Q; Please name another favorite ad of yours expect Volkswagen ads.
Levenson; I am certainiy fond of the ad that I did for ELAL Airline, perticularly
"My son,the pilot" and Iam very fond of the ads that we have done for Mobil.
My son,the pilot
I guess"Till death us do part" is as good as any.
There is a different kind of fun in working on some package goods products.
Soap, for example, in the case of Phase III which I worked on with Helmut Krone. But I do not think that's the kind of advertising that will wind up in the Venice Film Festival or anything.
Q; Would you please tell us the case more？
Levenson; There is an enormous kick in getting involved with a new product while it is still without a name, without a shape, without a frageance. And in the development of that product in it packaging, in its naming and in its introduction.
I watched it become quite a successful product in the market place. It's a kick to go the supermarket near my house and see Phase III sticking out on shelf.
With other advertising, you have the fun of waching it in the newspapers and television, but you never really get to seea dramatic kind of sales change.
You do not sell that many more tickets on ELAL Airline, or you do not sell that many more Volkswagen, or that many more gallons of gasoline or whatever it is.
But in pakage goods bisiness your life is on the line. You can see it happen and it is great when it success. But it can be terrible when it fails. Happily we have not had s failure yet.
Q; What is your present official position in the agency is copy chief?
Levenson; My present official position in the agency is copy chief.
Q; What is your job?
Levenson; Basically I wirite. I make ads. I make commercial. Also, I try to be generally helpfull, to keep things moving and to not let things bog down.
And that means going and arguing with a client or defending a problem with a lawyer or the networks or whatever. I more or less follow my nose.
Q; How is that different from copy supervisor?
Levenson; We have about 90 copywriters. That is a lot of people, Some are new. Some are not so new. We generally like to grow our own.
That is, to hire people at a fairly young age and low level of exprience but whose talent we have a lot of faith in. And it takes some guidance all along the way to keep these people on the track and to remember what advertising is all about.
That what we do is not for our own entertainment but to sell a product or service to a custmer.
At a higher level, the same kind of guidance is provided by Bob Gage who is the creative director and, of course, by Bill Bernbach.
Q; Do you have a teaching method for young writer?
Levenson; I do not know if I have a teaching method for young copywriters. I used teach copywriting at Peatt Institute. And I think it is hopeless. I think that you cannot teach it in a school situation. That isn't the right kind of situation.
The best way to teach is by example. You do the best you can youself. That is a principle around here which I hope we never give up.
That is, to have a supervisor also be a practitioner. Not to spend 100% of his time as an administrator because you dry up that way, lose touch with what is going on and forget about how difficult it is, what the problem really are.
The rest mostly playing it by ear, of keeping people on the track, of not getting too cute or too serious or too frivolous or too anything.
But just to say as skillfully as you can, as simply as you can, what it really is that you are selling, what is good about it and why somebody should buy it instead of what they are buying now. But much more complicated.