Sunday, September 27, 2009

This is terrific

Cruising Facebook to see what I missed last week, I found this from my friend Eve Russell, ace animal control officer and unabashed, over-the-top-ever-so-perfectly animal lover.

By Leo Burnett, Turkey.

It asks a damn good question.

CORRECTION: Eve Russell is not an animal control officer. She was a humane officer / cruelty investigator. But all that other stuff still applies.

(One again, note the use of color above.)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A couple of thoughts before I leave

Gonna be with our Florida client all next week, the fabulous Pier House Resort and Caribbean Spa.

Working. Honest.

But just in case I don't have a chance to post anything while I am gone, I want to leave you with a couple of thoughts:

Whether it's a bank or a credit union, almost all of their print advertising is tedious and uninteresting. Sorry, but that's the way it is.

2. Anybody who uses a picture of the Abe Lincoln statue in the Lincoln Memorial and puts him in sunglasses, a Hawaiian shirt, sneakers, a camo jacket or has him holding a cell phone, a puppy, a coffee cup, a cocktail, an AK-47 or any other damn thing has to get out of this business . Now.

Please. Do it for me.

It is not original. And not even clever anymore.

So there.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Yet another creative use of things that look like they are pouring something

This for McDonald's. From Adrants.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

And I'll probably say it even AGAIN one day

Being a "Best Kept Secret" is not anything positive.

Seriously. Think about it.

Please stop using it in your advertising.

Thank you.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

OK, I may be a complete idiot, but I don't freaking get this

Feel free to explain it to me.

From TBWA in France or somewhere. Which may explain it. I sure as hell don't know.

I'm no fan of see-and-say, but maybe a little copy would help here.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Um, who asked you? And does that include "Jeapordy"?

I guess their hearts are in the right place, but this print campaign by Lego
is, what's the word I'm looking for? Oh yeah, I've got it.


And a bit histrionic, I think.

According to the write-up on I Believe in Advertising from Naga DDB / Rapp in Malaysia, kids watch too much TV. (Really? Too much TV? Who knew?)

"We can’t stop children from watching television," they say "but we can offer an alternative form of entertainment. [So] we developed a campaign which showed scenes from television programmes that were not suitable for children, like drugs, sex and violence. Then, we used the Lego blocks to censor the subject."

Absolutely. I get it. Playing with Legos is much more fun for a 12 year-old boy than looking at boobies on TV.

Should be an easy sell.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Forced into it? Or genuine? Does it matter?

According to Ad Age, in the wake of the recent DDB Brazil scandal about the bogus 9/11 ad, the One Show has decided to "ban agencies -- and individual members of creative teams -- found guilty of making fake ads for a period of five years."

It's a good idea. I wish the DC Ad Club would follow suit sooner rather than later.

But I think it has to be said that for years, the One Show has recognized a lot of these kinds of ads and pretty much everybody knew it. Might have been nice if they'd taken a step like this a long time ago. Before all the tattoo parlor and sex shop ads.

But still, it's a great thing for one of the top shows in the world to do.

See the whole story here.

Friday, September 4, 2009

At least everything doesn't have to be mounted opn 20 x 30 board anymore

Well, awards season is here.

So all around the country, ad-folk will be rounding up judges to do our shows, trying to decide on a budget for entry fees, scrounging up the artwork for that stuff we did in January, working out whether this or that is spongeworthy and, in some cases, getting busy with something shocking and totally outrageous that a client would never pay for and never run but, hey, it might win something.

There is a great call for entries I saw a few years ago along the lines of "Awards shows are bogus. The judges are hacks. The big agencies always win everything. Nobody cares about awards anyway. I won? Cool!" Or something like that. Point is, your opinion of awards shows sometimes has something to do with whether or not you've ever won anything.

Just for the record, we have. We have them scattered around the office leaning up against the walls in what I like to call "studied indifference". I like to win awards. (Also for the record, so nobody has to run to last year's Addy book to check, we didn't a thing last year. We didn't enter anything. I didn't think we had anything good enough to enter and wanted to force myself to remember the feeling or not even entering.)

