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As part of Earth Day Week (seems real), our crackerjack field team set out to study blue jays (the alleged jerks of the bird world) to find out what, if anything, we could learn from them that might apply to our noble profession. Here are our observations.


Wow, blue jays love to fight. This one jay battled some sparrows for about a half hour. Observing bird fights is like watching football. All parties stand around making noises for a few minutes when all of a sudden there’s like 20 seconds of pure action followed by another prolonged period of seeming indifference.

Key Finding: Keep it brief. Because just like birds, nobody likes to do anything for more than about 20 seconds.


Heard somewhere that blue jays steal other birds’ nests and eat their hatchlings. Looked it up online. Turns out, blue jays only do this 1% of the time. But here’s the deal: other birds steal nests and eat hatchlings 0% of the time, so…

Key Finding: Whether you’re talking sales growth or birdur (bird murder), 1% is always higher than 0%.


Told someone that blue jays are “the hippos of the bird world” because they’re so territorial (which you’d know about hippos had you read Congo by Michael Crichton; 3.6 stars on Good Reads). Fact checked on the Internet a little bit later and turns out, it was true!

Key Finding: Sometimes it pays to pretend to be an expert.

So, what can blue jays teach us about advertising? The results are mixed. 

But if you have some eye-catching plumage and are willing to be assertive, people will probably respond positively.

Have a gregarious (good adjective for blue jays) weekend, everybody!

– You’re always-in-flight friends at Brokaw

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