The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

The Return Of The Biggest Scandal Since The Last American Election? Nah, It’s Still Only Advertising.
March 31, 2008, 6:22 pm
Filed under: Comment


Remember this?

Now read this.

Personally I think it’s a bollocks excuse – especially as Andy didn’t have any problem listing himself down as ‘Creative Director’ so shouldn’t have any issue listing himself down if he contributed to the work – but hey this is adland and honesty is relative here.

Of course no one can really take the issue on because then the whole house of flimsy cards would fall down – but as much as I find the whole thing funny, I think the excuse is pretty pathetic and resembles the sort of rubbish an MP would spout for sleeping with a $2 crack whore in his hotel suite. While wearing a nappy.

Oh well, it’s not like it matters in the real World does it?  🙂

Looking For The A[P]SOTW Assignment?
March 31, 2008, 6:21 pm
Filed under: Advertising [Planning] School On The Web, Comment

Then click here

And don’t worry if you’ve never done something like this before, the thing with advertising is that there is rarely a wrong answer – just lots of different right ones!

All are welcome, especially non-planners!

Comments Off on Looking For The A[P]SOTW Assignment?

Where Is The R&D Department In Adland?
March 31, 2008, 7:04 am
Filed under: Comment

Jerry maguire

Sometimes adland truly repulses me.

Yep, repulses.

I am sick to death of hearing agencies talking about things like big thinking and fresh perspectives when in reality they are either …

1 Small thinking with a snappy title [LoveMarks]

2 Someone else’s big thinking that they have just latched onto [Opening an agency on Second Life]

3 Perspectives that don’t figure in the agency output except for when there is a [i] PR opportunity [ii] Media press release

The fact is that in most agencies there is so little real new news, that we have to come to the conclusion that the well of new thinking has quite possibly dried up.

Except it hasn’t has it!

Nope, in every agency there’s a bunch of people who have fucking excellent ideas that truly could make a difference.

A difference to clients, communities, colleagues and the industry as a whole.

And why don’t we get to experience them?

Because for all their talk about moving forward and embracing opportunity of change – most agencies do nothing other than desperately cling onto the past.

Rear View Mirror Photo: Unwired Adventures

To be fair this is not just their fault, clients have a major influence in this situation given they all too often want ‘ads’ rather than ‘ideas’  [or should I say, will only PAY for ‘ad’s’ rather than ‘ideas’] – but my question would then be which came first – clients with specific demands or agencies with only one way of approaching a problem?

[I’ve talked about this previously and some of the comments were very interesting]

And please don’t give me that ‘but agencies produce ideas every day’ bollocks.

An ‘ad idea’ is very, very different to an ‘idea’.

What sold more iPOD’s? The shadow execution or iTunes?

Or put another way, the agency or the R&D Department of Apple?

And if you think agencies can’t or shouldn’t do that sort of thing, I would say that demonstrates how fucked the industry is.

Master of the puppets / Maestro de marionetas Photo: Victor Nuno

We are in the business of knowing and understanding what motivates people – their fears/hopes/wants/loves – which means we should be able to spot opportunities that [1] would make people do things and [2] make our clients wealthy – and yet in most cases our answer to every client brief is to do an ‘ad’ when the more effective – not to mention more creative – response would be to ‘create something’ – something that would make a real difference [both to client, consumer and community] rather than relying on ad’s that hopefully might encourage the right outcome.

I’ve said this many times agencies in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s were far more creatively pragmatic, inventive and ingenious than much of what we see today.

Sure the World was very different back then  – and there are some agencies around now who are genuinely breaking new ground – however I’m not just talking about ‘ad’s’, I’m talking about the overall inventiveness of agency thinking..

While not created in a specific ‘R&D’ department, the fact is decades ago agencies thought-up, developed, nurtured and invested in revolutionary [for the time] disciplines/ideas like advertising research … strategic planning … branding … product placement … and yet today we seem to have created very little that is fundamentally and/or universally new? [excluding web development, obviously]

Just like I believe if NIKE started today, they would end up a very different company to what they are now – I also believe if someone came up with the idea for strategic planning, they would be unlikely to ever see it reach the light of day, at least not with an agency backing and funding it.

