“What I learned this year” by Tom Lucente, Creative Director at April Six.

By thesanfranciscoegotist / /

As with all good marketing, giving the consumer something extra is always a happy surprise. So happy surprise! We have an extra “What I learned this year” piece by Tom Lucente, Creative Director at April Six. Enjoy!

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I learned the more things change the more they stay the same. (It was a repeat course.) 

Recently, I revisited Bill Bernbach’s 1947 letter to his now-nameless bosses at Grey Advertising, where he outlines the tenets of the creative revolution he, himself, would lead. Admittedly, some of the text has not stood the test of time (“superior technical skill will make a good man better”) but much of it remains highly relevant. 

There’s this: “I’m worried that we’re going to worship techniques instead of substance.” And this: “I don’t want scientists, I don’t want people who do the right things. I want people who do inspiring things.” The rub is that, today, we need scientists and people who do inspiring things. One feeds the other in the era of data. (I learned that this year, as well.) 

Mostly though, I learned that, as clients embrace the prevailing digital tools and technologies for engaging prospects and customers, a sameness creeps into their (our) experiences—making it difficult to differentiate one from another. Brands know it well, which is why they continue to work with agencies—and agencies understand the value of Bernbach’s “inspiring things,” and our place in creating them.

Finally, from Forrester’s 2019 report on the future of creativity (you’ll be pleased to know there is one) I learned, “When brands pivot to deliver creative differentiation…marketing will fundamentality realign around creative problem-solving as its core offering.” 

The more things change, the more they stay the same. 

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