Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dave Trott - Live Chat All Day

Following last week's mini-furore, Dave Trott has agreed to do a live webchat here.

The subject under discussion - along with whatever else you want to ask him, I suppose - will be "Is Dave Trott's classic text 'How To Get Your First Job In Advertising' still relevant?"

Put your points to Dave in the comments on this post, and he will reply in the comments. Dave will be around from 9am until going-home time, though there may be a slight outage between 12.30 and 3.30 as he has a meeting.

If you want to have another look at Dave's booklet or haven't seen it yet, you can download it here.

You can also vote on this subject, in a poll just over there to your right.

246 comments:

1 – 200 of 246   Newer›   Newest»
Scamp said...

I'm going to kick things off with the first question myself.

Dave, your booklet is 30 years old. A lot has changed in the world, and in the world of advertising.

How much of it do you still stand by today?

Dave Trott said...

Hi Scamp, that advice was written 30 years ago when there were no advertising courses in the UK.
Just students with Graphic Design portfolios wondering why they couldn't get jobs.
Just basic bog-standard here-is-why-we-do-what-we-do.
Lift up the bonnet, see how the engine works, now go and build your own.
Once you know the rules you can break but (as with any sport) you need to know the rules first.

rjhayter said...

As a primer for the very basics of advertising, Mt T's advice is still relevant. The process he describes is the same today – only we have more ways to deliver the story than he did 30 years ago.

Dave Trott said...

Sorry I didn't answer your question.
What I stand by today is that everything we do should have a reason, a logic based in our purpose. Not just subjective, indulgent, entertainment.
Form follows function.
We are in the mass communication business, not fine art.
That booklet is a start point for the logic of our function.
It's not the be-all and end-all of what we do, but it should be the basic minimum.

Anonymous said...

If it was always the other way round, fun first then stick product on the end, would you still be in the business?

S.

Dave Trott said...

To rjhayter, you're absolutely right. Once you've learned the basics of why we do what we do it's time to get creative with it.
That advice wasn't about being creative, it was about a discipline for our particular creativity.
Obviously if everyone did exactly what it says in the book, and nothing more, every portfolio would look identical.
I find creative people are rebels and rejects, so I don't expect blind acceptance of anything.
But the principle of always having to have a reason for hat you do is always valid.

Anonymous said...

What's the reason or logic in Wassup, Gorilla, Levi's backflip virals, Flat Eric...?

Rob said...

morning dave,

what do you think about cadburys 'gorilla' and the strategy behind it?

The Anonymous said...

What do you miss most about the old days?

Dave Trott said...

To anonymous. Fun first then stick the product on the end was the sort of crap that passed for advertising thinking in the old days.
That's exactly what Bill Bernbach was rebelling against.
Young people coming into the business nowadays don't remember the bad brainless old days, so they think it's new.
I just think it's dull and lazy, and frankly insulting to the audience.

Dave Trott said...

Guys, if you put some sort of name on the front of your comments we can work out which reply goes to who.
Otherwise it gets messy and hard to read.
Come on, we're supposed to be in the communication business.
Don't just sign it anonymous.

Dave Trott said...

Gorilla was a brilliant integrated strategy, it wasn't just a commercial.
The real star was the PR in the daily papers, that made everyone go to YouTube (millions more watched it there than ever saw in on TV).
People then either talked about it or passed it on.
And it's all free.
Then the sales force can sell that phenomena into the CTNs.
You have a massive increase in facings at POS, so many more sales.
Classic 'push' versus 'pull' strategy.
But an integrated TV/pr/digital/ sales-force campaign.
Not just a TV ad.

James said...

I think it is naive to think that we know more about advertising now than we did 30 years ago. Especially as the landscape is changing and evolving so rapidly.

Surely, as Dave said, we should start from the basis that we nothing and build from there?

Dave Trott said...

The logic in Wassup is that Budweiser (in the States at least) was the number one selling beer.
In that case you do 'market growth' not 'brand share' advertising.
Wassup is just a strategy that says real guys are slobs, they have lots of fun, and they drink lots of beer.
So if you want to have fun use our catch phrase and drink beer.
You don't even have to remember it's for Bud because they are way the biggest.
Any increase in beer sales benefits them much more than anyone else.
'Market growth' usually only works if you're number one.
Which is why most advrtising doesn't work.
Lazy people copy succesful ads without ver working out the logic.

]-[appy Thought said...

Hi Dave, I was one of the last of the Bucks students ever to come along to WTCS with Zelda Malan and, although crushing at first, I found your teachings about ad theory to be the most useful part of my 3 years.

I don't know if you still work with students at all, but do you think ad courses at universities are a problem or solution to producing the ad talent of the future?

(Incidentally, myself and my partner took your words to heart from the get go and made sure our work had a point and as much energy as we could cram in it. We even turned our team into a brand with an SMP and sold ourselves to our target agencies. Because of this we got a job 3 months after graduating, we hope you'd be proud of that.)

Lunar BBDO said...

Mr Trott sir,

Your work at BMP and the output of your eponymous agency was the stuff of beautiful genius.

If I'm honest, though, I'm less aware of your more recent output.

Are you achieving similar results but in a less showy way, and is this down to a change in the industry or your own methods?

Andrea said...

So if you can work, want to, everything is all good but you're a student and therefore fit in a social cliché that can only work 20 hours a week according to UK laws and therefore no one wants you, then what?

Gordon Comstock said...

