Happy Birthday, Bill Burnbach

Today, Aug. 13, 2011, would have been the 100th birthday of Bill Burnbach, the highly acclaimed creative mind that brought us Volkswagon’s “Think Small” among many other brilliant creative initiatives of the 1950s and 60s.

Dubbed by TimeThe Adman’s Adman” in a 1958 article, Burnbach championed artistry inspired by the product over all else, and despised consumer research that the rest of the industry used as a measuring stick. He believed that playing by the numbers was an attempt to eliminate the risk of advertising, and, Burnbach said, “Playing it safe can be the most dangerous thing you can do.”

His MO was simple but striking ideas, powerful visuals and minimal copy … a practice that today seems to be emulated everywhere. His New York-based agency Doyle Dane Bernbach took in a number of young, inexperienced creatives and turned them into the industry’s next generation of legends.

So, happy birthday to a brilliant creative mind. I leave you with these words of wisdom from the legend himself”

“Logic is one of the great obstacles to progress.”


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