Friday, September 9, 2011

One thing.

Paul Krugman, the New York Times op-ed columnist, Princeton economics professor and Nobel Prize winner has a wonderful sentence in his column today that can be expanded to be about our business.

Krugman described Mitt Romney's jobs plan as "59 bullet points with nothing there."

So much of what we receive as briefs, so much of what we produce as decks, so much of what we create, air or digitize is similarly cluttered. Tales of sound and fury, told by an idiot, signifying nothing.

Our job in advertising is a job of bringing clarity.
To make a case compelling.
To motivate.

Most advertising and most of the meetings around advertising are a rat's breakfast.

A decade ago I shot some unscripted spots with Tony Kaye. He and I, for two weeks, became best buddies. Before he would shoot someone he would get in my face, literally putting his nose within two inches of mine. He would stare me dead in the eyes and demand "what's the one thing you want to get?"

Kaye wouldn't even let me answer in a sentence. If I tried, he would repeat with more insistence and, even, fury "one thing."

I had to get it down to one word.

Not 59 bullets in search of a point.

BTW, the spots I shot with Tony Kaye, in the end, weren't great. That happens some times. But I learned a lot doing them.

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