Posts By: Jim Reade

Play your own game

I was talking with a young man from Paris the other day.
We were discussing creativity in general.
He felt the French were historically better than the English at most creative things.
Painting, sculpture, film, photography, theatre, architecture, fashion.
He didn’t think he was being arrogant.
He was just stating a generally accepted fact.
Then he said, “Except humour. There cannot be anyone who would deny the English are the world leaders in humour. Definitely no one can touch them for this.”
And it occurred to me that all the things he thought the French were better at were visual things.
The one thing he thought the English were better at was a verbal thing.
Maybe written, maybe spoken.
But definitely language.
Words.
It reminded me of when I first went to art school in New York.
One of my first lectures was a History Of Art class.
The one thing that stuck in my mind was something the lecturer said.
“The English are the only civilisation never to have made a significant contribution to the visual arts.”
I remember being angry.
I wanted to say, “Excuse me, what’s that language you’re speaking? English right?
So how about Shakespeare, Chaucer, Keats, Shelley, Wordsworth, Dickens, Kipling?
In fact how about non-English writers like Shaw and Joyce?
In fact how about every American writer: Kerouac, Salinger, Mailer, Miller, Roth? What language did they all write in?”
But I stopped myself.
Because of course he was referring to the purely visual arts.
And I thought, like the Frenchman much later, maybe he had a point.
What great visual artists have we got?
Stubbs, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Constable.
Like our footballers, competent enough in their own league, but hardly the world’s best.
Hardly Raphael, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Rembrandt, Ingres.
The very best we’ve ever produced would be Turner, Bacon, and Moore.
Again, not bad.
But hardly Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso, Duchamp or Warhol.
So, pretty much, it seems the Brits aren’t great at the purely visual.
Why is any of this relevant?
Last week, John Tylee asked me why the UK isn’t doing so well at Cannes.
Why haven’t they won much?
What’s happened to UK creativity?
Well, let’s see what’s changed recently.
Because of the rise of multi-national agencies, much of the advertising that agencies turn out has to be international.
It’s a smart idea.
If they can make an ad that can run across a dozen countries, they get a much bigger production budget for that ad.
A million pounds, maybe two.
But that means the ad can’t just be in any one language.
Which means it must be visual
That means we’ve left the area where we’re strongest.
And now we’re competing in the area where other countries are stronger.
The purely visual.
We’ve moved away from our language, so we’ve moved away from our humour.
So we’ve moved away from our strengths.
Even in our own country, the award schemes have become international.
Tony Hardcastle told me he was on the D&AD poster jury.
An Economist poster came up.
The headline said:
SOMEBODY MENTIONS JORDAN.
YOU THINK OF A MIDDLE EASTERN COUNTRY WITH A 3.3% GROWTH RATE.
Now that’s a very funny poster.
We all get the joke straight away.
The Economist reader doesn’t react like a tabloid reader.
They take a much more intelligent view of things.
We get the joke because we all know who Jordan is..
But an American guy behind Tony said, “I don’t get it. Is this referring to Michael Jordan the basketball player?”
And a Chinese girl next to him said, “Oh no. I think it must be referring to Jordans, the cereal bar.”
Because it was verbal, not visual, two of the people judging it didn’t even understand it.
So what would have happened if the Economist campaign had been done for an international audience instead of just a UK one?
All those intelligent ‘word’ jokes wouldn’t work.
So it would have to have been a purely visual campaign instead.

And some of the best poster advertising of recent times wouldn’t have seen the light of day.

