Sunday, March 28, 2010

Selling A Nazi Car & Jewish Bread. Not To Be Different Is Virtual Suicide. ~ Legend That Was Bill Bernbach

 Bill Bernbach believed in a simple truth, “In advertising, not to be different is virtual suicide.” From this simple quote he and his legendary colleagues created and made major contributions to what we refer to as the "auteur" of the Creative Revolution. or advertising's "Golden Age".

He was a philosopher, a scientist, a humanitarian. And his influence was felt well beyond the world of advertising.

Bill Bernbach indeed changed the face of advertising forever.
In the rich history of the advertising, there were far more David Oglivy's, Hal Riney's and Shirley Polykoff's than there were Bill Bernbach's.

Hey, he sold a post war America that defeated the Nazi's a German car, the Volkswagen and convinced a the nation "You Don't Have to be Jewish to Love Levy's" rye bread".

When Advertising Age published their "Advertising Century" issue in 1999, they referred to Bernbach's creative revolution as "the most influential" and the Bernbach name was "the hands-down winner" as the number one " Advertising Person of the Century". When defining Bernbach they added he created the "devising creative yardstick by which most advertising today is measured."In the same issue, DDB's included 1959's "Think Small" Volkswagen advertisements, which was voted the No. 1 campaign of all time in Advertising Age’s 1999 “The Century of Advertising.

The Beginning of the Creative Revolution

On June 1, 1949, Bill Bernbach opened Doyle Dane Bernbach. Joined by partners Ned Doyle, Maxwell Dane they started what would become better known as DDB and the creative agency that began a creative revolution with 13 employees, one client and a point of view that was very different from any other agency that existed at the time: that good taste, good art and good writing could be good selling.

DDB opened its spartan offices at 350 Madison Avenue.  All 13 employees came from the ranks of Grey Advertising where Bernbach truly established himself as a writer and found his "creative" voice. The exodus from Grey included the cream of its copy and art departments, Phyllis Robinson and Bob Gage. The Grey exodus also included DDB's first client, Orbach's department store. Each principal had his job to do, a division of labor that kept them out of each others hair. "There was no strongest among us," Max Dane once said, "We each had our function and never had to fight the others for authority. Ned handled the clients. Bill produced the product. And I ran the infrastructure and even a little public relations. I never told Bill that for several years I had earned my living as a copywriter with the agency."

DDB invented the "Creative Team", the art and copy team concept, by pairing Bob Gage Hall of Fame Art Director & Phyllis Robinson copywriter. History refers to them as the first "Creative Team", the original art and copy combination. In the early 1960s another Art Director named George Lois would work on the legendary Volkswagen ads "Think small" and "Lemon".

From DDB's founding in 1949, Bernbach played an integral role in the writing of advertising, distancing himself from the administrative and promotional aspects of the business. He served as the creative engine behind DDB helping the company increase its billings from approximately $1 million to more than $40 million by the time he retired. DDB quickly grew to become the 11th largest advertising agency in America by 1976, when Bernbach stepped aside as chief executive officer. 
Bernbach the ad man "philosopher" believed to be interesting you have to say things in ways other people don’t—but can still relate to. "To be heard, you have to say interesting things as often and in as many places as possible. To be understood, you have to communicate clearly. And to tell the truth, you have to tell the truth, which can be found in everything. For example, Satan is undeniably “the most evil man in the world,” so if you are ever hired by the devil to sell more immorality, brand him as such in a creatively loud way and you’re gold".

Bernbach's advertising philosophy went contrary to convention. His ads were always fresh, simple, and intelligent, yet exuded energy. He advocated a soft-sell technique to draw in the consumer that resulted in the product not getting lost in the advertising.

Above all he valued innovation and intuition over science and rules. In an interview, he credited his creativity as being the secret of his success, saying, "I think I...had the advantage of not knowing too much about advertising, and therefore I could be fresher and more original about it. As soon as you become a slave to the rules, you’re doing what everybody else does; when you do what everybody else does, you don’t stand out."

Simplicity was another quality exhibited in Bernbach’s work. His copywriting philosophy revolved around the idea that persuasion was the purpose of advertising and that only a simple approach would "make crystal clear and memorable the message of the advertisement." By incorporating creativity, simplicity and humor into his advertisements, Bernbach was able to create some of the most successful campaigns in the history of advertising.
Bernbach believed that copy is more important than market research, graphs, formal presentations and much of the other paraphernalia that dominate many agencies of the era, he said in a 1958 Time Magazine article that, "We get people to look and listen by being good artists and writers. We don't expect of research what it is unable to do. It won't give you a great idea."

Bernbach never believed in à la mode advertising. His creative philosophy was outlined in a guide he once wrote:

“Merely to let your imagination run riot, to dream unrelated dreams, to indulge in graphic acrobatics and verbal gymnastics is not being creative. The creative person has harnessed his imagination. He has disciplined it so that every thought, every idea, every line he draws, every light and shadow in every photograph he takes, makes more vivid, more believable, more persuasive the original theme or product advantage he has decided he must convey.”
If Bernbach believed a product could not live up to its advertising, he would not take on the client.
He strongly believed that advertising success hinged on the quality of the product. One of Bernbach’s most quoted lines is "[N]othing makes a bad product fail faster than a great advertising campaign." This guiding principle led DDB to select only products that could live up to their advertising.
In the book "Ad Land - A Global Advertising History" by Mark Tungate writes
"DDB was more like a hip jazz combo than an advertising agency" and Bernbach once compared its work to that of jazz great Thelonius Monk, founder of bebop (1)As a leader it is clear Bernbach was not afraid to be visible, tap into the culture of the time and break down barriers. He was also very clear about the type of people he wanted to recruit. He insisted the people hired fulfill two requirements: They had to be talented and they had to be nice. “If you were nice but without talent, we were very sorry but you just wouldn’t do,” he observed. “We had to ‘make it,’ and only great talent would help us do that. If you were a great talent but not a nice person, we had no hesitation in saying ‘no.’ Life is too short to sacrifice so much of it to living with a bastard.” (2). True to his beliefs, and borrowing from his mentor, William Weintraub, DDB was the first to hire ethnic minorities and women into visible and decision-making positions.
William (Bill) Bernbach - The Man
Bernbach was born August 13, 1911, in New York City ( he passed away of Leukemia October 2, 1982). As a child he enjoyed reading and writing verse and grew up with an appreciation of art. With the exception of a two-year tour of duty during World War II, Bernbach never strayed far from his roots in New York City.

