How To Apply That Advertising Pop To Your Dreams

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Heather’s dream is to share with the world her success at becoming healthy after age 40. Heather lost over 88 pounds through changing her diet and incorporating exercise into her busy life. She would like to take what she has learned about becoming fit after 40, and using her Metabolic Training Certification to help others struggling with weight issues mid-life. Heather’s post day is Monday.
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Where is your inspiration coming from today?

Most of us would not say advertising.

I get to play with design on a daily basis – stuff that gets printed and fun projects online. Rarely do I get to put together a real impact, shock-you-out-of-your-seat campaign. So I find inspirational design related things I can watch to keep my motor running.

An opportunity to watch others create impact ads came with my viewing of “Art & Copy“, a documentary that explores the world of advertising with incredible interviews of some of the biggest names in the business, and behind the scenes on some of the most memorable ad campaigns.

Filmed in 2009 by Doug Pray, “Art & Copy” covers what some people consider to be a blight on our daily routine. The constant barrage of images and messages starts first thing in the morning – whether you read the paper, catch the morning news on TV, or read it online.

You are surrounded by advertising.

One of the statistics that made my mouth fall open was that in 1970, the average urban dweller had 1,000 advertising impressions per day. Now that number is estimated to be closer to 5,000.

We may not love the industry, but we can all learn from it.

You’ve got a dream right?

How about an idea for a dream?

Let’s say you regularly meet with people in your life, talk, catch up. Are you advertising your dream? If I asked your best friend right now what your dream was, would they be able to tell me?

I love this quote from George Lois comment that advertising should be like poison gas – it should shock, make you get chills, or make you pass out.  I have to admit that this is the feeling I typically had when I was sharing my dream with people for the first 6 months or so.

What about your dream makes you shiver with fear?

One of the signs hanging in the offices of Rich Silverstein at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners says “Brutal Simplicity”. I love the visualization of this statement.

Are you over-complicating the idea of your dream?

If someone asked you the step you are working on THIS week, would you have an answer? The K.I.S.S. strategy can always help, especially if you have a BIG dream that you need to take little steps on. Keep each step brutally simple.

My absolute favorite inspirations in the film came from an inspirational wall at Wieden+Kennedy. Made with over 100,000 push-pins, the creator of this lovely reminder of failure worked day and night for 4 days to give us this reminder. He picked the hard way… leave void for the words instead of just writing them with the pins.

The 'Fail Harder' wall at Wieden+Kennedy

The "Fail Harder" wall at Wieden+Kennedy

You want to succeed big? You’ve got to Fail Harder.

This statement says a ton about the road to any success, whether it be advertising challenges or the road to your dream. There are times when that last failure will create an opening to your next step you didn’t see before.

Here’s my request – what was your last failure? Have you moved on from it? Still wallowing?

Comment, share the pain. Believe me, we are all there eventually.

~ Heather

Heather’s dream is to have multiple streams of income, starting with launching an e-commerce website that showcases her one-of-a-kind designer jewelry, which are crafted by her. Her newly launched sites are couture jewelry available through For Your Adornment, and Twitter background designs on Twitter And Beyond Dot Com. She also teaches Social Media tactics for business, besides being CEO of her own web design company. Heather’s post day is Thursday.

Catch the trailer to “Art & Copy” and watch it on Netflix instant play!

  • Love that sign. I’ve heard the quote “you only truly fail if you quit” and it resonates with me. We can’t do all the shit we do without some failure. My daughter talks about constantly being bombarded with images of the so called perfect female, so yes we can learn a lot from advertising. Sometimes it’s ignoring it all together.
    Unless you are working with Forward Motion Studios.
    Then it’s all good!
    Love, Laurie

  • I love that gorgeous pushpin sign Heather… And love it that the creator did it the hard way (pins for the background to the words, not the letters themselves…).

    I am going to do what I set out to do in this world and if I fail trying, get up again and do it some more! Until it works! I love the stories of people who failed and failed until they succeeded… The Edisons, the Abraham Lincolns of the world.

    What sets them apart is they kept trying – they had a vision and failure did not deter them. They learned, they tried again, they moved on!

    I needed this dose of inspiration today – thanks girlie!!!

    Love ya!

  • Toni Schram

    We can learn a lot from our failures. It’s when we repeat those failures, that we truly lose.

    Between Laurie and I, it won’t be hard to come up with advertising that reeks of poisonous gas!

    Great insight as always Heather!


  • Remy, the photographer

    Interesting post my friend! I love advertising!

    Failure is such a harsh sounding word…but yea, most stuff I do, or try to do, has some level of failure in it, or I would just be running to stand still all the time.

    I failed at being an employee.
    I failed at staying married.
    I failed at staying financially stable (that one still stings)
    But knowing what I did wrong, lets me ask “why did that happen” and “now what”. I used to stay stuck when things didn’t work cause I didn’t want to learn from them (subconsciously of course!)

    My post tomorrow was “mistakes are life’s lessons” but I guess I’ll have to go in a different direction. Stop copying me! lol

    xo Rem

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Oh, and I LOVED the trailer – there’s someone else who cusses like I do during the creative process. I love the word Fuc* to solve creative problems. ;-)

    Oh wait – you know this.

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  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Oh where do I begin?

    Shall we start with the fact that in my past careers, every place I ever worked is no longer in existence? Talk about the universe screaming at you to change your life!

    My original dream was to be a journalist – nope.

    Then I tried to be a retail buyer – nope.

    Then I was a wedding consultant – hated it.

    Then I went into banking – hated it.

    Then I went into the mortgage/legal side of banking – loved it – enjoyed some successes but the companies kept being purchased and closed.

    Studied technology, received certifications and went on to train people and support them with new technologies – loved it – but the companies kept outsourcing to India.

    Obtained my Real estate license – hated it.

    Went into sales in mortgage banking – hated it.

    Tried non-profit with a local symphony as a manager – hated it.

    Which brings me to my current situation . . . ;-)

    But one could argue that I have failed more at trying to conform in careers for paychecks instead of asking myself what would I really love to do.

    I have definitely “Failed harder” – thanks for reminding me that it’s okay.

    I just want to give the gift to my son (and the world) to do it differently than I have. Do what you love!