Read more on Play your own game…

The media money can’t but

I was listening to a speech by Mark Lund, Chief Exec of the COI.
He was talking about the government cutbacks in COI spending.
This was obviously a challenge.
Mark thought it needed a new approach to media.
What he said might be obvious to marketing people and new-media gurus.
But I’m a creative, and I hadn’t heard it before.
The general drift was as follows.
There are three basic kinds of media.
PAID, OWNED, and EARNED.
PAID Media is the stuff you actually pay money for.
TV, press, posters, radio, online, idents, ambient, DM.
Anything we generally refer to when we say ‘media’.
This is what media departments deal in.
For the COI this is obviously where the government cutbacks will have to come.
They’re having their budget slashed so they can’t afford so much PAID media.
Mark said, this meant making a lot more of the two other areas.
The first of these is OWNED media.
That’s any space you’ve got, that you could use without paying for it.
For Ocado it’s their lorries.
For Travel agents and Building Societies it’s their shop windows.
For breweries it’s pub walls, beer glasses, toilets.
For shops it’s carrier bags.
For the COI it could be doctors’ waiting rooms, police stations, job centres, hospital A&Es.
Maybe even government DM that has to go out anyway.
Anything free.
So far all this makes sense.
But it was the third part, EARNED media, that really interested me.
Because I thought this was where the creative dept came in.
But a few days later I discussed this with a COI planner, Penny Hunt.
She disagreed with my interpretation.
She said EARNED media was actually more to do with building a reputation.
The way M&S was always known for quality.
So I looked it up on various media-guru websites.
It seems we do have a different interpretation.
They describe EARNED media as “what people say about you”.
And they give examples as “WOM, buzz, viral”.
Fair enough.
But how do you do that?
Penny thought you did it by enhanced performance and delivery.
Maybe that’s true, but I can’t help there.
I’m in advertising.
So, for me, the answer must be via the advertising.
If we want to cut the cost of your PAID advertising, make sure that whatever advertising we do works much harder.
Make £1 work like £5, then we’ve earned another £4 of advertising.
Don’t simply think of it as share-of-voice.
Think of it as share-of-mind.
If we can get people talking about our advertising, every time they do it’s a free OTS.
Advertising we haven’t PAID for.
We’ve EARNED extra media.
Of course to do that we’ll need advertising that stands out.
Advertising that catches on.
Advertising that break rules.
And that will take nerve.
And that will be uncomfortable.
That was how I interpreted what Mark Lund meant by “The Challenge Of EARNED Media”.
The COI is in charge of all government communications.
Aka Advertising.
They’ve just had their budget cut.
Less advertising.
Why wouldn’t that challenge be about making whatever PAID advertising they can afford work harder?
Years ago we ran an ad with the following paragraph in it.

THE MEDIA MONEY CAN’T BUY.
The most effective form of advertising you can have is word-of-mouth.
Unfortunately you can’t buy space in this medium yet.
At least not with money.
How you can buy it is with advertising that gets noticed and talked about.
The more it gets noticed the more it gets talked about.
The more it gets talked about, the more it gets noticed.
Strangely enough, this advertising doesn’t actually cost any more than the advertising that doesn’t get noticed or talked about.

I may not have got the definition right according to the experts.
But for me that’s EARNED media.

Read more on The media money can’t but…

The difference between and insight and an idea

Rory Sutherland makes the point that an insight is not an idea.
This is very useful.
Especially for the planning dept.
Rory’s point is that planning should be looking for insights.
Not ideas.
An insight is something that you didn’t know before.
Something that may change the way you think about the problem.
An insight can be the first step on the way to an idea.
But it isn’t an idea.
And idea is what you do with the insight.
How you turn analysis into synthesis.
How that discovery becomes action.
Of course, there can be an insight without a subsequent idea.
But there can’t really be an idea, not a great one, without first having an insight.
That’s why it’s an important distinction.
Of course, the insight doesn’t always come from the planning dept.
Just as the idea doesn’t always come from the creative dept.
Years back I was speaking to someone at Benton & Bowles.
They were explaining a problem they’d had on Jacobs Mallows.
These were little biscuits bases, covered in chocolate, topped with jam, then covered in marshmallow and coconut.
They weren’t selling well at the time.
No one could work out why.
They tasted great, people loved them.
So the planner did something that clever people never do: the obvious.
He went to the supermarket.
He looked at the product on the shelves, and watched how people behaved.
People would come along to the biscuit section.
They’d look at the price of Jacobs Mallows.
Then look at the price of comparative biscuits.
They’d realise they could get a packet of 16 custard creams for the same price as a packet of 6 Jacobs Mallows.
So they’d buy the custard creams.
That was the insight.
The problem wasn’t the product.
The problem wasn’t the brand.
The problem was the competitive set.
What came next was the idea.
Benton & Bowles suggested to the client that they move the Jacobs Mallows along to the cake section.
Then the planner went back and watched the shoppers.
They looked at the price of the Jacobs Mallows.
They looked at the price of comparative cakes.
They realised they could get a box of 6 Jacobs Mallows for the same price as 2 cakes.
So they bought the Jacobs Mallows.
That was an insight that lead to an idea.
Which is how it should be.
That’s the way Droga 5 believe it should work.
When they wanted to help Obama win the Presidency, they looked for an insight.
They knew that Florida had proved pivotal for the Republicans in two elections.
If they could change that it could make the difference.
The insight was that the part of Florida that voted Republican, almost without thinking, was the elderly retired Jewish population.
That insight needed to be translated into an idea.
So they studied the elderly Jews.
And they had another insight.
Who is the one group of people they listen to?
Who will they do anything for?
Their grandchildren.
From that insight came the idea.
Get their grandchildren, which was a group that was already pro-Obama, to travel to Florida.
To visit their grandparents and educate them about why they should vote for Obama.
So they made a commercial, with the Jewish comedian Sarah Silverman, talking to these grandchildren.
Asking them to go see their grandparents in Florida.
It was downloaded 1.25 million times from the Internet.
25,000 young people signed up online to visit their grandparents in Florida.
But the real numbers are as follows.
320,000 elderly Jews voted for Obama.
Obama won Florida by 170,000 votes.

