Some Insights About Insights

>> Tuesday, November 15, 2011

If that handsome man on today's landing page looked familiar, it is because it is one of our resident superstars -- Jacob Braude -- giving the competition from unfair advantages by espousing some of his insights to getting to better customer insights. In our business, resonance and relevance equal economic growth, and there is no one better than Jacob in this regard. Enjoy the column and please let him know your thoughts (jacob.braude@saatchiwellness or @rowdybraude).


One of a kind. . . .

>> Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I got an email last night from my good friend Andrea Alstrup saying that Pete Tyrrell had passed away.

Pete ran J&J's Corporate Advertising Group for many years and was a vocal proponent for the advertising and pharmaceutical industries at a time when the world was beginning to change. But to me he was an incredibly valuable mentor and friend.

Pete embodied the credo of J&J: his first priority was clearly to the customers all J&J brands served, and he was transparent in his agenda and goals. He knew what he knew -- and he knew what he didn't, and his greatest strength may have been his ability to build trust in others to compensate for what he didn't know and -- in so doing -- create a better product. Pete wasn't one for process -- if it interfered with good thinking or work -- and he was willing to put his own neck on the line and go for it.

For instance, a few months after the national launch of Acuvue Disposable Contact Lenses, we learned that one of the teams in that year's Super Bowl was wearing the product: we took an idea, from concept to airing on the Super Bowl, in 11 days. Pete used his connections to push this through, both J&J corporately and the network airing the game that year, which miraculously "found" the time on the game long-ago sold out (we even got billboards in the pre & post-game shows!). Many believe that the lift in patient inquiries & fits that came from running that spot put Acuvue on the trajectory that made the brand a global success. No one would ever have approved it in an annual plan, circumstances took us to an opportunity and we went for it.

We didn't always agree -- we did a corporate spot called "A Mother's Touch", which Adweek named one of the best spots of the '90's, and Pete pulled it off air just after it started because he felt that the spot made J&J look old (the talent was a grandmother holding her grandchild). No one could understand why he became so sensitive to this (it was, after all, the idea we sold to him), but everyone trusted Pete's judgement enough to leave it alone.

Pete wasn't an easy client -- there was a reason he held that big job -- but he was fair and if you earned his respect and trust, he rewarded you big time. He was a class act. I will miss his opinion, his enthusiasm, his friendship.


Promoting Wellness vs. Illness: It’s All About We vs. I

>> Thursday, July 14, 2011

Marketers are starting to wise up to the importance of the "we-ness" in wellness.

Check out today's Forbes' Leadership Forum where Jacob Braude, Saatchi Wellness's VP of Strategic Planning, discusses the role our friends and connections play in our health and wellness:
Promoting Wellness vs. Illness: It's All About We vs. I


American Business Awards-

>> Friday, July 1, 2011

We received word this week from our Acorda clients that our site won best pharmaceutical company website at the American Business Awards ceremony held on June 20th in New York.

We have always been proud of our work on Acorda and the passion it has ignited in our team for people living with MS. But I think everyone should take special note that the high level of our work extended beyond the ads, beyond the events and digital programs we created with our Acorda partners for Move Over MS and "I Walk Because",which continue today -- and into a corporate site, which for a start-up company like Acorda is really important to how they attract investments to fund their growth.

The work has been recognized as best-in-industry again. Congratulations to Kim Olson, Paul Schmidt, William Martino, Jacob Braude, Sarah Hall, Tim Mingle and everyone else who had a hand in this work. Nicely done!



Monkey see, monkey do

>> Friday, June 17, 2011

Warning! - You might get fat while reading this.

Do you often get the munchies while watching long hours of TV or playing video games? Do you find yourself craving a snack midmorning after a few hours on your computer? Well that’s because activities like these trick our brains into thinking we are being physically active so much so that they’ve been proven to cause fluctuation in our blood sugar and hunger hormone levels. They even agitate our appetite for sweet treats such as cookies and chocolate cake.

So are you getting hungry yet? If not, allow me to introduce you to mirror neurons. About twenty years ago in Italy, a group of scientists were doing an experiment with monkeys to learn how the brain controls our actions and discovered that certain neurons in the monkey’s brain would fire up when the monkey would grasp or manipulate a peanut. They then discovered (by accident) that those same neurons would also fire up when the monkey saw an other monkey grasp or manipulate the peanut i.e. as far as the brain is concerned, seeing can be as good as doing. A number of other experiments have shown that humans have a similar system. We call such neurons mirror neurons. These bad boys can explain why our brains think we’ve worked off many calories requiring replacement when we watch TV, movies, sport, surfing the web etc.

