Principles for Principals

Next in our AD Lubow 25th Anniversary Series: TEACHING TEACHING. If you want to discover how to turn a troubled school around, why not ask the most visionary principals in the nation how they’ve done it. That’s precisely what the National Association of Secondary School Principals did. A 200-page report resulted, naming in rather scholarly terms the best practices in leadership, data management, teacher teamwork and more.

We were commissioned by the brilliant Christen Pollock, then with the College Board and now the head of edBridge Partners, to show what these reforms looked like in everyday classroom life. Our more than 40 instructional videos, shot in eleven schools around the country, were presented with other learning aids in a groundbreaking website called Leading Success. Explaining complicated issues in clear and engaging terms is another part of our company DNA. You see this trait appearing a lot in our 25 years. More on that later.

Using Art to Wage Peace

Next in our AD Lubow 25th Anniversary Series: THE ART OF DIPLOMACY. In 1985 no sooner had a Reagan-Gobachev cultural exchange agreement been signed, than Philippe de Montebello dispatched a cable and was on his way to the Hermitage Museum in Leningrad. From there, he would craft a series of inspiring exhibitions based on an unprecedented degree of reciprocal exchanges between major American and Soviet art museums..

The first exhibition was “Dutch and Flemish Painting from the Hermitage” which ran at the Metropolitan Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago beginning in 1988.  The second, in 1990, was “From Poussin to Matisse: The Russian Taste for French Painting.” The late John Bryan, then President of Sara Lee and his brilliant Public Affairs director, Ron Culp seized the opportunity to sponsor the exhibitions. It was an ingenious way to elevate Sara Lee Corporation’s image, positioning the company at the nexus of high art, multinational business and international diplomacy.

Working with Mr. Culp, Arthur Lubow crafted a message that encapsulated the importance of it all, headlined “The Art of Diplomacy.” Looking back at our company’s history, we can proudly say that the idea of promoting peace through the universally understood language of art is a thread that has always been a part of our company’s DNA.  We at AD Lubow would like the entire Corporate Responsibility community to remember these groundbreaking exhibitions as the important steps they were in elevating the role of the art in human understanding.

Freedom From Fear

Arthur and Bun-Bun: Adventures with Tut

Next in our AD Lubow 25th Anniversary Series: There were no grand designs for the company when we started except perhaps for the ones which in retrospect seem to have been pre-ordained. The company by nature only worked for organizations committed to art, education, social justice, spirituality, enterprise and human kindness. Only when you look back, do you realize that in essence, we were working for freedom from fear and ignorance. So when we were commissioned to create the identity for the touring exhibition, ROCKWELL, ROOSEVELT AND THE FOUR FREEDOMS, we were given the opportunity to work on our main mission in life: Freedom from Fear, as exemplified in this brilliant illustration by Norman Rockwell. We’ll elaborate in later posts about some of our other compulsions. For now, please read a marvelous essay by Stephan Vincent Benét and weep if you must about how human discourse and journalism have devolved since the time this was written. See Benét essay.

Breaking the Color Barrier in Ballet

Next in our AD Lubow 25th Anniversary Series: MISTY COPELAND’S BLACK SWAN. On the subject of marketing ballet to mass audiences, Arthur Lubow, early in his career, heard George Balanchine say: “If they don’t want to come, nothing can stop them!” Fast forward 35 years to Misty Copeland’s courageous debut as the principal dancer in ABT’s Swan Lake at the Met. Nothing could stop nearly 4,000 fans from crowding into a matinee performance. In her life, Copeland had gone from living with her family in an SRO motel room to an SRO performance at the Met Opera House. We were proud to have played a part. See Black Swan.

Our 25th Anniversary

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of AD Lubow. It’s hard for anyone to imagine how much we’ve enjoyed the interplay between creativity and technology, except to say: picture Madame X reading her own book on an iPad. Be on the lookout throughout the year as we post some of the historic moments in which our enterprise has played a part.

Communications Should Be 100% Organic… and Recyclable

In the age of fake news, wouldn’t you know it—irony of all ironies—it’s up to advertising to tell the world the truth. But, truth be told, sometimes reality has to be decorated so that it projects properly to the wider world.

So when we in the communications industry find a beautiful, truthful event such as President Sian Beilock’s inaugural address as President of Barnard College, we owe it to the world to share the spirit of the moment. But to communicate not just what was said but also what was felt in the room you sometimes have to dress it up a little.

That’s precisely what we did when we took short snippets of President Beilock’s speech and adorned them with imagery and music. Here’s one example.