And that’s how an insight is translated into an idea.

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The small stuff is the big stuff

We once went to Portland to shoot an animated commercial.
We went to Will Vinton’s Claymation studio.
One of the best stop-frame animation companies in the world.
When we got out at Portland airport, we got a cab into town.
I asked the cab driver how her day had been so far.
She said, “Better than some people’s, I guess.”
I asked her what she meant.
She said, “Half hour ago I picked up a guy at the airport who asked me to take him to a hotel I never heard of.
He said it was the biggest hotel in Portland.
They were holding a huge conference and he was due to give the main speech there in a half hour.
I said, how can it be the biggest hotel if I never heard of it?
He said, how can a cab driver not know the biggest hotel in Portland?
I said, I been driving a cab ten years and I never heard of it.
So he got out his cell phone called his office.
And he says he’s in Portland and the cab driver doesn’t know the hotel. So give him the goddam address for the stupid cab driver.
And you know what?
Turns out the hotel was in Portland alright.
But it was in Portland Maine, not Portland Oregon.
This Portland’s on the West coast.
That Portland’s on the East coast.
I guess his secretary booked him tickets to the wrong Portland.
I never seen no one so angry.
Yelling because this is the most important speech of his career, and everyone has flown in from all over the US to listen to him.
And they’re waiting for him to deliver his speech.
And he’s the only one who ain’t there.
So, like I said, I’m having a better day than some I guess.”
For me, was that was a great lesson in priorities.
That guy had decided the most important thing was the speech.
Naturally enough.
But he also decided nothing else was even worth bothering with.
Big mistake.
If you don’t get the small stuff right, the big stuff doesn’t happen.
One time, our agency was trying to get on the pitch list for National Express.
We had a chemistry meeting with the client scheduled for 10.30am.
The account man decided to impress them.
He went to Victoria coach station to get the 8.30am National Express coach.
He’d take it as far as Golders Green, then get the tube back to work.
He’d be back at the office in time for the meeting.
He’d debrief the client on what he’d learned.
He’d tell them about the whole National Express experience.
Booking the tickets, waiting for the bus, the service on board, the level of comfort, the journey itself, on-board facilities, etc.
And he’d tell them what were the main issues he felt needed addressing.
He felt he’d have a lot more credibility, having just been on one of their coaches.
So at 10.30 the client turned up for the meeting.
In fact everyone turned up except the account man.
We waited.
And waited.
Around 11am he called in from his mobile phone.
He was still on the bus and he couldn’t get off.
He assumed all National Express buses stopped at Golders Green.
So he hadn’t checked the one he got on.
It didn’t stop at Golders Green.
In fact, it didn’t stop until Birmingham.
So he wouldn’t be at the meeting after all.

The small stuff didn’t happen, so the big stuff didn’t happen.

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Advertising is how. Not waht.

