What Guides Will Show the Way to Eminence

Great advertising, like other great works of art, surrounds us. We often take both for granted, and more than a few people might object to calling an advertisement “art.” All successful creative work evokes a compelling response in the viewer. It doesn’t matter if that “art” is a book or a sculpture or a 30-foot-tall Nike billboard in Times Square.

Though no one has ever stopped to talk with me about the intelligence and creativity of the American Express message, “Don’t Leave Home Without It,” I doubt I could find a single person who didn’t know the phrase like they did their own name.

Creativity seems to come out of the ether to bless a few gifted souls who produce great works almost like a magic trick. But anyone who has ever created anything and been proud of it knows the cost in unglamorous hours of work and self-doubt and perseverance. I make no claims to greatness, but I do have some experience with the frustration of living up to my own standards.

A few true minds of advertising, like Anselmo Ramos, Kay Hsu, or Peter Madden (wink-wink), have a natural gift for advertising. But their passion and determination to apply and refine that gift is what allows them to succeed.

Sir Joshua Reynolds, in dismissing the idea that some people are simply given gifts and need not work to achieve greatness, talked about “how the mind may be strengthened and expanded, and what guides will show the way to eminence.”

AgileCat has proven itself as a guide toward eminence, and I welcome the opportunity to thrive.

— Alexander Schwartz, Brand Strategist