Radio: Paul Burke interviews Nick Angell.

Back in the seventies there was a tv show called The Waltons. A depression era family mooched about Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains dealing with various social and moral issues. It was very wholesome. At the end, after some member of the family had realised the error of their ways, they’d cut to their familiar end device: A shot of their quaint wooden house at night. We’d hear a voice ‘Goodnight John Boy’, then gradually we’d hear all the other membersRead more

PODCAST: Adrian Holmes.

One of the nice things about doing these interviews is getting to know people who you’ve only previously knew though their work. So, when I write one of these intros I try to reflect on what I’ve learnt about the interviewee, to capture the characteristics that have helped them create such great work and succeed in such a competitive business. But as different as they all are, they all share the same characteristic; They care. When they commit, they’re allRead more

PODCAST: Evan Stark.

Artificial Intelligence is going to change the world. Cross-referencing mountains of data, learning, opinion and statistics from the whole history of mankind. In terms of advertising, it’ll be very useful. It could offer up the insight that adults try to look youthful. Or that some people do this by dressing inappropriately.  But it’ll never offer up a sentence as succinct and memorable as ‘A woman of 40 will never look 30 by dressing like 20’. It would be great to understandRead more

PODCAST: Richard Foster.

Read any article on good copywriting and you’ll find the same names appear. David Abbott and Tony Brignull usually battle for the top two slots, Tim Delaney and John Salmon fight it out for third place. But talk to writers about the same subject and another name appears; Richard Foster. Richard is the only one of the five who has worked under the other four. (He may well be the only writer to have worked under the four?) For aRead more

PODCAST: Sir Frank Lowe.

“Frank Lowe single-handedly cajoled a whole generation of writers, art directors and film directors into revolutionising British and world advertising.” – Sir Alan Parker. It seemed a bit over the top. I know he was very good and had a big impact on the business, but ‘single-handedly’? But I guess Alan is his mate, so he’s probably bigged him up a bit. Having just spent three hours nose to nose with Frank, I got a taste of what Alan was talking about.Read more

PODCAST: Dave Hieatt.

Since he quit advertising, Dave has had a big effect on it.First, with Howies.His mail order catalogues built up more than customer base, they built up a fan base.They were, and still are, traded on Ebay.Not for their clothing, for their vibe; that decent feel-good, smart, happy, moral life is for living, do the right thing voice. (Dave: Did I miss anything?)Their writing and ideas were ripped them off mercilessly by ad agencies, constantly being used as reference for tone ofRead more

PODCAST: Carlos Bayala.

My first South American. One of the most thoughtful creatives I’ve come across. We worked together for a bit at Mother and I loved that he was forever curious about what the people in the real world were thinking, would they give a shit about our little product or dumb ad? Not surprisingly his new agency is different, its New. That’s not a typo, that’s its name. It’s also appropriate because he’s teamed up with a Rocket Scientist from… actually,Read more

PODCAST: Chris Wilkins.

‘Chris is one of the few very, very bright people around.’ – CHARLES SAATCHI. ‘On his day he’s a much better writer than I am.’ – DAVE TROTT. ‘He is intelligent, witty and versatile and I’d say he’s probably one of the best three copywriters in the country.’ – JOHN WEBSTER. ‘He’s just done a podcast with me!’ – DAVE DYE J. WALTER THOMPSON. Guinness. BOASE MASSIMI POLLITT. Bambi Nappies. Pepsi. The Labour Party. Cresta. Cadbury’s Smash. Southern Comfort. SAATCHIRead more

PODCAST: Me (Pt.2)

When I interviewed Sir Alan Parker he kept saying ‘take that out, take this out!’. I tried to explain that these ads were part of his journey, they shed a little light on his journey from the mailroom to Hollywood. He was having none of it ‘I’m a less is more guy, you’re a more is never enough guy’. He’s right, well, in terms of ads I’m definitely a less is more, but in terms of the blog, interviewing peopleRead more

PODCAST: Me. (Pt. 1)

A lot of people have suggested that I do a podcast on myself. Aside from the obvious difficulties of trying to ask yourself probing questions, it felt a little bit indulgent, particularly as I did a whole series of them with my friend Ben Kay, (I think we recorded more episodes than the latest season of Game Of Thrones). But when someone who’s kindly agreed to be interviewed by me asks me to be interviewed by them, it feels rude to sayRead more

PODCAST: Paul Weiland.

