Lee Clow Looks Back at the Last 23 Years


Who doesn’t love them some Lee Clow? He’s the head of TBWA and one of the most famous ad men in the game and he’s had his hands in more famous, lasting campaigns than nearly everyone combined. And, furthermore, who doesn’t love a little Bob Garfield thrown in to boot? Well, you’re in luck, dear readers, as Ad Age has just put up a great feature Lee Clow interview, with Garfield asking the questions. It’s a fantastic read, wherein Clow dishes out bits of wisdom right and left. Their launching point (even though they don’t fully come around to it until the very end)? How things have changed since he put together one of the most famous spots ever, Apple’s “1984.” Here’s a bit:

Mr. Garfield: Has the creative community not been informed that there’s a digital revolution going on?

Mr. Clow: It’s been a little bit of dragging traditional creative people kicking and screaming into the notion that we’re going to do complete media expressions for the brands we work for, and we aren’t going to start with TV; we’re going to start with ideas.

Creative people are 50% ego and 50% insecurity. They need to constantly be told they’re good and they’re loved. And nobody’s figured out a way to celebrate the people who do interesting, multimedia accomplishments on behalf of brands. Sometimes it ends up being looked at as just kind of integrated marketing, where everything uses the same typeface and the same color. So it’s kind of denigrated by, oh, well, it’s just, you know, that old integration, whole egg bullshit. And sometimes it’s viewed as, that’s the interactive guy’s job, and I’ll do the main media…