BBDO: It’s Everywhere You Want To Be

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Fast Company Senior Writer, Linda Tishler, sat down with BBDO’s David Lubars and Phil Dusenberry. Here are some of the more poignant revelations.

Dusenberry says the ability to stop bad work is the only power a creative director really has, and boasts that his office was called the “quake zone” because of the fear he struck in even senior people. “The more they quake, the less they’ll waste your time with work that’s less than their best,” he writes in his memoir, Then We Set His Hair on Fire.
“Our boss,” Lubars says, “is the work. And it’s a very mean and cruel boss who will humiliate you in public if you don’t satisfy it. You must please that work and make it feel like you’ve given it your all.
Lubars: Creative helps drive where the media is going to go. It can’t be done in an assembly line like a Ford plant from 1908. Sometimes you have a great strategy on paper, but it doesn’t execute. So the creative and the strategy work together like in a DNA molecule. Media has to work like that, too. Media is now a creative job. It’s not just, “How many exposures can I get for this amount of money?” It’s also, “What delightful interesting places can I put my client in that are relevant but fit the creative?” It has to be woven together.
Dusenberry: My greatest fear about this industry is that the people who are in it now, and in the future, won’t have as much fun as we had. We had a great time. It was just wonderful to create work, it was wonderful shooting it and producing it. Today the business is more of a dollars-and-cents game.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.