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January 30, 2008

Talked to Luke last night.

Jd_14_l Tug and I had a great time talking with the one-and-only Luke Sullivan last night. He's more proof that the most talented people in this business are also the most down-to-earth. We talked for about an hour. That's enough for two podcasts. I'll get to work on cutting those right away. Of course, we all know what happens this Sunday. AC was founded on breaking down the Super Bowl spots and we plan to do that again. So, expect to hear the Luke podcasts later on next week. In the meantime, Luke said we could leak a few snippets of the new content from the third edition of "Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This." Enjoy:

Try something naughty. I do not mean do a pee-pee joke. (Oh lordy, please, please . . . no pee-pee jokes. No fart jokes. No scatology. Please, just stop it.)
What I am suggesting here is that you do something naughty. Maybe naughty isn’t the right word. How about controversial? My thesaurus also suggests: devilish, sneaky, disobedient, mischievous, willful, wayward, bad, or recalcitrant. Do something you’re not supposed to do. Break a rule of some kind. Come up with an idea that makes you say, “We can’t do that, can we?” That’s a sign it’s a strong idea. The other question to ask is: “Will somebody talk about this idea if we do it?” Sticking messages into dog poop at the park qualifies, I think, on both counts. It’s a controversial sort of idea somebody might talk about.
Beaming an anti government message onto the side of city hall is naughty.
Airing a free video on a hotel’s adult channel is naughty. Running a small-space ad with a headline “Fur Coat Storage Services” is naughty. Well, it is when you know the rich ladies who called the number got a recorded message from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals about the cruelty of the fur business and how they should “donate” their fur for proper burial. In Warren Berger’s book Hoopla, CP+B’s Alex Bogusky observes, “If you’re about to spend advertising dollars on a campaign and you can’t imagine that anybody is going to write about it or talk about it, you might want to rethink it. It means you probably missed injecting a truth or social tension into it.” A truth. A social tension. Now we’re getting to the nut of it. Think of truth, or social tension, or naughtiness as the bad guy in a movie. Ever notice how the bad guy is usually a movie’s most interesting character? Kids wanna be Darth Vader, not Luke. On Halloween, I’ve never seen anybody wearing a Jamie Lee Curtis mask; it’s always Michael Myers. Bad is good. The bad guy disrupts. He changes things, makes them interesting. Bad means gettin’ some “Bom Chicka Wah Wah” from the Axe Effect or doing things in Vegas that have to stay there. Bad is why the Subservient Chicken is wearing a garter belt. Do something devilish, disobedient, sneaky, mischievous, willful, wayward, bad, or recalcitrant. At every turn of the way, question authority.

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John and Tug over at American Copywriter had a chat recently with Luke Sullivan about the third edition of the classic advertising how-to guide Hey Whipple, Squeeze This. Luke gave them the go ahead to leak a few choice tidbits [Read More]

Comments

Despite it's many faults, the agency i currently work at actually encourages us to do what Luke talks about above.
After two years of being here, I have never heard once "That idea is too risky to show to the client." Which doesn't guarantee that the client will buy it, of course...but our track record is pretty good in producing heretical ideas. It's one thing that keeps me positive when everything else seems grim here.

I think we used to call it The Sweaty Palm Idea (not to be confused with The Greasy Palm Idea). It's the one that makes the client shift in their seats, clear their throats and, of course, makes their palms sweat. Your creative conscience should feel a stab of guilt if you're not trying to do something that makes people uncomfortable. If not for the benefit of the client's success, do it for your own creative enrichment and satisfaction. I'm preaching to the choir here, but if it's comfortable it's probably not going to get noticed. You have to keep moving forward to continue growing.

Great stuff! Sadly, this is why i suck.

A James Brausch mask would be awesome. I would wear it!

Hello, Boston ATHF bomb scare?

"It means you probably missed injecting a truth or social tension into it.” Funny, we say the same thing about our guerrilla improv missions over at Improv-Abilities... I guess its no surprise KCWE had us start making commercials for them.

CP&B is the Doyle Dane Bernbach of our time. Think about it. In the 60’s Bill Bernbach gave us the “Lemon.” Bogusky introduced the Mini. Breaking rules. Raising eyebrows. Pissing off the old guard. If there are ‘Gods of Advertising’ they fled New York for Miami some time ago.

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