Thursday, July 31, 2008

Oh, So You Write The Slogans, Do You?

First they put Planners on an awards jury. Now this...

Ever heard of the 'Slogan Of The Year' awards? Me neither, until we were nominated for Originals Never Fit. Anyway, the judges include: Steven Jennings (Trade Marks Attorney, Lewis Silkin); Gill Shaw (Head of Brand Intelligence, Mintel); and Pauline Amphlett (Principal, Intellectual Property and Naming, Brand Guardians).

Doesn't that just sound sooooo fun?

Okay, so I definitely won't win now that I've slagged them off. But if you want to see who might, the nominations are here.

To be fair to the British Institute of Slogans, or whatever they're called, there are one or two rather better-qualified folk on the jury, such as Dave Trott, who has himself penned some of advertising's most memorable slogans, and Richard Foster (legendary writer, AMV). Also the Slogans Hall of Fame on their website is mildly diverting.

While we're on the subject of slogans, it's curious to me how some Creatives reckon they're outdated. The term 'slogan' is outdated, for sure, but a line that concisely expresses a powerful strategy, that still has a lot of value, doesn't it? Especially in pitches. Nine times out of ten, it's a line that wins a pitch.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Suit Love

Sir Frank Lowe - "sold ad"

There's a stonking debate over at Lunar's on the addition of Planners to the juries for the Campaign 'Big' Awards.

Meanwhile, Dave Trott is on fire too. Before blogging, how often would you get to hear the thoughts of an industry legend like Trotty? Once a year maybe? Now you can read him every day, and he's brilliant.

(Having said that, I do disagree with about 80% of what he writes. Fortunately, Dave doesn't seem to mind; I guess he loves a good debate. Or perhaps he just hasn't figured out how to delete people's comments yet)...

Anyway, one of his latest posts is a story about how Frank Lowe sold an ad at CDP.

I'm really happy he has posted something positive about Account Men. Creatives give Account Men almost nothing but stick. And that's quite boring.

So I'm going to tell a positive story too.

A few years ago, my partner and I (this was before Scowling A.D.) had written a not-terribly good poster for a car, which called our biggest competitor "a turkey".

For some reason, the stock shot of a turkey we had found was terrible. It just didn't look plump like a turkey should, and the client wasn't happy. We were short of time so we asked the Account Man to give it another go. He was successful, by telling the client that, on the contrary, this shot depicted the ideal bird - slim and beautiful - "it's the Helena Christensen of turkeys." Who could say no to an argument like that?

If you have a story of an Account Man doing something good - doesn't have to be about selling an ad, they do do more than that - post it into the comments.

Let's feel some Suit Love in the house.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

And They Call Us Whores

Wiley complains that a girl is "wearing my Rolex." Should we feel sorry for him?

Scamp reader 50p points us to this nice piece by a BBC blogger which alleges that rappers are taking money from marketers to mention their brands.

If it's true, I'm not that surprised. These so-called artists are very happy to get their tours sponsored, license dolls of themselves... I'm sure Michelangelo would have added a bottle of Renaissance Water into the corner of the ceiling if they'd slipped him a few ducats.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Random Insights

The estimable Northern Planner has posted what he calls Some things I have noticed of little relevance.

Good on him. It's rather limiting trying to have insights just about cars, beer, jeans or mobile phone networks, is it not? Much more fun to have insights about whatever you want for a change.

Here's my ten:

1. It would be cheaper for an employer to have people bumped off than make them redundant. You can get a hit-man for around £5,000 in the East End, apparently.

2. How come one woman can have breasts that are 8 times as big as another woman’s, but there is no whole woman who is 8 times bigger than another?

3. There have been 80 generations since the birth of Christ. That’s not many. If you’re descended from Jesus, you’re 1/160 Jesus.

4. I no longer pick up 1p or 2p coins if I see one on the pavement. It has to be 5p. Even then I won’t if it’s raining. If it’s raining, it has to be 20p.

5. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the only people who COULDN’T be brought back to life were people who had been cryogenically frozen?

6. Kids don’t drink alcohol – they don’t need to because they don’t have jobs

7. Once you have a baby, you can forget about decaff.

8. Seeing as your parents are going to love you however you turn out, and whatever you do… is that love meaningful?

9. Most people support a football team because it’s their local team. But nowadays it's common that not a single one of the players is from there.

10. Cat shit is modular, like the body of an earwig or a giant ant or something.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Poll: What's Better - Big Agency Or Small Agency?

Last week nearly everyone voted that good work was primarily the result of a good relationship. I don't know about that. It certainly sounds nice. But there's plenty of cosy relationships out there producing shit work. I mean, agencies like Grey and McCann are known for the strength of their relationships, aren't they?


I voted that it's the Agency. Sounds egotistical, but there are certain agencies that do pretty good work on nearly all their accounts. That's not a coincidence.


This week's poll is about what is the best size of agency to work at.

The best post I've ever read on the subject was in a brilliant and under-appreciated blog called Advertising For Peanuts, in which the author came up with this neat list of Pro's and Con's:


Small Agency

Pro's
You do everything, start to finish
You feel like part of a family
Uncomplicated work environment
You feel like you own the place

Con's
You do everything, start to finish
Social life?
No creative resources


Medium Agency

Pro's
You have help from other departments to realize the work
Good peer pressure
Good roster of hungry clients (I think the size of the shop attracts the size of the client)
Lots of assignments floating around
Little politics

Con's
Long hours
Medium is a stepping stone to large


Large agency

Pro's
Good pay and benefits
Short hours
Nice people

Con's
Lots of politics
Too many people working on a project
A good meeting is better than good work


But what's your preference? Let us know. And cast your vote, in the right hand column of this blog.

Previous poll results:
Friday Poll No.26 - Why Is Fallon's Print Not As Good As Their TV?
Friday Poll No.25 - Is Dave Trott's Thinking Still Relevant?
Friday Poll No.24 - Which Brand Would You Most LikeTo Work On?
Friday Poll No.23 - What Do Scamp Readers Do For A Living?
Friday Poll No.22 - What Time Do You Leave Work?
Friday Poll No.21 - Does Juan Earn One Million Pounds A Year?
Friday Poll No.20 - How Much Do You Earn?
Friday Poll No.19 - What Do You Think Of Our Trade Rag?
Friday Poll No.18 - Should A Creative Look Creative?
Friday Poll No.17 - Ad Of The Year 2007
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, July 24, 2008

T-Shirt Wars

In the office to my left is Nick Gill, huge music fan, often wears cool band T-shirts.

Opposite me is Scowling A.D., another muso, wears almost nothing but cool band T-shirts.

Yeah well guess what, I'm fighting back.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

P.A.'s


Maggie Gyllenhaal in the film 'Secretary'

When I was starting out, every creative department had several P.A.'s, who typed the Creatives' scripts and kept track of their whereabouts.

Now that Creatives have computers and mobiles, the role of departmental P.A. has all but disappeared. But the 'executive' P.A. - who manages creative directors' diaries - remains. And in my view, it's an essential role. A top creative director's time is pretty expensive, therefore it makes sense for an Agency to get the most out of it.

But what's your view of P.A.s? Do you agree with me that they are vital, or do you have a less flattering view? Any particularly good or bad experiences to report? Is it important for Creatives to get on with P.A.'s?

No obscenity.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday Tip No.57 - How To Present To Clients



I've said before that if you can avoid presenting to Clients, you should do so.

However, if you disagree with that, or if your Agency has a policy that Creatives present the creative work, then how should you go about doing it?

The process of presenting to Clients breaks down into two phases – ‘in the room’, and ‘before you go into the room’.

