For three years before September 11, 2001, our agency had the privilege of working for The New York Philharmonic. This was a highly successful time for the orchestra, thanks in large part to brilliant programming by Welz Kauffman and the influence of James Timm, then a rising star in arts marketing just at the beginning of his career. Mini-festivals within the season proved to be highly effective. One was organized by Kurt Masur around the remarkable virtuoso, Anne Sophie Mutter. Another provided a forum for a dozen contemporary composers. New music doesn’t often result in ticket sales. But this one did. The series sold out. Everything was going fine until 9/11. That’s when terror emboldened fear. It’s worth remembering that the City in the days and months that followed crawled into itself. Even paid ticket holders stopped coming to NY Phil performances. Motorists crossing the major bridges breathed a sigh of relief every time they made it to the other side. In public places everywhere, National Guard members were armed with machine guns and dressed in camouflage in order to, ironically enough, stand out and be noticed. It’s uncomfortable to remember all this. Still, we must—especially those in the Arts, because, after all, it’s the job of artists to embolden courage through understanding. It’s our job to find harmony through contrast and dissonance.
The New York arts world is a community that, like the City itself, is built on strength through diversity. Just see the beauty of the collaboration between Wynton Marsalis and Kurt Masur back in 1999. We were so pleased with this. It proved that New York is a community and a state of mind that will always be great as long as people with talent from everywhere in our country and the world still want to be part of it, and fear not the noises. On this sad day of remembrance, let us not fall victim to anxiety. And let us never fear and never forget that the Arts and its resounding celebration of beauty and human understanding—wherever found—is the clearest path to peace, as Shakespeare would voice in all of us:
Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises,
Sounds, and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again. And then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked
I cried to dream again.
We hope you’re starting to see a pattern imprinted in our 25 years. We’ve always been moved by the innate goodness and wonder of children. Along the way, we developed the idea of 3D Branding whereby readers of print ads are invited to view an online video that goes deeper into the subject and brings the ad to life. An early full-page in The New York Times featuring Regis Philbin revisiting his school in the Bronx was one of the first examples of this technique, now so standard today. The photo, by agency VP Anne van der Does, goes beyond any conventional group shot; it probes straight into the hearts and minds of each child; and tells its own story. The telling and touching video takes it from there.
To see the innovative way we are celebrating the wonder of childhood these days, tune in next week. We’ll have something special to show you.
Photo by AD Lubow co-founder and partner, Anne van der Does
Great fundraisers don’t fundraise. They share a vision—a vision so emotionally compelling that donors will want to make it their own. This is precisely what Anne van der Does achieved in the above photo for Inner-City Scholarship Fund. This picture—in every way worthy of the great Henri Cartier-Bresson—ran successfully for quite some time in The New York Times. The photo, in fact, became so iconic that it became the basis for the client’s longstanding logo. Long story short: donors have needs, too. If in as few words as possible—or with no words at all—you can capture what they’re feeling, you’ll have made your cause theirs. Funding will follow.
The tragic fire of Notre Dame, should make us all reflect. Each Cathedral is a work of art and spirit built over the course of centuries by people who may never get to see it finished. As such, it is a conversation and a gift from one generation to another. Our Earth, in that sense, is a cathedral. So we should think of its stewardship as a gift to our children. We are proud to have created the St. Patrick’s Cathedral logo, a design that played an important part in the Cathedral’s renewal. In the grand tradition of New York’s multicultural contribution to the world, our designer, Laddawan Prawatyotin, is from Thailand.
Next in our 25th Anniversary Series: When it comes to producing video content for social media, make it with 100% natural ingredients. Never overcook or overseason. Find something good and true from a client’s everyday life, add a touch of music, set it to enticing B-roll and make it sing. That’s precisely what we did when we turned a brilliant inaugural speech by Barnard’s President Sian Beilock into not one, but an entire series of compelling and attractive video episodes. Here’s just one:
For the next generation, world peace could very well come from inner peace; and inner peace through art. Just imagine! That’s what these children are doing practicing Yoga within the exhibition of George H. Lewis’s magical illustrations at the exhibition “May We all Grow Up to Be Children” based on our book “The Boy and the Boy King.” Asking each generation to hold on to their wonder in order to imagine a better future is what our company has been doing for 25 years. We’re not going to give up now. If you’d like to read the book, please go to theboyandtheboyking.com
Next in our 25th Anniversary Series: Since 1998, no exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum has surpassed the attendance of “Monet and the Mediterranean.” AD Lubow is proud to have created the full-page, full-color New York Times ads that served this beautiful show so well. Today, our agency does more than just promote exhibitions. We create them. Just this week, the exhibition MAY WE ALL GROW UP TO BE CHILDREN, based on the book THE BOY AND THE BOY KING by George H. Lewis and A.D. Lubow opened at Castle Gould, Sands Point Preserve Conservancy; and an eBook was launched as a companion to the exhibit. We invite everyone to attend the exhibition, enjoy the magical illustrations of George H. Lewis and read, rate and share the book.
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.