One reliable sign that the work is great, he added, is that “the world will tell you” in the form of likes and views. Making ads that become famous is better than winning awards, he added. “I really believe that. For any brand, famous is better than awards. Although famous usually wins awards.”
Myhren also emphasized trusting your own taste, and not relying on focus groups to tell you how you should be communicating with people.
“It doesn’t mean you have to have great taste yourself,” he said. “If you’re a decision maker, you have to surround yourself with people who have great taste, and you have to trust them. Great taste leads to great work. Then you need to have confidence. At Apple, we don’t test our creative—we’ve never tested our creative. We believe that we know, better than a group of [consumers] in a room, what we want to put out into the world, what it feels like and what it sounds like.”
“I don't think we have enough fun in this business anymore,” Myhren said. “Everything’s getting very serious. To do great creative, to do inspiring, optimistic creative, you’ve got to have some fun. I don’t have any answers to how to do that. You guys pick your way of fun.”
Be true to your cause
Myhren wrapped the presentation with a discussion of values—in particular, its recent focus on both privacy and accessibility.
“It has to be true to your brand,” he said of cause-related work. “Just glomming onto a cause, as a brand, is a recipe for disaster. It has to be baked into your DNA. And you have to be making products that live up to it—because otherwise, it’s just advertising and it’s fake.”