Bernbach liked to hint that he came from a deprived background, saying that "he had no middle name because his parent’s couldn’t afford one". However, his family was better off than most, his father being described by Bernbach as "an austere but elegant designer of women’s clothes".

He attended New York University, receiving a bachelor's degree in literature in 1933. Bernbach also pursued studies in art, philosophy, and business administration that would serve him well during his career.

Job hunting during the Depression years would be a challenge as he decided upon advertising as his preferred field, he was unable to obtain work.

As many of "legendary", Bernbach started at the bottom of the corporate ladder, the mailroom of Schenley Distillers Company. But he always seemed to have his mind focused on an advertising career, he found himself spending his free hours creating ads, and once submitted one of his ads to Schenley's in-house advertising department but received no response. Soon after his submission he would see his ideas and words appear exactly as he had written them, in the New York Time Sunday Magazine. With some anger in his blood, the young Bernbach in a masterstroke of networking he made the acquaintance and made sure that Lewis Rosenthiel, the president of Schenley knew of the ad's true origin and creator. Rosenthiel appreciated Bernbach's creative spirit, and gave Bernbach a raise and placed him in the advertising department. He had begun his ad "agency" career as a writer with the opening of William Weintraub & Co. in 1942, but the following year he would join the army and spend two years in the army before returning to advertising and taking a job at Grey Advertising.

In 1945 Bernbach, became the Vice President of the Grey Art and Copy departments.  There, while working on the account of Ohrbach's, a low-priced Manhattan and Los Angeles department store, he stressed sophistication instead of price with the eye-catching illustration and a minimum of copy that later became his trademark, best scene in Ohrbach's "Cat" ad. But he found his style crimped by conventional ad concepts. He left Grey in early 1949 to form DDB with Grey Vice President Ned Doyle and a friend, Maxwell Dane. To no ones surprise he took the Ohrbach account along as the nucleus of the new agency.

Throughout his career, Bernbach won many awards and honors for his work within the advertising industry. These include induction into the Copywriters Hall of Fame in 1964, The Man of the Year of Advertising Award in 1964 and 1965, and The Pulse Inc., Man of the Year Award in 1966. He was also named "Top Advertising Agency Executive" in 1969 and received the American Academy of Achievement Award in 1976. In addition to receiving countless awards, he also designed the Advertising Hall of Fame "Golden Ladder" trophy.

But no bigger tribute or achievement would be made when he was inducted into the Art Directors Club of New York in 1983. It was said that Bill Bernbach was a discoverer and he was the art director’s first great benefactor. He loved to discover art directors; and he loved to purr and revel at their magical power to conjure images. So there was no way that Bernbach would start the world’s first "creative agency" (having worked with the dazzling Paul Rand) without Bob Gage, Bernbach’s most inspired discovery, and years later George Lois.

The Bernbach Effect

Bernbach stressed a simplicity, but a striking idea, a specific selling point that got across a message without a lot of talk. He had a disdain for the use of gimmicks to lure readers. Said he: "A picture of a man standing on his head would get attention, but the reader would feel tricked by the gimmick-unless, of course, we were trying to sell a gadget to keep change in his pocket."

He got a reputation for being an adman's adman, for putting small accounts on a level with big ones.
He made an once obscure New York bread one of the city's best known with ads showing nibbled slices and the message, "New York is eating it up." Among the agency's other memorable ideas came for Israel's El Al airline's new, faster Britannia plane service, with a picture of the Atlantic Ocean one-fifth torn away ""Starting Dec. 23, the Atlantic Ocean will be 20% smaller".

Great writing and simple visual were his trademark on the breakthrough work created for Volkswagen, other notable campaigns of Bernbach's and DDB are "We Try Harder" for Avis Car Rental", created "Mikey" for Life Cereal, "You Don't Have to be Jewish to Love Levy's" for Levy's Rye Bread and "It's so simple" made Polaroid a household camera.

What Made the Bernbach Effect Different?
What made Bernbach’s vision of how to make advertising work effectively? Take the Volkswagen campaign which was launched in 1959 with the famous “Think Small” ad. If there was one ad that marked the start of the golden era of advertising, “Think Small” was the one. (NOTE: According to Advertising Age, the No. 1 campaign of the 20th century).

But how did the decade of the Sixties differ from the decade of the Fifties? There was a summary that appeared on a blog called The Brand Strategy Insider that analyzed 146 automobile advertisements from the 1950s and compared them with the Volkswagen ad:
Almost all of the 1950s auto ads (137 advertisements, or 94 percent) showed people in the ads. How else was a creative director going to demonstrate the pleasure that car buyers might feel about their new acquisitions?

Almost all of them (135 advertisements, or 92 percent) used artwork, not photography. How else was a creative director going to make the cars look long and low and beautiful?

Most of them (102 or 70 percent) used multiple illustrations. Some single-page advertisements had as many as eight separate illustrations. How else was a creative director going to communicate all of the car’s exciting features except by using a number of different illustrations?

Almost all the ads were in color with hand-lettered headlines, big illustrations and large logotypes. How else was a creative director going to communicate the excitement of buying a new car?

Some typical automobile headlines from the 1950s:

Buick: “You can make your ‘someday’ come true now.”

Cadillac: “Maybe this will be the year.”

Oldsmobile: “You’ve got to drive it to believe it!”

Chevrolet: “Filled with grace and great new things.”

Now compare these ads with “Think small.” The Volkswagen ad was in black and white with a small illustration, lots of white space and a headline totally lacking in news value. Everybody knew that Beetles were small cars.

