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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : CBNAT JAN-FEB 2013
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2013 CAMPAIGNBRIEF the New York School of Design." He called his book George be Careful because, "When I was a kid, I remember the hand of God coming into my bedroom, it was Michelangelo's hand, and it said, 'George, be careful,' and my moth- er told me, 'Be careful.' My father, my sisters, my coaches in sports, when I went into the army, they're telling me to be careful. And then when you go into advertising, that's when everybody tells you to be careful. Anything, anything unusu- al, anything over the top, anything edgy ... you can't do that. So, 'George, Be Careful' was my anti- slogan." Some years later, the producers of Mad Men called him and he said, "If you want to know anything about the advertising of the sixties, read my book. Goodbye. Fuck you." Some more reasoned discourse from George Lois: On Mad Men: The producers think I hate their show. Which is true. It's a dumb show. The 1960s was a heroic age in the history of the art of communication -- the audacious movers and shakers of those times bear no resemblance to the cast of characters in Mad Men. This mad- dening show is nothing but a soap opera, set in a glamorous office where stylish fools hump their appreciative, coiffured secretaries, suck up martinis, and smoke them- selves to death as they produce dumb, lifeless advertising -- oblivi- ous to the inspiring Civil Rights movement, the burgeoning Women's Lib movement, the evil Vietnam War, and other seismic changes during the turbulent, roller-coaster 1960s that altered America forever. (One gets the feeling he didn't care too much for what he dubbed, "Those phony 'Gray Flannel Suit' male-chauvinist, no-talent, WASP, white-shirted racist, anti-Semitic Republican, SOBs." Besides, he claimed, "When I was in my thirties I was far better looking than Don Draper!") On Art Directors: Most art direc- tors don't sit and try to write the idea: They usually wait with their thumbs up their ass for a writer to furnish the words, which usually are not visually pregnant. On Creativity: It is there for us to find -- it is an act of discovery. Michelangelo said that a sculpture is imprisoned in a block of marble, and only a great sculptor can set it free. (Brett Whiteley enthused at his discovery of, "The calligraphy of dog wees in Paris, I've never seen dogs piss so beautifully, so Japanese-like." Typical of his lar- rikin humour.) On Humour: A creative person with- out a sense of humour has a serious problem. In all forms of communi- cation, humour is a natural way to win someone's heart. On Trends: Trends are a trap, trends can tyrannize. What is the next big trend? - beats the shit out of me. On Teamwork: Teamwork might One of the things I did at Doyle Dane Bernbach was a giant poster for Goodman's Matzo, a poster for Passover. I did the lettering -- kosher for 'Passover', but in Hebrew - that I took off of a butcher shop and re-drew it. It was knockout. Then, art directors weren't allowed to talk to clients, which is crazy to me, and the account guy comes back and says, "They didn't like it, he killed it." ('He' being the 92-year-old owner who only knew how to say, 'no.') I say, "Well, fuck you. What do you mean they didn't like it?" Bernbach sees it and said, "Wow that's terrific." I said the client didn't like it, and he said, "Oh shit, that's too bad." I said, "Bill can you do me a favour, I know Goodman's is in Long Island City, could you make me an appointment so hopefully I can go see him and try and go sell it to him." Nobody did that stuff. I am going to go see this Jewish man and everybody says Lois is going to get his ass kicked because this is the toughest client they got. I had been making a lot of enemies from the older clients because I'm doing edgy stuff and it's not their kind of work. I got to tell you, I remember getting on a subway, three stops before I got there, and thinking, "Holy shit, I got to sell this motherfucker." I get there and I go up to him, and it's a very busy room, there are a lot of people working and he's in a glass encased room. And the reason why its glass is so that he can keep an eye on people, and in his office there are like 12 or 14 people. They are his sons, daughters, and grandchildren, all in the business, all in this room, sitting there, in a big square, and I'm in the middle and Mr Goodman is at this big desk. It was like a lion's den. I go in and I start talking about the poster, and Goodman has already seen it and doesn't like it. I start selling it, and