The Insights Blog

Why Great Creative Matters: The World’s Shortest Speech

Why Great Creative Matters: The World’s Shortest Speech

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The late Mike Moser was one of the finest creative leaders of the last thirty years. After a decade at Chiat Day, he helped start Goldberg Moser O’Neil, a high-flying 1990’s agency in San Francisco. He won multiple Clios and Cannes Lions. And he wrote a wonderful (now out of print) book United We Brand: How to Create a Cohesive Brand that’s Seen, Heard, and Remembered.

Mike wrote the following to make one of the most important points in marketing:

The World’s Shortest Speech

Imagine you’re in a stadium.

Not just any stadium. A stadium with 15 million people in the audience.

And you have to make a speech.

In fact, someone is paying you lots of money to make that speech.

Not just any speech.

But a speech that’s guaranteed to move, persuade, and motivate that audience.

A speech that will have 15 million people hanging on your every word.

A speech that people will talk about for days.   

A speech that will last . . . 30 seconds.

And then you find out that you’re not the only speaker!

In fact, you’re only one of over 100 speakers that night.

And those 15 million people. They didn’t come to see you. They didn’t come to be moved. Or persuaded. Or motivated. They came to be entertained.

And you’ve got a whole 30 seconds. Imagine that.

What Does This Mean To Marketers?

Creative matters. A lot.

You can have the strategy nailed, the insight uncovered and the right mediums identified to get your messages to the right audiences at the right time… and still, the multiplier is great creative. Great creative can make all the difference.

Since it is so important, what can we non-creative types do? Make it easy for your creative partners to succeed! Give them the time they need to create work that works. Brief better. Run better creative review sessions. Give better creative feedback. Air the work that has heart and ambition.

Mike Moser knew this and talked about it. If you can find an old copy of his book, jump at the chance!

Regardless of whether you can grab a copy of his fine book, you can work better with your creative partners. As P&G’s Tom Laco once said:

“Creative people should enjoy working on Procter & Gamble business and it’s your job to see that they do.”

Mike Moser started his advertising career after serving in the Air Force from 1971 until late 1974. He worked for over 20 years in advertising. He spent ten years at Chiat/Day Advertising, and ten years at his own agency: Goldberg Moser O’Neill. He was twice voted Art Director of the Year. He retired in 1999 and spent his spare time volunteering his marketing skills to Bay Area non-profits, schools, and friends’ businesses. Mike passed away in 2015.

Steve Boehler, founder, and partner at Mercer Island Group has led consulting teams on behalf of clients as diverse as Zillow Group, Microsoft, UScellular, Nintendo, Ulta Beauty, Stop & Shop, Qualcomm, Brooks Running, and numerous others. He founded MIG after serving as a division president in a Fortune 100 when he was only 32. Earlier in his career, Steve Boehler cut his teeth with a decade in Brand Management at Procter & Gamble, leading brands like Tide, Pringles, and Jif.