Tag Archives: jeff goodby

Jeff Goodby is finally coming to Chicago!

I have lived and worked in the Chicago creative community for over fifteen years now. And one thing has always annoyed me about it. The lack of community among the creatives here.

There is no place for the hardcore creative to meet his fellow hardcoreniks.

There are inter-agency bowling leagues in the winter. There are inter-agency softball leagues in the spring.

But there’s nothing for the ad creative who loves being an ad creative and might possibly view softball and bowling as mere distractions.

For example, in all my time here there has never been a speech given by a famous ad guy that everyone felt compelled to go see. Never! That’s just weird.

Well, that is about to change in a big way.

Jeff Goodby is coming to Chicago to share his experiences and wisdom with us.

Thank the lord! This was beginning to feel like Uzbekistan from an ad community point of view.

The hope of the organizers (of which I am one) is that his appearance here will serve as a honeypot for the keen creative crowd. You know, the ones who live for this shit! Yeah! You!

And to that end we are attaching a little social experiment to the evening.

The first 50 creatives who show up to see Mr. Goodby speak will be automatically inducted into the Chicago branch of The Pompous Society. An elite Chicago creative clique that doesn’t exist yet. But will soon.

So please come along and hear him speak.

I met Jeff Goodby once at an Anheuser-Busch convention. He seemed like a thoroughly nice and funny guy.

And let’s face it, he’s a legend.

Got Jeff?

(thanks to Tim Dadabo for doing the VO. And Dana Krzysztofiak for doing the animation)

Bob Garfield vs Jeff Goodby

Recently Ad Age columnist Bob Garfield published CHAOS THEORY, an apparently dystopian view of the future of the advertising industry. I haven’t read it yet. I don’t particularly feel an urgent need to either. I live and breathe this game. I will be very surprised if it contains anything i haven’t heard before. I intend to read it. But based on the hype, and that’s kind of what advertising is, it feels like it’s casting a much wider net than advertising creatives. I’m sure his publishers are shooting for the Malcolm Gladwell/Naomi Klein kind of numbers. And let’s face it dystopia sells books. Again, based purely on the hype, Bob’s book feels about three years to late to interest me.

Jeff Goodby (whose taste is impeccable, let us not forget) took Bob to task in this article. Without getting into the issues and claims and counterclaims — and i can’t because i haven’t read the book yet — i would like to make a prediction here. and it’s that Jeff Goodby is right and Bob Garfield is wrong. Why? because Jeff Goodby is doing it day in and day out. While Bob Garfield is merely theorizing about doing it. And i for one, have had just about enough of laptop quarterbacks telling me how to do my job without ever once actually having it done it themselves. Things are changing? No shit. Let me get a pen and paper. Pray, continue…

We in the ad biz understand that people don’t like advertising. Believe it or not we get that bit. We also understand that the internet has fundamentally changed commerce and communications permanently. Everybody gets that. But to suggest the advertising industry will just go away is patently absurd.

Advertising will no more disappear than prostitution will. Prostitution isn’t the oldest profession in the world. advertising is. the world’s first hooker had to first engage in some kind of promotional activity. Purring “Hey Ugg, you want some of this?” while slowly and salaciously raising the hem of her bearskin dress.

The free market is competition. And advertising (hype) can make or break a product. or a book. So the smarter ones will use this to their advantage. the less smart ones will just spend billions of dollars annoying people. it was ever thus.

Advertising was and is just a means to an end: increase sales. it will shape shift into whatever means of communication exist at any given time. it has always done so.

and to pretend otherwise is just silly. advertising isn’t the record industry. we just sound and look a lot like them. and do as much coke as them. (no we don’t. that’s an outdated image. i was joking. i swear!)

Jeff Goodby. A man of impeccably good judgement.


Adweek, celebrating its 30th birthday, asked some ad icons to select their favorite work from the past three decades. And i just read that Jeff Goodby of Goodby Silverstein fame selected our Budweiser work as his favorite campaign of the 1990s. Which is interesting because the campaign just about made it into the 90s. The first spot aired on Christmas day 1999 in an NBA game. So thank you Jeff. And might we reciprocate by saying how much we admired your work over the years on the brand. Frank and Louie will live forever.

in his article, Jeff repeats a myth about the campaign that i’ve seen in print several times  and  isn’t actually true – that the campaign only really took off when one of the spots aired on the Superbowl in February 2000. We did air a spot on the big game but it was by no means the hit of the game. It was actually ranked 22nd in the USA TODAY ad popularity poll.  Not a disaster.  but  by Budweiser Superbowl standards it was an abject failure.  But ultimately it didn’t matter. the genie was out of the bottle at that point.