Emmanuel Quartey

Curious about cities, patterns, media, and marginalia.
Posts tagged response

Lessons learned from Art & Copy: 5 of 5

My favourite quotes from Art & Copy, organized around a theme.

Lesson 5: Above all, courage.

People think that the ice is three inches thick and it’s two feet thick, and what I try to tell everybody is you got power in there to do more than you’re doing. Everything should be so ambitious.

- George Lois

The work environment can help.

Creative people need this sort of duality where they feel very secure in some deep sense, enough that they can be very risky and put themselves into the work.

- Dan Wieden (Wieden+Kennedy)

Mostly, though, it all comes down to having a pair of huge, steaming balls.

It think advertising can be be, should be and at times has been revolutionary, subversive.

- George Lois

Lesson 1: People like to be advertised to

Lesson 2: Ads can (and should) reveal rather than obscure

Lesson 3: The things we make, make us

Lesson 4: Ads are an event and an invitation

Lesson 5: Above all, courage

Lessons learned from Art & Copy: 4 of 5

My favourite quotes from Art & Copy, organized around a theme.

Lesson 4: Ads are an event and an invitation

An ad campaign is a party that celebrates something happens to be distilled into a product.

I think we’re trying to entertain society using client’s products. And if a client heard that they’re thinking “Wait. What, you’re not thinking about my product?” Of course we are. But I believe we’re here everyday to do something kinda special to connect to society in some entertainment form.

- Rich Silverstein (Goodby, Silverstein & Partners)

I’ve always made a distinction between things that you experience kind of as a single person and you go wow this is kinda cool I wanna go tell my friends about it and things that you experience as a single person but you know that millions of other people are seeing it at the same time. It’s a mass communal happening and not too many things offer that in life.

- Jeff Goodby (Goodby, Silverstein & Partners)

Lesson 1: People like to be advertised to

Lesson 2: Ads can (and should) reveal rather than obscure

Lesson 3: The things we make, make us

Lesson 4: Ads are an event and an invitation

Lesson 5: Above all, courage

Lessons learned from Art & Copy: 3 of 5

My favourite quotes from Art & Copy, organized around a theme.

Lesson 3: The things we make, make us

The things we make, make us. The stories we tell others help shape the things we tell ourselves. Ads are an opportunity for brands to interrogate their reason for being.

I think we have higher aspirations for our clients, and are more passionate about what our clients can be, should be, should try to be, than they are. We’re trying to tell them “Hey! You can be more than just a car company. You can be more than just a pet food company. You can aspire to loving dogs, rather than just feeding dogs.”

- Lee Clow (TBWA\Chiat\Day)

The interesting thing about branding is that you’re giving an idea not just to the customer, but to the also to the company itself, of who they are and a sense of themselves, and a sense of their role and their responsibility in the greater economy. That’s at least like being a midwife to something something pretty amazing, you know?

- Dan Wieden (Wieden+Kennedy)

It’s got to be something more than just paid art. It’s got to be bigger than that. It’s a way for big souloessc corportions to actually have a personality and interact woth people but hopefully in a meaningful way. A lot of the time they don’t have anyway to interact with the world, they’re like big lonely beats in their caves, and we help them come out.

- Jeff Goodby (Goodby, Silverstein & Partners)

In order to help their clients identify the virtues they stand for, agencies need to literally fall in love with them.

At Ally, we would get a new account, and the first thing we would do is we would get so damn absorbed in that business that we would almost own it, and then we would go for the product truth - strong ideas, simply presented.

- Jim Durfee (co-founder, Carl Ally Inc.)

I can’t find a better copy of the great Pedigree poster above, but the words on it are as follows:

"We’re for dogs. some people are for whales. Some are for the trees. We’re for dogs. The big ones and the little ones. The guardians and the comedians. The pure breeds and the mutts. We’re for walks, runs and romps. Digging, scratching, sniffing and fetching. We’re for dog parks, dog doors and dog days. If there were an international holidy for dogs, on which all dogs were univerally recognized for their contribution to the quality of life on earth, we’d be for that too. Because We’re for dogs. And we’ve spent the last 60 years working to make them as happy as they’ve made us. Dog rule."

Lesson 1: People like to be advertised to

Lesson 2: Ads can (and should) reveal rather than obscure

Lesson 3: The things we make, make us

Lesson 4: Ads are an event and an invitation

Lesson 5: Above all, courage

Lessons learned from Art & Copy: 2 of 5

My favourite quotes from Art & Copy, organized around a theme.

Lesson 2: Advertising can (and should) reveal rather than obscure

Most people understand ads to be lies prettied up by CGI and a catchy jingle. While an ad may indulge in fantasy, it can and should be a fantasy that originates from some fundamental truth.

If you can find that kernel, the core of what that product is, so that when you talk about it, no matter how you talk about it, people respond and say “Yes! That’s right!”, then if you talk about it in a strong, interesting, memorable way, they say “Yeah that’s right, I’m gonna buy it.”

- Jim Durfee (co-founder, Carl Ally Inc.)

It’s a hard business [in which] to remain prideful but I happen to believe that when advertising is done well, the wall or the billboard that celebrates a brand artfully or beautifully can be a part of our culture as opposed to some form of pollution.

- Lee Clow (TBWA\Chiat\Day)

p.s. Lee Clow’s beard is on twitter and his tweets are worth taking a look at.

