From trumpeter swan to vuvuzela[8. vuvuzela images courtesy of Rolf Jäger] availability
DAVID OGILVY coined people who combined personal genius with inspiring leadership as “trumpeter swans”. Most ad agencies expect a flesh and blood copy of what their old world perception expects to see in a leader and chief creative. Welcome now to the new world. The most successful business man of the decade decidedly shows up in sneakers, jeans and a dark turtle neck or tee. While you are here, look around and you will find that no one here lives up to your expectation. However you are not all too off with your expectations.
Here is what to expect from new world leaders in a digital world fashionably ruled by hipsters:
Confessions of an Advertising Man
[1. David Ogilvy, Confessions of an Advertising Man, 1971, New York: Ballantine Books, p. 15-16.]”The business community wants remarkable advertising, but turns a cold shoulder to the kind of people who can produce it. That is why most advertisements are so infernally dull…. our business needs massive transfusions of talent. And talent, I believe, is most likely to be found among nonconformists, dissenters, and rebels.”
[2. David Ogilvy, Confessions of an Advertising Man, 1971, New York: Ballantine Books, p. 41.]”The biggest problem which besets almost every agency is the problem of producing good campaigns. Copywriters, art directors, and television producers are easily come by, but the number of men who can preside over an agency’s entire creative output – perhaps a hundred new campaigns every year – can be numbered on the fingers of one hand. These rare trumpeter swans must be capable of inspiring a motley crew of writers and artists; they must be sure-footed judges of campaigns for a wide range of different products; they must be good presenters; and they must have a colossal appetite for midnight oil.”
[4. David Ogilvy, Confessions of an Advertising Man, 1971, New York: Ballantine Books, p. 76.]”There are very few men of genius in advertising agencies. But we need all we can find. Almost without exception they are disagreeable. Don’t destroy them. They lay golden eggs.”
[5. David Ogilvy, Confessions of an Advertising Man, 1971, New York: Ballantine Books, p. 13.]”Advertising is a business of words, but advertising agencies are infested with men and women who cannot write. They cannot write advertisements, and they cannot write plans. They are helpless as deaf mutes on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.”
[6. David Ogilvy, Confessions of an Advertising Man, 1971, New York: Ballantine Books, p. 9.]”Managing an advertising agency isn’t all beer and skittles. After fourteen years of it, I have come to the conclusion that the top man has one principle responsibility: to provide an atmosphere in which creative mavericks can do useful work.”
what became of the trumpeter swan?
New ad agencies are doing well because their founders are active and they are well respected business partners of their clientele. All others fail as they attempt to solve human resource issues by having the people fix it, who have caused it. Hire gentlemen with brains. Do as the great industry leaders did and hire the best possible talent. Old school. But with a difference. Look for folks who remember the power and magic of ideas that do[7. Gareth Kay, Director of Digital Strategy, Goodby, Silverstein and Partners.] and how they get done.
- What the ad industry is learning from nature
- Abandoned Advertising versus New Advertising
- Creative Credentials
- Ignore Everybody
- Are the junior talent in advertising packaging themselves wrong?—Saneel Radia, BBH Labs
- Even creative directors need to know some technology—Edward Boches, creativity_unbound
- The Real Agency Talent Challenge—Ana Andjelic, i love marketing
- Awake is the new sleep—Mark Sargent on our own behalf, new advertising