Working for Jay Chiat at Chiat/Day in the `80s left a lasting, positive imprint on my professional and personal lives. Through Jay's inspired and spirited leadership, I learned the importance of passion, risk, conviction and of having a great time while producing quality work (even beyond the creative department, in media and account management where I worked). Many of my oldest and closest relationships began at 79 Fifth Ave. We are fortunate to have a legacy of great memories and lasting friendships created under his roof.
Ms. Katzen was at Chiat/Day, New York, from 1987 to 1991.
Mary Wells Lawrence in touch with market
Mary Wells Lawrence's interview with Ad Age ("Wells tells," AA, April 15) demonstrates her ability to keep in touch with the marketplace. Even today she could develop an advertising strategy that was clever, smart, attention-getting and effective. Add the talents of Ken Olshan and the great Charlie Moss and you have a combination of intelligence, creativity and style that is not in evidence today. That was Wells Rich Greene. As an ex-client, I miss the work it produced. I can't wait for her book to come out.
Lake Barrington, Ill.
Great new Saturn ads
The new Saturn ads are great: simply funny, irreverent, a bit off, and people laugh when they see them. Just as the original "Joe Isuzu" ads created floor traffic, these will, too. Thankfully others don't see them as Bob Garfield does ("Saturn drivers more like zeros than heroes in new campaign," AdReview, AA, April 22). Not every ad has to subscribe to some formula, and thankfully Saturn won't pull the ads because Garfield doesn't like them.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
New Saturn TV ads crystallize blandness
I totally agree with Bob Garfield that Goodby took a very lackluster approach ("Saturn drivers more like zeros than heroes in new campaign," AdReview, AA, April 22). It's probably due to the fact that they've just won $50 million-plus in work over the last few months and are failing to keep the quality of their services up.
I've recently seen two more spots from the same campaign and they only reinforce my original assessment. Goodby has successfully crystallized "bland" in its purest form, and Saturn is paying big bucks for the lack of creativity.
I also noticed the copy Garfield quoted from the spot says:
Customer: `"Cause I was just coming in here to get a car, you know?"
Salesman: "Got a little less than you'd like, didn't you?"
Customer: "Thank you."
I believe the salesman says: "Got a little lesson in life, didn't you?"
Corte Madera, Calif.
Mr. Severdia is correct. The line of dialogue in the spot was misquoted in AdReview.
Exec at `anti-agency' cites pluses, minuses
Kudos to Jim Feeney! ("Feeney's new anti-agency gets out before it's found out," Rance Crain, Viewpoint, AA, April 8).
Here at Blitz: Partners in Marketing LLC we've actually got that business model going and growing since we opened our doors in October 2000. [Mr. Feeney's Catalyst New York agency is designed to provide temporary ad services.] We've signed on business from Verizon and VeriSign as well as local and regional accounts that need the skills we bring to the table.
Our work allows us to sustain the joy of creating and holds us accountable to deliver exactly what we've promised vs. hours of schmoozing. Clients also expect us to produce stuff. So it's more like six months of work and then goodbye.
Though we've been profitable from day one, I miss the deeply satisfying relationships that come from a long-standing client partnership in a more traditional agency. I've been blessed to work with people where our minds are linked almost as if by telepathy: those special clients who expect you to say "no" when necessary and hold their hand when they want to cry and run. You always have had to push for that latitude; it's tougher now.
The other thing I've learned is my partner and I have to work even harder to inspire freelance talent, even when they're the same people we used to work with full time. Generating loyalty and passion is a lot more than paying an invoice on time (which we're proud to do). You can't subcontract perfection.
We ad people are social creatures by nature. I'll bet you Jim Feeney knows that. I wonder if this new business model can sustain our competitive and collective nature? Maybe we need to set up shop in the middle of Starbucks.
Blitz: Partners in Marketing LLC
Why don't advertisers care about burnout?
Millions spent to produce attention- getting TV commercials. Who knows how much time developing reach and frequency level goals? Then running the same commercial till we burned out watching it!
How many times can the repeat audience laugh at the same joke? How many times could we smile at two Chevrolet commercial guys telling Michelle Kwan "to stand over there and bend like this"? And Verizon's near hockey fight on ice. How many times can we laugh at the punch line, "So whatta you wanna do now, call your Mama?" Worse, Verizon ran an edited version, using the same joke, for days after the Olympics. Talk about burn out! Anyone researching that?
Eisaman, Johns & Laws
Beverly Hills, Calif.
* In "George just turned over in his grave" (Adages, AA, April 29), "Dirty Water" was recorded by the Standells, not the Randells as reported.