Monday, April 30, 2007

David Mamet To Direct Ford Ads


Fascinating story a few days ago about the genius behind Glengary Glen Ross, House Of Games, and The Spanish Prisoner directing ads for Ford.

Can't wait to see how they turn out.

One other feature of the story I found interesting was just how much more intelligently they seem to write about advertising in North America.

Within a few short lines, there's a lucid description of the merits and demerits of comparative advertising, and an explanation of the exact division of responsibilities between Mamet and the agency copywriters.

I don't want to turn this into a let's-slag-off-Campaign post, but... would you get that in Campaign?

UPDATE

I found one of the ads on YouTube.



It's not that great.

Funny, that. Most ads by great directors aren't.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Don't Run. Drive.

This Suzuki ad from today's Independent is unbelievably behind the times.

In case you can't quite read the type, they are saying you are 'bonkers' to go running, when you could be driving their brilliant 4x4!

Don't these people read the newspapers?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Your Visual DNA

This website comes across at first like one of those yawny test-your- personality type things. But as it's purely visual (until the results) it did hold my attention for, ooh, two or three minutes.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

There's No Such Thing As A Press Ad

I've let a week go by before writing about the Campaign Press Awards... long enough for my anger to dissipate.

That's right, nothing of mine won.

But there were definitely some worthy winners. Here are three of my favourites, which all have something very important in common: they're not press ads.





They're posters, that happened to appear in print.

And this is great.

It's a complete myth that people "have more time" or "are more relaxed" when they're reading newspapers or magazines.

Just because they're sitting in an armchair doesn't mean they're any more interested in commercial messages than when they're driving a car.

You still need to stop people, grab their attention, and reward it.

These ads do that.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tuesday Tip No.20 - How To Discuss Ideas

Your idea... it is shit
Oh no, mine is good, I think you'll find it is yours that is shit

This next tip for young creatives is an expansion of a point in Tip No.9 - Working Well With Your Partner, that seemed to strike a chord.

Never say 'no' to one of his ideas. People hate being told no. Instead just say 'yes' in an unconvinced sort of tone. This one really works! Avoid hours and hours worth of arguments!

You see, in discussing ideas (or brainstorming, if you must, although the word sounds like David Brent will be there) they always tell you 'be positive - you should never say no to anything.' But they don't tell you what you should say.

Here's my guide.

What You Want To SayHow To Say It
Brilliant! You've cracked it!I like it. I like it a lot.
Good, but I think we can do better. Good.
Strategically sound, but not very interesting.(neutral tone) Yes, that works.
Interesting, but strategically unsound. (neutral tone) Interesting.
There may be something good in there, but right now it doesn't work at all. Interesting, worth developing.
Off-brief, and pretty dull. (neutral tone) Uh-huh.
Wildly off-brief. Say that one again?
Still wildly off-brief. Okay, I get it now.
Incredibly boring. OK.
Rambling, dull, and uninspiring. Shall we break for lunch?


Tip No.19 - Read Hugh's Tips
Tip No.18 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part IV - How To Turn A Placement Into A Job
Tip No.17 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part III - How To Approach Agencies (re-print of Tip No. 7)
Tip No.16 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part II - How To Put A Book Together
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, April 23, 2007

The Engagement Model

Christie Brinkley (becomes relevant later)

Traditional advertising is dead. The way forward, rather than interrupting consumers, is to create compelling content that they will want to engage with.

Or is it?

Let's look at two examples.

First of all, Qashqai Car Games, created by TBWA.

This is an absolutely brilliant site. They've created an entire fictional sport, a kind of urban Scalextric but with real cars, and created genuinely funny short films profiling some of the events, drivers and teams involved in it. There's so much detail there, and the standard of design, writing and direction are all first-class.

But the site is only the 387, 125th most popular on the internet. In fact there are 17 ad blogs that have more traffic than Qashqai! Its daily reach is just 0.004% of the internet audience. Any media company achieving that kind of reach for its clients in traditional media would surely be fired on the spot.

Secondly, Bud TV. The content on Bud TV is a bit shit. I quite like girls in swimsuits, but even I was struggling to stay awake halfway through the 'exclusive' footage from the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition Launch Party (Including interviews with the models!) sample model opinion: "I looked up to Christie Brinkley, so to be in this issue is just crazy for me."

