CHARLES SAATCHI.

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

THE CHRISTMAS POST.

Every year I forget. But this year, finally; a Christmas related post in time for Christmas! Does blogging get any slicker? For most people, Christmas cards are an opportunity to reach out to family and friends to let them know you’re thinking of them. For Creatives they’re an opportunity to win yourself an award. Here’s a few examples. My agency was no different. We’d find a bit of budget to help us send out season’s greetings to all our friends,Read more

THE MILKY BAR ADULT.

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 the disconnect? Why are their criteria for judging creative work so different? Put clients and agencies inRead more

WHAT I LIKED BEFORE I KNEW WHAT I WAS SUPPOSED TO LIKE: Richard Russell.

Before I became a Copywriter, I just liked popular ads. I didn’t know they were popular ads, of course, they were just the stuff that was visible and fun and spoke to me. The more I worked in advertising though, the more it seemed to me that the industry had a real problem with popular ads. A snobbery that mass-market work was dumbed down. And, conversely, a belief that the work without wide appeal was way cooler and cleverer, andRead more

Hands Up Who’s Heard Of CHARLIE PICCIRILLO?

Before we had this thing we had books. There were few about advertising. Aside from the awards annuals, there was one by Jerry Della Femina, but it didn’t have any pictures. One by David Ogilvy, but he wasn’t exactly popular at the time. George Lois had a giant square one, which was good. Then there was Bill Bernbach’s Book. Different league. The gold standard. Our bible. Virtually all creatives owned a copy. We didn’t know who’d done ads as thereRead more

WHAT I LIKED before I knew what I was SUPPOSED TO LIKE – Dan Watts.

As a kid I loved anything that was ‘wrong’. Funny stuff. Dark stuff. Magical stuff. The stuff I wasn’t allowed to watch. Stuff that did something fuzzy to your brain. I’d pick the London Dungeon for a family day out. I’d ask for Viz over the Beano. Anything that was naughty and went against the grain. Anything that stuck in your head for all the wrong reasons. It’s of no surprise then that nearly all the ads I liked beforeRead more

WHAT I LIKED before I knew what I was SUPPOSED TO LIKE – Lynsey Atkin.

“It relies on me finding people who aren’t afraid to be honest and not too worried about looking cool.” This is what Dave said to me when asking if I’d like to gather together some of my favourite adverts from that distant yet golden time before I knew anyone had ‘favourite adverts’. Well Dave, you got me. Honest? Deeply uncool? Two of my top personality traits, seeing as we’re dealing in preferences here. As someone who spent their formative yearsRead more

RORY SUTHERLAND: PART 2.

Finally! Not exactly hot on the heels of Part 1 – it’s been eighteen months. I wonder whether the fresh-faced, pre-pandemic Rory would’ve answered those questions in the same way today? The last eighteen months have probably changed us a bit. Just a reminder, the questions I asked back then were built around the idea of a new agency, as these are, like ‘how would you hire?’, ‘what kind of atmosphere would you want?’ etc. But rather than ask themRead more

WHAT I LIKED before I knew what I was SUPPOSED TO LIKE – George Tannenbaum.

I grew up in an advertising household. My father was a copywriter at a large, mediocre agency called Kenyon & Eckhardt. He lays claim to having written Brylcreme’s US slogan, “A little dab’ll do ya.” Later he rose to Chairman of that agency. Accordingly, even at a very young age, we paid attention to TV commercials. We watched them and often commented on them. My father also did work for Nabisco, now the horribly named “Mondelez.” Way back in blackRead more