Anybody who can rock a pinstriped suit with a cravat is going to have something interesting to say.
If that person is hot off a plane from the orient, being stoked full of hot tea and standing in front of a room full of pen-and-notebook ready students, and still manages to swagger around the stage looking cooler than Christmas, the person is truly worth some attention.
It also happens that he has written one of the most valuable books about advertising ever, and is a true living legend of the trade.
Of course the notes that came from the session are not only relevant and meaningful, but also refreshingly simple. Steve gave no tech-speak or three letter acronyms, no skating over topics and as you can imagine, no word mincing. His delivery was like his strategy, factual, clear, and no nonsense whatsoever.
However, from all the notes I took, the most important I believe, for long lasting happiness and well being in the advertising world, are these two questions…
1. What is the problem being faced by the customer?
2. What is the solution the product can offer?
Steve went on to say that unless he can clearly see both questions and answers demonstrated in every piece of work then it is useless, if these questions were not posed and dealt with then the work can’t even count as advertising, it’s just a pretty piece of artwork with some words.
Despite the widespread and deserved apathy towards advertising, if we can identify a problem, offer a solution and communicate the answer clearly and creatively to the intended target then we have succeeded.
We are in the business of solving problems for people.
That is surely an exciting and rewarding thing to be doing.
I think it puts us on par with doctors.