Helayne Spivak on "Art & Copy"

>> Friday, August 28, 2009

There's a new documentary out about the industry in which we have chosen to make our living -- advertising. Our Chief Creative Officer, Helayne Spivak, organized a field trip for her creative team which turned out to be part inspiration and part appreciation. She loved the film and so did they.

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.


Last Thursday afternoon I took our copywriters and art directors on a field trip to the IFC theatre here in NYC to see a film called Art & Copy. It’s a documentary that features some of the legends in the advertising business and the work of their generations: Mary Wells of Wells, Rich, Green, Jim Durfee of Carl Ally, David Kennedy and Dan Weiden of Weiden and Kennedy fame, Goodby & Silverstein, Lee Clow of TBWA/Chiat Day, Hal Riney of Hal Riney, the ground breaker Phyllis Robinson of Doyle Dane Bernbach and last, but not at all least, the rough, tough genius, George Lois.

If you’re not a student of advertising and don’t know these names, please Google them. They’ve influenced, entertained and shocked four generations of consumers.

I had the pleasure of meeting almost all of them, being hired by 2 of them, and admiring each and every one of them. To hear them speak in their own words was indescribable for me. I admit I do tend to romanticize the “old days” of advertising. Days when the creatives were running the place, commercials were talked about all year and not just at Superbowl time, and testing consisted of producing work, running it, and waiting for sales results. They were exciting times and in many cases the results were incredible.

Testing told Cliff Freeman not to run the "Where’s The Beef" commercial for Wendy’s which ran anyway and became a national phenomenon. Client nervousness almost kept designer Tommy Hilfiger an unknown, but the fearlessness of adman George Lois dragged him screaming and kicking to extraordinary success.

There is still much excitement in our field; it’s just not as concentrated in one area. We are, I believe, in the infancy of a new creative revolution. And while it feels good to reminisce about the good old days, I look forward to the ones about to happen.

I also want to congratulate Mary Warlick,the guiding light behind The One Club For Art And Copy for making this wonderful film happen.

- Helayne Spivak, Chief Creative Officer at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness


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