Tuesday, June 29, 2010

" A Better Way to Pitch"

That's the title of a terrific post in the Ad Age Small Agency Diary by Phil Johnson, CEO of PJA Advertising and Marketing.

You can read it here.

His premise, slightly borrowed, is that "the traditional agency capabilities presentation has gotten out of sync with the times and current realities of the business." He suggests, for example, that perhaps having the agency at the "center of the client's marketing universe" isn't always a good idea.."

I'd agree sometimes or for the most part or part of the time. But not every time. I mean, someone has to understand and control the vision to an extent. Somebody has to drive the bus. The agency is in a damn good position to do it, too.

But I do agree with most of his suggestions for getting more value out of a capabilities presentation. Like having the agency address how they can and will collaborate with other agencies or partners, like public relations, direct or interactive, for example.

I also agree with his contention that agencies ought to focus on their process before they show work they have done for others. Honestly, I thought this was something everybody does., We certainly do. Nothing ground-breaking there. Or at least I hope not.

He also suggests bringing a financial guy to the meeting to explain billing and estimating practices and such. I think that's a great idea. In our case, we're pretty small, so we don't exactly have a CFO, but I think a financial discussion at the right there at the outset is smart for everybody. We're in a creative business, but it is a bidness, after all.

Finally, he suggests that you "still leave time for carefully selected work" - but I wouldn't make this such an afterthought m'self. We sell a lot of things, those of us in the advertising business do, but they more or less revolve around the creative, right? I think it merits more than some leftover time.

On a similar, but different, but not the same thing but sort of close to what we're talking about note, I read somewhere that when you present creative, get right to it. First. Before you go through the brief or present all the supporting research. After all, the writer said, if they don't like the creative, none of that other stuff matters. We tried it, and it works. It works great, in fact.

I mean, think how many times you've sat through all the supporting run-up and then notice that everybody sits up and leans forward in their chairs when the creative part of the show comes on.

Anyway, I think that Phil is right when he says we ought to stop doing things based on old models for no good reason other than that the old models are there. That's sort of what he said. I think.

But it's what I said anyway.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thanks go out to copyranter for posting all this cool stuff from Cannes

I think that after a post title like that, there really is no need for me to add anything here, is there?

All found via copyranter.

(Years ago, Polo did a wonderful spot that showed the robotic manufacturing equipment delicately hand-carving the logo on to each individual piece of candy. I'll try to find it somewhere.)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Took me a minute to get the "corner" one, but I got it.

You probably got it faster, because, of course, I'm an idiot and a bit slow on the uptake.

These are part of a magazine campaign for Recreational Boating & Fishing by Colle + McVoy. Via Ads of The World.

Me like.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I love George Lois, but I would have been terrified to work for him

I absolutely love what he has to say about creativity. Which was the headline of an e-mail we sent our recently. (See below.)


"Creativity can solve anything.The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything."
- George Lois

Not everybody gets the business value of creativity in advertising.
Whatever form it takes, creativity is what will get people to linger a little longer on your web site, respond to your e-mails, listen to your radio spot, remember your print ad or television commercial, click your banner ad or even follow you on Facebook or Twitter.

Because the role of creativity in advertising is to not look and sound like everybody else. Advertising that looks and sounds like everybody else isn't going to demand very much attention. And if people aren't paying attention, they won't have a chance to learn about the benefits of your product or service.

When you get right down to it, our job as advertising people is to, you know, sell stuff. It is. That's the ultimate point of the entire exercise. If you're not trying to directly or indirectly generate sales of some sort, it's art, not advertising.

Those of us in the advertising business just get to do it through creativity.

Friday, June 18, 2010

These are what one might call very cool.

Life in the Fast Lane for VW in Sweden. By DDB Stockholm.

These videos tell the story of some great examples of ambient advertising. A grocery cart with a skateboard attached, a slide next to an escalator and a fueled-up elevator. "Driven by fun".

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

These are great

Found links to these on "Sh*t the Creative Director / CEO / Account Guy / Client / Intern Says" Facebook page. (Neither web address at the end seems active though.)

"The Breakup"

And the sequel
(Love the "I have to solve my problem. By making it your problem." line)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Whichever side of the argument you're on . . .

This is still a powerful spot opposing the death penalty.

By TBWA / Paris for Amnesty International. Via AdFreak.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The other side of the velvet rope

Our pal, ace art director Maire McCardle of Bethesda Magazine sent us this from The Cool Hunter web site.

