Friday, March 30, 2007

Gwen At D&AD Congress

The irrepressible Gwen has been hired by D&AD to report from their Congress.

She spots W&K creative director Tony Davidson giving blogosphere genius Russell the old 'hamster-cheeks' treatment.



And Piyush Pandy of Ogilvy India reminds her of Mr Pringle.



God, but Gwen's drawings crack me up. It's the fact that they're in-jokes, I suppose. In-jokes are always funny.

See it all at the D&AD blog.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

How To Get A Placement At Mother

Everything Mother do is pretty good.

But I particularly like their latest idea.

They are offering a placement to a 3rd year team at Bucks College. Each team has to make a YouTube video. And the placement will go to whichever film gets the most views.

Now who says creatives don't care about results?

Here are the films.

via CreativeinLondon

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Proof

I thought Nike taking business out of W&K was inexplicable.

But maybe this article explains it (apparently Nike feel Wieden's lacks digital expertise).

I suppose this confirms my advice of yesterday to young creatives (in fact it probably means the advice applies to ALL creatives) -

You've got to be able to do digital.

I mean, who would hire a team that couldn't do, say, print?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tuesday Tip No. 16 - How To Get A Job In Advertising, Part II


This is what a portfolio looks like.

But what to put in it?

Well, the answer to that used to be easy: 8 advertising campaigns, each consisting of 3 print ads, plus maybe an ambient execution or a TV storyboard (so long as it had no dialogue, of course.)

And such was the way it was for, ooh, years.

But it's all changed now. If your book still looks like that, you're doing it wrong.

Why? Because creative directors have gone digital crazy, that's why.

Most creative directors are surprisingly clued-up about digital. Remember, they're closer to the 'business' side of the business than rank-and-file creatives are - they know full well that clients are now demanding their agency start delivering great work in non-traditional media.

And as well as re-training their existing creatives, they're looking to the new generation to give it to them.

You must be that new generation. Your book must show compelling examples of how brands can exploit the digital space.

Heck, maybe your book shouldn't even be a book, but a website or a CD.

(Having said all this, you've got to show you can do all the traditional media as well. So yes, your 'book' still needs to have lots of great print work, and the odd TV ad, if you want a job in a so-called above-the-line agency).

But more and more you need to demonstrate how to reach consumers in new ways. That means new media, events, ideas for mobile games, TV shows, crazy shit... maybe even new products.

And above all, digital.

ADDENDUM. In case it's useful information for any young teams out there, the most recent student book that my partner and I have recommended to the creative director here looked like this: 9 campaigns, with a total of 21 print ads, 2 TV ads, 6 digital executions, and 31 (!) executions that are ambient/ new products/ crazy shit. Maybe there were a few too many of those. But you get the idea.

Tip No. 15 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part I - FAQ
Tip No. 14 - Make Friends With Traffic
Tip No. 13 - Get Reference
Tip No. 12 - Don't Stop Too Soon
Tip No.11 - Be Very
Tip No.10 - Breaking Up
Tip No.9 - Working Well With Your Partner
Tip No.8 - Finding The Right Partner
Tip No.7 - How To Approach Agencies
Tip No.6 - Never-Seen-Before Footage
Tip No.5 - Dicketts' Finger
Tip No.4 - Two Blokes In The Pub
Tip No.3 - Play Family Fortunes
Tip No.2 - Should You Take A Bad Job?
Tip No.1 - Don't Overpolish

Monday, March 26, 2007

Mr. Deity



Many of us, as part of our jobs, are being tasked with creating fun & interesting digital content.

Content like this.

Now, if only there was a way to twist this round for some brand...

Thanks to Dr. Rogers for the tip

Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday Poll

Lord Lever famously said half his advertising didn't work.

A few years later, a more recent Unilever boss (Niall Fitzgerald) upped the figure to 90% (quoted in a nice paper of Jon Howard's.)

So what about your record?

Has everything you've touched turned to gold?

Or have you clawed your way up the greasy pole by doing brilliantly creative campaigns for products that bombed in the shops?

Of course, there are many many ways to measure effectiveness. What we're interested in here is something (necessarily) quite loose - your own personal view of how many of the campaigns you've been involved with have actually worked.

Vote now, in the top right hand corner of your screen.

