April 4, 2011
Good advertising is about truth. Truth in facts, truth in comparisons, and truth in the brand promise.
It has to be that way. All else is simply noise.
So. We’re 80. What’s in that message? Why is it meaningful?
The truth is, for many, it doesn’t mean a thing, and shouldn’t.
For others, it has some meaning relevant to tenure, or accomplishment, or history.
For me, it means longevity in an industry known to have businesses with very brief shelf lives. It means perseverance in a trade where often, failure is directed solely by the whims of one, maybe two people who don’t know this business — and don’t really “get” the power of good advertising or the reason to invest in building a brand. And to me it means success in holding together the legacy of those who founded this agency and guided it to a place of respect, and integrity, and success.
I am proud of what we have done as a company, and proud that we have “history” behind our name. We are four years older than the Leo Burnett agency. We are twelve years older than Foote, Cone, and Belding, and eighteen years older than Doyle, Dane, Bernbach. We’re older than Ogilvy. We preceded the Marlboro Man, the Edsel, the “Think Small” VW campaigns, and have been in business longer than any other agency in Texas, save one, founded in Amarillo one year before us. We are one of the oldest agencies in the AAAA’s, and the oldest in Worldwide Partners. And there are not many businesses older than ours in our own city of El Paso.
There is something to be said for that.
Well, that represents a foundation that has withstood the shifts of the economy over eight decades, the whims of non-believing and unsophisticated clients, the sale and mergers of accounts, and the explosive emergence of new technologies and new mediums. Keep in mind: we are older than television, older than computers, older than printers and faxes and multi-line telephones. We’re older than video tape and CDs and DVDs and digital anything. That foundation is still with us today.
More, our longevity represents a carry forward of good advertising, for the most part for good clients. Along that line of history we have done some very good work, and helped some very good businesses. We have provided a value, and established friendships, and ultimately made partnerships that worked. We have garnered respect in this field – respect by our competitors, our clients, and by those who have worked here. That respect is still with us today.
So, being 80 matters to me. It’s more than a celebration, more than congratulations from family and friends and clients. Being 80 means that for a brief time along this historical road, I contributed something, albeit small, to that longevity and that respect. I hope all of our employees feel the same. They are a big part of Doing good work, for good clients, since 1931.
Happy Birthday, to us.