Before you go into the room, you should be marshalling the best reference you can. But don’t show too much. I have seen Creatives present five separate pieces of reference for a single press ad, saying “this one’s a reference for the colour palette but don’t look at the models, they’re not right, for the models you need to look at this other piece of reference, but don’t look at the lighting on that one, for the lighting we have this other shot…” Very confusing. Keep the reference simple, and try to find one or two pieces that say everything you want to say.

Rehearse with the account team what issues may come up. Rehearse your presentation as many times as you need to.

Make sure you know the names of the Clients before you go in. People like to be called by their names. Make sure you know who does what, so you don’t ask their research manager a question about the production budget, for example. And make sure you know who the key buyer is. Focus your energy on them, while not excluding the other people in the room.

Once in the room, presenting to the Client is very much like presenting to the account team. Plenty of preamble is needed. Much of the set-up may be done by the Planners and Account Handlers, but there may be some for you to do too. For important projects, you may even need to make a mood film.

Don’t treat any of this lightly, thinking that your ‘real job’ is to come up with the ideas. The most successful Creatives aren’t just the ones who are good at coming up with ideas, they’re good at selling them too.

And to sell an idea, nothing convinces more than conviction itself.

Perhaps the most famous poster ever produced in the UK was ‘Labour Isn’t Working’, created by Saatchi & Saatchi for the Conservative Party in 1979. Those three words, above a simple shot of people queuing at an unemployment office, added up to a piece of communication that is generally considered to have been a significant factor in Margaret Thatcher’s first election victory.

However, what is less well-known is that when the concept was first presented to Mrs Thatcher, she didn’t like it. “This poster advertises Labour”, she told Maurice Saatchi. “On the contrary, Margaret,” he replied. “It demolishes them.”

One of the reasons I love that story is that I just love the word “demolishes.” But the real lesson here is Maurice Saatchi’s conviction. When a Client looks at a concept, they first look for what is wrong with it. If they can't find anything wrong with it, they begin to suspect it may be right, but what they don’t know is ‘how right’. And here, the most important factor that can sway them is your conviction. You have to tell them that this ad is going to be great. You have to tell them that it won’t just hurt the competition, it will demolish them.

Creatives are often accused of being arrogant, and of ‘talking-up’ their own work. Well, you have to. Whether your ad gets made or not may depend on how much you seem to believe in it.

Previous Tips:

How To Know If You've Had An Idea; How To Use Social Media; How To Get The Best Out Of Directors; Don't Write Ads, Write Strategies; 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 Negotiate Your Salary; 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; Why You Shouldn't Present 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 Turn A Placement Into A Job (Ed Morris view); 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

Monday, July 21, 2008

You're Not Still Using Products That Only Score Five Stars Out Of Five, Are You?


(click to enlarge)


This digital tyre air compressor, made by Coopers of Stortford, and advertised in Saturday's Weekend Guardian, was awarded SIX STARS OUT OF SIX. By no less an authority than Coopers of Stortford itself.

Beat that.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Great Fallon Print Mystery

Most of you think they are deliberately sacrificing their print work, to make the TV good. I've been in touch with some Fallon creatives over the course of the week. They don't know the answer, but they don't think it's that. Also, if that was the strategy, I think we'd see bigger packshots and more product info in the print.

The impression I get is that it's multi-factorial, so none of the three options on the poll really cover it.

If you have the answer, send an e-mail to Richard Flintham.

Okay, that's it. I'm officially sick of talking about Fallon now.

I am not going to post about that particular agency again until at least the beginning of September. Not even if their building is taken over by terrorists.

Instead, there will now be a new poll in the right hand column. It's a question suggested by Andres, an Argentine working in the US. He wonders "Is there such a thing as good and bad clients, or is that just a myth?" I get his point. Honda were running very average work, then they went to W&K, and the work became great. That suggests they weren't a bad client, they just didn't have a good agency.

Then again, Nike and VW nearly always get great work, and they're with a whole slew of different agencies around the world. Even Grey could do a good Nike ad, couldn't they?

Or does great work come out of great relationships? That theory sounds good, but are there cases of great work happening, despite a fractured relationship, which would disprove it?

