It’s 80% idea, 80% execution.

It was Sir John D’hegarty said that.

I remember reading it years ago and being a bit confused.

“IT’S ALL ABOUT THE IDEA MAAAN!!!” my younger self admonished.

But the more you execute the more you realize how much that is true.

Like Bill Bernbach said: in a work of genius, execution becomes content.

And the truth is that brilliant execution alone trumps everything else. And always will.

It’s like the expression “it’s smarter to be lucky than it’s luckier to be smart”.

Because execution is herding whole bunch of variables and making the whole thing tick just right.

So luck plays a part.

But you’ll notice it’s the same people who execute well consistently over time.

.farG yrreG uoy ta gnikool m’I

Because executing is its own distinct skill.

I have been very lucky to have had an enormous amount of creative freedom in my career. And nothing beats having your instincts validated. It feeds on itself.

So you need freedom to get any good at execution. You need to be the responsible one.

I can still vividly recall the paralyzing feeling i would get on yet another purely executional shoot for Budweiser upon being told that no client would be attending this shoot. A mark of both how much they trusted us and how jaded they were with shooting beer ads. But now I had to be the f**king client too? Fucking great!

And I would, reluctantly, be the client. Somebody had to be!

I’d worry about the glassware (no fucking pint glasses!) and make sure the bottle label was somewhat legible if it was in a shot. I once even had a post house insert a bottle of Bud into a scene in a client approved Budweiser spot because I (the client) noticed that there wasn’t a single shot of the beer in the ad. I actually felt bad about this. I had gone completely mad!

Because nothing encourages deep and holistic thinking better than being the one whose ass is on the line.

This automatically leads to better execution.

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