PODCAST: RICK SITTIG

Many of you won’t recognise that name. You won’t find it attached to tweets his latest ‘hot’ campaign, or next to a picture of his latest lunch; he doesn’t do social media. You won’t find his agency in any new business tables; they only handle three clients at a time, so tend to have long client relationships. You won’t find their scripts in any production companies; they direct them in-house. This is because, when, 23 years ago, the goal forRead more

PODCAST: RORY SUTHERLA…

That’s not a mistake, it’s my attempt to graphically warn you that this podcast ends abruptly. The idea was that I’d grill Rory on some of the issues facing our business today. He is easily one of the most thoughtful, smartest guys in our business, just check out some of his quotes below if you don’t believe me. But rather than ask softball questions that were too broad, I thought it’d be more interesting to make it binary. Forcing aRead more

PODCAST: Gary Goldsmith

Pick up any New York Art Directors Club Annual from the sixties and you can feel the heat coming off the pages. The Writers are using words previously confined to conversation, the Art Directors are trying to find new ways to present the information (‘Creating new pages’ as Helmut Krone put it.) Then, the seventies. A whole different story; the experimentation and energy appear to have dried up. True, there are still lots of good thoughts and lines, but inRead more

PODCAST: Trevor Beattie.

‘Recorded any new podcasts lately?’ I get asked this a few times every week. The askees range from college attendees to retired adman. As I pick the people I interview, they seem as famous as The Beatles to me, but they’re often unknown to the askees. After offering up a name and watching a blank expression appear, I reach for a quick handle, something from culture that I think they’ll know. Occasionally it’s an ad fact; ‘Set Up Fallon beforeRead more

MARK DENTON HAS A BOOK TO SELL!

A weird thought popped into my head on my way to record this interview. Weird, because I’ve been reading books on designers for thirty odd years and I’d never spotted it. Also weird, because it’s the opposite of the received wisdom. The thought was this ‘Good designers can work in many styles, great designers have a distinctive style’. As Art Directors and Designers we are taught to put their skills at the service of the brand. Let’s say you’re designing forRead more

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

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