Skip to content

Quotebook: Al Ries on Creative Genius



That’s why it’s hard to recognize a great advertising idea. It doesn’t look right because it goes against accepted wisdom.

Al Ries in  Advertising Could Do With More of Bernbach’s Genius (, July 6, 2009)

Ries reflects on a new biography of Bill Bernbach—the maverick whose genius made him an icon. It’s well worth a read and bookmark.

What does it offer today?

We must accept that the vernacular of advertising creativity is automatic, popular, and crowd-controlled. Over generations, consumers have learned to hold their own against the rip tide of daily ad clutter by learning it, speaking it, creating it, and sharing it with friends.

Consumers have landed on Madison Avenue.

How does this challenge us to follow our ad/creative genius like never before?

  • For traditional advertising folks, it’s not about more crash-and-burn high energy creative that causes quick buzz, takes an award, and goes in your portfolio.
  • For traditional direct and interactive marketers, we must listen to the redefinition of terms of like control, call to action, and personalization.

Creativity, like genius, is a two-way street. It rings with authenticity and trust on every iPhone, BlackBerry®, or laptop (so 20th c!) you see.  It sets a critical benchmark for Web 2.0 advertising, marketing , and communications.

Who inspired you to push on?

Listen to: Bernbach Speaks for Himself, AAF Hall of Fame: Members

Please, post your thoughts …



Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: