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November 2010 - Posts

  • Got a Problem?

    Nov 17 2010

    In my home country, there was this small agency that was the talk of the town. The agency built its reputation doing outstanding creative work for their main client, which was Chile’s largest newspaper and comprised 23 different products and consumer programs. That’s where I landed one of my first creative jobs—working on that desirable newspaper account!

    Three partners owned the agency. The one who owned the largest share was also one of the country’s top marketing gurus—and still is to this day.  He was a very busy man, always on high demand.  He was the one who I didn’t interview with or never met…until my first day on the job.

    All of a sudden, he stormed into my work area and introduced himself.  He told me how I was going to be working on a really fast-paced piece of business; he told me how he was sure I’ll be contributing outstanding thinking and solutions that will add to the agency’s creative reputation; he told me that, although he didn’t spend many hours in the building on a given month, he was just one block away in a different facility where I could always count on finding his door open for me. Upon leaving he just wanted to add one more thing…
    He said: “If you ever run into a problem…”—and I could hear what was coming next; “Remember my door is always open,” or something like that, right? But, instead, he said, “If you ever run into a problem…SOLVE IT!”

    This is one of the simplest and greatest lessons I’ve found to be very useful in life because it is so true that within every problem, one should search for its solution.

    Francisco Letelier | VP Creative

  • Great Ad Campaigns Never Die

    Nov 09 2010

    Today, I was in a long strategy meeting at The Phelps Group and was eager to get out before my brain melted when one of our talented art directors, Armand Kerechuk, said, “No, no, don’t go, I’ve got to show you something!”

    And with that, he whipped out his iPhone and showed me some pics he had taken yesterday at a VW dealership.

    There, on the walls and windows of their showroom, was the original and amazing VW Bug campaign that I had apprenticed on my first year in advertising.

    You could see one clever ad after another in big poster form.  And they looked as smart and fresh today as they did then.  Would you believe many of those ads are 50 years old?!

    In 1965, as a young copy trainee, I had the good fortune to be assigned to the VW Bug campaign that set the standard for creativity.  To help me develop “an ear” for the brand, my supervisor handed me a big fat book of ad slicks containing page after page of inspiration.

    I studied the brand voice (smart, self-deprecating); the style and cadence of the copy (every sentence was a paragraph); the little sentence connectors (“after all”, “but then”, “of course”); the ironic headlines that complemented, but never duplicated; the photos; and the clever last lines that always left you with a warm feeling about the brand.

    Doyle Dane Bernbach was my advertising university.  For anyone reading this who wants to get into the business–or just get ahead in it–I strongly recommend that you pursue a job at a truly integrated creative agency where you can get a 360 degree education from mentors who are passionate about the work.

    Abandon a bigger job if you have to.  Give up a higher salary or a fancy title.  Put in the time and learn the difference between good and great.  If you love being creative, this business can provide you with a lifetime of rich memories and fun stories.

    It has for me.

    Howie Cohen | Chief Creative Officer

    This post originally appeared on Mad Mensch.

  • Viva Vitamin Angels!

    Nov 05 2010

    Did you know that one third of all childhood deaths are caused by under nutrition and that an estimated 190 million children suffer from vitamin A deficiency worldwide? A simple, cost-effective vitamin A capsule each six months can prevent blindness and reduce under-five mortality by 23 percent. Whole Foods Market’s latest podcast shares the story of Vitamin Angels, an organization that is profoundly changing the life’s of children around the world by connecting children under five with vital nutrients they need to survive and thrive.  

    To raise awareness of Vitamin Angels, Whole Foods Market will donate $1 for the first 5,000 people that share their thoughts in response to the Viva Vitamin Angels podcast in November. To listen to the podcast and share your thoughts, visit here.