Monday, December 31, 2007

The Ad Blog Charts for December

Here are the world's most popular ad blogs, as measured by traffic rankings from Alexa.

Top 25 Ad Blogs (world
   ranking)
1     (1)AdRants33,776
2     (2)Advertising/Design Goodness  49,905
3     (3)Duncan's TV Ad Land61,567
4     (4)Adverblog71,637
5     (5)AdFreak74,120
6     (new)Bannerblog74,262
7     (6)Adverbox86,507
8     (7)Adland106,347
9     (8)Copyranter121,805
10   (9)Logic + Emotion128,458
11   (10)Coloribus131,006
12   (11)AdPulp183,970
13   (14)Jaffe Juice248,899
14   (12)Ad Punch264,388
15   (13)Experience Curve272,267
16   (15)Twenty Four315,166
17   (16)Agency Spy330,323
18   (19)Adliterate394,779
19   (18)Behind The Buzz411,574
20   (17)AdScam433,325
21   (21)How Advertising Spoiled Me466,004
22   (re-)Crackunit480,942
23   (20)BrandFlakes for Breakfast495,824
24   (re-)Scamp501,606
25   (22)Welcome To Optimism    512,141

New in at 5 is Bannerblog, an Australian site that looks like it could be fairly useful to all you Digital types.

An ↑ means a blog's traffic has gone up by 15% or more in the past month, and a ↓ means it's gone down 15%.


Top 10 UK Ad Blogs (world
  ranking)
1   (1)Adliterate394,779
2   (3)Crackunit480,942
3   (4)Scamp501,606
4   (2)Welcome To Optimism    512,141
5   (5)Faris558,004
6   (7)Only Dead Fish1.1m
7   (8)Fish N Chimps1.1m
8   (9)TV's Worst Adverts1.5m
9 (10)Life Moves Pretty Fast1.7m
10   (6)Northern Planner1.7m


UK means UK-based. Ad blog means ad blogs not marketing blogs, so that excludes Gapingvoid. Although Paul Colman is now a planner at W&K he doesn't class Life In The Middle as an ad blog and Russell Davies no longer blogs about advertising. I'm only counting English language blogs.

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

Friday, December 28, 2007

2007 Reviewed, 2008 Predicted

What were the main topics on Creatives' minds in 2007?

In all probability, they were beer and sex.

But... we only discuss advertising here.

So, judging it solely by the posts which prompted the greatest number of comments on this blog over the past 12 months, the main subjects of interest for 2007 were:

1. Big TV ads. Not everyone liked Gorilla, Guinness, Play-Doh Bunnies and Smirnoff. But we cared about whether they were good or not.

2. The question of originality. Turns out there'd been another ad with a drumming gorilla and two LA-based artists had depicted multicoloured bunnies in New York, and Heinz weren't the first people to slice a ketchup bottle.

3. Creativity (or the lack of it) in Digital. DDB London creative Rob Messeter's post on Digital And The Emperor's New Clothes created quite the shit-storm.

4. The Creative Director Merry-Go-Round. Saatchis, JWT, MCBD, Hurrell & Dawson, Grey and Y&R all got new Creative Directors in 2007. Only Premiership football managers change quicker.

5. Awards (various posts). Awards still determine how much we get paid, so however much we might like to pretend they don't matter, they do.

6. Which agencies were doing the best work. The consensus says it's Fallon, with a group behind them of W&K, Mother, BBH, DDB, and Abbott Mead.


Will the same themes be discussed in 2008?

Well, some of them are eternal.

For wherever there is an office with a door that can be closed, a pub to sit in, or a place in cyberspace that allows anonymous commenting, Creatives will bitch. That's just what we do.

We bitch about our bosses, the companies we work at, our peers, and the work itself.

And all of that will continue. Praise the Lord!

But one theme is new, or newish. And that's Digital. Most above-the-line creatives (here in the UK) are doing little or no digital work, but they are reading about it in Campaign and on blogs, and are wondering if it's going to stay in separate 'digital agencies' or whether they'll be doing it soon too, and if so, whether the work will be any good or not.

My guess is that Digital will not end up staying in separate agencies like DM has. We'll all be doing it. I think this is going to start happening very very quickly and my advice is to get on board now.