At the time the ad ran, Volkswagen had been in the American market for nine years, had sold more than 350,000 vehicles and had generated a lot of favorable publicity.

As our industry is currently under a new a new "creative revolution", but this one is being lead and influenced by technology first. But it to be compared to the "original revolution", we must remember it was Bernbach's ideas and keen insights into human nature may be more relevant than ever. His timeless words have inspired thousands of creative men and women around the world. They have the power to inspire many more.

The advertising industry worships the creative process. At Cannes and at countless other places, the industry lavishes praise on its creative folks. The people who think up these wonderful ads. But it’s a rare individual who is good at recognizing the power of an idea once it is created. Bill Bernbach was one of those rare masters.

Hmmmmm, I wonder what he might have said about the Press Grand Prix winner at Cannes?
Much to be learned from the masters that came before us.

Below are a seres interviews featuring Bill Bernbach and George Lois who at one time was a art director at DDB, plus a series of legendary DDB television ads created during the "Creative Revolution" era.

Bill Bernbach on Advertising ~ Part One Intro

Bill Bernbach on Advertising ~ Part Two

Bill Bernbach on Advertising ~ Part Three

George Lois Talks About Bernbach

George Lois on The Creative Revelution

Retrospective of Bill Bernbach / DDB Work

Volkswagen "Funeral" (The Spot that actually got me into this crazy business)

Volkswagen "Keeping Up With The Klemplers"

Volkswagen "Snowplow"

McDonalds "Two All Beef Patties" 

Alka Seltzer "Spicy Meatball"

American Tourister "Goes Ape"

Video Retrospective of Print Ads

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Celebrating The 250th "View From An AdGuy.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW 250th "A View From An AdGuy"

Amazing how quickly both time, inspiration, knowledge and the advertising industry fly.

I am about to post my 250th entry on this "blogspot" in little over 12 months, and most of what has been said here are often my personally rantings, sometimes the thoughts of industry leaders... but mostly just a place where we can gather and share our collective passion for advertising.
What got me started? My passion as an educator to offer my students ever opportunity to find information, to get inspired, to find their own passion. I was an early adapter to technology in the way I delivered information and today that continues.

I offer this site as extended learning outside the classroom and I compliment it with Twitter and Facebook. I gave an interview recently and was asked to describe how I use "social media" in my teaching. The answer was simple, "I offer my blog as place for the detailed learner who wants more, the details and additional links to expand the learning, I use Facebook for the learner to get the information they need delivered quickly and to offer an opportunity to add comment and create discussion and finally I use Twitter for those who have little time but want the basics". I am truly seeing the results in the way my future "AdLanders" are thinking, devouring information and creating their own connections to the industry.

It has been a gift to see the power of all of this.

All of this has also increased the profile of my creative advertising program at Seneca College in Toronto which I lead and coordinate. We have established many new relationships with the creative thinkers, industry leaders and even found that interest in the program has been expanded. The future is bright.

There are days when I have so much to say and others not enough time to keep up. When I started the process originally I promised to use my time wisely, but more importantly your time. I hope the valuable time you have spent here was a combination of useful learning, entertaining, motivating and inspiring.

I thank you for your time. I hope I have added to your passion and all things that make this such an exciting industry.

My 250th entry was a tough one to select in terms of content. Recently I posted an entry about David Ogilvy under the title of "Advertising Legends" (see link under my profile) and it was well received in terms of traffic and feedback. The interest in seeing and learning who are "pioneers" were is critical, so I will feature one of the true original "MadMen" Bill Bernbach.

Bill Bernbach was the reason I got into this crazy business. His Volkswagen ad titled "Funeral" was the one ad I give full credit for inspiring me to see my own creative potential. Later as I learned about the magic of Bernbach, from Volkswagen "Keeping Up With The Kremplers" to the McDonald's "Two All Beef Patties" to American Tourister to Alka Seltzer's "Mama Magadini's Meatballs" a commercial that was later named "World's Best Commercial". Once I was hocked and knee deep in the business I discovered we share the same birthday August 13th, and next year will celebrate his 100th birthday.

He left a great legacy and truly legendary work.

Friday, March 26, 2010

CP+B Alex Bogusky - :14 Seconds of Inspiration

File under funny. File under simple. File under motivation.

5 Grand Prix

29 Gold

28 Silver

31 Bronze

Any questions?

The end!

Brilliant Yes. Simple No. “Apples” PSA for New York City Harvest Food Rescue Organization

Well let's file this under fu@king brilliant.

This ad created for the City Harvest New York and was shot entirely with an iPhone. Yup, you read that right... an iPhone, and hundereds of hours of CGI and editing.
Whats great about the spot is not in the creative execution, but that it represents the amount of food wasted in New York City every day.

Posted originally back in the fall of 2009, it is a stark visualization of how much food is wasted by showing a subway trian filled with green apples arriving in a station. A young women is filmed by her boyfriend as they await a subway, the train arrives in the station and as the doors open, the waiting passenger get flooded with the apples. in fact, thousands and thousands of apples spill out onto the subway platform. The young woman’s boyfriend captures her surprised reaction at the deluge of unlikely passengers while the subway conductor makes an announcement about how much food is wasted in the city and how many people go hungry after which the camera swings to a pillar, with the CityHarvest logo on it.

The video titled, “Apples” was filmed entirely on an iPhone, in a single shot. It was created by ad agency DraftFCB NYC and was produced and finished by Oscar winning New York film production house The Mill NYC. The iPhone was chosen for its "realistic feel people empathize with", practical playback feature, and of course the overwhelming popularity and creative a "realistic and authentic" fell among cell phone users. The apples within the spot were created entirely using Coumputer Generated Images (CGI).
In order to add the apples correctly, the producers had to create an exact virtual camera move, identical to that of the camera. Tracking was done using three static Canon 5D Mark 2 cameras. The iPhone camera was rigged with multiple LEDs to be able to track its movement. Additionally, a Spheron Camera was used to record 360-degree lighting scans. All this data was used to create a virtual environment, allowing the CGI to be added correctly. The post-processing took three weeks to complete.
The “Apples” ad really does have a man-on-the-street sensibility. It is also a fine example of the influence of user-generated content in advertising thanks to the iPhone and the star quality of Apples.
“Our goal with this year’s campaign is to visualize the numbers behind the hunger problem in New York—both the amount of food that goes to waste and the number of residents that go hungry,” explains Keith Loell, Executive Creative Director, Draftfcb. “We’re hoping that the sight of a few hundred thousand apples pouring out of a subway car will get the attention of potential donors.

