Archive for February, 2011

Are Latinos Struggling With Depression?

February 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Image credit here

DISCLOSURE: This post was originally published Feb. 17th. See the original + follow up comments on the Casanova Pendrill blog.

A recent article on about depression in Latinos really surprised me, since the data I’ve seen generally describes Latinos as positive or optimistic. Some other findings were:

  • Mental illness, such as depression, often carries a stigma in the Hispanic community because of cultural and socioeconomic factors – “Even more so than American culture as a whole, Latino culture values self-reliance, which can discourage people from talking about their problems…”
  • There’s a major shortage of Spanish-speaking health professionals
  • Cultural barriers –  “Many physicians, psychiatrists, therapists are well-trained…but they aren’t trained in understanding culture and how they’re impacting someone’s world.”
  • 16 million Latinos – about 1 in 3,  are presently uninsured in the U.S.

Maybe marketers need to take a second look. I don’t really have any answers, but I do have a lot of questions:

How many U.S. Latinos are currently battling depression?

How does depression vary based on level of acculturation?

Does country of origin play a role?

Parents, teens, recent arrivals adjusting to life in the U.S. — how are they coping?

Is this article an accurate depiction or just a catchy headline?

Has anyone else seen data that supports or contradicts this article? I’d love to know.

Categories: PSYCHOLOGY Tags: ,

Do Any Chewing Gums With Teeth Whiteners Really Work?

February 14, 2011 1 comment


The way whitening works is that the bleach is in contact with your tooth and it removes stains by oxidation. Chewing gum doesn’t contact the outside of your tooth. It stimulates salivary flow, which will remove staining bacteria off of the chewing surfaces of your teeth and some food particles. If you want to brighten your smile, you need to use a whitening agent that stays on the outside of your teeth for a length of time. I recommend Crest Whitestrips.” — from Men’s Health

I’ve always been skeptical about these kinds of gum. Oh well – I’ll stick with sugar-free.


How Do You Design for Creativity – Bud Caddell

February 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Sitting at home tonight trying to refine some ideas for No Right Brain Left Behind. Using Bud’s deck for inspiration:

Categories: CREATIVITY

Super Bowl Wrap Up

February 10, 2011 Leave a comment

My favorite ad of the game was Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” spot. Everything from the narration, to the music, to Eminem as a pitchman was solid (Credit to W+K).

Even so, it seems like everyone is so in love with the ad that they’re forgetting what got the Detroit automakers into this mess in the first place:

“…the car companies discouraged diversification of the city’s economy, and city residents will tell you that the Big Three pretty much just stood by as the unemployment rate soared, the school system went sour, violence reached epidemic proportions, and city government became a piggy bank for the friends and family of city officials.” SOURCE:Super Bowl Ad Stories: Chrysler, Eminem Break an Awkward Silence in Detroit– Fast Company

The ad is positive and empowering, but the city has a long way to go and I’m a little skeptical how much advertising alone can influence the kinds of changes the Motor City needs. There are serious issues that need to be addressed (employment, crime, education, etc.), so let’s hope “Imported from Detroit” serves as the symbolic step the city needs to show that the close-minded automakers of yesterday are serious about bringing back innovation and craftsmanship. Real change will happen with committed reform – not just advertising.

My other favorite:

Doritos – Pug Attack


Categories: MARKETING

Building a Creative Environment

February 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Everyone knows about Google’s 20% Time, but it wasn’t until I read this interview with Big Spaceship founder Michael Lebovitz that I found out that they had a similar policy in place:

We did a thing this summer called I.P. (intellectual property) Fridays. You take the traditional corporate summer Friday where everybody’s supposed to be allowed to leave at 2 p.m., but everybody has to work anyway so they can’t and they just feel miffed. So we get a big lunch for everybody and at 2 p.m. on Friday, we close to client work and spend from 2 to 7 working on our own internal projects. And the ideas for those come from anywhere in the company.

