Friday, May 30, 2008

In Case You Didn't Catch It Live


Here it is.

I was surprised by the negative reaction when I 'hyped' this yesterday.

This is an ad that got a full page of coverage in every single national newspaper and on every single national newspaper website.

It's an ad that's well branded (you're not going to tell me anyone doesn't know it's for Honda).

It was genuinely interesting to watch - you didn't know if it was going to work or not.

It was in tune with the brand message (here is my one gripe - endline should have been 'Difficult is worth doing' not 'Power of dreams'). 'Difficult is worth doing' is a great strategy, in my view, and great for Honda.

It redefines the medium in at least one way - first live ad since 1950something. And taking up the whole ad break is not that usual either.

What is the better TV ad we have seen so far this year?

I don't think I'm hyping it.

I think it's rather good.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

If This Isn't A Black Pencil Then What Is?


Tonight Channel 4 airs a 3-minute live ad for Honda, made by 4Creative.

19 skydivers will jump from a plane and attempt to form the word 'Honda', which leads to the strapline for the new Accord - 'Difficult is worth doing.' Full story here.

The ad hasn't even gone out yet, but in my view, I don't think it's too early to call this one as a Black Pencil. D&AD describes the standards for a Black Pencil as "a piece of work or campaign that is truly groundbreaking; the kind of work that redefines a medium."

If the first live ad of the modern era doesn't do that, then what does?

It's certainly more groundbreaking than the Black Pencil-winning Gorilla, which while a brilliant TV ad, did not redefine the medium. (Opinion borrowed from AdWeek piece.)

I love the quote from the client too: "If it works, people will know who it's for. If it doesn't, they won't." Respect to Ian Armstrong, Honda's manager of customer communications. Here is a man playing to win, rather than playing to not lose, like so many clients seem to.

Of course, there is a rumour going around that either the skydivers get the logo right or their parachutes don't open. But hopefully that is just a rumour...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Photography Competition - Results

While I was away on holiday, I asked Scamp readers to send in an image on the theme of "Advertising".

There were 86 entries, many of them great.

Here are the winners, chosen by me, Scowling A.D. and super-sub Alastair Merry.


3rd Place


"Looks like Clemmow Hornby Inge are having a refit" says David Bradbury, who took this shot.


2nd Place


This one is from Stefan Hawes, in Vancouver. "One senses a feeling of uncertainty as they put up the primary awning", he writes, "leading them to hedge their bets with the secondary trim. 'Holy crap. What if there aren't enough dancers out there?'


Winner


"Advertising's all about believing" is the simple but undeniably true comment that accompanied this entry from English Tim.


Agree with the verdict? Disagree?

Personally, I love that 'Believe Believe' shot.

In our line of work we promise people so much, and so often... and so rarely with any originality.

Good stuff, guys. I'll be contacting you about your prizes shortly.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tuesday Tip No.51 - Don't Write Ads, Write Strategies

This tip is for those of you taking your book around

It takes a long time to write an ad.

Even longer for a whole campaign.

Then if people don't like it, you may find you've lost an entire day's work (or more) in 30 seconds.

So my tip today is to not write any ads at all, until you have your strategy in place.

Back when Scowling A.D. and I were looking for a job, we used to type up strategies as one-liners, stick them on a page of A4 and send them out to teams for feedback. (This was so long ago, I think we actually used to fax them). Only if a strategy was liked by several teams that we respected would we then go on to turn it into an ad campaign.

Rachel and Debbie e-mailed me some strategies the other day. Very easy to do by e-mail. You could get 10 crits a day, instead of the 3 or 4 a week you can get by going around in person.

And now Wal has very helpfully posted The List, a collection of strategy one-liners from student books collated a few years ago by John & Chris of Fallon.

The system is definitely flawed, because some great ad campaigns of the past probably wouldn't come across at all well in this format, and some strategies that look great written out as 'one-liners' may be shit when done up into ads. Nevertheless, I think you'd gain more from it than you lose.

And why not try writing out your current book as a series of strategy lines? It's a useful exercise - seeing whether your underlying thoughts are interesting, and can be expressed in a single line - even if you don't send it to anyone.