Hello Mr. Trott,

What the devil were you thinking when you made this Sacla ad:

http://tinyurl.com/5254x4

?

Dave Trott said...

One of the anymouses (anonymii ?)asks what I miss most about the old days?
Not much really, overall I like it better now.
But creatives weren't such herd creatures then, ("The answer's digital now what's the question?")
And creativity was more to do with out thinking your competitors than just pulling a bigger stunt or finding a newer piece of technology.
Advertising had to have some logic based in what you were selling and to who.
Which brings us back to the booklet, and does it have any relevanc today?

Gordon Comstock said...

And (scamp) that's an "Art of..." endline - but in Italian.

Javier said...

Mr Trott,
You're 23 again, coming out of uni. What agencies would you want to work for today? On which basis? (Can't say yours, of course).

boot1947 said...

"30 years ago when there were no advertising courses in the UK."

Strange - I thought I was on the Watford advertising course more than 30 years ago. Must have been a figment of my creative imagination.

Dave Trott said...

)-(appy Thought: Brilliant, well done.
The lesson (as you obviously know) is that energy will always beat talent.
90% of advertising doesn't work.
In fact 90% of everything doesn't work.
(That includes art schools and UNIs.)
So make sure you're in the 10% that does and you can cpitalise on th other 90%.
That's called Predatory Thinking, which is what all creative thinking actually is.
Well done, glad you're in the 10%.

kiki said...

isnt cadbury's gorilla fun first then stick a product at the end? The strategy can work virtually for anything. Isnt that the most obvious example of advertising that just associated the product with something cool

PH said...

Dave
I'm a copywriter with little 'digital' experience, having worked solely in ATL.
Am I about to become obsolete?
(Sorry, nothing to do with your
booklet but interested in your thoughts)

Dave Trott said...

Lunar BBDO. Fair point, but how you judge the work I've done depends on what you like yourself.
At BST we did an ad I was really proud of for Tate & Lyle Golden Syrup with Aardman and Spike Milligan that got voted most popular ad by readers of the Sun.
More recently Anna and Elaine (here) have just done a Crusha ad that they tell me has had over a million hits on YouTube.
We're running a Bob Geldof, Stephen Hawking, Germain Greer, Alan Sugar campaign for NS&I.
The first Alan Sugar ad pulled £3 BILLION while it was running.
Like I said, you pick the criteria by which you judge the advertising.
Does it entertain and amuse you, or does it do the job it was designed to so.

Dave Trott said...

Boot 1947: what's your point?

Anonymous said...

Dear Dave,
someone is trying to get an undeserved pay raise at your agency.

Your Crusha ad has 250,00 hits. There's a video with the Crusha song with +1m hits but it's not your ad.

Lunar BBDO said...

I think that's the answer I was looking for.

Thank you very much.

(Anna and Elaine might be fibbing to the tune of 750,000 hits, though).

Dave Trott said...

Gordon Comstock. The brief was that no one could remember the name of the brand.
Even the people who bought it regularly.
This was allowing the sector to become commodotised and own-label to take share from Sacla.
So, with a tiny budget, the brief was to take brand ownership of Pesto.
We only had an OTS of 2 or 3.
Subtlety isn't going to work in that situation.
The week after the advertising ran Sacla told us they had their best day's sale in the UK ever.
Now when I mention Sacla to anyone they do a little drumming motion on the table.
Retailers know that Sacla owns the Pesto market.
It's like Mourinho said about Wenger.
Do you want pretty football or do you want winning football?

Anonymous said...

i want to play pretty winning football

Anonymous said...

Do you agree with Beattie that ads over more than 5 years old are naturally teribble?

Dave Trott said...

Kiki, I take your point and it's true that a lot of modern advertising is just that.
Do a big stunt and put any product name on the end. The Cadbury's Gorilla ad worked for me because it went back to the basics of how we buy chocolate.
No one watchs an ad and runs out to the shops. You go to the shop and choose from what they've got on display. So the job of the advertising is to support your sales force in selling it in. The brilliant part was the link by the PR to YouTube which created something for the sales-force to use.
Don't judge advertising on its own, it doesn't work on its own, it's part of a mix.
A football team is more than just strikers.
Someone's got to win the ball in the first place (account men) pass it out to the winger (planners) they put in a cross to the target man (creative director) he lays it off to the strikers (creatives).
Sorry about the football analogy.
It works for me but you may have to find your own analogy for the process.

Javier said...

Mr Trott.
VW's Think Small, The Guardian's Points of View, Guiness' Surfer and more recently Sony's Balls.

That's pretty and winning.

Sorry, but Sacla is shouting at people. The kind of thing Bernbach and Webster were opposed to.

anna said...

Just want to clear up the liar pants on fire /undeserved pay rise crusha kittens thing.

We know the ads only had 250,00 and yes, it was a spoof that had over a million. I think it got lost in translation.

Hi Dave.

Anonymous said...

Oh, God. Pretty every time.

And, as in Arsenal's unbeaten season and Man U last season, you can have both. Chelsea never managed that. Win ugly, play ugly, do business ugly. Have everyone hate you.

I just mentioned Sacla in the office and nobody drummed their fingers. In fact, nobody had a clue what I was talking about. And we work in advertising.

Ant M said...

