Jeff Goodby's creative rules

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First, see the process through the eyes of the client. Is the creative right? Not, `This would be cool. Let's tell them they have to do it.'

If a client doesn't think a creative concept is going to work, start over. Don't just keep chiseling away around the edges. It's really weird. If you say you're throwing it away, a lot of times, they suddenly buy it.

Admit when you don't have a good idea.

Admit when you don't know something.

Don't talk down to the consumer. Don't repeat things over and over so it sticks in the consumer's head like a bad '70s song.

See things through the eyes of the audience. Don't think of yourself as a tastemaker.

The best advertising comes out of a sense of humor and perspective about life and a realistic perspective on the importance of the product in our lives.

It's not a business of portraying the darker sides of life to people. Advertising is not medicine; it should be like candy.

Do something your kids can see and that makes you proud.

You can easily make money and succeed without doing work that's a 10 because you can trick yourself into thinking that the stuff is great. Try not to do that.

Be wary of the creative team telling you everybody loves your spot. There are always editors and friends who are going to laugh at just about anything.

Treat each other in a civil fashion so you can have discussions about uncomfortable things; that way, people can talk without fighting.

Take pitches very seriously. It's incredibly demoralizing to lose. The defense mechanism is to not care and to blame other people, usually the management of the agency, hence my concern.

Forgiveness is a terrific thing.

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