Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Ad Blog Charts For August 2007

Here are the world's most popular ad blogs, as measured by traffic rankings from Alexa.

Top 25 Ad Blogs (world
   ranking)
1     (1)AdRants28,723
2     (2)Advertising/Design Goodness  49,570
3     (3)Adverbox62,866
4     (4)Adverblog70,064
5     (5)AdFreak73,487
6     (6)Duncan's TV Ad Land78,545
7     (9)Ad Punch125,593
8     (7)Logic + Emotion127,410
9     (10)Adland137,651
10   (12)Copyranter140,324
11   (11)AdPulp140,668
12     (8)Coloribus146,898
13   (13)Jaffe Juice222,840
14   (14)Twenty Four264,031
15   (15)How Advertising Spoiled Me356,592
16   (16)AdScam357,618
17   (20)Experience Curve373,782
18   (17)Make The Logo Bigger399,741
19   (19)BrandFlakes for Breakfast403,513
20   (18)AdArena406,765
21   (23)Hee-Haw Marketing414,772
22   (re-)Advertising For Peanuts438,273
23   (22)American Copywriter459,612
24   (21)Beyond Madison Avenue518,555
25   (24)Welcome To Optimism569,585

Brilliant to see Copyranter in the Top 10. He's a god, isn't he? An angry god.

An ↑ means a blog's traffic has gone up by 15% or more in the past month, and a ↓ means it's gone down 15%.


Top 10 UK Ad Blogs (world
  ranking)
1   (1)Welcome To Optimism  569,585
2   (4)Adliterate621,484
3   (3)Scamp630,337
4   (2)FishNChimps636,110
5   (5)Crackunit656,933
6   (6)Faris767,712
7   (7)Northern Planner1.1m
8   (new)Serendipity Book1.4m
9   (10)TV's Worst Adverts1.5m
10   (8)Living Brands1.5m

New in at No.8 this month is the wonderful Serendipity Book by Lee McEwan. Well worth clicking on over.

UK means UK-based. Ad blog means ad blogs not marketing blogs, so that excludes Gapingvoid. Paul Colman doesn't class Life In The Middle as an ad blog and Russell Davies no longer blogs about advertising. Much. Also, I'm only counting English language blogs.

If I've missed anyone out, please tell me and I'll put them in next month.

Permanent Advertising


An extremely sad person has had adverts tattooed on his skin, and apparently is making good money from it. Story here.

Thanks to Doc Rogers for the tip.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tuesday Tip No. 24 - Don’t Be Afraid To Ask


When you’re a junior and you’re in the process of making an ad, whether it be TV, radio or print, and you’re sitting in a sound/editing/retouching studio, it's easy to feel pressured into saying ‘yes that’s looking good’, when your inner voice is thinking, ‘hmmm... i’m not sure... something doesn't feel right.’

Just come out and say it. Even if you’re not sure what’s wrong, it's better to register your concern there and then, rather than let it go. Because if you don’t, it’ll niggle at you, and you may regret it later.

And quite often... that little inner voice is right.

Thanks to RM for this one

Tip No.23 - Your Idea Has To Be 120%
Tip No.22 - Read Iain's Tips
Tip No.21 - Don't Behave
Tip No.20 - How To Discuss Ideas
Tip No.19 - Read Hugh's Tips
Tip No.18 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part IV - How To Turn A Placement Into A Job
Tip No.17 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part III - How To Approach Agencies (re-print of Tip No. 7)
Tip No.16 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part II - How To Put A Book Together
Tip No. 15 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part I - FAQ
Tip No. 14 - Make Friends With Traffic
Tip No. 13 - Get Reference
Tip No. 12 - Don't Stop Too Soon
Tip No.11 - Be Very
Tip No.10 - Breaking Up
Tip No.9 - Working Well With Your Partner
Tip No.8 - Finding The Right Partner
Tip No.7 - How To Approach Agencies
Tip No.6 - Never-Seen-Before Footage
Tip No.5 - Dicketts' Finger
Tip No.4 - Two Blokes In The Pub
Tip No.3 - Play Family Fortunes
Tip No.2 - Should You Take A Bad Job?
Tip No.1 - Don't Overpolish

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

Two New Creative Blogs

Oh happy day.

Where's My Jetpack has been around for a while, and I really should have linked to him before.

Mr. Jetpack is a copywriter in what he calls the Sub South (Deeper than the Deep South) of the U.S.

In a great post about billboards, called "No One Is Writing Down Your Number", he points out that no one EVER wrote down a phone number while they were travelling in a moving vehicle. Furthermore, you don't need to put www. in front of a word that ends with .com or .org or .biz - it's totally obvious you're talking about a web address. Quite right. He provides a telling before-and-after using the Jetpack method.



The second new creative blog is The Toad Stool by a New York-based copywriter/creative director.

Toad, as he styles himself, has a nicely snarky tone to his blog, and brings us this funny story about the sadness of Second Life:

In real life Mr. Hoogenstraat is an aging hippie who suffers from diabetes and chronic joblessness, in Second Life he is a muscular young entrepreneur with a fortune of some 1.5 million Linden (SL’s virtual currency) and a hot young Second Life wife. (Mr. Hoogenstraat’s SL avatar married a female avatar in a ceremony that was attended by several dozen other avatars. Really.) Mr. Hoogenstraat is able to “employ” a virtual security guard for one of his virtual malls. Which means that someone is logging on to SL to pretend to be a mall security guard.

