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March 30, 2004

Finding Scott Munz

There has been a drought in alum news recently, so just for fun I thought I'd randomly pick someone on the "lost list" and see if the Internet could reveal their present location. I chose Scott Munz. Remember Scott at the Virtual Office, wheeling around his files in a luggage cart?

I did a Google search. There is a Scott Munz who is head of promotions for the Oklahoma State Fair. That couldn't possibly be our Scott. I don't see him tolerating livestock.

I found a Scott Munz at the University of Wisconsin - Madison College Of Engineering who is nick-named "Tigger" because he was always bouncing around out of control. Our Scott was definitely not a Tigger.

There is a Scott Munz who apparently appears in Saturday Night Bath concerts at some probation camp. Although Scott's hygiene was always exemplary, I don't remember him as being particularly musical. And, no offense, but I seriously doubt people would pay to see him bathe, even in a probation camp on a Saturday night.

If any of you know where our Scott Munz is, please report that information immediately.

March 29, 2004

Money and politics

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Ever wonder how much money it really takes to be a politician these days? The Center for Responsive is a non-partisan, nonprofit research group which tracks money in politics and its effect on elections and public policy.

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Portable People Meter

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The Portable People Meter from Arbitron monitors its wearer throughout the day - picking up specially encoded signals from the environment - keeping a perfect record of all the broadcast media consumed.

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March 27, 2004

Elevator Pitch

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Move over, "Survivor." Donald Trump? You're fired! Here's the ultimate challenge: the "Elevator Pitch Competition."

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March 26, 2004

Dave

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Meet San Francisco street artist Dave Warnke.

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March 24, 2004

Red States, Blue States

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You've all seen that infamous Red State/Blue State map on the evening news. I'll bet you thought it had something to with politics. Nope. This one's all about something just as gassy and controversial as the Republicans and Democrats.

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March 23, 2004

Immersion Point

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Virtual meetings, anyone?

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March 22, 2004

Zach Rosenberg

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Zach Rosenberg has been, bar none, the most proactive contributor to this website, providing the names and email addresses of dozens of alums. (I have many fond memories of working with Zach on the Chrysalis committee.)

I have managed to acquire this photo and bio of him. Thanks for being such a good alum-sleuth, Zach!

Zach is Exec. VP, General Manager and has managed the West Coast operation of Horizon Media for nearly four years spearheading the recent growth of the Los Angeles office. Key clients include the NBC Television Network, Jack in the Box, USA Networks, and IHOP, to name a few. Horizon Media is the largest independent media services company in the U.S. Zach has been in the agency business for over 20 years, all in the Los Angeles market. He began his career in account management on the agency side working at JWT, DDB and Chiat/Day. Zach has handled a wide array of clients in a variety of categories including retail, travel and healthcare. At Chiat/Day, Zach was hand selected by Jay Chiat to be an integral member of the prestigious "Agency of the Future" task force, which helped to create the "virtual office" concept.

After a decade on the agency side, Zach left Chiat/Day to join Initiative Media (formerly Western International Media) in Los Angeles as Senior Vice President, Group Account Director to manage the Walt Disney business. People joked that Zach left "virtual" to go back to "reality." After four years touching 30 divisions of Disney, Zach was elevated to Sr. VP, Strategic Marketing handling marketing and sales duties for Initiative's various Diversified Services companies, which comprised promotions, product placement, Internet services, and other marketing capabilities.

March 21, 2004

Annie the Flower Lady

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Guess who I ran into in my very own apartment building? Annie the Flower Lady!!

If you worked at 79 Fifth, you will certainly remember than Annie Z. supplied all of the beautiful flowers for the office and for Jay's apartment. She is still in the corporate flower business (send me an email if you'd like her contact information.)

Annie said her fondest memory of Chiat/Day was that even though she didn't work for the company, she was treated like part of the family. (Speaking of family, that's her camera-shy five-year-old, Asher.)

Annie also asked me to "please say hi to Eve for me. She was a stand-out, stand-up influence on me."

Trish Ibelli found!

Trish Ibelli googled herself and discovered her name on the "lost" list. So she has turned herself in, and we're glad she did!

I worked in NY virtual office in 95 & 96 as project manager on NYNEX and NY Life. So many familiar names. Thanks for a fun site."

