— On Comms Design. From London


Today LinkedIn has publicly announced a new curation and sharing tool called Elevate. Read the blog post about this here. This is an interesting development from the social network, which rests on some daring assumptions about why people use LinkedIn and how easy it is to turn your staff into your ambassadors but also meets the increased demand for branded content distribution (mostly after Facebook organic reach for branded pages fell off the cliff last year).

To start with, I think it’s interesting that LinkedIn is refraining from using the more widely spread term of “social brand ambassador” in favor of something a bit more neutral – “social professional”, a term which implies benefits for both the employer and the employee. The implication here is that employees will be trained to be more social media savvy, while the companies will have more “buzz agents” for lack of a better term. Having read and re-read the posting, I wonder if this use of a neutral term is actually an easy way to not get embroiled in the conversation about making employees your brand ambassadors online, a feat which only few companies have managed to pull to date. Read More

Read a HUGE rant I tried to submit as an entry for the AdMap award. They said no and suggested that I keep trying with this actual line “last year’s winner submitted three times before she won”. LOLOL. I guess the idea of writing about something because you care as opposed to writing to win an award is lost on these people 🙂


The advertising world routinely goes through incomprehensible scares, where “stuff” happening outside of what it defines to be its core business seeps in and, allegedly, affects operations, business modelling, staff structures and, more importantly, the very heart of what we sell, the creative product.

In the paragraphs below, I argue that seismic change has occurred before, that the digital age brings only opportunity with it, and we need to understand that, at the end of it all, it is the human element that will always make the fundamental difference.

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I was watching the last episode of Mad Men season 7 and something struck me. All of those people sitting in their living rooms, hotel rooms, any room really, watching the first man land on the moon.

We’ve been lucky to live in a time where some amazing scientific accomplishments have happened already. The LHC came online only a couple of years back. We put a rover on Mars and another one on a comet.

How many of us were perched on the edge of our seats watching this live as it was happening and NOT playing Candy Crush on our phones?

Not many, I promise you.

OMG! Read this article please! It’s so damned comforting to find such simple truth expressed in such simple and persuasive words! Yes, the tech industry’s ability to solve problems, any problems, has been faultily enhanced by the deluge of money from financing firms looking to get rich fast. But that does not mean than they know any better and examples like Uber messing up big time at everything from basic HR, management, crisis management to Snapchat being unable to put the reins on a misogynistic, childish CEO only go to prove as much.

So why would we assume that Facebook will be able to deliver news and content? Dave Pell is right when he says that:

“But building a really successful app or site does not mean you know more about education than educators. Disrupting the photo-sharing space does not qualify you to disrupt higher education. Or to understand the health system better than doctors. Or to understand the woes of urban poverty better than those who have spent a career on those corners.”

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here. I have personally experienced stock, modified and ROM and forked and I have to say, if you’re a user of all things Google through your one Google account like me, the stock version is pristine and flaweless, the modified one quite scary on low-end devices like the 100GBP Samsungs and the ROMs give you an interestingly clean experience.

Colombian Illustrator Alejandro Giraldo made these. From here





The definitions are too imprecise, the lists not exhaustive, the approach too schematic but there is something to be learned from this deck so have a look

Daca tot am facut filmulet de endorsement(mai jos), hai sa zic cateva vorbe si despre carte ca sa nu para ca l-am laudat numai ptr ca e autorul simpatic.

“Brief, 99 de chestii pe care as fi vrut sa le stiu cand am intrat in publicitate” e o carte care o sa displaca creativilor tineri si accountzilor batrani.

In esenta cartea e plina ochi de “miez“, adica de sfaturi muncite, gandite, relevante si pline de bun simt. Problema ei e ca transforma un job pe care avem nevoie sa il vedem drept individual si aspirational, intr-unul relational si uman.  Tranca vorbeste foarte putin despre lucrurile despre care auzim la conferintele de profil. Nimic din ce descrie el in cartea asta nu seamana cu ce stim noi din interviurile cu directori de creatie aroganti, culi si atinsi de spleenul artistului neinteles. Publicitatea lui Tranca  nu e una aspirationala in stilul clasic, e una cu sfaturi “batranesti” al caror principal punct comun este, repet, bunul simt, adica exact ce nu vrem sa stim cand intram un publicitate, pentru ca, nu?, publicitatea inseamna conversi, cearcane, postari absconse pe Facebook, tigari fumate in lant, cinism si alte cele.

“Brief” ne invata sa fim adulti si sa ne luam in serios munca, sa ii intelegem profund pe cei cu care lucram, sa muncim mult, greu, focusat, sa ne dezvoltam ca oameni.

Nimic din asta nu seamana cu lucrurile pe care le stim despre publicitate. Iata numai cateva exemple de idei despre care te prinzi tarziu, cu siguranta numai dupa 30 si de ani, cand deja esti in publicitate de mai bine de 5 si nu te-ai lasat complet aiurit de mirajul “spleenului”.

–       sa te raportezi la oamenii de la client ca la niste oameni nu ca la niste surse de finantare ptr ideile tale

–       sa intelegi ca ideile se nasc dintr-un context mental pe care il stimulezi constant NU cu care te nasti

–       sa inveti niste chestii de bun simt legate de “productia” creatiei cum ar fi ca un spot radio se scrie intr-un fel si se citeste in alt fel.

