Submitted by Emma Bardelli,
Q: Tell us why this mother deserves Breakfast in Bed by Chef Jeremy Kalmus.
A: Hi! My mother is the most deserving lady I know! She always puts everyone before herself. She has cared for both parents as they died from cancer. All this while loving her own family with two daughters. I was diagnosed with a terrible pain disease leaving me in a wheelchair and in the hospital every few months. During this time is when her father got diagnosed with terminal cancer and while she was handling the two of us, her sister (and best friend) got very ill herself and had to move in with us and my mom took care if all three of us daily. She still with holds a job, takes care of her husband and other daughter and manages to support me with many many doctors appointments. I was at culinary school 12 hrs away and instead of making me leave she made the drive back and forth to NC with no problem until I became way too sick to be alone. It would mean a TON if you did this for my mom on this special day. I wish it could be me helping but sadly I haven’t been able to cook in awhile.. It’s been a very hard three years in the Bardelli household and it doesn’t look like it’s letting up anytime soon. So PLEASE PLEASE take the time to read this and consider her. She deserves a good day for herself. Thank you so so much!!!
Submitted by Larry Meyers,
Q: Tell us why this mother deserves Breakfast in Bed by Chef Jeremy Kalmus.
A: Where do I begin? My Mom is so very special. She is always giving and never complains about helping others. Her children and grandchildren are the most important people in her life. My Mom is going to be 80 this year, she lost my Dad this past year after 57 years of marriage and she is more concerned about how we, her five children are dealing with it. I have heard her cry, but she doesn’t want us to know because she doesn’t want to bring us down. She has had two knee replacements and a hip and she has never complained. She is remarkable, caring, loving, strong, and patient. I have never met anyone like her. She has been hit with many hardships but she always keeps smiling.
There’s no doubt David Ogilvy was a man of many sage bits of wisdom. He lived a long and colorful life, and is credited as being the Father of Advertising and the inspiration for one of our fave TV shows. Like any great father, he generously shared what he learned along the way in hopes that his experience could enlighten ours. For the third installment in our Fathers Week tribute, we thought we’d pass along a couple of our favorite D.O. nuggets to you:
Like this hint on writing well we found on Brain Pickings :
“Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning — and then edit it.”
Or this tip about business Patricia Sellers shared in a reminiscence on CNNMoney:
“Bear in mind that the consumer is not a moron. She is your wife. Do not insult her intelligence.”
While these words ring true in the context he wrote them, they are genius in how they can be applied to almost any part of life. And, like any good fatherly advice, they are timeless, memorable, and most importantly, can save you a heap of trouble throughout your life if you’re smart enough to heed them.
Tell us: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received and/or shared, fatherly or not?
We recently came across the following internal memo sent from one ad agency partner to another, and it made us pause and think about what we would be doing if the outcome described in it had worked out any differently. We thought you might enjoy reading it, too, on this second day of our weeklong celebration of Fathers:
“Will Any Agency Hire This Man?
“He is 38, and unemployed. He dropped out of college.
He has been a cook, a salesman, a diplomatist and a farmer.
He knows nothing about marketing and had never written any copy.
He professes to be interested in advertising as a career (at the age of 38!) and is ready to go to work for $5,000 a year.
“I doubt if any American agency will hire him.
However, a London agency did hire him. Three years later he became the most famous copywriter in the world, and in due course built the tenth biggest agency in the world.
“The moral: it sometimes pays an agency to be imaginative and unorthodox in hiring.”
Of course, this memo was written by none other than David Ogilvy, the Father of Advertising as we know it, describing himself as an employment candidate in the late 1940s. We love that he never seemed to take himself too seriously and yet had an uncanny knack for getting to the heart of the matter anyway. In reviewing his biography, it’s easy for us to see now how he ended up where he did, with all of those twists and turns and unlit paths, in exactly the place he was always meant to be. We can’t help but to be inspired and go…
Tell us: what unexpected journeys have you taken in life and where have they led you?
I grew up in a family of serious smart. Like Harvard and Bryn Mawr degrees-smart. And, while I was not the stellar scholar that my parents always were when I pursued my English degree at Boston University, my Dad taught me something else: to listen well, to see different points of view and to realize that at any moment I might be privy to a life story or experience that would change me a bit.
