Have The Good Sense To Have Heart, Soul And Guts

Fact: you don’t win big at Cannes unless you first sell the work to a fat cat client. Like P&G.

According to Adweek, Dan Wieden knows how to sell, and how to get his clients to bend their own rules for the sake of the work.

At the concept stage, the Old Spice campaign wasn’t subject to the usual rigors of P&G testing. Also, the approval process was streamlined, with Wieden taking its cues from a single executive. Both conditions are atypical for the world’s biggest spending marketer, but not for Wieden, whose core client, Nike, prefers to think with its gut.

Adweek notes that in storyboard form, the half-man, half-horse with a towel around his waist would have garnered quizzical looks in focus groups. But P&G didn’t allow groupthink anywhere near the idea.

“Obviously, we would love to have the same hall pass,” said a top agency executive from a rival shop.



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 head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.