“I didn’t come here to try out. I came here to win.”

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“You can decide your own fate. Are you going to let it all fall apart? Or are you going to own it?”

 

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I just read this great interview with Patti Smith. You should read it.

At Glastonbury last year she fell flat on her arse while she was performing on the main stage. Did she get up and look embarrassed? Did she try to pretend it hadn’t happened? Did she attempt to style it out? Did she fuck. She got up and screamed: “Yeah, I fell on my fucking ass at Glastonbury. But you know why? Because I’m a fucking animal, that’s why.”

“I thought to myself: ‘Well, there’s 100,000 people out there … I felt like a real asshole,’” she laughs. “And then I thought ‘What the fuck? It’s rock’n’roll! And what did I want to do more than anything in that moment?”

She bares her teeth: “I wanted to turn up my amp and just fucking rip the strings off my guitar … because I had so much energy. You can decide your own fate. Are you going to let it all fall apart? Or are you going to own it?”

Sofa King Brilliant

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Like most DDB staff, I have this little book of Bill Bernbach quotes sitting on my desk. At the risk of sounding like I’ve downed too many pints of corporate Kool Aid, it’s really fucking good. One of his maxims is “Rules are what the artist breaks; the memorable never emerged from a formula.”

I was reminded of it the other day looking at this Sofa King van. It breaks about 50 rules of accepted wisdom on typography and branding that I can think of and probably about 50 more that the anal arty types among you will be freaking out about.

But who gives a shit? Because it passes the first and most important test of any piece of advertising: be memorable. Everyone’s looking for ‘cut-though’, everyone wants to stand out among the thousands of other ads and marketing communications that flash past people’s eyes every day. But so many brands do work that’s indistinguishable from the category.

I’d happily take this craply executed gem over several tons of beautifully art directed blandness any day of the week. I die a little bit inside every time I flick through a magazine full of ads that have been crafted to within an inch of their lives but contain not one iota of human truth. The brief here was to be noticed and talked about; that’s been achieved with bold, direct simplicity. The fact that these attributes are so rarely brought together further underlines that this work is Sofa King brilliant.