MERCEDES-BENZ C-CLASS SPORTS COUPE: ‘Shiny?’

Discounting premium products can be risky. It can take decades to build up a premium positioning for a brand, to give their products a value beyond the materials and man hours that have gone into their making. Once you start discounting you risk making it feel less special, because people know that, generally, products get discounted because they aren’t selling, if they aren’t selling it must be because nobody wants them. MERCEDES-BENZ PROBLEM: A stock-pile of C-Class Sports Coupe’s. They decidedRead more

PODCAST: Neil French.

Former rent collector, bull-fighter, porn director, klacker salesman, Judas Priest manager, account man, copywriter, art director and Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy Worldwide. (Warning: Some areas of the recording may have been adversely effected by a rioja.) BLACKER HYDE ASSOCIATES Ltd. An early Neil French concept. HOLMES KNIGHT RITCHIE. BATEY SINGAPORE. THE BALL PARTNERSHIP. The only known picture of Neil without a cigar. My tattered copy of Neil’s book. I recommend it.Read more

Hands up who’s heard of Satoshi Saikusa?

I came across these images the other day, it turned out to be the work of artist Satoshi Saikusa. When worked on Adidas I was constantly on the hunt for photographers, we were shooting athletes from all over the world on a regular basis, and trying to shoot them in a way that was distinctive and own-able was the goal. Satoshi was always top of my list. Unfortunately, for either financial, timing or simply clients feeling he was too exotic,Read more

AUTISM TRUST: Have a goal.

‘Would you mind helping a friend of mine?’ I would’ve helped anyway, but the fact that it was Peter Mead asking meant I couldn’t really refuse, he’d delivered business and wise counsel at my previous agency in return for little more than the odd cheese sandwich. ‘Her name’s Polly Tommey, she used to be our receptionist’ A few days later Polly called, she talked about needing a poster a charity she’d set up; Autism Trust. The following week she came inRead more

Hands up who’s heard of Robert Freson?

GOD’S LIGHT. It’s what photographers call daylight. It was Freson’s light source of choice. It’s obviously less controllable than other forms of lighting but the results can be magical. It can can give people a luminous, spiritual glow. At a time when so many briefs are to make the people in front of the camera look real, authentic and believable, it’s odd that we generally drain the colour from the image, add filters or use artificial lighting. Go through Robert’sRead more

PODCAST: Tony Davidson. (Part 1.)

Sometimes, it’s difficult writing about people you know. On the one hand, you don’t want to offend them with a flip remark, like ‘no filter between his brain and mouth’, or ‘certified nut-job.’ On the other, and probably worse, you don’t want to get all gooey with guff like ‘only about the work’ or ‘incredibly consistent* since day one’. So I won’t bother, I’ll just let you listen and make your own minds up. (*Except for ‘Captain Chaos’.) STUDENT. BMP.Read more

DDB’S CHIVAS REGAL CAMPAIGN.

‘It’s REALLY special’. I’ve worked on a lot of luxury brands over the years, and essentially that’s the brief you get. You have to make buying the product feel like gaining access to a very exclusive club. With nothing tangible to say you have to conjure up a personality from thin air. It’s tough, you have to be very creative. ‘It’s not what you say it’s the way you say it’ as Bill Bernbach put it. Doyle Dane Bernbach didRead more

INTERVIEW: Brian Palmer.

Sometimes the people who innovate are forgotten in favour of those who refine their ideas. Whatsisname, the inventor of the mouse that Steve Jobs ‘refined’, is a prime example. Few people today know the name Kingsley Manton & Palmer, let alone that of its creative partner Brian Palmer. Yet Brian wrote the first ad to run on U.K television. He set up the first agency the U.K. after World War Two. His agency was the first to work open plan, first to list on the stock exchange and theRead more

PODCAST: Gerry Graf.

The best ads appear effortless. As if created accidentally, the result of a chance corridor meeting by people letting off steam on their way to different, grown-up,  serious meetings, probably ones involving charts, numbers and mashed-up new words they get the gist of but aren’t 100% confident of their meaning. The truth is that it’s hard to create work like that, it’s like catching lightning in a bottle. A few creatives have been in the right place at the right time to grab a bolt, barelyRead more