AWOL

I’ve been absent for far too long. But at least several events have come to pass in that time that I can write about. I’m now two months into a new gig at CP+B. I moved to Miami. My divorce is 99.9% dunzo.

In August, I got a call from Crispin. Colin Drummond (who I used to work with in Boston) wanted to see if I’d consider a move. I went out to Boulder and met with several people in their Cognitive and Cultural Radar department and I had the craziest interview with Alex, Rob, Bill (the creative directors on the Burger King account) plus Colin. But I must have done alright because a couple of weeks later I had an offer and was going into my bosses offices at Martin for that uncomfortable “can we talk?” conversation.

So now I work on Burger King and I’ll share what I can about how different this place is from others. For one thing, we’re called cognitive anthropologists. I never really thought that titles mattered from brand planner to account planner or strategic planner. But bearing this title that I don’t feel completely degreed to have has energized me to seek new inspiration from the social sciences. I’ve always read broadly but this kind of inspiration is thoroughly usable here in a way it never has been at other shops. I’m starting to develop what I think is a new planner taxonomy that I’ll write more about another day.

Another difference: my boss lives in Boulder. Half of the agency is in Boulder. All of the creatives are there. All but 4 of the “cogs” are there. So I’m spending many days a month myself out there. But they’ve also got polycoms all around the office that video conference you. I have one in mine and Colin has one in his, the creatives and content managers (account team) I work with do too. It makes for a very “Out of this World” (do you remember that horrible show?) experience. This thing is amazing because you just dial up the person’s polycom you want to reach and it’s like you’re sticking your head into their office. It’s like the future. I haven’t caught any nose picking, but it’s bound to happen.

And a final difference for now: the place is run and inhabited by younger (and young spirited) people. Alex signs many of his all agency emails love, Alex. Everyone gets a crackberry – there’s no “you’re not important enough to know what’s going on” bullshit. The physical space is modern and it makes a difference. After spending the last 6 years in a turn of the century mansion in the woods north of Boston which was definitely beautiful and had James Bond features and then in Richmond where the design is firmly rooted in 1994 but had nice touches as well like a band room it’s just mysteriously comforting and energizing to be in what feels like a more current space. The ideas that fly around make more sense. Somewhat vague, but there it is.

3 thoughts on “AWOL

  1. Do you feel still very connected to the culture and hub in Boulder or is Miami feeling like a satellite office given that the a lot of the power players are out in CO? Or does the technology they’ve got there help close any of those gaps?

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