Ad legend, Sir John Hegarty, is not shy about saying what he thinks. And he has earned the right to be outspoken, becoming one of the most enduringly successful ad creatives in the world.
When he says, “I think most companies today are run by very stupid people,” it’s worthwhile finding out what he means by that.
“That man [Hegarty] has earned the right to say whatever he thinks. And what he thinks is exactly what creative people in our industry need to hear,” noted Paul Dunne, host of The Creative Relay.
Hegarty is the latest interviewee in Smith & Western Studio’s podcast series, The Creative Relay, interviewed by the podcast’s latest guest-turned-interviewer, Vince Frost.
Hegarty’s episode is the 13th in the series, which launched at the end of 2017.
“I first met John many years ago through an award jury, and when I thought about talking to a creative who most inspired me, his name was naturally at the top of the list,” Frost stated.
Hegarty talks to Frost, with characteristic frankness, from London, about the industry, its leaders, technology and the next “creative revolution”.
“It’s coming, and it will be led by creative people,” he predicts.
Hegarty’s theory is based on his observation that it takes ten to fifteen years for creative people to truly understand the potential of new technology. The focus then shifts from the technology itself to what it enables and “you get back to what you’re producing rather than what platform you’re using,” Sir John states.
And while he thinks that most companies today are run by very stupid people, he maintains an optimistic view about the prospects for creative people helping to build brands.
They just need to remember their one true power. If you’re frustrated by your current agency or clients, he says, “Resign! Bernbach started with small clients who’d listen, who needed to punch above their weight. Get back to the edges – that’s where the revolution always starts.”
The Creative Relay series is the brainchild of creators and producers, Dan Higson and Nick Wes,t from Smith & Western.
“The inspiration for The Creative Relay came from us wanting to do something that hadn’t been done before, but we never thought that would involve us producing Sir John Hegarty’s podcast debut. We are thrilled that Sir John took part, and we couldn’t be happier with the result,” said Dan Higson, Executive Producer Smith & Western.
Download the epic interview with Sir John Hegarty, along with any of the preceding episodes, here.