Agency Brief: George Lois has three killer rules for creatives

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Credit: Megan Graham

Are you sick of bellinis yet?

This week brought even more of those — the 69th Annual Advertising Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies & Gala Dinner went down Tuesday night at Cipriani Wall Street. If you missed it, here are all the juicy parts with none of the painful shoes or speed networking during dinner breaks.

One of the highlights came when Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide retired vice chair and chief creative officer
 Steve Hayden, copywriter for Apple's "1984" spot, shared the "second most idiotic thing he's ever heard in his career." He recalled a story about Ed Zander, then the new CEO of Motorola.

Hayden said Zander's CMO at the time had a "brilliant idea" in the early 2000s "to do a co-branding effort with his hero, Steve Jobs, and create a Motorola phone that would play iTunes ... I strongly recommended that they not contact Apple, not share any technical data with them, because it was clear Apple would eventually make a phone. But I told the client, 'You will go into the room with 10 fingers, and by the time you shake hands you'll be lucky to have one.'"

"Ed Zander scoffed at my concerns and sneered, 'What does Steve Jobs know about making phones?'"

That one got a few belly laughs.

Good Karma Creative's creative director George Lois, known for the "I want my MTV" campaign and his Esquire covers, then told the crowd his rules "to truly produce masterful work."

"One, reject group grope. Teamwork might work when building an Amish barn. But it can't create a big idea," he said. "Two, analysis paralysis. Trust your gut and always go for the big idea. And three, reject Cannes, create icon. Because if you do it right, it — and you — will live forever."

Initiative gets Honest

IPG chief Michael Roth dropped a bit of agency news himself Friday morning in the holding company's earnings call. He mentioned IPG Mediabrands' Initiative winning work for The Honest Company. The brand spent $16 million in measured media in the U.S. in 2017, according to Kantar Media. The agency, which has also recently won work for Liberty Mutual, referred comment to the client. Honest didn't immediately respond.

They're lovin' it

The Marketing Store received McDonald's global supplier of the year award for its work as the production agency on the Happy Meal. The Marketing Store says it has worked with McDonald's for more than 30 years. The agency was recognized for its work on Happy Meal toy production infrastructure and transitioning to becoming the sole production agency, moves it says helped cut costs significantly while maintaining quality and safety standards. The Happy Meal, now priced at $3, is a key part of the McDonald's business. Families account for 25 percent of visits to its U.S. restaurants, and the company is updating the Happy Meal menu to make it more appealing to those looking for healthier kids' fare, including Disney, which recently reunited with the Golden Arches for Happy Meal tie-ins.

Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott Credit: Scott Council

Saatchi & Saatchi taps Ridley Scott

Sir Ridley Scott has been in the director's chair for numerous blockbuster films, but this year he's steering something a little different. The acclaimed director and founder of top production company RSA Films will be curating Saatchi & Saatchi's annual New Directors' Showcase, one of the historically most popular events at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

It's a fitting role, as RSA celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. While one of the oldest companies in the commercial business, it remains one of the strongest with its directors (including Scott's son Jake), consistently turning out top work for big brands, including Adidas, Heineken and Budweiser, among others.

Founded in 1991, the New Directors' Showcase shines a spotlight to up-and-coming talents. Among those who have featured in the past are Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, Dougal Wilson, Traktor and Ringan Ledwidge. Saatchi presents the showcase in partnership with leading industry VFX shop MPC. The Saatchi network will help cull down the initial list of entries to a shortlist, and Scott will make the final selection on the showcase films.

VML gets a new CBO

VML announced this week its new chief business officer is Michael Stich, who joined VML after the agency absorbed sibling Rockfish in September 2017. He'll focus on expanding the agency's advisory practice — helping the shop's most senior clients build marketing capabilities and leadership and help with organizational change.

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Contributing: Jessica Wohl, Ann-Christine Diaz

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