“I see,” says the blind man.

October 26, 2009

By Michael Mark, creative director & CEO @ nyca

I notice that when I take my glasses off I see more clearly. 

blog picture 10-26Due to my 200/250 vision, without the lenses I need to get much closer to the object in question and  use my other senses to decipher the contents. I will touch it not just to hold it but to receive it through feel, giving me a new perspective, enriching my understanding. And then, when I lean nearer, I will take in the smell, more information, deeper learning. 

Lenses, it seems, both enhance and detract from my naturally limited sight. The wide vista between seeing and attention.

With my glasses set aside on my nightstand, the data comes in from all portals, including sound and taste. Careful on this one. It’s best to know the general makeup of the object before ingestion but my mother’s fish pie is even tastier in the misshapen haze of nearsightedness than under the clinical light of her kitchen. 

When the familiar becomes foreign I instantly see them fresh. It’s a reintroduction and, if I can put my knowledge aside along with my glasses, then I can truly know it again, for the first time.

The opportunity to see things for what they are, not what I knew them to be, works on people, pets, even brands. It’s good for the health of the relationship, wiping out the crud of the past and promoting forgiveness, understanding, love, or at least, acceptance.

I have tried this in the morning, still wobbly with dream to meet the Michael I am that day. Lopsided before the mirror, I lean forehead to forehead with my reflection, and tell myself I look pretty good, lost weight, grown some hair since last I saw me.

I have had glasses on my face for 40 years, every day, every waking hour, traveled around the world, lived with a woman for 30 years in them, raised our kids, written books, ran and started businesses, saw presidents in them.

Amazing to think what I have missed.


Love what you sell

October 19, 2009

by Michelle Edelman, President  @ nyca.com

NYCA is absolutely abuzz right now with work. For new clients and old, and a slew of new prospects. Not surprising, the best work in the agency is for products that are easy to believe in.

Why do people believe in brands or products? Market leadership, killer features, fresh consumer insights, inspiring design – I’m sure you can think of more. These are the reasons NYCAers get excited about their clients as well. But there’s something else within our walls too. 

Not all brands are the market leader. Not all products are best of breed. Sometimes the reasons consumers should care about a product is not obvious. Sometimes the communications themselves are what make a brand great. 

heartforblogThe truth of NYCA is that we don’t just sell what we love. We love what we sell. Our own quest to find passion within our assignments brings out new reasons for consumers to buy. We don’t stop till we find that property of value – that thing that’s worth a consumers time and attention – proving our clients’ products are worth the money spent – that’s what pushes us harder.

In that way, we’re more like part of the sales force. We know that every minute, we have to earn the consumer’s dollar. We know that each sale is earned and not to be taken for granted. Metrics tell us that a current customer is up to 8 times easier to sell than a new customer. We approach our thinking believing everyone’s a tough sell. And that’s why it helps to love what we sell. There’s a “never let up” mentality to our work – and that’s a key ingredient in why we have grown every one of our clients.


The world needs a jingle.

October 5, 2009

By Michael Mark, creative director/ceo @nyca 

Something happy and simple – catchy and upbeat. One that drives you crazy ‘cause it stays in your step after you’ve put your tired feet up.

condor_pasa_sheet_musicThe world needs hope in the face of reality, and jingles are sweet and sticky and mindless enough to melt the rigid walls of this moment to let us see possibility. Because on the outside they are silly, sunny and self-admittedly stupid. But beneath the sugar coating — if it’s a good, hard-working jingle — is a targeted selling message that plays again and again in your inner buyer’s ear. And the frequency mixes with the beat and makes you move, tickles your wiggle, the whimsy gives you a shimmy in the direction that it strategically intended. It controls you. 

It’s not sneaky as much as it is cajoling. And who here, after being bombarded by the blogs, searching the job sites, chatting with friends, listening to the radio, watching their 401k disappear, couldn’t use a peppy bit of cajoling? 

The economy needs a three trillion dollar stimulus package and the world needs a 90 second ditty. 

Oh, I know it’s not cool to do jingles in advertising any more – but cool won’t get us out of this. We need a syrupy, incessant hook to get our entrepreneurial juices going. And while we’re at it – gimme some cowbell. 

Let the music mavens begin. Let the chirpy voices rise. Let the grade school rhyme schemes be heard and winced to. 

And let iTunes make it a free download to pick us all up.