Friday, January 19, 2007

Ron Fell

"I think that the creative function is the most important of all. The heads of our offices should not relegate their key creative people to positions below the salt. They should pay them, house them and respect them as indispensable Stars." David Ogilvy

Pinebox Productions:
"Hi, I'm Art Buchwald and I just died." New York Times debuts video obit with Buchwald. More via Romenesko here. E&P coverage here.

Idol delivers: 36 share 18-49, nearly 40 million viewers in the last half hour Wednesday. More via Hollywood Reporter here.

Ad Age's Jonah Bloom writes in his Say Hello to the Robo Ad Creation Model...

"As with all the technological changes that are causing upheaval in the ad business, the automation of regional retail-promotion-type ads is a threat and an opportunity: a threat to all those who sell their ads by volume rather than quality, and an opportunity for anyone who would love to have a machine focus on the commodity stuff so they can concentrate on real ideas and executions that will stand out from the mediocre morass.

Those real ideas, of course, will include creative ways to use the ever-growing array of creative tools, and perhaps even the creation of new devices. It worked for Zimmerman, which estimates that the margin per ad created by Pick-N-Click is three times the margin on an ad created by its people. Enjoy the rise of the machines." Read Jonah's entire piece here. Kudos Jonah, well done. (Thanks to TP Wire for the tip)

Business reading: The best new biz books of January. List via 800-CEO-READ here.

USA Today's Del Jones asks Wynton Marsalis about leadership. Hot corporations know how to swing...

Q: What is "swing," and how can a business get it?

A: Swing is a rhythm, an era in American history, and it is a world view. In this world view, there is a belief in the power of a collective ability to absorb mediocre and poor decisions. When a group of people working together trust that all are concerned for the common good, then they continue to be in sync no matter what happens. That is swing. It's the feeling that our way is more important than my way. This philosophy extends to how to treat audiences, consumers, staff or dysfunctional families. This may seem idealistic, but think about how church congregations recite, nearly together and completely unrehearsed. They proceed by feel. Swing is the single objective. It is the core that makes us all want to work together.

Q: How can we unleash creativity and spontaneity on the job?

A: When I was younger, just beginning to play jazz and getting publicity, almost every critic and older musician came out of the woodwork to say that my playing was inauthentic — lacking soul and feeling. They said it was too technical and young. I had not paid enough dues to play with meaning or feeling. The great jazz trumpeter Sweets Edison, who played in Count Basie's 1930s band, asked me "Where are you from?" I said, New Orleans. He said, "What did you grow up doing?" I responded, "Playing." Then he said, "Why are you trying to act like what you are? Be what you are." This was a profound lesson in creativity. It's about being yourself, valuing your own ideas, mining your own dreams. You can be creative inside or outside of tradition. Outside of tradition, you create a new world. Inside of tradition, you create a new way to do the old things much better. Both can be innovative, because in one you reinvigorate a tradition. In the other, you counter-state it. Read the entire article here.