The creativity will improve, of course it will. Right now, Digital is in its infancy. People are still getting to grips with the medium itself, let alone how to be creative in it. Creative standards will leap forward just as they did in every medium. (Ever seen those early TV ads?)

And Digital will affect the big TV ads we're so patently still obsessed with. The question is how. Will it kill off the big TV ad, as fewer people tune in? Or will Digital herald a new golden age of TV creativity, on the grounds that if you don't entertain, you don't get eyeballs?

The situation is on-going... I won't pretend I have the answer.

But I'm pretty sure that's the question.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Consumers Are Such Whores

This consumer-created ad has won a contest run by Pringles, and will actually run on British TV - on Christmas day, in fact.



Number of mentions of product name: 8

Number of packshots: 31

Number of product shots: 100+

Sample lyrics: "You love the Pringles cos they taste so yummy... you love the Pringles cos they're happy in your tummy."

The only hint of rebellion in the brothel comes when a child's voice asks: "What IS jinglin' Pringlin'?" but he is quickly slapped down by no less an authority than Mr Pringle himself, who curtly informs him: "Just eat your Pringles, okay."

That's right, Johnny. Shut the fuck up and eat your Pringles. Daddy's making an advert.

And consumers have the nerve to criticise OUR efforts! Well take the plank out of your own eye first, 'cos guess what, you suck worse than we do.

Even the last ad that Grey made for Pringles was better.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tuesday Tip No.35 - How To Do Radio

I'm delighted to have Paul Burke guest-writing this one.

Paul is a part-time DJ, multi-award winning copywriter, and author of four successful novels... but his primary credentials here are that he is the all-time most awarded radio writer in the UK. Earlier this year he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award by the Radio Advertising Bureau.


TIPS FOR WRITING RADIO, by Paul Burke

Don’t.

Seriously, don’t. You won’t like doing radio. Not if you went to art college. If you were visually trained, why on earth would you want to work in a medium with absolutely no visual content?

Radio will not boost your career prospects. British advertising is still in thrall to the visual. So, even an award winning radio campaign will bring you neither a giant pay rise nor a slew of creative directors beating a path to your door. Your work will be invisible. Literally. Its merits will go unreported in Private View and unrewarded as Pick of the Week.

Still reading? Good. Because if you’re a real writer, as opposed to one indistinct half of a “creative team”, these drawbacks won’t bother you. You’ll find radio the purest and most satisfying medium of all.

Not every ad you make will be brilliant but the following tips should help you make each one as good as it possibly can be.

At the risk of stating the obvious, nothing exists on radio until you write it. With no visual short-cuts, everything has to be said. Someone, somewhere in the script will have to say it so who’s that someone going to be?

If you’ve chosen to create a mini-piece of comedy or drama, start with the characters and the first thing to do is give them names. Can you imagine writing a book and calling all the characters MVO and FVO?

Let’s call your MVO and FVO Nick and Helen. Immediately they’ve taken on lives of their own. So what do they look like? How old are they? What’s their relationship? Do they like each other? Before they open their mouths, you should know everything about them. Once you do, just write down what you think they’d say in the situation you’ve created. If Nick and Helen are good characters, they will help write the script for you.

When they have, look at the script. It needs to answer the following questions:


Who are these people?

Where are they?

What are they doing?

How do we know?

If the answer to any of them is unclear, go back in and tweak. It may only require a single word or sound effect to fix the problem. Nick and Helen have got to sound convincing. Yes, of course they’re selling a product but it’s not enough for them to just present the facts. If Helen were trying to persuade Nick to her point of view in real life, she’d put some guile and emotion into it. Make sure she does the same in your script.

Likewise, if Nick thinks his new Ford Focus handles well, make sure he says it handles well rather than talking about its “class leading road feedback”.

Not all scripts have characters playing parts. Sometimes, what’s required is a straight read from one voice. This is when you’re allowed to call the voice MVO or FVO and casting and attitude are even more important. Decide exactly what sort of person you want to convey your message. “Hear” that voice in your head, and search until you find it.

