Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Even living advertising legends need to "Think Different"

TBWA\Worldwide chairman and chief creative officer Lee Clow is an unbelievable inspiration. His Wikipedia entry says he's best known for Apple's omenous "1984" Mac-launch ad and the campaign's brilliant "Think Different" tag. We mere mortals may take heart in the fact that, from all appearances in a June 11 Advertising Age article where Mr. Clow is interviewed by Bob Garfield (thanks to the editors at's UnBeige for the tip), this modern master of advertising is himself currently struggling to redefine the way his company does business. As he explains to Mr. Garfield in the Ad Age story, "We have to figure out a way to get paid for our ideas, own some of our ideas in perpetuity. If Ammirati still owned the Ultimate Driving Machine and got residuals every year, like the voice-over announcer and the music people do when they rerun spots, it would be a much fairer model. But instead it's just a commodity, and we pay you whatever we pay you, and we own that line forever, and you can't come after it...."

It's no secret that change is a constant -- especially in the world of marketing. For everyone who is frustrated by the ever-changing landscape wherein we must always be wary of new developments that can make or break our businesses, these insights from Lee Clow are at least somewhat reassuring. On any given day, we're all in the same position, needing to look out for ourselves and be prepared to turn in a new direction if a better idea comes along....