After all, it had happened to him once with the Father of Advertising himself, David Ogilvy in 1965. One chance meeting with Mr. Ogilvy and he remembers it to this day. They had nothing much in common at the time: David Ogilvy was a pioneer in the world of advertising and making the rounds of the lecture circuit after his game-changing publication Confessions of an Advertising Man, and while that was not my Dad’s niche, he realized he was in the presence of an incredible perspective and it was probably a good idea to pay attention.
All of these years later, he shared his memories of that incredible chance meeting with me:
“I was a student at Harvard Business School, and David Ogilvy was there giving a lecture. The marketing group had invited him in, and though I wasn’t formally a member of the group I asked if they didn’t mind if I just came in and listened to it, and they said that was fine. So, I went and I listened to a lecture because the man always fascinated me. I always thought of him as a very accomplished person in his field. He told some fascinating stories. He mentioned one that his firm had a contract to encourage people to get down to an island in the Caribbean. They were trying to get business settled in there, and he said that their problem was that they had to take, and these are pretty close to his exact words, a rat-infested, disease-ridden, poverty-stricken island and turn it into a tropical paradise. Which according to him, they succeeded at doing. And then one of the students mentioned the ads for a brand of beer that were great, but the beer didn’t sell, why not? To which he answered loudly ‘Beer!’—his idea was that if you didn’t have a good product, you can’t move it, and therefore almost anything won’t sell.
“He also talked about one of his other accounts, Dove Soap. He said that they almost never asked for formulas because they try to keep it secret, but in this case he said he had a hunch so they did. The net result was that they found out that they were putting face cream in the soap and so that ran an ad campaign based on the fact that every time you washed your face you get a facial. Of course, it caught on.
“People asked him where his inspiration came from and he said long walks in the woods, particularly in the fall, hot baths and John Barleycorn. Apparently he gave up the John Barleycorn at some point because years later I read in a book that he had bought a house and vineyard in France, but he had to get someone to test the grapes after it was made into the wine to see how good it was because he had an abhorrence of alcohol.
“At one point during his speech, he said that the only thing duller than meeting with a group of bankers was meeting with a group of corporate lawyers. After his lecture I walked along with him, this was some time in the winter because the snow had all been shoveled out of the way (Harvard was always so good about keeping the walks so clear you never needed rubbers). He had an umbrella with him and along the way, he stopped to poke the umbrella. The snow was kind of crystallized, and he asked me what I was going to be doing after school. I told him that I was a lawyer and a member of the bar association and had accepted a position, he said he said I hope I didn’t offend you with my comments. I said, ‘Actually no, I’m going to be teaching. I’m starting next year at Boston University,’ to which he said, ‘That’s a horse of a very different color.’
“He was an extraordinarily personable man, he gave a terrific lecture, I got the impression that he was very bright, very articulate, very quick, and he was the kind of a man who had a lot of imagination and could apply it to his particular public relations skills. I was highly impressed with this.
“He had a great influence on me in many ways, given the fact that it was only that one time I saw him. I think one was the idea that if you can turn something into a pithy phrase, something that’s catchy, doesn’t take too many words, and can get an idea across it really carries a punch and people remember it. The way you say something is sometimes just as important as what you’re trying to say. I’ll give you an example: I have always told my classes that once they become lawyers, they have four great principles that they should never forget when it comes to their clients: they are always in good faith; they’re always reasonable; and you should always have a shoe shine and a smile. They never forgot it.”
This week, as it is bookended by Father’s Day and Mr. Ogilvy’s 101st birthday, we will pay tribute to my incredible dad and his encounter with the Father of Advertising—both of whom have inspired what we do here at RBD every day. Be sure to come back and check it out!
Happy Father’s Day, Daddy.
You really are the best, D
P.S. Tell us: Is there someone who has made a lasting impact on your life?
With all this beautiful weather we are now enjoying in Metro Detroit, I am ashamed to share that we have not been taking very many walks at the office. In fact, unless walking to the Clique to pick up lunch counts, we haven’t taken any walks in the last several months. Which is a real shame because we are right behind the Riverwalk. So today we took a little walk and we were reminded of all the really cool stuff our office is close to!
