Not everything that inspired me to pursue a career in advertising came from advertising.
When I was growing up, my parents subscribed to what seemed like every magazine under-the-sun. I didn't read all of them, I'll admit. But "Esquire" because its pages were festooned with a nice selection of scantily-clad women, always caught my eyes.
The American public didn't really wholesale turn against the Vietnam war until maybe 1967 or 1968. There was a lot of, in those days, the sentiment, "My country, right or wrong, my country."
Covers like the one above, designed by George Lois, even when I was just nine, introduced me to the power of words in a way that surpassed just about any other form of communication. Eight simple words, graphically brusque, changed a nation's mood--changed, to be dramatic, the course of history.
You can be moved by "The Grapes of Wrath," but there's nothing like a headline for pure power.
Even as a young boy, the power of words for a service or a cause registered to me. I said to myself, "I want to do that."
As a younger man I pursued, briefly, different forms of writing. From non-fiction, to fiction, to journalism. But advertising is where I've found my 'home,' as unwelcoming as that home is at times.
I've never ended a war. Just helped sell a lot of stuff.
But we all carry our burdens.
And we all have to make a living.