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November 29, 2008

Steve Beaumont

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Steve-then-now photo caption:
(left): Steve Beaumont 24 years ago
(right): Steve Beaumont 1 day ago

See? This is what I like. When I hear from a lost alum, I'm looking for photos and human interest. And boy, Steve Beaumont has supplied it in spades. I am posting the whole thing, instead of just a link, because it is so good. Thank you, Steve, for taking the time to write this and send it to me.

As I write this on my MacBook Pro, I can’t help but remember the Apple days of 1984 and Steve Jobs telling us how this little boxy computer was going to revolutionize the world. Jay was into it – although he probably related more to Jobs’ passion than anything. Lee was into it – although a free Macintosh 120K machine sat untouched for years on his Biltmore “corner office” table turned on with a simple “hello” written on the screen. And the agency was into it – although it wasn’t necessarily about changing the world. For most of us it was the chance to simply do great work. The changing of the world would come later.

I had sent Lee a letter requesting an interview after I saw “1984” on the Superbowl. After not hearing back for a week, I called Lee and was surprised when he answered the phone. It was clear he hadn’t remembered the letter but he said to come by with my book. After 10 minutes he handed me off to Steve Hayden who quickly handed me off to Dave Butler. After sitting in an empty conference room another 20 minutes wondering what was going to happen next, I finally got in the elevator and went back to my job at Dailey.

A couple days later Hayden called and offered me a job on Apple. They were looking for someone to replace the talented Brent Thomas who was leaving to start his directing career. I said yes and hung up the phone without asking about a starting salary. Days later, I worked up the nerve to call him back to ask about a salary. Hayden asked “What are you making now?” I told him 40K and he said he would talk to Lee. He called back and said Lee was fine with that and they would pay me 40K. Clearly this experience was going to be about the work, not the money.

I was paired with the great Penny Kapasouz who had graduated from receptionist to writing the famous “the computer for the rest of us” Macintosh insert and we instantly sold every ad we thought of together. Or at least it seemed that way. Truth is we hand-made hundreds of comps in Amy’s studio to sell a handful of ads but when they ran, they ran everywhere. We didn’t recommend pages. We insisted on the impact of spreads. And when everyone else was running spreads, we insisted on the impact of multiple-page inserts. For the 1986 presidential election I was assigned the job of art directing every single ad page in one issue of Newsweek magazine sponsored by Apple.

And yet the size of the ad was never the goal for Lee. It was the brilliance of the idea. Yamaha brochures, Pizza Hut tent cards and Apple small space newspaper ads all won big awards. Later Butler hired Dave Lubars and he and I teamed up to fill the award books with Apple, Pizza Hut, Yamaha and Nissan truck work. Every new hire seemed to contribute great thinking immediately. The agency has always attracted the best talent and late every night I felt the doom of my own self-doubt when walking past the reception desk piled high with portfolios seeking an audience with Clow or Butler.

I art directed the “Chiat/Day wants to work on your car” poster which we sent to them trying to get in the pitch. After we got the business I think Lee let me art direct the first Porsche insert because I stayed with the pitch long after everyone’s ideas were rejected in the “Treehouse.” I comped up Penny’s, Brent Bouchez’s and Hayden’s ideas and eventually the best of their writing was put into a single 12-page insert which Lee sent me to Germany to produce. He and Guy Day had met with Dr. Porsche the week before in Stuttgart and I passed him in the air while going to scout for the insert photography and a “Porsche Museum” TV spot both shot by Marc Coppos. After scouting bombed out train stations, a ball bearing factory and empty warehouses I called Lee back in L.A. to report on what I had seen and to ask him what he thought he wanted as he had made all the promises to Dr. Porsche the week before and we hadn’t talked since. He replied, “Never mind what I told Dr. Porsche. Pick the best location make it great.” Stunned, I paused and said. “Okay.” He ended the conversation with, “Anything else?” “No, I got it.” I said.

In those days, Jay was in New York and we knew he was coming when memos went out telling us to clean our cubicles. At one of our creative meetings he told us “I want you hear this from me: We are going to lose every piece of business we have. It’s the nature of advertising. If we let the work suffer for any reason - and it’s bad - we’ll never be able to show it in a new business meeting later to replace lost business. So don’t let anyone including clients f____ it up”

To this day, Lee’s and Jay’s words and the agency milestones achieved during those 1984-1988 years continue to inspire me. I’ve had my own advertising design business (www.stevebeaumont.com) for three years now and the idea of three or four individuals working on $3,000 Macintosh computers from their home offices and actually helping to move other people’s businesses forward would have boggled the minds of an unchanged world back in 1983. But 1984 changed everything. Now anything is possible.

Congratulations to the agency on surviving 40 years so brilliantly. And for inspiring the rest of us to try and do the same.


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1984 Apple group photo caption:
(standing left to right): Steve Beaumont, Penny Kapousouz, Christine Donohoe, Lee Clow, Elaine Hinton, Laurie Brandalise. Steve Hayden, Marc Chiat, Stephen Kessler, Steve Rabosky, Joe Sosa, Richard O’Neill. (Sitting left to right): Diana Barton, Gary Johnston, Harry Ray


November 26, 2008

Jerry Fields

Welcome in , from the land of the lost, Jerry Fields.

At first, I thought he was a finance guy. He said he wasn't. I said he was. (Turns out I had him confused with Jerry Wales.) Amazing how many brain cells erase their storage in just a few decades.