We have a little form with a few simple questions on our internal blog, and then a few of us vet the ideas. We want them to be simple, because we want small things that we can act on quickly. So we’ve got all this stuff out in the world that we created for ourselves, and people get excited about that.

This is exciting news, since I already knew agencies like Anomaly and BBH are devoting time to develop I.P. of their own. I’d like to see more companies — not just ad agencies, integrate this kind of approach into their business models.


Hey, Rock Stars: Take Your Show Someplace Else” –

3M’s 15% Program – via PSFK

Categories: BUSINESS

Book Review: Liar’s Poker

February 5, 2011 Leave a comment

I was already impressed with Michael Lewis after reading “Moneyball,” but “Liar’s Poker” is even better. Lewis is a masterful storyteller, and this book provides an excellent first-hand account of what it was like to be an Investment Banker on Wall Street in the 1970s and ’80s while taking us behind the scenes of the events leading up to Black Monday.

I. Some choice quotes

“I have this theory,” says Andy Stone, seated in his office at Prudential-Bache securities. “Wall Street makes its best producers into managers. The reward for being a good producer is to be made a manager. The best producers are cutthroat, competitive, and often neurotic and paranoid. You turn those people into managers, and they go after each other. They no longer have the outlet for their instincts that producing gave them. They usually aren’t well-suited to be managers. Half of them get thrown out because they are bad. Another quarter get muscled out because of politics. The guys left behind are just the most ruthless of the bunch. That’s why there are cycles on Wall Street — why Salomon Brothers is getting crunched now — because the ruthless people are bad for the business but can only be washed out by proven failure.” — pg.141

“No one ever cried on the trading floor. No one ever showed weakness or vulnerability or need for human kindness. Early on Alexander taught me the importance of a strong exterior. “I learned a while ago that there was no point to showing weakness,” he said. “When you arrive at six-thirty A.M., having had no sleep the night before, and having lost your best friend in a car accident and some Big Swinging Dick walks over to your desk, slaps you on the back, and says, ‘How the hell are you?’ you don’t say, ‘I’m really tired and really upset.’ You say, ‘I’m great, how the hell are you?’ ” pg.237

II. Key Takeaways

This book reminded me that when reading non-fiction, you don’t need to spend too much time focusing on the finer details. There are many parts of “Liar’s Poker” that get into the minutiae of economics and finance. Some of it I understood, while other parts were over my head.

That’s OK.

The most important thing, to me, is understanding the key themes and points. How did these people think? What were their motivations? How did their involvement in Wall Street during this time period foreshadow the recent economic turmoil in the U.S. and worldwide?

“Liar’s Poker” is about a lot of things: greed, ego, money, corruption, extravagance, management, opportunism, etc. These themes overlap throughout the book. As I read, I couldn’t help but think of the many ways it paralleled my experience in the mortgage industry just a few years ago.

Men in general judge more by the sense of sight than by the sense of touch, because everyone can see but only a few can test by feeling. Everyone sees what you seem to be, few know what you really are; and those few do not dare take a stand against the general opinion.” — Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince

III. Should You Read It?

Absolutely. Liar’s Poker is excellent: Lewis is an incredible writer and it will help you understand 1) what goes on behind closed doors on Wall Street and 2) how the U.S. got into it’s current economic mess.

Buy it on Liar’s Poker

Categories: BOOK REVIEWS

Ouigi Theodore on Fashion + Racial Identity

February 4, 2011 2 comments

Choice quote from up-and-coming fashion designer Ouigi Theodore a.k.a. “The Bearded Man”:

“Urban always had a style to it, a swagger,” Mr. Theodore said. But it came with baggage, too — “overuse of the ‘N’ word, the pants sagging,” he said. “It just created this stigma. When I travel overseas, people see the way we dress and say: ‘You guys don’t listen to hip-hop. You’re not urban.’ Yes, we are.

Further reading:

Ouigi Theodore’s New Image for Urban America – The New York Times

Categories: FASHION Tags:
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