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The Burden of Leadership

February 28, 2008

UPDATE:  I have been asked to take this post down by my colleagues at OnBoard, as they feel there is a conflict of interest inherent in a senior member of the executive team writing critically about a current client.  While I have my thoughts on that, in this case, I will defer to their judgment.  The original post has been removed, for now.  I apologize to anyone who has linked over to it.

And yes, I know this is my personal blog.  I am choosing to do this at this time, out of respect for my friends and colleagues at OnBoard whose opinions I respect enormously.  Not out of agreement, necessarily, but out of understanding their point of view.

I further stress that I have not, nor has anyone at OnBoard to the best of my knowledge, heard anything about this from Coldwell Banker.  This is merely something that needs to be resolved between myself and my colleagues.  I may repost it at a later date, if that is the decision I come to after discussion with them, and others.



6 Comments leave one →
  1. Joel Burslem permalink
    February 28, 2008 5:39 pm

    Amen. More than anything the lingering taste in my mouth around this campaign is one of disappointment. I feel like CB had a huge, potentially game-changing opportunity to step into the limelight as leader in this industry but chose to waste it on a silly attempt to be “hip” and “cool”.

    Jim and Charlie are both incredibly bright individuals who I would have loved to see shine as true, authentic spokespeople for the brand.

    Who knows – maybe it’s not too late to shelve this campaign and try something new and radical. And they still have time IMHO. Now’s not the time for polish – it’s a time for honesty.

  2. February 29, 2008 8:49 am

    I understand how difficult writing this must have been if you worked with these people and they’re your friends. But I don’t think that they should be angry when they see this simply because as you mentioned “they would rather have the blunt truth from a friend than silent disregard from an enemy”. I work for a Toronto realtor and I can honestly say that I would do the same thing as you if I didn’t agree with the campaign and I know that they wouldn’t take it from me as wanting to hurt them. I hope that your former colleagues will understand.

  3. David permalink
    February 29, 2008 10:54 am


    IMO, CB is taking note of the “DVR effect” mentioned in this WSJ article: The first time I viewed the CB ad on my PC I had the sound muted. So to me, I saw the painting in still frame for over half the commerical. I am sure when I fast forward through them on my TV, it will make a lasting impression…


  4. David permalink
    February 29, 2008 10:55 am

    Apparently the period at the end of the URL broke it:

  5. Joel Burslem permalink
    February 29, 2008 11:48 am

    @David – You haven’t hacked your DVR with the 30 second skip forward feature yet? 😉

    Who watches commercials at all anymore… 🙂

  6. February 29, 2008 12:53 pm

    @David – That’s a pretty interesting take. 🙂

    FWIW, I worked for a time in broadcast and we were freakin’ out about DVR’s and what they’d do to the business model.

    Rather than that, if TV is really that important, I’d go pay NBC a ton of money to have some major good character in Heroes be a Coldwell Banker agent.


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