Articles about Great Creators

A Conversation with William(Bill) Bernbach
Doyle Dane Bernbach, Inc.
interviewed in 1969

Mr.Bernbach talked for 25 years of DDB
interviewed in 1974

chuukyuu What is your philosophy on copywriting?

Mr.Meadow My philosophy in copywriting is very much the Doyle Dane Bernbach philosophy in ad making. I believe writing must be informative, direct and must, above all thing, be believable. I think overstatement and exaggeration are completed outmoded in the advertising business. The competition today for a reader or watcher's attention is tremendous. The competition, that ia the new of what is happening in the world, is so great that any dvertisement that dose not immediately atteract and infprm and follow through with a believable story probably will not be read in the first place.
And if it is read at all, it will not be believed.

 Have you ever thought
of which one of your senses
 would be worst to lose?

 Think about it right now.

Yes, most people would agree
 with you. Then wouldn't
is be a wise idea to have then
 examined every year
    or so?

Better Vision Institute

chuukyuu You told me about the licensed freedom in Doyle Dane Bernbach when we met two years ago, but will you explain that in detail?
Mr.Meadow What I meant by this is that each writer here has his own writing style. We do not attempt to conform anyone standard. We do not say the first sentence of a piece of copy, for example, must have seven words or nine words or thirteen words. We do not have any of these arbitrary requirements.
At the same time, we do not particularly approve of copy or ideas which vary all given concepts and wind up by being nothing but a personal expression without reason or rhyme.
Writers and art director in preparing ads or television spots are free to chose whatever forms most natural and most pertinent to the product and to the problem at hand. There's no fixed form for Doyle Dane Bernbach ad. It can be photograph with practically no copy; it can be photograph with long copy; it can be completely all type; it can be cartoon; it can be drawing or painting. As we say, we lay down no rules foe the physical appearance of a Doyle Dane Bernbach ad. And we say down no rules for the completion of the ad either. We simply say that it must make a convincing sale by whatever technique is best for making that sale. That is for the writers and art directors to employ as they think fit.

This is yellow daisies in a green field against a blue sky look to many Americans.
You have only one pair of eyes. Have them examined once a year.
Better Vision Institute

chuukyuu You are currently engaged in administrator work of copy department. Will you explain that job?

Mr.Meadow As the administrator of Copy Department at Doyle Dane Bernbach, I am responsible for the general management of the entire department, which has now numbers 75 to 80 writers. Iam responsible for seeing that the department function properly in terms of meeting its assignments both with reasonable punctuality and with proper distinction.
At Doyle Dane Bernbach, where a rare degree of excellence is demanded of the creative department, it is not enough of course to fulfill any given requisition for an advertisement with a standard run-of-the mill solution. It must be a Doyle Dane Bernbach advertisement regardless whether it is a small trade ad or a two minutes commercial on national net work.
It is therefor my duty to hire such writers as I think will maintain Doyle Dane Bernbach standards and who will also, and this is terribly important, perhaps provide the network breakthrough in advertising just as Bernbach provided his breakthrough for all agencies shortly after the end of World War ?.
My administrative duties beyond running that department and hiring writers also involved the assignments of writers to various accounts. This is done in conjunction with Mr.Spwagel who is the administrator of Art Department. Since advertisements at Doyle Dane Bernbach are the result of very close collaboration between art directors and wqriters, we must be extremely careful in how we assign our creative people and how they work with each other. It is very easy for a writer and an art director to come to a complete dead-end in their thinking or comlete halt in their creativity because they do not suit cach other personally, chemically, socially or some other way. We have found that when we break up such stqtic relationships by the injunction a new art director we get surprisingly good results almost immediately.

When I heard there's a campaign to get people to have their eyes examined regularly, I thought maybe I could drive this idea home by writing about it myself (with Mrs. Shearing's help). Really it should be a law, not just an idea. Seeing is one thing that shouldn't be left to chance. I know, I never had the chance.
But I have some idea of what I've missed. My career as a pianist has taken me to many countries. Judging from just the sounds and smells, it must be a unbelieveably exciting world to see. I'm not suggesting you'll go blind because you don't have your eyes examined. The chances are small but why take the chance? But when a person like me would be grateful to see at all, a person like you has a chance. You can assume you eyesight is all right. Or you can learn through examination that you might be seeing a lot better. I know what I'd do if I had the choice.

George Shearing

chuukyuu Are you currently working for the Better Vision Institute?

Mr.Meadow I an nolonger on the writing for Better Vision Institute since Better Vision Institute is no longer advertising. They have had a series of internal problems to meet. And at the present time, the Institute seems to be in dormant if not completely non-existent state.

chuukyuu Please name the two ads that you have done that you like best and tell me some episodes about them.

Mr.Meadow I would say that two of the things that I have done that I like most one, an ad for Better Vision Institute on the subject of crossed eyes in children.
The reasons the this ad gave me so much satisfaction is not because that it won awards, but because many parents wrote and said that as a result of this ad that operations and that they had taken their children in for similar operations and that children's eyesight was now perfectly normal and fine. You cannot have a better reward for a piece of writing than this.

Why did Anne Fiynn's parents allow us to use this picture?

There are two reasons.
First---because Anne has now had proper treatmentt, and everything is fine.
Second---because the Flynns are deeply concerned (and you can understand why) with the seeing problems of all children.
They want parents to know about trouble signs that aren't as obvious as Anne's. That go undetected. Or may be overlooked because they don't seen very important.
Play it safe. See that your child gets a professional eye examination before age three. Certainly, before first starting school. And once a year thereafter.
Above all, remember this. Most vison problem begin without any waring. But there are some sign, such as the following that call for your immediate action.
1. Persistent tilting of head.
2. Excessive frowningor squinting.
3. Excessive rubbing of eyes.
4. Shutting or covering one eye.
5. Holds books tooclose to eyes.
6. Headaches after reading.
7. More blinking than usual.
8. Unusual repeated eye movements.

Mr.Meadow And two, a commercial for the French Goverment Tourist Office.