Harry Webber: The Meaning of Magnificence

Every morning I wake up to create something magnificent. Every night I go to sleep to realize that magnificence in my dreams. Magnificent. Not cool. Not slick. Cool and slick are easy. Magnificent is really, really elusive. Magnificent takes you on a journey through deserts of despair and desolation. It takes you past the rotting corpses of borrowed interest and shock and awe. If you were a Knight Templar, magnificent would be your search for the shadow that was Saladin. Sought but seldom found.

To create great advertising; advertising that withstands the test of time and engages the intelligence of steel workers and hedge fund millionaires; this is not for the weak of heart. To create magnificent advertising is to seek the impossible, yet know it can be realized. Every morning I embrace the insanity that such a journey entails. I inhale its scent, for I know it awaits the chase.

 To create magnificent advertising is to seek the impossible, yet know it can be realized. Every morning I embrace the insanity that such a journey entails.

I am not a black man. I am an advertising man. This is my life’s work. I do not care that you will not hire me. You are not my problem. The next magnificent idea is my problem. I ride through the bowels of my city, listening to the subway voices for clues to the next moment of language that will point me to a point of understanding not found in client briefs or analytic myopia. Rap lyrics, not account planners inform me of the visions of the prophets. The scent grows stronger in the grocery isles when I spy shelf facings below eye level where missing products identify hidden trends.

Magnificence is not an easy prey. I am not in casual pursuit. The hunt gives me life. My clients are not the brand managers and CMOs. They grew up with my work but the agencies have wiped me from their awareness. I am the look of the Motown Sound and the longest running advertising and public service campaigns in history. It matters not. The past is irrelevant to me. Magnificence lives in the future.

I mourn the passing of craft from our profession. I feel empty when technologists worship at the alters of the next new irrelevance. But I am not distracted. My day begins at dawn and ends at exhaustion. My sword is Photoshop and my shield is html. My path is uncharted and in my wake are the trophies of my victories. The brands I have elevated to art, before once again returning to the hunt. It does not concern me that you do not see fit to hire me.

Last week a young boy turned in his gun after he read the words of Winning the One Show cannot compare with saving a life? I take time from my passion to speak to those of you like the great Jim Glover, Derek Walker, Hadji Williams and other senior black creatives. They seek their blacks in the high schools. People like us are of no interest to them. Do not despair. Seek your own magnificence.

This gem of sagacity is taken from Mr Harry Webber's response to a post at Ad Age. Mr Webber is an Ad Man's Ad Man. This stuff just drips from the man's being. He should be running three agencies, no, conglomerates... simultaneously.

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