Thursday, October 28, 2010

More Churchill.

If you want to learn how to be a great creative or a great client you'd be better served by reading about Winston Churchill than you would be by poring through awards annuals or studying marketing at a university.

I am talking about wartime Churchill, though almost any period in his nearly century-long life would serve.

First and foremost Churchill was about doing. He was about finding a task that could rally masses of people and then finding small (sometimes insignificant) actions that moved the assemblage closer to completing that task. Small victories lead to capital V victory.

In World War II, his first great victory, Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain, was staving off defeat. His second great victory, his North Africa campaign against the Italians, was finding a way to have a string of victories. Good news for his generals, his soldiers and the citizenry back home.

Think of all the clients who are outnumbered, as England was, and who therefore throw in the sponge and allow themselves to become a second or third tier brand.

Think of all the clients who never attack but always lay low lest they lose some battle.

The aim of advertising is to win marketshare against all sorts of odds. Most often your brand will be outspent or out-somethinged. You have to find a way to win. Not a way to hide.

So that's it, in a nutshell. Under adversity you have two choices: You can act scared. Or you can act like Churchill.


Anonymous said...

Having read and reread CHurchill over the years, his collected speeches, the Manchester bio (now that's a commitment) I couldn't agree more with you.

That said, I detect resignation and a dark pall beneath your posts. Looking bacjk vs looking ahead.

Am I going to need to start to take Paxil?

Perhaps you should teach at this point in your career Geo? Have you considered it?

And not just in the States, perhaps abroad. Lecture at Oxford for a year. Others have done it.

You have a clear, inquiring and sometimes brilliant mind as demonstrated on this blog.

Its capable of much more than pushing these benefits or that service.

The future belongs to those who can see it.

A cliche perhaps but true.

Any way per usual, off to JFK. The Valley calls.

Go for it Geo.

I'm a VC guy and we've invested in much shakier propositions.


george tannenbaum said...


I would love to have a less anonymous chat.

VC reveal yourself.