As creatives, it’s our job to do so much more than just understand who our clients are. It’s our job to imagine their potential, envision who they could become, and create the campaigns that take their brands to the next level. Instead of complaining about what category a client is in, imagine how much you could accomplish if you decided to make that category the most interesting work you’ve ever done.

Jelly Helms started out creating small space ads at The Martin Agency, and he made a decision to create the most captivating classified ads in print. It was dedication to his own goals, and to the goals of his clients, that made him an award-winning creative.

If Steve Jobs hadn’t committed to realizing his vision of what personal computers could be, we wouldn’t have the apple products our lives depend so heavily on today. He created a product we didn’t even know we needed, so how did he know we needed it?


Looking at a simple ad, it’s easy to take for granted all the brainstorming required to distill inspiration down into the easily digestible text and graphics that communicate the big ideas companies sink or swim on. Believe it or not, the simplest ideas usually communicate the most effectively, and often are the ones that take the longest to engineer.

Take Nike for instance. They built an entire empire from a boring canvas sneaker, and the genius behind their ‘Just Do It’ campaign helped them get there.

There’s a reason this campaign is used as a teaching tool over and over again. The genius tagline redefined Nike as more than just a shoe company — it defined them as a lifestyle. ‘Just Do It’ became the mantra not just for them, but for fitness fanatics everywhere.

Nike’s tagline became a part of our language.

Whether your client sells agricultural supplies, furniture, or apparel, there’s potential to re-create their brand to build a company whose name is an indelible part of our cultural consciousness. Now, isn’t that what we’re all after in this business?

Pay attention to what comes to mind the next time your workout buddy says, “I don’t think I can make it.”

“Just Do It.”