Sticky Lingers

6 Sep

Sticky Fingers isn’t the best Stones’ album, for my money that’s Exile on Main Street.

But it has the best cover, plus the provenance of this letter from Mick Jagger to Andy Warhol, commissioning the artwork.

You may have seen the letter, it’s  been posted many times, usually leading to one of two conclusions.

  1. Mick Jagger – best client ever.
  2. Best brief ever.

But there are three sides to every story, and there’s another way to parse it.

jagger letter

First, “I leave it in your capable hands to do whatever you want….” is not exactly a brief, as much as giving carte blanche, which is something rather different.

Merriam Webster’s simple definition of a brief is: instructions that explain what a person is supposed to do.

And bestowing total freedom is essentially the opposite of giving instructions.

Of course it would be nice if clients gave us total freedom, but invariably they don’t, and realistically we don’t expect them to.

In any case, Mick Jagger is not the client, or at least not entirely.

He is also the brandor at least, a major element of the brand.

The confusion arises because most brands are inanimate.

Jagger clearly isn’t so he gets to control the process.

Sadly, most brands lack the ability to speak for themselves.

If they did, the night would be filled with a thousand screams.

“Please give me better creative. Please!”

If you close your eyes, you may just hear them.

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