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Jimmy Smith + His Amusement Park Entertainment Makes Dope Shit
Episode 1675th April 2022 • Not Real Art • Crewest Studio
00:00:00 01:00:19

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Today on Not Real Art, we are joined by the one and only Jimmy Smith from Amusement Park Entertainment (APE), an advertising legend who has been in the game since 1985. He got his start working on the Nike ‘Just Do It’ campaign and his career has included stints at Wieden & Kennedy, where he created ‘Book of Dimes’, an ad starring LeBron James and Bernie Mac for Nike; BBDO, where he served as Executive Creative Director for Motorola; and TBWA/Chiat/Day L.A., where he was Group Creative Director for Gatorade. In 2012, Fast Company named Jimmy one of the Top 100 Most Creative People and, in today’s episode, he shares with us the power of ideas and why it’s so important for creatives, especially creatives of color, to treat their ideas as precious resources. We also discuss the difference between making an ad and creating a piece of culture that lives on long after the campaign is over and Jimmy shares the incredible story of how he convinced Luke Aikens to jump out of a plane without a parachute for Stride Gum in 2016. For more awe-inspiring stories from a true creative force to be reckoned with, make sure not to miss this episode with Jimmy Smith!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The importance of aligning yourself with the innovators and one-upping the ‘knuckleheads’.
  • Why Jimmy believes the highest-paid people are oftentimes the givers.
  • Some of the challenges that come with creating something completely new.
  • Why you’re probably not innovating if you aren’t ruffling some feathers.
  • The battles creatives have to go through sometimes to bring their visions to life.
  • Why Sourdough encourages creatives to “take heart” when their ideas are stolen.
  • Jimmy emphasizes the value of treating ideas as precious, especially as a Black creative.
  • Insight into why APE co-owns ideas with the brands they work with.
  • The difference between making an ad and creating a piece of culture that lives on.
  • Hear the story of how Jimmy got Luke Aikens to agree to jump from a plane without a parachute for Stride Gum.
  • The quote from Jo Muse that Jimmy lives by, which starts with “think the unthinkable."
  • Jimmy cautions that, as crazy as your ideas are, they have to still serve the client.
  • Some of the ideas he is working on right now, including an oil product that reduces smog.
  • How he has seen the advertising game evolve and where he believes it is headed.
  • Examples of how brands can leverage podcasting to their benefit.
  • Jimmy closes with his belief that, if it isn’t going to be great, it’s time to go home!

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