But mirror neurons do a lot more than just trick our brains and cause us to overeat. They affect our day to day lives more than you may realize. They make us empathetic by helping us feel other individuals’ actions, sensations, and emotions as if we were in their shoes. They help us learn by seeing instead of actually having to try something ourselves. For instance, if one of your friends tries a glass of milk and makes a repugnant face, chances are you are not going to make the same mistake. You would probably get grossed out just by imagining the sour taste of curdled milk.

These shared circuits can also explain our buying behavior, and the power that desirable experiences have in advertising campaigns. When consumers see another person using a product or a brand, they share the experience of the person they are watching. Men started smoking cigarettes just by seeing a rugged cowboy in nature enjoying a cigarette (Marlboro Man). The Snuggie was able to net over $100MM just by showing an entire family cozy and happy watching TV while dressed in ridiculous oversized blankets with sleeves. It’s crazy what vicarious thrills we get from seeing others enjoying a product, or a brand.

Another manifestation of this ‘to see is to do’ phenomenon is the application of computer games to improve health related behaviors; for example race car games promoting seat belt protection and safe driving by penalizing the racers if they don’t wear their seat belts. And there are other emerging games that aim to control tobacco use, improve nutritional habits, and even help prevent certain diseases such as HIV.

So, although our mirror neurons have added to our love handles, it’s still inspiring to know that there is something inside each of us that connects us to each other, and causes us to identify with each other, care about each other, learn from each other, and can even help prevent diseases.

Jessica Mendoza
Strategic Planner


Social Media Week presentation now available on SlideShare

>> Friday, March 11, 2011

Convergence in technology is all around us—whether it's our mobile phones that serve many purposes (phone, camera, address book, GPS, etc...) or the continued evolution of platforms like Facebook (who announced this week that they were entering the movie distribution business). It's a topic we explored during Social Media Week and one that we will continue to keep our eyes on in the future.

As the expression goes, "You can't know where you're going until you know where you've been." We hope that our event, "Convergence: How Social Commerce and Mobile Change the Way We Make Decisions and Shop," shed some light on the current state of convergence, and are happy to make the presentation available on SlideShare. Enjoy!


Today's "Snapshot" in USA Today

>> Thursday, March 10, 2011

Everyone is familiar with the little graphs that appear on the front page of every section of USA Today.

Well, this morning's paper had a chart from our very own 2011 Wellness Survey that we fielded with the Time Inc. books. While this exposure is not significant in itself, the fact that we're being sourced as a information base for cultural and attitudinal changes in something like USA Today is exactly what we mean when we say our company will be a thought-leader in Wellness. You should expect that you'll be seeing our name (and our people) sourced for a lot more this year and beyond.

Take a look at our little "snapshot" from today's paper. . .



DiGiDAY Live Streaming

>> Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Join our Managing Director, Ned Russell at the DiGiDAY: On Media Conference as he participates in a panel discussion about Creativity in Digital Advertising (And The Lack Of It). Live streaming is available below, and you can also participate on twitter by following the hashtag #DIGIDAY.

Watch live streaming video from digiday at


Creativity in Digital Advertising

>> Friday, February 18, 2011

Technology has changed the game for advertisers, giving them new media, formats, and means of making their brand known to a desired audience. Next Wednesday (February 23rd), our Managing Director, Ned Russell will join a panel of other advertising professionals to discuss what's working (and what isn't) at the DIGIDAY: On Media conference in Los Angeles.

While we have a few ideas in mind, we want to know what you think: what digital advertising ideas really caught your attention this year? Which campaigns really broke through and delivered against the bottom line? Anything that failed miserably but has a few key take-aways that we can learn from?

Please use the comments below to share your ideas, or you can send suggestions via twitter at @saatchiwellness

For more information about Ned's panel, you can visit the DIGIDAY conference website at:


Live Streaming of Social Media Week

>> Tuesday, February 8, 2011

For those that can't make it to New York, we're happy to bring you a live feed of the event, Convergence: How Social Commerce and Mobile Change the Way We Make Decisions and Shop, courtesy of livestream. The feed of our event will begin at noon, EST.

