PromaxBDA: Thinking and Drinking

Posted By Jeff Boortz on June 13, 2012 08:33 am | Permalink
So the 2012 PromaxBDA conference has kicked off in earnest, and if Tuesday was any indication, it will be one of the best I've attended. Favorite Color's crisp graphic titles and Reeps One's insane beatbox performance got the blood pumping to my brain, which is good because I needed a greater percentage of it to wrap my head around the concepts laid down by the legendary, Jonah Lehrer.

Through an extended anecdote about the development of stealth bombers, Jonah codified what many of us "creative types" have known all along: if you're stuck, you must get up from your desk, get out of the office, jog, visit a museum, or go have drinks with friends. We are not making widgets, and so our nose shouldn't always be pressed to the grindstone. 

Shortly thereafter, I took the advice and went to an incredible sushi dinner with Amy Troiano, VP creative services, Bravo, and Trez Thomas, VP brand strategy and executive creative director, Bravo, and Joel Pilger and Brian Eloe, creative directors from Denver-based Impossible. I don't really eat sushi, but I did find it interesting how raw fish cleverly arranged on beds of rice makes people smile.

After dinner we boarded the shuttle bus to the Promax Opening Night Party at Griffith Observatory. I used to live in LA, but like most natives never spent much time up there. LA is a stunning site from the hill, and along with hundreds of other industry types I huddled under heat lamps with an icy drink in my hand and took it all in. The conversation was lively, Tripp Dixon, VP creative services NBC Sports, Rick Paiva, VP creative services ESPN discussed, of all things, the finer points of European Soccer with Markus Schmidt, of United Senses, and I had my epiphany, "my job does not suck."

On the shuttle bus back I remembered what Jonah said next. He reminded us that success is 1 part inspiration, 99 parts perspiration. "Grit," as Johan called it, is the hard work and perseverance that transforms a flash of inspiration into a working solution. I resolved to get up early, drink until I feel the caffeine pulsing in my veins, and charge down to Dan Bragg's PromaxBDA HotSpots session. And here I go.

Jeff Boortz is a partner and executive producer with Atlanta's BE the Creative Source ( He can be reached at