Surprise surprise, Bud TV is tanking. The complicated sign-up process is held partly to blame.

But I've got another explanation.

You see, I just don't believe that people who are looking for entertainment want to go to a beer website or a car website to get it. They want to go to an entertainment website, e.g. FHM.com.

Maybe I'm a lone voice in the wilderness here, but just maybe the interruption model is not dead.

I'm sorry that TV airtime has become more expensive, and that mass audiences are harder to reach, I really am.

But the solution is not to create a website that nobody goes to.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Ad Blog Charts for April 2007

Last month I experimented with basing the charts on links, as measured by Technorati. But I've now decided to go back to my previous method - traffic rankings from Alexa. Why? Well, it's quicker to do, basically. So here we go.

Top 25 Ad Blogs (world
   ranking)
1     (1)AdRants15,547
2     (2)Advertising/Design Goodness  39,910
3     (3)AdFreak40,105
4     (4)Adverblog58,427
5     (5)Adverbox66,788
6     (9)Logic + Emotion86,514
7     (6)Adland89,156
8     (7)Coloribus125,948
9     (10)Jaffe Juice149,095
10   (11)AdPulp177,166
11   (8)Twenty Four198,861
12   (14)Experience Curve208,822
13   (16)Copyranter214,430
14   (15)Beyond Madison Avenue240,175
15   (13)How Advertising Spoiled Me240,363
16   (new)Hee-Haw Marketing289,516
17   (18)Advertising For Peanuts373,899
18   (19)AdScam405,803
19   (25)Welcome To Optimism470,913
20   (new)Hidden Persuader491,690
21   (new)Make The Logo Bigger508,695
22   (17)American Copywriter508,726
23   (24)Ernie Schenck550,625
24   (23)Scamp555,761
25   (21)BrandFlakes for Breakfast632,290

The biggest riser, going up 6 places from 25th to 19th, was Wieden & Kennedy's Welcome To Optimism, a fascinating and candid blog, which this month included their controversial report on the Nokia pitch briefing.

In an exciting new feature on the chart, I've added an ↑ if a blog's traffic has gone up by 20% or more in the past month, and a ↓ if it's gone down by 20%.

Lots of ↓'s, you'll notice.

In fact only one blog bucked the trend and increased its traffic by more than 20% over the month - David Armano's ever-interesting Logic + Emotion.

Is the adblogging boom coming to an end?

Top 10 UK Ad Blogs (world
  ranking)
1   (2)AdScam405,803
2   (5)Welcome To Optimism470,913
3   (4)Scamp555,761
4   (3)FishNChimps650,371
5   (6)Adliterate800,561
6   (new)Living Brands1.01m
7   (9)Beeker1.30m
8   (7)What If...1.57m
9   (10)Faris1.84m
10   (new)Northern Planner3.46m

UK means UK-based. Ad blog means ad blogs not marketing blogs, so that excludes Gapingvoid. Paul Colman doesn't class Life In The Middle as an ad blog and - in the move that shook the blogosphere - Russell Davies has announced he will no longer blog about advertising, so sadly he's not in either. Also, I'm only counting English language blogs.

If I've missed anyone out, please tell me and I'll put them in next month.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Mother Placement Competition - The Final Three

I've written before about the competition for Bucks students to win a placement at Mother.

The challenge was to produce a YouTube film, with the original idea being that whoever got the most views would win the placement.

Here are the final three.

The Meat-Off - 7,443 views


Belly Dancers - 1,928 views


Cheap Thrills - 1,151 views


I hear that Mother may now be making the final decision based on 'creative quality' and not number of views. Shame. I rather liked the purity of 'most virally viral wins'.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Scamp On Scamp



My partner's parents have acquired a delightful new dog.

His name? Scamp.

Monday, April 16, 2007

E-Mail Your Future Self

Have you heard about Futureme.org?

It's a rather nifty website that allows you to send an e-mail to your future self. So far, over 391,000 people have done so.

And of course, the best of them have been collected up into a book.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Mentos plus... Bitter?


Nice take on the Mentos genre.

Found at Tuff Sheet, a site made by one of London's leading production companies Blink to house their favourite spoofs and virals.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Gwen Gets Job

Great news for Gwen - she has been hired, and by a top agency too, W&K Amsterdam.

