Execs Expound on Making Great Print Creative

NEW YORK Two award-winning creatives shared their insights on what makes great print work during a panel discussion at the Adweek creative seminar in New Orleans today.

Nick Cohen, managing partner and chief creative officer at Mad Dogs & Englishmen in San Francisco, and John Doyle, evp and ecd of Young & Rubicam in Irvine, Calif., both took personal approaches in discussing what great print should be.

Cohen’s speech, titled “Things that make me go ‘Oh my god’,” featured ads that had moved him during his advertising career—ones that he believes changed the advertising landscape. One of these was a Land Rover ad he saw in a magazine one day while riding a train to work. The ad, by TBWA in London, showed editorial copy turned to a 45-degree angle with a Land Rover sitting on top, as if driving up a steep hill. “It was the first example of art directors bringing conceptually a whole different way of thinking [to print ads],” according to Cohen.

Doyle also used his personal experience, but in a different way. As a running enthusiast, he had first-hand knowledge of how Nike’s 1980 inaugural campaign, with headlines such as, “There is no finish line,” spoke to an audience of seasoned runners in a way that had never been attained before. He cited Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami’s Mini work as a similar campaign, which, with the phrase “Let’s motor,” captured a new point of view on driving for fun. When brand expression and cultural sentiment collide, the result is print work that transcends advertising and becomes part of culture, Doyle said, adding that creatives’ challenge is to find that expression.