Hi Dave,

When I was starting out (mid ’90s), I was massively inspired by your booklet, mainly because it made it clear to me that this industry is totally no-bullshit. Lots of young people starting out seem to want to get into advertising because they think it’s ker-azeee fun. Clearly setting out the point that it’s about solving concrete business problems - not being wacky for the sake of it - hit home. It seemed like something worth devoting a career to – not another thing to lark about with. Also, the thing about your mum knowing more than you always put things in brilliant context. The smartarse part of me (and, I guess of many young creatives) wanted to say, “That can’t be right.” But the more I’ve gone on, the truer I’ve realised it is. I still give photocopies of the booklet to young creatives (along with a recommendation to read ‘Hey Whipple, Squeeze This’). Anyway, I just wanted to ask which agencies you think are worth a damn these days…?

Dave Trott said...

I don't agree that all ads over 5 years old are all terrible, and I bet he doesn't really either.
I bet he's being provocative, which I am a big fan off.
At least it shakes people out of their lethargy and starts a debate.
In investigating, and defending or attacking a position you're forced to think. That's always good.
My position about old stuff is don't knock it until you can beat it.
A thing isn't automatically better just because it's newer.
Crap is crap whenever it was made, same for good stuff.

Anonymous said...

To address the naive amongst those leaving comments...there is a world outside the top 10 advertising agencies.

Gorilla, Balls, (Basically all things Fallon etc) exist to influence mass consumers, Crusha, Sacla (considering the scale of the brands) have probably experienced as much success (relatively) to these larger brands whilst also prooving effective.

CST (from a neutral point of view)is one of the fewer 'old school' agencies that actually philosophises AND practices strategic creative thought, a brand before channel approach. The case studies on the CST website are a clear indication as to the nature of CST...perhaps those wishing to learn more about Dave Trott's recent success should migrate to cstadvertising.com, and those wishing to discuss 'How to get into advertising' should think of some interesting questions.

As for youtube hits...I envy the person who has enough spare time to clarify such statements... it is obviously quite clear why this person is reading a forum discussing 'how to get a job...'

Dave Trott said...

Hi Javier. I agree with you that Webster and Bernbach wouldn't like some of my stuff.
I'm not trying to be either of those people. I'm trying to learn from them, not copy them.
John Webster and I worked together for 10 years.
Sometimes we agreed sometimes not.
If you try to copy people all you'll ever be is a second-best version of that person.
Listen to everyone, take what works, leave what doesn't.
How you put it together is what makes you different.
Which takes us back to the booklet.
Good people won't swallow it whole and regurgitate it parrot fashion.
They'll take what works and leave what doesn't.
It's not rocket science.

john dodds said...

Do you think that marketing departments have got worse over time and that too many of them today are happy to be administrative silos outsourcing all their functions and being led by those agencies, rather than thinking strategically about their sector and guiding the agencies along a consistent, coherent and co-ordinated course?

Holly said...

Reading about how to get a job these days doesn't mean you need one. I'm reading this discussion and I've got a job.

I actually think it's quite interesting how difficult it is for grads to get into the industry in any department. Suits and planners don't have it much easier than we do.

Dave, do you have any ideas for how to make it easier for grads to get in without opening the floodgates? There are hordes of people trying to get into our industry, and a lot of them are really good, but how do we pick those out of the masses of wannabes?

jack said...

To touchy anon,

I think it's reasonable to correct Dave on his erroneous stat ('so they tell me' does sound like a bit if a fudge. He couldn't look up these million hits himself? bollocks).

And we all remember Gertcha and Ello Tosh becuse they were part of the culture (along with LWT and Holsten Pils). It'd be nice if we didn't have to check a website to know what Mr Trott's up to.

And don't be so bloody rude. The questions and points have been pretty reasonable so far. Your defensiveness only reflects badly on yourself.

Dave Trott said...

Javier. I'd like to clarify one more thing about your Bernbach, Webster question.
I'm not as good as either of those people.
So what do I do, give in, pack up and go home?
Or do I try to find a way to compete with people who are better than me?
I think, if you went to art school and you're creative, you choose the latter.
Besides it's more fun to be the underdog.
I'm not as good as them and, as long as I play by their rules, I'll loose.
So change the rules to ones which I can win at.
You don't always get to advertise the best product, with the biggest budget.
Sometimes you have to beat someone who's bigger and better than you.
Isn't that more fun?
I think that's called being creative.
You may also call it cheating and that's okay by me.

Dave Trott said...

Jack. Do me a favour mate.
I'm trying to hold 7 conversations at once here.
So I shout up the corridor, "Girls, how many hits did your Crusha ad get, 80,000 was it?"
Anna said "More than that, 250,000 I think."
Elaine said "A million if you count the spoof."
So mea culpa mate, you win, well spotted.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 10:44 AM,
Touched a nerve, didn't I? I understand your hostility. I'd feel the same if was caught telling lies in front of my boss.

To satisfy your curiousity, I do have a job in one of those top 10 agencies that for some reason - frustration possibly - you refer to with such disregard.

I however appreciate your concern about how do I my time these days. Trust me, it's far more interesting than writing Crusha ads. I'll be all right, don't worry.

jack said...

Yay!!!!!!!

Dave Trott said...

Hi Holly, I always tell grads that you are now the most important product you'll ever have to advertise.
This is a real life situation.
Your target market is creative directors.
You are the product, the brand, the client, the planner, the media, department, the writer and the art director.
You'll never again have a situation where you are in so much control as you are now.
So research your market thoroughly.
Research your product/brand and decide what make it different.
Why should your target market want it.
Then get creative in all those other areas.
If you're any good it has to work.

