Stan Cotton: Creative Patriotic SPIRIT or Screwball?
"There is a correlation between the creative and the screwball," said Kingman Brewster. "So we must suffer the screwball gladly." More than one prospective political client has dismissed my proposals and me as sort of a screwball. I can live with it. If there is one salient characteristic of my work, and one repeatedly identified by clients, it is my flair for the unusual and unexpected. In every campaign, I first and foremost attempt to separate myself from the pack and pursue the objective from a fresh perspective. I do not pursue creativity for its own sake, or to dazzle other advertisers, or to woo awards panels. Rather, I seek it because I assume the people who come to me recognize a need for it. If conventional ads "the tried and true product of a thousand political advertising campaigns" were doing the trick, they wouldn't need me. There would be insufficient motivation to take a chance on a "screwball." Please do not interpret this as false bravado, or as a pretentious claim to elevated artistic merit beyond my humble trade as a salesman. As far as I am concerned, if you want art, go to an art gallery. If you want mood, put on some music. If you want to obtain insight into the human condition, read a great novel. Even within that narrow context, the concept of creativity is widely misunderstood. To create is not to summon something from nothing. No one does that, no artist, sculptor or composer. Michelangelo began with a stone created by nature and worked from visions of sculptures done by other artists. If someone is uncomfortable with an unconventional approach, and many people in politics flee in terror at the mere hint of the unusual, I start looking for the nearest door. I know my best efforts are doomed from the outset, and I'll never make any money with them, or help them get elected. To politicians trapped in set attitudes, creative imagination and the use of truth will always appears as a threat. They usually say things like, "Of course, using truth it's really great, but I fear it's way over the heads of the public and too risky for me." These are the politicos which continually fund the dumb ads that besmirch our lives to such a distressing degree, the kind that speak to you as if you were 12-years old and getting younger. On the other hand, if you can encounter political clients with open minds who enjoy originality and respect its uses,then suddenly you remember why you went to the trouble of creating truly patriotic ads in the first place, and the timeless joy of working vigorously at a challenge in today's political climate you savor.
Cotton relies on showmanship, decisiveness and a “can do” attitude in the face of risk. Stan Cotton is among the last of that thinning breed and remains one of the most fearless ad men left in America whose not above “ruffling feathers” with his “can-do” attitude to get the job done.
It's long past time to pull the plug on foreign oil and encourage the development of alternative fuels -- solar, wind, bio diesel and other Made in the USA fuels. You want action. You want to arouse people. You can't pussyfoot around. What the public wants - and needs more than ever - is true nuts-and-bolts information to power up the public's demand for foreign oil independence. The days of honey-coated messages are over -- or they should be. Frank talk and to-the-point patriotic messages about the need for alternative fuel will. We reach the people at the grassroots level with grabbing, powerful messages and let THEM hold the politicians' feet to the fire.