It’s amazing how quickly this world evolves. And how scary it can be when we consider our short stay on this planet. (But how exciting it has been when I consider my brief career at Lessing-Flynn … 46 years.)
If you want proof, look back … perhaps just a little over 60 years.
The Bomb. The Korean War. The Cold War. Sputnik. Rock & Roll. The Cuban Missile Crisis. JFK’s Assassination. Then Bobby Kennedy and MLK. Landing on the Moon. The Oil Crisis. Vietnam. 911. Iraq (twice). 13 years in Afghanistan.
Same is true in the Advertising business. We started with copper plates and letterpress; live black & white TV and Uncle Milty; manual typewriters, IBM Selectrics, reel-to-reel recorders, 16mm film, linos and keylines; Kodak cameras and Polaroids. The Digital Age (Apple. Microsoft. The Internet. E-mail.) Social Media (Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest.)
Today, the pace and production quality is amazing. Our tools of the trade and media re-invent themselves every five years. And if we blink today, we’re behind tomorrow. It blows me away that the computing power in my cell phone is more powerful than what the astronauts on Apollo 13 had to work with.
Forty-six years leaves you with a lot of experiences and fond memories, and because of that someone recently asked me what I learned over the years. It was very difficult to edit my thoughts down to a few, but I truly believe the following:
- Your message will never resonate, if you don’t learn to “be the buyer”.
- Creativity, for the sake of creativity, usually doesn’t sell anything.
- Don’t underestimate your audience. They’re a lot smarter than you think.
- There are millions of advertising experts (in their own minds). I’ve only met a few.
As I move into “semi-retirement,” and try to spend more time away from the office – and nearly 50 years in advertising – I’m thrilled to have been a part of it. And I’m amazed at what our new generation of marketing artisans is capable of doing. Especially at Lessing-Flynn. In the words of Louie Armstrong, they’ve “learned much more than I’ll ever know, and I think to myself, what a wonderful world” and what phenomenal talent we have here.
Editor’s Note: Connor Flynn is the Chairman of Lessing-Flynn Advertising and a mentor to us all. Thanks for everything you’ve done to make this a great company! Lessing-Flynn is Iowa’s oldest advertising agency – going strong at 107 years and counting.