Go ahead enlarge the picture.
That is the face of Lee Clow, The Bearded One.
As well as the face of a Pacific Chinook Salmon, The Scaly One.
Why, you may ask, are they on the same page?
In which case you'd be missing the greater point -- they're on a page.
A printed page.
The year was 1998 and Lee Clow had just been named WSAAA leader of the year. To honor him, the WSAAA, Western States Advertising Agency Association, was throwing a gala dinner at the Regent Beverly Wilshire. Since my art director John Shirley and I were the Flavors of the Month for a short five minutes, we were asked to come up with an invite for the event.
Fortunately, this was before the advent of the cheap e-vite or e-mail blasts.
Yes, those are cheaper ways of communicating.
But, and I can't stress this enough, those are cheaper ways of communicating.
You can call me old school but you'd better say it loudly, 'cause the hair in my ear is getting thicker by the day, but an invite to a black tie event should be a printed piece.
On thick stock.
Something you can share with co-workers.
"Check this out, it's Lee Clow and a Salmon."
Here it is in all its glory:
If you were holding this in your hand you could fold it out and easily read all the little captions instead of trying to enlarge the html, find the zoom-in tool and mouse across the timeline.
And that's the problem with advertising today.
There's no tactility.
Fortunately, for you, I've taken the liberty of breaking it down to smaller components.
I'm sure when we presented the invite ideas there were two to three other concepts in the mix. You never went to Clow with just one idea in your pocket. He needed to have choices. I'm glad Lee has a penchant for self-deprecation and chose this odd bird.
Not only because it gave us a chance to get in front of every important professional in the Los Angeles advertising community.
It also gave us the self-serving opportunity to cement our work (the ABC campaign) among the select legendary campaigns that built the Chiat/Day legend.
Moreover, and this cannot be overstated, it gave us a glorious four-color platform to put a picture of advertising icon Lee Clow next to a dead flash-frozen fish.