Interview with Jack Mariucci

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Over the course of his professional advertising career, Doyle Dane Bernbach’s Executive Creative Director Jack Mariucci has won hundreds of awards. Now, as an Advertising and Design Professor at New York City’s School of Visual Arts, he’s educating the next generation of prize-winning advertisers. His students are some of the most consistent winners in the Graphis New Talent Annual.

This year was no exception. In the 2010 edition, SVA students earned six platinum awards, three of which were under Mariucci’s tutelage.

Graphis chatted with Mariucci about his passion for teaching and how he motivates his students to produce such fantastic work. Here is an excerpt of the interview from Graphis New Talent Annual 2010, which can be purchased here.

What do you do to drive your students to the extraordinary level of professionalism you have attained? 

“Teaching advertising is a process without any aids. What I mean by that is there’s no book or set of tools that can teach you ideas. You can read all the books that are written on advertising; all they communicate is work that was done in the past. For me, the award annuals are the most useful. They give you a glimpse at the best work that is being done at the time. It’s also a way to compare yourself with the gold standards set by other art directors and writers. The future is where you must lead your students. Great ideas are still the King Kong of our business, except today there are many more outlets to display their work. In today’s new world of media, advertising agencies and their clients demand art directors and writers to think beyond the 8” by 10” page. They need to be ready to integrate a single idea into a multimedia campaign, including TV, print, Internet, and find alternative ways to advertise. Give them the opportunity to actually create the changes, which will set the pace in our industry and break new ground for clients. Since I’m a product of Doyle Dane Bernbach, my teaching stems from Bill Bernbach’s philosophy of advertising. To quote Bill Bernbach, “You can say the right thing about a product and nobody will listen. You’ve got to say it in such a way that people will feel it in their gut. Because if they don’t feel it, nothing will happen.” Teaching advertising is a process that’s painstakingly slow. It’s like potty training. dns information . If you put them on the toilet seat enough times, they will eventually get the hang of it. I start my students out slowly with easy assignments and then work them up to ones that are more complex. Every week I give my students a new assignment and strategy. Then, when they come to class with what they think is the perfect solution to the problem, I start to break it down with a sharp ax explaining what is relevant or pitiable about their work. At first, a few get the hang of it, and come in with adequate ideas. And in a few weeks the ones that are passionate enough about staying in advertising start to show up with better and better work. Advertising is hard work that demands countless hours. If the student is not prepared to put in the time, then I suggest they get a hobby. The ultimate goal of a teacher is to instill drive and enthusiasm in their students, and watch them succeed.”

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