In the late 80s, I discovered a discount bookshop on Shaftesbury Avenue, amongst the junk, ‘Knitting For The Whole Family’ and ‘Fun With Chives’ were piles American advertising books I’d never heard of; One Show Annuals. They were dirt cheap – £4.99. For the cost of one D&AD Annual I could buy six One Shows. So I bought six One Shows. The work was a revelation. Bolder, funnier and less genteel than the stuff in the D&AD. One agency stoodRead more
ROY GRACE SITE. With Allen Richardson
Roy Grace may well be the best ad guy you’ve never heard of. But you’ll recognise some of his Volkswagen ads below, created at DDB between 1965 and 1986. Whereas most creatives will lean towards a particular medium – Roy was as good in print as he was in tv. Many creatives make their names on one, great account, like a Nike or Volkswagen, Roy did great work across everything; from J&B Rare whisky to Alka-Seltzer, from Chanel to SOSRead more
ANOTHER POST ON POSTERS.
Clever-clogs, San Franciscan adman Howard Gossage once said that advertising had a responsibility to society not to pollute our environment. Particularly outdoor, as everybody was exposed to it. I’m sure everyone in marketing at the time nodded sagely in agreement, then got back to polluting. After all, job one is shifting product. Creating a more pleasant trip to the shops is an indulgence. Isn’t it? If you believe dull, ugly ads shift more product. Do they get you to buy?Read more
COPY SAFARI THOUGHTS.
Last week, Vikki Ross asked me to do one of her Copy Safaris. A stroll around London judging advertising in the wild, then posting on Twitter. One of the good things is that you don’t pick and choose, you comment on everything; the good, the bad and the fugly. One of the benefits of having to give an instant take, often on the move, is you can’t overthink it, you react more like the rest of the people on theRead more
PODCAST: Adrian Lyne
In 1969, fourteen years after the first commercial aired in Britain, colour arrived. The bar was raised. Ambitious ads could now go beyond the over-lit, creakily acted black & white output from adland. Ads, well, the good ones, started to look like they could’ve been snipped from a movie. But they were still pretty formal. A couple of years later, a young producer decides he wants to stop producing ads and start shooting them Rather than chase the formal perfection,Read more
WHAT I LIKED before I knew what I was SUPPOSED TO LIKE – Paul Burke
My childhood, to put it mildly, was not a middle class one, so I was spared that haughty parental diktat to watch BBC and not ITV. Thames and LWT were our channels of choice which meant that I grew up watching Opportunity Knocks, Benny Hill, Man About the House and The Sweeney. Good job too because watching the commercial break during every episode of On the Buses turned out to be the perfect preparation for my future career. I mustRead more
PODCAST: Dave Brown
When I put these blogs together I build up a file. Work for every client goes into a file, that goes into the appropriate agency file, the agency are numbered so that they come chronologically. It sounds a faff, it is a faff, but the only any way I can do it. Anyway, the last file is generally ‘P.R’ – all the news clippings, interviews and pictures that the individual has accumulated over the years. It helps me get aRead more
Podcast: MICHAEL WOLFF
Leap before you look. That’s written on the back of Michael’s business cards. He prefers instinct over logic; everyone can access to logic, so they all end up in the same place. At Wolff Olins he took a brief to rebrand a paint company, now most would end up with rainbows, peacocks or some colourful iconography. Not Michael. He chose a fox, because ‘the owner reminded me of a wily fox’. When Bowyer’s needed a new logo, Michael went withRead more
You can’t advertise a product unless you can get attention. You can’t get attention without standing out. You can’t stand out without being different. You can’t do different if you think the same. If you think different, you’re are different. But, being different is a problem in ad agencies. A BBH Planner once complained ‘the problem with this place is they can’t accommodate black sheep’. Equally, I doubt TBWA embrace disruptive people to create disruptive work. Why hire people who challengeRead more
He changed British creativity, global advertising and the world of Art. But unlike most big names in our business, Charles Saatchi has a tiny digital footprint, in terms of his advertising career. Only half a dozen photos, only two interviews and just a handful of credits on Saatchi & Saatchi’s creative work. Being slightly delusional, I’ve reached out many times in an attempt to get him to do a podcast – I’d love to pick his brain about those earlyRead more
PODCAST: Cabell Harris
Ad agencies often claim to have no set style, that each campaign is created from scratch, bespoke for every client. It may be true for the mediocre ones, but not the great ones. Nobody used to confuse the work of AMV, BBH and GGT. The same with Wieden, Chiat and Fallon. Today, stick me in front of a tv and I’d fancy my chances at picking the Droga5. Or spotting the Uncommon on a tube platform. Because although ad agenciesRead more
PODCAST: Malcolm Venville
Whoever it’s with, whenever I do these podcasts, personal links seem to turn up along the way. Things I’d forgotten or been unaware of – Paul Weiland was once my landlord, I judged the One Show with Gerry Graf 15 years earlier, David Holmes drew a poster for me 25 years earlier. This isn’t like that, this time it really is personal (isn’t that the Jaws 2 strap line?) Malcolm and I started out together; he’d shoot pictures for free,Read more
PODCAST: R. O. Blechman
That was the first drawing I saw by R. O. Blechman. I loved it instantly. Firstly, it’s a great observation of how companies operate, particularly ad agencies. But also, I was in the ideas business and I’d never seen them represented like that – in different levels from a tiny lightbulb to an enormous chandelier. I also loved the naive style of the drawing. It looked like a note one naughty child would pass to another secretly in class. DrawnRead more
BODDINGTONS. The Cream of Advertising.