So we’ve already decided that our next field trip is going to be a bike ride up and down the Riverwalk. Because you see the Wheelhouse Bike Rental Shop is just down the street from us. They even give tours! So we are going to plan this out and spend a couple wheels pedaling around this city of ours as an RBD outing. Fun, right?
We’re going to try really hard to not miss Detroit River Days. Carnival rides, sand sculptures, fireworks, food!
So we are really going to make a much more concerted effort to walk down to the Riverfront, enjoy lunch at one of the tables there and do some cool stuff every now and then. Join us!
RBD Creative is thrilled to announce our new location: the Detroit River!
Today on April 1st we will begin our moving truck promenade down Jefferson Avenue, to Riopelle Street and then march on through William G. Milliken State Park till we reach our new pad in the Harbor: the completely restored and renovated former Bob-Lo boat, the S.S. Columbia! Back in its heyday, the S.S. Columbia shuttled thousands of Detroiters back and forth to the Bob-Lo Island Amusement Park, so what better space for a group of folks who love to have as much fun while they’re working? We can already guess what you might be thinking: “Wasn’t it just six months ago when RBD Creative announced a move to the Carriage House and all of its historic 2,400 square feet of splendor?” Yes, but we just couldn’t pass up this opportunity to offer our clients exclusive shore-to-shore service on every deck of such a lovely and inspiring vessel. Plus, now we’ll be able to go international and share our talents with our new Canadian friends across the way. Stay tuned for more details as we get settled.
We hope you’ll come aboard—we’ll be expecting you!
We had differing opinions within the office about the season premiere of Mad Men.
What did you think? Post your thoughts here!
In case you couldn’t tell, we’ve been a little mad for Mad Men around here lately, especially with the Season 5 premiere only THREE days away!
Like any event that is much anticipated, when the time for it finally arrives you may find yourself reflecting on all the time that has passed and everything that has transpired leading up to that moment you’d been waiting for. Here’s a few we’ve noted from the past 17 months…
In the past 75 weeks:
Approximately 5,666,666 babies were born in the United States
Approximately 3,452,648 people died in the United States
Green Bay won the Super Bowl
New York Giants won the Super Bowl
Bromance, cougar, fist bump, helicopter parent and tweet were added as official words in the dictionary
Angry Birds was named the most popular app
75 billion Tweets sent
Approximately 195,976,000 people signed up on Facebook
The average American clocked in approximately 2,599 hours in front of their televisions
524 billion Google searches performed
What have you been doing for the past 17 months?
If you know the answer to that question, we have a pretty good guess that you’ll be tuning in to the two-hour premiere of the new season of Mad Men like the rest of us. Can you believe it’s just around the corner? We’ve had our collective non-seamed stockings in a bunch ever since we heard of the show’s return. So, what is it then about Mad Men that has so many of us all of a dither in anticipation of picking up where we left off in the crazy, but enviably stylish, world of Sterling, Cooper, Draper & Pryce?
Aside from all of the juicy character drama, for those of us in who work in marketing and advertising, it’s part fascination with that era’s office life and part history lesson about how they did “it” back then. Of course we mean the creative process. While it was a very different (though not so distant) world in terms of workplace rules (like women were expected to quit once they became moms, after accepting a secondary role to male counterparts while they were working) and social standards (okay to nap, drink and smoke on the job), the creative process seems to have been pretty much the way we run things now. Copy was longer and illustrations (not photography or white space) ruled the page, but the backbone of what made an ad work or not holds true today, too. As Don once advised Peggy who was struggling with finding a voice for a particular campaign, “You, feeling something. That’s what sells.”
We’re completely fascinated with the ad campaign meetings, too. Like when Pampers wants to create an ad for its new line of disposable diapers. The folks at the agency cannot for the life of them understand why anyone would want a disposable diaper. And, that poignant scene when Don is pitching to Kodak about how to sell their new photo slide device: he clicks through stills from his own life, featuring the other side of himself as a dad with his kids as he’s talking before finally announcing “It’s not a wheel. It’s a Carousel.” Well, when he puts it like that, could it ever have been anything else?
That’s the feeling we strive for each and every one of our clients. It’s making that connection that keeps us in the game. Mad Men shows us that while times certainly may have changed, the essence of what gets to people has not. It’s why we keep coming back for more.
How about you?