (By plane of course—very funny, Toby.) How do we create work that will be worthy of a LION?

I am going to start by setting some goals:

  1. Drive for more inspiring briefs.
  2. Be fearless and push clients to be fearless too.
  3. Stay tuned to creativity from outside of the pharmaceutical industry.
  4. Be surprising in everything we do—make originality the norm and not just for special occasions.

That sounds good. Right, I suppose I better let Terry Savage know that he needs to make the stage a bit bigger next year because Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide are coming to CANNES to make health SEXY.

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Introducing Once-Monthly Tournamax?

Basketball PersonSo, like most of us, my experience spans multiple therapeutic areas. I’ve worked in the field of Rheumatology. Created campaigns in Oncology. Produced TV spots, print ads and RM programs in Pulmonology, Gastroenterology and Dermatology.

But I’ve been thinking over the last few weeks, what if our industry expanded to yet another fast-growing scientific field that sweeps the nation every year: Bracketology.

I’m sure someone, somewhere, is working on the drug to help. Therefore, I’ve taken the liberty of preparing the TV script so we’re locked and loaded for the DTC launch.

Open on the appropriate and ubiquitously RC-friendly activity of a Big Dance. An announcer would say…

Announcer: If you’re a college basketball fan and suffer from sleepless nights, indecision making your picks and general anxiety at the start of spring, you could be suffering from March Madness.

Once-monthly Tournamax can help. Only Tournamax provides clarity and faith to help you identify potential upsets, make sense of any Missouri Valley Conference entries and avoid a complete bracket implosion. And it’s not a steroid.

Tournamax is not for golf aficionados. Side effects may include sweaty palms during the Final Four, nausea if your alma mater loses early, and swollen egos. Tournamax can lead to random screams of “go” followed by a color, most commonly blue and orange. If a 16-seed beats a 1-seed, stop taking Tournamax immediately and contact your doctor.

It’s your bracket. It’s your office pool. It’s your Tournamax.

I’m telling you, if we can launch brands for Thrombocytopenia Purpura in Hematology, we got this.


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Workday of the Dead

NEWS ALERT: “It has been established that persons who have recently become exhausted at work are returning to life and committing acts of mindless procrastination. A widespread investigation of offices, businesses, and agencies has concluded that these instances of “workplace zombies” have been increasing at an alarming rate, and are claiming more and more diligent victims. It’s hard for us here to be reporting this to you, but it does seem to be a fact…”

Okay, admit it. There are days when you feel like a workplace zombie. You show up to work at the crack of, well, okay, 9:30 and stare blankly at your computer screen as a list of daunting emails expands before your eyes. So, you shuffle off toward the kitchen bellowing the workplace zombie call: “CAFFEINE!!!” Usually, a good dose of coffee or tea will be enough to snap you out of it and get to the task at hand, however BEWARE! There are many other dangers lurking in the workplace that threaten to bring the zombie in you back out.

As an addendum to the CDC’s recent official public service announcement regarding their Zombie Preparedness Program, here is an un-official Workplace Zombie Prevention checklist:

• Avoid Facebook at all costs
• Limit checking your personal email to 3 times per day
• Do not check your eBay auctions every 5 minutes
• Put the smartphone down. It is not playtime
• Unless you are a weatherman, there is no need to check the weather every 10 minutes
• Unless you are a stockbroker, there is no need to check the stocks every 2 minutes
• Unless you are a newscaster, there is no need to check the news every 5 minutes
• Twitter isn’t going anywhere. Stop looking at it
• Your friends and family miss you a lot, but there is no need to text them 100 times a day
• Talking to a co-worker for 45 minutes about your weekend plans does NOT count as working

If you have already succumbed to any of these dangers, and you find that you are currently a workplace zombie, please follow these steps to administer a cure:

• BRAAAINS!!! Use it, or lose it
• Take a short break, walk away from your computer
• Go outside for 5 minutes, get some fresh air
• Respond to pertinent emails and voicemails immediately
• Put your headphones on and crank up your favorite music
• Get involved and actively participate in meetings
• Motivation is contagious. Inspire your co-workers to be productive
• Love what you do. Put your heart into it. Be happy at the office, and it will show in your work

It is our responsibility to look out for each other and keep the workplace zombies at bay. If you know of any other dangers or cures regarding the workplace zombie, please respond to this post and report the action here immediately.


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Do You Think HR Is Boring?

Do you wince when you see HR calling on your phone? Just to prove that we are not without a sense of humor, here are some examples of real-life questions and answers that occurred during job interviews (not necessarily here, so don’t try and guess who said them).


1. Question: “Why did you leave your last job?”

     Answer: “I have a problem with authority.”

2. Question: “Tell us about a problem you had with a co-worker and how you resolved it.”

     Answer: “The resolution was we were both fired.”

3. Question: “Why should we hire you?”

     Answer: “I would be a great asset to the events team because I party all the time.”

4. Question: “Why are you currently seeking employment?”

     Answer: “My parents told me I need to get a job so that’s why I’m here.”

5. Question: “What are your assets (as in strengths)?”

     Answer: “Well, I do own a bike.”

6. Question: “Have you submitted your two weeks’ notice to your current employer?”

     Answer: “What is 2 week’s notice? I’ve never quit a job before—I’ve always been fired.”

7. Question (to the candidate): “Do you have any questions?”

     Answer: “Can we wrap this up fairly quickly? I have someplace I have to go.”

A few other interesting scenarios:

  • Candidate question:  “What is your company policy on Monday absences?”
  • Candidate question: “If I get an offer, how long do I have before I have to take the drug test?”
  • An applicant said she was a “people person” not a “numbers person” during her interview for an accounting position.
  • Applicant smelled his armpits on the way to the interview room.
  • When asked if he or she had experience with a certain programming language, the candidate said, “I don’t know, is it on my resume?”

For these and additional humorous interview situations, see:

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