(at Art Directors Club of Montreal)
Doyle Dane Bernbach Inc. Senior Vice President, Head Art Director
"I love advertisements"
In order to tell you how I like to work, I have to go back to when I first met Bill Bernbach.
I was working for Kelly Nason, but had decided to quit.
Bill was at that time, creative head of Gray.
I didn 1 t know Bill, but I had heard that there was a job open and he was the man to see.
I remember the night before I had the appointment with him, I removed everything from. my portfolio that showed any compranise. I left only rough camps that I had done on my own which I thought demonstrated the kind of work I wanted to do from here on in.
As I walked in to meet Bill, I had this sudden fear that perhaps the samples I had were too far out, but I still felt that if he didn 1 t like this kind of work, he could lump it, and it was no place for me anyway. I didntt want to do anymore advertising that I couldn I t believe in.
Bill went through the work, liked it, and I got the job.
Before I left, we discussed the future of advertising. How he saw it. How I saw it.
His enthusiasm and his being so articulate had a profound effect upon me.
I had at last found someone who not just tolerated new ideas, but demanded them.
An imaginative writer who thought visually.
That started a wonderful relationship with a man which has lasted and will continue to last for a long time.
When Doyle Dane Bernbach started thirteen years ago, working in teams of copywriter and art director was practically nonexistent.
We never worked any other way.
I always worked with Bill or Phyllis Robinson in those early days. A piece of copy was never handed to me. I was never asked to make a layout that had a proconceived idea. I never got those type-written yellow papers with ugly little copywriter drawings on them. I've been very fortunate for the last thirteen years.
It seems to me there's no other way of working.
Of course, you can think alone and start an idea without having a copywriter present, but actually thinking and conceiving an idea seems to work much better when two people who respect each other sit in the same room for a length of time and arrive at a state of sort of free association, where the mention of one idea will lead to another idea, and then to another idea.
An art director has to ready to give up a good idea for a better one, and that goes for the copywriter, too. It also doesn't matter, it seems to me, if the copywriter comes up with the visual idea and the art director comes up with the headline.
It's a two man operation right down the line, and the credit for it being a good job should be shared. And if it's a badjob, they've got nobody to blame but themselves.
I've never really cared whether the idea sprang from the copywriter I was working with, or whether it was mine.
Sometimes, I'm put in a position of being a developer of an idea. Sometimes, my contribution is greater. I'm always amazed that I can't trace back the steps that lead to the idea, because the step that was made just before the idea was arrived at is in some foggy section of my subconscious.
Often, we are asked, do we ever get stuck or do we ever run out of ideas.
I must say in all honesty, I had never been stuck, and I have never run out of ideas. But, I must confess that I have had mcments or periods in my life and of my career where I have
been convinced that I was becoming drained, or that I would never get an idea again.
I now have this pretty well figured out.
I think I know why this happens and I can pretty well forecast whenw it will happen.
THIS PICTURE WAS MADE IN A MINUTE
with a Polaroid Color Pack Camera. The man who took it didn't have to wait until he was back home to find out whether he'd really caught lhe color of London. And he didn't have to waste time fiddling with dials and meters. You push buttons, the electric eye does the rest. Maybe you're not a world traveler. Maybe you figure ou're lucky if you make it out to the backyarvd. There's still nothing like seeing your color pictures in 60 seconds. Especially when they can look like this. Did you know there's a new lower-priced model now?