I cringe at some of these now... but for the record, the strategies that Scowling A.D. and I had in our book when we got hired at DDB (in 1999) were:


Frazzles - Made by electrocuting pigs (this has since been done, by a team at AMV)
HMV - Nothing has a bigger effect on people than music
Comptons Bar (this is a bar on Old Compton Street in Soho) - The place for cock
Jet Petrol - Who cares what the shops are like or whether we sponsor a Formula 1 team, our petrol is very cheap
Nescafe - Ideal for those working late, like burglars and prostitutes
No.7 cosmetics - The seventh deadly sin is jealousy
Domino's Pizza - The outside world is a terrible place. So stay in
National Blood Service - London has lots of red paint, like on buses and post boxes, but is running out of blood


Previous Tips:

How To Choose Where To Work; Working Outside London; What Would John Webster Do?; What Would Paul & Nigel Do?; The Hidden Flaw; How To Write Copy; Be Funny All The Way Through; How To Do Virals; How To Get A Pay Rise; Be Wary Of Punding; Challenge The Brief; Tell The Truth; Playing To Lose; How To Write Headlines; How To Do Direct; How To Do Radio; How To Do Press; How To Do TV; How To Do Digital; How To Do Posters; Look At Weird Shit; Presenting To The Client; Presenting To The Team; Presenting To The Creative Director; How To Deal With Rejection; Look Creative; Don't Be Afraid To Ask; Your Idea Has To Be 120%; Read Iain's Tips; Don't Behave; How To Discuss Ideas; Read Hugh's Tips; How To Get A Job In Advertising Part IV - How To Turn A Placement Into A Job; How To Get A Job In Advertising Part III - How To Approach Agencies (re-print of Tip No. 7); How To Get A Job In Advertising Part II - How To Put A Book Together; How To Get A Job In Advertising Part I - FAQ; Make Friends With Traffic; Get Reference; Don't Stop Too Soon; Be Very; Breaking Up; Working Well With Your Partner; Finding The Right Partner; How To Approach Agencies; Never-Seen-Before Footage; Dicketts' Finger; Two Blokes In The Pub; Play Family Fortunes; Should You Take A Bad Job?; Don't Overpolish

Friday, May 23, 2008

Photography Competition Finale

We've been running a photography competition on the theme of 'advertising' whilst Scamp's been on holiday. Thanks for all the entries, sorry we couldn't post them all. Winner to be announced next week. Here's a few to finish with

from Stefan Hawes

from English Tim



from loads of people...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Photography Competition - Sale

Thanks to Hayes for this one

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Photography Competition - Why I Love My Mom



"she had this dreamy mary tyler moore quality to her with her perfectly matched outfit, jewellery and make-up, the latter of which you sadly can't see. little country girl in the big city. I had to take a picture..."

It's a tight squeeze into the 'advertising theme' but we think it works, thanks to Chris for this.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Over Here Ladies

Thanks to Richard for today's entry.

Photography Competition - Week 2

I'm on holiday for another week.

But instead of just putting up a 'Closed' sign for, we're going to try something out here.

If it doesn't work, we won't do it again. (In fact we'll probably pretend it never happened.)

But if it does work, it should be a lot of fun.

We're going to have a photography competition.

The theme is "Advertising."


Here's one to get things started. From 'anonymous'


Entries can be a photo, cartoon, illustration, photoshop comp, whatever. Either something you've made, or something you've found. Just your take on the theme.

Send it to my friend Ali Merry. Alastair dot Merry at BBH dot co dot uk. Let him know if you want your entry to be anonymous, or have your name on it.

He'll put up one image a day.

At the end of the two weeks, the 1st 2nd and 3rd will be announced.

The Winner will be interviewed on Scamp. (Unless you want to be anonymous). Other prizes for 2nd and 3rd.

So come on, have a bash. The worst that can happen is you've wasted some time. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Photography Competition - Seriously Proud

Hockey Recruitment from Lisa Wallace.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Peckham Style


Taken in a shop in Peckham. Thanks to Nick for this entry.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Adidas Dogs

Sleepy dogs in front of adidas shop window. Bucharest, Romania.

