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How to be an Advertising Hall of Fame Member

Posted on April 4, 2012 and read 1,880 times

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ignaciocreditpic How to be an Advertising Hall of Fame MemberIgnacio Oreamuno
President
IHAVEANIDEA

Forget about winning gold at the award shows. If you really want to knock it out of the park, then aim for the Advertising Hall of Fame (AAF) so you can tell your Mom you’re in the company of Mary Wells, David Ogilvy, William Bernbach and Leo Burnett.

Since IHAVEANIDEA was founded a decade ago, we’ve been working for and with Rick Boyko and VCU Brandcenter. Few people in the industry have personally influenced me more than Rick, and seeing him win this great accolade really impacted me.

I always tell juniors to stop looking at the mausoleum of greats like Ogilvy, Bernbach and Burnett because the ad industry is too young for everyone to walk in the door thinking that the great things in our industry have already been done by these notable men. Rick is a good example of that; he found an original way to influence and shape the industry he loved so much in a way that will leave a mark for years to come.

What made Rick Boyko different is that he quit his high-paying job as Co-President of Ogilvy North America and focused on education when very few people were. Rick realized that without forward-thinking advertising schools, the future of the industry was in peril. Rick put his money where his mouth was and donated one million dollars of his own money to VCU Brandcenter, which was the first school to begin carrying out advanced courses for creative directors.

Rick also took a very personal stance to help fight against inequality by devoting a lot of energy to educate minorities in high schools and colleges about the opportunities available to them in the world of advertising. Walk into any major agency in the country today, and chances are high that VCU Brandcenter alumni walk and work within its walls. By the same token, walk into any major ad school around the world and if its directors were willing to admit it, I am sure their curriculums were impacted by Rick’s vision of where education should go. Rick Boyko helped turn the tide in an industry that didn’t really care about juniors, students and education.

The ad honoring Rick, created by Ogilvy Chicago, went through these points very clearly and I strongly recommend you read it because it does have the secrets to a career worthy of a Hall of Fame trophy.

rickad How to be an Advertising Hall of Fame Member

Three points stuck and hit close to home for me, and I’ll share them with you.

It’s easier to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission.

Most, or all, of the great things Rick Boyko did in his career were things nobody asked him to do. It’s no secret that wherever Rick passed, a lot of people got pissed off at him for stirring the pot so much. But he always knew he would be judged not by how many people like him, but by the product of his efforts.

All of us that work in advertising know that it’s a small industry, and we spend too much time trying to be liked and accepted by our peers. But if you want to do great things, just do them. Don’t expect a pat in the back. And if whatever you do fucks up, well, just ask for forgiveness.

Rise to the occasion.

The Twin Towers fell and within days Rick mobilized photographers, press, Ogilvy clients and even Rudolph Giuliani to build, design, shoot and print a book honoring NYC’s Fire Departments, called Brotherhood. A true gem created against all odds, it would not have been made if it wasn’t for the fiery guts of a man determined to accomplish something outside of his job description. What should have taken months or a year to produce took weeks and served the occasion.

All of us should take more chances at opportunities like this even if we think it’s not in our schedule.

Make a difference.

I attended the AAF Hall of Fame ceremony and most of the winners were either semi-retired or dead. What made them exemplary members of our industry is the simple fact that their effect on the industry continues to be felt even without them in the game. Whether you are an art director, copywriter, account guy, planner or suit, try to do something that will outlast your life, and impact other members of our industry. You don’t need to win an award or join the Hall of Fame for it to be worthy of pursuing. But when you’re retired and sipping Piña Coladas in Mexico, you’ll be able to look back and feel proud of accomplishing something of a higher call than making logos bigger, formatting pie charts and fixing the legal copy in ads.

Cheers to Rick for making a better industry for all of us to work in.

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