If you’re advertising Newcastle Brown Ale or the Scottish Tourist Board, or your commercial is only running in a particular region, it makes sense to use the appropriate accent. Otherwise, regional accents are best avoided. It’s completely untrue and, actually, rather offensive to suggest that some accents are less trustworthy than others. It’s the voice and the character behind that voice that’s either trustworthy or untrustworthy.

If you feel that your idea would benefit from a particular accent, that’s fine, as long as you steer clear of “Mr Versatile”. We’re all depressingly familiar with Southerners adopting Northern accents, posh people pretending to be common and white people pretending to be black. In every case, with the genuine article easily accessible, don’t let the voice (and therefore the whole idea) sound phoney.

Casting is crucial so try not to fall lazily back on to the “usual suspects”, whose voices are heard in practically every ad break. It’s not that these actors are bad, they’re extremely good. Which is why they’re so popular. Which is why, if you use them, your ad will sound like everyone else’s. Try to be a little more original. Keep your ears open, listen to the radio, watch TV, go to the theatre and find good people.

The same applies to inspiration for your ideas. There are far fewer aural than visual cupboards to raid. but the same two maxims apply.

1. No output without input.
2. The important thing isn’t where you find your ideas it’s where you take them.

There will always be obstacles between you and the awards podium; you just have to make sure you overcome them. You’ll always encounter greedy clients who try to cram too much into 30 seconds. Be good enough to tell them that they’re wasting their money because end up remembering nothing. Re-iterate your point by saying “I throw one ball at you, you’ll catch it. If I throw ten at once, what do you think will happen?”

Then of course, there the legals. On TV and press you can set them in barely legible type at the bottom of the screen or page but you’ll have no such luck with radio.

Certain terms and conditions may have to be added but always question exactly what needs to be said. The RACC can be prescriptive enough, but the clients’ own compliance departments are often far worse. Encourage those clients to stand up to the enemy within and only put in what the RACC have deemed absolutely necessary.

Having written your script and cast your voices perfectly, all you have to do now is make the commercial Pick your engineer as carefully as you’d pick a director for a TV commercial. Find out who’s particularly good with actors, or music or effects and get the right one to bring your creation to life by suggesting things you wouldn’t have thought of. You don’t want one who just sits there pressing the buttons. Good engineers will have opinions on all aspects of the production. They do this for a living, so make sure your commercial benefits from their knowledge, skill and experience.

Scripts tend to expand in performance so never think that yours is set in stone. Be ready to edit stuff out. Cut and cut again. You brought these words into the world, so let them breathe. Also, certain words that look fine when written can sound odd when spoken, so keep adapting, keep amending, and keep improving until the engineer’s next client is knocking on the studio door.

Follow these tips your next piece of radio might just be fabulous. The sort of commercial that goes in one ear. And stays there.

Despite his God-like status in the industry, Paul would like to point out that he is very approachable - indeed actually available, for freelance radio writing and production. Feel free to email him at paul_burke@btinternet.com


Tip No.34 - How To Do Press
Tip No.33 - How To Do TV
Tip No.32 - How To Do Digital
Tip No.31 - How To Do Posters
Tip No.30 - Look At Weird Shit
Tip No.29 - Presenting To The Client
Tip No.28 - Presenting To The Team
Tip No.27 - Presenting To The Creative Director
Tip No.26 - How To Deal With Rejection
Tip No.25 - Look Creative
Tip No.24 - Don't Be Afraid To Ask
Tip No.23 - Your Idea Has To Be 120%
Tip No.22 - Read Iain's Tips
Tip No.21 - Don't Behave
Tip No.20 - How To Discuss Ideas
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, December 17, 2007

Click Here To See The Arse Of Someone Who Works At Glue

Following on from AKQA's gerbil-powered festive extravaganza, here's Glue's Christmas message - a live stream of their staffers 'cycling to Lapland'.

I've got to say, it's really rather clever and fun.

The digital agencies' seasonal efforts are starting to make the traditional agencies' tactic - very thin bit of dead tree, sent via Royal Mail - look extremely dull and old-fashioned.

Friday, December 14, 2007

An Agency Christmas Card That Isn't Shit

Loving this year's Christmas message from AKQA.

As we all know, Christmas is a time of festive cheer, gifts... and neon signs powered by gerbils.

