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The Greatest Speech Ever

By: Harry

Notorious commercial director Tony Kaye was the keynote speaker at the ADWEEK Creative Conference in San Francisco in May 1996. The topic of his speech: What’s the secret to making a good TV commercial?

Three hundred impressionable agency creative people sat in the auditorium eager to listen to the industry icon bare his secrets.

But Kaye was late. Uncomfortably late. Perhaps understandable considering he had to fly to San Francisco from Monte Carlo, where he was shooting a Nike Olympics campaign for Wieden & Kennedy.

Nearly twenty minutes after his appointed slot Kaye entered the fidgety auditorium, strode down the main aisle, climbed the stage and grabbed the microphone.

Following is a complete transcript of his speech:


With that, he left the building.

Tony Kaye traveled 10,000 miles to deliver a one-word speech.  The greatest business speech ever.  The truest business speech ever.

Here’s to a culture of agencies and clients living the word that Mr. Kaye uttered that day back in 1996. 

And here’s to brevity.


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