My new book collection has launched — Your Ad Ignored Here: Cartoons from 15 Years of Marketing, Business, and Doodling in Meetings. You can find more detail on the book and where to buy it here (print and ebook on Amazon most places worldwide and other retailers like Barnes & Noble). Also, if you’re interested in ordering more than 50 copies (holiday gifts, etc.), we have volume pricing and options for custom editions.
This is also my Cartooniversary. This week marks fifteen years since I first started drawing a weekly marketing cartoon from a tiny cubicle at General Mills in Minneapolis. This week also marks seven years since I left my job to do Marketoonist full-time.
I want to thank all of you who have been on this journey with me and have made this possible. I learn so much from you. I particularly want to thank my wife, Tallie. I dedicated the book to her. We met as American expats living in Prague in 1995 and our life has been a grand adventure ever since.
To celebrate this Cartooniversary, I want to share one cartoon from each of the 15 years I’ve been drawing Marketoonist. Enjoy!
Year 1 (2002 – 2003)
When I started drawing this weekly cartoon, I called it Brand Camp. I intended it initially for my brand management colleagues at General Mills, but I soon started to hear from marketers (and other business people) all over the world and learned that we all share similar experiences.
Year 2 (2003 – 2004)
I started to view my weekly cartoon as a diary of sorts, a place where I could process my journey as a marketer. This cartoon was inspired by a corporate initiative called “Mind to Market in 30 Days”. My friends openly wondered if I would be fired for some of these.
Year 3 (2004 – 2005)
I realized that cartoons could be a disarming way to question conventional thinking in marketing.
Year 4 (2005 – 2006)
Around this time, I also started to feel like something had shifted in marketing and that marketers no longer had a captive audience. I started to become fascinated with challenger brands, who were finding ways to punch harder than their weight. I joined Method Products soon after drawing this cartoon.
Year 5 (2006 – 2007)
Method had an internal creative studio, and I learned there is always room for marketers to get better working with creative teams. I started to dream about working as a creative myself.
Year 6 (2007 – 2008)
I lived in London for three years, helping open an office to bring the Method brand to Europe. We grew a small team and constantly looked at charts like these, not sure if the business would ultimately make it in Europe. It did, and I still keep the key of that London office on my keychain as a reminder of those days.
Year 7 (2008 – 2009)
It was fascinating to experience how brands reacted to the arrival of social media. Twitter challenged a lot of corporate processes and review cycles.
Year 8 (2009 – 2010)
I became fascinated with bringing ideas to life inside organizations. So much emphasis gets placed on the creativity involved coming up with ideas, and not enough on the creativity execution of those ideas.
Year 9 (2010 – 2011)
This is the cartoon I drew when I left my job to start doing Marketoonist full-time. If you’re interested more in the soul-searching that led to that decision, here’s the talk I gave at the Do Lectures.
Year 10 (2011 – 2012)
We entered the awkward adolescence of digital marketing — when all of these magical tools became available but our mindset as marketers hadn’t quite caught up. We started using technology as a crutch.
Year 11 (2012 – 2013)
Just as technology gives marketers incredible power to reach audiences, it’s never been easier for those audiences to tune out whatever marketers want to say to them (even when they’re in your store).
Year 12 (2013 – 2014)
The march of technology and data collection continued to transform marketing, which could be exciting and creepy at the same time. This cartoon was featured on stage at The World Economic Forum in Davos.
Year 13 (2014 – 2015)
Marketers are particularly prone to chasing squirrels. Sometimes we get so excited by the shiny new thing, we forget that technology can’t save a boring idea.
Year 14 (2015 – 2016)
The digital advertising arms race continued, with ever-more aggressive tactics matched by consumers’ ability to tune out those messages. More than ever, marketers are questioning the effectiveness of every tactic.
Year 15 (2016 – 2017)
The changes wrought by digital transformation are impacting companies from top to bottom.
We are the in the midst of epic change, which as a cartoonist, I hope will give me ample material to parody for years to come.
Thank you again for all of your support on this Marketoonist journey.