Failure Is An Option

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Last night, we watched this really cool film about the advertising industry called Art & Copy.

I love movies like this that make you think about art and the effect ideas have on the different strata of our culture.  The overwhelming need for extremely cohesive ideas in advertising surprised me.  Perhaps it shouldn't be such a surprise, but it's funny how effects, phenomena, and concepts that come off so effortlessly in fact require so much durn work.

Art & Copy was extremely entertaining--I recommend it!--but there was one particular ad in it which sorta took my breath away.  It's a Michael Jordan commercial.  Transposed upon the business of novel writing, from the vantage point of beginning writers like me, I think it inspires in a very unique way--and captures the spirit of what it is to persevere and make good in the end.  What do you think?

10 bolts from the blue:

Postman said...

I remember during one of my college communication courses, after we had learned about visual design and copy and the role such seemingly innocuous blends of imagery and catch-phrases could play on our subconscious (especially with regards to making us buy stuff)...we had to actually come up with an advertising campaign ourselves. Our efforts were paltry, puny, two-dimensional, basic. I remember how impressed I was at the sheer amount of work that goes into the advertising industry (if nothing else about it).

Rachel Fenton said...

It takes a long time and a lot of hard graft to get to the point of simplicity. I like the ad.

Claire Dawn said...

Wow! That ad was amazing! Got me all inspired! Safe travels jp!

Jojomama said...


Alexandra Shostak said...

Ooh man, I like that. Puts it all in perspective.

Lola Sharp said...

I've seen this a bunch of times, but it's awesome every time. :)

Safe travels.

Liza said...

Oh JP. Fantastic video, and more timely then you will ever know. Thank you for your comment on my post. I can't find your email to contact you directly, so you are going to get a cryptic comment instead. Your suggestion is "in the works." It is my style to be low key...I only just told my husband and my daughter about it this weekend. I had to prove to myself that I could get to a point where my efforts might possibly become "real." Now I may be there. Thank you for reading and for your kind comments along the way. Hope the trip to Sicily goes well.

Elana Johnson said...

Love this!

Robin said...

I read this and watched your video and felt the stirrings of a memory. I then went digging around in a box because I have been sorting through my books, deciding what to keep and what to donate to the library. I knew that the story I was looking for was in a Robert Fulghum book in the "Keep" box. I thought it was in his first book, but it turned out it was the second. The name of that book is IT WAS ON FIRE WHEN I LAY DOWN ON IT. Great title, huh? All of his stories are shorts. Kinda like blog posts before there such things. The first sentence of this story was, "John Pierpont died a failure." The story went on to list all of the things that John Pierpont attempted and failed at. It is a long list. However, John Pierpont did something that everyone the world over knows him for ~ they just don't know that he was the "source." John Pierpont wrote the Christmas song Jingle Bells. The way that Mr. Fulghum lays out the story will make you laugh and cry. In three pages. That is quite a feat. So, he's no slouch either. Everyone fails. How can you not? The people who fail the most, are the people who try the most. (BTW, found you via Liza at MIDDLE PASSAGES. Congrats on your award and so happy that your travel arrangements are coming together!)

Jon Paul said...

Postie--Yeah, the level of effort surprised me. But I see an analogy for fiction there as well, especially when I read work by authors like Dostoevsky and Ondaatje who make it look so effortless.

Rachel--Good point. Simplicity isn't always as simple as it looks.

Claire--Glad to be of service!

Jojomama--Right back at ya!



Liza--Sure thing! I'm happy to hear about your forward progress and breakthrough!


Robin--Wow! That's a great anecdote. Need to go look up that story. It's still amazes me how these same themes reappear over and over again in various works of art and fiction.

Thank you all for stopping by and for taking the time to comment!

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