Paul Arden RIP

Advertising genius Paul Arden died on 02 April 2008.

Some of his most influential work was done while he was executive creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi for 14 years. Paul was responsible for advertising campaigns for clients such as The Independent (“The Independent. It is – are you?”), Toyota (“The car in front is a Toyota”), British Airways, Fuji, and the slashed purple silk images for Silk Cut cigarettes. Earlier in his career he worked for Ogilvy and Mather and other agencies, developing his reputation as a leader in design-led advertising.

His books are wonderful. Bestsellers such as ‘Whatever you think, think the opposite’ and ‘It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be’ provide plenty of insights and provocative ‘upside down’ thinking: ‘It’s wrong to be right’ and ‘Compose your ad from the weakest point’ jump out at me as I flick through my copies just now. (I’m going to put them into my briefcase to dip into when I need a quick dose of inspiration.)

A real maverick and often difficult to work with, he relished getting the sack and was proud of his lack of formal education. He was a Beckham fan, notably Victoria Beckham’s wanting to be “more famous than Persil Automatic” and praised Elizabeth Esteve-Coll’s controversial decision to adopt the slogan “An ace caff with quite a nice museum attached” for the Victoria and Albert Museum when she was director there.

His creativity lives on…