Make A Jazz Noise Here*
"A jazz band is an expression of servant leadership. The leader of a jazz band has the beautiful opportunity to draw the best out of other musicians. We have much to learn from jazz-band leaders, for jazz, like leadership, combines the unpredictability of the future with the gifts of individuals."
- Max DePree, author of Leadership Jazz
Wynton Marsalis, the preeminent jazz trumpeter of our time, famously said that the central question of American Democracy is the same as the central question of American Jazz…
“How in the world can I be me, without keeping you from being you?”
This seems to be the central question of creativity in advertising as well. Clients hire agencies because they are looking for an outside voice to channel their inside voice. We distill the truth of a brand down the single most important thing (the “SMIT”), and use it to craft the brand’s voice, brand narrative, and the many brand interactions it will have with the world. We cannot get in the way of a brand’s truest self, but at the same time we must push a brand to be its best self. That’s the role of creativity. That’s the reason for advertising agencies to exist at all.
Max DePree, author of Leadership Jazz, believed in servant leadership – that is, the ability to serve those who work alongside you without getting in their way. If being a Boss means “bossing,” being a Leader means “serving.” They are different. Clients don’t want a creative boss. They want a creative leader. That’s TDH.
TDH leads through Craft. Craft is our thing. We believe Craft is the great Maximizer. To us, it’s like jazz. You take the basic brand form, and you craft the most beautiful brand melody, brand harmony and brand rhythm within it. And you do it alongside your client. If you do a good job crafting it, people will care about it. If you do a brilliant job, people will sing it.
Leadership Jazz. Craft Leadership. If you dig it, call us.
PS: Looking for more jazzy thoughts? Check out the trailer for Wynton’s HBO Masterclass
*title and image inspiration borrowed from Frank Zappa’s album, “Make a Jazz Noise Here”
08.10.16 The Biz