How Was it Done:

Agency: Draftfcb New York
Chief Creative Officer: Michael Simons
Executive Creative Director: Keith Loell
Senior Copywriter: Greg Wikoff
Senior Art Director: Todd Eisner
Junior Art Director: Brad Muramoto

Can The iPad Save Print Media? What About The Green Factor?

So we are a couple of weeks away from Apple shipping the iPad - yes the long awaited tablet and overpriced "computer" device... let's face it Steve Jobs even asked the question it here is room for a third category? "Millions use smartphones, millions use laptops, is there room fro a third device", as psrt of his keynote address when Apple announced the launch of the iPad.

Will it be more then a iTouch on steroids. Yes and no.

Just as I said a couple years back when they launched the first iPhone, it would revolutionize "mobile" and how we use the internet. And now, I believe that the Apple iPad be the salvation in rescuing the print news media from oblivion or send many tumbling into the abyss.

The iPad itself has a 9.7″ touch screen, with a wi-fi versions that have 3G from Rogers (Canada) and  AT&T (US).  Pricing starts at $499 and tops off a t a whopping $829 for the 3G version with 64gb of memory... don't forget you'll likely need to add an unlimited data plan.

First came The Kindle which revolutionized the book publishing game, but it was never a device as a "advertising" ready game changer, because it lacks color and a high resolution display... but even the larger KindleDX is too expensive at $489 which is the price of the base version of the iPad and still comes with only a black and white low-res reader. Yes, you can have newspapers delivered to the device daily but you can read the text of each article but nothing else, and this were the iPad will become the "game changer". The iPad allows you to read the newspaper as a newspaper, or a magazine as a magazine.  In fact, magazines and newspapers can improve on the paper experience by incorporating video, interactive and multimedia content.

Already publishers have begun to and will be able to create a subscription model for iPad content (Wall Street Journal announced a $17.95 monthly fee) or some which can be partially advertising-supported.  The advertising will be measurable, just as with online advertising.  Although this has not been discussed, it is reasonable to assume that widgets - or other functional ad units - WILL be created.

This will have a big impact on the newspaper and magazine trade, and yes the “paperless office” which has been hyped and discussed for a couple of generations, may come to pass because as paper is portable and easy to read, so is the iPad. Will the iPad and other tablets make paper obsolete, NO... but it will reshape and take important steps forward to a "greener" publishing future. YES!

Fun side of the iPad, just like the iPod that gave users the ability to carry around hundreds of cds worth of music, imagine if we can now carry a thousand books and watch videos at a larger scale that's exactly what the iPad allows consumers to do. Keeping books, movies, pictures, magazines, newspapers and important personal documents on a device that is the right size to view them... just that it's a bigger screen is the bigger deal.

For a much more user friendly explanation and review... luv this!

The "Absolut" Genius of Brand Jay-Z. "NY-Z": The Film.

This week TBWA/Chiat/DayNYC and Absolut Vodka premiered "NY-Z", a new 15-minute documentary featuring Jay-Z that focuses on Jay-Z and his September 11 benefit concert at Madison Square Garden in New York. The film officially directed by Danny Clinch premiered on March 22 on Absolut’s Facebook page. directed by Danny Clinch. The film focuses on the rapper and his September 11 benefit concert at MSG in New York and premiered on March 22 on Absolut’s Facebook page.
Continuing to collaborate with creative visionaries, ABSOLUT Vodka the short film paints a rare portrait of the global hip-hop icon. Jay-Z has refered to himself as "I'm not a businessman, I'm a Business, man". Truly he is a brand that is a proven success.

With unprecedented access to Jay-Z the days and moments leading up to, and after, his legendary September 11th benefit concert at Madison Square Garden, Danny Clinch gives us an intimate glimpse into Jay-Z: his childhood, his motivation as an artist, his passion for music, and his muse, New York.
"New York, New York, is my foundation, it's the center of my growth, it's the muse for my art," Jay-Z says in the clip. "It's where I grew up. It's the thing that I have a lot of pride in."

The documnetary follows Jay-Z as he prepared for the release of his Blueprint 3 album and his September 11 benefit show at the MSG. The star-studded event boasted an array of guests, from old friends Mary J. Blige and Diddy to new Hov associates Kid Cudi and John Mayer.

In addition to interviews with Hov and Mayer about the 9/11 show, "NY-Z" features the rapper reminiscing about his upbringing in Brooklyn's Marcy Projects and his mother's record collection, which included albums by the Isley Brothers, the Jackson 5 and the Commodores, which Jay said inspired his original Blueprint album. Jay said his mom had "great musical taste." Toward the end of the clip, the rapper talks about his knack for collaborations, in both the professional and personal scope of his life.

"I'm all for collaborations, whether it be with business or with artists," he said. "It can't be about money, there has to be something in there that's true for both sides. I think it's a great thing when two people come together with two different ideas and two different approaches and they align at the end of the day. No one loses when it's like that."

 Rehearsal footage of the lyricist and his band performing "Empire State of Mind" also makes its way into the film, as does behind-the-scenes footage of Jay-Z attending the 10-year anniversary party for his clothing line, Rocawear.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Terrors of Writing. What Scares You?

This article came to my attention by Executive Creative Director Suzanne Pope of john st. Advertising in Toronto.

The absolute truths are brilliantly presented.

