Lee Clow is the ad legend behind the most incredible adverts Apple ever created, like ‘1984’ and ‘Think Different’. This is a thread with 20 of his most interesting thoughts on advertising and creative excellence.
1) "The job isn't to just do ads. The job is to find the soul of a brand, work a creative story and find rich, interesting ways to create it in the world. That means everything is media. Everything is an ad. The word 'advertising' makes it smaller than ambition."
2) "Shocking is easy. Shockingly brilliant, a bit more challenging."
3) “The Monday after ‘1984,’ there were lots of agency types who basically said, ‘That's the most irresponsible commercial that was ever done. They didn’t even show the product…' But I'd rather apologize than to be so timid as to not to try and do anything smart or brave.”
4) "Everything a brand does is advertising."
5) "Technology is not a substitute for an idea. It’s the thing that can nurture and allow ideas to be bigger."
6) "I always felt lots of people had more god-giving talent than me in terms of artistic talent, design talent but I saw them accomplish a lot less, because they didn’t care (about the work) as much as I did. Your basic skill set is just a starting point."
7) “We must learn how all media elements (old and new) can, and should, work together to do what the job has always been – to invite people to meet, know, trust and, hopefully, love your brand; not just for what you make, but for why you make it.”
8) "Good enough isn't good enough,"
9) “The makeup of a creative person is a lot of ego and drive and also a lot of insecurity. Most creative people never know if they’re any good. If they decide they’re good, they’re probably not that good. To this day, everything I look at, I see something wrong with it."
10) "I've never found a client's business problem that could be solved solely through advertising."
11) “What’s throwing our industry for a loop is the complexity of putting messages out there in the world with all these new tools and all this new technology. I think a search for simplicity and pure ideas is the only route back to making it more fun again.”
12) "The best revenge is a better ad."
13) I consider myself now as a media artist, not an advertising person, because advertising is kind of defined these days and has a negative stigma attached to it. But to be a media artist is to take a brand, find its voice, tell its story and make it interesting."
14) Speaking of the way that the Apple product packing is a comms messaging as well: “When you open an Apple product, it’s like a religious experience."
15) "The rare brands have somebody at the top that has a point of view and a belief system. They are the best clients."
16) “Brands think there’s a new shortcut to their audience with social media. They think that they don’t need to build a story, have a conversation about who they are, that they can just reach out and ask people to buy before they have a relationship with the brand."
17) “The fun of telling brand stories is finding the things about it that are exciting or interesting or funny that make a brand into a personality that you like and admire.”
18) “Everyone has the desire to be brave but you need to be put in the circumstance where you’re allowed to be brave.”
19) “We’re supposed to find the status quo and punch a hole in it. Find the convention and go 180° away from it.”
20) “I believe what we do is more of an art form than a science.”
21) Lee has done some of the most memorable ads on the planet, from Apple's "1984", “Think Different” and "Mac Vs PC" to Nike and the introduction of "Air Jordan", to the Energizer bunny and the ‘Impossible is Nothing’ Adidas campaign. Lee is an advertising legend.
23) Lastly, here’s a photo of Lee with his favorite, and most important, client, Steve Jobs. This photo was taken in 2000 when Apple received the Grand Effie award for their advertising excellence.
24) I'll end this thread with the TBWA 'Disrupt Manifesto', about the importance of creating brave work. Written and narrated by Lee.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Uncle Bernbach

Uncle Bernbach Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @unclebernbach

4 Nov
I did the amazing Goodby & Silverstein advertising Masterclass so you don’t have to. Here’s a thread with 15 of the most interesting insights from the class.
Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein are advertising icons. They founded @GSP in 1983 and since then have created groundbreaking advertising campaigns for Nike, Polaroid, Budweiser and many other brands.
1) The insight that generated the famous 'Got Milk?' campaign evolved from the traditional “Milk is good for you” to “How horrible is when you run of milk?”.

The thinking was that the only time you notice the product is when you run out of it.

The first ad was made in 1993.
Read 17 tweets
27 Oct
A brief tour of what happened in the advertising industry in the 60s. A thread.
Read 18 tweets
15 Oct
“Ogilvy on Advertising” is one of the most influential advertising books ever. Below is a thread with 20 of the most interesting ideas from the book.
The book was first published in 1983. Ogilvy was already a legend in the industry and had already retired from his role as chairman of Ogilvy & Mather. The book captures most of the wisdom he used during his career to produce exceptional adverts.
1) "I don't regard advertising as art, but as a medium of information. When I write an ad, I don’t want you to find it creative. I want you to buy the product. When Aeschines spoke, they said ‘How well he speaks’. When Demosthenes spoke, they said, ‘Let us march against Philip’."
Read 23 tweets
2 Oct
Mary Wells Lawrence changed advertising forever. This is a thread about her story and how she became an ad industry legend in the 1960s.
1) Some say that Mary (92) was the real-life Peggy Olsen from Mad Men; a brilliant copywriter and a vocal copy chief. Mary was much more than that. She revolutionised the advertising industry and opened one of the trendiest agencies of the 60s/70s.
2) "The best advertising should make you nervous about what you're not buying." Mary Wells Lawrence
Read 23 tweets
23 Sep
David Abbott was one of the best copywriters the ad industry ever had. Here are 20 of his most interesting thoughts on advertising and on what it takes to create great work. (A thread)
1) "I spend a lot of time fact-finding and I don’t start writing until I have too much to say. I don’t believe you can write fluent copy if you have to interrupt yourself with research. Dig first, then write."
2) "Directness has its place in advertising but so do subtlety and obliqueness. Things you can’t say literally can often be said laterally."
Read 23 tweets
11 Sep
Here's a thread with my 15 favorite print ads from the 1993 D&AD Annual.
"Levi's 505 Jeans. The more you wash them, the better they get"

Client: Levi's
Agency: BBH London
"Levi's 505 Jeans. Torture them"

Client: Levi's
Agency: BBH London
Read 17 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!