Thanks, Aurel.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Photography Competition


Straight from the camera- Outside Gray's Papaya, W.8th Street, NYC. From Avril

Monday, May 12, 2008

Photography Competition


A donkey, advertising El Burro mexican restaurant on a wet Wednesday lunchtime, Goodge Street. El Burro promises crazy times. It's raining. One of his ears has drooped.

Thanks to Simmer Dim for this one.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Photography Competition

I'm on holiday for the next two weeks.

But instead of just putting up a 'Closed' sign for a fortnight, we're going to try something out here.

If it doesn't work, we won't do it again. (In fact we'll probably pretend it never happened.)

But if it does work, it should be a lot of fun.

We're going to have a photography competition.

The theme is "Advertising."


Here's one to get things started. From 'anonymous'


Entries can be a photo, cartoon, illustration, photoshop comp, whatever. Either something you've made, or something you've found. Just your take on the theme.

Send it to my friend Ali Merry. Alastair dot Merry at BBH dot co dot uk. Let him know if you want your entry to be anonymous, or have your name on it.

He'll put up one image a day.

At the end of the two weeks, the 1st 2nd and 3rd will be announced.

The Winner will be interviewed on Scamp. (Unless you want to be anonymous). Other prizes for 2nd and 3rd.

So come on, have a bash. The worst that can happen is you've wasted some time. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Is It Time To Re-Appraise CHI?

So we've discussed how much they pay. But are they any good?

Actually, I think maybe they are now.

Here's the new spot for Drench mineral water.



Puppets are funny. Fact.

Okay so it drags a tiny bit - the 60 is probably better than the 90 - but the sight of Brains grabbing his crown jewels is not one I'll forget in a hurry. Even logic-fans will be thrilled, because all that lovely entertainment is fully justified with an endline about Brains performing best when hydrated.

Exhibit B, this ad, with the remote-controlled plane. A funny idea, with great casting and great performances. What more do you want? Toyota is carving out quite a nice little VW-esque tone of voice for itself.



And let's not forget the awesome 'Tide' spot for Big Yellow Storage.



Even their print is getting better.

I saw a cracking tube card the other day for the Prius. It was just a picture of the car, and the words "The bandwagon. By Toyota."

CHI have always had some good Creatives - like Charles Inge, Mickey Tudor and Brian Turner. But the work was inconsistent. I thought the Telegraph 'Bestseller' campaign wasn't bad, and the Tango spoof was okay. But nearly everything else was abysmal. Especially British Gas.

So why the improvement?


Two words. Ewan Paterson.

Since he joined, the graph has moved in only one direction.

I like that. I like the fact that they have the same Suits and the same Planners, but a great new CD makes a great difference.

I know Ewan from DDB days, so I'll probably get accused of arse-licking.

It won't change the fact that he's doing a pretty nice job over there.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Tuesday Tip No.50 - How To Choose Where To Work

A Certain Ratio were a band from Manchester,
and are tangentially related to this post


Let's assume you are lucky enough to be offered more than one job.

How do you know which agency is better?

Well, there are lots of factors that will be particular to you - whether you like the people, the agency's style of work, and its location, for example.

But the most important factor, by far, is Awards Per Head.

For reasons we all understand, and have discussed many times before on this blog, nothing will help your career more than awards.

Therefore, the best agency is the agency that wins the most awards per creative team.

Judging on the ratio is crucial. If you only look at overall number of awards, and not ratio of awards-to-Creatives, you could go wrong. For example, some might think AMV is a better career choice than Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, because AMV wins more awards - maybe 30 a year, to MCBD's 10. However, AMV has about 60 Creatives and MCBD only has 10. These are very rough figures, but as they show MCBD wins twice the Awards Per Head as AMV, it's still pretty conclusive.

I reckon Awards Per Head is how all Creatives rank agencies, albeit unconsciously.

So it can't do any harm to be consciously aware of it, when deciding where you want to work.