The result of last week's poll was very reassuring for the future of advertising.

During the ad-breaks, the most common activity undertaken by readers of this blog is... watching the ads.

Unless you're just watching them out of professional interest?

Previous poll results:

Friday Poll No.13 - Which Department Is The Most Insane?
Friday Poll No.12 - What Music Do You Listen To While Working?
Friday Poll No.11 - What Time Do You Get In?
Friday Poll No.10 - Who Drinks The Most?
Friday Poll No.9 - Press v Online
Friday Poll No.8 - Success Or Glory?
Friday Poll No.7 - Is Reading Blogs A Waste Of Time?
Friday Poll No.6 - Job Satisfaction
Friday Poll No.5 - Festive Greetings
Friday Poll No.4 - Ad Of The Year 2006
Friday Poll No.3 - What's Your Favourite Medium To Work In?
Friday Poll No.2 - Agency Of The Year
Friday Poll No.1 - Which Department Is The Most Overpaid?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Ad Blog Charts

Here's the Ad Blog Charts for March.

This time I've used Technorati rather than Alexa rankings, in other words it's based on number of links rather than traffic (incidentally Technorati also only ranks blogs, not websites in general).

A better method, do you think, or not?

The results are not amazingly dissimilar to last time, though some of the planners blogs have gone a bit higher - which sees Faris and Adliterate enter the chart. Congrats to them.


Top 25 Ad Blogs


  (world
  ranking)
1AdRants 627
2Advertising/Design Goodness 1,117
3AdFreak 1,761
4Adverblog 2,368
5Jaffe Juice 3,040
6Logic + Emotion 3,199
7Russell Davies 3,564
8Adverbox 3,615
9Hee-Hawmarketing 4,640
10Adland 5,679
11Twenty Four 6,695
12How Advertising Spoiled Me 8,096
13AdPulp 10,244
14Advertising For Peanuts 12,209
15Hidden Persuader 12,443
16Experience Curve 14,192
17Copyranter 14,442
18Adliterate 15,698
19Beyond Madison Avenue 15,826
20Coloribus 16,999
21American Copywriter 17,483
22Faris20,003
23Welcome To Optimism 23,037
24Ad Hunt 25,029
25Make The Logo Bigger 27,360


Top 10 UK Ad Blogs
  (world
  ranking)
1Russell Davies3,564
2Adliterate15,698
3Faris20,003
4Welcome To Optimism23,037
5Beeker39,283
6Scamp44,415
7FishNChimps50,863
8AdScam51,657
9What If...65,053
10Gwen Yip90,536


UK means UK-based. Ad blog means ad blogs not marketing blogs, hence no Gapingvoid. Paul Colman requested Life In The Middle not be classed as an ad blog, so Paul is not there. Also, I'm only counting English language blogs.

No doubt I've missed one out. Do let me know and I'll put it in next month.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Unintentionally The Funniest Book Ever


I've recently finished "Open Minds. 21st Century Business Lessons and Innovations from St. Luke's" by Andy Law.

It is quite possibly the funniest book ever written.

Life at St Luke's was clearly bonkers.

And yet they took it all completely seriously.

At their awayday, every member of staff had to give a speech.

To make himself uncomfortable, as he was used to speaking publicly, David Abraham stripped off. Almost naked, literally, he exposed to us all the deep feelings he had about the company.

Meanwhile, someone asks Head of Planning John Grant if he is happy.
Happiness is a static point along the path of fulfillment. At any one point I can declare myself happy, but still feel there is more to fulfil... for example, I am happy now, because I am eating my breakfast, but my day is as yet unfulfilled.
Surely there's enough material for a comic novel in all this...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The King


No Friday poll yesterday, I'm on a short break in Morocco, so I'll keep it running for another week.

This is an interesting and beautiful place.

On the roads out of the airport, there are many large posters of the King, in a sort of 'welcome to my country' pose.

Wonderful.

Made me think... shouldn't there be huge posters of the Queen as you come out of Heathrow? Or perhaps Tony Blair?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Who Can Speak On Shoots

Minor bust-up over at the always-interesting Northern Planner.

