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An insider’s view of Chiat/Day

I really love Matthew Kalis’s short documentary about the Los Angeles office of TBWA/Chiat/Day Advertising.

Notes from the documentary

Aside from enjoying a hip/fun soundtrack with tunes from the 1970s to present, in this video you will see and learn about:

  • what the Chiat/Day design space in LA looks like — from walking through the entrance tunnel, to the open spaces designed for creativity, community, and collaboration
  • background on Jay Chiat and the agency — the decision to “be big” and create a great agency in the late 60s
  • a montage of iconic print and video campaigns
  • philosophy about creating an environment where creative people could “do it their way”
  • thoughts on why Jay Chiat was a leader and initiated change in the advertising industry, how he drove and inspired others to achieve
  • how Lee Clow did a year-long campaign (“hire the harry”) in order to convince the Chiat/Day team to let him join — his peers describe Lee as “an advertising legend”
  • how Lee understands what creative thinking is, how he pushes for the best
  • Apple, Inc.’s 1984 advertisement that introduced the Macintosh, and how the spot helped Chiat/Day to become a force in the advertising industry
  • another montage of outstanding campaigns for Porsche, and later Nissan
  • inspiration for the Energizer Bunny and how it was turned into an effective advertising campaign
  • examples from their big accounts: Taco Bell, Jack in the Box, Reebok
  • a tour of “the big grey box” where their offices are located (which looks like a miniature city)
  • Omnicom’s purchase of TBWA and Chiat/Day
  • The Tequila worldwide network of agencies and interactive work, viral videos, and more around the globe
  • “Beyond Disruption” — pioneered by Jean-Marie Dru. Looking at unconventional strategies in order to move faster
  • Apple, Inc.’s “Think Different” campaign
  • And another montage of cool advertisements for iPod, Playstation, and more
  • Closing thoughts from key members of the agency: they started small with a passion for great work, they grew and are now big — but, still have the passion. If you have a great idea — go and do it!
  • Lee’s formula for growth and profit: great people, doing great work is how you grow and become profitable, there isn’t any other way.