Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The shoulders we ride upon

We wanted to write this appreciation earlier, but as we had only just paid tribute to the late Arthur C. Clarke, we felt it too gloomy to make three of our first five posts about people who were no longer with us.
But we are compelled to recognize our heroes, and it cannot wait another day...

Anyone who cares about the business of persuasion has had plenty of cause for reflection the last couple of weeks.

First of all, Mr. Hal Riney passed away. We have all learnt so much from Hal, both personally and professionally. To pick one small example on the business side, there is no more compelling demonstration of what it takes for communications to succeed than Hal’s all-encompassing efforts for Saturn. Even the greatest ads are feeble when compared to deeds. So, he created the actions that built the mystique of that brand.

Then, soon after, Mr. Paul Arden also left us. Paul is revered in British advertising circles for his many groundbreaking pieces of work. I remember arriving in London for the first time, seeing those initial expanses of purple silk posted along Cromwell Road, realizing that this whole communications thing had some levels to it I had never even dreamed of. His book “It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be” is so calmly truthful, it’s not just a must-read, it’s a must-reread, whenever you feel you’ve lost your place in what you’re doing.

Two giants. Still teaching us plenty.

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