If things don’t change, they stay the same


  • Business Premium
  • Saturday, 17 Apr 2010

NOW I’ve been rereading a book. (You know, that a small papery thing with words printed on it). It’s one of the very few books about advertising worth reading. It’s called “From those Wonderful Folks who gave you Pearl Harbour”.

The author is one of the legends of American advertising, Jerry Della Femina. The story goes that, in the middle of a brainstorming session to find a new theme line for Panasonic, Jerry, then a copywriter, leapt up and proudly suggested the words that became the slightly, un-politically correct title of the book. It seems only his art-director saw the funny side! Whether there were any Japanese in the room he doesn’t say. The book was written in 1971 and it may be that long ago since I first read it. It was written during the heydays of BBDO, DDB, Ted Bates and early Ogilvy (also legendary people you may be less familiar with like Mary Wells, Carl Ally and George Lois). So, for a change, this month I’d like to share a couple of hopefully interesting observations drawn from this belated reread.

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