Holly said...

That's good advice for grads, Dave, but it seems a bit unfair for suits and planners. I mean a graduate planner knows who their target market is and what their strategy is, but are they really expected to have copywriting and art directing skills in order to get their job application noticed?

We've seen all sorts of bonkers strategies to getting jobs - CVs printed on cakes, crazy mailpacks and so on. But it seems to me we're probably missing out on some good candidates because they're not as good a creative as they are a suit/planner, and nor should they be.

Anonymous said...

Do you think the quality of digital advertising depends more so on the product than traditional advertising?

Dave Trott said...

John Dodds. Hi John, I think the problem is that no one's doing much thinking, not just the client.
The current brief seems to be 'We want another Gorilla'.
Well copying someone else is always lazy thinking.
I don't think the agency that did the gorilla ad was copying anyone else.
I think they started off with a problem and worked their way to a logical integrated solution.
I do think keeping media and creative in seperate silos is responsible for a lot the knee-jerk conveyor-belt 'creative' non-thinking.
As you say, clients can buy different bits from different places, which removes the chance of 'the whole being greater than the sum of the parts'.
Many clients now come to an agency with an answer, not a question.
So the agency becomes a chemist shop, not a doctor.
I always thought the best clients practiced 'tight targets, loose controls' instead of 'tight controls, loose targets'.

Dave Trott said...

Anon: 10.44am. I assume that was a reply to one of the other bloggers.
I can't see what it's got to do with me.
Let me know if it's something you wanted a reply on.

Dave Trott said...

Hi Holly. Sorry I thought your question was about creatives. I've never given advice to suits and planners as far as I know. That's not really my area so I don't know what the problems are. I agree the problems are way different to creatives though.

Anonymous said...

to the egoistic 11:08 anonymous from the 10:44 anonymous

I do not work for CST, therefore Dave Trott is not my boss...I just have much respect for people who have shaped the industry and inspired many of today's young talent.

As for top 10 agencies...I never disregarded them I just think that there is a world outside them (and thank f*ck there is - it means passionate communications advocates can work on interesting brands without having to costantly work next to penis size advocates such as yourself). As for writing crusha ads - a good creative enjoys something different - then again a bad creative relies on heavily bold and obvious brands to find inspiration - never mind...as for you being all right - try being half left, perhaps a little more logical, rational - not just random!

Dave Trott said...

Javier, I missed your earlier question on which agencies would I work for today?
The obvious answer is anywhere you can get a job, then work your way up to a better one.
Agencies I admire nowadays?
There are lots but I am always impressed with the rigour of BBH's thinking.
Over the years a lot of their creativity comes from the briefing, not just the creativity.
Of course their creative is stylish and attractive.
But their strategic thinking is what it seems to me no one else does.
This is what gives their creative department such an unfair advantage.
Creativity doesn't just happen in the creative departmnt at this agency.
Just like goals aren't just scored by strikers.
And I would point you towards their logo: the black sheep.
And their motto: when the world zigs, zag.
Don't know what it's like to work there, but I do admire them.

Ant M said...

Dave, you know when you say to work "anywhere you can get a job, then work your way up to a better one"? What about when that first job/first few jobs shapes your portfolio in a certain way and you end up miles away from the kind of agency you wanted to be at? Any thoughts on how to get back on track?

holly said...

Yeah, I was talking about creatives really. And then I went off on a tangent.

Do you go to anything like D&AD New Blood to look for new creatives to recruit? It seems to me that even when there are vacancies for creatives, the agencies don't make much effort beyond contacting their usual recruitment agencies. I suppose it's the usual supply and demand problem - there are heaps of creatives desperate for a job, so the agencies don't have to try very hard.

But I'd like to think that when/if I'm ever a CD, I'll go to the degree shows and New Blood and try to find applicants in less usual places.

What channels do you use when recruiting, Dave? Just recruitment agencies? Would you consider opening it up a bit more as an experiment?

(I'd like to reiterate here that I'm a happily employed copywriter and not asking these questions for my own nefarious purposes).

Dave Trott said...

Holly, We don't usually take placements, I don't like students.
Lazy useless spongers.
But we did take two girls from Bucks a while back for a fortnight. They worked so well we offered them another fortnight. Then they had work running. They said they wanted to leave to get a job. We couldn't afford to let them go. So we fired another team to make room for them.
The lesson is, even if there aren't any jobs, you can make a job for yourself.
Knock one of the fat cats out of it.
Energy will always beat talent.

holly said...

Surely if placement students are working for long stretches doing agency work for nothing, it's the agency that's sponging, not the students?

Dave Trott said...

Ant M, Use a bad agency for a job, don't use it for improving your portfolio. You have to do that on your own time.
Obviously if you only put in your portfolio what you're getting out of a bad agency, your book won't improve.
A potential creative director doesn't want to see how good your current agency is, he/she wants to see how good you can be.
And that's up to you, as always.
Don't let the place you're working be the limit of your possibilities.
That's just dumb.

Dave Trott said...

I've never seen the value of students.
They sit in a room and do nothing except take up space.
Girls like the two I talked about weren't waiting for anyone.
They were in a hurry and they using any agency as a stepping stone.
That's what I'm looking for.

Lee said...

I resent that comment Dave, I work damn hard thank you very much

rjhayter said...

Mr T: now we have big "ATL" agencies taking online-only accounts, and "digital" agencies winning through-the-line briefs, do you think we're heading back to a full-service agency model? And do you think that's a good thing? Finally, have you seen work from digital agencies that you really admire?

