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Linda Kaplan Thaler

Advertising Hall-of-Famer; Bestselling Author

A celebrated author and television personality, Linda Kaplan Thaler is responsible for some of America’s most famous, relevant and touching advertising campaigns in the industry, including the Aflac duck and the daring “Yes, Yes, Yes” campaign for Clairol Herbal Essences.

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Based on her national best seller, “The Power of Nice,” Ms. Thaler’s research and insights have discovered that the secret sauce of most effective leaders is kindness, empathy, and a collaborative spirit. Counter to the current “eat your young in order to survive” mentality, being nice leads to a better bottom line, a longer life span, fewer divorces and a thriving corporate culture. Learning how to build a stronger “Nice Q,” will help you become far more successful, in work and in life.

Based on her best selling book, “Grit to Great,” Ms.Thaler reveals that the world’s most extraordinary successful people were completely ordinary growing up. In fact, their meteoric rise had little to do with an “it” factor- a brilliant IQ or virtuoso talents- and everything to do with having the “grit” factor- guts, resilience, initiative and tenacity. Through myriad interviews and cutting edge research, Linda illustrates why grit is the most important determinant of future success and offers tips on how anyone can improve their concentration, perseverance and determination. 

Contrary to the popular belief that we need to see the “forest through the trees,” the most important innovations and discoveries came to fruition because people understood that, in fact, it is the little things that make all the difference. Based on interviews, insights and personal stories from her national bestseller, “The Power of Small,” Linda discusses the little things that truly make a huge difference in our lives – whether it’s the importance of small talk, celebrating small victories or paying attention to the detailed information that can make, or break, your career trajectory.

Believe it or not, many of the world’s most important discoveries, inventions, and marketing ideas came about when people were joking around and just having fun. When we’re in a positive and playful mood, that’s when our brains are most conducive to imaginative thoughts and breakthrough solutions.

Thaler will discuss the role of playfulness in the workplace, as well as in our personal lives, while engaging the audience with entertaining exercises they can use to spur creativity and a breakthrough mentality.

Just like the original Big Bang, you need to create a universe within your company that’s always bubbling and percolating with disruptive and game changing ideas. 


But how do you do that in a corporate, play it safe, culture? How do you foster an atmosphere where everyone feels empowered to offer up the kind of out of the box solutions that every company needs right now?

Based on the tenets of Linda Kaplan Thaler’s bestselling book, “Bang! Getting Your Message Heard in a Noisy World,” Linda will touch on the most crucial elements of creating ideas that burst through the zeitgeist and leave an indelible mark on consumers.


As one of the few women ever to be inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame, and the creator of some of the world’s most famous advertising (the AFLAC Duck, Kodak Moments, “I’m a Toys ‘R Us Kid,” etc.), Linda will offer insights as to how your company can create Bang! ideas: 

Synthesizing our right brain and left brain muscles into “middle brain” thinking

Losing the rules

Moving the spotlight

Trusting your gut 

Failing forward

Solving small problems 

Using a variety of fun and innovative exercises, Linda, a trained improv performer, will draw on her theatrical and creative experience to help enlist and empower everyone to remove their “no” filters, start thinking laterally, learn how to fine tune their listening skills, and ideate faster.

Some of these team building exercises include: utilizing the “yes and” theory, where “no” is not an option, stimulating one’s inner creative muse by reciting on the spot monologues, fostering one minute solutions (spoiler alert: everyone thinks better when there is deadline approaching), and finding the inherent drama and emotion in even the most mundane topics.

Stay safe and I hope to work with all of you again in the near future. I am doing a fair amount of virtual events in case that is something you’d like to offer up to your clients.


Advertising Hall of Famer Linda Kaplan Thaler is responsible for some of America’s most famous, relevant and touching advertising campaigns in the industry, including the Aflac duck quack heard round the world and the daring “Yes, Yes, Yes” for Clairol Herbal Essences. Much of her work has become part of the American pop culture landscape. She has authored and composed jingles that are among the industry’s gold standard, including “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us Kid,” and “Kodak Moments.”

She holds numerous Clio Awards and Cannes Lions for her ground-breaking advertising campaigns. Linda served as Chairman of Publicis Kaplan Thaler, a fully integrated advertising agency that was the U.S. flagship within the Publicis Worldwide Network. It’s blue-chip client roster included: P&G, Citi, Nestle, L’Oreal, Pfizer, and Wendy’s, to name a few.

Previously, Linda was CEO and Chief Creative Officer of the Kaplan Thaler Group, which she founded in 1997 and grew from a fledgling start-up to a company with over a billion dollars in billings. Linda has worked on several political campaigns, including the presidential runs for Clinton/Gore in 1992 and Hillary Clinton in 2008.
Today, Linda is a world renown motivational speaker and is President of Kaplan Thaler Productions. Linda is also a celebrated author and television personality. Her collaborations with coauthor Robin Koval have all become national bestsellers: Bang! Getting Your Message Heard in a Noisy World, The Power of Small, and The Power of Nice. Their newest best-seller, “GRIT to GREAT,” has been listed as one of the top business books for 2015.

Ms. Thaler is a familiar face in the media, having appeared on “The Apprentice,” “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show,” CNN and Fox News. Linda hosted the Oxygen television series “Making It Big,” as well being a judge on the Marc Burnett reality series, “Jingles.” Linda’s talents have earned her the prestigious Matrix Award, the Advertising Woman of the Year Award, the UJA’s Mac Dane Humanitarian Award, the Women’s Leadership Exchange’s Compass Award, and was named one of Advertising Age’s “Most Influential Women in Advertising.”

Linda has also won New York Women in Film and Television’s Muse Award, the first woman in advertising to receive this honor. A native New Yorker, Linda is a Phi Beta Kappa and Magna cum Laude graduate of CCNY, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in music. Linda currently sits on the Advisory Council for The Colin Powell School at CCNY and served as the 2010/2011 President of New York Women in Communications.


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