Previous Tips:

Working Outside London; What Would John Webster Do?; What Would Paul & Nigel Do?; The Hidden Flaw; How To Write Copy; Be Funny All The Way Through; How To Do Virals; How To Get A Pay Rise; Be Wary Of Punding; Challenge The Brief; Tell The Truth; Playing To Lose; How To Write Headlines; How To Do Direct; How To Do Radio; How To Do Press; How To Do TV; How To Do Digital; How To Do Posters; Look At Weird Shit; Presenting To The Client; Presenting To The Team; Presenting To The Creative Director; How To Deal With Rejection; Look Creative; Don't Be Afraid To Ask; Your Idea Has To Be 120%; Read Iain's Tips; Don't Behave; How To Discuss Ideas; Read Hugh's Tips; How To Get A Job In Advertising Part IV - How To Turn A Placement Into A Job; How To Get A Job In Advertising Part III - How To Approach Agencies (re-print of Tip No. 7); How To Get A Job In Advertising Part II - How To Put A Book Together; How To Get A Job In Advertising Part I - FAQ; Make Friends With Traffic; Get Reference; Don't Stop Too Soon; Be Very; Breaking Up; Working Well With Your Partner; Finding The Right Partner; How To Approach Agencies; Never-Seen-Before Footage; Dicketts' Finger; Two Blokes In The Pub; Play Family Fortunes; Should You Take A Bad Job?; Don't Overpolish

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Is It Time For A New Type Of Creative Team?


This guy, Nick Law, thinks it is.

He is the chief creative officer of digital agency R/GA, and he expounds his view in this article in Creativity Online.

Nick's big complaint is about digital being added on at the end of the process. His solution? Add a digital person or tech person to the standard creative team.

"The copywriter and art director should now be a part of a flat, flexible and modular creative team that understands technology and how the customer relates to it"


But more worryingly:

"This new team... do not wear backward baseball caps and high five each other in the hall"


What? No high-fiving... ever?

"Some of them have food in their beard. Some of them have never heard of Cannes. Some are women who smoke pipes. This is big tent creativity. It's big enough for designers, technologists and, yes, storytellers. Out of this tent will march the next creative revolution"


I don't know, Nick. You're a funny writer, but it's hard enough already for Scowling A.D. and I to find time for idea-generation together without having to schedule a woman with a beard into the mix.

Yes let's have sessions with tech people, just like we have sessions with planners. Why not? That's already happening here.

But they don't need to be 'in the team'.

Actually, it's a bit of a myth that ideas are the product of a creative team.

I have all my ideas on my own. So does everybody. After all, an idea can only 'appear' in one person's head, right?

The real question is... while I am working on a particular brief, who is putting stuff into my head, and thus shaping the kind of idea that comes out?

The most important person doing that (as indeed I hope I do for him) is my partner.

Then come the CD, the planner, the account handler, the client, my friends and family, taxi drivers, even the cleaning lady if I am really having trouble cracking a brief.

And of course digital shouldn't be added on at the end of the process. It only is for you, Nick, because you work in a digital-only agency, and you probably do get stuff 'passed down' to you. Just disband your agency and then you won't have that problem.

And for any clients reading this - the way to get your regular agency to come up with ideas which work in digital as well as 'traditional' is simply to ask us to.

Any decent creative team can do the full range, from a radio-only tactical brief to a big media-neutral brand idea.

And we know how to use the internet, you know. I'm using it right now.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I Saw Vince Noir

I went to a corporate party last night.

It was for the launch of LG's new series of Scarlet TV's. Quite a neat idea - the pre-launch activity was all about pretending they were launching "a new TV series".

They even signed up David Nutter, director of Smallville, to pretend to be directing it. Website here (N.B. is not a BBH campaign, it was Agency.com I think).

Anyway, for a corporate party, it was pretty cool. Lindsay Lohan was at the LA event. In London was supposed to appear Grace Jones, but she didn't show. Apparently she refused to leave her suite at the Dorchester because she hadn't been given her fee in cash, in advance. Not many divas of that calibre around nowadays.

But we did have Noel Fielding (in case you don't know him, he plays Vince Noir, and various other characters, in The Mighty Bhoosh, comedy programme on BBC). I was in awe; wanted to get my photo taken with him but was too shy. I should have just gone up to him. He seemed very happy, not surprising as he was constantly surrounded by about eleven girls, and was probably being paid a small fortune to be there.

Anyway, if you've never seen this clip - 'Old Greg' from The Mighty Bhoosh - you have a real treat in store.

It is probably the funniest thing ever. Ever.



P.S. thanks for all the birthday wishes