Tuesday, November 28, 2006

This is brilliant. Much better than Zadie Smith's novel.

Clearly, The Muppets are better than Zadie Smith. Most things are... especially Hanif Kureishi, who I think she borrows from to the ninth degree.

Ahem. Literary conversations not withstanding, go here and read this now. It's very good.

Finished reading?

Yes, it was good, wasn't it. I'm still working on my credo. Not sure if it's either "I'll love it if it's beautiful" or "I'll believe something when I see it".

Closest I've got to it would probably be some Beckett (continuing the literary theme, see?):

"No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better"

I'm going to write something and attempt to justify it. But probably not half so well as Beeker does.

I've also learned a new word as a result of my web browsing - Weltanschauung (lit - 'Look onto the world'). Up there with Schadenfreud.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The road to no regret..

As well as being the title of a Scritti Politti song, it also describes how agencies should feel at the moment.

Sod all this 'advertising is dead, the consumer is king' talk... Yes, the consumer has more power to play with your brand like never before. But that's not to say that this can't be harnessed effectively, or offered up as part of a greater debate. Smart brands are debating with the consumer already, be they HSBC or AOL.

You can certainly make a colossal mess of things this way though, and not every brand needs to enter into a debate. However, much can be said for being the first brand to do so in your category, in much the same way as being the first brand to have a significant voice in your category, much like Innocent.

But again, not every brand can have this sort of voice. So what do you do? Well, by adopting the Bernbach maxim, as shown by Avis:

You make more of an effort. Position yourself as being happy where you are, offering either impeccable customer service, a niche, yet well thought of product. It's not rocket science.

However, keeping a large customer base satisfied is tantamount to . I think maybe only 3 or 4 large brands are able to manage it - the likes of Innoc.. yes, you've guessed it, John Lewis, Audi and probably VW. I'm sure there are others which I'm forgetting in the large brand stakes. Feel free to chip in with other examples..

And this applies to agencies as well. Yes, know about digital, open a virtual agency.. be innovative. But don't forget what you are damned good at, and if that happens to be a ballsy 90 second execution in primetime TV land, then so be it.

The way Campaign and several industry people are talking, you'd have thought advertising is more than content to let PR have all the interesting ideas. Maybe not 80's excess, but 80's ballsiness needs to return to adland.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Another question..

Hello all. Christ, I'm going on a posting frenzy.

Got another question for you, on a similar vein to the last one.

"Are there any agencies out there that can truly claim to be 'media neutral'? If so, which ones? If none, why?"

My opinion is that no, there aren't, not yet anyway, and I have a rambling theory about this (aren't they all?). I'd be interested to know what others think.

Oh, and I've added two more links. Check out a wannabe copywriter's attempts to break into the big leagues here, and a blog I've been meaning to add for a while, FishNChimps.

Marcus, Marcus, Marcus..

Marcus (picture lifted from Paul's site) has a blog, which as I've mentioned before is great.

That said, I have just been searching for the agency.com viral ad, and what did I find on Youtube? Yes, the aforementioned Mr Brown after a Subway sandwich... check it out:

I'm never going to be able to order a sub without thinking of the creative shirt again.

I didn't realise that you wrote poetry..I didn't realise you wrote such bloody awful poetry..

It's been a little while since I posted, so here we are then. This post was meant to be a Smiths lyric seguing neatly into why most agency websites are rubbish/unable to successfully promote themselves, but it's not going to do that.

Instead, I'd like to focus on publicity. Should agencies attempt to cash in on their efforts and publicise themselves? Decide for yourselves by watching these two choice clips:

So..uuh.. that's a no, on that evidence.

Or if you are going to be publicised, actually be famous for being good at something, like the Saatchi brothers, Trevor Beattie, or say, Ridley Scott, back in his Hovis ad directing days.

I think agencies can promote themselves, but have to tread incredibly carefully, lest they wind up looking like creative piss-artists. Lord enough of what goes on in agencies to the outside world at least (debating 'owning' colour, anyone?) looks like poncy wank.

That said, a little bit of clever PR (think Wieden and Kennedy and the Daily Mail and Rooney article) goes a long way.

If agencies can convince the outside world they talk something like sense, or are in touch with the cultural zeitgeist in the case of the Rooney article, then plaudits will follow. It's funny how many people believe you if you can say who you are in a confident voice.

However, act like a tosser (see above) and you've lost before you've even begun. And no, I don't think the agency.com viral was a parody, much as they claimed it was afterwards.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Well, that's one thing ticked off the list..

I've not gotten involved with Paul's experimental website (found here) but if I had done, I'd have mentioned something about learning to drive.

Well, now I can say I've done it. Many months of swearing, scaring the inhabitants of Worcester and generally being inept have gone by, but it's sorted.

Perhaps now those shiny Audi/BMW ads (or in fact, any car that has 4 wheels and moves) will have some effect on me. I don't necessarily want a car which has had nine thousand odd patents, just one which moves would be nice.

And now to tick off the other thing on my list. Y'know, the whole 'getting a real job' one.

Oh, and I hadn't mentioned this before, but a thanks to Marcus Brown for the link - read his blog, it really is very very good. And also, here's an additional link I found from Russell's blog, by a guy called Simon Law. His blog is also rather good. So read it...
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