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Here is part 2 of Anatomy of The Best Advertiser. You can find part 1 here  Anatomy of The Best Advertiser.

the best advertiser

I went through a phase of rebellion. I refused to come out of our house looking like a sane human being. The choices were clear for me: convicted felon, insane asylum regular, walking corpse, smelly homeless guy, or heroine infused teen-ager. I was never gonna get caught alive wearing anything lighter than black and I was never to smile at any cost.

Ah, the good old days. Many still take that attitude and many still make money out of that attitude. What these rebels don’t realize is that in their quest to be different, they are walking right into the trap of commercialism they were so rebelling against.

And the advertising guys are the ones responsible for it.

That leather jacket these rebels insist on wearing even in the stroke-inducing heat was first designed in 1928 by Irving Schott for Harley Davison. Several weeks after that, other designers caught wind of it and decided to make their own version. Several decades since, even Gap is already making their own version to make it more affordable for those who don’t have the dough for a Harley product. So these rebels, outcasts or whatever they insist on calling themselves to signify their total disgust for commercialism are in fact the very blood that makes commercialism reign supreme.

That’s what advertising is.

We [think we] are fun… sometimes funny

You can never survive advertising without a sense of humour, either through yourself or others. It is not only a defence mechanism against all things ugly and the powerful suffocating force of money, it allows us to transport that “fun” and funny things to our work too. As you all know, humour never fails. If I had a nickel for every time humour saves lives, marriages and other kinds of relationships…

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One of the greatest campaign of all time is the “Got Milk” campaign. The California Milk Processor Board realized that milk was losing their relevance in the advent of sports drink like Gatorade. They needed to make milk relevant again.

The advertising agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners thought of the tagline and some other guys didn’t like it. It was grammatically wrong. One of the them said, “Grammatically wrong? It’s not even English!” But, obviously, it got through.

From 1994 to 1995, fluid milk sales in 12 regions totaled 23.3 billion pounds, and increased advertising expenditures amounted to $37.9 million.

We’re thieves

Artists are so possessive of their ideas. Too bad because all those are ideas that were actually not theirs. The things that artists create are not really their own. Those ideas came from their experiences, observations, other people… it came from somewhere else. So if you want to be strict about it, that idea doesn’t actually belong to anyone.

The difference between creative people and “non-creative people” is that creative people know a good idea when they see one. In effect, we are actually thieves. We steal ideas from plants, people, mountains, sky, children, sound of a motorcycle, a crazy man ranting, a grocery basket, from anything.

The tagline “Just Do It” has earned Nike billions of dollars. Do you know where it came from? It was the last words of a guy who was to be executed. Yeah, a dying man’s last words. When he was asked for his last words before they electrocute him, he said “Let’s do it.” It so happen that the guys from Wieden + Kenneddy was reading the news and decided they could replace one word and it will be perfect for Nike.

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courtesy of a criminal

Downright insane

Many consider the “Think Small” campaign of Volkswagen to be the greatest ad campaign of all time. Consider the circumstances. WW2 was very fresh in the minds of the consumers. The buying market was the people that were directly affected by the war. The Volkswagen was manufactured in Nazi Germany. That should give you an idea on how glaringly difficult the job was for the Ad guys who had the account. Anything remotely associated with Nazi Germany was evil. It was to be avoided. It also came at a time when Americans were obsessed with muscle cars and here is a little car called the Beetle.

WW2. Nazi. US. No one in their right mind would ever take up that challenge. Well, three people were… crazy.

Julian Koenig and Helmut Krone, under the supervision of William Bernbach of the DDB Worldwide, was smaller than most of the cars being sold at the time. It was its disadvantage. DDB decided to turn it to an advantage. DDB had “simplicity in mind, contradicting the traditional association of automobiles with luxury”. Print advertisements for the campaign were filled mostly with white space, with a small image of the Beetle shown, which was meant to emphasize the simplicity and minimalism of the vehicle and the text and fine print that appeared at the bottom of the page, which listed the advantages of owning a small car.

tell me that’s not crazy

If these guys weren’t crazy enough to take on the challenge and crazy enough to focus on their disadvantage, no one will be able to tell when America will ever start seeing past Germans as the nation of Hitler.

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The Best Advertiser: Summary

That’s what advertising can do for your brand or your business. It can make your product a part of the culture and I am not even exaggerating. You just have to be willing to take the journey with the insane ones.