July 20, 2009

What do Luke Sullivan, Diesel and Harvey Milk have in common?

Luke Sullivan wrote Hey Whipple and Squeeze This: a guide to Creating Great Advertising. In his chapter about the enemies of advertising, Luke introduces the Meat Puppet, a person due to their own fear and indecision believes their actions will be “second guessed” therefore creative ideas are unable to leave the drawing board, because clients may not want to take risks.

Diesel (the Italian fashion label) infamous for their irreverent marketing campaigns. In December, coinciding with their 30th anniversary, the brand launched a new campaign “channel V ” that included a video called Pete The Meat Puppet; a surreal story about the rise and fall of a puppet made from meat as he embarks on a career in advertising. If you missed it first time round, check it out here . But here’s the connection, Legs directed the video for the agency FarFar, Legs are based at the Milk studios. One of the videos pictured a man drinking milk, then saying, “Milk loves the machine”

I really like the use of the Venn diagram.

“Milk Loves The Machine”

With me so far? Harvey Milk was the first openly gay man to be elected in to public office in the state of California. Harvey Milk was assassinated, in November 1978 after 11 months in office. In a film by Gus Van Sant released in January of this year “MILK” chronicles the story of Harvey Milk’s, life and the gay rights movement of the seventies. I really recommend watching it. In the film one of Harvey milk slogans on his campaign posters was “Harvey Milk vs. The Machine”

“Harvey Milk vs. The Machine”

So why are these connections important?

I like to think that the idea behind the Diesel campaign was inspired by a book I love, that then helped breathe life into a monster, and in doing so allowed subliminal nods and little signatures to reward those who recognise them. Then again it might all be bollocks, a happy coincidence. But isn’t that often what great creativity boils down to?