Marturisesc ca pe mine cel mai tare m-au atins chestiunile legate de relatia cu clientii. Multa vreme am trait cu credo-ul Wieden& Kennedy in cap. The work comes first, relationships and egos later sau deloc. Fiind genul de control freak indragostit de ideea de a avea dreptate si de Dr. House, nu intelegeam nevoia raportarii la o realitate mai complexa. Daca insightul si creatia erau “corecte” atunci opiniile alora nu contau. Ce interpretasem eu gresit era importanta. Wieden nu zice ca numai munca conteaza, el zice ca munca e cea mai importanta dar trebuie sa ne uitam si la relatii si la ce ne satisface la nivel personal. Mi-au trebuit 10 ani sa ajung cu capul la nivelul asta si acolo unde Sorin Tranca incearca sa ne aduca pe toti, intr-un loc unde ce fac e un Job, facut alaturi de zeci de alti oameni, intr-o realitate economica complicata si una umana si mai complicata si cei care obtin rezultate sunt cei care pot sa combine toate aceste informatii in ceva constructiv.

In final, daca va intrebati cum ramane cu Big Idea (stiti voi, chestia aia pe care o cautam cu totii acum 10 ani), o sa gasiti cateva raspunsuri interesante in sectiunea Ideile din cartea lui Sorin. Si da, e posibil ca toate cele de mai sus, precum si cateva dintre “chestiile” lui Sorin sa sune mai putin eroic decat ne asteptam, dar realitatea este ca Big Idea exista de cele mai multe ori retroactiv (cam cum zicea cineva ca te prinzi ca o persoana este The One nu la inceput ci la final) si, ca sa nu te arzi la 40 de ani si sa trebuiasca sa iti iei lumea in cap ca sa nu o iei razna, trebuie sa iti faci cele cateva milioane de momente in-between cat mai bune si mai rewarding pentru toti cei implicati. Cartea lui Sorin te invata cum sa faci asta.

Luati, deci, si cititi.



Every year I write these. Except 2014, I think, but cannot check because the search button on my blog does not work. My blog is half working, half not working. And with that you will understand the predicament I am in when it comes to making resolutions. One makes resolutions when one has a grip on one’s life or one has lost all grip and is trying to pull oneself together. I am neither. I neither have a complete grip on where my life is going nor do I feel completely rudderless.

I am in limbo.

Everything I do informs a life that can go in two separate directions. I write a blog in English and focus more on my work here and start talking more to my friends here, I live here. I write a bilingual blog, travel back to Romania as often as possible, keep in touch, and I live there.

To those who think separation is easy, physical separation from everything you knew, I say you can only do it if you have a deadline or a distraction. The hour-by-hour alienation of living somewhere new is breath-taking. When I first came back from living in the UK, a colleague asked me “why, why did you come back?” and I said that while the big moments when you get a job, when you publish something, when you win a pitch or visit the Tate and take a selfie might look like your life is perfect, the minutes in between are what makes for most of your life there, and if those are not happy ones, the big moments are lost to you.

Or maybe I’m just old and fixated on the past.

Either way Life as it currently unfolds is a passive taking in of new things and nurturing of things left behind so something nice does not get extinguished. It’s hard to make resolutions but I will try. These might not be what you expect 🙂

1. Meditate.

There’s two parts to this. One part is about the recently popular art of mindfulness which, it is said, has helped many a stressed execs to gain balance. I want to try that. Not because I am an exec. But because I want balance. The second part is good old thinking-more-thoroughly-about-things. I find myself sometimes struggling to express clearly stuff I need to opine on. I can only conclude I need a better formed thought before I can express it.

2. Walk more. Swim more.

This is pretty explanatory and connected to the above. I find that swimming and walking give me space to breathe and think. A recent train ride across the continent saved me from what was most clearly a near nervous breakdown. So, yes.

3. Be transparent and open but balance that with being considerate and weighing the context.

I say this because I think, as a young woman, I rushed ahead with truth on my side only to realize truth hurts, is sometimes nuanced and sometimes does not help. So, if I want to claim I am wiser, I should be able to understand what needs to be done and said but also the circumstances of that and act accordingly.

4. This is a hard one. I left a blank and came back to it after I had finished the ones below. It’s something about acting your age and not your frustrations. I cannot explain it but I have done it and it works. I should keep at it and keep at it strongly.

5. Strategy.

This is about my job. I like my job. I am a strategist in a digital company and I think what I do is essential. I also think that having worked for Google has taught me two valuable things and two useful things. Valuable: a) put the user/person at the center of your actions and b) understand machines. Useful: a)learn the system and then play it b) structure is everything. So I need to use that to make what I do mean something. And I am working on it.

6. Blog more. But not on Facebook. Here. Because until I can make sense of why we continue dumping everything into a bottomless pit of content, I need to …well, not do that.

7. Make enough money so that I can, at some point, take a year off and take my Pastry Diploma from Le Cordon Bleu in London. Meanwhile, manage to bake my own chocolate croissants without ruining the dough several times.

8. Something personal about womanhood I can’t really share here.

9. Read more books and see more good movies.

10. Remember the deadline.