It might seem morbid for me to share an obituary, but The New York Times obituaries provide a stunning series of role models: very creative people who made themselves famous and, often, greatly improved the world. The only thing wrong with most of these folks: they're dead.
LaLanne was a peculiarity, especially early on, but that's how innovators appear.
His introduction of fitness is a classic representation of the introduction phase during the product life cycle, though his "product" was a concept and a call to action. He focused his communications on technical superiority — you'll live better through exercise — which is the perfect brand messaging strategy for a new product introduction.
If you jog or lift weights, swim or stair-master, cycle or skip rope, then you have been influenced — however indirectly — by Jack LaLanne.
He invented Just Do It long before the adguys took over.
Please enjoy Richard Goldstein's beautifully written "Jack LaLanne, Founder of Modern Fitness Movement, Dies at 96" in this morning's issue of The New York Times.
And — if you want to pursue your next (or current) creative adventure with me, I'll be at the Columbus Museum of Art's Center for Creativity three Sundays during the next six months, starting February 6th. Perhaps you have a friend you might recommend for this? Here are the details.
Because All Creatives Die
Someday I want to teach a course called Dead Creatives, with obituaries as the only reading assignments.
Though, as Mr. Goldstein writes about LaLanne: "'I can’t die,' he most famously liked to say. 'It would ruin my image.'"