Trish Ibelli
Director of Special Projects
Outer Banks Press

March 18, 2004

Slack

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Down with multi-tasking and efficiency! Finally, a book that codifies what we've all intuitively understood: goofing off is good!

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March 16, 2004

Glidehouse

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Frank Gehry it's not. But it is "green." And it's prefab, so all those pesky design decisions have been made for you.

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Skeptic

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Oh Mel, schmel.

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March 14, 2004

Chuck Phillips remembers Jay

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Pictured: Jay and Chuck; Chuck's wife, Lynn, with Jay.

Chuck Phillips' history with Chiat/Day is quite literally as old as Chiat/Day itself. He was the company's first employee. I can remember working with him at the original office on Olympic Boulevard, where the beginning of the lunch hour was signalled by the arrival of the burrito truck in the back parking lot. Later, in a very cold January in 1988, Adelaide and I had the great pleasure of helping Chuck open the Toronto office.

Chuck wrote the following article for Marketing, Canada's Ad Age, in May of 2002. With his kind permission, I reprint it here ...

Marketing
May 13, 2002
Remembering Jay Chiat


CHUCK PHILLIPS recalls how his friend and mentor of 30 years inspired courage in advertising and made the business better

Ad industry icon Jay Chiat died April 23 in Los Angeles at age 70. Marketing invited CHUCK PHILLIPS, president and CEO of Lanyon Phillips Communications in Vancouver and founding president in 1988 of Chiat/Day Toronto, to reflect on his experiences as to what made this man so extraordinary.

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Jay Chiat interviewed me in 1968. Guy Day hired me. I became the first employee of the newly merged Los Angeles ad agency Chiat/Day. They flipped a coin to see which one would be president. Jay won the toss...Guy got stuck with the title.

Then Jay took the agency on a rocket ship to the moon, Guy got weak-kneed on the trip, disappeared and ended up the answer to a seldom-asked trivia question.

Jay was a C-plus writer. He couldn't draw. But he was a creative powerhouse. He had more impact on changing advertising than anyone, including fellow titans Bill Bernbach and David Ogilvy. He did things no one had done before. Disemboweled the traditional hierarchical agency model. Made it smarter. Made it better.

He was Alexander the Great. He was Charlemagne. He was Genghis Khan. A "take no prisoners" leader who inspired people to stretch far beyond their limits to do seemingly impossible things. He was driven by excellence. If you delivered it, you stayed. If you fell short, you moved on. Compromise was for the other guys. His agency's motto was "Good Enough Isn't Good Enough."

Loyalty was everything. So was courage. He gave both and he got it back in torrents. We all would have followed him through a firestorm. Knifed anyone who tried to screw with him. A pat from Jay was a bigger deal than winning a One Show Gold.

Extraordinary agencies are all built by passionate leaders for whom their followers are willing to bleed. When these leaders go, managers slip in behind them and values change. Excellence takes a back seat to optics, and once-great agencies become indistinguishable from one another.

I worked for Jay for more than 20 years. He was my friend for longer. I quit twice. Got hired back two times. Was fired once.

When I left, I went with some company shares of dubious value.

Eight years later, Jay sold his company to Omnicom and got merged with TBWA. Ignoring objections from a board that was hostile to honouring any outsider shares, he sent me a cheque that far exceeded anything I might have fantasized about. He wasn't legally obligated to give me a dime. He told his board "I owe him." That huge act of generosity ended up keeping our then-fledgling Vancouver company alive. He then followed up the favour by showing up as a speaker at Vancouver's Vision Conference. He thought it might help us. It did.

Chiat/Day's most pivotal moment came when it lost its biggest client, Honda cars. How Jay reacted to this loss was what defined his leadership. Honda was 60% of the agency's revenue and 90% of our identity. It was demoralizing. The clinical decision would have been to immediately cut staff to adjust for the revenue shortfall. Jay wasn't clinical: "If I lose these people, I've got nothing left. So if we're going to die, let's at least do it with drama." The higher-paid people took 20% pay cuts, everyone else took 10%. He held staff, dug out and in about six months everybody got their salaries restored. Two months later we all got envelopes. Inside was a cheque for all the retroactive pay we had lost, with a simple, one-word handwritten note from Jay: "Thanks."

Our competitors were doomed.