J said...

Dave,

I'm in my early thirties and have been a Creative Director of a small agency for the last two years, previously at a very good big agency. I am un happy there, because I find the clients very small, mostly little bits of press and no TV. I also find I spend more of my day dealing with writing briefs for the planners and sorting out admin than doing ads. I'm in two minds to stay and give it one last chance or leave and become a Creative in a good agency again.

What would you do?

borat said...

Maybe the reason you don’t like students is because you resent them, student try to get placements at places that they would like to work and the students that are attracted to your agency are rubbish, which is indicative of the reputation of your agency.

James said...

just found that new ns&i ad on youtube

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=LZSwltTLNvs

big names admittedly, but do you think the era of celebrities is over?

Javier said...

Thanks for your replies, Mr T.

I just want to add that I come from a culture where no team or creative director gives advice for free.

That certainly puts things into perspective, doesn't it? People in the UK are so lucky to have guys like you, Scamp and many others generous enough to offer their time. Thanks.

Dave Trott said...

rjhayter. All I know is that the best ideas work whether technology changes or not.
When Spielberg made Saving Private Ryan he copied Capa's images shot on a Leica.
When Ridley Scott shoots anything with the latest Hollywood cameras he copies Velasquez who did it with a paintbrush.
The best DPs copy Carravagio.
Plus ca change....

motty said...

It's half time here at the Scamp Blog Trott Chat and we've seen some FANTASTIC action.

Started a little bit hesitant, but by midway through the half we had several people calling Dave on his economical use of the truth. Dave batted back with customary mardiness with good support from Anon 10.44.

Further shots at Dave's weakness, the low quality of his current ads, seemed to get his defence(iveness) going with Dave claiming that he couldn't care less about his ads being invisible because people tap on the table when he mentions Sacla. Back of the Net! (not)

Then a late flurry of student enquiries really left Dave exposed. 'They're all workshy scroungers' didn't go down that well with the workshy scroungers, leading to the decisive blow that had been bubbling under all half: 'you're shit and you know you are' from Borat.

What will the second half hold? Can the Buddhist battler keep it up or will he crumble under the weight of resentment piling up from the blogosphere.

Back to the studio.

Dave Trott said...

borat. I don't have time for people who have it in their heads that they are students and deserve special treatment.
The second you graduate you are not a student anymore, you are an unemployed copywriter or art director.
I have a lot of time for people who have made that change in their head.
The second you graduate the free ride is over and you are now competing with every other writer and art director.
If you are any good all you will want is a fair chance to compete with other professionals.
If you can't get your head round that then you stay a student.

Dave Trott said...

Motty: nicely written, very funny.

Borat said...

I didn’t say I was a student did I? Its you who used that terminology to begin with, I think my point still stand though, your view of student/graduates is based on the student/graduates your agency attracts which is not representative in my opinion of the graduates I’ve encountered.

markymail said...

Dave,
Tell us about your first portfolio. Anything in it that sticks in your mind?

Dave Trott said...

Thanks Javier, very nice of you to say so.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

I spend over 50% of my time dealing with graduates (unemployed creatives) and find the biggest obstacle they have to them developing is their teachers.

They are not lazy, unimaginative or too arrogant. They are simply unprepared for the "real world" of agency life and aren't even permitted to get their foot in the door.

Should it not be the industry's responsibility to help plug this gap in the education of the students?

Dave Trott said...

Borat. Maybe I'm not making myself clear.
My point is that everyone sets their own limits by how they choose to see themselves.
If they see themsleves as students then they are competing in the wrong set.
You may well be better than other students, but agencies don't employ students.
They employ copywriters and art directors.
The minute anyone decides they are an art director or writer (whether they've got a job or not)they change their competitive set and begin competing at a higher level.

Dave Trott said...

Anonymous 1.11pm.
Absolutely agree that the gap is between the academic world and the real world.
That is why Tony Cullingham at Watford is so succesful. He uses advertising professionals to train his students.
That's why we started the D&AD student workshops 30 years ago, for the same reason.
That's why I lecture at 7 colleges each year.
I think it's up to the teachers to get the professionals involved.
And if the teachers won't do it it's up to the students themselves to do it.
They're not children, they're all over 18 and so legally adults.

Anonymous said...

campaign is dead.

what a brilliant thread.

Dave Trott said...

Markymail. The first portfolio I had I put together at art school in New York.
I came back to the UK and mailed copies of it to 50 agencies.
I got 20 replies.
2 offered jobs (Peter Mayle and John Webster).
So that's a 96% rejection rate.
30 years ago it was boring to go round one agency at a time asking for book crits.
It still is, and people still do it.

(If you're interested in what was in the book I can remember some of it.)

holly said...

Dave, I understand your point about student mindsets, but be realistic. You've got two CVs in front of you. They both say "art director" at the top but one has no experience listed (or a few placements) and one has previous jobs. Which one are you going to pick?

It's just not true to say that graduates who call themselves ADs/CWs are suddenly competing on the same level as employed professionals. As a graduate, to get a job you have to find an agency that are actively looking for a graduate (usually for budget reasons) and not very many are.

It seems the attitude is "why train your own when you can just poach someone else's?". Do you agree?

Anonymous said...

i'm not even a student and i've found this enlightening.

really.

thanks dave.

Dave Trott said...