Previous poll results:
Friday Poll No.25 - Is Dave Trott's Thinking Still Relevant?
Friday Poll No.24 - Which Brand Would You Most LikeTo Work On?
Friday Poll No.23 - What Do Scamp Readers Do For A Living?
Friday Poll No.22 - What Time Do You Leave Work?
Friday Poll No.21 - Does Juan Earn One Million Pounds A Year?
Friday Poll No.20 - How Much Do You Earn?
Friday Poll No.19 - What Do You Think Of Our Trade Rag?
Friday Poll No.18 - Should A Creative Look Creative?
Friday Poll No.17 - Ad Of The Year 2007
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?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Job Opportunity In Paradise



On the 22nd of July, Adam & Eve will be holding a day of book crits for junior creatives, and handing out placements to those with the best portfolios. Apply via their website.

They have a couple of interesting accounts, they're nice guys, and they're trying to do something different with their recruitment here, so I'm happy to help them promote it.


In other news, I have a new boss. Yes, noted Scamp contributor and not-too-shabby creative Nick Gill is to replace John O'Keeffe as ECD of BBH. So, many congrats to him.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday Tip No.56 - How To Know If You've 'Really' Got An Idea



What does it feel like to have an idea?

The cliche is it's "like a light bulb going on in your head."

In 'A Smile In The Mind', David Stuart describes feeling an "absence", before the arrival of an idea.

For me, it's like a form of electric shock in my brain and (for some reason) my arms and occasionally chest. That sounds dramatic, but sometimes it's very mild. The severity of the shock seems to correspond to how 'big' the idea is.

Whatever it's like for you, you always know when you've had one.

And in an ideal world, you would never present anything that didn't result from one of these light-bulb or brain-storm moments.

But this isn't an ideal world. Time is a problem - you often have to present something "in two days" rather than when you've had a great idea. It could be a crap brief, or a brief you just don't click with... on some briefs, you may never have an idea.

So you may end up presenting several 'ideas', none of which actually have an idea in them.

Oh well. Needs must. And you've got to have something, so that something can be discussed in the meeting.

That's okay. As long as you're honest with yourself.

If you haven't had that feeling, you haven't had an idea. And in my opinion, it's worth working on until you do, rather than spending time polishing an idea-less idea that if it gets made could very well end up being a... well, a you know what.


P.S. the tendency seems to be for people to have lots and lots of ideas at the beginning of their careers, and fewer and fewer as the years go on; the compensation for this decline is that more of your later-years ideas will be 'right'. Does this chime with your experience?

Previous Tips:

How To Use Social Media; How To Get The Best Out Of Directors; Don't Write Ads, Write Strategies; 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 Negotiate Your Salary; 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 Turn A Placement Into A Job (Ed Morris view); 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, July 11, 2008

Friday Poll - Fallon's Print Work



Fallon created one of my favourite-ever print ads (see above).

And yet recently there's been a lot of discussion as to why their current print work (viewable on their website in the ‘design’ section) is not as good as their TV.

I reckon there are 3 possible explanations:

1) They don’t care about print.
2) They don’t know how to do good print.
3) They are operating a deliberate strategy of putting all the dirty stuff into the print ads – like massive packshots and product information – in order to keep the TV clean and award-winning.

Give us your view. (I’ve taken the liberty of moving comments about Fallon’s print made on a previous thread onto this one).

Also you can vote on those possible explanations, in the right hand column of this blog.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Who Reads Scamp?

I thought it might be fun to give Scamp readers an idea of what other Scamp readers are like.

So I asked the winners of the photography competition to tell us a bit about themselves and what they're into, and hopefully point us in the direction of some interesting stuff.

The contest winner was English Tim, an Art Director working in London. His prize was a glossy book (I got sent two copies by mistake), called 'Guerrilla Advertising' by Gavin Lucas & Michael Dorrian.

Tim's 3 Favourite Ads are Kia-Ora, Flat Eric, and this one for X-Box 360.