The Terrors of Writing
by Professor Reinekke Lengelle
Athabasca University (Canada)

The Terror of Procrastination:

Weeding the garden or sorting the kitchen junk drawer can become incredibly important when we have writing to do. In his book The Courage to Write, Ralph Keyes says: “fear and courage are like lightning and thunder; they both start out at the same time, but the fear travels faster and arrives sooner.” The good news is, if you start writing despite the fear, “the requisite courage will be along shortly.” Three tips to combat this terror: focus solely on the task at hand, drop perfectionism, and identify who your reader is. This applies whether you are writing a promotional message for your new business, a difficult e-mail to your boss or union rep, a patient chart, an essay, or a novel.

The Terror of Rejection:

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck was rejected 14 times yet later won a Pulitzer. Mary Higgins Clark’s work was rejected 40 times before she sold more than 25 million books. She didn’t give up when one editor told her, “your stories are light, slight, and trite”. Even The Diary Of Anne Frank received the following rejection comment: “The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the curiosity level.” It was rejected 16 times before being published by Doubleday in 1952; more than 30 million copies are now in print. So, take heart and remember that rejection shows up in every aspect of life; writing just teaches you to deal with it sooner.

The Terror of Revelation:

Flannery O’Connor wrote that anyone who has survived childhood has enough to write about for the rest of his or her life. Some people want to climb K2, others psyche themselves gambling, but not you – you want to tell the sweet and bitter truth about your family, even if it’s fiction-wrapped. But you’re human too. Is it any wonder that Canadian poet and author Lorna Crozier didn’t tell her mother about the essay “What Stays in the Family” when it was published in 2001 in the anthology Dropped Threads. In her piece she wrote about her alcoholic father peeing in his shoe. About five years after publication a junior minister used parts of Crozier’s essay in a sermon in her mother’s home-town church. I’ll leave it to your imagination what kind of message Lorna’s mother left for her on the answering machine. There is no definitive way to avoid or solve this terror to anyone’s satisfaction.

The Terror of Criticism (or worse yet, the terror of “reader silence”):

Dorothy Parker once wrote, “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” Yet, a scathing review can sell more books than a good one. However receiving criticism on your work is like being told your child is ugly, failed, or fat. Reader silence might be worse though; the “that’s nice” look in the eyes of someone you respect can leave you tossing and turning. You will haunt yourself with what you believe they are thinking about you and your work, while they are off getting a good night’s rest.

The Terror of the Blank Page:  

Your cursor blinks at you; a shadow falls on the too-smooth page of your new journal. But how different is this kind of resistance compared with going to the gym, sorting through a messy closet, or walking the West coast trail? You will face this terror again and again. If the blank page never daunts you, you may have set your standards too low. Failure isn’t a shame, not starting is. And a consolation: writing is hard work because you are creating something ‘new’; as Anais Nin once said, “The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.”

The Terror of (perceived) Mediocrity: 

Consider this: before Elizabeth Gilbert wrote Eat, Pray, Love, she had been writing for more than a decade for a small dedicated group of readers. She wrote about men and men’s issues. She wasn’t famous. On Ted-talks, she spoke about the terror of not being able to reproduce her success. (Though her latest book Committed is now on the New York bestseller’s list). Let the words of Madeleine L’engle inspire you to simply get down to work and forget about achievement for the moment. “A book comes and says, Write me. My job is to try to serve it to the best of my ability, which is never good enough, but all I can do is listen to it, do what it tells me and collaborate.”

The Terror of Comparison: 

This last terror is my favourite. Imagine this. Your newest book is just out. You are happy to notice the only irksome thing about the finished product is that you’ve used the phrase “it struck me” three times on page 34. You read your bio a few times, smile, then pat yourself on the back and go to bed. Once in bed you pick up a book by – say someone like Elizabeth Gilbert – you read her bio and compare it to yours. You realize she is younger than you. This kind of envy has caused writers to reach for the scotch. I go for chocolate and tell myself that Elizabeth Gilbert has no children to raise and interfere with her writing; I start to collect evidence that childless women are more successful as writers. Then I remember that Ursula LeGuin has three; Barbara Tuchman had five; I (re)consider the scotch.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Will You Be "The Last Advertising Agency On Earth". Lesson To Be Learned.

What will the future of advertising look like?

The answer depends on whether or not traditional advertising agencies truly embrace the power of digital to reach consumers and build brands in new, exciting ways. 'The Last Advertising Agency on Earth' is a film that is about what might happen if they don't... well realistically, this is highly doubtful, but the film is creative.

The film was created by FITC (Flash In The Can) Toronto with Saatchi Canada, digital agency Lunch and production houseToll.

Now in its 9th year, FITC Toronto is one of the largest and longest running events of its kind in the world. With some of the most unique and engaging presenters from around the globe, FITC Toronto is an information blitz of presentations, demonstrations, and panel discussions, sandwiched between our legendary FITC parties and abundant networking opportunities. Topped off with the FITC Award Show, it's three days and nights that will leave you inspired, energized and awed.

FITC has produced over 30 events in the past 8 years with over 15,000 attendees in 18 cities around the globe. From Flash to Motion Design, FLEX to AIR, Mobile and more. We provide unique & exciting experiences that inspire, educate, and challenge.

Don't become the last advertising agency on earth, attend FITC Toronto April 25th - 27th, 2010.
More info at (Get 10% off by using code: lastagency)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sneak Preview of "A View From An AdGuy" Conversations

Originally posted October 12th, 2009

This is a sneak peek into the future series "A View From An AdGuy" Conversations.

This will likely go down as the single most wonderful experiences of my "AdGuy" life when I got sit down with the legendary George Lois.

George Lois is often described as “An Advertising Legend”, “The King of Madison Avenue”, or the “Leader of the Creative Revolution”. And he knows it. It’s a role he not only fits into well, but wears like an old coat; it’s not flashy, it’s not trying to impress anyone, it’s just a part of who he is. Amazing!
The video above was recorded in at the Paley Center for the Arts on Sept 23, 2009 during an exclusive sit-down with my student from the Creative Advertising program at Seneca College in Toronto. It’s kind of NSFW (Not Safe For Work); to give you an idea of just how NSFW it really was, one of the lines that didn’t make on the video comes when he’s describing how he deals with difficult clients:
"So he came to me and said the client didn’t like it. “Didn’t like it?” I said. “Well first off, fuck you, fuck your mother AND your sister.”
Sadly we had no way of capturing the complete interview (more like "Run with George" and folow the conversation). This a small highlight of the event done by one of graduates Ryan Fox Thomas.
I know he was a total inspiration to all, as he was to me when I was studying advertising.