Holly. Not at the good agencies.
You don't look at the CV, you don't look at the face, sex, race, or anything but the work in the book.
As a creative director you want to know who will make your department turn out better work?
That's all, that's what pays your mortgage.
Someone dull with experience is not so good as someone exciting with no experience.
Now that may not be true for all agencies.
But it is true for the best ones.
That's what I love about our business.
At it's best it's harsh, cruel, ruthless, but fair.

pisspoorenglish said...

Here's a question regarding the booklet thingy:

If you had to add one chapter tomorrow, what would it be about?

Angry Scott said...

Scamp, a bit quiet today, aren't we?
Where's all that rubbish you were saying about Mr T being dangerous?

Will Peter Souter have the balls of joining us at some point?

Dave Trott said...

pisspoorenglish. Good question, I think it would be when to ignore everything you just read.

Ant M said...

Dave, that story about firing the creative team and hiring the girls from Bucks is brilliant. Did the team that got fired take it on the chin?

Angry Scott said...

Here's a serious question, Dave.
Do you think creatives have an expiration date?

pisspoorenglish said...

Ah, well that's always good advice.

Scamp said...

angry scott - don't worry, I'm here! Host has no need to speak when guests are chatting merrily.

Dave Trott said...

Ant M. Well the English view is that it's cruel to fire someone from a job.
The American view is that it's cruel to keep someone who's not up to it in a job, while a team who deserve the job are walking the streets.
I subscribe to the American view.

Dave Trott said...

Angryscott. What amazes me is that ageism is still legal. Every other ism: racism, sexism, nationalism, has been outlawed.
I think you just judge the piece of paper not who wrote it.
Assuming people are clever just because they're young is a bit Cliff Richard in 'Summer Holiday' or the Monkees 'We're the young generation and we've got something to say."
I'm always suspicious of people who have to hide in groups.
Look at Paul Arden, judge the work not the bloke that did it.

Anonymous said...

Do you wanna buy some pegs Dave?

Angry Scott said...

"Look at Paul Arden, judge the work not the bloke that did it"

Unless he's wearing ugly trainers according to Scamp's fashion tips.

Dave Trott said...

Angry Scott. I always used to disagree with Paul Arden about young people.
Paul always enjoyed having them around and cut them extra slack just because they were young.
I always told him I thought this was patronising and the percentage of crap young people was the same as the percentage of crap old people.
But Paul disagreed, he preferred young people.

James said...

David, two questions.

1. Give us a preview of that new chapter. When should we ignore your booklet?

2. How important were awards in your career as a Young Creative?

3. The biggest lesson you learned from John Webster

Thanks
James, Central Saint Martins

Anonymous said...

sitting in a cab in new York city reading one of my ad heroes battle it out with the youngsters. And he mentions my work! Technology is great. Thank you mr. Trott.

ricardo said...

What about gays, Dave?

Why is advertising so homophobic? I want to come out but the closest I came is playing Girls Aloud on my itunes. My boss still said it was gay but I fooled him by wearing an Iron Maiden T-shirt the next day.

There is no room for tolerance for pootaz like me :-(

James said...

Oopsie, I meant 3 questions.

Anonymous said...

@ 2:27 PM
It isn't you Paul, is it?
If it is, I'm bitter. How come we don't have any mediums working as cab drivers in London?

Dave Trott said...

Love to know who that is sitting in a cab in New York

Darren @ Fusebox said...

I think it's amazing what you're doing here today, Mr Trott. I don't think Juan Cabral, Richard Flintham or any of the 'hip' fellas could ever put aside the time to do it let alone endure this kind of exposure.

Hats off.

Dave Trott said...

Hi James. Can't help you with question 1, that's something you spend your whole life having to work out each time you get a brief.
You can't go on auto pilot, if you could it wouldn't be creative would it?
Question 2) Martin Boase once told me "Awards are fun, but they're not what we're here for. They're like the froth on the top of a pint of beer: they make it nice, but on their own they're not worth much."
For me, awards are just other people's opinions.
Question 3)John Webster once told me my biggest problem was that my commercials were as good as they were ever going to get at script stage. I didn't allow any room to deviate, no room for happy accidents, I would just execute the script.
Big lesson: I'm a copywriter, he was an art direcor.
Left brain, right brain.
That's why you need teams.

Anonymous said...

Live Chiat All Day?

Dave Trott said...

Ricardo. You're not serious about gays right?

markymail said...

Dave,
first of all, apologies for the length of this lick & stick, but I didn't want you to feel you were being quoted out of context. If you could just explain that last line, because you do seem to be contradicting yourself a bit. Anyway, here's you in the eighties;

"I would say: ‘Here’s how it is: I can tell you what you need to be the best but what I ain’t going to do is come round and get you out of bed in the morning. I’ll be out there at seven o' clock and if you’re not there then we’re not doing this. Let’s see how bad you want to be the best. You don’t have to do jobs you hate like your dads used to. Your work is your hobby. What else are you going to do that’s more fun? Go down the pub? Watch TV? Or come into the office and write something that will make you laugh your socks off and that someone will then put £4 million behind to make it run on the telly? And you’re doing it here amongst young, good-looking, intelligent people.”

Dave Trott said...

darren@fusebox. Thanks a lot.
If I was as busy as those guys I probably wouldn't have time for a whole day doing it either.

Dave Trott said...

Markymail. Absolutely correct. Who wouldn't want a job like that?
Which part of it don't I seem to agree with now.
(I'm knocked out you were paying attention. Thanks.)

ricardo said...

