Photo by Joey Kyber on Unsplash

Fly away home, little boy. Fly from school and the people you don’t know and the games you don’t understand to a television transmission from inside the ivy-covered walls of Wrigley Field. When the old stadium still did not have lights, so they played their games during the day. When even the World Series was played during the day. When Florida did not have a professional team but Montreal did. Fly to the warm and reassuring Windsor-knotted voice of Jack Brickhouse. To the inexplicable Hall of Fame anger of Leo Durocher and the studied uncouth of the bleacher bums. To…


We begin each project with a curious cocktail of optimism and cynicism. A new brief is a fresh opportunity to do something that will not simply excite us, but will actually excite humans we will never meet. That will get them to act. To think. To buy. …


Welcome to the eighth edition of The Year in (the Agency) Review! Glad you made it.

Man, what a year, right? The worst of times, the worst of times. A year of pain. A year of reckoning. A year in which many of the things we thought we knew — about ourselves, about our loved ones, about our nation — turned out to be disappointingly false. In which our faith in these things and more was tested. In which we were forced to reassess, not simply ourselves, our loved ones, our nation, but our choices. For while Nietzsche was probably…


Welcome to the seventh edition of The Year in (the Agency) Review!

First, thank you for reading. Not just us. Anything. The written word — long form, short form, books, blogs, magazines, whatever — is a powerful thing and we appreciate your help in keeping it alive. As do the authors, publications and publishers we work with.

And second, of course, thanks for reading us. Either regularly or periodically. And for subscribing.

And before we go any further, we need to acknowledge the passing of one of Advertising’s Legends, Jane Maas. Jane became a friend when we reviewed her terrific…


It’s 2017 and I’m listening to assembled members of the press talk to Jack Harrison, the rising young star of New York City’s MLS team. They’re asking him about a particular move and pass he made, one that elicited a gasp of shock and awe from the cognoscenti, one that made the well-traveled professional marking him look like a rank amateur, one that resulted in, among other things, a goal.

“How did you see the open man?” they ask. “How did you know when to place the ball there?” “How did you know the defender would react the way he…


Mar 16, 2019; Harrison, NJ, USA; New York Red Bulls fans hold scarves before the game against the San Jose Earthquakes at Red Bull Arena. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes you watch a match with a keen understanding of the historical significance of the events happening before you. Sometimes, you watch with an eye to the clash of the strategic geniuses toeing the sidelines. Sometimes it’s simply a tactical game you’re interested in. And, of course, sometimes you just watch the match between your fingers, so horrified are you at the disaster unfolding before your disbelieving eyes.

And sometimes you can focus purely on the play of two individuals and remember something about the whole game within that one matchup. Which is precisely what happened as I watched the…


That we are fascinated by marketing should come as no shock to anyone reading here. That we are fascinated by sport may surprise a few, but not those who have dug a little deeper into our oeuvre. That we are fascinated by Brazil — okay, that one may feel like it comes out of left field. But we are. Its music, its literature, its soccer, are all magical to us. Jobim, Machado, Ronaldinho, — in so many ways it is as if the laws of nature do not apply in Brazil. …


While we like to think that in some ancient time our feet did walk in a Jerusalem of appreciation for the value of higher education, that idea, like most things, is simply the cudgel that one generation uses to bludgeon the next into believing that the present is a poor substitute for a more glorious, albeit mythical, past.

Education around advertising is no different. And as someone who has spent countless hours explaining the philosophies of Rosser Reeves, Claude C. Hopkins, Bill Bernbach and Mary Wells to future creatives, account people and clients, I have therefore found myself a target…


Mar 10, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York City pose for a photo before their game against the D.C. United at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Five feels important. Five senses help us navigate the universe. Beethoven’s fifth symphony was etched into goldand sent to the stars. Shiva has five faces, Jesus had five wounds, Islam has five pillars and the Torah has five books. There’s the Jackson five, the Furious Five and the MC5. Michigan State had the Fab Five and you get five for fighting in hockey. Five feels important.

So on March 10th, I drove up to the Bronx to watch home opener number five for New York City FC. I had not missed an NYCFC home opener since the team first took…


Mar 2, 2019; Chester, PA, USA; Philadelphia Union defender Auston Trusty (26) dribbles against Toronto FC during the first half at Talen Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Where were you in 2010? When gas was 2.73 a gallon and postage was 44 cents. When over a trillion dollars was lost in the 36 minute “flash crash” and the defending MLS champions were Real Salt Lake. When I had hair down to my shoulders and a beard that made Billy Gibbons jealous, and when the Philadelphia Union took the field for the first time. And lost to the Seattle Sounders.

Man, some things never change.

For here I am, on the banks of the Delaware River again, as I was last year, and, for all I my frozen…

martin bihl

writer. conceptor. adman. man of letters. often in groups of four. letters, that is.

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