Patrick O’Neill, who served as Creative Director at TBWA/Chiat/Day LA for 14 years, has left the company.
Patrick O’Neill, who served as Creative Director at TBWA/Chiat/Day LA for 14 years, has left the company.
Today is the 30th anniversary of the airing of the famous "1984" commercial for Apple Computer. It ran once, in the Super Bowl, and made history for the Mac, for Apple, and for Chiat/Day.
Here's a fine article about the making of the commercial, with lots of commentary from Fred Goldberg.
A provocative article from the December 1st issue of the New York Times about Madison Avenue's fear of using catchphrases, like the immortal "Where's the Beef?"
I received the news from his son, David, that Marv Rich, one of Chiat/Day's great ART DIRECTORS, died on Oct. 20. On December 1st, he would have been 79. (I made a mistake in the newsletter when I said he was a writer.)
He was a ubiquitous presence in almost every office. David managed to piece together a bio. Look at the incredible number of clients with which he worked. He also worked with some of the agency's best writers. He won many awards, including multiple Andys, Clios, IBAs, etc.
I can distinctly remember his "leprachaun" look. He was very talented and very kind and will be greatly missed.
Thank you to David Rich for going to so much work to put together all of this material for me. It really helps the wonderful memories return.
(Click to view the larger version)
Marv in the 1990s.
…and in the 80s.
And in the hip 1970s!
Many people remember that Steve Jobs founded Apple, and there was all this huzzah surrounding the launch of the the Mac. (The great "1984" commercial.)
But few people remember the dark side, 1986, the year that Steve Jobs was basically fired from Apple.
Using his own money, he ran this ad. I am eternally grateful to Chuck Phillips for sending this to me.
Fred in his heyday.
Fred and John Wayne on a shoot
All of you certainly remember Fred Goldberg, who ran Chiat/Day's San Francisco office, as well as founding his own agency. As reported earlier on this site, he has written a book: "The Insanity of Advertising."
Many of you will also remember Robert Chandler a writer and creative group head in the LA office from 1977-1981. He sent me his very own review of Fred's book, to which he places the first finger of each of his hands in an enthusiastically upright position.
JUST DO WHAT FRED DID
To Chiat/Day alum, to anybody in advertising, or who find advertising and marketing intriguing,
I commend to you Fred Goldberg's new memoir on his adventures in the ad trade, THE INSANITY OF ADVERTISING, to be published in January.
Fred and I worked on some of the same accounts and in some of the same places - notably Chiat/Day and Y&R on Apple and Gallo - but never at the same time.
I was always hearing about Fred, sometimes when he'd been at a place before me, sometimes when he'd gone on to a place I'd worked.
Fred, like Jay Chiat who figures large in his memoirs, has been both notable and controversial. And for similar reasons. He has a reputation as being very smart, very tough, and very demanding.
And being and doing so, he always got good results.
Fred inspired both admiration and trepidation, both affection and the opposite. But, that is almost always the arc of an outstanding career, if not absolutely always.
I've read two chapters of his book. The are engaging, straightforward and very readable. In each instance where I've known the subject or the people, I've found Fred's observations to be astute, accurate. And, particularly interesting to hear his perspective on things I knew from my own and others' points of view.
Fred went on to found a very successful agency, Goldberg, Moser & O'Neil of San Francisco.
I'm not necessarily a fan of books on ad biz, even when very good. And, I often have a peculiar aversion to reading about things I know a lot about personally. Perhaps through fear or anticipated annoyance that the writer is going to getting things a little or very wrong.
But, I have enjoyed Fred's chapters, and after having partaken of the hors d'oeuvres, look forward to the entire meal in January.
His promotional website is very good.
And here's the Amazon page.
Submitted by Robert Chandler, Chiat/Day L.A. writer and creative group head,
1977 - 1981
And here are some spicy excerpts from Fred's book:
Jay hired me after a breakfast meeting at the Cheese & Olive in Marina del Rey. The next most memorable thing about that morning I was hired came after we shook hands. He said, “Come with me.” We walked across Ocean Avenue to a place called the Baja Cantina, where about 20 of Jay’s buddies and gal pals had gathered for brunch. It was only 11 a.m. and half of them were already drunk as skunks. The other half were high as kites. I thought to myself, what have I just done?
At the end of 1985, Jay Chiat came up with one of his largest and most grandiose ideas. Why not buy two great creative advertising agencies, Ally & Gargano and Hal Riney, and create a new entity to be known as Ally Chiat Riney? This naming would likely be the only thing that the three companies might amicably agree upon since the names were in alphabetical order, thereby removing some of the political and emotional tension.
In many ways, this combination, Ally Chiat Riney, was a brilliant thought since it would have brought together arguably the three most creative agencies of the time, each a key player in an important advertising market: NewYork, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, respectively.
Not too much thought was given as to how Ally and Chiat and Riney might work together, well or not, but Jay offered that he would “run it.” Uh-huh.
John Sculley (ex–Apple Computer CEO) writes in his book Odyssey that he asked Chiat/Day, “See if there is a way to take advantage of the fact that 1984 was the year that George Orwell chose for his famous prophecy of a totalitarian regime in which Big Brother controls all of man’s actions and thoughts.”
Actually, the Orwellian idea had been bouncing around Chiat/Day well before Sculley even arrived at Apple. I will give him credit, though, for sometimes recognizing a good idea when he heard one, since the idea had been discussed as part of the product launch.
