In 1969, fourteen years after the first commercial aired in Britain, colour arrived. The bar was raised. Ambitious ads could now go beyond the over-lit, creakily acted black & white output from adland. Ads, well, the good ones, started to look like they could’ve been snipped from a movie. But they were still pretty formal. A couple of years later, a young producer decides he wants to stop producing ads and start shooting them Rather than chase the formal perfection,Read more
Posts tagged: #BMP
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
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 – Mark Denton
A funny thing happened the other day…I saw an advert on the internet and I went out and bought something. Don’t laugh, IT’S TRUE! The advert was for a TRIO bar and after seeing it I urgently needed a toffee/chocolate hit. Of course I couldn’t find a Trio anywhere (do they still make them?) so I had to make do with a Toffee Crisp. They (I bought a multi-pack) were very nice. I can’t remember what their advertising was likeRead 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
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
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
THE LOOKY-LIKEY AMALGAM.
I few months back I recorded a podcast with Richard Shotton, one of the brightest people in the business. Whilst preparing I read Richard’s book, The Choice Factory, it’s great, full of fascinating insights and observations on human behaviour and how we respond to marketing. Whilst taking in all this intelligent insight an interesting theory occurred to me; why don’t we just create ads that people like? Granted, it’s no theory of relativity, but it’s odd that it’s barely aRead more
The creative pitch: Companies invite agencies to present creative proposals on how to improve their marketing and therefore their bottom line. Best proposal wins. Wrong. For a start, clients run only one campaign for every 16 they are presented in pitches. (Thanks Martin Jones, AAR Guru & Brighton fan.) How can it be that fifteen of the sixteen agencies get the brief so wrong that they end up throwing their time, energy a work in the bin? Because, as I’mRead 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’? I guess Alan is his mate, so 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. I can’tRead 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: 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: 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
PODCAST: Dave Waters.
Starting out as a creative is tough. Most days are divided into two parts, first you squeeze out as many ideas as you possibly can, second you try not to give up when your creative director tells you they are all crap. Occasionally you may get a ‘nice’, that will keep you going until maybe two months later when you may get a ‘cool’, even an ‘ok’ buoy the spirits. Encouragement is crucial. The first person of any note to say nice aboutRead more
IN-CAMERA 3: John Claridge.
I did this ad for free. My theory was; get freelance work, do it free in exchange for a free hand. I thought it would allow me to get together better work than I could in my day job. At the time asking John Claridge to shoot your layout was like asking Jay Z to write your jingle. The chances are he’s going to say no, but if he said yes, you’d almost certainly have a good ad. He said yes. The result wasRead more
INTERVIEW: Andy McLeod.
Why advertising? I was quite quick tongued, bright at school, without being very academically gifted or driven. I cared about ‘stuff’ in general, zeitgeisty stuff; trends, tribes, what was cool what wasn’t, what was funny what wasn’t. I liked art and English at school and not much else. Got not very good A-level grades, which led me to Bristol Polytechnic to do a two year course in Business studies with advertising. The advertising bit of it was 1 hour aRead more
INTERVIEW: Jeremy Sinclair.
Occasionally, very occasionally, a client will ask me advice on how they should judge their advertising. It’s easy to tell a terrible ad from a great one, but it’s rare to have such a big gap between ideas. A more likely comparison be trying to assess average against quite good? good against great? Some creative people will advise that ‘If it’s right, you’ll feel it in your gut’. Sometimes true, but not really helpful. I tend to give them a copy of the page above.Read more