Monday, May 9, 2016

A Bite at the Apple

Oh no, I can hear you muttering, we've reached that point in the RoundSeventeen Self Promotionpolluzza where Siegel whips out old ads in a desperate attempt to remain relevant and contemporary.

Yeah, that's why I posted an old full page newspaper ad. Because nothing says contemporary and ready to tackle the new media landscape like 400 square inches of pulp-based antiquity.

The truth is, I was nosing around my garage, weeping over old photo's of the kids -- photos you could actually hold in your hand, by the way -- and came across across this classic from 1994.

For those of you keeping track, I was 22.

Also, perhaps by fate, I came across an interview with my former boss Steve Hayden, the original copywriter on the classic 1984 Super Bowl commercial.

Steve was one of my favorite bosses. He's a tall silver-haired man with the kind of upper crust whiteness you'd expect to find in a restricted Connecticut golf club. He's also incredibly smart, professorial PhD smart.

But his appearance is completely deceiving.

Because not far below that intimidating surface is a self-deprecating, prank-loving, mischief maker who could hold his own with any 14 year old. Sometimes I can tell a story and make people laugh. Steve can tell a story and make people snort all manner of liquids through their nose.

He was also my mentor during those turbulent days at BBDO, working with the Apple client. As I describe on my resume, these were the dark, rudder-less, Steve Jobs-less days in Cupertino and the company was literally circling the drain.

My partner and I had the good fortune to draw this assignment -- celebrate and thank the makers of the original Mac computer. And rereading the body copy, I like to think I was able to mimic the distinctive Apple voice.

If memory serves, there was a follow up on the very next page that read, "And Why 2001 will not be like 2001." (I can't find that ad) But I do remember we had to secure permission from the author of 2001, A Space Odyssey book, Arthur Clark, who was living in the swampy suburbs of Mumbai.

It isn't often that advertising facilitates such close contact with the iconic forces that have shaped our culture.

Pretty...pretty... heady... stuff.

And I consider myself very lucky.

Had it not been Apple and had it been 2016, a thank you sentiment from a client would have merited nothing more than a 1/4 page ad in the back of the program at the San Luis Obispo Dinner Theater presentation of Guys and Dolls.

Parking validated with a stamped admission ticket.

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