George Lois has some Damn Good (Greek) Advice
Advertising legend gives closing address at TEDx Thessaloniki to launch Greek edition of Damn Good Advice
George Lois might have one of the most distinct - and most charming - New York accents we’ve ever come across, yet he’s consistently identified himself as a Greek American, and is proud to be able to trace his heritage back to that cradle of Western civilisation. The legendary ad man campaigned against the country’s military junta in the 70s, and oversaw the Greek tourism office’s ads in the 1980s.
So, it is with an understandable degree of pride that he returned to Greece last week to launch the Greek edition of Damn Good Advice, by giving the closing address at TEDx Thessaloniki, offering the audience such pithy lines as “You can be cautious or you can be creative, but there is no such thing as cautious creative.”
Lois tells Phaidon.com, “My going to Greece last week was basically a 5 day book party for ΕΞΩ ΑΠΟ ΤΑ ΔΟΝΤΙΑ (DAMN GOOD ADVICE wasn't translatable) and these words are literally "Out from the teeth," meaning "Straight talk" in Greek. A TEDx talk in Thessaloniki (which should go online in the next few days) received heart-felt and thunderous response from the audience.
“Full page newspaper stories in the press, dozens of interviews, an on-stage interview in Athens followed by Esquire Greece throwing a raucous book party that lasted well into the night (I had designed the cover for them and they ran a 10 page story). Interviews, interviews, interviews, and I signed hundreds of books.
“The Key Books entrepreneurs, Vassilis Vardakas and Vlassis Maronitis, and the editor of Esquire Greece, Kostas Tsitsis, were incredible hosts. I'm attaching a couple of photos of me on stage as well as the four of us at the entrance to the on-stage interview and book party welcoming me Home to Greece, "Where I began" (a twist on my campaign in the U.S. in 1985 for Greek tourism "Go home to Greece, where it all began").