'Cheese' and 'Biscuits', resident rodents at AKQA in London, are powering the agency's 2007 festive message - the neon sign lights up every time one of 'em takes to the wheel; live video streamed daily from 9:30 to 5:30 GMT.

The little blighters were having a nap when I visited, but I'll be back. They better get busy.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

British v American advertising

The 'Ad Of The Year' post uncovered an interesting phenomenon - the divergence between UK and US television commercials.

Commenter 'James' put it succinctly:

Good UK ads: No dialogue / acting. Good US ads: Great dialogue / acting. I think we have lost the art of how to write. We are an industry of art directors.

He could be onto something. Think about our best work this year - Gorilla, Cake, Smirnoff 'Sea' - all visual. You could add Bravia 'Bunnies', Sony 'Walkman project' and the Guinness and Stella ads too.

Meanwhile the best US work is dialogue-driven. The first ones that come to mind are Skittles, and the Little Lad who likes Berries & Cream, but there are many others.

Here's a darn funny 15-seconder I saw on AdRants:




And how do we execute the exact same proposition here in the UK?



Ugh.

Is it time to do dialogue again? You know, I think maybe it is.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hitler Needs Another Art Director





Another Downfall mash-up, this time set in the world of advertising...

found via the excellent Make The Logo Bigger

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tuesday Tip No.34 - How To Write Press Ads

See Tip No.31 - How To Do Posters.

That's right. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a press ad.

What there is, is an utter myth - and I wish I knew who invented it, because I would send round my man to administer a sharp slap around their chops - that there's a special type of ad that consumers are 'willing to spend a bit more time with', 'can legitimately require some working out', or 'does not have to be instant.'

Horse shit.

Press ads have to fight harder for attention, in my view, than any other medium you could name. Let's take radio. The consumer will inevitably listen to your ad - it is too hard to reach out and switch the thing off while you are ironing. Take cinema. The consumer is in a darkened room, staring at nothing except your ad, on a giant screen.

But press? Your ad is competing directly against Britain's wittiest columnists. Against news stories about wars, financial collapses, rapists and amnesiac canoeists. Against a paparazzi picture of Lindsay Lohan falling out of a taxi.

Unless you can place your ad on Lindsay Lohan's knickers, how are you going to get it looked at?

The answer is you have to make it simple, with a never-seen-before visual and fresh design.

Don't write headlines until you've miserably failed to come up with a purely visual solution.

And whatever you do, don't write copy. This isn't 1959, when a chap would sit in his armchair, puffing on his favourite pipe, and have a good old mull over some finely-crafted advertising copy.

A press ad should be a poster on the page. Nothing more, nothing less.

Tip No.33 - How To Do TV
Tip No.32 - How To Do Digital
Tip No.31 - How To Do Posters
Tip No.30 - Look At Weird Shit
Tip No.29 - Presenting To The Client
Tip No.28 - Presenting To The Team
Tip No.27 - Presenting To The Creative Director
Tip No.26 - How To Deal With Rejection
Tip No.25 - Look Creative
Tip No.24 - Don't Be Afraid To Ask
Tip No.23 - Your Idea Has To Be 120%
Tip No.22 - Read Iain's Tips
Tip No.21 - Don't Behave
Tip No.20 - How To Discuss Ideas
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

Friday, December 07, 2007

Friday Poll: What's Your Ad Of The Year?


I'd like to thank my agent, my manager... oh, and Mr Cabral of course...

In my view, there hasn't been a clearer Ad Of The Year since Guinness 'Surfer'. It's the ad that real people are actually talking about. It's the ad that (apparently) is selling lots of chocolate. It's the most breakthrough piece of brilliance of the year.

Gorilla.

But maybe you disagree.

Maybe you think Gorilla is over-hyped irrelevance.

Perhaps you think Skoda 'Cake' is better. Or Poke's work for Orange. Or something else - add your own nomination in the comments.

And vote now, in the top right hand corner of the screen.

Previous poll results:

Friday Poll No.16 - Do Difficult People Do The Best Work?
Friday Poll No.15 - Who Is Responsible For Ineffectiveness?
Friday Poll No.14 - Your Personal Success Record
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, December 06, 2007

Congrats to Richard H

Campaign reports that Richard Huntington, writer of Adliterate, Britain's No.1 ad blog, has been appointed Head of Strategy at Saatchis.