I am deadly serious, Dave.

You mention ageism that is OK. Think about the homophobia. It is not a happy industry for a queer like me.

Dave Trott said...

I can't believe you mean it.
No one at a decent agency would care a bit about your sexual orientation.
All they want to know is, are your ads going to make me money?
The bad news about our business is: no one cares.
The good news about our business is: no one cares.

Natalie @ Central St Martins said...

Hi Mr Trott, I'm graduating this summer. I've yet to find out where I'm an art director or writer. I've been doing both lately but still can't decide.

I'm aware you have been an art director and copywriter. How did you find out you'd be better off as a writer?

Dave Trott said...

Natalie. Good question. The simple tip I alays give students is, are you a fusspot?
Or have you got a short attention span?
If you're a fusspot be an art director, if you get bored easily be a writer.
If you're still not sure, start off as an art director.
It's easier to trade down to being a writer than it is to trade up to being an art director.
This is because art direction is a craft you have to learn, thinking and writing is something we can all do.
Finally, are you English?
If not be an art director.
Visuals transcend language and ethnic differences.
I found this in New York, you can see it nowadays in Lurzers Archive.

markymail said...

You're right, everything you say sums up why I love being a copywriter. But it's that last sentence - did you have the same views then; that it's the work which is important, not people's age or looks? And so it was sheer coincidence that they were 'young, good-looking' people?

Gary said...

Dave

Why is the ns and i ad a 60"?
Apart from the fact that the media was probably already booked, don't you think 8 seconds of Geldof poncing towards camera is a bit unnecessary?
And do you think the other 52 seconds were really worth sticking in the edit too?
Fair enough the original Sugar ad was a good spokesman to talk to punters about 'safe bets', but what has Germaine Greer got to do with investments?

kate moss said...

dave,

Do you think that the fragmentation of media channels will lead to an Adam Smith-style division of labour that ameliorates the current jack-of-all trades situation, or will the growth of communication outlets put undue pressure on one stop shops to provide work that's not covered by their skillset?

Oh, and my mimsey is itching something rotten. Vagicil or Canesten?

x

Dave Trott said...

Markymail. All I think I meant is that advertising isn't full of sad old gits waiting to retire like a lot of other jobs.
This isn't work, it's paid fun.
Why wouldn't you be doing this evenings and weekends?
I've had jobs, I've worked in factories and offices.
This ain't that.
Plus I think this was from a speech I was giving to the 'advertising rejects' course that we ran when I thought D&AD was becoming too elitist.

holly said...

"Writing is something we can all do"?!

As anyone who's ever had a client or suit rewrite their copy, this is absolutely untrue. And infuriating. Statements like this are the reason clients think they CAN rewrite all the copy - no respect for the craft of copywriting.

Also, I'm amazed you think copywriting is the lazy, short-attention-span half of the partnership. All the copywriters I know are pernickety to within an inch of their lives, fussing over every last tittle to be 100% on-brand and 100% correct in everything they write.

I also disagree that it's a trade down from AD to CW. Everyone coming out of Bucks seems to want to be the AD, because it's easier and more fun. The skill of writing is disappearing, as far as I can see.

Christian said...

Dave, many people think you have a bit of a chip on your shoulder. Do you think difficult people make better creatives? If so, who is/was the most difficult creative you've ever met? Surely not John Webster.

Dave Trott said...

Kate Moss: it's a bit "Bum Pooh Willey" for me, but it made the guys here laugh.

Ant M said...

Dave, I hope it's not too personal, but while you're on I'm interested to hear where you stand on the Erhard Seminars Training (EST) these days. Are you still er...into it? I'm a Londoner but I started out at an agency in Sydney which kind of hero-worshipped GGT. The CDs there were brilliant...but really into the Landmark Forum personal development thingy (I think it's similar to EST but I'm not sure) and tried to get us young creatives to do it. It wasn't really my thing and I ended up leaving. Did you/do you ever encourage your teams to do stuff like that?

kate moss said...

Last night was a bit bum, poo willy for me.

Thank God.

Dave Trott said...

Gary. Fair point, we looked a 40" cutdown but felt a 60" was probably good to launch it.
Then we can go to 10" on each of the individuals, top-and-tailing breaks maybe.
We shot lots of different messages, brand and product, depending on different economic climates.
This one is all brand because reassurance is better at present.

Faergal said...

I'm with Mr Trott, you better be English, Nat.

I'm sure Mr Trott is aware that the bloke behind Sony's "Balls" and Cadbury's "Gorilla" is not English and yet he's probably making £1m a year. We don't need any more of that, thanks.

Dave Trott said...

Holly. Don't get me wrong. It's a partnership. In every airforce in the world they have 2 seater fighter bombers.
The pilot runs the plane, the navigator runs the mission.
The navigator is usually the senior officer.
Not all creative partnerships work that way, but this girl was asking my advice.
She doesn't have to take it.
Plus which, I don't buy all that wordsmith stuff.
Copywriter is a misnomer, we are thinkers.
That's what confuses students.

Anonymous said...

To Holly, is art direction easier then?
I'd be interested to see what Paul Belford or Scamp's Scowling AD have to say about that?

Dave Trott said...

Christian. I think I probably have several chips on both shoulders depending on time and place.
I may change chips several times a day depending on my mood.
I may update my chips depending on the fashion.
As long as I've got my chips, and they haven't got me, it's not a problem.