His 3 Favourite Websites are: ffffound, Vector Park and Be Kind Rewind.

In second place was Stefan Hawes, from Vancouver. His prize was a set of postcards by LA-based artists Kozyndan, the ones who may or may not have inspired the Sony 'Bunnies' ad.

"I'm an account guy by trade," says Stefan. "Sorry about that. I spent about 11 years with DDB Vancouver and Tribal DDB San Francisco. In mid-'06 I went client-side to run marketing for an online retailer. And since last December I've been doing freelance work and trying to find a new agency gig, to no avail so far. Vancouver is a bit of a secondary market unfortunately."

Stefan's three favourite websites (in addition to his own periodically updated blog are his iGoogle page, where he tracks "a few dozen" blogs; Rotten Tomatoes - "I love movies but I hate wasting my time. Very helpful"; and Tag Galaxy- "New and not particularly useful, but it blows me away."

His 3 favourite 'ads' are Goodby's Get the Glass game for Milk ("This showed how well online work could really be done. It elevates the medium"); Diamond Shreddies - last year's campaign from O&M Canada. "Insanely simple but a great idea very well executed"; and finally, any late '80s Nike - "I'm a North American child of the '80s. This is the reason why I got into advertising in the first place. This is where I learned about the emotional impact that advertising could have. And this is where I learned that the business didn't just sell stuff, it creates culture and has an impact on society."

The last three books he read were: God Is Not Great - Christopher Hitchens; The Game - Ken Dryden; and The Omnivore's Dilemma - Michael Pollan.

In third place was Dave Bradbury, another Art Director in London. His prize was a set of James Bond '50th anniversary of Dr No' stamps (again, I was lucky enough to have been sent two sets).

Dave says: "trying to work out my top 3 ads ever is a tricky one, and I reckon if you asked me again next week I’d say something different", but when pushed he picks Levi’s ‘Swimmer’ - "The best of an incredible bunch"; Pretty much any Nike poster from the early 90’s Simons Palmer era, e.g. “Ever Heard the Algerian National Anthem? You Will”; and a 'live' activity from a few years ago - "A guy in a wheelchair waits at a set of traffic lights, if a driver pulled up and wasn’t wearing a seatbelt then the wheelchair guy went over and tapped on their window. He’d then hand them a leaflet saying something like 'I didn’t wear a seatbelt either.' Kind of effective."

His 3 favourite websites are Flickr; the Vice magazine blog – "good for staying down with the kids, and new stuff"; and Thaksin Sceptic – "a useful and informative place for the disenfranchised Man City supporter."

The book he recommends is British Prints From The Machine Age – Rhythms of Modern Life 1914–1939 by Clifford S. Ackley. "Sounds a bit full-on but it’s a fantastic book of Lino cuts and prints."

And what about the rest of you? Any recommends?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Goodbye Lenny



So Steve Henry was fired from TBWA yesterday.

His agency Howell Henry was the Agency Of The '90s. Was that the problem - that his mojo was last seen in the '90s? Or did he still have the goods, and just got unjustly treated? If you work there, tell the rest of us.

And - this question to anyone - who should replace him?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Tuesday Tip No.55 - How To Negotiate Your Salary

I've written previously on How To Get A Pay Rise, which was about what you have to do to earn one. Today's advice is about how you actually negotiate it.

Most of this I've culled from the 2008 Global Planning Survey, in which they did a clever thing - they asked bosses for tips on what works.

Here are the best 10:

1. Consider the total package. Think about where the job is going. The holiday allowance. The other benefits.

2. Get everything in writing.

3. Don't come off as entitled and push too hard for big salaries when you are junior.

4. For your first job, take what you can get.

5. Sadly, you have to jump around to make more money.

6. Women need to be stronger and firmer, and ask for what they want even if it feels uncomfortable.

7. Never tell your current salary. You deserve what your skills and talent pull in that market, not what looks better next to your old salary.

