I was at art school in New York, and one of the projects we were given was to advertise yourself.
Like everyone else I started by thinking what was different about me.
Then, once I’d got that sorted, I wrote some ads
Then thinking about the best media for it.
Then we all went along to class to present our ideas.
The two guys who used to teach our class were from Doyle Dane Bernbach, and Delehanty Kurnit & Geller, two of the hottest agencies in town.
As we were waiting they walked in with faces like death.
They sat with their heads in their hands.
They looked up at us with tears in their eyes.
They said, “There isn’t going to be a class tonight.”
They said, “We’ve just received this letter from the Dean.
The best person in the class has been killed in a car crash.
She was the person with the brightest future of her entire year, and now it’s all gone.
If there was anyone in this entire year who was going to make an impact, anyone who was going to be great, it was her.
And now she’s gone.”
They went on like that for about twenty minutes,
And then she walked in.
She’d been waiting outside the door, listening while they did her advertising for her.
When she walked in they were speechless.
They didn’t know whether to be relieved or hit her.
They were so angry they just walked out.
She knew that, in America, when anyone dies they get an automatic eulogy.
So she had the Dean write the letter about the car crash, to get her teachers to advertise her themselves.
When they calmed down, they repeated that story all over town.
They even carried the letter in their wallets to show advertising people all over New York.
She became so famous that, by the time she got out of art school, she could have walked into a job at pretty much any agency on Madison Avenue.
Now what I say is, if you need permission to be creative, you’re not really creative.