But there is still a lot wrong with awards shows. In some cases, it's more about making money than it is about promoting creative excellence. You've probably heard me sing this song before. That's the approach that begets work being entered in a handful of categories and winning over and over for, essentially, one idea. I've never been a fan of that. I think you should be allowed to enter something as a single and as part of a campaign and that's it. None of this transit-and-magazine-and-newspaper-and direct mail-and-P.O.P.-and on and on.

Seems to me that what gets rewarded is the size of the media budget not the size of the idea.

About 10 years ago, a local agency won three or four awards for an invitation to the annual AudioMaster party. It was a Linda Tripp-based poster they mailed out - which meant they could enter it as a poster, an invitation and a direct mail piece. It was a great idea, but winning three Addys for it was a bit much.

Then there's stuff like the DDB Brazil ad below that apparently won recognition in the One Show. There is a lot out there in blog-dom about it, and I don't know all the actual details. Like whether or not it only ran once in a local paper as reported, whether the agency really did it or people at the agency did, but I do know that it was not a legit ad. And yet, it won a legit award.

I remember a few years ago at the DC Addys, the Best of Show went to a lovely four-color, full-page campaign for a tiny little one-off retail store. The story was, the agency paid for the whole thing including media placement. When EPB was still around, they used to enter all kinds of stuff that seemed pretty iffy - ads for an Ashley Whippet Frisbee contest and a sign reminding people to do their time sheets come to mind. And about four years ago someone actually won an award for a Holiday card, of which they payoff was "Fuck Bin Laden." The national shows usually have tons of that kind of stuff.

Dog and Pony Show has a cool post about what to do about phony ads. Basically ban the agencies that enter them. And the Denver Egoist has a good post about awards shows in general.

(Of course, when bizzaro stuff like that Wranglers campaign wins awards, it kind of makes you wonder about the whole thing.)

Understand, I love creativity, and I think it should be rewarded. I just think it ought to be recognized in a proper category: Work We Just Did On Our Own. After all, most shows have a Best Ad That Never Ran category already. I just think work you do for a bogus client is not advertising. It's art.

Overall, I'm not sure what-all is exactly Not Right about the awards show concept. I know there are too many shows, they cost too much to enter, the events cost too much to attend, the point ought to be about the work and not just making money and people will pull all kinds of shameless shenanigans to win something.

I know this too.Whether it's cheating when you enter or complaining when you don't win, awards shows just don't always seem to bring out the best of our industry.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Now I remember why I liked the Copyranter blog

I deleted it and stopped checking it out a few months ago when he got deep into writing for Animal New York and sort of sloughed off for a bit.

Anyway, I checked today just for a lark and there he is, in all his vulgar, right-on-the-money glory. Like this horrible real estate ad, for example.

Link: Copyranter

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

OK, so did the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918, but I still don't like this

I'm not one to get my drawers all in a knot too easily over things that "offend" me.

In fact, most of what gets people up in arms is just dumb. But somehow, this ad for the WWF doesn't work for me. I think using something as awful as 9/11 to sell almost anything -- even an idea -- is cheesy.

In case you can't read it (or don't feel like enlarging it) the headline says "The Tsunami killed 100 times more people than 9/11." I guess I didn't know it was a contest.

Of course, I used an airline barf bag in an ad once for Icelandair, so what the hell do I know?


Apparently this is not a real ad. It seems that DDB in Brazil did the ad but it was rejected by the WWF. Which didn't stop them from sending it in to Ads of the World. This is what they said:

"WWF strongly condemns this offensive and tasteless ad and did not authorize its production or publication. It is our understanding that it was a concept offered by an outside advertising agency seeking our business in Brazil. The concept was summarily rejected by WWF and should never have seen the light of day. . . . We strongly condemn the messages and the images portrayed in this ad."

See the story here on Adrants.

Something pretty cool from Indonesia

To introduce a new hair-strengthening product (who knew you needed such a thing?) for Johnny Andrean, Fortune Indonesia replaced transit straps with "pigtails".

I think I can say pretty much without a whole lot of fear of terribly vigorous opposition that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority would never let you do that here . . .