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In Broadway advertising, first instincts are often the right ones

SpotCo founder and current brand consultant Drew Hodges weighs in on the timeline behind ad campaigns.

Drew Hodges (Credit: Courtesy of Drew Hodges)

The best creative solutions often come quickly and spontaneously, yet we don’t trust them. Still, work that is belabored for months and months rarely achieves the same bright spark, and is often muddied.

I have been devouring Mary Rodger’s brilliantly titled memoir “Shy” (co-written with Jesse Green). One of the most thrilling sections (if you don’t count her trashing of Arthur Laurents) is the creation of her “Once Upon a Mattress” in — what appears to be — three weeks. There were numerous obstacles to overcome in order to create this piece — even just for its summer stock beginnings. The most obvious was time, but Rodgers also had to contend with a pre-set cast of actors at a Catskill summer camp whose skills had to be assembled like a puzzle. So many limitations were in place from the beginning, it’s hard to imagine how something so sublime came of it. Thinking about Mary’s speed and the excellence of her final musical — even if that’s a rarity — made me realize that in advertising, speed and excellence often go hand in hand.

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