S. Todd Anthony kindly requested a Zoom meeting with me last month. During the meeting, he asked me a lot of great questions about advertising, copywriting, clients, mentoring, and more.
The full interview is available on his LinkedIn page, right now. It will also be published on Pinwheel’s blog. For a taste, scroll down to the three questions I chose to highlight here.
Todd is the executive creative director at Pinwheel in the Bay Area. Our exchange was picked up by CA and shared with @CommArts’ 82K followers on Twitter.
.@davidburn on the necessary insanity of copywriters and the power of gutsy brands. https://t.co/Oc3GoIiG8w pic.twitter.com/nFsO88YE2m
— Communication Arts (@CommArts) October 9, 2020
Todd: How does an advertising creative achieve success?
David: You have to be lucky! I really believe in expressing this to anyone who will listen. Look, the world is full of talented hard-working people. In music. In advertising. You pick the field. Acting. Why do some of these artists rise up and achieve success while others who are more talented lack commercial success? It comes down to luck… being at the right place at the right time with the right team.
Let’s just get this out there: if you’re not on the right team, you’re not going to Cannes, you’re not getting a One Show pencil, you’re not getting written up in CA (Communication Arts magazine) or Adweek or whatever. So that system is rigged. It’s all bought and paid for. So stop pretending that it’s anything other than that. ‘We got ourselves some trophies and, oh, by the way, we’ve paid a LOT of money for that.’ That’s not good for our business.
Todd: Agreed. Anyone can do a great ad for Matchbox cars or condoms, but if you’re on a client that’s selling cloud-based enterprise back-up server solutions and working for a bad creative director and an uninspired client, ya ain’t going anywhere.
David: It’s so true. When I was on Coors in Denver at The Integer Group, they had won a Cannes Lion for one of these kinds of ads you just referenced. There was a lot of talk in the creative department about how to move it forward. And I just kept saying, ‘It’s so simple. When we do THAT for Coors, sell it, produce it, and put our name on it, we win.’ You have to do it for the Coors of this world. You have to show them the way… and that is incredibly tough because they already think they know the way.
Todd: Right. At the end of the day, it wouldn’t be a terribly hard job except for all the fear.
David: It’s not rocket science. Getting to the core, or the heart of your brand is not flying to the moon. We can do it. We can do it in a matter of weeks or months and solve your problems. It’s a matter of willingness and bravery and seeing the need that if you do that you’re going to stand out. And that if you stand out, your company is going to be worth more.