Thursday, July 16, 2015

This is a ridiculous criticism of a good spot


No, not this this. This this.

Nature Valley, makers of granola bars of some sort, produced this video that points out a  real difference in the way the youngest generation today passes the time and the way previous generations did.

The reviewer - for my money clearly a member of the nose-in-a-smart phone set - absolutely trashed it, characterizing it as a "three-minute technology hate-on."

Check it out and see what you see. Here's the link again. I mean, I really want you to see it.
I'll wait here.


Got it? So here's what I think. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Rebecca Cullers, who wrote the review, is so full of shit her eyes are brown, as we used to say when we were little.

In her snarky review she pretty much missed the whole fucking point point.

Nobody said "in my day." Nobody harshed on the kids who are so committed to smart phones and tablets. And nobody told anybody to get off their lawn. But the fact that Nature Valley (who clearly wants to associate themselves with All Things Natural and Wholesome and Perhaps Even Outdoors) pointed out that little kids are missing one hell of a lot of cool stuff by marrying their tablet, smart phone or computer seems to have really touched  a nerve with Cullers.

She seems personally offended that anybody would dare to suggest that perhaps there is a world out there that don't run on a battery. WTF?

My guess is that she is one of those you see walking down the sidewalk or across the street with her attention focused on the phone in her hand instead of the world around her or even where she is going.

I always thought each of us ought to get to bump one of those people with our car. Just once.

Friday, July 10, 2015

God, that's a beautiful logo. So what?


An award-winning logo never brought anybody any business.

Neither has a really cool color palette or set of identity guidelines.

Those are all part of Branding – usually the domain of design studios and often confused with "Brand." Not the same thing. And in all honesty, it kind of honks me (me, Woody Hinkle) that design studios often seem content to let the distinction go unnoticed by clients.

If you've read anything on our web site or know anything about us, you know that the two things we do are Brand Development and Creative. We're not a design studio and don't seek out that kind of work. Oh, we can design a logo or web site and produce a corporate identity guide. And Frank (that would be ace art director Frank Salonek) can come up with a color palette with the best of them.

But we tend to try to avoid doing that stuff if the client doesn't have a clear Brand or until we've helped them develop one. What the hell good does it do to have a beautiful logo on a snazzy brochure if your marketing materials aren't telling anybody why the hell they ought to do business with you?

And I'm here to tell you right now in no uncertain terms that people don't do business with you because of your logo. We can go out back and fight about it if you want, but it's the truth.

People will do business with you because of what you offer that the Next Guy doesn't. Or you offer it in a way that's more appealing than the Next Guy. That differentiation is what you have to clarify first. Then, you can make sure your Branding – the logo, ad campaign, tag line and all the rest (which we can and will produce very well for you thankyouverymuch) – follow your Brand.

While I realize that I can't paint everybody with such a broad brush, it has been my experience that design studios and PR firms often have one thing in common: They are focused on tactical things – what the logo looks like, what type face works best, what hot-diggity-dog cool stuff they can put in the web site, or what the message ought to be in the next press release.

And none of that stuff matters at all, if they aren’t working off a single Brand strategy

Because your Brand is, well, it's the reason why anybody should give a damn what the hell you're selling.

The old joke about clients often revolves around "make the logo bigger." I'd say, make the logo second.


Do the Brand first.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Once again I find myself scratching my head


And once again it has something to do with GEICO
Clearly, I have no freaking idea what I am doing and am a complete moron and should just get out of the advertising business for the good of the country.
I simply do not understand why the GEICO pre-roll ads that I find so annoying won a Gold Lion at Cannes. Hailed for putting a "hilarious twist on the typically boring genre" and breaking the rules of advertising, these spots just bother the hell out of me.
The VO tells you that you can't skip the ad because it's already over, and then  - at least on some web sites - it proceeds to just sit there while wow-that's-so-fucking-funny things like the dog jumping on the table and a guy's foot catches fire and you can't skip it.
Great idea if it's just short and over before you know it after having made the point, but it doesn't work that way. At least not that I've seen. 
I must not be the target and, as we all know, I'm an idiot anyway. I can only assume that the target audience is made up of the same people who find the jokes that go on too long on Family Guy funny.
I may come home tonight to a mob of advertising freaks on my lawn with pitchforks and torches, but I just have to say that an awful lot of stuff that Martin does these days - certainly what they do for GEICO - comes across as self-indulgent.
But they're a big agency with a warehouse full of awards and we're a boutique agency with a shelf full of awards, so they must be doing something right.
I just can't figure out what the hell it is.