40,000 people died on the guillotine in The French Revolution.
But the man who introduced it was an opponent of the death penalty.
How does that work?
Joseph Guillotine was a doctor, and a humanitarian.
He was horrified by the way people were put to death.
They were either hanged or beheaded.
Hanging wasn’t a fast neck-breaking process.
It was slow strangulation.
It could take up to half an hour to die, choking and kicking.
And beheading wasn’t the quick, single stroke of a razor sharp axe.
Often it took a dozen hacking blows with a blunt blade.
It was messy, bloody, and unbelievably painful.
The base of the skull and the spine were crushed and broken.
People writhed in agony.
Sometimes dying from loss of blood before their head was eventually severed.
Nobody much cared, because the purpose was as much about suffering as death.
Dr. Guillotine thought it was cruel and barbaric.
If people had to be killed, at least we should do it as painlessly as possible.
Which is what the guillotine was about.
A quick, simple death.
One clean stroke.
But of course, afterwards he wasn’t seen as a humanitarian.
He was seen as the man who invented the device that killed 40,000 people.
As if it was his decision to kill all those people.
The fact that he designed a more efficient way of doing something seemed somehow to make him responsible for what was done.
At least in the publics’ mind.
But that’s often what happens.
Design is misunderstood.
You see design isn’t what you do.
Design is how you do it.
In the Battle Of Britain, the Spitfire fought the Messerschmitt 109.
Both planes were equally good.
Fast, manoeuvrable, powerful.
Nothing to choose between them in the air.
Except for the way they were designed.
It took 13,000 man-hours to build a Spitfire.
But it only took 4,000 man-hours to build a Messerschmitt 109.
So, thanks to the German designers, they could build three 109s while we were building a single Spitfire.
That’s what their design was about.
Efficiency.
Finding a better way to do what was wanted.
Messerschmitt designers weren’t responsible for The Blitz.
Anymore than Joseph Guillotine was responsible for the mass executions of The French revolution.
They built a better product.
That was their job.
I feel the same way about advertising.
Advertising, like design, is how you do something better.
It’s not about what you do.
If the government decides it’s legal, even desirable, to sell something, then that’s what advertising does.
Good advertising does it better.
Another word for advertising is publicity.
Publicising what exists.
That’s all.
Publicising it, not creating it.

Read more on Advertising is how. Not waht….

The facts of life

I was talking to Mary Wear the other day.
Mary is an interesting person.
She has pretty much set her life up exactly as she wants.
Rather than just go along with what crops up.
What most of us do is decide between whatever choices we’re given.
Mary doesn’t do that.
She went to university and got a degree in English.
Then she got a job in account handling.
But she didn’t like it much.
It was just lots of meetings about other people’s work.
The creative dept seemed to be having much more fun.
She wanted to do that.
So she quit her job in account handling.
And she went back to college.
She did a course at Hounslow, run by Dave Morris.
And she became a copywriter.
She worked with Damon Collins, and they won a lot of awards together.
Now Mary works at AMV.
A really good job, at a really good agency.
But she also wanted a life outside advertising.
In the country, with her young family and her sheep.
So she set it up so that she works a three day week at AMV.
And she still wins awards.
Now the reason Mary was able to do all this is that she’s very straight.
She’s outspoken in the truest sense: she speaks out.
She doesn’t beat around the bush.
She doesn’t try to guess what other people are thinking.
If she wants something a certain way she’ll say so.
And if she can’t have it, she’ll want to know the reason why.
And she’ll want to debate it
Account men always found this very difficult.
They couldn’t give her a woolly brief.
They couldn’t cover up a lack of thinking with long words.
Put simply, Mary is ‘no nonsense’.
I asked her why she chose to do advertising in the first place.
She said, “Well it’s all around us isn’t it? There’s tons of it everywhere. It’s a fact of life, like architecture. I just thought why can’t it be better?”
I loved that.
No justification, no moral quandary, no need to justify advertising’s purpose.
Just acceptance.
This isn’t difficult.
It’s not art or culture.
It’s not religion.
It’s not medicine.
It’s not politics.
It’s not science.
Why can’t it just be funnier, or catchier, or wittier?
Why can’t it have better music, better writing, better acting.
Why can’t it be something people enjoy, rather than a nuisance?
Instead of arguing whether advertising should or shouldn’t exist.
Instead of arguing whether advertising is good or bad.
Instead of arguing whether advertising is dead or not.
Instead of treating it like a great moral debate.
Why can’t we just accept that it’s there, and let’s do it better?
Just like architecture.
There’s lots of it, it’s everywhere, and it costs a fortune.
The buildings are going up anyway.
Why do they have to be ugly?
We don’t keep arguing about whether or not we need architecture.
It’s a fact of life.
It exists.
As Mary said, advertising is like that.

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Trust

Tony Adams was the captain of Arsenal, and one of the best defenders they ever had.
When he controlled their defence it was the best in the Premiership.
A couple of years ago I read his book.
It wasn’t a good book.
Sports biographies hardly ever are.
But there’s usually something you can learn, somewhere in there.
A simple principle.
And there was in Tony Adams’ book.
I don’t remember the exact words, but it was something like this.
“I wouldn’t try to take the ball off the opposing forward.
See, if I went to take the ball I was committed.
And, if I missed, he could just go past me.
Plus there’s the possibility of missing the ball and getting the player.
In which case I’d give away a free kick in a dangerous area.
So I never tried to take the ball off them.
I’d just shut them down.
Stay right on them and let them know they weren’t getting past me.
I’d do this about thirty yards out.
They knew they weren’t getting past me, but they knew I wouldn’t take the ball.
This meant they had a chance to shoot, which is irresistible for most forwards.
Sop that’s what they’d do, shoot from thirty yards.
And I knew I had David Seaman behind me.
And I knew he could handle pretty much anything from thirty yards.”
This is a man speaking who really knows his defence.
He knows his team-mates.
So he knows who he can trust.
He’s not playing like an individual but part of a team.
He knows exactly how the different parts operate.
And what his job in the machine is.
And the machine works if everyone does their job as well as they can.
Instead of watching what someone else is doing.
That’s how I like to work.
With different people each being responsible for different jobs.
Everyone fitting in and doing their specialist part.
Of course, everyone’s got an opinion about everyone else’s job.
And you make that available as input.
But whoever is responsible for their area needs to be responsible.
Not spend half their time worrying about someone else’s area.
You have to find out who you can trust to do what.
Then, when you know that, trust them.
Don’t keep trying to do their job.
Feeling you have to take the ball off an attacker is only necessary when you don’t trust the goalie.
If you trust the goalie to handle long-range shots, make sure that’s what he gets.
I’m the same when I first work with a new account man.
When they’re first presenting work to the client I go along with them.
If they do it better than me I know I don’t need to go again.
I know I can trust them.
It’s the same with art directors.
Gordon has a better visual sense than me.
And like all the best art directors, he’s a fusspot about detail.
I’m not.
So I don’t go on stills shoots, or to retouching, or grading commercials.
I trust him.
Planners, TV producers, media guys, whatever their job.
I like to know what they do.
And if they can do their job better than I could.
Then if it goes wrong, I can’t bitch about it.
Because I couldn’t have done it better.
So I can concentrate on just doing my job 100%.
Generally I like Tony Adams’ approach.
Find out who you’re working with and what they’re good at.
Find out what you can trust them to do.

Then trust them.

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What’s wanted v what’s needed

At the beginning of World war Two, Hugh Dowding was in charge of fighter planes.
Churchill was desperate to stop France falling.
He wanted to send more and more fighter planes across to France.
Dowding tried to stop this.
Dowding even wrote a formal letter to Churchill about it.
And he made sure the cabinet saw the letter.
The specific point was that if Churchill sent any more planes to France, we wouldn’t have enough left to defend Britain.
Churchill wanted more planes sent to France to prove to the French that we were doing everything possible.
Dowding argued that this was irresponsible.
We must decide how many planes we needed and not send one more to France.
As we know France fell.
And the battle of Britain was fought between the Luftwaffe and England’s fighter planes.
England won.
But it was very close.
England won by the skin of its teeth.
By the exact margin of fighter planes that Dowding stopped Churchill sending to France.
Was Churchill grateful?
Churchill removed him from heading up fighter planes and gave the job to someone else.
Someone more amenable to Churchill’s way of thinking.
And that was pretty much the end of Dowding’s career.
He came up with the right answer.
But it wasn’t the answer Churchill wanted.
It was successful.
But Churchill decided it was successful despite Dowding.
Not because of him.
Dowding might have kept his job if he’d done what Churchill wanted.
Of course, we’d almost certainly have lost The Battle of Britain.
But we didn’t.
And Dowding lost his job instead.
Because he didn’t do what the client wanted.
He came up with the right answer.
He fought the client to get the right solution.
But the client hated working with him.
So the client changed agencies.
The man who got the job after Dowding was much less successful.
Casualties and RAF losses grew and grew.
But Churchill liked the way he thought.
So Churchill promoted him.
His ideas agreed with Churchill’s.
And so Churchill promoted him again.
Eventually to the highest position in the air force.
Because he gave the client the answer he wanted.
A very good, very senior suit once said to me, “The client knows what he wants.
The agency knows what he needs.
It’s the account man’s job to get the client to want what he needs.”

Dowding’s problem was he didn’t have a great account man.

