Some marketing campaigns will be remembered for years (How many licks…?, Can you hear me now?). Certain slogans become timeless (Just Do It, Got Milk?). Spokespeople become cultural icons (The Marlboro Man, Flo). Some brands even become so synonymous with their product they become part of the lexicon as verbs (Google, Uber).
And then there are marketing campaigns that have influenced our lifestyle to the point they’ve shifted the entire culture. We don’t question them, and we’re likely unaware that we believe certain things because marketing agencies want us to. (Why do we propose with diamonds, after all?)
Here are six iconic things that started as marketing campaigns.
Most people don’t give typography a second thought when they see it. That’s ok. Fonts are like audio in film — you don’t notice it until it’s off.
Font usage is vital to a brand image, and amateur designers tend to not know (or worse, not care) which fonts make people feel aesthetically pleased, and which fonts make people think, “I hate that, but I’m not sure why.”
Whether they’re dated, overused, or just plain ugly, these fonts need to be deleted from your life like the phone number of that ex you keep drunk texting.
When I’m not drawing things or writing things, sometimes I’m pretending to be other people. From the moment I stepped into my first acting class I knew the lessons and techniques I learned would be beneficial to my everyday life. Actors are among the most driven people I’ve ever been around — but if there’s a profession where success and failure (and overcoming that failure) is in your face constantly, it’s in the world of acting.
“Musicians should go to a yard sale and buy an old fucking drum set and get in their garage and just suck. And get their friends to come in and they’ll suck, too. And then they’ll fucking start playing and they’ll have the best time they’ve ever had in their lives and then all of a sudden they’ll become Nirvana. Because that’s exactly what happened with Nirvana… and they became the biggest band in the world.”
— Dave Grohl, Nirvana / Foo Fighters
There is one thing preventing you from getting really good at that thing you’ve always wanted to be really good at. Your ego.
Every once in a while I’ll stumble across an idea (in this case a quote) and just think, “bingo.”
Oscar Wilde said that if you know what you want to be, then you inevitably become it. That is your punishment. But if you never know, then you can be anything. There is a truth to that. We are not nouns, we are verbs. I am not a thing — an actor, a writer — I am a person who does things — I write, I act — and I never know what I am going to do next. I think you can be imprisoned if you think of yourself as a noun.
— Stephen Fry
In an old bio of mine you’ll find the following few lines:
I just like creating things… The result has been about 10 years of learning by doing, and developing a career that isn’t easy to summarize except to use the word “creative.” (At some point “creative” became a noun, which is good for me I guess.)
I was inspired to explore that last idea after I realized I had taken a point of view on this noun, and found myself trying to cleverly expand upon it. After all, this website is called Matt Williams Creative. While, in that context it’s used pretty ambiguously, what does it mean to be “a creative?”