Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Meet Mark Denton, Part the First.

Over the next few days, weeks, months or even years, I’m going to take some space in this space and introduce you to some amazing people I’ve met during my meteoric fall through the advertising industry.

I am, you’d never really know it because I’ve learned to conceal it, just about the world’s shyest person. By nature I am both a loner and extremely self-sufficient. Very few people entertain me better than I entertain myself. I am happiest reading a good book, taking a long destination-less walk, or even listening to Mahler’s Eighth—his ‘Symphony of a Thousand Voices.’

However, despite my Garbo-like efforts to be alone, my digital footprint is relatively mammoth and through the seasons I’ve become friends with a lot of people in the industry whom I like and admire.

One of those people is Mark Denton, Esq. 

Here's how Mark talks about himself. That should tell you something about the kind of person he is. And why I felt compelled to introduce him to you.

When you write a blog as assiduously as I do, you have to spend your time walking around like a good old-time waiter. You have to walk with your head up. You have to notice things that are interesting. 

To be absolutely blunt about it, in advertising, no matter what your job, our first job is to be interesting. If you're not interesting, you're not noticed. And if you're not noticed, you can't communicate. And if you can't communicate, you can't sell. (I still believe that's our job. As David himself said, "We sell or else.")

Modesty aside, I'm not sure you'll find anywhere a better description of what it takes to succeed, or at least last in our business.

Mark Denton, Esq. is about the most interesting person I know. Recently, he's come out with a book that you should hasten to buy. Barring that, steal.

I bought a copy about two months ago when I read about it on Dave Dye's godsend of a blog. When it arrived I acted like a 19th Century California gold-miner who had just gotten the deed to the Mother Lode. I didn't want anyone to see what I had. 

All at once, I had in my hands, a thousand ideas I would never otherwise have had. All at once, I had in my hands, a way of looking at life I had never had before. All at once, I had in my hands, something we seldom talk about anymore: things we've never seen before.

Realizing I had a treasure map, and being a innately generous person, I quickly did two things.

1. I ordered a few more copies of Mark's book so I could share with a few people I love. So they could enjoy.

2. I sent Mark a note and thanked him for his book. I also asked him if I could interview him and publish those interviews in this space.

Just minutes after I sent Mark a note, he replied with this:

It took me a week to write some questions for Mark. I've learned through the years--and through having spent scores of hours sitting alongside Errol Morris--the importance of asking well-framed questions.

And then it took Mark a few days to respond. I didn't want to make things easy for him with my questions. I didn't want to get back from him, in the words of Holden Caulfield, "all that David Copperfield kind of crap,..."

And I didn't. 

So, over the next few days, I'll spin some Mark Denton, Esq. on my spiritual turntable--bits of our chat. 

Until then, here are some commercials and some of his work. 

An overture to the opera that's coming.

First, a reel.

Then some more broadcast directed by Mark that I couldn't download. You'll leave this page and go to Thomas Thomas, the London-based production company Mark works with.

And finally, for now, some images. That will likely make you laugh like they made me laugh.

More, more, more. 

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

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