Visit the George Lois Website for more inspiration and a run through his great career.

Thank you George.

From Alex Bogusky to Lady Gaga to... The 2010 Creativity 50.

Always interesting to see any listing of "Top 50 Anything"... but this past month Advertising Age Creativity posted its fifth annual Creativity 50.
Each year, Creativity selects those people and companies that have made the biggest impact across all areas of creative culture.

The list includes advertising and marketing people, tech pioneers, designers, directors, entrepreneurs, and others who challenged the established way of doing things and inspired with their action.
For me Lady Gaga is the "game changer". 

I couldn't agree any stronger when I noticed Lady Gaga on the list. In the past 18 months she has redrawn the music, fashion, art and pop culture landscapes. Lady Gaga has even been called 'poison for the minds of our kids', by the President of the Culture Campaign. That in itself is all the affirmation I need.

Her latest video, Telephone, has by all accounts completely revolutionised media, culture and media-culture to a degree that puts her on par with the likes of Alexander Graham Bell and Andy Warhol. Okay maybe a stretch there but this side of using "cultural insights" of soft core porn, a dash of prison for women fantasy and intended or not product placement, the video has spawned a cottage industry of Gaga-decoders, each with their own unique take on why she is either the most important artist of our time and/or the most annoying. Hey, there are several added videos

Check the list and check out their contributions.

TOP 50 Creative People
(These are not presented in any specific rank order)

Sachin Agarwal and Garry Tan, Founders, Posterous

Blaise Aguera y Arcas, Architect, Microsoft Live Labs

Craig Allen, Art Director, and Eric Kallman, Copywriter, Wieden and Kennedy Portland

Karin Dreijer Andersson (aka Fever Ray), Musical Artist

Marco Arment, Lead Developer, Tumblr; Creator, Instapaper

Kathryn Bigelow, Director

Neill Blomkamp, Director, RSA

Alex Bogusky, Chief Creative Insurgent, MDC

James Cameron, Director

Roy Choi, Mark Manguera, Founders, Kogi

Damon Collins, ECD RKCR/Y&R

Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvedurai, Co-founders, Foursquare

Andreas Dahlqvist, ECD DDB Stockholm

Bart Decrem, CEO Tapulous

David Droga, Founder, Creative Chairman, Droga5

Dave Eggers, Author, Founder, McSweeney’s

Daniel Ek, Co-founder/CEO, Spotify

James Farley, Group VP Global Marketing, Ford

Cindy Gallop, Entrepreneur, Founder

Lady Gaga, Musical Artist

Christian Haas, Creative Director/Associate Partner, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners

James Hilton, Co-founder/CCO and Rei Inamoto CCO, AKQA

Damon Horowitz, Co-founder, Chief Technology Officer, Aardvark

Mike Hughes, President, Martin Agency

Jonathan Ive, Senior VP Industrial Design, Apple

Jan Jacobs and Leo Premutico, Co-founders, Creative Directors, Johannes Leonardo

Matt Jones, Director of Design, Berg

Spike Jonze, Director, MJZ

Linus Karlsson and Paul Malmstrom, co-founders/CCOs, Mother New York

Ashton Kutcher, Founder, Katalyst Media

Tom Kuntz, Director, MJZ

Michael Lebowitz, Founder/CEO, Big Spaceship

Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, Co-Founders, Opening Ceremony

Pranav Mistry, PhD Candidate, MIT Media Lab

Ty Montague, Co-president, CCO North America, JWT

Tor Myhren, CCO, Grey New York

Filip Nilsson, Creative Director/Chairman, Forsman & Bodenfors

David "Nobby" Nobay, Creative Chairman, Droga5 Sydney

Rob Reilly, Andrew Keller, Jeff Benjamin, ECDs, Crispin Porter Bogusky

Eric Rodenbeck, Founder/Creative Director, Stamen Design

Vivian Rosenthal, Jesse Seppi, Co-founders/Designers/Directors, Tronic

Matt Ross, Creative Director; Matt Oxley, Head of Tech, Tribal DDB London

Keith Schofield, Director, Caviar/El Nino

KR Sridhar, CEO, Bloom Energy

Roger Stighall, Robert Lindstrom, David Eriksson, Co-founders, North Kingdom

Matthew Szymczyk, Hans Forsman, Creative Directors, Zugara

Iain Tait, Global Interactive ECD, Wieden and Kennedy

Andrey Ternovskiy, Founder of Chatroulette

Ray Tintori, Director, Partizan

Ge Wang, Co-Founder, CTO, CCO, Smule

Lady Gaga - Telephone 

"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.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Update: E*Trade Baby Responds to Lindsay Lohan Lawsuit on Tonight Show.

Can't say I am fan of Jay Leno, sorry ever was... I am Letterman guy and really enjoyed when Conan O'Brien took the throne so I will suggest that you scroll ahead to the 1:40 mark to get to the actual E*Trade conversation.

During Leno's monologue he chatted with the E*Trade baby about the Lindsay Lohan lawsuit. It's amusing, when "Mr. Baby" responded to Lohan's claim that his commercial has damaged her career by asking, "What career?"

A View From An AdGuy - "Conversations With" Series

The original purpose of this Blog was all about taking and presenting "ideas" and "concepts" that are unique and inspiring and adding my personal views, thinking and opinions that will hopefully inform young "AdLanders' with insights that will help them further develop their creative thinking and ask more questions.

Since the beginning the blog has grown in popularity among young "AdLanders", in addition it has also developed a following with some of the industry leaders who have in turn have provided their thoughts and assistance in bringing deeper details and insights to several postings. I am thankful to those who have lent opinions and suggestions. Some have been kind offer time for online interviews.

