John McVicker knows good copy when he sees it. The Clio Award-winning 30-year veteran of Madison Avenue visited SJC Brooklyn on Nov. 29 to talk advertising — past, present and future.
From Coca-Cola to BMW, McVicker created award-winning commercials and advertisements as an art director, creative director and TV producer. He’s worked at some of the largest and most famous advertising agencies, including McCann Erickson, Saatchi & Saatchi DFS, Grey and William Esty. McVicker’s honors include three pieces in MoMA’s permanent graphic design collection, numerous Art Directors Club and AIGA awards, Type Directors Club awards and the Clio Award.
“Good Concept is Good Concept”
Decades after he helped Buy the World a Coke as part of the McCann Erickson creative team, McVicker moved to the academic world as an instructor at New York City College of Technology. A position he currently holds, and one that prepared him well for his SJC debut presenting concept-driven advertising to students, staff and faculty.
McVicker then took the audience on a cultural journey in advertising. Armed with a slideshow and an arsenal of YouTube links, he treated guests to classic ads, such as the iconic “That’s a Spicy Meatball!” spot, as well as contemporary hits, such as Honda’s “Somebody to Love” award-winner.
In addition to generating new YouTube hits, McVicker demonstrated the effectiveness of visual cliches and imagery — displaying classic ad concepts that never went out of style. McVicker instructed on persuasive advertising vs. hard-sell advertising, as well as the most effective elements of in ads, such as animals, babies and celebrities.
“Good concept is good concept,” McVicker stated. “Your work has to be better than the competition, and has to impress the client.”
Interested in learning more about marketing and advertising at SJC Brooklyn? Check out courses in the field through the Department of Business Administration and Marketing.
McVicker’s Ongoing SJC Legacy
In April 2015, John McVicker established the Louise McVicker Scholarship in memory of his wife. Louise, who passed away in January 2015, was a former head teacher at the Dillon Child Study Center. This scholarship is awarded primarily to SJC Brooklyn child study major. To learn more about giving and how to support student scholarships at SJC, click here.