Unfortunately I seem to keep writing the same intros to these interviews; ‘Wow! I knew Person X was good, that’s why I wanted to interview them, but having gone through their archives I’d forgotten just how much great they’d done’. But never has this been more true. Today, in the ad world, Paul is best known as the director of the Walker’s Crisps ads featuring Gary Lineaker. (He’s shot about 150 of them over the last 20 years.) It’s probablyRead more

PODCAST: Tim Riley.

Words. Boy, they’ve really fallen off their perch. They used to be so respected, as were the people who knew how to use them. They could breathe life into cold, dead facts, in their hands ‘our beer costs a lot’  could become ‘Reassuringly expensive’. Better and shorter. Writers would often burn the midnight oil in an effort to get the maximum meaning from the minimum word count. It’s odd, because people have never read more than they do today, Facebook, Twitter,Read more

PODCAST: Graham Fink. (Part 1.)

Context. It’s the word that comes to mind every time I think about writing one of these intros. What seems familiar today was once considered very left-field, risky or just plain crazy. Each pushes the peanut along for the next generation. Take the 1988 D&AD Annual, it’s hard to believe now, but all but one ad in the press and poster section had black headlines, the one that didn’t was Graham Fink’s Metropolitan Police campaign. I was a generation behindRead more

PODCAST: Nick Gill.

He’s never tried to become his own brand, hang out at the right clubs or promote himself. He doesn’t bounce from jury to jury, job to job or club to club. And you’ll never read his latest theory on marketing in the trade mags. Nick Gill is currently Chief Creative Officer of BBH, his third agency in 30 years. We had a great chat, hope you enjoy. COLLEGE. BMP. Clark’s. Tjaerborg. Fisher-Price. John Smith’s. Health Education Association. Abbey Life. Sport Aid. Batchelors. NewRead more

INTERVIEW: Sir Alan Parker.

Sir Alan, where did you grow up? I grew up in Islington. Ours were the first council flats built after the war and I moved in aged about three or four. Ironically, the flats overlooked the street where my Dad was born and brought up. (My Grandad was the local barber and the family were evacuated in the war when a bomb hit St Mary’s Church close to their shop. He was also the local bookie—illegal then—and so they movedRead more

100th post. (Well, nearly.)


Full disclosure; it’s actually the 113th. But I noticed that when blogs or podcasts hit a significant number they do a kind of round-up, like a kind of house-keeping thing, so here’s mine. 10 THINGS I’VE LEARNT ABOUT BLOGGING. 1. BLOGS HAVE A LIFE OF THEIR OWN. MAY 2002: My friend Paul buys me davedye.com. OCT 2013: I decide to bung all my old work on it, for easy access. NOV 2013: It’s a bit chaotic. Having presented the workRead more

PODCAST: Tony Davidson Pt. 2.

The Wieden years. It’s weird, I only interview people whose work I really like, but whenever I lay their work out end-to-end, I’m always surprised at how much better it is than I’d remembered. It could be that there’s much more of it, the sheer consistency of it or that it appears better with the benefit of time and a bit of distance. All three are true of the work in this post. Tony does a good job of shiningRead more

PODCAST: Mark Reddy.

‘Art Director’ is an unhelpful title. It has nothing to do with Art and very little to do with directing. Some think it’s about making stuff look cool, I think it’s about communicating at speed. We work in a medium people are actively trying to ignore, so we can’t hang around. Art Director’s can only communicate quickly if the understand: a) Their basic toolkit; photography, film, illustration, editing, cropping, fonts, colours and the rest. b) The world around them: how humans behave,Read more

PODCAST: Ben Priest.

The arc of most creative agencies tends to be very similar; start idealistic and creative, become less principled and duller over the years as the realities of finance, earn-outs and fatigue start to kick in. Adam & Eve are like the Benjamin Button of ad agencies. They started burdened by the financial realities due to a situation called ‘Sorrell’. Having come through the early sensible years they seem to grow more creative as each year goes by. They won noRead more

GREEN BOOKS: Type 2.

The feedback I’ve had on these books is very consistent; ‘I had most of that stuff in my scrap books too’. What a world? Art directors from it’s four corners saving exactly the same references from exactly the same dozen or so sources* in order to help create them something different. Today there is no reason art directors should be fishing in the same pool. (*Interview, Vogue Italia, Harper’s Bazaar, Lurzer’s Archive, Rolling Stone, Creative Review, Direction, Beach Culture, RayRead more