Video: George Lois and Lee Clow in Cannes

The original Mad Men move festival-goers with a retrospective and prognostic discussion on advertising and creativity.

On Thursday in Cannes, ad legends George Lois (Master communicator) and Lee Clow (global director of media arts, TBWA) mesmerized a crowd of festival attendees with a conversation on stage, led by USA Today media columnist Michael Wolff, about the past, the present and what’s to come in advertising.

When asked what he thought was different about advertising today, Clow said there is more frustration with brands as they now have so many touch points and so many programs out there. “I think brands should be dedicated to who they are,” adding that now “very few brands have the ability to have a single coherent creative message.”

George Lois answered the same question by telling the story of getting fired by Xerox. Twice. Once for telling them to shorten their name to Xerox, then again for telling them to do a commercial rather than print trade ads. He was hired back, and created a TV spot demonstrating how easy it was to photocopy by showing a child do it. The commercial was challenged by the FTC who said it was stretching the truth, so he brought the FTC to a reshoot and did it with a monkey.

His point was to persevere and do good work. “Get good clients. If they don’t let you do great work, fuck them.”

Watch the video below to hear the two charismatic Mad Men speak about, as Lois puts it “creativity, creativity, create-fuckin’-tivity.”

With files from Mary Maddever