August 3, 2016

CATFOA with Peter Nicholson, CCO Periscope - August 17, 2016

UPDATE:  Many thanks to the 120+ attendees and especially Peter Nicholson for elevating our 24th Conversation About The Future Of Advertising.

Click here to watch the video from the August 17 event via

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Here we go again (but with a twist for you CATFOA loyalists). This time the Conversations About The Future Of Advertising speaker-series features Periscope’s newly minted Chief Creative Officer, Peter Nicholson. We're going to talk about the difficulties of change (see below). Doors open at 5:30pm on Wednesday, August 17, 2016. The twist? We're in a new location: The Minneapolis Event Centers' Riverside Ballroom next to St. Anthony Main. (Loyalists: please don't go to the old venue.) Huge thanks to the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association for hosting this event.


Peter Nicholson has led an impressive 20+ career in creativity and ideas and leadership -- from Leagas Delaney to Goodby Silverstein, Deutsch, JWT, McKinney and now here in Minneapolis at Periscope.

On August 17 we're going to talk with Peter primarily about change management. It'll be a useful conversation for agency leaders, owners, creatives and pundits. 

Specifically, we'll talk about the challenges in making an agency or a marketing organization more fluent in the technology of modern advertising. We'll talk about how the efficacy of advertising has changed - and what that means for advertising ideas. And the changes in client/agency relationships, revenue models and staffing models. We'll also talk about what needs to change within agencies so there is a more even balance of genders and races (especially in leadership positions). 

It's going to be a rich, nuanced conversation. Don't miss it. 

June 8, 2015

The Return of CATFOA with Rick Webb - July 15


We're excited to reignite Conversations About The Future Of Advertising with Barbarian Group co-founder, VC and author Rick Webb, who recently published Agency: Starting a Creative Firm in the Age of Digital Marketing.

Rick’s book is really strong. He’s cornered a lot of useful insights for agency owners, managers and anyone curious about how to improve their agency -- be it an advertising, design, technically-focused and/or in-house agency. You'll learn a lot!

We’re going to talk primarily about culture -- and how culture influences everything from great ideas to client relationships, budgeting to contracts, creative briefs to cash projections, lawyers to exit strategies.

It's an honor to regroup with the team at MIMA to produce this event (REGISTER HERE). And a huge kudos to Fredrikson and Byron for sponsoring the rebirth of CATFOA.

Event Details: 

CATFOA with Rick Webb 
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Fine Line Music Cafe
318 N 1st Ave., Mpls.
Doors at 5:30pm
Rick at 6:00pm
This event is free to MIMA members only. Please register to attend.

March 27, 2012

April 2 update: Barry Judge, Best Buy CMO kicks off CATFOA 2012

UPDATED:  The video of our April 2 session with Barry Judge is embedded at the end of this post.

The fifth season of Conversations About The Future Of Advertising kicks off Monday, April 2, 2012 as we welcome Best Buy's CMO, Barry Judge.

In this session, Barry will discuss a range of topics, including the future of brands and agencies and their roles in creating products, design, content marketing, and advertising in the era of empowered consumers

We're also excited to host this special event at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design! So be sure to carve out some extra time the evening of April 2 to survey all the student portfolio work while you're on campus.

Event details:

CATFOA with Barry Judge
Monday, April 2, 2012
Minneapolis College of Art and Design2501 Stevens Avenue, Minneapolis
Doors at 6:00 p.m.
Conversation starts at 6:30 p.m.
This event is free and open to the public, no reservations required, with grateful thanks to MCAD and MIMA for their ongoing sponsorship.


Barry Judge is executive vice president, chief marketing officer for Best Buy Co., Inc., a multinational retailer of technology and entertainment products and services. In this role, Judge provides overall vision and leadership to all areas of marketing for the enterprise, including brand management, customer research and development, trend, promotions, advertising, marketing communications, internal communications and public affairs. Judge also holds a leadership role in Best Buy’s overall strategy and development in the U.S., Asia and Europe. He began his career at The Direct Marketing Group and has held positions ranging from marketing assistant to product group manager with Young & Rubicam, Coca Cola USA, The Quaker Oats Company and the Pillsbury Company. He also served as vice president of marketing for Caribou Coffee Company. Judge has a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a master’s degree in marketing from the J.L. Kellogg School at Northwestern University.

November 1, 2011


Welcome to the 5th season of Conversations About The Future Of Advertising (CATFOA), co-sponsored by the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association. Specific dates and speakers are being organized and will be announced here.

Many thanks to our amazing audiences and 20 outstanding speakers from the past four years (see below). We look forward to bringing even more awesome to the Twin Cities in 2012. Stay tuned.

May 2, 2011

Monday, May 2 update: Dennis Ryan and Jim Cuene

Life happens.