Watch live streaming video from smw_newyork at

You can also follow the conversation on twitter through the hashtag: #smwsaatchi

Updated February 18 to link to permanent stream


Happy Social Media Week!

>> Monday, February 7, 2011

This week, across nine cities around the world, hundreds of thousands of people will celebrate Social Media Week—getting together to share ideas about social media and the role that it plays in our society. In our personal lives and certainly as we work with our client partners, we continue to see ways in which social technologies have changed the way people connect with each other and with brands.

In the spirit of sharing and learning, we are happy to sponsor an event of our own, tomorrow, February 8—Convergence: How Social Commerce and Mobile Change the Way We Make Decisions and Shop. We will be joined by experts from across the world of retail, mobile, and e-commerce to discuss how convergence—the coming-together of different devices, technologies, and the Internet—impacts marketing, advertising, and sales.

If you are in New York tomorrow, registration is still open at:

If you can't make it, we'll be streaming the event live here at: and you can follow us on twitter through the hashtag: #smwsaatchi

You can also check out for events in San Francisco, Rome, Paris, Toronto, São Paulo, London, Hong Kong, and Istanbul

Happy Social Media Week!


Who's Keeping You Warm This Weekend?

>> Friday, January 28, 2011

As we head into another cold winter weekend, it seems especially timely to ask who you want to cuddle up with: Your partner? Or -wait for it --your dog?

It was big news this week when a national survey (done for the Associated Press and revealed that about 1 in 7 Americans -- if they really, really had to choose -- would choose the pup (that’s 14% for you math geeks out there, and we mean that fondly).

The good folks at Petside saw that as bad news for pets ... but on the plus side for bipeds, 84% said they’d stick with their (human) better half.

Here at SSW, we found that pets are still pretty popular.

When we asked people in our 2010 Wellness Survey if they’d rather have a new pet or a new partner, 71% said they’d rather have a new pet …which might mean they were pretty happy with their current partner, right? But 29% said they’d rather have a new partner (no pets required). So... maybe they're single.

71% also said they’d rather have a new pet than another child. Which makes sense in these economic times, since pets don’t generally go to college or take years of piano lessons.

I have a sneaking suspicion that for most of us, wellness means filling our homes with all the love we can -- whether it's with pets, partners, kids -- or at least 2 out of 3!

What about you?

Hope this finds you well… and staying warm!



On Relationships

>> Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Advertising agencies are at heart service organizations. Our shops are stuffed with wicked smart and creative people, with people who love solving puzzles and working out what makes others tick. But ultimately the ideas and work developed at advertising agencies are for naught if they aren’t funded by a client in the service of selling their product.

So the relationship between the folks who have the products – and the money – and the creative teams who are hired to sell those products becomes a big part of whether or not we get great work into the marketplace. A brilliant idea that isn’t embraced by the client is a useless idea, and a creative team that pursues their own agenda and loses sight of their job to sell product is just as worthless.

Which makes a recent experiment by Eli J. Finkel and Paul W. Eastwick super interesting to anyone working in the advertising industry – and I would guess anyone in a service industry.

It's about something called the approacher bias.

The researchers were out to test the commonly accepted idea that men were less selective than women when it came to choosing someone to date . Their hypothesis was that this lower standard actually had nothing to do with whether you were a man or a woman, it had to do with who was the approacher and who was the approachee.

You’ve probably guessed by now, but I’ll go ahead and confirm that the researchers proved out their hypothesis. It didn’t matter whether you were a man or a woman, if you were the one doing the approaching, you tended to be significantly less selective and to find the person you were approaching more attractive. However, if you were the one being approached you tended to be much more…judgmental.

All of this happens unconsciously without us even knowing that it is happening. But now that you do know that it happens, whether you are the approacher or the approachee, you can take some steps to neutralize this unconscious bias.

What I like to do to is to make myself at home. I hang my coat in the closet instead of bringing it into the meeting room. I put my bag out of sight. And for those of you who know me, yes, I take my shoes off (don’t worry; I’m wearing a nice clean pair of socks).

These might seem like little things, but they make a big difference in setting the right tone for collaboration that allows great work to flourish. Remember, it’s not just how good your idea is, it’s whether or not you can help everyone to get behind it. Removing the approacher bias is a good step in the right direction.

