Gold Crown Press just released a book titled, VIRUS: THE OUTRAGEOUS HISTORY OF GYRO WORLDWIDE. The book’s author, Harriet Bernard-Levy, chronicles the agency’s 20-year existence while managing to linguistically blow founder Steven Grasse.
“Wait, did you say DDB?” you might be asking silently. No, ‘fraid not. “Oglivy and Mather?” Again, no. “Ayer & Son? TBWA? BBDO? Some other agency that had a real impact on American culture?” No, no, no, and no. We’re talking about Gyro.
Here are just a few of the wildly unhinged claims made by Bernard-Levy in her book:
* Gyro invented viral marketing (ha!)
* Gyro launched the careers of Spike Jonze, Doug Aitken, and Quentin Tarantino, among others (ha! ha!)
* Gyro “was the first to capitalize on the latent sexual forces running through contemporary proletarian subculture...forever [changing] our collective notion of cool”
This tidbit from the book is particularly giggle-inducing:
“Before receiving a standing ovation at the Sundance Film Festival for their award winning feature film Little Miss Sunshine, director duo Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Ferris cut their artistic teeth shooting Puma spots for Gyro Worldwide.”
Ahh, yes. I remember those Puma spots well. (Oh wait — no I don’t. Actually, I don’t remember them at all. Which is weird, because, according to the book’s logic, they must’ve been as culturally important as “Tastes great, less filling” and “You deserve a break today.”)
I’ll say this for Gyro: What they lack historically, in terms of actual talent and breakthrough thinking, they more than make up for in hubris. If they’ve taught us anything — and they’ve certainly done so by example — it’s that if you make incessant claims that you’re the greatest thing walking, eventually some people will believe you. (Wait, I think Oasis taught us that, too. That’s the band that’s better than the Beatles, right?)