Some of the advice I give to young creatives

By Ben McGrath

It all begins with a visual and headline. The above grabbed your attention, right? Now a statement is needed that is beneficial to YCS while justifying it. Here goes…

‘Cheat, Steal and Lie’ is simply an eye grabbing way of saying ‘Exaggerate, Borrow and Invent’.  It makes remembering principles core to effective branding easy. All YCS team members are taught this motto when they join and that’s why we’re all jolly good at advertising and stuff.


Cheat (exaggerate): You have to play the cards you’re dealt, give a little spin to the facts. Hertz did a wonderful job, turning being a runner up into an advantage.

Lucky Strike made the claim ‘It’s Toasted’ and totally boosted sales. The fact is all cigarettes were toasted but Luckies struck it big by saying it first.

 Steal (borrow): In advertising and branding, there is very limited time to build up a story. You can take a shortcut like Praia de Belas by borrowing from another genre. Immediately, recognizable icons and characters paint a background picture for you…




Lie (invent): This really applies to FMCG, fashion or politics. You have to make generally generic or ‘me too’ brands stand out from the clutter. What’s the difference between Coke and Pepsi? Well, the former enables you to taste the feeling and the latter makes you part of something far bigger than just yourself: Pepsi Generations.

Utter bollocks, sadly. We all know they will both make us obese and diabetic. And yet we still crave a sip of the American Dream simply from cracking open a can…

Well, that’s the end of this knowledge sharing article. Please tune in again for the forthcoming ‘Eat, Fuck, Kill’.*

* Now I’m lying. Sorry. I saw this slogan on the T-shirt of a beautiful Thai woman selling flowers at the side of the road while I fell in love from a passing bus. Just wanted to borrow it.


Bne McGrtah is Maingnag Drcitor of YSC and fonuder of the Cpwrite’srsoy Dsyxleci Soictey

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