Dave Trott says: Clients don’t need someone who knows everything they know / They need someone who knows what they don’t know."
Trott's one of the biggest names in advertising, and his book Creative Mischief is a collection of advertising highlights from his online blog. It's a bit of autobiography, part brash, part Zen story, part how-to advice, part working class, part attitude. But generally everyone agrees its stylish.
Each entry (a page or two, at best) with teasing titles like: Is advertising a con?; context isn't everything, its the only thing; and his Trott's peeve, the lazy, dull mind.
The body of work that Trott created over a 40 years career is unabashedly blue collar (his Cockney roots, and brash). At the same time, he quotes the lateral thinker Edward de Bono and the medieval intellectual William of Ockham. All of this, he has poured into Creative Mischief.
A fun read for most, the 195-pager has become a masterclass for advertising copywriters,
The tone is conversational and at times wicked.
Two bits which made us chuckle: In Predatory Thinking, Trott highlights the importance of outwitting the rival. In this chapter, two jungle explorers are cornered by a tiger, and one takes out his running shoes. The other explorer tells him he will never outrun a tiger. "I just have to outrun you," comes the reply.
The wickedness is evident through Trott's early days, where he learned one of the senior executives is horrified by The Exorcist ("the most evil book he'd ever read"), that he threw it off the end of Brighton pier into the sea. On cue, Trott trotted off to a book shop and purchased another copy, ran it under the tap, and left it dripping in the executive's drawer for him to find.
Do read Creative Mischief for its distinctive edgy quality. Loaf Marketing has edited, printed and published the book.