He wanted to see where we were at and upon looking at the very first ad threw a tantrum of disappointment and went on to crap on every single piece of advertising we had lined up around the conference room walls.
“Show me the work.” “This is all shit.” “What have you guys been thinking?” “We’re in trouble.” “This is shit.” All of this was expressed at the top of Jay’s voice in an extremely irritated and condescending manner. Which was par for Jay’s course.
Everyone was sufficiently demotivated and tired, when Lee Clow asked Jay to take a stroll with him, which they did. Lee used that walk to speak persuasively and in his usual calm manner. “OK, asshole, you go present whatever you want.”
We all went to sleep and the next morning drove over to Apple and presented all of the work exactly as it was the night before. Of the 45 ads, 44 were approved for production.
All excerpts (c) by Fred Goldberg and Council Oak Books
Long before he CEO of JWT, Bob Jeffrey was an account guy at Chiat/Day in the New York office. From there, he formed an agency with Gary Goldsmith, and then did a stint as President of Lowe's. Now, according to Ad Age, "WPP's JWT has named McCann Worldgroup's Gustavo Martinez its global president and future successor to JWT Worldwide Chairman and CEO Bob Jeffrey. Mr Martinez won't take on the role of global president until February 2014. He'll assume the role of Worldwide CEO in 2015, at which time Mr. Jeffrey will become non-executive chairman. Mr. Jeffrey will continue as Worldwide CEO through 2014."
Congratulations, Bob! You survived!
A big welcome to Cynthia R. Dickerson, who was found wandering the lonely halls of cyberspace:
"Hello, Stevan - my name is Cynthia R. Dickerson. I worked for Chiat/Day in San Francisco from 1983 to 1985. "Golden Ages," indeed. Nothing like it before or since!
Thanks and best regards, CRD"
I received sad news the other day about the death of Sid Salinger. one of the very first employees at Chiat/Day back in 1968.
Here is his obituary from the Sacramento Bee. A memorial service will be held Friday. November 29, 2013 at 10:00 AM in the Spruce Room at Sierra Pines, 7600 Whistle Stop Way, Roseville, CA.
I also received the following news from his grandson, Adam.
Dear Family and Friends,
I'm writing for a couple of reasons.
Some of you may not know that my father, Sid, passed away two weeks ago on 9/28 peacefully in his sleep. As a close friend of mine put it, "He went out a winner." He did in every sense of the word. We can all only hope to have such an enjoyable 80th birthday hearing from so many old friends and family and then passing so peacefully in our sleep.
Dad lived a happy and fulfilled life. Everyone receiving this email played a part. Thank you to each and every one of you for bringing joy into his life. You made him who he was.
Mom, Nancy, is doing well. As most of you know, she was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia a few years ago. She had been receiving home health care for 8 hours during the day to help with daily activities for the past 10 months. With dad gone, there is no one with her the other 16 hours a day. My sister, Lenore, came immediately from Colorado when dad passed away and stayed at the house with my mother until we were able to move her.
On October 9th, we moved mom into an assisted living home in the memory care unit (which specializes in Dementia and Alzheimer's) three miles away from my house in Sacramento. It's a national chain called Sunrise Living. Since moving in my mom has had nothing but great things to say about both the facility (which is beautiful) and the staff. The tough part has been moving out of her house for the past 17 years and into a new home.
[Editor's note: I don't like to include the email addresses and snail-mail addresses on these pages in order to protect the correspondents privacy. If you would like to send a note to Adam or Sid's wife, Nancy, send them to me (my email address is at the top of the page) and I will forward them) to Adam and his mother.)
… has opened his own agency!
"Hi, Steve. My name is Bernie Hafeli and I guess I'm found, although I didn't really realize I was lost. Well, yes I did, I guess, in a sort of existential/spiritual sense. My e-mail: [see editor's note below]
I worked as a writer at C/D three different times: 1978-1980, starting in the original SF office under Chuck Phillips (Marvin Rich, Bob Hulme, Bill Kelly), then going to LA where I teamed with Brent Thomas on Yamaha, working under Lee and Dave Butler.
In 1982 I left Hal Riney to go to work at the C/D Seattle office, which became Chiat/Day/Livingston as you well know, and finally Livingston. So I worked with all those folks (Roger, Jerry Box, Ron Sandilands, Jim Copacino, Sharon Teal, Kevin Threadgold, Susan Hoffman, Val Houtchens, Ben Evans, Geoff Roche, Kirk Citron, Steve Sandoz, Steve Dolbinski, Richard Block, Marcus Kemp, Pat Doody, etc.) for seven years until some of us started our own short-lived agency.
In 1990 I went back to Chiat/Day to work mainly on Nissan Regional Advertising, under Tony Stern and Jeff Roll. I left for good in 1997, although I did later work at Goldberg Moser O'Neill with a bunch of other C/D alums.
I went back to grad school in 2004, received an MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco and have since been writing fiction, publishing some short stories here and there and finally a book, a novella called Bear Season, that will come out February 15th, and can be ordered through The Conium Review website.
Thank you for keeping the memory and spirit of Jay's agency alive."
[Editor's note: I don't like to include the email addresses and snail-mail addresses on these pages in order to protect the correspondent's privacy. If you would like to send a note to Bernie, send it to me (my email address is at the top of the page) and I will forward it to Bernie.]
In which I castigate those who thought the Obamacare software would all be hunky-dory by now …
(My letter is at the bottom of the page)