Hope this finds you well,

Jacob Braude

VP, Strategist


Why We Don’t Work at Work -And How We Can Do Better

>> Thursday, January 6, 2011

Have you ever had this experience? You are busy at work all day, and by closing time you’re wrung out and ready to head home, but you realize that – despite all the energy you put out – you didn’t actually get much of anything done.

It happens to me all the time, and I don’t think I’m alone in this. It makes me mad. I like my job, but I hate days when I go home feeling like I just blew nine hours I could have been spending with my kids, and I didn’t even get any good work done.

So I was thrilled when I stumbled on Jason Fried’s talk at TED. Fried is the cofounder of 37signals, and he’s spent years thinking about why it is that we don’t get work done when we are actually at work.
Fried says work is like sleep. When you sleep, you actually progress through three different stages -- and it’s the last stage of really deep sleep when all of the healing and recovery happens that gives you energy for the next day. If your sleep is interrupted before you get to that last stage, then you have to start all over from the beginning. People with infants will tell you that short bursts of sleep here and there, even if it adds up to 6 or 7 hours, wiare not refreshing.

Work is the same way. We progress through stages of focus, and it’s only in that last deep stage when you are in the “flow” that you get your best work done. If you get interrupted, you have to start over from the beginning.

Which makes the modern office pretty much the worst place ever to get work done. Between people wanting to chat, your boss checking in on you, and the endless meetings, solid blocks of uninterrupted time to get work done are few and far between.

Since watching Jason's talk, I stated paying attention to how many times people wander into my office while I’m in the middle of trying to get something done. It happens a lot. And half the time it doesn’t even have anything to do with work. A ten minute talk about your weekend here, fifteen minutes to talk about something cute your kids did there, and before I know it the time I had staked out to get something done has evaporated.

Fried has some pretty out there suggestions to fix the problem – my favorite one is that every Thursday afternoon no one is allowed to talk to anyone else.

I took a simpler approach: I close my door. I have to say, it’s awesome. Sure, sometimes people will knock, but I can choose to answer, or to keep working. It has been so satisfying to go home everyday knowing I produced something, that I find myself closing the door more and more.
If you’re like me, and you get pleasure and a sense of self worth from actually making stuff, I urge you to try the door. If you don’t have a door, then leave. Go to a coffee shop, put your ear buds in, and just focus for 90 minutes. It is a fantastic feeling.

Now if I can just get rid of those dang meetings.

Hope this finds you well,

Jacob Braude
VP, Strategic Planner


Seeing Wellness Through New Eyes in 2011

>> Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy new year!

Americans are starting the new year with a lot of good thoughts and optimism about the months to come: According to our friends at Gallup, 58% say 2011 will be better than 2010 – only 20% say it will be worse.

Of course, New Year’s is traditionally an optimistic time – that’s why we feel emboldened to make all those resolutions (or even for resolving not to make any more resolutions!). With a fresh new take on the year, our efforts seem fated to succeed …. at least this week, while the year is still young!

Marketers are right there with us. If you were watching any TV at all this past weekend, you saw lots of invitations to amp up your wellness, from starting a new love life with dating sites like Match and eharmony, to the latest way to soften your hands while you do the dishes, with the new Dawn dish liquid/Olay Beauty collaboration.

Weight loss helpers were out in force, with a newly svelte Jennifer Hudson belting out the virtues of Weight Watchers new Points-Plus program, and Nutrisystem showcased “real people” who’ve achieved slimming success. Even yogurt made a big showing, with brands like Activia pushing both its “feel good inside” benefit and its new line of dessert-like flavors, for smarter sweet-tooth satisfaction.

There were also plenty of spots for products that help you smoke less, snore less, sleep better, smooth away wrinkles and under-eye bags, strengthen and slenderize, and in general, be a better you.

But there’s something else about the new year’s new take on wellness – more and more, it’s something we want for ourselves. It’s not about being selfish – it’s about being mindful and motivated to achieve your own hopes and dreams for this coming year, whether your wellness goal is physical, social, emotional, financial -- or just to keep your hands feeling soft after you wash the dishes.

It’s all part of what we’ve been calling the Me-Covery, and we’ll be sharing more about it in the weeks to come.

Hope this finds you well!