‘Truly original creative work doesn’t tend to win awards.’ – John Hegarty. He’s right of course, (he is, after all, John Hegarty). It not only means that great work didn’t get the recognition it deserved back in the day, it means it’s not on the record for people like me to check today. Because awards annuals are the only reliable place to check who did what when. I’ve grouped the people in this post because they had far fewer entriesRead more
Posts filed in: GREEN BOOKS
THE WOMEN WHO BUILT DDB, 5: Lore Parker
‘What was the most effective headline I ever wrote? ‘Dear Mrs Robinson’. Without a scrap of work to show, Lore Parker’s letter to Phyllis Robinson landed her a job as copywriter in the best ad agency on the planet. She stayed nearly thirty years. As with the subjects with all of these posts, the work feature is just a fraction of their output. So although I wish I could unearth more of her work, Lore’s talk on what it’s likeRead more
THE WOMEN WHO BUILT DDB, 2: Paula Green
“It’s not the size of the budget. It’s the ferocity of the idea” – Paula GRRRRReen. I’d seen that name underneath some Avis ads. But Helmut Krone’s campaigns tend to be referred to as Helmut Krone’s campaigns. (See what I mean?) The spotlight rarely makes it past him. So the writers, and often originators, of much of his most famous work get forgotten. Avis is a prime example. I love the art direction of the Avis campaign, but I loveRead more
THE MOST UNFASHIONABLE FORM OF ADVERTISING?
What was the last product demo you saw? Not on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, they’re all over those, but on tv, billboards or press (does press still exist?). You just don’t see agencies doing them anymore. Odd, because, and I hope I’m not giving away any trade secrets here, the goal of most advertising is to persuade people that the product featured is good. Ideally, REALLY good. So showing it in action, performing well, seems like it might be aRead more
GREEN BOOKS: Type 3.
It’s always weird looking back through these books. Like looking at those insects trapped in a chunk of amber. There they were, right in the middle doing something, simply walking or picking their nose, frozen in time. These books are a bit like that, a snapshot of what was happening at a certain moment in time, captured chronologically. (Encased in green this time, not amber.) This moment is ’93 to ’94, type & graphics, and what an odd moment itRead more
GREEN BOOKS: Ads 2.
I have a confession to make; not everything on this site is from the loft. Apologies to those of you who feel cheated. I feel such a fraud. The good news is that this post is 100% loft. Not mine, my old partner Mike McKenna’s. I started putting these green books together when Mike and I worked as a team at Publicis, back in the early 90’s. They were our internet. We’d split the cost of the pricey books fromRead more
GUT v NUMBERS.
Whether it’s qual, quant or O.T.S, ROI, A/B testing or big data, when numbers turn up in marketing they must be obeyed. They’re distilled and translated into ‘rules’. Everyone wants their next campaign to be better than their last, but applying these ‘learnings’ to creative work often kills it. It can feel uncomfortable, because what’s being said makes total sense, but the effect is to complicate and make your ad more like every other ad out there. The ones youRead more
GREEN BOOKS: New Yorker Ads 4.
The Advertising Standards Council wouldn’t let that title pass. I guess it was my intent when I cello-taped it to the cover. There are a few old New Yorker ads in there, but the majority are English, from the early seventies. It’s odd collection, looking at it now is a bit like wandering through a car boot sale. There’s the finds that have famous attached, so may be worth something: 1. Illustrator/Artist Glen Baxter’s Gilbey’s Gin ads. 2. Photographer ArtRead more
GREEN BOOKS: New Yorker Ads 1.
‘‘Alright fatty, what you after?” How do you react? I’m guessing it would taint your opinion of that particular bookshop, making you less inclined to buy. Nobody likes being disrespected or patronised. What about if that bookshop owner had said “Oh, just to let you know; the new Proust collection is just in”. Sure, you’d look behind you to check that they were talking to you, but you couldn’t help but be pleased that they’d presumed you were intelligent. ItRead more
GREEN BOOKS: New Yorker Ads 2.
These ads from 1960’s copies of The New Yorker are weird. They’re just so, well, New Yorker ads from the sixties. As evocative of their era as a Blockbuster membership cards and the sound of fax machines were of theirs. That’s not a criticism, some are great. But it’s striking just how different they feel. So different that it got me thinking why and what unifies them? 1: $’s. Look at the ads and you’ll notice that they have allRead more
GREEN BOOKS: New Yorker Ads 3.
Another batch of fertilizer. That’s not a euphemism by the way, just a reminder that ideas grow from ideas, they rarely appear out of the blue. I sometimes hear people say ‘I’m all about tomorrow, I never look back…I’m like an arrow heading towards the future’. It sounds bloody exciting. Then I look at their output, and it often feels so…so, soul-less gimmicky…nothingy. Like it or not, the truth is that jobs, like most jobs, are less about inventing thanRead 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
Hands up who’s heard of Jeanloup Sieff?
Cultural trends are difficult to spot when you’re in the middle of them. They look like ‘normal’, it’s only with the benefit of distance can you join the dots. It’d be useful to recognise current trends because generally they are followed by the polar opposite. In fashion, plain is likely to be followed by pattern, natural by synthetic, subtle by loud. When type was set on film and photographic paper, Art Directors and Designers were obsessed with sharpness, because perfectionRead 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
GREEN BOOKS: Type 5.
Obviously there’s more Fred & Fabien, but probably the most interesting things in there are the bits of old typesetting I rescued from the Leagas Delaney bin. The studio was going all digital, so PMT machines, drawing desks, wax machines, art-workers a and bits of old setting were dumped. I managed to save a few bits of setting, if you eat a lot of carrots and have 20/20 vision you’ll be able to spot a few cut marks between someRead more
GREEN BOOKS: Illustration 1.
After looking through this old book again, it got me thinking. a) Why do we not use illustration more in advertising? b) When we do use it, why do we always the same few styles, why not use all the weird, wonderful and exotic flavours available out there? c) What happened to these guys?Read more
GREEN BOOKS: Type 6.
When I write these posts I sometimes forget that not everyone reading them was working in advertising or design 20 years ago. After the last post a lot of people asked me what the hell I meant when I said that the green book shouldn’t be called ‘Type’, it would be more appropriate to name it ‘The Fred & Fabien Files’. It was a joke, so much of the work in that typography scrapbook was from the same two guys. FREDRead more
GREEN BOOKS: Type 1.
It occurs to me that ‘Type’ is the wrong title for a lot of these green books, ‘The Fred & Fabien Files’ would be more appropriate given the amount of work by Woodward and Baron.Read more