Spin Creative Gold with “Yes, And . . .”

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Photo credit: Brian Schultz If you want to inspire people to do great work, try the "Yes, and . . ." approach. "Yes, and . . ." is a popular expression in theater, especially in improvisational comedy. You might have encountered the idea in Tina Fey's book, Bossypants. The concept refers to ...

When Artists Lead an Audience

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

"Are there any paranoids in the audience tonight?" With those caustic words, Roger Waters introduced "Run Like Hell" in concert in 1980. Waters continues to taunt and provoke his audience 37 years later when he performs music from his Pink Floyd catalog and solo career, often by injecting venomous statements against ...

Snapchat and Ed Sheeran: 21st Century Radio

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

The phrase "music distribution" sounds boring. And yet music distribution is where brands inside and outside music can learn about innovation, as Ed Sheeran and Snapchat have demonstrated. A new Snapchat lens makes you appear as though you're wearing a pair of blue sunglasses while listening to a clip of one ...

Can U2 Be Cool Again?

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

U2 has something in common with its corporate partner Apple: they both make a lot of money. And they both struggle to be cool. U2 earns gigantic paydays with high-profile concert tours that appeal to its Baby Boomer fan base. According to Forbes, U2 was one of the highest paid musical ...

How DJ Khaled Uses Visual Storytelling to Sell His “Keys”

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

Even though album sales continue to decline, album cover art is more important than it was during the days when vinyl ruled the world. As I have discussed on my blog, today album cover art acts as a visual imprint repeated across a number of touch points: the artist’s website, social ...

Memorable Album Covers of 2016

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

http://www.slideshare.net/davidjdeal1/memorable-album-covers-of-2016 The success of Adele's 25 triggered speculation that maybe, just maybe, record albums were coming back as an art form following years of declining sales. But by July, album sales figures released by Nielsen Music brought those hopes crashing down to an ugly reality. Consumers had purchased 100.3 million album ...

Uber’s Future: Snapchat on Wheels

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

I recently received an invitation to check out some behind-the-scenes Rogue One: A Star Wars Story videos and watch cartoon images of Star Wars X-Wings fly through the streets of Chicago. There was only one catch: the experience was available exclusively on my Uber app and viewable only after I ...

How a Swedish Grocery Store Beat Amazon Go to the Punch

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

The Internet is buzzing about Amazon Go, Amazon's new self-service grocery store. At the flagship Amazon Go in Seattle, opening in January 2017, anyone with an Amazon account, a supported smartphone, and the Amazon Go app will simply take what they want from the store and leave with no check-out ...

Content Master: The Morton Arboretum

Monday, November 21st, 2016

As the leaves of autumn give way to the bare branches of winter, the Morton Arboretum is a place of both refuge and inspiration. The preserve west of Chicago has a well-deserved reputation as a destination for hiking and bicycling amid the trees, ponds, and fields that comprise the 1,700-acre grounds. ...

Al Green and the Family War

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Art can divide a family. In 1973, my family lived near a network of ponds and fields on the northern fringe of Battle Creek, Michigan. You can visit the neighborhood anytime through Google Street View and even check out our old house at 242 Wanondoger Trail. The area still looks pretty ...