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Jeff Goodby’s and Rich Silverstein’s MasterClass: Advertising and Creativity

If you want to learn more about world-class advertising, you should check out Jeff Goodby’s and Rich Silverstein’s MasterClass. But read our honest review first, so you be sure it’s for you.

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Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein Teach Advertising and Creativity MasterClass: Our Verdict (2024)


4.4 / 5

In their Advertising MasterClass, Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein talk about their successful campaigns, creativity, working with brands, design, and much more. The course is well-structured and easy to follow, and it’s packed with case studies. That said, it’s a good choice for anyone who wants to get into advertising or simply learn how to create effective, impactful campaigns.


  • Good teachers
  • Case studies
  • It’s dynamic


  • Lack of a wider perspective

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To be honest, I don’t know a lot about advertising. But I’m a creative who wants to learn more about creativity and finding authentic, impactful ideas.

And one thing is for sure: Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein know a thing or two about making an impact.

So, I decided to take a look at their MasterClass and approach it with an open mind.

In the following paragraphs, I’ll explain who this class is best suited for, and I’ll share my thoughts on Goodby’s and Silverstein’s teaching style and approach to advertising.

Table of Contents

What is the Goodby & Silverstein MasterClass?

Advertising and Creativity” is an online course offered by MasterClass, a reputable online learning platform known for its exceptional team of instructors.

The class is taught by Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein, founders of the Goodby, Silverstein & Partners agency (also known as GSP) based in San Francisco.

In the course, Goodby and Silverstein teach how to understand your client, make something out of nothing, and create advertising campaigns that continue to live in popular culture. They also talk about their most successful campaigns and break down their creative process. 

The course contains 18 lessons with a duration of 2 hours and 25 minutes. 

Who are Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein?

Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein are co-founders of one of the most famous advertising agencies, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

Based in San Francisco, the agency is responsible for many successful campaigns, including Got Milk? campaign, Budweiser Frogs campaign, Nike skateboarding campaign, and multiple Super Bowl ads.

In their own words, they are a “creative company that creates things that reach millions and even billions, but seem to speak only to you.”

Goodby’s and Silverstein’s vision, creativity, and deep understanding of our society and culture won them multiple awards and made them one of the world’s most successful advertising executives.

Who is the target audience for Goodby’s and Silverstein’s MasterClass?

In their MasterClass, Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein introduce their learners to their most famous campaigns and tell the story behind each idea. The course is packed with interesting case studies, and the instructors talk about their projects in a very open, detailed way.

That said, this course is ideal for anyone who wants to get into advertising. Whether you’re a student or a successful advertising executive, there is something for you in the course.  

On the other hand, Jeff and Rich share a very specific view on the role of advertising. They say it’s “art serving capitalism” – a very bold and self-aware yet fundamentally problematic claim, in my opinion.

So, whether you’ll find this course inspiring and beneficial also depends on your personal beliefs.

But if your goal is to simply learn more about effective advertising tools and working with big brands, there are probably no better teachers than these two advertising icons.

What does Goodby’s and Silverstein’s MasterClass cover?

In their MasterClass, Jeff and Rich cover many relevant topics regarding advertising.

They primarily talk about finding innovative, creative solutions to create campaigns, and they take a deep dive into some of their biggest campaigns and collaborations.

Here is a quick overview of all the lessons:

  • Lessons 1-2 are introductory lessons where Jeff and Rich briefly introduce themselves, their career path, and the course.
  • Lesson 3 covers the challenges Jeff and Rich face early in their careers. The lesson is about “making something out of nothing” and creating great campaigns, even if you have a tiny budget.
  • Lesson 4 is focused on the “Got Milk?” campaign. The lesson also includes a detailed behind-the-scenes look at how they shot their ad “Got milk?: Aaron Burr.”
  • Lesson 5 introduces three ways you can engage your audience and make advertising that lives in culture.
  • Lesson 6 is dedicated to different aspects of working with brands.
  • Lesson 7 includes Jeff’s rules for the so-called creative vandalism, including: don’t copy, steal; run toward fire; and seek out fame.
  • Lesson 8 covers two techniques for plotting out an ad.
  • Lesson 9 is focused on writing, design, and creative direction.
  • Lesson 10 emphasizes the importance of humor in advertising.
  • Lesson 11 explains how to sell a ‘crazy’ idea.
  • Lessons 12-13 include behind-the-scenes breakdowns of the instructors’ famous campaigns.
  • Lessons 14-16 tackle the impact ads can have on people. According to Jeff and Rich, advertising is more than billboards and TV ads, and it’s important to amplify messages for the greater good.
  • Lessons 17-18 are focused on starting an agency and winning new clients.

