In the movie Marathon Man, Dustin Hoffman is a middle class student who lives in a rough area of New York.

Every day he has to avoid getting beaten up or mugged by the Puerto Rican hoodlums who hang out on the steps of the apartment block opposite.

One night, when he’s in the bath, two armed gangsters break into his apartment and try to kidnap him.

He escapes, but he’s naked on the street at 2am.

He rings the bell of the apartment block opposite, and wakes up the Puerto Rican hoodlums.

“You got 5 seconds to tell me why I shouldn’t kill you motherfucker.” The Puerto Rican’s leader  says.

Dustin Hoffman tells him, “If you break into my apartment you can take the TV set, the Hi Fi, and anything else you want. All you have to do is bring me some clothes.”

The hoodlum says, “What’s the catch?”

Dustin Hoffman says, “There are men in there who will try to stop you, and they have guns.”

The hoodlum says, “Shit. That ain’t the catch. That’s the fun.”


Why is that relevant to creative people?

Because it’s no fun being safe and predictable.

The fun is in doing what you’re not supposed to do.

The fun is getting into trouble.

Trouble means controversy.

Controversy means people are talking about you.

That means they’re talking about you instead of the competition.

That means free media.

That means people are doing our advertising for us.

The more trouble we get into, the better our advertising works.

The catch is : the BACC don’t want us to do it, the lawyers are worried that someone could sue us, the client thinks the competition may respond and they’ve got a bigger budget than us, in research some people in the groups didn’t like it, it’s not the sort of thing that wins awards, no one’s done anything like it before.

Shit. That ain’t the catch. That’s the fun.