In San Francisco we inherited a wretched account as part of an agency acquisition, AMC International. They were painful to work for, and the work reflected it. AMC was 70% of our income. Jay told me to fire them. That they were a cancer in the way of our moving forward. I reminded him "we need the money." He said "we need our self-respect more." So we resigned AMC and struggled for a time. Then along came Apple. I doubt they would have wanted to work with the company we were prior to undergoing that surgery. When Apple showed up, our billings were US$50 million. In two years, they would grow to US$500 million.

A while ago I flew to L.A. to spend some private time with Jay while he was undergoing treatments at UCLA in his battle against prostate cancer. He asked me if I'd been checked. Told him no, I was too chicken. He exploded at my irresponsibility, picked up a phone and made me an appointment with his specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale.

I miss him.

- Chuck Phillips

Quotations from Chairman Jay

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"I want to see everything that goes out of here."
"Do I have to see everything that goes out of here?"

Signs of Life

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Ah, carbs, carbines, and kids. They just seem to naturally go together, don't they? Signs of Life is an online collection of photographs of signs which "transcend their objectivity to reveal our humanity." In other words, they're just plain goofy.

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March 09, 2004

Art Directors Anonymous

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15 Canadian-based artists' 60-second, stop-motion movies taken with their digital cameras.

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March 04, 2004

My pet fat

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I thought the idea of making a fetish out of 1 oz. of body fat to be used as a diet motivator was totally disgusting, until I realized that the way I finally quit smoking was putting a pack of cigarettes into a jar and keeping it on my coffee table until it had coagulated into a disgusting blob of tobacco juice.

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March 02, 2004

Mediainspiration

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Mediainspiration has a wide collection of books, products, web sites, designers, and other works that are sure to inspire all design professionals.

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March 01, 2004

Your summer intern: Myra Hiott

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Here's another one of my Duke students who's looking for a summer internship.

Meet Myra Hiott, who is in my Creative Writing independent study. Give this girl a job! How can you resist those eyes! Says Myra ...

“Twenty-one year olds looking for summer employment can’t afford to be lazy or choosy,” my dad told me last night on the telephone. Of course, he’s right. So, although my passions are reading, writing and politics, and my ideal internship is one in which I can take advantage of my creative, artsy side, I’m willing to adjust if you’re willing to hire me. I am a second semester junior at Duke University and a political science major, but this semester I am studying public policy, ethics and the arts in New York City. The semester, thus far, has been fabulous. I stay extremely busy with classes and performances, but I like the fast-paced life. I would love an internship where I can keep this up, working hard and enthusiastically while exploring future career options.

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View Myra's resume

Your summer intern: Yoav Lurie

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Another one of my Duke babies who is hoping to get a foot in the door at your agency!

Yoav Lurie is a Duke junior pursuing a degree in Public Policy Studies and a Markets and Management Studies certificate. Though he calls Los Angeles home, his adventures have taken him to far corners of the globe. He has worked for Salomon Smith Barney in Chicago, Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (D-CA) in Washington, DC, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and as a short-order cook at a kosher restaurant in Venice, Italy. A passionate jack-of-many-trades, Yoav is the founder of Camp Kesem at Duke (www.campkesem.org) a camp for the children of cancer patients in the Raleigh-Durham area, ran a student company at Duke, and has filed a patent with the USPTO. The former high-school wrestler has toured Spain with a university rugby team, talked his way into more than his share of “closed events” and knows that most bad situations will one day turn into good material. With all this in mind, it seemed obvious that advertising and media might just be for him; but no matter the direction his life takes, his path is sure to be both interesting and entertaining.

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View Yoav's resume

Comedy in Advertising

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Meet another Duke student, Rio Pierce, who is doing an independent study about comedy. He's interested in learning how and why comedy is used in advertising. He'd love it if some of you creative types would post a comment in answer to the following question:

I'm a Duke student doing an independent study of the way that comedy functions as an art form and how it is used commercially. I'm interested in the way that advertising agencies use comedy as a selling device. What are the goals of using comedy as a method? What are its advantages and disadvantages? Are there specific market sectors/targeted products that use comedy? This is still relatively vague at this point, and I'm a neophyte about advertising, but any help that you could give would be much appreciated, both specific examples or larger themes.

Click on the Comment link to post your thoughts about Rio's question.