He remembers:

as a young account exec (with hair!) I was told that my job was to keep the client away from the director at all costs. Any queries absolutely had to go through the producer. It said a fair bit about highly strung directors as far as I was concerned

My reply:
Here are some of the people you will typically find on a shoot:

production company producer, agency producer, copywriter, art director, client, account handler, sound man, lighting cameraman, actors, hair person, make-up person, wardrobe person, 1st AD, 2nd AD, 3rd AD, runner, another runner, gaffer, assistant gaffer, camera assistant, production designer, production designer's assistant, spark, assistant spark, carpenter, assistant carpenter, catering chief, catering assistant... there's more but you get the idea.

This is why not everyone can talk to the director.

It slightly annoys me that account handlers think it's laughable that they have to 'go through the producer'.

A lot of people on a shoot have to go through someone else to get to the director.

It's a numbers thing, that's all.

Who is right?

Well, obviously I am. But what do you think?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tuesday Tip No.15 - How To Get A Job In Advertising, Part I

Okay, I've decided to tackle the big one.

And it is a big one, so I'm going to break it down into several parts.

First of all, I might as well answer the most commonly asked questions, because the answer is really very easy.

I've only just left college, is it worth me contacting the headhunters?

Yes

What about schemes like Cream, The Book Club, and the Diageo Scheme, are they worth applying to?

Yes

Is it better to work on my book, or try to get placements?

Do both

Okay I've got a placement. Is it better to work hard in the agency I'm at and try to get a job here, or keep working on my book and go for jobs wherever they come up?

Do both

Is it better to see small agencies or big agencies? Multinationals or hotshops? Lots of different agencies or repeated visits to the ones we like best?

All of the above.

In short, why would you not do something that could help you? Do it all.

Tip No. 14 - Make Friends With Traffic
Tip No. 13 - Get Reference
Tip No. 12 - Don't Stop Too Soon
Tip No.11 - Be Very
Tip No.10 - Breaking Up
Tip No.9 - Working Well With Your Partner
Tip No.8 - Finding The Right Partner
Tip No.7 - How To Approach Agencies
Tip No.6 - Never-Seen-Before Footage
Tip No.5 - Dicketts' Finger
Tip No.4 - Two Blokes In The Pub
Tip No.3 - Play Family Fortunes
Tip No.2 - Should You Take A Bad Job?
Tip No.1 - Don't Overpolish

Monday, March 12, 2007

Off Topic But Hilarious


Adam Buxton's interpretation of a sign language interpreter.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Friday Poll - What Do You Do When The Adverts Come On?

When a chicken plucker comes home at night, the last thing he wants to have for dinner is chicken.

Do you avoid adverts in the same way?

Or are you so addicted to brand communications that you talk doing the programmes, and shut up during the breaks?

Vote now, in the top right hand corner of your screen.

The result of last week's poll reveals that readers of this blog believe Account Handlers to be the least sane people in our industry. Poor Suits. Were they sane when they went in, I wonder, and only gradually got driven mad by a ceaseless stream of Client 'requests', and the stress of 'dealing with' Creatives? Or were they bonkers to begin with?

Who knows.


Previous poll results:

Friday Poll No.12 - What Music Do You Listen To While Working?
Friday Poll No.11 - What Time Do You Get In?
Friday Poll No.10 - Who Drinks The Most?
Friday Poll No.9 - Press v Online
Friday Poll No.8 - Success Or Glory?
Friday Poll No.7 - Is Reading Blogs A Waste Of Time?
Friday Poll No.6 - Job Satisfaction
Friday Poll No.5 - Festive Greetings
Friday Poll No.4 - Ad Of The Year 2006
Friday Poll No.3 - What's Your Favourite Medium To Work In?
Friday Poll No.2 - Agency Of The Year
Friday Poll No.1 - Which Department Is The Most Overpaid?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The 10 Biggest Cocks In Advertising


Oh my days this is funny.

Swearing is funny. Fact.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

David Beckham - Emotion In Advertising


The new adidas David Beckham ad broke last night. I think it's great.

Why? Because he's not afraid to show his emotions.

Nothing's more powerful than genuine emotion (or harder to elicit from sports stars - hats off to 180 Amsterdam for getting it).

Makes me wonder why we don't use emotion more. After all, most purchasing decisions are emotionally not rationally driven. David Bonney is building up a collection of sad/ emotional ads. Maybe that will help.