According to the description on the site, "At a busy Seoul subway station, Nikon mounted a huge interactive, light-box billboard displaying life-like images of paparazzi. Huddled together as if at a premiere, the "paps" appear to be jostling and competing for the best celebrity snap. The celebrities in this case were the passersby, who automatically triggered a deluge of flashing camera lights as they walked past the billboard. The accidental superstars then followed the red carpet all the way out of the station and into a mall - directly into the store where they could purchase the new D700."

Pretty cool. (Duh.)

This has nothing to do with advertising.

My friend Rich (at left - and I'm certain his wife, former employer and co-workers would rather I not use his last name) has found a delightful way to spend his dotage.

He writes a blog.

The Old Sports Guy (a.k.a T.O.S.G.) comes out about once a month but it's terrific. Vulgar, funny, informed and irreverant. All the things I like best in writing.

A couple of choice excerpts from past blogs:

"Michigan Stadium, the Big House, really is quite something with its 104,000+ seating capacity, and just about every seat taken despite Michigan's lousy record (the fact that it was an intra-state rivalry obviously helped fill the seats.) And the best part of the place -- the mens' bathrooms, which go the trough route, rather than the separate urinal design" - November 2008


"[Editor's note: TOSG apologizes for his over-use of Yiddish words in his last several postings, e.g., schmuck, mensh, etc. TOSG sometimes forgets that his target audience, to the extent that he has an audience at all, does not consist solely of over 70-year old Jewish males who might know a smattering of Yiddish. In fact, TOSG only knows 5 Yiddish words, 3 of which he has used, plus schlep (to tote something, or to take a long, arduous trip) and putz (a synonym for schmuck, and definitely not J.J., the Mets' reliever.) But enough of this -- TOSG doesn't want t0 make a big magilla out of it." - May 2009


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cool new agency model? Or just a way to rip off creatives?

I'm not a big fan of crowdsourcing.

It just seems oily somehow. But companies like Victors and Spoils (who are responsible for the new Dish TV "Astronauts / Space" spot) and Genius Rocket (locally) are making a business of it.

Just seems to me that any operation that takes the whole spec work concept to massive levels is kind of a rip-off for creatives. Of course there will be plenty of really talented people who are either unhappy at their current jobs, could use a little extra cash or are between positions who will probably make it work.

But it just comes across as taking advantage to me. This is what Adfreak says: "So this is how crowdsourcing is going to work. Creatives across the industry are going to work under the table for other agencies and forgo credit. We'll see how long that lasts when Victors & Spoils begins to accept awards on behalf of the anonymous creatives that actually did the work." (Emphasis mine.)

It also seems to have the potential to lead to some very uneven work for a client.

Then again a client who says: '“Every day I would open up my email and there were 20, 30, 50 new slogans from all these creative people.”isn't really looking to pay for quality, I don't think. Just volume and low cost.

Gonna go home now, but I think I'll read over their agreements a bit more closely and have more to say.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I sure hope most of that 25 mil was media

According to AdFreak "BP paid Florida some $25 million to run a campaign reassuring tourists that the state's beaches remained unsullied by the spill. But now that tar balls are floating ashore, Visit Florida has had to change course again—replacing those earlier rushed ads with even more rushed ads that promise only some clear beaches."

Doesn't seem to me that anybody thought very far ahead on this.

Attention banks, more banks and other banks

This is no longer an original idea, Please stop.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I'm pretty sure I like these.

I mean, I love the photography and art direction. These are beautiful ads.

Just sometimes I question dressing animals up like people. Maybe I'm assigning "people" emotions, like being embarrassed, to dogs. I'm sure our Texas Correspondent Eve -who sent me this - would say I do.

Then again, whatever it takes to find homes for homeless animals, you know?

Whatever it takes.

By Leo Burnett, Istanbul, Turkey.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Somehow National Donut Day seems the right day to post this

But I couldn't begin to tell you why.

My Friend Eve "Sweetheart of a Secret Organization in Texas" Russell sent me this. I think it looks really cool with the fork and all, but I'm not sure how the "scent-or-rama" thing will work out. I do know that the air usually smells good when you walk through a restaurant district.

Of course Eve is a vegan, so she might not share that opinion.

And from him that's really saying something

According to the copyranter, this is "the most repugnant workout ad ever and forever."

Well, maybe only so far. But it's sure ahead by a mile at this point.

By road of Barcelona.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Um . . .

These are interesting spots or something I think for Friij, a milkshake brand sold mainly in England.

I think.

Or at least that's what it says on Illegal Advertising. I'm not exactly completely sure what they are saying here, but what I DO know is that whatever they paid these women to wallow in the mud, it wasn't enough.