Recently, a suggestion was made to begin a "video" interview series after several people viewed my short video interview I did last fall in New York with George Lois and I am proud announce that this has become a reality.

The first in what I hope will become a series of "A View From An AdGuy Conversation" has been completed and will be posted in the coming days.

I had the privilege to have sat down with Sally Hogshead while she was in Toronto in early March when she was in town speaking at  the Art of Marketing Conference. We chatted about everything from her new book "Fascinate", how it all started for her, where she sees the future of advertising and a few ideas on how future "AdLanders" should approach their planning and thinking as they get ready to start in this crazy business.

My hope is that this new series will continue to grow, certainly via video and audio interviews plus the occasional Q&A interview.

I wish to thank Dan Demsky from TheBizMedia the Toronto based video production company that so generously shot, edited and presented the Sally Hogshead interview.

Peace and love,
Anthony Promotional Show Reel

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Setting of ‘Milestones’ ~ Creating Sustainability Messages and An Intelligent and Beautiful Spot from the Lexus Hybrid.

What's amazing about this campaign from Lexus for their Hybrid vehicle is not so much about the brilliant creative spot, but the actual messages of sustainability and personal passion, actual viewers stories.

The hybrid campaign was created by the agency TeamOne of El Segunda, California, began airing on March 6th and also includes a partnership with CurrentTV, where the Lexus Hybrid philosophy became a part of popular conversation. The community was invited to express the power of "H" by shedding light on great achievements. CurrentTV producers created and submitted a VCAM (Viewer Created Advertising Message). The ads had to either demonstrate Lexus’ “actions speak louder” philosophy, or profile a person or organization that, like Lexus, puts creative thinking and innovation into action. The effort drew hundreds of submissions. The producers of the four VCAM ads, selected by Lexus, receive $2,500 each, and their ads will air on Current TV and Current TV online, as well as social media spaces and (See all 4 winning entries below)

The main mass media television spot titled “Milestones,” is the first for this series of Lexus Hybrid, and reminds customers of the company's five-year history of putting hybrids on the road and highlights a series of advancements and changes that the world has seen since the first Lexus Hybrid hit the road five years ago.

The spot reminds the audience that when Lexus built its first hybrid back in 2004, YouTube didn't exist and Facebook was still run out of a dorm room. On screen, the spot shows thousands of Lexus Hybrid vehicles forming the shape of a computer cursor, a gas nozzle, a landline and, finally, the letter “H” illustrating how much the world has evolved during those five years. It is the story of the Lexus Hybrids as told by the vehicles themselves.

The ad was created by agency TeamOne of El Segunda, California, began airing on March 6 and will run during prime time, on network television and cable specialty channels. In addition, the spot will also focus on NCAA March Madness and throughout Major League Baseball programming and finally, in conjunction with CurrentTV, an auction based television buying platform.

In addition to television, Lexus will run a national print campaign, online banners and out-of-home advertising in 12 markets. Two print ads titled, “Close Your Eyes” and “Roads” will appear in consumer print publications such as Men’s Health, Women’s Health, People, Sports Illustrated, Vogue and USA Today.

The hybrid campaign also includes a partnership with CurrentTV, where the Lexus Hybrid philosophy became a part of popular conversation. The community was invited to express the power of "H" by shedding light on great achievements. CurrentTV producers created and submitted a VCAM (Viewer Created Advertising Message). The ads had to either demonstrate Lexus’ “actions speak louder” philosophy, or profile a person or organization that, like Lexus, puts creative thinking and innovation into action. The effort drew hundreds of submissions. The producers of the four VCAM ads, selected by Lexus, receive $2,500 each, and their ads will air on Current TV and Current TV online, as well as social media spaces and

Lexus VCAM: h is a "Flat Stomach" - Official Selections 

Getting in shape is a common New Years resolution. But not many people take the action necessary to make this happen.

Lexus VCAM: Zaqistan [Official Selection]

A group of young artists build a new country in the desert.

Lexus VCAM: Innovation on the Dairy [Official Selection]

Dairyman Brian Fiscalini is using innovative technology to create energy from the waste produced on his dairy.

Lexus VCAM: Urban Salvage [Official Selection]

A young man shows how he salvages wood and other materials and builds sustainable products.

Creative Credits - "Milestones"

Agency: Team One
Chief Creative Officer: Chris Graves
Group Creative Directors: James Hendry, Craig Crawford
Copywriter: Molly Grubbs
Art Director: Emily McDowell

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Musical Road Rage or Tourist Attraction? UPDATE: "Musical Road" by RPA.

Great creative builds great buzz, the idea turns bad and now has a happy ending.

Back at the end of the year I posted a story on a series of spots created for the 2010 Honda CrossTour using some unique animation style by RPA of Santa Monica, California.

Added to the end of that piece was a description of a brilliant "engagement" ambient piece that I am still has me shaking my head the same way the VW Musical Stairs form Sweden did. The "Musical Road" really was like nothing else I had seen before. It wasn't a traditional ambient "installment" or "prop" added to a structure... this was actually engineered and designed with physical changes into the actual highway, taxpayer dollars built highway.

It was believed to be the first such musical road in the United States, although there are others in Japan, South Korea and Holland.

Well here's the follow up that I am pretty sure wasn't what Honda or RPA had in mind.The nation's first "musical road" has been silenced.

The musical road was installed in Lancaster, California, a desert city north of Los Angeles. The concept called for cutting "carved" grooves into the surface of Avenue G that produced the "notes" of the "William Tell Overture" when cars drive over them. The quarter-mile strip was engineered to play the notes to the theme of "The Lone Ranger" when drivings hit them at 55 mph.

But soon after the install came... complaints. Plenty of them, which forced the city to pave over that stretch of road just two weeks after neighbors complained the noise was annoying and kept them awake. Kept their dogs awake.

"I think it's terrible because it keeps me awake at night," Lancaster resident Donna Martin told the Daily Breeze newspaper.

