Cotton Candy @ The Amusement Park –
Johnny Football, blow off all your naysayers. They all represent the norm, the traditional elements that say play the game the way we did and fit into our predetermined image of what we want you to be. Show respect to those who you play against and those who played the game before you. Respect the rich tradition of college football. In other words, be what everyone else expects you to be because that’s how it has been for years. Be great, not controversial on the field, and don’t be yourself off the field because that’s not the image we want you to project.
So Johnny, go out there and blow up the entire SEC, the traditions and the image they want you to be. Go out there and play your game, because no one else can play it like you do. You are unique, you are talented, you are unpredictable, you scare those who can’t think, play or act the way you do and that makes them uncomfortable. You are reckless, you are inventing a new game, and you have taken the fall football season and elevated the game beyond the game. You’re intuitive. You’re talented. You’re reckless and your commitment to winning is outrageously spectacular to watch. You are taking college football to a place no once has for over 40 years or longer.
Because you’re whom everyone is talking about, Johnny Football, you don’t just represent the game of football, you represent more than football, and you represent those mavericks that came before you. Those who played the game differently and did things that made the traditionalists uncomfortable, who fought the annoying logic of those who just can’t make the leap to an abstract idea but are grounded in what has been done before and follow the predictable boring rules of business without question.
I have had the fortune of playing in the game of entertainment, the world of creative, the unconventional thinking of advertising for over 35 years and I have had the pleasure of seeing and working with a number of Johnny Footballs or what I would call Johnny Advertising.
The Mad Men would applaud Johnny Football because they were the Johnny Advertising of their decade; they changed how we communicated, how we interacted, how we presented a brand personality, and set out to break all the rules of creative thinking. They were the Johnny Advertising that took new media and made them mesmerizing.
The great ones are what they are, natural, intuitive creative thinkers, designers, visionaries that do it differently and are not willing to take the traditional way and fight the predictable leadership environment to find the unpredictable and make it even more useful and more effective by cutting their own path.
This business is filled with grey Taurus-driving, boring left-brained, Jos A. Banks dressed ad types who think success is selling a client what they want and survive by not upsetting the politics of the day who then pass judgment on those who don’t fit into their safe boxed in world.
I can’t tell you how many times I had to defend a talent because he or she was not like everyone else, they didn’t work the way the system wanted them to, they didn’t use the company approved formats that made it easier for those wanna-be art directors or designers in the agency studios that didn’t play the game nice and complained that those Johnny Advertising types were controversial and uncontrollable while they quietly envied their creative brilliance.
I had a business partner who was as boring as dirt and thought that a creative should be dressed like account executive and if they looked odd then they may just scare off a client or even worse make them feel uncomfortable, when in reality, the clients loved them because they were what the client wasn’t, unique, creative, interesting and fun to be around.
As far as I was concerned they could hang upside down like a bat in their office if that gave them a creative edge. It drove the traditionalists crazy that I thought an idea could come from places that were not within the agency. They didn’t understand that a 6 x 8 foot cubical has never been an inspiring atmosphere and the well placed pool tables, the games are fun dressings for an environment but are not really stimulating.
Stimulating is the activity of the world around us, the daily confrontation of living life. That’s why offices are so outdated and that most creative types leave the office and go off to a world where they can find inspiration at the most unexpected moments. That drives account types crazy and causes them to label the creative as aloof and self-indulgent.
Much like those today who criticize and can’t stand the fact that Johnny Football plays a different game on and off the field while setting new standards by breaking all the rules and football records. So go Johnny Football because you make the world of football much more interesting and exciting much like Johnny Advertising.
And hey, Tim Tebow played by the rules and look where that got him.
Game on, go Johnny Football.