Leap before you look. That’s written on the back of Michael’s business cards. He prefers instinct over logic; everyone can access to logic, so they all end up in the same place. At Wolff Olins he took a brief to rebrand a paint company, now most would end up with rainbows, peacocks or some colourful iconography. Not Michael. He chose a fox, because ‘the owner reminded me of a wily fox’. When Bowyer’s needed a new logo, Michael went withRead more
Posts tagged: #Bill Bernbach
INTERVIEW: George Gier.
I’ve been on a bit of a Fallon McElligott tear recently. American awards annuals were stuffed with an obscene amount of their work, for over two decades. As varied as the work is, whether it’s Rolling Stone’s Perception/Reality campaign, Porsche’s ‘About as fast as you can go without eating airline food’, BMW Films, Miller’s ‘Evil Beaver’, Citibank’s ‘Live Richly’, it all has that same joyous vibe. You can sense that people enjoyed creating it. So expect a bunch of FallonRead more
Hands Up Who’s Heard Of CHARLIE PICCIRILLO?
Before we had this thing we had books. There were few about advertising. Aside from the awards annuals, there was one by Jerry Della Femina, but it didn’t have any pictures. One by David Ogilvy, but he wasn’t exactly popular at the time. George Lois had a giant square one, which was good. Then there was Bill Bernbach’s Book. Different league. The gold standard. Our bible. Virtually all creatives owned a copy. We didn’t know who’d done ads as thereRead more
THE WOMEN WHO BUILT DDB, 7: Mary Wells
I wasn’t going to include Mary. I’ve already written a post on her and I couldn’t find anything new to add, like an interview from her time at DDB. I thought I’d just post a link to the previous post. But then I thought; the title of this series is The Women Who Built DDB, she deserves more than a link. She may not have had the influence over DDB as Phyllis Robinson, created a campaign as famous as JudyRead more
THE WOMEN WHO BUILT DDB, 6: Carole Anne Fine
One of the frustrations of putting together these Women Who Built DDB posts is trying to track down their work. The journey starts with scouring old copies of The New York Art Director’s Club Annual and Communication Arts magazines. After that, it’s a desperate flick through the random old books and magazines my wife is forever on at me to get rid of. With a bit of luck I’ll find a bunch of grainy little back and white squares withRead more
THE WOMEN WHO BUILT DDB, 5: Lore Parker
‘What was the most effective headline I ever wrote? ‘Dear Mrs Robinson’. Without a scrap of work to show, Lore Parker’s letter to Phyllis Robinson landed her a job as copywriter in the best ad agency on the planet. She stayed nearly thirty years. As with the subjects with all of these posts, the work feature is just a fraction of their output. So although I wish I could unearth more of her work, Lore’s talk on what it’s likeRead more
THE WOMEN WHO BUILT DDB, 4: Rita Selden
After the first post in this series a friend got in touch to say he liked it, but wasn’t that ‘built’ a bit of an exaggeration? No. Look at ‘Bill Bernbach’s Book – The advertising that changed the world of advertising’, written by Bob Levenson, a 30 year veteran, both writer and Creative Director. (When Creative Director meant head of all creatives.) EXHIBIT A: The picture above, it’s from the cover of that book (women involved in all six adsRead more
THE WOMEN WHO BUILT DDB, 3: Judy Protas
Unusual names are more likely to be remembered. So I knew that the writer of the Levy’s campaign was called Judy Protas. I didn’t know she’d written one of my favourite ads – Ohrbach’s ‘Back to school’. I knew the Crackerjack ads but didn’t know she’d written them. I didn’t know she’d written the Ohrbach’s cat ad (probably the most famous DDB before VW came along). I’d seen the funny Crackerjack commercials on a 100 Greatest ads reel back inRead more
THE WOMEN WHO BUILT DDB, 2: Paula Green
