Chapter 9 – What Would Gossage Do?

What Would Gossage Do?

What would Howard Luck Gossage do – and what would he not do – if he were around today?

First: why Gossage? Because he tried and was successful at many things we would call “Interactive” and “Social” today. For example, he did not plan a whole campaign, but preferred to write ads one at a time, in order to gauge how the public reacted before writing a second ad. This, rather than clicking, or rather not clicking, on banner ads, is what he liked to call “Interactive”.

Second, because every profession bears the responsibility to understand the circumstances that enable its existence, as sociologist and architect Robert Gutman said. And nobody in Advertising ever cared half as much as Gossage about trying to think deep and hard about the shallow business they were in, and its consequences.

Is this really what Gossage would do, or is it just what I like to think he would do? The latter, of course. And yes, there are many people who would be greatly more qualified than I am to write about it, such as Alex Bogusky, Bruce Bendinger, George Parker, Jay Conrad Levinson, Jeff Goodby, Jerry Mander, or Steve Harrison. But as they haven’t, I will give it a try.


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