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
Posts tagged: #BBH
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: 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
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
Another post about radio advertising. (Sorry.)
There may even be another one, along with Paul Burke I’m trying to track down the 100 best radio ads. (If you have any send them in.) But onto this one, one of the surprising joys of doing this blog is unexpected things that turn upon my doorstep. Proofs, agency brochures, old DVDs, all manner of ephemera. (Or ‘crap’ as my wife calls it.). It’s lead me to post blogs on David Abbott’s BT Pitch, Fallon McElligott’s Rolling Stone campaignRead 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
PODCAST: MARY WEAR
‘Remember how seriously we all took it? Not that we took ourselves seriously or that we didn’t have fun, but we just tried so, so hard to make great work. It may be chip paper to most people, but we’d really sweated every last detail. Even on the bad ads, we’d stay lat trying desperately to improve them. Like we were on a mission. It seemed so important.’ I enjoyed chatting to Mary. Although afterwards, I must confess, I wasRead 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
YE OLDE ADVERTS.
Before we start, full disclosure: I’m not anti old ads. I quite like them. But weirdly, a surprising number of creatives leaders don’t. At least, they say they don’t in public, I’m sure in private they must have a cheeky flip through the odd One Show annual now and again? They put out phrases next to their profiles like ‘All about the new’, ‘Future facing creative’, ‘Forwards, not backwards’ ‘I never look back’. It sounds so cool. Frankly, it makes meRead more
PODCAST: David Kolbusz.
When you start out in your advertising career, Pentel in one hand, MacBook in the other, you seem to be surrounded by good work. Awards books are choc-a-bloc with it. As you go on, year by year, you seem to see less and less. For example, the first D&AD Annual looked at probably had an 80/20 ratio of good to bad. 10 years later those percentages are likely to have flipped. As you move on you become less swayed byRead 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
Hands Up Who’s Heard Of Frank Budgen?
We’re smack bang in the middle of the age of collaboration. Any press release for a creative hiring now contains that reassuring phrase ‘Known for being collaborative’. (To me it always reads ‘We’re pleased to announce we’ve finally found a creative who will listen to us’.) The feeling the team had creating the work is as scrutinised as what they created. But collaboration means different things to different people. For most of the team it conjures up enjoyable meetings onRead more
Hands Up Who’s Heard Of MAD DOGS & ENGLISHMEN?
Remember Alessandro Volta? Douglas Engelbart? What about Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis? Thought not. Even if I asked who invented electric light, the computer mouse and social media, those names are still unlikely to come up. More likely, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg will spring to mind. They didn’t invent those ideas, they either stole from those guys or ‘built on their thinking’.But although now virtually forgotten, their work was crucial, take away their thinking would be likeRead 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
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: 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: 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: Tony Davidson. (Part 1.)
Sometimes, it’s difficult writing about people you know. On the one hand, you don’t want to offend them with a flip remark, like ‘no filter between his brain and mouth’, or ‘certified nut-job.’ On the other, and probably worse, you don’t want to get all gooey with guff like ‘only about the work’ or ‘incredibly consistent* since day one’. So I won’t bother, I’ll just let you listen and make your own minds up. (*Except for ‘Captain Chaos’.) STUDENT. BMP.Read more
NOT IN-CAMERA: Giles Revell.
Where did you grow up? The sleepy town of Sawbridgeworth, it’s on the Hertfordshire and Essex border. When did you take your first picture? There was no eureka moment, I inherited my grandfather’s Silver Ilford Sportsman.I do remember being intrigued by its beauty; a matt silver finish with shiny brown hinged leather case. I wore it across my waist in my early teens, but had no idea what I was doing with it. It felt sophisticated, technical, way beyond anything I’d ever come inRead more
INTERVIEW: H before BB, (John Hegarty).
I joined the business in 1985. The best agency seemed to be Bartle Bogle Hegarty. Every year ever since they’ve been in the top five, sometimes they’ve been in the top one. Their success has been very well documented, what did Sir John did before that hasn’t been. So… Where were you brought up? I was born in North London, although at that point Edgware wasn’t in London, it was in Middlesex, which doesn’t exist anymore. My family was living inRead more