Lesson 1: People like to be advertised to

Lesson 2: Ads can (and should) reveal rather than obscure

Lesson 3: The things we make, make us

Lesson 4: Ads are an event and an invitation

Lesson 5: Above all, courage

Lessons learned from Art & Copy: 1 of 5

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I rewatched Art & Copy on Netflix a few days ago. The following is an attempt to place my favourite quotes from the documentary into some sort of narrative arc. These are lessons that I want to apply to current and future projects.

Lesson 1: People like to be advertised to

Despite the frequent complaint that we’re bombarded by too many ads, the truth is that we like to be sold things. Or, rephrased, we like to be told stories. Who doesn’t like a good tall tale? It’s great when these stories are told with wit, a flair for drama and a good sense of humour. The trouble occurs when the story or the storyteller is dishonest or disrespectful.

If you communicate in a way that is entertaining, people literally get something from it, and they literally like you because of the way you sold them something.

- Cliff Freeman (Cliff Freeman and Partners)

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Mary Wells was responsible telling the story of Braniff Air International. The campaign positioned Braniff as an airline that celebrated the act of flight.

We made it fun to fly. People flew with us because they were having a theatrical experience. It was a time when people loved marketing. They got it. They understood we were all having fun with each other. The world ahd been pretty dull after the war, and through depressions … and people loved fun ideas.

- Mary Wells (Wells Rich Greene)

Jeff Goodby on the success of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign

…but the reason why the campaign is successful is because a likable human emotion - the idea that we can get healthier, was suddenly in parallel with a corporate mission, which was to sell a whole bunch of equipment to people. And we like that. We like those two things together. We don’t distrust those two things when they’re going in the same direction. People don’t mind being sold to if they understand what’s happening and they enjoy the process.

- Jeff Goodby (Goodby, Silverstein & Partners)

Lesson 1: People like to be advertised to

Lesson 2: Ads can (and should) reveal rather than obscure

Lesson 3: The things we make, make us

Lesson 4: Ads are an event and an invitation

Lesson 5: Above all, courage

Response to: The Captive Audience

The Captive Audience by Ryan Ruby

In his review of Satantango (Bela Tarr’s brutal, 450 minute-long masterpiece) Ruby argues that a cinematic experience has the greatest impact on an audience when the film is watched in one sitting, in the company of strangers. Ruby believes that television shows and movies watched on-demand cannot attain these transformative heights because they don’t require the absolute surrender demanded by movies viewed at the theater.

I’m skeptical of this idea that one must completely relinquish his or her ability to control an experience in order to be changed by it. Some films like Satantango (with its two legally mandated breaks) are able to take their audiences through a trial-by-fire and leave them forever changed. Episodic experiences also have this ability to enrapture. Ruby brings up novels, explaining how they’re similar to both television shows and movies watched on-demand:

"Few are the novels we read straight through in a single sitting; fewer still are the ones that are intended to be read that way. Chapters, line breaks, and paragraph breaks allow us to put them down and pick them up at our leisure, to reflect on them as we please, to stretch our reading over days, weeks, months."

If Santantango is a punch in the brain, novels, TV shows and Netflixed movies are a slow, deep-tissue massage. There’re books I return to again and again, and each moment of contact changes me just a little bit more, without my notice. Rather than demanding complete surrender, episodic experiences insinuate themselves into our routine and seduce us into compliance, and I think they are more successfully transformative because of this.

Designing Obama

Sometime in October 2009, I contributed to a Kickstarter project by Scott Thomas, the Design Director of the Obama campaign. Thomas wanted to compile a book detailing the process by which the Obama brand was refined and executed. Nine months later, I slipped that book out of it’s sleeve.

Designing Obama Book - The Kickstarter Video from SimpleScott on Vimeo.

The inevitable cooling of attitudes towards Obama has begun, but regardless of where you stand concerning Obama as a politician, it’s undeniable that his message deeply moved people. The man himself was deeply seductive, but design played a significant supporting role in his campaign, which is why this book, from the hands of the people who were at the center of it all, is important.

Thomas applied himself to this book in a way that is familiar from the Obama campaign. He decided to self-publish, thereby ensuring absolute control of it’s outcome, and from his infrequent updates and tantalizing early pictures of the book, you could tell that this was a labour of love. The book was months late, but the wait only heightened my anticipation for it. When I finally held it, I felt like I was holding a well-crafted work of functional art. The feeling was largely divorced from it’s subject; I would have felt the same about a book about obscure English teacups. What mattered was that what I held in my hand was the product of the combined effort of many skilled, passionate people, and I was honoured to be the beneficiary of their labour.

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I was a little underwhelmed by the package. It’s probably unreasonable and unfair to expect Thomas and his crew to be absolutely stunning all the time, but I’m so used to his characteristic meticulous attention to detail that I can’t help but think that the execution of the package was a lost opportunity.

The book itself did not disappoint.

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I’m yet to read it properly but from a quick skim, I can report that it discusses the typefaces of the campaign, the experience of working in that kind of environment and of course, the development of the logo. The book also features lots of work from people who, although not directly involved with the campaign, helped propel it with their efforts.

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Evolution of the logo.

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Early concepts for the logo.

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Initial website.

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Final website.

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The different typefaces used at different point in the campaign.

The fist run of the book was for Kickstarter supporters, but you can pre-order the next run at the website

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