Learn from the, ahem, real man of genius.

Just found these the other day.

It’s an interview with Bob Lachky, former head of advertising at Anheuser Busch. The guy to whom we used to present our ideas for Budweiser and Bud Light when I worked on those brands.

He’s the guy who approved such pop culture advertising classics these gems.

YES I AM for Bud Light.

I LOVE YOU MAN for Bud Light.

THE BUDWEISER LIZARDS. AND FROGS.

REAL MEN OF GENIUS for Bud Light

And my personal favorite…

As you’ll see, Bob should run for US Senate. He would win in a landslide.

Instead he chose to oversee the creation of some of the best advertising in the world.

Bob and his colleagues really understood their business and the advertising business and the media in general.

So perhaps more credit than I’d like to admit should go to Bob and the guys at A-B for their role in creating some really great advertising over the years.

More than once he made a call about something in one of my ads that I only realized later was of critical importance.

The story that many people, including many in the media, wanted to believe was how hard it was to sell our brilliant ideas to that stupid enormous beer client.

And nothing could have been further from the truth. They were the center of excellence. Not us.

As you’ll see.

Everyone interested in advertising, marketing and the media should watch this four part masterclass.

6 responses to “Learn from the, ahem, real man of genius.

  1. Fascinating interview Vinny (and I’ve only watched part 1). I love how he instinctively understands the need for a great brand to stay creatively vital and energised (“one step ahead of the consumer”). And that he also had the confidence in the inherent strength of the brands to be able to do that.

    Most of us in the ad business have spent our lives trying to convince nervous brand managers to simply catch up with the consumer!

  2. Yes Simon, as you can imagine it was a pretty ideal situation. The client were usually ahead of us in many respects. It was ours to f**k up.

  3. oh, man. great stuff. and so common sense.

    I’d love to work for a client that would intimidate me with such a wit and understanding. I’d be joyful to bust my ass to impress him.

    besides, I never thought it’s possible that client sets a higher creative standard than agency.

    • it was great fun riki. i’m not saying there wasn’t pressure to deliver the goods. I remember the brief on the Budweiser brand read simply “Create the most popular advertising in America”. There was mutual trust though. Quite often no clients would show up to our Bud shoots. So you really were all on your own.

  4. I am curious about 2 things Vinny.

    First is easy did you work on the lizards/frogs or was that after you left?

    Second this goes to what Simon mentioned (haven’t had a chance to watch yet I have the ballet teacher visiting me in Albany lol) do you feel Miller Lite, Bud, Bud Lite, Coors, Coors Lite have anything to differentiate themselves besides advertising? All are mass produced fairly consistently bland, volume for the money price/value proposition and really all priced the same.
    This is very rare among major brands where something has become almost a pure commodity for a consumer product that isn’t sold raw from the farm. So for the big three brands it is all about the ads isn’t it?

    • Yes howie, i did work briefly on the frogs lizards campaign. I, like goodby, realized that the vocabulary of the frogs had to expand beyond three syllables, but was unable to sell my idea internally. So I switched to working on Bud Light. My idea involved the Frogs getting a Hollywood agent (Rip Torn) who aggressively protected his clients’ interests.

      yes advertising has a key role to play. But so do things like price and distribution and fashion to a degree. To me there is quite a difference in taste between the various lagers. I personally hate light beer. regular beer is light enough for me. but the overwhelming generational trend in this country has been toward ever lighter beer. to the point where we are now seeing a backlash. and hoppier more flavorful beers are more popular now.

      But if you’re on mass market TV, which costs a lot of money, your advertising had better help sway the jury.

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