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IT’S NOT WHAT’S RIGHT, IT’S WHAT’S APPROPRIATE

Many years ago, Mike Stones was Ridley Scott’s producer.
Ridley was shooting a commercial in Australia.
Mike was flying out to sort something out.
In those days BOAC used to do half the route: London to India.
Quantas did the other half: India to Australia.
So Mike had just changed planes and was settling into the Quantas flight.
As it was returning to Australia, it was empty.
Mike had the plane to himself.
It began to taxi up to the runway.
In those days, Quantas stewards were all male.
Mike noticed they were walking past him to the front of the plane.
They were each carrying a suitcase.
Mike thought, that’s a bit odd.
He leaned out into the aisle and watched them.
By now the plane was picking up speed along the runway.
Suddenly all the stewards turned around and came rushing and yelling back along the plane.
They ran past Mike, still carrying the suitcases.
They ran right to the back of the plane where they collapsed in a heap.
Mike was scared stiff.
He rushed after them and yelled, “What the hell’s happening?”
By now the plane was in the air.
One of the stewards detached himself from the laughing, yelling heap.
He stood up and wiped his eyes.
He turned to Mike and said, “Sorry about that mate, it’s only because it’s an empty flight, see.”
Mike said, no, he didn’t see.
The Steward said, “Well, when it’s empty it’s much lighter. So if we can shift the weight from the nose to the tail at the point of take-off, the joystick jerks back and hits the pilot in the balls.”
The steward thought it was hilarious.
He couldn’t understand why Mike didn’t.
See sometimes the male attitude to things is appropriate.
Sometimes it isn’t.
Fun and excitement isn’t always the right answer.
I was once going from Phoenix to Denver on a domestic American airline.
A female voice came over the intercom.
She said, “Hi, I’m your pilot, I hope you’re enjoying the flight.
I just want to let you know that I can see a little turbulence on the radar. And in about in about 20 minutes I’m going to be putting on the ‘Fasten Seatbelts’ sign.
That means you won’t be able to leave your seat.
So, if you think you might need to use the bathroom anytime in the next half hour, now would be a good time to go.”
Now I’ve never heard a male pilot say anything like that.
I’ve never heard a pilot do anything so considerate.
It isn’t that one attitude’s right and one’s wrong.
It’s just a question of what’s appropriate.
I can see arguments both ways.
I like a laugh as much as the next bloke.
But not six miles up in the air, inside a metal tube.
Personally I’d like my flight to be as boring and uneventful as possible.
For me, the best flight is one you don’t notice.
So, in this case, I’ll take the female attitude.

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IS ADVERTISING OVERFISHED?

What happens to oceans when they get overfished?
People with no imagination just keep fishing in the same spot.
And the fish get smaller and smaller.
And poorer quality.
And fewer in number.
That’s pretty much what’s happened with ideas.
Advertising has been overfished.
YouTube, iPhone apps, social media gimmicks, ambient media novelties, bigger and bigger production budgets, computer graphics, trendy directors.
The traditional ideas breeding grounds have fewer and fewer ideas left.
So what do smart fishermen do when an area is overfished?
They fish somewhere else.

When Mike Gold got the idea for the LWT poster campaign, he got it from Chinese Communist weekly news-sheets, pasted on village walls.
When John Webster got the idea for his Unigate Milk Humphries campaign, he got it from World War Two propaganda posters.
When Alan Waldie got the idea for the Benson & Hedges poster campaign, he got it from Salvador Dali and the DADA movement.
When Paul Arden got the idea for the award winning British Airways commercial, he got it from a silent black and white film ‘Gertie The Dinosaur’ made in the 1920s.
When Ron Collins got the idea for his Escalade bra campaign, he got it from Botticelli’s “Birth Of Venus”.
When John Webster got the idea for Sugar Puffs Honey Monster, he got it from Sesame Street.
When George Lois got the idea for the most famous Esquire cover, of Mohammed Ali, he got it from Perugino’s ‘Saint Sebastian’.
When Malcolm MacLaren got the idea for ‘punk’, he got it from sado-masochistic leatherwear in sex shops.
When Andy Warhol got the idea for Pop Art, he got it from looking at a dollar bill.
When Marcel Breuer needed an idea for the most revolutionary chair of the 20th century, he got it from a US Navy wooden leg brace.
When Dennis Hopper got the idea for the movie ‘Easy Rider’, he got it from car commercials on TV.
When Johnny Depp got the idea for Captain Jack Sparrow in ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’, he got it from watching Keith Richards.
When Mick Jagger got the idea for ‘Sympathy For The Devil’, he got it from Bulgakov’s novel ‘The Master And The Margarita”.
When Marcel Duchamp got the idea for his ‘ready-mades’, he got it from the mechanical way a camera worked.
When Picasso got the idea for Synthetic Cubism, he got it from primitive African carvings.
When Isaac Newton got the idea for the science of gravity, he got it walking through an orchard, wondering why apples fall in a straight line.

Truly creative people don’t overfish an area.
They fish where other people aren’t fishing.

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