“It’s not the size of the budget. It’s the ferocity of the idea” – Paula GRRRRReen. I’d seen that name underneath some Avis ads. But Helmut Krone’s campaigns tend to be referred to as Helmut Krone’s campaigns. (See what I mean?) The spotlight rarely makes it past him. So the writers, and often originators, of much of his most famous work get forgotten. Avis is a prime example. I love the art direction of the Avis campaign, but I loveRead more
THE WOMEN WHO BUILT DDB, 1: Phyllis Robinson
‘We used to have more female than male writers back in the 60s.’ Someone in the HR department of DDB NY told me that, about 5 years ago. Occasionally I’ll remember it and wonder whether it’s true, if it was; why it happened and why it changed. I just looked into it; it’s true. In looking into it, something else dawned on me. DDB in the fifties and sixties were, and still are in some quarters, considered the best, mostRead more
PODCAST: Gary Goldsmith
Pick up any New York Art Directors Club Annual from the sixties and you can feel the heat coming off the pages. The Writers are using words previously confined to conversation, the Art Directors are trying to find new ways to present the information (‘Creating new pages’ as Helmut Krone put it.) Then, the seventies. A whole different story; the experimentation and energy appear to have dried up. True, there are still lots of good thoughts and lines, but inRead more
FOUND: BERNBACH STUFF.
I’ve no idea where this came from. I’ve had it for at least twenty or so years. Looking at that high-class screw holding it together and thick cell cover, it probably once belonged to a Creative Director. (Me and my friends didn’t have access to that kind of luxury at the time.) If you recognise it, get in touch and I’ll return it. It’s one of the best, most thorough interviews I’ve ever read with Uncle William. So thanks andRead more
DDB’S CHIVAS REGAL CAMPAIGN.
‘It’s REALLY special’. I’ve worked on a lot of luxury brands over the years, and essentially that’s the brief you get. You have to make buying the product feel like gaining access to a very exclusive club. With nothing tangible to say you have to conjure up a personality from thin air. It’s tough, you have to be very creative. ‘It’s not what you say it’s the way you say it’ as Bill Bernbach put it. Doyle Dane Bernbach didRead more
INTERVIEW: Brian Palmer.
Sometimes the people who innovate are forgotten in favour of those who refine their ideas. Whatsisname, the inventor of the mouse that Steve Jobs ‘refined’, is a prime example. Few people today know the name Kingsley Manton & Palmer, let alone that of its creative partner Brian Palmer. Yet Brian wrote the first ad to run on U.K television. He set up the first agency the U.K. after World War Two. His agency was the first to work open plan, first to list on the stock exchange and theRead more
INTERVIEW: John O’Driscoll.
Where were you brought up John? Before I answer that question are you sure about this interview? I don’t give short answers and have a tendency to go on a bit! Ask my family! Yeah, I’ve heard that. I was born and bred in a Surrey village called Hersham. Birth place of Julie Andrews and Jimmy Pursey of Sham 69. What was the first ad you remember? It wasn’t until I was 13 that I remember seeing an advert thatRead more
Hands up who’s heard of STEPHEN O. FRANKFURT?
“I try to find a way to get into the head of a child.” – Stephen O. Frankfurt. His quote sounds spooky, but I guess it’s just another way of saying keep it simple and interesting. Virtually unknown today, he was a big deal in the fifties, sixties and seventies. His Mum was the secretary to the head of the Twentieth Century Fox film studio. (Sounds irrelevant, it isn’t.) He spends three years at the Pratt Institute, being ‘molded’ by Alexey Brodovitch. He leaves and visits every majorRead more
INTERVIEW: Len Sirowitz.
Hired by Bernbach in the fifties. Ran VW in the sixties. Set up his own shop in the seventies. Now in his eighties. One of the finest Art Directors ever. Len, before we start, I heard a rumour you grew up in the Bronx with Ralph Lauren? Yes. In fact, I am still friendly with his older bother, who I first met pushing Ralphie in a baby carriage. So it’s 1953, why become a huckster? Why do you use such a derogatoryRead more