Today, I’m thinking back on some really bold tricks we’ve played on each other over the years. Yes, I once shared my office with two miniature horses. Very, very briefly, lest they eat too much, stay too long and my office be renamed the barn.
Also today, we celebrate the 51st anniversary of the founding of our agency. Besides the founding of Vladimir Jones, three other things also happened on that day in 1970 that are unintentionally symbolic of why my parents, our agency’s founders, selected April Fools’ Day as the first day of operation:
1. President Nixon signed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act into law, banning cigarette television and radio advertisements in the United States effective January 2, 1971. The “one, big last day” on January 1 was permitted by Congress to allow television networks to get tobacco revenue for the college football bowl games on New Year’s Day.
2. American Motors Corporation (AMC) introduced the Gremlin.
3. John Lennon and Yoko Ono released a hoax announcement that they were having dual sex-change operations.
This context is important because, as you can probably gather from this very limited and subjective curation of headlines, things have changed in a big way since 1970. And yet they haven’t.
I know from my parents, the agency they created, and the way they led it, that business, and this business of advertising in particular, is hard enough. It’s shortsighted to think of any one thing (product, service, idea, etc.) being permanent. We humans change, and so does the world in which we live. We have the ability to evaluate our situation, make best-laid plans to act on it, and execute them.
My parents also taught me, as they embedded in the fabric of this agency, not to take things too seriously. Humor, laughter and surprise are essential to a life in balance. These elements of human interaction can also be very powerful for communicating big ideas, for persuading people to join your side, for inviting people to be part of your community.
Is the business of marketing, branding and advertising really any more complex than that?
Well, yes. But, let’s keep it simple at least for today. Happy April Fools’ Day!
And how’d we celebrate the big 5-0 in 2020, you might ask? Very simple. We gave a scholarship to Piotr Brozyna to help launch his dream career in advertising. Read more about it.
Vladimir Jones is Colorado’s original independent, integrated advertising agency, with offices in Denver and Colorado Springs. We believe in brilliant brands and love making the world love them as much as we do.