I talk about seeing it on the subway, coming across this gigantic Hebrew lettering in a poster and it's so powerful. And he says, "Yeah, I don' like it. I don' like it" So I say, excuse me, grandfather, I hope you don't mind me saying this, I find it very exciting, and I think it would be very dynamic in the subway... and he says, "I don' like it," again. I keep talking, and then onesonsays"Ilikeit,"andthenIhave4or5of them saying "I like it." But Goodman is still saying, "I don' like it." I'm thinking this guy is fucking impossible. I had to do something. I stride over to this big casement window on the third floor and lean out with the poster, like I'm about to throw myself out. "See what you make me feel like doing?" I shout, and he says, "Are you going someplace?" I'm holding on to the case, the metal part and I unroll the poster, open the fuckin' thing and I say, "You make the Matzos, I'll make the ads!" He went on yelling, got out of his chair, and they ran and got him pills. I mean talk about a scene. And so they are standing there, and I get down, start walking out with my poster, and he says, "Come back in. I'll run it already." So I come back in and I thank him very much. He says, "Young man, one thing, if you ever quit advertising, I'll give you a job as a matzo salesman." Adapted from a story that first appeared in Juxtapoz Magazine, November 24, 2010 work in building an Amish barn, but it can't create a Big Idea. The accepted system for the creation of innovative thinking in a democratic environment is to work cooperative- ly in a team-like ambience. Don't believe it. On Relationships: If you're in a rela- tionship with your boss, supervisor, partner or client and you suspect you are continually being used and/or abused ... end it. Never eat shit. (If it looks like shit, and smells like shit ... it is shit.) On Truth: Picasso was right when he said, "Art is a lie that tells the truth." In advertising his 'lie' becomes the truth. Cars drive bet- ter. Food tastes better. Perfume smells better. If you find it hard to agree with this basic belief, you may find it extremely difficult to under- stand the magic of advertising. On PR: All your ad campaigns must be built-in PR campaigns. (It's called 'talkability.') If your advertis- ing doesn't have the power to become a topic of conversation for everyone in the nation, you forfeit the chance for it to be famous. On Selling: Even a brilliant idea won't sell itself. (See 'George pre- sents to a difficult client.' below) Always do three things when you present the Big Idea: 1. Tell them what they are going to see. 2. Show it to them. 3. Tell them, dramatically, what they just saw. On Persistence: Woody Allen was right: "80 per cent of life is showing up." Never give in, never give up. Think on your feet, make things happen, impress clients, not only with your work, but with your hus- tle, desire, and chutzpah! On Slogans: Most great slogans have the brand name in the slogan, even twice!. (Think Mo & Jo's, "I feel like a Tooheys, I feel like a Tooheys, I feel like a Tooheys, or two ..." That's three times and only the opening stanza.) On Google: Fishing on the comput- er, frantically looking, searching, praying for an idea is useless. Don't sit down at your computer until you've grasped a big concept. On Music: Never listen to music when you're trying to come up with a Big Idea. (The hugely successful old master of Australian art, Lloyd Rees said, "I don't like music when I'm painting, I step into another world, I feel caught up in another set of values.") On Tweeting: Stop tweeting your life away and do something produc- tive: Learn to draw. (As AWARD School students know, an idea can be communicated better with a drawing, no matter how basic.) On Emails: How about using prop- er English in your emails for a change? Learn to write one singu- lar, coherent, informative, insight- ful, spectacular sentence to replace your illiterate off-the-cuff twitter- ing? On Bigness: The only thing that gets better when it gets bigger is a penis. (Jay Chiat used to ask him- self, "How big can we get before we get bad?") On Age: If you're approaching 50 years of age, remember that oak trees do not produce acorns until they are 50 years old. George Lois is 82 years of age. His family name can be traced back to 265 B.C. when it was originally 'Logos.' In ancient Greek 'logos' meant, 'word, reason or speech.' Aristotle applied the term to refer to, 'reasoned discourse.' Gawen Rudder is manager, member- ship, business services & Advice of The Communications Council, Sydney George presents to a difficult client
CBAT NOV DEC 2012
Campaign Brief May-June 2013