So we're calling an audible, as Matt Howell can't make it to Minneapolis tonight.

Instead, we're very fortunate to close out the 2011 edition of Conversations About The Future Of Advertising with two very insightful gentlemen (L to R): Dennis Ryan, the new Chief Creative Officer at Olson and Jim Cuene (@jcuene), Director - Interactive Marketing for General Mills.

Tonight promises to be vibrant and new—just the kind of energy we need to get spring moving.

Please join us at 6:00 p.m. (doors at 5:15 p.m.) at the Fine Line Music Cafe, 318 North First Avenue, Minneapolis. No reservations, and it's free because CATFOA is generously sponsored by MCAD + MIMA.

April 25, 2011

Monday, May 2: Matt Howell - "Agencies: Welcome to the Software Business"

Please join us for the fourth and final episode of the 2011 edition of Conversations About The Future Of Advertising on Monday, May 2 when we welcome Matt Howell (@mrhowell), newly minted Managing Partner, Global Chief Digital Officer at Arnold Worldwide.

Whether they like it or not, ad agencies are getting into the software business. And this means change. The structures and processes that guided us for the past 50 years won't work for the next five. Matt will discuss how agencies can change to keep pace with consumers and technology.

Matt has built his career at the intersection between marketing and technology. As Managing Partner, Global Chief Digital Officer at Arnold, Matt leads digital teams across the agency's global network. He arrived at Arnold from years at Modernista!, where he left as President. While there, he managed the agency's transition from a focus on traditional to interactive media and technology. Previously, Matt spent seven years at R/GA. In his last four years at R/GA, he ran the Nike engagement and oversaw award-winning work on products such as Nike+, NikeiD and the Nike Online Store. He was also a part of the agency's expansion into Stockholm, Sweden. Matt began his career in traditional advertising at Ogilvy & Mather in London before transitioning to digital marketing in 1996. Since this time, he has overseen work for clients ranging from AT&T to Sony to Cadillac to Prada. Over his career, Matt’s work has taken top honors at Cannes, the One Show, the Clios, and others, and has been featured regularly in Communication Arts and Creativity. He also sits on the Board of Directors at Boulder Digital Works at the University of Colorado, where he is a frequent lecturer.

This event is free. No RSVP required. Just show up!

Like our previous 18 speakers, Matt will appear at the Fine Line Music Cafe, 318 First Avenue North in Minneapolis.

Doors open at 5:15 p.m. Matt's presentation starts at 6:00 p.m.

Many thanks to MIMA and MCAD for their generous sponsorship!

(Maybe you're asking yourself, "Hey, wasn't Andrew Keller supposed to close the 2011 CATFOA series? He was. But he had to cancel. And so it goes. We're thrilled Matt was able to fit us into his schedule.)

March 10, 2011

Monday, April 4: Anders Sjostedt - "F*CK DIGITAL"

UPDATE: Video from Anders' presentation is embedded at the end of this article.
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Join us for the third session of Conversations About The Future Of Advertising on Monday, April 4, 2011 when we welcome Hyper Island USA Managing Director Anders Sjostedt (@anderssjostedt).

Based on Hyper Island's very recent experience counseling marketing and ad agency executives, it's easy to understand why agencies express worries their digital efforts aren’t sufficient. In fact, whole floors of agency executives hope to retire—without really having to care about all that new technology stuff. The sentimentally inclined lament the loss of art and beauty in their work, often laying the blame on data, measurements and Facebook chats.

Meanwhile, CMOs are equally worried they’re not able to ask the right questions when being presented with Google search optimization strategies, that they don’t know how to trust the increasing flurry of agencies that advise them through more fragmented channels.

What most agency and marketing leaders have in common is that they really just want the whole digital thing to go away.

But there is still room for beauty and enchantment, argues Sjostedt. Everything doesn’t have to be squeezed into 140 characters. Digital is not the message.

What digital does is change the way societies, humans, and consumers interact. We have to build our organizations accordingly. Creativity doesn’t have to suffer, but be sure, both you and your organization will have to get ready for a serious digital, uhm, f*ck.

Based in Sweden, Hyper Island is a global leader in training within the digital/interactive field. As the Managing Director of Hyper Island USA, Anders Sjostedt is in charge of building and expanding the organization throughout the US and heading the company’s Global Business Development. Previously, Anders was Director at Swedish Creative Industries and CEO of Sweden's largest business incubator, Minc.

This event is free. No RSVP required. Just show up!

Like our previous 17 speakers, Anders will appear at the Fine Line Music Cafe, 318 First Avenue North in Minneapolis.

Doors open at 5:15 p.m. Ander's presentation starts at 6:00 p.m.

Many thanks to MIMA and MCAD for their generous sponsorship!