My favorite parts of Goodby’s and Silverstein’s MasterClass

Even though I would be able to provide some criticism of Jeff’s and Rich’s viewpoints, I’m actually glad I took their course.

Jeff and Rich are great teachers, their lessons are engaging and insightful, and they surely have a lot to say about advertising.

Here are some of the lessons I particularly liked.

How to Make Advertising That Lives in Culture: Three Ways to Engage

Jeff Goodby speaking in his MasterClass
Jeff Goodby explaining how important it is to listen to the world and your clients

I liked this lesson because Jeff and Rich talked about the importance of observing the world and listening to other people. That’s the only way to create something that will make people care about the brand.

It was also interesting to get behind-the-scenes breakdowns of some of their huge campaigns, like the NBA “I love this game” campaign, the Sega scream, and the Nike skateboarding campaign.

It’s actually fascinating how they managed to create ads that resonated with the audience on such a deep level.

How to Tell a Story in 30 Seconds

Rich Silverstein speaking in his MasterClass
Rich Silverstein teaching you how to plot a story

One of the skills of successful ad creators is the ability to tell a story in 30 seconds.

This lesson was interesting to me because I’m a writer, so I’m fascinated by the fact that someone is able to tell a story and evoke emotions in such a short time.

Plus, I learned how advertising writers actually sketch a commercial.

On Craft: Writing, Design, and Giving Direction

Rich Silverstein and Jeff Goodby speaking in their MasterClass
Rich and Jeff discussing their creative process

This lesson is packed with useful tips and insights. Rich and Jeff discuss their approach to writing, design, and creative direction, and they encourage their learners to be curious and open their eyes to the world around them.

How much does the MasterClass cost?

MasterClass is a subscription-based learning platform, so it’s not possible to purchase courses individually. If you want to take this MasterClass, you have to become a subscriber.

The standard annual plan has been renamed "Plus" and is available at $120 a year (which makes it $10 per month, billed annually), and now provides access to all MasterClass courses on two devices instead of one. The Premium plan, providing access for up to six devices costs $240 per year.

A MasterClass subscription gives you unlimited access to a catalog of 200+ classes, so if you want to take multiple classes throughout the year, the subscription is definitely worth it, and there are pleny of interesting courses on related topics to explore.

Also, the platform offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so if you’re not happy with your learning experience, you can request a full refund.

Note that the "Standard" membership, priced at $72 per year, only gives you access to their short-form learning content – none of their full MasterClasses are included.

What I liked about Goodby’s and Silverstein’s MasterClass

Although I’m not in advertising, I found this MasterClass quite insightful and beneficial.

I won’t be starting an advertising agency anytime soon, but I’ll surely try to apply some of Jeff’s and Rich’s advice to my own work.

Here are some of the reasons why I would recommend this course to fellow creatives and anyone interested in pursuing a career in advertising:

Good teachers

Rich and Jeff are perfect instructors for this course. They are experienced, eloquent, and entertaining, and they are very honest about who they are and what they’re doing.

While I don’t personally agree with some of their views, I do respect their creativity and dedication to work.

Case studies

The course offers numerous case studies that helped me understand how things really work in advertising.

Rich and Jeff explained how they came up with some of their awesome ideas and, what’s just as important, how they turned them into reality.

It's dynamic

Thanks to fast-paced lessons, multiple case studies, and the instructors’ enthusiasm, I felt focused and engaged the whole time.

Drawbacks of Goodby’s and Silverstein’s MasterClass

Now, I’ll try to explain why I had to approach this MasterClass with an open mind.

Lack of a wider perspective

I was familiar with the “Got Milk?” campaign before taking this class. I guess a lot of people are, and that proves the quality of Goodby’s and Silverstein’s work.

While this campaign is brilliant in a creative sense, it can be seen as problematic if you look at the bigger picture. For instance, the campaign doesn’t acknowledge the environmental and health risks associated with dairy, so I found some of Rich’s and Jeff’s statements a bit questionable.

In one of the lessons, they talk about working with corporations to amplify messages for the greater good. However, their lack of perspective in other situations made me question their sincerity when talking about bringing humanity to the corporate world.

Review conclusion: Is Goodby’s and Silverstein’s MasterClass worth it?

All in all, I think this MasterClass is insightful, well-structured, and very useful to people who want to get into advertising. It’s packed with case studies, great examples, and fascinating stories.

Rich and Jeff are good teachers – talkative, friendly, and entertaining – and when it comes to advertising, their skills and knowledge are probably second to none.

The only concern I had during this course was related to some of the instructors’ viewpoints and statements, but since that’s not at the center of this class, it didn’t affect my final verdict.

If you have the right expectations, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. And in case you want to start an advertising agency, this MasterClass offers a great foundation to build on.