March 08, 2012

Ad Dude Of The Year

Last night I received the "Ad Person of the Year" award from the wonderful people at the San Francisco Ad Club at their annual awards gala. Because of time restraints, I had to edit my remarks. Here are the full remarks that I wrote for the occasion.

Thank you Ad Club for this lovely honor.

Thanks for this wonderful plaque...and the beautiful new Ferrari, and the dollar off on the drink coupons.

It is particularly gratifying to me that this honor comes at a creative awards ceremony.

I am a self-confessed creative department chauvinist. It seems to me that the creative people make the advertising and everyone else makes the arrangements.

What I have never understood is why it takes 5 times as many people to make the arrangements…

The great thing about being the "Ad Person Of The Year" is that I’m not just totally awesome for one night. I’m totally awesome for a whole fucking year.

I’ve never been totally awesome for a whole year before. Once I think I was totally awesome for a weekend. But that was a long time ago.

There are a few things that worry me about this award though. At my age I’m not really sure I want to be in advertising for another whole year.

I may decide I want to leave advertising and try something new, like becoming a dry cleaner or something. Then what would happen?

What if someone came to town and asked, “Who’s your Ad Person Of The Year?” And you would have to say, “Well, we don’t really have one. We used to have one but now he’s a dry cleaner.” That wouldn’t be right.

The other thing I’m worried about is, I was thinking, what if Ad Person Of The Year isn’t an award for all my awesome accomplishments that will be coming up in the next year, what if it’s for last year?

Then tonight is not the first night of my year, it's the last night.

That would really suck.

It would mean I was Ad Person Of The Year for a whole year and I didn’t even know about it til two weeks ago.

I could have been going out to nice restaurants every night and drinking champagne instead of sitting home like a schmuck watching Antiques Roadshow.

Well, anyway. I started in advertising in San Francisco in 1973. That was, let me see… almost 10 years ago.

In that time I have had the great privilege and honor to work with and meet -- and in some cases become friends with -- a lot of amazing advertising people.

It's my opinion that over that time -- no thanks to me -- SF has produced more great advertising pound-for-pound than any other city in the country.

But you know, we ad people put very little value on the history of our business and we know very little about what got us here. Doctors study the history of medicine going back to Hippocrates; lawyers memorize the Magna Carta. The only thing we know about our history is who did the dancing monkey spot in the 2008 Super Bowl.

I see a lot of young people here tonight and I hope you will take the time to learn about and appreciate the very interesting history of advertising in San Francisco -- and I hope you will continue that great history.

Finally, I have some people to thank. First I want to thank the Ad Club for being proud of advertising and not changing its name to the “marketing communications” club or the “content” club or, God forbid, the “conversation” club.

Next, I want to thank my colleagues -- the people I have worked with all these years, whose coattails I have shamelessly ridden.

Finally, I want to thank you all so much for this wonderful honor. It means a great deal to me and it makes me very proud. Thank you.

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