I doubt we'll ever catch the Planners, but it's good to see more Creatives tapping away out there.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Clients Sabotage Their Own Ads

Say readers of this blog.


I asked a couple of clients of my acquaintance to defend themselves. Here's what "Anonymous Female Client" said:

So clients are to blame according to a poll amongst advertising creatives...now there's a surprise!

In reality I think everyone's a little bit to blame when an ad goes wrong, but to even out the scores I'm
going to vote for account management.

Account management is one of the most undervalued roles in an agency. You have to be a revolving ball - representing the client to creative and creative to the client. They have to be a mediator and negotiator. They have to communicate and provide the clarity which prevents the need for compromise on either side later on (when it is often too late). It's not an easy job. But I would say that poor account management skills are often to blame when ads don't turn out the way you want them to be.


And this is what an account-man turned client known as "Boggy" had to say:
Planners always take the credit when a campaign has been proven to be effective (but then it's them who's collated all the evidence), so you could argue that they should take the rap when it is ineffective.  If only it was that easy.

Each department has a different role in the ad process. The thing is, ineffective advertising can come if any part of that process breaks down.  Creatives can seduce teams and clients into buying the wrong creative, planners can deliver the wrong strategy, account men can fail to protect the idea from worried clients, and clients can get any part of their bit wrong at any stage.  The trouble is, its easy for creatives to blame clients, because ultimately it's they who buy the work, or fail to buy the obviously brilliant idea that they should have bought.  

In an ideal world, clients should get the work they deserve - brave clients should get great work and dull clients get crap work.  We all know, however, that that is rarely the case.  Plenty of brave clients have been sold short by poor work, and supposedly dull clients have had very effective work (Cillit Bang anyone?).

Long answer to say that there is no one culprit, but perhaps a plea for agencies to understand a bit better the pressure a client is under buying work. 

The process most commonly breaks down when the client doesn't trust the agency.  That can be because he loses faith in the creative, or disagrees with the strategy, or feels that the agency is just interested in awards/glory, or because under time pressure, the battle lines become drawn when there is no time to debate the issues or search for alternative approaches.

Clients often ask for alternatives to give them confidence that there will be at least a viable solution, whereas agencies always want the one perfect solution.  This creates tension, and this can cause the trust/faith to break down.  If agencies accepted the reality of the need for alternatives, and managed the situation from that reality, then they could probably avoid clients forcing the wrong solution due to fear..  Also, creatives should learn to talk to clients as partners in the process, and not the enemy - this will help build the trust/faith/understanding!


My own view? I don't blame account management that much. Yes, maybe sometimes they fail to sell a great campaign. But not often. I think creatives like to believe that everything they come up with is brilliant. It isn't.

Clients sometimes play things too safe, and buy the more conservative of two routes, or water work down, so that it ends up being too boring for consumers to be interested in. So they must take some blame too.

But the group that must shoulder the most blame, in my opinion, is the Planners. And surely this is fair? Effectiveness is their explicit responsibility. And it is the strategy that makes the work work, or not work (the power of the creative acts as a kind of amplifier, in most categories).

Sorry, Planners.

I still love you.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tuesday Tip - Read Iain's Tips


It would be remiss of me - nay, positively neglectful - if I failed to include The Seven Deadly Sins Of Digital (by Iain Tait from his Crackunit blog) as part of my Tuesday Tips series.

To be a successful creative you need more than just talent, Converse trainers, and the hide of a bullet-proofed rhinoceros.

You also need knowledge. Not a lot. But some.

And the most important knowledge you need is a comprehensive knowledge of what has already been done.

Why? Quite simply, so you know what not to do.

Iain Tait's 7 Deadly Sins is a wonderful primer for that. Make sure you've read it.

Tip No.21 - Don't Behave
Tip No.20 - How To Discuss Ideas
Tip No.19 - Read Hugh's Tips
Tip No.18 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part IV - How To Turn A Placement Into A Job
Tip No.17 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part III - How To Approach Agencies (re-print of Tip No. 7)
Tip No.16 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part II - How To Put A Book Together
Tip No. 15 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part I - FAQ
Tip No. 14 - Make Friends With Traffic
Tip No. 13 - Get Reference
Tip No. 12 - Don't Stop Too Soon
Tip No.11 - Be Very
Tip No.10 - Breaking Up
Tip No.9 - Working Well With Your Partner
Tip No.8 - Finding The Right Partner
Tip No.7 - How To Approach Agencies
Tip No.6 - Never-Seen-Before Footage
Tip No.5 - Dicketts' Finger
Tip No.4 - Two Blokes In The Pub
Tip No.3 - Play Family Fortunes
Tip No.2 - Should You Take A Bad Job?
Tip No.1 - Don't Overpolish

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Hype Starts Here


It seems filming has begun in New York City on the latest Bravia ad, the follow-up to "Balls" and "Paint."

Not much is known about the script, except that it involves Play-Doh. I must confess that I (along with everyone else in adland) am eager for news.

Fortunately, one of the Sony clients is Twittering from the shoot.

She has already revealed that she spent her first night in New York sipping gin & tonic at the Soho House rooftop pool bar.

Let's hope Frank is ready for her incisive comments...