One of the most fundamentals rules for creating a good ad or ad campaign is message focus. An ad should basically say one thing. Each element of that ad is therefore in service to that one Key Message so that it is clearly and compellingly conveyed to the reader.
This campaign for AMD (Advanced Micro Devices), the second-largest producer of microprocessors, presented a tough challenge. AMD does many things, much like its competitor Intel, who at the time was leading the charge with a singular focus on their 486 chip. The teams involved in this project wrestled for days and days with exactly how we could tell AMD’s story, let alone which of its many stories should be up front. The solution, in this case, was to counter-intuitively go against the aforementioned advertising rule and tell all of AMD’s stories, but do it in bite-sized chunks.
Coincidentally, the idea for these layouts—borrowing from Piet Mondrian’s purely abstract paintings—occurred to me at the very first briefing on ostensibly what AMD wanted to communicate. The multi-faceted quality of these “Mondrian” layouts made them perfect containers for the copy that told AMD’s whole story by breaking it down into “chapters,” so to speak.
That’s a good example of lateral thinking, a resource that is so important in solving any marketing challenge.