P.S. the last time I got a bit emotional myself was... earlier this morning, when I watched an entire ad break from 1982 over at FishNChimps. Oh, the nostalgia. Worth visiting. Chimpy writes a nice commentary on it too.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Tuesday Tip No.14 - Make Friends With Traffic

not this kind of traffic

When I was first starting out, I asked a senior creative - "Who's it better to be really in with - the Account Handlers or the Planners?"

His reply - "Traffic."

Of course you should make friends with everybody. But especially make friends with Traffic (or Progress, Workflow, Project Management, they go by different names in different agencies).

Here's 5 reasons why.

1. They know when the good briefs are coming up. If they like you, they might even give you one of them.

2. If you like gossip (and let's face it, you do) they can tell you who is about to be fired, who is bunking up with who, etc.

3. They know which juicy brief a senior team is struggling on. Prepare to jump in.

4. It will do you good to talk to someone who isn't called Tarquin or Julian for a change.

5. They can, if asked nicely, give you more of the most precious commodity of all. Time.

So make friends with Traffic. It's really worth it.

Tip No. 13 - Get Reference
Tip No. 12 - Don't Stop Too Soon
Tip No.11 - Be Very
Tip No.10 - Breaking Up
Tip No.9 - Working Well With Your Partner
Tip No.8 - Finding The Right Partner
Tip No.7 - How To Approach Agencies
Tip No.6 - Never-Seen-Before Footage
Tip No.5 - Dicketts' Finger
Tip No.4 - Two Blokes In The Pub
Tip No.3 - Play Family Fortunes
Tip No.2 - Should You Take A Bad Job?
Tip No.1 - Don't Overpolish

Monday, March 05, 2007

World's Wittiest Copywriter?


Saw an old movie over the weekend - Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House - in which advertising copywriter Cary Grant experiences mildly amusing difficulties with builders.

But there's a rather more amusing (for us) subplot, in which Grant is required to come up with a slogan for a ham product called 'Wham'.

The deadline? Well, he's given six months to come up with the idea. That's right, folks, six months.

Second, it seems that no campaign idea or even a visual is needed. Nope, just a slogan. No 360 degree thinking in 1948, no Sir, no way.

And the winning tagline? It springs fully-formed from the mouth of the family's black maid (!)

"If you ain't eatin' Wham, you ain't eatin' ham."

Friday, March 02, 2007

Friday Poll - March Madness

Techno! Techno! Techno! Techno!

The result of last week's poll shows that Dance music is the most popular kind for readers of this blog to listen to at work.

I don't know if this means you're all very young, or very trendy. No doubt both.

In second place, was No Music. Perhaps these people work (or are trying to) just down the hall from the aforementioned?


This week's poll, as we enter the month of March, is about madness.

Which department is the most cracked?

Is it those crazy Creatives - or are they merely faking madness in a bid to appear creative?

Or is it the Planners who are insane, as all clever people in Hollywood movies have to be?

Or are Account Handlers the crazy ones, for taking a job where they get treated like s*** the whole time?

Vote now, in the top right hand corner of your screen.

Previous poll results:

Friday Poll No.11 - What Time Do You Get In?
Friday Poll No.10 - Who Drinks The Most?
Friday Poll No.9 - Press v Online
Friday Poll No.8 - Success Or Glory?
Friday Poll No.7 - Is Reading Blogs A Waste Of Time?
Friday Poll No.6 - Job Satisfaction
Friday Poll No.5 - Festive Greetings
Friday Poll No.4 - Ad Of The Year 2006
Friday Poll No.3 - What's Your Favourite Medium To Work In?
Friday Poll No.2 - Agency Of The Year
Friday Poll No.1 - Which Department Is The Most Overpaid?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Communications Past Their Use-By Date

Going through the 2005 D&AD Annual the other day, I found this Tesco ad.


Remarkable to think that, only a couple of years ago, Tesco were boasting their peas are flown in from Guatemala.

Going back further, check out these hilarious Weight Watchers recipe cards from 1974 (via Rachel L).

This one depicts that delicious snack, frozen coffee.


There's no doubting it.

95% of what we do is going to end up looking very funny, or very weird.