Einstein Would Have Been a Great Ad Guy, Says Ad Guy

I don't know about you, but when I think "People who made the wrong career choice," I think "Albert Einstein." Talk about wasting your smarts! Instead of writing papers on math things that the average consumer doesn't even understand, he could have been writing slogans, for Kit Kats™. Missed opportunities.

Kevin Roddy is the chief creative officer of ad agency Publicis & Hal Riney, and with his creative creativity, he creatively brainstormed until he came up with an Ad Age column that floated a creative idea for dynamic creativity and creativeness, all by himself.

Albert Einstein once said, "Creativity is intelligence having fun." Now I don't know about you, but that's one of the best descriptions of advertising that I've ever heard — and he wasn't even describing advertising.

I would agree that next to "kill yourself," that is one of the best descriptions of advertising I've ever heard— and he wasn't even describing advertising. Surprise! When most quotes from Albert Einstein are read aloud I naturally say to myself, "Brain? Here comes a quote about, of course, advertising." But in this case he was not describing advertising— not directly, at least. That's what makes it all the more apt. Someone give that man a position as a junior creative officer! Oh, he's dead. Missed opportunity (big time).

Mr. Einstein understood the basics of how the world works. And I don't mean at the molecular level but at the human level. And that, I believe, is what advertising needs to occasionally remind itself of. We're humans talking to humans. Not theoretical physicists talking to theoretical physicists.

I would think that Einstein understood things more at the particle level and the fundamental forces of physics level and the abstract mathematical concept level more than either the human level or the molecular level, since theoretical physics is not primarily concerned with the behavior of molecules. But I understand what you're saying, Kevin: "I am not a theoretical physicist, and neither are my colleagues, and therefore it would be absurd to describe ourselves as 'theoretical physicists talking to theoretical physicists.'" I read you loud and clear, Kevin. One of the biggest struggles that chief creative officers go through is being described as "theoretical physicists," by ordinary people, and this column is a big step in the right direction, towards addressing that problem. Advertising people are not theoretical physicists— even if some theoretical physicists should have been advertising people! (Like Einstein, for example.)

I bet Albert Einstein would have made a great blogger. Missed opportunity.

[Ad Age. Photo: AP]