But no, Jerry was a writer ... and he was at the 40th Reunion of the Founding of Chiat/Day, so look for his picture. (See below on how to view all of the photos of that momentous event.)

November 22, 2008

Sign of the times

I find it amusing how many of you use your work address as your jay/day contact email address. It may be a sign of our financial times how many addressees "bounced back" after my last mass mailing.

Unless you feel impenetrable except by Kryptonite in your current position, please provide me with your home email address for use in future mailings.

Steve
alburty {at} jayday {dot} org

November 21, 2008

Name the Alum Contest!

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The 40th Anniversary of the Founding of Chiat/Day that was held in LA on Oct. 7th seems like it happened eons ago. I have been been remiss in posting photos because I was traveling for weeks. But now the moment has arrived.

I was too busy at the party to take photos, but luckily, Andrew Edelstein was there with a camera the size of a rocket-grenade launcher and caught the whole thing on film. Thank you, thank you, Andrew.

I have posted the photos at http://alburty.shutterfly.com. Here's your assignment: if you view each photo individually, you will notice a little button called "Add comment." Use it to identify who is shown in each photo. Lord knows, I have no idea who everybody is. My brain is pudding. I can remember Carol Madonna, but the rest of you are a blur.

So get busy and start going through the photos, adding your comments which will help identify each person shown.

There is no prize for this. Think of it as doing the Sunday New York Times Crossword Puzzle only with alums. Your satisfaction is knowing you did it.

One request: Andrew was so nice about taking the photos, please help the cause that he and Jessica Schulman (Mrs. Edelstein) support, Room 13. Below you will find some background on Room 13, as well as a "donate" button which will permit you to donate to their cause.

Please show your appreciation for Andrew's efforts by thanking him and Jessica with a donation!

Room 13 is an international network of art studios run by student artists within a school environment. Supported by an adult working artist-in-residence, children are given a safe place in which to explore their feelings by expressing their creativity and imagination. Started by primary school students in the West Highlands of Scotland, Room 13 has now grown to have 23 studios in Scotland, England, South Africa, India, Nepal, Turkey, and now the U.S. The project has grown with the help of generous creative people around the globe, so by donating here, you will help more children discover themselves through art. If you would like more information or to help give this worthy program artistic, financial or promotional support please contact Jessica Edelstein at jessica@room13usa.com


Zach Rosenberg

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Suave, sophisticated, smart, and impossibly thin. That's our Zach Rosenberg, who has been named Leader of the Year by Southern California's largest ad industry org. They are a little late on the upswing, because all of us have been aware of Zach's brilliance for years.

thinkLA Honors Horizon Media’s Zachary Rosenberg as Southern California Advertising Leader of the Year

LOS ANGELES (November 18, 2008) - thinkLA, the largest advertising industry organization for Southern California, today announced that Zachary Rosenberg, Executive Vice President, General Manager of Horizon Media’s Western Region has been named 2008 Leader of the Year. The industry’s top honor, the award is given annually to recognize creative thinking and innovation in marketing and media.

Read the whole article here.

November 12, 2008

Make Waves

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From Bria Silbert (a.k.a. "Barbara Winkler," C/D 1977-1984) ...

About three decades ago, Gene Cameron and Tom Patty were tasked to pitch Yamaha Outboards. This T shirt was developed as part of the campaign. I don't recall if we got the account, but I got the T- shirt.

November 10, 2008

California Cooler shoot

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"Teach a man to fish ...." When I was in Vancouver, I helped Chuck Phillips hook up a new scanner to his computer. He's now having a blast putting it to use, scanning a lot of the C/D memorabilia he owns.

this picture of the shirtless director mark coppos and lee clow was taken 20 years ago @ the california cooler shoot (one of lee's favourite campaigns). it was february. the temperature at topanga beach had fallen to the low-40's. all the actors in swim suits and bikini's, pretending it was mid-summer, were freezing on their takes. so clow and mark took off their shirts as an empathetic act of camaraderie which got a rousing cheer from the cast. notice all the other folks huddled in parkas. among them is producer francesca cohn and a very good account guy whose name escapes me (the bundled bearded guy on the right).

November 08, 2008

Vintage ads

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Vintage ads. 50 of 'em. Right here.

November 07, 2008

Martin Navarette

Welcome in from the cold, Martin Navarette, who worked in Venice from I1990-1992.

November 03, 2008

C/D 40th Anniversary Reunion

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I've created this entry so that those of you who attended the C/D 40th Anniversary Reunion can click on the "Comment" link below and post your special memories of the event.

Steve

Bria Silbert

Bria Silbert, who was once known as Barbara Winkler and who was the subject of this previous jayday profile, has become the latest alum to make a donation to help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this site. Thank you, Bria!!

Constitution Kit

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Nat Whitten was always one of C/D's most talented and impish copywriters. He is now the published author of not one, but TWO books. The Do-It-Yourself-Constitutional Amendment Kit is a timely riff on some ideas Nat has on improving the supreme law of this often imperfect union. (Example: "Ralph Nader given consolation prize in exchange for never running again.")

The book includes a handy kit for writing and submitting your own amendments, as well as a complete copy of the existing constitution. (I recently carried it with me as I crossed into the U.S. from Canada in case I was incarcerated.)

You may buy the book right from this very site! Remember, buy early and buy often!