Sunday, March 21, 2010

"Are We Telling Stories, or Are We Just Playing Games". Lee Clow and Alex Bogusky Talk. ~ Best of A View From An AdGuy.

Lee Clow, Global Director of Media Arts, TBWA Worldwide and Alex Bogusky, Partner, Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Chief Creative Insurgent MDC Partners. (NOTE: Click on image for link to watch the video)

I originally posted this piece shortly after starting my original blog "A View From An AdGuy" on ( Quickly it became one of the most popular and frequently searched, viewed and downloaded. Over the weeks ahead I will return to those earlier postings and bring them here to posterous. Hope you enjoy.

Lee Clow did some of the best campaigns back in the 1980's and 1990's, and at that time advertising was all about TV commercials, radio spots or print ads. (ahhhhhh the good old days, ha?) One of the greatest spots Mr. Clow gave the world just celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary, the Apple Mac 1984 spot.

"Are we telling stories, or we just playing games".
"The changes that technology has brought won't change the basic element of what we say, just where we will be saying".
"The Internet opened up a whole new world for us, it's a great time to be in this business". 

That is the reason why it is so encouraging to hear Lee talk, and together with Alex Bogusky, who is one of the ad-revolutionary, about the fundamental changes in the industry.

Clow talks about the massive shift from a "monologue" to a "dialogue" and that advertising has to be a constant conversation and every piece we create has to interact with the audience. 

What an attitude! Instead to be frightened by all that weird stuff, he wants to explore the possibilities and create something exciting with it. The vision never dies.

Part One - Lee Clow & Alex Bogusky on Storytelling & The Future

Part Two - Lee Clow & Alex Bogusky CP+B Interactive Case Examples for Google/Burger King and Conversation

Part Three - Lee Clow & Alex Bogusky Interactive Case for  Nissan/TBWA and Conversation

Part Four - Lee Clow & Alex Bogusky Taking Questions 

NOTE: If any video doesn't play - immediately Click Here to Watch the full 28 min video and get inspired by these 2 guys and their work.


Jerry said...

You do a disservice to a great many creative people when you credit their work to othere. Lee Clow did not create the 1984 commercial. It started from a print line by Gary Gusick I believe, that was then turned into a commercial by Steve Hayden and his brother who co-wrote the "garden of pure ideology" dialog. I've worked for Lee. He is great strategically. Understands good from bad work. Focuses on the work, not politics. Is smart when explaining things to clients. But an army of very good creative people working for Chiat/Day, and then TBWA Chiat/Day -- Media Arts Lab were the folks who stayed up late nights birthing and crafting the campaigns. Lee is a very good conductor. Others, overwhelmingly, wrote/write the music and perform it. I'm sure the same has been true with Alex for the better part of the last ten plus years. Look at the names in the show books.

Anthony Kalamut said...


Thank you for your insights.

It was never my intent to relate that Lee CLow was the "creator" of the 1984 spot.

There was no "disservice" intended.

Your point about the creatives involved is correct although there are several references that point to Steve and Lee as the co-creators.

The origins of the spot started as a print ad in Wall Street Journal and actually the commercial was NOT created for the Macintosh. In late 1982, Chiat/Day devised a corporate print campaign for The Wall Street Journal featuring the Apple II that was designed to play off George Orwell's vision of the future.

"Why 1984 won't be like 1984" Lee Clow, later revealed that "It explained Apple's philosophy and purpose; that people, not just government and big corporations, should run technology. If computers aren't to take over our lives, they have to be accessible."

The ads never ran and was filed away, only to be dusted off in the spring of 1983 by creatives Steve Hayden, the agency's copywriter, and Brent Thomas, the art director, who were looking for some hook to make a bold statement about the incredible new Macintosh.

According to a few reports there were considerable reworkings, the Chiat/Day team put together a storyboard of the 1984 commercial they proposed to shoot.

On the strength of director Ridley Scott successful science-fiction films Alien and Blade Runner, Chiat/Day gave him a budget of $900,000 to direct the spot.

In September, Scott assembled a cast of 200 for a week of filming at London's Shepperton Studios.

Some cool notes that came to my attention recently about the spot are truly what make some of us in the biz laugh.

- Chiat/Day paid $10 to run 1984 in the 1:00 A.M. sign-off slot on December 15, 1983, on KMVT-TV Channel 11 in Twin Falls, Idaho thereby ensuring that the spot could qualify for that year's CLIO and Cannes advertising awards.

- Just before the Super Bowl broadcast a 30-second version of the commercial aired for weeks in ScreenVision, an advertising medium that played in movie theaters before previews and feature presentations. It was so popular some theaters continued running it for months without pay.

The rest is history.

Thanks for pointing out Mr. Hayden's contribution.

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