{Inspiration} Steve Hayden, Advertising Legend

steve hayden promo

{MH} collaborator, Tim Hurley
{MH} guest blogger: Tim Hurley

The following post was submitted by {meetinghouse} collaborator: Tim Hurley.

Steve Hayden is the copywriter behind Apple’s legendary “1984” TV spot. Because it was created before I was born, I saw it for the first time last year in the film, Art & Copy, but most people have seen it on Youtube. If you haven’t seen it or heard of it, don’t worry because it only aired once during the Superbowl of that year. Visual communication is hard; you’ve got to have a big idea, a compelling visual, art direction that suits the brand, an appropriate platform (magazine ad, app, bus stop, billboard, etc…), meaningful copy, and a little voice in the back of your head constantly asking yourself, “Does this even make sense?” Despite all of this, Steve makes it look easy, and his lecture made it seem a little less daunting too.


SteveHayden outside

Ten things I learned from Steve Hayden:

  1. An ad doesn’t have to show the product to make people want the product.
  2. Don’t say something in an ad that you can’t back up factually. In other words, don’t lie.
  3. Irritate, irritate, irritate. If you irritate people, they will remember you. That’s why the ads you hate are the ads you remember.
  4. With the access to Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and other social media platforms, we’re closer to the consumers more than ever.
  5. Don’t be afraid to piss people off, but make sure you’re doing it for a reason. Instead, present work that is shockingly appropriate.
  6. Perspective is worth 90% of IQ points.
  7. You have to get a lot of work killed before you get something good.
  8. Stay married. It’s to have someone to fall back on when things get hard, plus you’re wealthier.
  9. Talent is more important than charm, but charm is really important too.
  10. You don’t sell a spot until it’s done and on air. Don’t celebrate too soon.

*BONUS* Steve Jobs loved Garamond, white space, and safe design. Because of this, he hated the iPod silhouette commercials.

Highlights from Hayden’s career include:

He was the co-creator—along with Lee Clow — of Apple Inc.‘s 1984 commercial that launched the Macintosh.

He also led the team that created and launched IBM‘s award-winning e-business campaign.[4]

He is the voice of “Hello Moto“, a ringtone and a campaign he and his team at Ogilvy created for Motorola.


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