Craftsmen of Creativity is filled with advertising legends who shaped today’s modern advertising industry. But who inspired them to help forward the creative revolution of the 50’s and 60’s?
Time, after time, the same 8 letters came up. Bernbach. Here is what some of them said about him:
“I went to the London College of printing, which is now called the London College of Communication. And it was whilst I was there, that I met a legendary teacher called John Gillard, who showed me the work of DDB. And it was like a light bulb had gone off in a dark room. I looked at this and thought this is what I want to do…I always say that Bernbach invented modern advertising. The idea that it should be entertaining, engaging and it should, believe it or not, actually tell the truth. Bernbach proved that could work.” – Sir John Hegarty talking to the ANDY Awards
“Then I met Bill Bernbach and he made a serious woman out of me. In the fifties in New York if you talked about “Bill” you meant Bill Bernbach. He was the talk of the town because he was creating a revolution in the advertising business, which was a glamorous business at the time. He challenged all the big advertising agencies that had become important since World War II, saying they had killed advertising, ads had become dishonest, boring, insulting, even insane. Worse, they didn’t sell anything to anybody…But Bill said either they were liars, or they were stupid: their pitiful research reduced advertising to, basically one poor tired ad that was repeated over and over again.” – Mary Wells Lawrence in A Big Life in Advertising.
“I guess I was part of the first real revolution in advertising in the 60s when Bill Bernbach started it and that was an enormous revelation, an enormous change in what advertising was, what it could do, who could practice it. [It became] an art of aesthetics and of advocacy and of great boldness and honesty. I think it changed from the J. Walter Thompsons of the time and the BBDOs of the time and the big white-shoed—it was the way they characterized law firms at the time—they were country-club, old-boys’ networks. Although there were a few agencies that did a few creative things, none to the extent, or with the huge change that Bernbach brought. I haven’t kept up with the changes in advertising today, but I do know they’ve had to reach out for the technology skills, and I also think the globalization of business has affected them.” – Paula Green talking to Forbes on the eve of her induction into the Advertising Hall of Fame.
“What you’re looking at there is the composite page size of the average American magazine which I consider my canvas. It never changes, dimensions and shape stay the same. But what I’ve tried to do throughout the years is create an entirely new looking page in that shape with the same old elements. Bernbach put me on to that. He was crazy about what he called the ‘new page’. I was too…I stayed late regularly, sometimes working through the night to see what could be done.” Helmut Krone, DDB’s Art Director talking in “The New Page”