Wednesday, August 12, 2009

One-Take Johnny

Just saw this online and thought it was amazing: a one-take, five-minute-plus long spot that's getting a lot of buzz in the blogosphere. (Click on the pic to go to Creativity online and see it.)

One take!


Monday, August 10, 2009

An Amazing John Hughes Story


We can all learn a thing or two from John Hughes. Not only his movies, but his ethos. This is a man who had an amazing ability to put himself in his audience's shoes... even if his audience was millions of snot-nosed teens.

Turns out, his empathy was completely real:

This is a blog written by a friend of a friend of a friend. Pretty amazing stuff. Enjoy.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Note To Student Art Directors

While you're at it, here's another article — this time by Hal Curtis, delivered courtesy of Sally Hogshead, did you get all that? — you should read. May be even better than the previous one about softball teams and creative.

My favorite piece of advice: "Look to anything but other advertising for inspiration. There’s culture all around us. Pay attention."

Go forth. (The tagline from a great new campaign for Levi's that you should really check out, by the way.)


The Agency With the Best Softball Team Does the Worst Creative

Click here for an article written for One. a Magazine by Sally Hogshead. The article is about a decade old, but the maxims and advice are just as true today.

Enjoy, and see you all in a month.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

FUCK COMMITTEES An Essay by Tibor Kalman

(I believe in lunatics)

It’s about the struggle between individuals with jagged passion in their work and today’s faceless corporate committees, which claim to understand the needs of the mass audience, and are removing the idiosyncrasies, polishing the jags, creating a thought-free, passion-free, cultural mush that will not be hated nor loved by anyone. By now, virtually all media, architecture, product and graphic design have been freed from ideas, individual passion, and have been relegated to a role of corporate servitude, carrying out corporate strategies and increasing stock prices. Creative people are now working for the bottom line.

Magazine editors have lost their editorial independence, and work for committees of publishers (who work for committees of advertisers). TV scripts are vetted by producers, advertisers, lawyers, research specialists, layers and layers of paid executives who determine whether the scripts are dumb enough to amuse what they call the ‘lowest common denominator’. Film studios out films in front of focus groups to determine whether an ending will please target audiences. All cars look the same. Architectural decisions are made by accountants. Ads are stupid. Theater is dead.

Corporations have become the sole arbiters of cultural ideas and taste in America. Our culture is corporate culture.

Culture used to be the opposite of commerce, not a fast track to ‘content’- derived riches. Not so long ago captains of industry (no angels in the way they acquired wealth) thought that part of their responsibility was to use their millions to support culture. Carnegie built libraries, Rockefeller built art museums, Ford created his global foundation. What do we now get from our billionaires? Gates? Or Eisner? Or Redstone? Sales pitches. Junk mail. Meanwhile, creative people have their work reduced to ‘content’ or ‘intellectual property’. Magazines and films become ‘delivery systems’ for product messages.

But to be fair, the above is only 99 percent true.

I offer a modest solution: Find the cracks in the wall. There are a very few lunatic entrepreneurs who will understand that culture and design are not about fatter wallets, but about creating a future. They will understand that wealth is means, not an end. Under other circumstances they may have turned out to be like you, creative lunatics. Believe me, they’re there and when you find them, treat them well and use their money to change the world.

Tibor Kalman
New York
June 1998