Way before most—the moment that the internet became fast enough—we began webcasting the videos we created for our clients’ fundraising galas. After all, each film deserved to be seen by a larger audience; and our clients’ websites were hungry for content. Then came social media. That’s when the hunger became voracity. And that’s why right now, whenever we’re commissioned to do a film, we make sure to make use of all the great material by crafting it into a series of shorter individual episodes. The strategy is working beautifully for the likes of Columbia University School of the Arts. Our latest video is for their incomparable MFA in Writing.
And here are the various drill-down segments produced with dazzling efficiency. For potential students—especially for those with the calling to write now—this is the way to deliver the most resonate message… right now:
Next in our AD Lubow 25th Anniversary Series: In 1907, the slogan, “Carnation Condensed Milk, the milk from contented cows” was introduced. It referred to the higher quality milk from happy cows grazing in the lush Pacific Northwest. For a long time, our agency has been making advertising from equally “contented content,” meaning it’s made from the good and green fields of our client’s everyday life. For example, when asked to come up with conventional membership materials for Liberty Science Center, our mindset went beyond the conventional brochures and posters. We proposed a membership-seeking robot that spewed membership applications. It was more than an ad. It was an exhibition in itself.
For years, we’ve also believed in the eco-friendly practice of building promotions with 100% recycled materials. So after producing dozens of biopics of the amazing scientists who have graced the gala fundraisers of Liberty Science Center, we created an interactive exhibition called GENIUS GALLERY featuring the short biopics we produced about these remarkable visionaries. That’s what we mean by contented content—where nothing goes to waste and everything comes from the genuine, everyday life of our clients.
Next in our AD Lubow 25th Anniversary Series: Let the record show that our agency (when still called William Altman Advertising) handled the advertising for two of the top three most popular exhibitions ever at the Metropolitan Museum: Treasures of Tutankhamun (with 1,360,000 visitors) and The Vatican Collections: The Papacy and Art (with 896,743). It’s funny how fate foreshadows things to come. Decades later, our agency would be chosen to create the theme and identity for Pope Francis’s historic visit to New York. And Arthur Lubow would team up with George H. Lewis to co-create a book and an exhibition about the Boy King Tutankhamun which, on the second leg of its tour, opens at Sands Point Preserve Conservancy in March.
“DO GOOD. DO WELL.” Nearly 25 years ago, our agency coined that expression in a series of transit ads promoting the ethos of a local college. It’s been gratifying to see the phrase adopted by just about every CSR article you read nowadays. Just as fulfilling is the fact that Budweiser’s latest Super Bowl ad brags that it brews its beer with wind power. If it’s beer that gets pop culture on the side of solving global warming, we’ll drink to that.
After more than 25 years of promoting Nature Conservancies, Science Museums and Research Universities, we’re still at it. These days, we’re proud to be of service to firms such as Cranemere whose mission is to finance companies that do well by doing good.
Yes, the answer my friends is blowin’ in the wind. (We invite you to get inspired about saving the planet with this photo of Iceland’s Skogfloss by George H. Lewis)
Next in our AD Lubow 25th Anniversary Series: TEACHING TEACHING. If you want to discover how to turn a troubled school around, why not ask the most visionary principals in the nation how they’ve done it. That’s precisely what the National Association of Secondary School Principals did. A 200-page report resulted, naming in rather scholarly terms the best practices in leadership, data management, teacher teamwork and more.
We were commissioned by the brilliant Christen Pollock, then with the College Board and now the head of edBridge Partners, to show what these reforms looked like in everyday classroom life. Our more than 40 instructional videos, shot in eleven schools around the country, were presented with other learning aids in a groundbreaking website called Leading Success. Explaining complicated issues in clear and engaging terms is another part of our company DNA. You see this trait appearing a lot in our 25 years. More on that later.