Of course, she's documented the interview process in her own unique and wonderful style.

Here she is meeting co-ECD Al Moseley, who she finds very noble.


Meanwhile Al's partner, John Norman, seems to have been pre-warned of her modus operandi.



Congratulations, Gwen! And very best of luck in Amsterdam.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Fetishisation of Doing

Is this man's job harder than writing adverts?

I'm belatedly a bit miffed by what Russell wrote in Campaign last week.

Ideas are the easiest, fastest and cheapest things to have in the world. It's getting them made that's hard, and for that you need traffic and production. Ladies and Gentleman, we salute you.

Let me start by joining Russell in saluting traffic and production. You couldn't wish to meet a nicer or more dedicated bunch of people.

But I got to stand up for my peeps. Having ideas is not easier than getting them made. Quite the contrary.

Come on, we're not going to place doing above thinking are we? Like, salute the guy who got Moby Dick to the printer on time, rather than Herman Melville?

Getting things made may look harder because you can actually see a person doing that job, whereas you can't see a creative's or a planner's brain working.

But thinking is still work. Very hard work, in fact. Thinking is not a crime!

I guess Russell knows that really, he's just trying to provoke a response. And he's succeeded, darn it...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Second Life Flooded



Really neat idea this, from Ogilvy.

To highlight the dangers of climate change, they arranged to flood parts of Second Life yesterday.

It's the best use of Second Life so far, I reckon, and a pretty original way to get the message across.

More details here

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Tuesday Tip No.18 - How To Get A Job In Advertising, Part IV

a placement team, yesterday

Time for the final installment in this dubiously useful series, which will comprise ten suggestions on How To Turn A Placement Into A Job.

(Of course, placement is not the only way to get a job - you should also be looking for opportunities via friends, headhunters, Cream etc. But it's probably the most common way.)

1. Don't worry if you have been on a placement for a while, and haven't been hired yet. Some people get hired after being on placement at the same agency for up to a year. The rule is 'if you like it, stay'.

2. Unless they explicitly tell you there is no job for you at this agency. In which case make plans to leave straight away.

3. Some people get hired on their first placement. Some people do five, ten or more. Don't worry too much about this. A lot of it is down to luck - you have to do well, which is partly luck, and the agency you are at has to be hiring, which is completely luck.

4. Don't waste your time trying to crack the agency's big showpiece TV brief. These projects take months. Even if an idea of yours does get bought, you will be long gone by then so won't reap the benefits.

5. Be useful. Crack the small, dirty, smelly briefs - the ones that no one else in the department wants to touch.

6. But you've got to do good work too. Useful on its own isn't enough. Useful and good is what's wanted.

7. You should from time to time be doing ads that are good enough for your book. It's very disappointing to see a young team who, after a year of placements, haven't got any 'laminates' - real ads they did in an agency that ran. In fact to be honest it probably indicates some kind of problem.

8. Do the things the existing creatives probably don't do much of: digital, ambient, stunts, that kind of thing. Make the creative director think you offer something new to his department. That's better than just being a cheaper and more inexperienced version of what he already has!

9. Fit in. Go to the agency's bar if they have one, make friends with the other young people about the place. If you fit in well, you're more likely to get hired. That's just human nature. If you don't fit in well, you're probably in the wrong place anyway. E.g. if you wear cavalry twill trousers, Mother isn't for you.

10. In every moment of spare time, you should be working on your book. Why? Because if your current placement doesn't lead to a job, you'll need that book to get another one. And the better your book, the better the agency you can get into. Hey, what are you doing reading this? Go work on your book for Christ's sake!


Tip No.17 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part III - How To Approach Agencies (re-print of Tip No. 7)
Tip No.16 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part II - How To Put A Book Together
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

Tuesday Tip No. 17 - How To Get a Job In Advertising, Part III

So, we've covered the FAQ, and How To Put A Book Together.

The logical next topic is How To Approach Agencies, which I realise I've already covered here.

So without further ado, I'll move straight on to the fourth and last download of whatever paltry knowledge I have about how to get a job in advertising - How To Turn A Placement Into A Job.

Tip No.16 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part II - How To Put A Book Together
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, April 02, 2007