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Linda Kaplan Thaler        

Advertising Hall of Fame luminary; Chairman, Publicis Kaplan Thaler; Bestselling Author, "Power of Nice, Grit to Great"

Linda Kaplan Thaler is an American advertising and non-fiction writer, and chair of the ad agency Publicis Kaplan Thaler. She has written and composed advertising jingles such as: “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us Kid” (Toys "R" Us); “Kodak Moments” (Eastman Kodak) and “The Heart of Communication” (Bell Atlantic). She is responsible for the “Yes, Yes, Yes” Herbal Essences campaign, and her agency created the well known Aflac duck advertising. In 1997, she founded the Kaplan Thaler Group, which merged with Publicis New York in July 2012 to form Publicis Kaplan Thaler.

Kaplan Thaler has co-authored three best-selling books: Bang! Getting Your Message Heard in a Noisy World, The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness, The Power of Small: Why Little Things Make All the Difference and Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary.

Kaplan Thaler has received: the New York Women in Communications Matrix Award, the Advertising Woman of the Year Award from Advertising Women of New York, the UJA’s Mac Dane Humanitarian Award, the Women’s Leadership Exchange’s Compass Award and the Girl Scout’s Woman of Distinction Award. Of her 13 Clio Awards, two were for Best Original Music and Lyrics. She was also the first woman in advertising to receive the New York Women in Film and Television’s Muse Award. In 2010/2011, Kaplan Thaler served as the New York Women in Communications' President. She currently sits on the Advisory Council for The Colin Powell Center at CCNY and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Branding and Integrated Communications master's degree program at CCNY.

Speech Topics


Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary

In her Grit to Great lectures, Linda Kaplan Thaler tackles a topic that is close to her heart, one she believes is the real secret to her own success and in the careers of so many people she knows and has met. New research proves that the real secret to success isn't some rarefied “It” factor, it’s the “grit” factor. And each and every one of us can possess it.

Drawing on the latest research in positive psychology and personal success, as well as a cornucopia of stories and practical “how to” tips and exercises, Thaler discusses why those who develop and possess the character traits of grit (Guts, Resilience, Initiative and Tenacity) outperform individuals with genius IQ’s, virtuoso talent, unlimited financial resources or a private school education. Individuals with high grit quotient do better in school, work, the playing field, in relationships and life. Her message is relevant to a broad range of audiences from entry level employees and budding entrepreneurs to C-Suite executives. Her inspiring message is that grit is something we all can embrace and develop whether you are nine or ninety.

The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness

Linda Kaplan Thaler has moved to the top of the advertising industry by following a simple but powerful philosophy: it pays to be nice. In her The Power of Nice lectures, through her own experiences and the stories of other people and businesses, she demonstrates why, contrary to conventional wisdom, nice people finish first.

Turning the well-known adage of “Nice Guys Finish Last” on its ear, “nice” companies have lower employee turnover, lower recruitment costs, and higher productivity. Nice people live longer, are healthier, and make more money. In today’s interconnected world, companies and people with a reputation for cooperation and fair play forge the kind of relationships that lead to bigger and better opportunities, both in business and in life.

Kaplan Thaler illustrates the surprising power of nice with an array of real-life examples from the business arena, as well as from her personal life, and presents a plan of action covering everything from creating a positive impression to sweetening the deal to turning enemies into allies.

The Power of Small: Why Little Things Make All the Difference

Our smallest actions and gestures often have outsized impact on our biggest goals: Did you double-check that presentation one last time, or hold the elevator for a stranger? Going that extra inch—whether with a client, customer, family member, or friend—speaks volumes to others about our talent, personality, and motivations. After all, if we can’t take care of the small details, how can we be counted on to deliver when it really matters?

In today’s challenging times, bigger isn’t always better. In fact, it’s often the baby steps that put us on the path to delivering a true competitive advantage. Kaplan Thaler shows how to get more of what you want with surprisingly less than you’d imagine.

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