Speaker: by Mrs.Lore Parker
Vice President & Copy-Supervisor, DDB(1966)
Now, having soaked up information like two sponges, the an art director and copywriter sit down together to create campaign. They usually do their thinking in the art director office, so that he can scribble on the big layout pad on his art table while they talk.
It is not, like at some agencies, the copywriter who writes the entire ad himself and sends his copy to the art director with a "copywriter's rough" of the illustration. It is not, like at other agencies, the art director who takes a beautiful photograph and scribbles under it "Headline goes here." At DDB we work together as equal partners.
Work really consists of nothing but conversation. All we do is talk about the product. We explore directions in which we might go. The copywriter may suggest a visual---the art director may suggest a headline.
We bring up ideas, unedited, as they occur to us,
The other partner may say, "I don't think that's suggests that's a good idea because---." He may even say, "It stinks." But sometimes he says, "Hey, that's interesting. It suggests something to me that might just---."
And they're off---building a campaign together.
It's very much like a pingpong game. We serve balls at each other and return them back and forth. The only difference is that we don't try to make the other player drop the ball. The joy is to have your idea returned you, sharper and better than when you first served it. If your idea-ball remains in play long enough, you may have a campaign. And them both players win.
It is an interesting fact that, after campaign is done, very often we cannot remember which one of us came up with the original idea. In any case, it doesn't matter. It is cardinal sin at DDB to say "My campaign." It is always, "Our campaign．”Credit is shared. Blame is shared. In all my years at DD8 I Have never heard Bernbacb ask, "Which one of you came up with this?"
I cannot explain to you exactly why this system work. Why. teams of 2 should be able to produce better advertising than lonely men working by themselves --- or than teams of 3 or 4 or ５．Perhaps ｉt has a parallel in the old American proverb "Two's company. Three's crowd."
The origins of this system are, at least to me, lost in history.
I suppose this is the way Bill Bernbach worked with Bob Gage when they were still at Grey Adverting Co, together, and that is the method DDB employees followed when Bill opened his own agency.
We sometime have visitors sitting in on art-copy session, to watch us work. They sit and wait for the "magic moment" , when the great idea strikes. They are always vaguely disappointed. I think they expect us to sit there silently, in a trance, until suddenly a lamp lights over our head. and a bell rings.
What they actually witness is just two people in intelligent conversation. A campaign idea usually evolves gradually, unspectacularly.
If you're lucky, it may come in the first couple of hours. More often it takes days, weeks, even months.
Also, different. people have different styles. Art Director Bill Taubin delights is solving a crisis overnight. Art Director Helmut Krone will polish and perfect a campaign for 6 months.
When the campaign is born, it must be approved by the supervisor of the copywriter and the supervisor of the art director. If the people concerned are supervisor themselves, that step of course is eliminated.
Then the campaign gets shown to the account group, and finally to Bill Bernbach. And that is all. There is no Creative Review Board at DDB to see to it that every campaign pleases everybody ---and sells nobody!