Writing Background (05:53)
Ted Bell was a creative director at DDB before joining Leo Burnett, where he started the Young Creatives Program. From a young age, he has loved reading and writing; he started writing stories and discovered advertising as a way to earn a living.
Identifying Advertising Talent (07:11)
Bell recalls his first advertising job in Milan and his experiences working with an Italian company while at DDB. He describes his hiring process at Leo Burnett. Bell and John Immesoete discuss the talent of Jim Ferguson, who combined humor with heartwarming ideas.
New Generation at Leo Burnett (05:50)
Bell and Immesoete reflect on their time at Leo Burnett and the people they worked with. Bell noticed that many employees had been there too long and were not advancing creatively. He brought in new talent that rejected the old style and focused on storytelling and humor.
Early Writing Career (06:20)
Bell left his position as CCO at Y&R to start writing full-time. He first wrote a book for young readers inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson, then went on to start a spy series. Fear of failure is an obstacle, but he was lucky to have an agent who helped him market the books.
Writing Process (04:44)
Writing a series is similar to developing a long-term brand image. Bell created a cast of characters he is comfortable with, and he enjoys following the story without an outline. Bell discusses the transition from short copywriting to long form.
Inspiration and Success (07:30)
Bell describes his work routine; a laptop helps him write more. Bell and Immesoete discuss the legacy of Ian Fleming and how he inspired Bell's series. The series has gained recognition and will soon become a Hollywood movie.
Challenges and Success as an Artist (04:35)
Bell's current book deals with a relevant topic and fears in society. He describes dealing with rejection while trying to get his first book published. There is less artful storytelling in the advertising industry.
Credits: A Conversation With Ted Bell: Conversations with Giants (00:27)
Credits: A Conversation With Ted Bell: Conversations with Giants
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