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
Posts tagged: #David Abbott
WHAT I LIKED before I knew what I was SUPPOSED TO LIKE – Paul Burke
My childhood, to put it mildly, was not a middle class one, so I was spared that haughty parental diktat to watch BBC and not ITV. Thames and LWT were our channels of choice which meant that I grew up watching Opportunity Knocks, Benny Hill, Man About the House and The Sweeney. Good job too because watching the commercial break during every episode of On the Buses turned out to be the perfect preparation for my future career. I mustRead more
Podcast: MICHAEL WOLFF
Leap before you look. That’s written on the back of Michael’s business cards. He prefers instinct over logic; everyone can access to logic, so they all end up in the same place. At Wolff Olins he took a brief to rebrand a paint company, now most would end up with rainbows, peacocks or some colourful iconography. Not Michael. He chose a fox, because ‘the owner reminded me of a wily fox’. When Bowyer’s needed a new logo, Michael went withRead more
You can’t advertise a product unless you can get attention. You can’t get attention without standing out. You can’t stand out without being different. You can’t do different if you think the same. If you think different, you’re are different. But, being different is a problem in ad agencies. A BBH Planner once complained ‘the problem with this place is they can’t accommodate black sheep’. Equally, I doubt TBWA embrace disruptive people to create disruptive work. Why hire people who challengeRead 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
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
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
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 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
PITCH: David Abbott/BT.
“Hey Dave, I’ve got something you might want to share on your blog. It’s 30 minutes of David Abbott pitching the famous BT Bob Hoskins campaign, direct to camera, apparently for some BT big-wigs who missed the original presentation. Not only is it a lovely piece of advertising history, it’s also a masterclass for any creative about to step into pitching. I found it when I was at AMV and had to present a re-pitch for the entire BT account.Read 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
DAVID ABBOTT’S SAINSBURY’S CAMPAIGN. By Richard Foster.
Some things are made for each other.Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Strawberries and cream. Parma ham and mango (see below). To this list of perfect partnerships we must add another: Sainsbury’s and Abbott Mead Vickers. It all started one afternoon in 1979 when David Abbott’s secretary put a call through to him saying there was someone from Sainsbury’s on the line. David thought it was his local Sainsbury’s, where his wife regularly shopped. It wasn’t. It was Peter Davis, theRead 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
GREEN BOOKS: Dave Hieatt
This book was glued and cellotaped together before Hiut Denim, The Do Lectures, Do Books and Howies were even a glint in Dave’s eye.It’s nearly 30 years old.But it’s so them.It features the same ingredients that shine through those companies today – humanity, ecology, wit, positivity, a wide-eyed curiosity and a kind of folksy down home vibe.In fact, if you wanted to make a Dave Hieatt pie, here’s the recipe book.Read more
David Abbott Talks.
Le Corbusier – Dinosaur! Coco Channel – Granny! Paul Rand – Has-been! Irving Penn – Neanderthal! Saul Steinberg – Silly Old Fart! Looks weird doesn’t it? Because we’re not used to seeing those people disrespected, they’re lauded for their part in elevating their profession. Especially by those in the same industry, who study their every idiosyncrasy to inform their own creative output. It enables all of us who follow to start further down the page. It’s why all creative industries striveRead more
The bit between the Me Pt. 1 and Me Pt. 2 podcasts.
Usually when I do these an interview or podcast, the challenge is trying to find the persons work, some people have not a scrap. (Yes, I’m talking about you Jeff Stark! And I haven’t forgotten you either Sid Myers!) I also like to add a bit of ephemera, for some colour, but it’s rare to come across that. The challenge this time was what to leave out; the CDD phone lists, the Mercedes meeting notes or internal memo? InRead more
Len Weinreich’s corkboard.
One of the side-effects of putting out this blog has been the people I’ve met. Take Len Weinreich, whilst trying to find Paul Leeves work for an upcoming podcast, I came across Len, it turns out he lives down the road from me. Alan Parker had referred to him as ‘the bloke who taught me everything I know about advertising’, Dave Trott said he gave him the best piece of advice on advertising he ever got and Paul Leeves simply saidRead more