Next in our AD Lubow 25th Anniversary Series: THE ART OF DIPLOMACY. In 1985 no sooner had a Reagan-Gobachev cultural exchange agreement been signed, than Philippe de Montebello dispatched a cable and was on his way to the Hermitage Museum in Leningrad. From there, he would craft a series of inspiring exhibitions based on an unprecedented degree of reciprocal exchanges between major American and Soviet art museums..
The first exhibition was “Dutch and Flemish Painting from the Hermitage” which ran at the Metropolitan Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago beginning in 1988. The second, in 1990, was “From Poussin to Matisse: The Russian Taste for French Painting.” The late John Bryan, then President of Sara Lee and his brilliant Public Affairs director, Ron Culp seized the opportunity to sponsor the exhibitions. It was an ingenious way to elevate Sara Lee Corporation’s image, positioning the company at the nexus of high art, multinational business and international diplomacy.
Working with Mr. Culp, Arthur Lubow crafted a message that encapsulated the importance of it all, headlined “The Art of Diplomacy.” Looking back at our company’s history, we can proudly say that the idea of promoting peace through the universally understood language of art is a thread that has always been a part of our company’s DNA. We at AD Lubow would like the entire Corporate Responsibility community to remember these groundbreaking exhibitions as the important steps they were in elevating the role of the art in human understanding.
Next in our AD Lubow 25th Anniversary Series: There were no grand designs for the company when we started except perhaps for the ones which in retrospect seem to have been pre-ordained. The company by nature only worked for organizations committed to art, education, social justice, spirituality, enterprise and human kindness. Only when you look back, do you realize that in essence, we were working for freedom from fear and ignorance. So when we were commissioned to create the identity for the touring exhibition, ROCKWELL, ROOSEVELT AND THE FOUR FREEDOMS, we were given the opportunity to work on our main mission in life: Freedom from Fear, as exemplified in this brilliant illustration by Norman Rockwell. We’ll elaborate in later posts about some of our other compulsions. For now, please read a marvelous essay by Stephan Vincent Benét and weep if you must about how human discourse and journalism have devolved since the time this was written. See Benét essay.
Next in our AD Lubow 25th Anniversary Series: MISTY COPELAND’S BLACK SWAN. On the subject of marketing ballet to mass audiences, Arthur Lubow, early in his career, heard George Balanchine say: “If they don’t want to come, nothing can stop them!” Fast forward 35 years to Misty Copeland’s courageous debut as the principal dancer in ABT’s Swan Lake at the Met. Nothing could stop nearly 4,000 fans from crowding into a matinee performance. In her life, Copeland had gone from living with her family in an SRO motel room to an SRO performance at the Met Opera House. We were proud to have played a part. See Black Swan.
This year marks the 25th Anniversary of AD Lubow. It’s hard for anyone to imagine how much we’ve enjoyed the interplay between creativity and technology, except to say: picture Madame X reading her own book on an iPad. Be on the lookout throughout the year as we post some of the historic moments in which our enterprise has played a part.
In the age of fake news, wouldn’t you know it—irony of all ironies—it’s up to advertising to tell the world the truth. But, truth be told, sometimes reality has to be decorated so that it projects properly to the wider world.
So when we in the communications industry find a beautiful, truthful event such as President Sian Beilock’s inaugural address as President of Barnard College, we owe it to the world to share the spirit of the moment. But to communicate not just what was said but also what was felt in the room you sometimes have to dress it up a little.
That’s precisely what we did when we took short snippets of President Beilock’s speech and adorned them with imagery and music. Here’s one example.
There was enough depth in the speech for us to create four additional episodes on various topics that would be meaningful to alumni and supporting foundations. And we carved out several more messages into byte-size pieces for distribution via social media — proving our maxim that if truth is to propagated in an environmentally sound way, it should be 100% recyclable.
The first video, introduced on Giving Day, produced wonderful results while doing the original event justice. Why? Well, Picasso may have explained it best when he said: “Art is a lie that tells the truth.”