8. Negotiate hard. There are big disparities between people at the same level, simply because some played hardball when they got hired and some did not.

9. Don't keep going back and forth. The boss's second offer is his best offer. After that he just gets pissed off.

10. Never put out the first number.

Let me know if this sounds right, from negotiations you've been involved with.


Previous Tips:

How To Use Social Media; How To Get The Best Out Of Directors; Don't Write Ads, Write Strategies; 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 Turn A Placement Into A Job (Ed Morris view); 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

Monday, July 07, 2008

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head And I'm Getting Sick Of It



You often hear Creatives talk about one particular solution...


Australia.

A friend of mine at BBH has recently taken a job there.

But is it a good idea?

The rumour is that you're trading better weather for worse work. Is that true? Does it matter?

Do you work in Australia, or have you worked there? If so, please give the rest of us the facts.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Do You Earn More Than A Planner?


I've just received a copy of 'The Account Planning Survey' - a global survey of who Planners are, how happy they are, and on this page - what they earn.

There's no such thing for Creatives, as far as I'm aware. So we'll have to do it manually. Could you just write in the comments below whether you are earning more than an equally-experienced Planner?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The New Orange Ad

Is out. It's good, but is it better than this?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Yet Another Example Of My Least Favourite Endline



It's not art. It's chocolate.

Almost no one cares about endlines. But this 'art of' one really winds me up.

Feel free to post endlines that you despise, in the comments. I find it helps.


Previous 'Art Of's:

The Art Of Self-Expression
The Art Of Refrigeration

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tuesday Tip No.54 - How To Use Social Media


Today's tip is guest-written by Alan Wolk, a U.S. creative director and social media consultant. Alan also runs an insightful blog called The Toad Stool, where he coined the increasingly well-known mantra Your Brand Is Not My Friend.


How To Use Social Media, by Alan Wolk

Social Media is a broad term, and it’s often thrown at any and all online marketing vehicles that don’t fall into the banner ad category.

So let’s start with a brief definition: social media is anything that lets you share information with other people. That means it is everything from sites like Facebook and MySpace to message boards to blogs to widgets and videos and whatnot that you are able to share with your friends—if you find it worth sharing. You, the consumer, get to decide that. Not me, the advertiser. Big difference.

So now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s how to make the most of it:

1. LISTEN. Want to know what people really think of your product? Google it. Chances are you’ll find hundreds of posts and links and comments from people who’ve used your product. Both experts and amateurs. Your goal is to parse through these and see if there’s any common theme. So if an overwhelming majority of comments focus on how the handle always seems to break off right away, you know it’s not just a few angry old ladies. Similarly, if you see a majority of raves about how stylish the new red model is, you know you’ve got a winner on your hands. Use your research to find out things that are buzzworthy—things about your product that people are talking about on their own. That’s what you should be advertising.

2. ENGAGE. If there’s a problem, you’ve got to let people know you’re aware of it. Let them know that you hear them, that you’re working on it, and that you want to keep them as customers. Dell has done this quite successfully and has taken the brand from “Dell Hell” to a much better place.

You can engage them on blogs, via Twitter (Tweetscan is a great tool for monitoring Twitter) or via ads (if you’re honest in the ads and admit there was a problem, rather than trying to gloss over it.) This is a tough one for most clients because they’re not set up to deal with negativity nor do they have the proper people in place to respond to negative comments. You’ve got to be like the best stewardess you’ve ever seen: always smiling, always engaging, always trying to make the unhappy customer happy.

3. REMEMBER YOU’RE NOT THEIR FRIEND. As I’ve written ad intinitum (and ad nauseum) unless you are one of the dozen “Prom King” brands, no one is going to want to hang out with you online. They may use and like your product, but if it’s a reasonable bet that no one will (unironically) wear your logo on a t-shirt, then you are not a Prom King brand and you need to engage people as a salesperson, not a friend. In practical terms, that means that you’re not going to do the next Nike Plus site. (Nike and Apple being major Prom King brands.) But it doesn’t rule out something equally as cool or creative. It’s just that whatever you do has to work a little harder to please people.