"You can kind of tell it's music, but it's not any tune or notes. It's a scratchy sound, a high-pitch drone."
Smart idea crushed. But wait there's a happy ending.

The city also received hundreds of calls praising the road and so the city council decided to recreate the road in an industrial area away from homes. Many residents also liked it, and so did the many that traveled to hear the road "sing".

"It will be a tourist attraction. It will pull people off the freeway," Mayor R. Rex Parris said.

"You drove over it and you didn't know what to expect. When we got to the end of it, I was smiling ear to ear," said Genevieve Skidmore, a 80 year old resident of Lancaster.

Here's the real magic. The City Council has approved spending up to $35,000 for the work, but officials said there has been interest from several companies in sponsoring the road and reimbursing the cost in return for publicity. 

WAIT where is the original Honda sponsorship?

The piece remains a game changer. What more can be said.

How do you follow up the Crispin Porter + Bogusky Burger King Whopper Freakout? With WhopperFace of course. ***KING Brilliant!

Somewhat on the heels of the super successful  "Whopper Freakout" and "Whopper Sacrifice" campaigns from Crispin Porter + Bogusky we give you the "WhopperFace".

CP+B who have set the bar of creativity for Burger King, the WhopperFace fits the BK brand DNA perfectly... "Have It Your Way". But surprise this piece was created by Ogilvy Brazil.

All it took was one cashier, one hidden cam and one printer to prove that Burger King sandwiches are made to order. Exactly your way, right down to the wrapper.

As a customer ordered their Whopper, the camera took a picture, without the customer taking notice, the sandwich gets their freshly made sandwiches with their faces on the wrapper.

Pretty simple. As I say to my students, raise your hands if you "wish I thought of that"... TWO HANDS UP!!!

Once again Burger King proved that each sandwich is unique and made to order for each customer.

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy Brazil
Chief Creative Director: Anselmo Ramos
Executive Creative Director: Michel Lent
Creative Director: Angela Bassichetti
Copywriter: Eduardo Marques
Art Director: Douglas Kozonoe

Whopper Freakout

Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky, USA
Vp Creative Director: Rob Reilly
Vp Creative Director: Bill Wright
Interactive Creative Director: Jeff Benjamin
Associate Creative Director/copywriter: Ryan Kutscher
Sr. Art Director: Paul Caiozzo
Art Directors: Andy Minisman; Dan Treichel; Julia Hoffman
Copywriters: Omid Farhang; Nathan Dills

Whopper Sacrifice

Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky, USA
Vp Creative Director: Rob Reilly
Vp Creative Director: Andrew Keller
Interactive Creative Director: Jeff Benjamin
Creative Directors: Bill Wright and James Dawson-Hollis
Associate Creative Directors: Nuno Ferreira and Neil Heyman
Art Directors: Saman Rahmanian
Copywriters: Joel Kaplan
Interactive Designers Pelun Chen and John Whitmore

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Keeping The Lawyers Working. Lindsay Who? Lohan Sues over E*TRADE Baby Spot.

It has been asked what do you call 101 lawyers at the bottom of a lake? ...A GOOD START! You can add to that the list of

I love everyone one of those "adorable" and creatively "humorous" spots from E*TRADE featuring a talking baby, but this story is on the wide side of "maschugana" (Italian for crazy).

Celebrity lawsuits never cease to amaze me. The latest bizarro suit was filed by "pop-tart" Lindsay Lohan for $100 million (US) on Monday March 8th. What really boils the blood and makes this lawsuit so heinous is that it’s centered around one of the babies in the spot (word has it an Oakville, Ontario baby at that) who is refereed to as "that milkoholic Lindsay", and now the handlers of Lindsay Lohans and her legal team think they have claim that the spot. According to the New York Post, actress Lindsay Lohan is suing the investment site on the grounds that the man-eating, substance-abusing baby in the commercial is based on her persona that has been defamed by the media and the spot has been built around this.

The spot which debuted during the Super Bowl and was aired in heavy rotation during the Winter Olympics.

Here's where it gets crazy (if the simple idea wasn't already), Lohan and lawyer Stephanie Ovadia, are requesting that the spot be taken off the air and that every copy of the "defamatory" spot be rounded up and removed (this could significantly difficult if not impossible given today’s social media circles and web coverage).

At the focal point of the suit was made by Ovadia when explaining that, “Many celebrities are known by one name only, and E-Trade is using that knowledge to profit… They used the name Lindsay…They’re using her name as a parody of her life. Why didn’t they use the name Susan? This is a subliminal message. Everybody’s talking about it and saying it’s Lindsay Lohan.”

Ohhhhhh pleeeeeze... I had Lindsay Wagner the Bionic Women top of mind.

Ovadia also says Lohan was mistreated because E-Trade didn’t get her approval nor offer her compensation for allegedly being referred to in the ad. Now, the lawyer says her client is owed $50 million in exemplary damages, as well as $50 million in compensatory damages.

E*TRADE doesn’t typically comment on pending litigation but noted, "We felt it appropriate given the high level of interest in the E*TRADE Baby. With the E*TRADE Baby, our advertising campaign is meant to be witty and memorable, while effectively communicating the powerful investing tools and services offered by E*TRADE. We believe the claims are without merit and we intend to defend ourselves vigorously in this case".

Personally the big winner in all of this is eTrade. Simply, one could argue that by suing E-Trade, Lohan has called even more attention to the ad which (as of this posting) has nearly 3.7 million views on YouTube.

Good luck Ms. Lohan and Ms. Ovadia, sadly I don't see it as you do. Personally, the ad agency (Grey New York) did some research on popular baby names where Lindsay ranks in the top 10 and Susan fails to make the top 100.

Go figure!

Watch Coverage from The Young Turks:

Creative Credits - "Girlfriend"

Executive Creative Director: Noel Cottrell
Executive Creative Director: Dante Desole/Amy Rosen
Creative Director: Paul Behnen
Copywriter: Eli Terry/Randy Krallman
Art Director: Paul Behnen/Amy Ferguson

Additional eTrade "Baby" Campaign Spots:




"Golf Buddies"

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