As I've written before, Richard's a great guy. So, great news.

To mark the occasion I have created a small gift for him.

Here it is.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tuesday Tip No. 33 - How To Do TV

There are tons of people out there far better qualified than me to give advice on how to do great TV ads.

And one of them is Nick Gill.

He’s written Axe ‘Getting Dressed’…



...and Vodafone ‘Time Theft’, among others.



Fortunately, Nick did a talk for us here at BBH the other day, and he gave me permission to put the gist of it up on Scamp.

I’ve added a few bits here and there, so if anything doesn’t make sense, it’s probably something of mine not his.


Writing Great TV, by Nick Gill

The elements that go into making TV are Strategy, Creative and Craft.

They will all be present, but not necessarily in equal quantities. For example, the iPod ads don’t have a new strategy or an exciting creative idea. But the craft is great. ‘The Fourth Emergency Service’ campaign for the AA was a brilliant strategic breakthrough. It didn’t have much of a creative idea along with it, or a great deal of craft, but it still worked.


STRATEGY

A fresh strategy is something that changes the language of the market.

It’s about looking at what everyone else is doing, and doing something different.

It’s something that makes the viewer say “What’s a brand like you doing in an ad like this?”

Strategy is primarily the responsibility of the Planners, working with the Client, the Account Team, the Creative Director… so by the time the brief gets to you, the strategy will have been ‘signed off’. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a contribution.

Be the person that simplifies the strategy still further. Try to rip out as many of the rules as possible. (Here I mean not just the rules on the brief, but the ‘rules’ of the market).

De-sophisticate your thinking. Don’t start writing ads till you know exactly what you’re trying to say, and what you’re trying to say is very simple.

(Knowledge is great but it doesn’t always help Creatives. Sony employ 4 year-olds to help with product development, because they don’t know what the ‘rules’ are.)

Get the ‘sensible shackles’ off. Great TV is a bit logical. But mostly not.




CREATIVE IDEA

The basic principle of writing good TV is the same as for any medium. Simplify, and then exaggerate. That’s all we do. Oh, and add a sprinkle of magic dust on top.

All you have to do is make an arresting statement about a brand, and make it entertaining at the same time.

Try writing a simple, functional script first. In fact, often the simplest idea actually turns out to be a pretty good ad.

The best ideas are usually the freshest ideas – stuff you haven’t seen before.

Fresh ads seduce us and disorient us at the same time.

Something that doesn’t talk or behave like an ad captures our interest.

Avoid formulas. Why have the packshot at the end? Why not have it at the beginning? (c.f. Real American Heroes).

If coming out with a brilliant script is like passing an anvil then, I’m sorry, that’s what you’re paid for.


CRAFT

Writing the script

You don’t have to write “we open on” or “cut to” in your script. Write how you want.

How much to write? Well, for your creative director, start out just writing a couple of paragraphs to get the idea across. More is a waste of time.

But when it’s time to go to a client, you’ve got to write it up and help them see it.

Paint a picture. Make it vivid and interesting. At some point, it’s just going to be left on a director’s desk somewhere, and he has to pick it up and – just from your words – want to shoot your film.

Don’t cram stuff in. Far, far more scripts are too busy than too sparse.

Don’t write “We open on a man. He thinks it’s Tuesday.” If it can’t be shot, it shouldn’t be written.

Mentally storyboard your ad. Or actually storyboard it. Heck, why not?

What is the emotional agenda of your film? Are you trying to make people laugh, cry, feel proud? You’ve got to know.


Presenting to client

A client may have lived with a brief for months, and almost feel they can write the ad themselves. So it’s hard to get them in a position where they’re open to a surprise. But you have to try to. They are giving you some bread, some butter and some cheese so they’re very much expecting a cheese sandwich. Explain to them it might not be a cheese sandwich. In fact it would probably be disastrous if it is a cheese sandwich, because all you are doing is concocting something obvious that they could have done themselves.

Try to give clients emotional ownership of an idea. Share early thoughts. Have lots of reference.

