Jeff Goodby took to the stage to chat about how vandalism will save the ad industry during a Tuesday mid-afternoon presentation in an audience filled with younger members of the industry and college students.
Naughtiness is good for challenging industry norms, he proclaimed. I think we are confused with how the media works with the new kinds of content, he said, adding that he still thinks there is something missing from this debate. “All everyone wants to do is unforgettable work that runs and people actually see. “
In between slides of his family, Goodby reminisced about great advertising. "I am so old, I actually met David Ogilvy." He also mentioned how he framed the two cigarette butts Ogilvy smoked with him to hang on his wall.
Ogilvy provided a key leadership tip, he said: "He asked how many hours I write each day and dismissed my answer of 10.” Ogilvy felt that people should write for two and then spend the rest of the day figuring out what to write. Now, Goodby remembers this advice when he sees his staff shopping online. “They must be thinking about ways to help our clients,” he quipped.
An element to his agency's success is making everything in-house, Goodby said. “We started that way in 1983 and continue that tradition today."
GS&P Labs figures out new innovations and then attempts to commercialize these projects. While the prototype Doritos launcher that pitched the chip into a mouth never made it to market, Dreams of Dali that transformed a Salvador Dali exhibit into a virtual experience did.
He emphasizes the importance of treating his staff well, albeit with humor. The agency has a monthly bucket list spin to award unique prizes. The agency recently gifted a trip to Iceland where the person must stay for 24 hours but there is no hotel involved.
The presentation, however, turned out to be rife with missed opportunities. He rightfully went over some of the agency's biggest hits, like the Cheetos Museum, Adobe's click-buying criminals, and this year's Super Bowl Doritos Fire and Ice rap battle.
All of the campaigns attracted viral buzz and spiked sales, but he unfortunately did not delve into what specifically made these campaigns successful—insights that would have been very helpful to a younger audience hearing from one of the industry’s brightest luminaries.
Are celebrities worth the added cost? Was the Colbert clip paid support? How does his agency keep the social media fire ablaze once a project starts showing potential? It doesn't just happen. These and other questions remained unanswered as he went to yet another best-of review.