‘There is a possibility that ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s Cream of Manchester ad campaign, which ran from 1991 until 1999, is responsible for the transformation of that city’. – Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian, 2019. I know, it sounds ludicrous? Who knows whether it’s true, but one thing is unarguable; they took a little-known bitter from the North of England and created a campaign that made it famous. Even beyond our shores. Here it is being referenced in Friends. IRead more
PODCAST: Orlando Wood
‘I’ve just done a Volvo ad with no car in it, it doesn’t get any better than that!’ Those were the first I heard on day one at AMV/BBDO. It was the Art Director’s way of saying ‘it’s good here’. I appreciated the intent, but thought it was weird. Who cares if the ad has a car in it? Is it a good ad? But that’s how a certain group of creatives think. For them wins are – running anRead more
ROLE REVERSAL COURSES
Last year I wrote a post about working on Milky Bars (https://davedye.com/2021/11/30/the-milky-bar-adult/). The intro stayed with me; “Is there another industry with a bigger disconnect between supply and demand? One side continually supplying what the other side won’t buy. “We serve them smoked salmon, they ask for fish paste” was how copywriter Malcolm Gluck described the situation. Marketing Directors may describe it as ‘We ask for smoked salmon, they serve us fish paste’. Regardless of who’s right or wrong, why theRead more
REMEMBER THOSE GREAT PORSCHE ADS? 1. Bruce Bildsten
How did you end up at Fallon McElligott Bruce? I got there very early, but I suspect I came close to being there from the beginning. I had met Tom McElligott at the University of Minnesota when he spoke to an advertising class I took. He was at the creative agency Bozell and Jacobs and asked me to come back and interview a couple of times. I got impatient with student loans to be paid that I took a jobRead more
INTERVIEW: George Gier.
I’ve been on a bit of a Fallon McElligott tear recently. American awards annuals were stuffed with an obscene amount of their work, for over two decades. As varied as the work is, whether it’s Rolling Stone’s Perception/Reality campaign, Porsche’s ‘About as fast as you can go without eating airline food’, BMW Films, Miller’s ‘Evil Beaver’, Citibank’s ‘Live Richly’, it all has that same joyous vibe. You can sense that people enjoyed creating it. So expect a bunch of FallonRead more
PODCAST: Mark Denton saves The Creative Circle.
Should Liverpool win the Carabao Cup this season I’m sure they’ll be happy. But it’ll be a bonus. Their goal is to win the Premier League. Or maybe the European Cup. Creatives used to view Creative Circle Awards in the same way; delighted to win one, but their eyes were fixed on D&AD. Or BTAA. Or Campaign Press. Or Campaign Posters. Or The One Show. Or, a bit later, Cannes. In fact, my first ever advertising award was a CreativeRead more
PODCAST: TIM DELANEY ON HOW TO DO PREMIUM.
‘We want a Patek Philippe!’. I’m told intermediaries hear that phrase on a regular basis. The problem is, most ad agencies can’t do it. Most are unable translate the signals and nuances of the world’s of premium and fashion. It’s why the majority of advertising in those categories is produced in-house. But that’s not perfect either, they may capture the right vibes but they rarely create anything with substance. They rarely position a brand or create long-term adverting campaigns. MuchRead more