I was sorry to miss Ad Week hoopla in New York but was honored by an invitation to go down to Durham and talk advertising to students at Duke. The class I infiltrated is one of the most popular on campus, taught by Professor George Grody, who teaches kids by treating them like mentees, using skills he developed as a longtime exec at Procter and Gamble. As evidenced by off-the-chart scores in the appalling but indispensable Rate My Professor his approach seems to be working.
The class (with its own foursquare location, of course) was an impressive gathering of savvy, articulate students who made me feel better about our industry's future. Here's a little presentation I gave on advertising, past and present. In researching it, I discovered a fun fact: Shakespeare started out as a copywriter writing jingles for his father's glove shop. In those days, guys sent gloves to ladies they were courting and tucked a personal message inside. John Shakespeare's shop was distinguished by having an in-house writer who would, free of charge, ghost a message. One of them survives: "The gift is small. The will is all. Alexander Aspinall." Copywriters, take heart. That banner copy could be just the beginning.