5 people you never heard of who rocked your world

By Will Chen on 1 January 2007 comments

The Alchemists is a film about five people who transformed our culture by convincing us to adopt corporate slogans as a way of life. Consider:

  • Dan Wieden who, inspired by the last words of executed murderer Gary Gilmore, came up with the little phrase "Just do it" and revolutionized advertising forever.
  • Lee Clow, who created the most-famous commercial in history by introducing Macintosh computers in "1984."
  • George Lois who single-handedly saved MTV from extinction with his trademark in-your-face celebrity campaign, "I WANT MY MTV!"
  • Phyllis K. Robinson who helped define the entire "me generation" with her liberating spin on selling Clairol. ("It lets me be me.")
  • Hal Riney who got President Reagan re-elected.

According to the film's sponsors, this film is "not an analysis of the perils of consumerism and thought-control" but rather a documentary about "creative rebellion, and how all-powerful art springs forth from deeply personal, psychological sources and the need for change."

That sounds grand. But I'll be viewing this film from a very different perspective. I want to see the creative process behind the Nike and MTV zeitgeist that spawned the me-first generation obsessed with instant gratification and nihilistic consumerism. Dan Wieden made me do it, and I want to see how.


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