GREEN BOOKS: New Yorker Ads 3.

Another batch of fertilizer.
That’s not a euphemism by the way, just a reminder that ideas grow from ideas, they rarely appear out of the blue.
I sometimes hear people say ‘I’m all about tomorrow, I never look back…I’m like an arrow heading towards the future’.
It sounds bloody exciting.
Then I look at their output, and it often feels so…so, soul-less  gimmicky…nothingy.

Like it or not, the truth is that jobs, like most jobs, are less about inventing than improving.
Elon Musk is currently refining an idea Ford had a hundred years ago, Jeff Bezos is refining the supermarket and James Dyson is refining the Hoover (or vacuum as he calls it).
The same in our business, to quote Coco Chanel: ‘Only those with no memory insist on their originality’.
Most ‘new’ work is old work in a new pair of pants.
It’s not a negative, or a positive for that matter, it’s just a fact.
Consequently, it’s helpful to expose yourself to as many previous ‘Hoovers’ as possible, because, although technology may have moved on, the chances are you’ll stumble across thinking that will inspire or improve your thinking.
Good luck.

5 responses to GREEN BOOKS: New Yorker Ads 3.

  1. Nick George says:

    I was doing a student work placement at TBWA London and was very lucky that John Knight took an interest in me. One of the many things John asked me was what was my favourite campaign, no single ad, but campaign. I said Heineken.
    John said well yeah it does work it is enjoyable but it isn’t original. I asked him why he thought that and his response was that it had been done for Double Diamond beer in the 1950s.
    “A Double Diamond Works Wonders”.
    “Heineken Refreshes The Parts Other Beers Cannot Reach”.
    They are essentially the same thought.
    The conversation moved on.
    John asked me if I knew the Guinness toucan poster from the 1930s. Of course I said, it’s famous, a cultural icon
    And then John said yeah it seems like everyone in Britain knows it and likes it, doesn’t matter what job or background they are from, the Guinness toucan is part of our culture.
    And then he said that was his reason for working in advertising. He wanted to produce an image in an ad which would become part of British culture. And John stuck at it, for years.

  2. Luke Sullivan says:

    This collection is extraordinary. All three of them are. And I’m guessing you made it while you were working your way up in the industry. This is the hallmark of any one who eventually makes it big. An obsession from the very beginning. Great job, Dave.

    • dave dye says:

      Hey Luke, nice to hear from you.
      There’s another volume coming soon.
      I don’t know anyone good who isn’t obsessed.
      My favourite of a podcast I did with your old boss Tom McElligott, was where he talked about walking through Central Park as a young writer, he and his art director (Ron Anderson) would call out great ads and the other one would have to list the credits from memory.
      p.s. Well done for writing the best book I’ve read on advertising by the way; Hey Whipple.

  3. Nigel Webb says:

    Amazing collection. Thanks for putting it all up on your site, Dave. Three observations:
    1) the links to the larger scans only work from ad no. 68 onwards (the previous page links are lacking the middle part of the URL, /2019/03/12/green-books-new-yorker-ads-3/)
    2) They’re not all New Yorker ads, are they?
    2) Ad no. 91 is one of the most striking press ads I’ve ever seen. Definitely reads like a Howard Gossage creation

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