A client will often ask “what music will this film have?” Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.” If you have only just thought of the idea, maybe you don’t know yet. The film isn’t finished until it’s on air. It’s an organic process.


Pre-production

Your producer has a huge contribution to make. Don’t just use them as a glorified secretary. Use their creative judgement too. They may be far more experienced at making TV than you are.

Getting the right director is crucial. Glazer won’t do a tabletop ad. Don’t waste your time thinking “But he’s never done one of those, it might be interesting for him, just for a change.” It won’t.

In your shortlist of directors, always have a banker and a wild card.

The script you send to directors shouldn’t necessarily be the same as the one you send to the client. Who says it has to be?

When meeting directors, you need to decide ‘Can I work with them? Do I like them?’ Never work with arseholes. It’s just not worth it.

If you are making an ad about a tap-dancing horse, clients will often want to see a director who has already shot tap-dancing horses. Sell the client on their broader qualities.

Write lots of backstory for the characters you are going to cast. Don’t just write ‘Man, good-looking, late 20s’. Who is this man?

Often you’ll need a central character who needs to be sympathetic. But that doesn’t mean smug. Go for vulnerable. It works so much better.

Try out gags in casting.

Try music against casting tapes.


Shooting

Film sets can be intimidating for young Creatives. Remember, it’s your ad.

Make sure the clients feel they are being listened to.

Directing is very difficult. Give them space. Let the director do the shot.

Then again, if they do the shot and it is wrong, intervene. Never let the director waste time.

Be open to happy accidents that occur on set.


Editing

First cuts are terrifying. A lot rides on them. You will probably be angst-ridden. But don’t let your angst show. Be positive.

Often a film can change so much from the first cut. So don’t be downcast if you don’t like it. Have faith in the editing process. Ads have gone from ‘canned’ to ‘Cannes’ with a single editing tweak.


Sound

Music helps you move people in a particular way. Make sure you’re pushing the right buttons.

There’s nothing wrong with personal taste. If you like a piece of music, chances are others will too.

Look for trends. Then avoid them.

Try using the ‘wrong’ music. What would Levi's 'Drugstore' have been like with a hillbilly soundtrack?

A great VO can make an ad. Or even a brand (c.f. the effect Garrison Keillor has had on Honda).

Try using an unfamiliar voice, or a familiar one in an unfamiliar way.


AFTERWORD

If you make a turkey, it will have a huge media spend. If you make a great ad, not so much. Sorry.

You have to believe you can beat Gorilla.

In the future, consumers will edit out ads that don’t entertain them. In fact, it’s already happening. Great. Bring it on.


The summary? Good TV ads are like good vegetables. Fresh, and produced organically.


thanks Nick

Tip No.32 - How To Do Digital
Tip No.31 - How To Do Posters
Tip No.30 - Look At Weird Shit
Tip No.29 - Presenting To The Client
Tip No.28 - Presenting To The Team
Tip No.27 - Presenting To The Creative Director
Tip No.26 - How To Deal With Rejection
Tip No.25 - Look Creative
Tip No.24 - Don't Be Afraid To Ask
Tip No.23 - Your Idea Has To Be 120%
Tip No.22 - Read Iain's Tips
Tip No.21 - Don't Behave
Tip No.20 - How To Discuss Ideas
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, December 03, 2007

Martin Scorsese does branded content



Martin Scorsese wrote, directed and stars in this pretty entertaining piece of branded content, which is a mockumentary homage to Hitchcock for Freixenet wine.

Does it work? Yes. Not only is Martin Scorsese a great director, who absolutely pulls off the Hitchcock thing, but he's also a very engaging comic actor. There's even a rare appearance by Thelma Schoonmaker for film geeks to enjoy.

Okay, so maybe the story intrigues a little more than it satisfies, and Marty totally bent over on the packshot, but overall it's another win for branded content.

I don't think Creatives are as excited as we should be about branded content. As the content isn't being forced down consumers' throats but has to be sought out by them, clients seem to understand that these films have to be very creative. That's got to be good for us. And with little or no expense on media, some of that media budget does seem to be available to be re-invested in the creative. E.g. you can get Scorsese. Time to start taking this shit more seriously, I feel.