11 lessons from the (commercials) life of Errol Morris

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1: Always avoid making a decision, no good can come of it.

2: If an Eskimo needs over a hundred words for snow, in advertising you need over a hundred words for inane.

3: Excellence in preproduction meetings and conference calls is essential. The rest is irrelevant.

4: If there are more than six people on a conference call, you have a right to ignore everything that is said. You can't hear anyone anyway.

5: Yelling can enhance performance.

6: If possible, come up with an idea that someone else has thought of or an idea that is already a clich‚. It's sure to be appreciated.

7: Try to be different, but not so different that you're different.

8: You can be on the same page without being on the same page. (This can be simply illustrated by looking at page 137 from Lady Chatterly's Lover and page 137 from Moby Dick. The edition of your choice.)

9: Pretend to be on intimate terms with Aunt Jemima or Mrs. Butterworth. Carnal knowledge of brands is always impressive. (An executive once told me, "There is no more intimate relationship than when you hold the brand in your hand." Think about it.)

10: If you work fast enough, no one including yourself will know what you're doing. This can only inure to your benefit and the benefit of everyone else involved.

11: Remind yourself constantly that you really need the money.

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