“A lot of times people think of risk in terms of challenging convention…you know and thats one form of risk. I don’t think its necessarily the most important I think its kind of an easy shot… you know … I think the real risk comes in being willing to try to be authentic … The whole trick of this business is to stop pretending you’re an advertising agency and help the client forget he’s a client and just sit down at the table and go ‘ok so, what are we going to do? how are we going to turn people on?’ “
-Dan Wieden, interviewed in Art & Copy(2009, Directed by Doug Pray)
Last Saturday, my wife, Suzy, and I went on a rare double date with some friends. They run an ad agency. We did a pretty good job of not talking about work but that subject always creeps in, doesn’t it? It got me thinking about Art&Copy, a film by Doug Pray. I’ve been a fan of his work since Scratch and Hype! both of them being music documentaries. I’ve had it on my NetFlix cue for a while so, finally, I watched it. It was great hearing first hand how some of these people think and feel about their work. The thought that stayed with me the most is what Dan Wieden said about risk. Of course its a risk to be outlandish and against the grain but that isn’t the only way to think about risk. One can feel uncertainty and insecurity with the idea of being authentic and real, of being yourself. A little explosion went off in my head because I’ve always had similar feelings but didn’t know how to articulate it.
On another note… The Packers and Steelers are playing in SuperBowl 45 this Sunday. This is a great movie to watch before the big day with all those big budget commercials(oh… and the game itself!) because you really get a sense of the creative energy and profound amount of infrastructure that goes into these messages.