4. FIND SOMETHING YOUR CONSUMERS MIGHT CONSIDER USEFUL. This is both easier and harder than you think. All you have to do is put yourself in the consumer’s shoes and think about what they’d be likely to think was cool and worth passing along to their friends. It can be anything from a video to a Facebook app to a downloadable PDF called “10 Packing Tips from Expert Travelers.” The main thing is, it has to provide value. Unfortunately, consumers are the ones who determine if it’s providing value. Not you. Not the D&AD judges. You can call a video “viral” all you want, but unless people pass it around, it’s just a video on YouTube.

5. KEEP YOUR COPY POINTS TO YOURSELF. The absolute worst mistake you can make in social media is to try and treat it like an ad. Which is sadly a knee-jerk reaction for a lot of marketers and agency types. The thing about social media is that it’s all about what the consumer wants to hear. Not about what you want to tell them. And what they want to hear is something about your product that will get them buzzed enough to tell somebody else. To wit: one of the most successful Facebook apps (with something like 7 MILLION installs) is TripAdvisor’s “Cities I’ve Visited.” Which, as the name implies, is a world map where you can mark off all the cities you’ve visited and share that information with your friends. There’s a TripAdvisor logo at the bottom, but that’s about it. No “TripAdvisor makes for better travel experiences by letting you review hotels before you go.” (Or worse.) No, all you take away is “Traveling is fun.” Which, if you’re TripAdvisor, the leading travel review website, is really all you need. The key with social media creative is to make your point gracefully and then get out of the way.

6. SOCIAL MEDIA IS FOREVER. In addition to things on the web being up there pretty much forever, social media campaigns don’t have the short shelf life of ad campaigns. You can’t start up a really active message board and then ignore it because the TV spot’s no longer running. People will be furious. Ditto an online video that sends you to a web site. Way too often the agency and client forget about the web site or worse, take it down. And you’ll literally have thousands of people watching it as much as a year later and all they’re seeing is a blank page or an error message, when a simple redirect would have done the trick. (This effect is known as “The Long Tail” and there’s a whole book about it that’s worth knowing about.)

7. YOU CAN’T FAKE IT. This is probably the single most important lesson. Authenticity is king. That means no fake blogs. No fake characters created solely for representing the demographic you’re targeting. No lying.

It also means you’ve got to use the actual social media vehicles. Get your butt onto Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter. And you’ve got to use them correctly too. Twitter is about conversation. It’s not about setting up an account, adding a few people to your “People I’m Following” list and only tweeting links to articles about your agency while never actually responding to anyone who tries to engage you. The same way Facebook isn’t about setting up an account, accepting friend requests from a handful of people and never exploring what’s going on there.

Look, you may feel like an old fuddy-duddy at first. Or be confused as to why anyone would want to do this (which I think is most everyone’s first reaction to Twitter.) But the more you know, the more you are a part of what’s happening as opposed to merely an observer, the better you’ll be at figuring out ways to use it.

8. SOCIAL MEDIA DOES NOT EXIST IN A VACUUM. I mean it’s not like there’s some parallel universe where people only use Facebook. Those same people are watching your commercials on TV, reading them in their favorite magazines and hearing them on the radio. So there’s got to be some synergy between the various efforts. Some realization that even if clients and agencies silo ads according to media type, people don’t. So suggesting that a print ad actually reference a Facebook app you’ve created makes perfect sense. (To everyone but the people who have to figure out whose budget that cost is coming out of, but that’s not your problem.)

So that’s about it. The good news for agencies is that social media is about what consumers want to hear. And what consumers want to hear is rarely dull, dry, or overburdened with endless arcane copy points.

Previous Tips:

How To Get The Best Out Of Directors; Don't Write Ads, Write Strategies; 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 Turn A Placement Into A Job (Ed Morris view); 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