There was enough depth in the speech for us to create four additional episodes on various topics that would be meaningful to alumni and supporting foundations. And we carved out several more messages into byte-size pieces for distribution via social media — proving our maxim that if truth is to propagated in an environmentally sound way, it should be 100% recyclable.

The first video, introduced on Giving Day, produced wonderful results while doing the original event justice. Why? Well, Picasso may have explained it best when he said: “Art is a lie that tells the truth.”

Nikki Haley’s Funniest Joke at the 73rd Al Smith Dinner

“Everyone in Washington called me with advice about this speech. They all said the same thing: ‘Do NOT, under any circumstance, make any jokes about the President. So good night everybody!  Actually the President called me this morning and gave me some really good advice: he said if I get stuck for laughs, just brag about his accomplishments. It really killed at the U.N., I gotta tell ya.”

That was one of Ambassador Haley’s best jokes. But this perhaps was her most telling and even courageous remark:  “In our toxic political environment, I’ve heard some people in both parties describe their opponents as enemies or evil. In America, our political opponents are not evil…. We have some serious political differences here at home. But our opponents are not evil. They’re just our opponents. We are blessed with a political system that allows us to resolve our differences peacefully. In the end, we must recognize that we are all Americans. And we are stronger and healthier when we are united.”

Would that we lived in times when so self-evident a remark would not have taken courage to say; in any event, kudos to Ambassador Haley for making it in so illustrious a forum.

Our firm is proud to have created the animated graphics shown during the course of the dinner, outlining the illustrious history of the dinner and commemorating the 90th Anniversary of Al Smith’s campaign for the Presidency.

May We All Grow Up to Be Children: An exhibition opening at the Westchester Children’s Museum at Rye Playland

Arthur and Bun-Bun: Adventures with Tut

Based on the book by George H. Lewis and A.D. Lubow

Our book, “Arthur and Bun-Bun: Adventures with Tut” is starting its public life as an exhibition at The Westchester Children’s Museum. It features the magically sumptuous illustrations of George H. Lewis.

As Jane Curley, the acclaimed children’s exhibition curator, writes: “A boy and his bunny rabbit gaze at a star-lit New York cityscape. The great Sphinx of Egypt sleeps. A child swings joyously across a river. Do you wonder what is going on here? Can you imagine yourself in these pictures? Wonder and imagination are at the heart of George Lewis’s and Arthur Lubow’s brilliant new picture book, Arthur and Bun-Bun: Adventures With Tut. Is it for children or for adults – or for both? This exhibition offers a tantalizing glimpse of the adventures of Arthur and his imaginary friend. Bun-Bun’s sage advice to viewers, “may we all grow up to be children,” is a magical jumping-off point for conversations between parent and child.”

To reserve your place at the September 29 opening, click here.

See the video trailer:

Student Recruitment Video for Higher Yields: Profile Your Prospect’s Dreams

When most educators think of student recruitment videos, they think of increased applications. But an even more telling result is higher yields: the percentage of elite accepted students who choose to attend. Thanks in large part to our new video series for  the Columbia School of the Arts MFA in Film, an historically high percentage of accepted students chose Columbia.

Our series has a solid creative strategy: We stressed the remarkable number of students winning acclaim for their films at major festivals all over the world — even before they graduate. And we illustrated how the faculty of active filmmakers encourage their students to tell their story and find their voice.

We’re known for our ability to simplify a client’s message to maximize its power and reach. Our video series succinctly frames our client’s story into just two words: Do. Tell.

We were originally commissioned to do only an omnibus film. Notice, though, how the two days of shooting continue to yield shorter student and faculty profile films that can be pushed out on social media.

• Collaboration and the Art of Film
• From Thesis to Feature Film
• Finding Your Voice

Please also view the first of this new series of faculty Words of Wisdom. We call it WoW!
• How to Deal with Writer’s Block
• Truth in Storytelling

Remember when it comes to effective social media video: Serialize!  Provide news and useful information. And profile not only your current students, but also your prospect’s dreams.

From Gala Balls to Butterfly Books, What Don’t We Do?


These days, if an advertising agency wants to be effective, it has to do more than advertise. It has to create something useful and meaningful. That’s why you’ll find our team dreaming up museum exhibitions that educate and raise funds at the same time; Welcome Centers that help visitors map out a day at a nature center; messaging for no less than Pope Francis; and educational films that are transforming the likes of the College Board and Columbia School of the Arts.

For our latest venture in unconventionality, we created a children’s book for The Sands Point Preserve Conservancy’s Butterfly Ball.

We’ve even written and recorded a hymn which, if all goes according to plan, will raise funds for a diversity of voices.

We’ll get to that next week.