Martin Bihl on a Lifetime of Creative Direction


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Have you ever wondered if the people running agencies, advertisement companies, and the like had it easier back in the day? Martin Bihl, the third generation of advertisement and creative direction work in his family, states that the past had its own unique challenges that today’s agency owners just don’t consider.

Today we are going back in time and returning to the present to discuss not only how things have changed and stayed the same, but also to dive into relationships amongst your team and clients, and even potential future clients. This week, episode 124 of The Digital Agency Growth Podcast is about his lifetime in creative direction with Martin Bihl.

Watch our new recorded video training: Relationship-Driven New Business At-Scale

In this episode of The Digital Agency Growth Podcast, Martin Bihl shares the importance of advertising and actionable steps you can take right now to create and hold symbiotic relationships with your clients.
Martin Bihl has created campaigns and creative across a staggering number of client categories – from banks to beers to B2B and beyond – and marketing channels – from traditional print/tv/radio to guerilla to digital to sales promotion to event to things-that-don’t-have-a-name-yet. He’s worked at agencies in New York, St. Louis, Dallas, and Chicago, and with agencies all across the planet. He’s taught marketing, advertising and branding to undergrads, international master’s students and MBAs at a variety of universities in the Philadelphia area, and speaks regularly at schools around the country.

Martin’s writing has appeared in such diverse publications as McSweeney’s, Advertising Age, New York Magazine, Eephus, More, and more, and he runs where he has interviewed such industry luminaries as Sir John Hegarty, George Lois and Luke Sullivan. Despite these things, he has no distinguishing characteristics, hobbies or interests and is utterly devoid of personality altogether.

In this episode, Dan and Martin discuss the following:

  • Bad advertising; where Martin has seen bad advertising work well, or at least better than expected, and how bad advertising works better than no advertising.
  • The reason that in the long-term, the brand implications must be thought out before launching an advertising campaign, and how different campaigns may not pass legal.
  • Examples of how clients can totally change the agency and ways in which to allow that collaboration to continue through a positive agency-client relationship, and ways it could fall apart.
  • How to get the upside of “tribe” without the downside of “tribalism”, and if that’s even possible, in advertising.

This episode is perfect to jog creative ideas and sit down with some bigger thinking here.

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this episode, please take a moment to follow, rate and review the podcast and tell me your key takeaways!







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