One day, if you play your cards right (or perhaps wrong) you might be a creative director. It is the most thankless, trying and difficult task you'll ever undertake in your creative career.
Creativity isn’t an occupation, it’s a pre-occupation.
Nigel and I looked at the knackered old suitcase and realised that it constituted our first office.
On one of my
trips to the Audi
factory in Ingolstadt, I saw the line ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ on a fading piece of publicity.
I thought, why not use this line?
let’s keep it in German. Mad as that sounds, I reasoned it would really stand out.
I had the hero stripping down to a pair of Y-front underpants. However, the UK censorship authorities objected to the sight of a man in his 'revealing' underwear. We had hit an impasse — he had to get undressed or the script was dead.
What could we do?
And so, in "Laundrette" Nick Kamen strips down to a pair of boxer shorts. The result: sales of boxer shorts went through the roof and the once ubiquitous Y-fronts died a death.
In the early days of BBH we used to say to each other "we haven't come this far to be ordinary"
John Hegarty is one of the world’s most awarded and respected admen. Over six decades he has been at the forefront of the creative advertising industry from the early days of Saatchi and Saatchi to Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the global company he runs today.
In 1982 he founded Bartle Bogle Hegarty with partners John Bartle and Nigel Bogle. The agency swiftly became one of the most talked about and awarded advertising agencies in the world. BBH has won every Agency of the Year accolade and every creative award possible and has been at the forefront of the industry for twenty nine years.
John has been responsible for campaigns for Levi’s such as the ground breaking commercial starring an unknown model called Nick Kamen who stripped off down to his boxer shorts in a launderette. He introduced the British to the phrase 'Vorsprung Durch Technik' for Audi and picked a young model/actor called Brad Pitt to star in a commercial for Levi’s. He pioneered the importance of music in commercials which has earned BBH nine number 1 hits. John also oversaw the first viral phenomenon to hit the headlines, the furry yellow puppet Flat Eric for Levi’s, who kicked Eminem off the number 1 singles slot in 1999.
BBH now has offices in London, New York, Singapore, Sao Paulo, Shanghai and Mumbai and John oversees the creative output of all these offices. This unique global structure also contributed to the company winning the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement twice, in 1996 and 1997.
John has won golds at every industry awards including D&AD, Cannes and British Television. He has been given the D&AD President's Award for outstanding achievement and was admitted to the US One Show Advertising Hall of Fame. He has also been voted as one of the most influential people in fashion thanks to his work with Levi’s.
In 2006, he was awarded honorary doctorates from Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College and Middlesex University and sits on the Board of Trustees of the Design Museum.
Do interesting things and
interesting things happen to you
Here is a book that no creative professional should be without. Written by one of the world's leading advertising men, it contains over four decades of wisdom and insight from the man who put Nick Kamen into a laundrette for Levi Strauss and gave Audi the immortal Vorsprung durch Technik, amongst many, many other highly successful campaign's for major brands.
Hegarty on Advertising represents the 21st century's answer to David Ogilvy's bestselling Confessions of an Advertising Man and provides both John Hegarty's advice on the elements of advertising, from pitching to the effects of new technology, and the story of his career from his early days at Saatchi and Saatchi to the global force that Bartle Bogle Hegarty is today.
It was a daring business strategy to have a principle of 'no creative pitches' — some would say dangerous. In fact, great numbers of fellow advertising experts described it as business suicide.
Out of that absurd, crazy process pops a brilliant thought: that's where the magic emerges. Of course, no one wants to believe it's so random, but it is.