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 – Vikki Ross.

Dave asked me to contribute to another one of his brilliant ideas – a series of posts by people in advertising talking about what ads they liked before they learnt what they were supposed to like. I never learnt what I was supposed to like. I didn’t study advertising at uni – I didn’t even go to uni. And I didn’t go to ad school – I didn’t know it was a thing until I started mentoring at School ofRead 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

WHAT I LIKED before I knew what I was SUPPOSED TO LIKE.

I read this psychologist’s theory once; everything we say we say to impress others. Everything. Like that, me starting this blog by quoting some psychologist’s theory in an effort to come across all intelligent. If it’s true, it could explain why asking people to name their favourite ads becomes an exercise in creating a cool, intelligent persona. You’ll can watch this live if you’re on an awards jury. This year there will be a lot of jurors positioning themselves asRead 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

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

BOSS No.5: Mark Denton.

Why advertising Mark? It all happened by accident. I was quite good at drawing as a kid and my Uncle had gone to Art School and had ended up as a Silversmith. The Dentons weren’t that imaginative (they all worked in the Family Scrap business) so ‘good at drawing’ meant that I should go to Art School too. My Mum thought I could get a job as one of those people who paint the patterns on the edge of platesRead more

HANDS UP WHO’S HEARD OF: John Fuckin’ Knight?

A few years ago I needed an old beer poster for a presentation. I knew the Art Director’s name – John Knight, so headed to Google – nothing! I then searched the agency name, the year, the writer’s name, the photographer’s name – nope! Desperate, I googled every every miss-spelling I could think of – diddly squat! I eventually found it after trawling through a ton of old awards books. While leafing through all those award winning ads from theRead more