Now while that might sound like a dream to a whole host of creatives out there – I think that is utterly, totally, frustratingly tragic – because our industry can only propser if we truly understand, represent and motivate the masses which means we have to look forward at what’s happening, not just always rely on the past.

To make matters worse, because we focus on the lives of the consumer, rather than just look for business efficiencies – I genuinely believe advertising has the capacity to be better than almost any other discipline – certainly management consultants – at idenifying and creating consumer motivating/business profitable ideas … so to see so many companies seemingly give up the fight for this right, just devastates me.

Empty Box 

Why isn’t there an R&D philosophy within agencies?

Why don’t agencies have an R&D budget?

Why wouldn’t most comms companies invest in nurturing an idea, even if they thought it had real potential?

Why do networks only spend money fine-tuning a past generations moment of genius or another industries hard work?

Why have most agencies embraced an attitude of ‘passive advancement’ when it was their spirit of ‘active discovery’ that made them famous and valuable?

Why does advertising treat marketing as a distant cousin rather than a close relative?

I’ll tell you why, MONEY – or more specifically – the desire to not spend any of it.

Look, I’m not advocating reckless spending in areas that have no value [they did that in the 80’s anyway], I’m talking about the investment in dramatically new thinking that could potentially change the nature of the industry like planning did or even research.

And of course, there’s that beautiful element of irony given agencies are forever slagging off clients for not being brave enough to embrace the opportunities they’ve identified for them when in the main, they are still far more progressive [and brave] than most agencies could ever hope to be.

Now I am sure people will now throw a whole host of ‘big ideas’ that agencies have supposedly produced – and that’s fine – but prepare for me to throw down the gauntlet, because as far as I am concerned, most of what has been chucked out in the past 10-15 years [note I said ‘MOST’, not all] has been nothing more than a re-hash of the past and if we are to continue with some sort of commercial value in the future, then R&D shouldn’t be a department only our clients have.

Looking For The A[P]SOTW Assignment?
March 28, 2008, 8:00 am
Filed under: Advertising [Planning] School On The Web

Then click here

And don’t worry if you’ve never done something like this before, the thing with advertising is that there is rarely a wrong answer – just lots of different right ones!

All are welcome, especially non-planners!

Comments Off on Looking For The A[P]SOTW Assignment?

I Just Fancy Saying Hello To Google …
March 28, 2008, 7:58 am
Filed under: Comment

Google Wallpaper

There is absolutely no subliminal meaning behind this post whatsoever … nope, I’m just feeling ‘nice’.

Infact from now on, call me Mr Cuddlywuddly, Niceychops.

And if you think that’s shocking, you should see the ‘new’ Andy. He’s positively lovely.

Now I know some people think Google have the potential for evil, but don’t we all?

Martha Stewart? 

One moment she’s a nice old lady making cakes and cards then in a flash, she turns into a greedy, manipulative financial shark.

What a bitch!

Anyway, the fact is Google at least try to do good things [despite the odd little slip up which even then is not premeditated] so for that I think they should be congratulated and celebrated – not kicked and punched, especially when it’s by people who would rob the milk from their grannies tea.

Talk is very cheap and there’s a whole lot of companies out there who claim they care then demonstrate through their actions the complete opposite.

Banks for instance.

And ad agencies.

So sod it, I don’t mind being nice for once – so ‘Hello Google’, keep up the good work – and who knows, one day you could be the ‘U.N.’ of humanity – lets face it, you’re already doing a better job than alot of the current mob.

Anyway enough of all that – what with me being nice and wearing a jacket, it’s obvious my anger levels need replenishing so I think I’m gonna go for a nice lie-down.

Have a top weekend all … may anger prevail 🙂