Jeff Goodby is an advertising legend, whose humanity and humility have propelled him to the peak of a profession not necessarily known for either. Imagine an ad man as clever and visionary as Don Draper, minus the chain smoking and cynicism and you start to get a sense of the scope of Jeff’s influence in the advertising industry.
As a founder of Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, Jeff has been the driving force behind some of the most groundbreaking campaigns and indelible taglines in recent memory. He famously coined “Got Milk?,” a slogan that became a cultural trope that endured for decades, spawning legions of derivations, imitations and a whole cottage industry of merchandise bearing his inspired catchphrase. Among his many other memorable campaigns are the Cheetos Museum, the famous car-less Saturn commercial and his work naming and rebranding the gaming giant, Electronic Arts.
Good advertising is kind of like good vandalism. You do something, you put it out there, and you just can’t wait to see peoples’ reactions to it.
Jeff and his longtime partner, Rich Silverstein, have received the 2019 Cannes Lion Lifetime Achievement Award – among the top honors in their field. The two met nearly forty years ago in San Francisco, where their lionized boss, Hal Riney, paired them up and created a partnership that would be among the most durable and influential in the business.
As a former ArtCenter trustee, Goodby offers a unique perspective on evolving state of the advertising industry as well as the ways in which ArtCenter students are poised to shape its future by entering the field with strong making skills. Over the course of Jeff’s lively and illuminating conversation with Change Lab, Jeff discussed his upbringing during the golden age of brands, his transition from journalism to advertising, the importance of facing the unknown to generate his most original ideas, the nature of cleverness and his commitment to creating change by treating people with respect and raising the level of conversation on the airwaves and in our heads.