The most difficult creative?
Depends on who you ask.
Other creatives would probably say Paul Arden.
Account men I've worked with would probably say me.

Dave Trott said...

Ant M. You're right Forum is what EST became.
Definitely I would recommend it to anyone.
I took the GGT creative dept along to a guest evening and about half of them signed up and did it.
Half of them didn't.
It's the same at every agency I've worked at.
I invite everyone (especially the creative department) along to find out about it.
Usually about half want to do it, and about half don't.
It's not a religious thing like Scientology.
You don't join for life.
It's a series of courses.
You do one then that's it, finished.
Unless you want to do another one.
As I say, I would recommend it to anyone.

Mark said...

Ricardo.

Oh my god! What are you talking about?

Come out god damn it! Do it tomorrow. I have done. Nobody cares.

Gay people are more creative anyway. Anyone who knows anything about history knows that.

Anonymous said...

is Juan Cabral gay?

Dave Trott said...

Faergal. You make my point for me.
The bloke who wrote gorilla and Sony balls isn't English.
So he does ads that are visually powerful and don't need words.
So they work in any country regardless of language.

Nerdy said...

I'd agree with you Mr Trott (and Faergal) but he also wrote a copy campaign for Tate Britain which won a Cannes Grand Prix. I'm sure you've seen it.

Dave Trott said...

Nerdy. I've seen it but I haven't read it.
I'm a copywriter, I've got a short attention span.

Ant M said...

Cool, cheers for that, Dave. Like I say, it's not my thing but I appreciate your honesty.

ricardo said...

mark, you must work in a nicer agency than mine. the people here say gay as an insult all the time.

'your layout is gay'

'your script is gay'

'you are a silly gay bastard'.

where is your agency? does it have vacancies?

Ant M said...

Ricardo - report those dickheads to HR. That stupid Nuts magazine thing about calling everything rubbish "gay" is pernicious bullshit. Replace "that's so gay" with "that's so Asian" and people wouldn't stand for it, would they?

rjhayter said...

Ant M & Mr T: I've done the Landmark Forum, Advanced Course and SELP and found them really useful. Not only did I deal with some shit of my own, but working with people to deal with their issues makes empathising with your audience much easier when writing ads.

Andy said...

Hi Dave,
What's your favourite TV ad this year?

Dave Trott said...

rjhayter. Yes it's true. It's kind of difficult communicating honestly with other people when you're not even communicating honestly with yourself.

Dave Trott said...

Andy. For me the best thing I've seen recently is the Net10 advertising that's running in New York.
It fills absolutely every rule in that little booklet, plus which it's intrusive, creative, and memorable.
I really wish I'd done it.
Check it out on YouTube.

Andy said...

Very good Dave. What about the u.k?

james feess said...

Thanks for doing this.

1. What are the main differences between US agencies and English ones?

2. What are you other creative outlets?

Paul said...

I have to concur about Net10 Mr Trott but then again why is it that your agency's work wouldn't endure that kind of test?

Dave Trott said...

Andy. There's a really good Chevrolet 'transformers' ad that's running in the States.

Andy said...

Nothing in the u.k then Dave!

Dave Trott said...

James Feess. I think American advertising has to work harder.
My art school was very Bauhaus based. so we learned "Form follows function".
A lot of UK advertising is based on "function follows form".
It's not wrong, but it is different.
Campaign once described my advertising as having "the muscularity of American advertising and the executional style of British advertising".
John Hegarty used to say we were "The thinking man's Allen Brady Marsh".
Someone else once wrote it was "like a brick coming through the consumer's window with the client's name wrapped around it".

Dave Trott said...

Paul I think because we haven't got enough clients.

Dave Trott said...

Andy. The thing Ive thought was really well written, acted, and directed this year was a cinema ad featuring an usherette talking about Toy Story.
I can't remember what it was for though.

Ant M said...

Hmm, dunno Dave. Droga5 are fairly newish. They haven't got that many clients either. Do you rate them?

holly said...

You thought it was a great ad but you can't remember what it was for.

Wasn't a great ad then, was it?

Dave Trott said...

Ant M. I don't know anything about Droga 5. I just love the Net10 ads.

Gordon Comstock said...

Thanks for your answer earlier Dave. I don't agree, but I think it is splendid that you're doing this.

Given your frank assessment of where your agency is at the moment, I'm interested to know when you last hired a new team at CST?

Dave Trott said...

By the way guys, thanks very much for writing all these comments.
This could have been a disaster if I'd been sitting here looking at empty screen.
Especially on such a nice day.
Thanks.

Anonymous said...

re 3.53 rjhayter
can you give us any examples of ads you've done that prove you can emphasise with your audience in a better way than if you'd not been on a course?

Dave Trott said...

Gordon Comstock. We hired a young all-girl team a year or so back, but it didn't work out. Haven't had to hire anyone since, the guys that are here work really hard.

Andy said...

VW sponsorships for Independent Cinema from DDB London.
Very Good work but it was last years!

rjhayter said...

Anon 4:33
off the top of my head, no. I did the courses about 8 years ago, so it's affected my work for about half my working life. It simply means I always remember to think about the audience and what is going on with them first, rather than what the brand has to say. And you won't have heard or seen much of what I've done – I'm not big/ATL agency.

And anyway, this is Mr T and Scamp's party.

nelson said...

Dave, 2 questions if I may.
You talked about how to rise above, from bad agency to good.
I know my bad agency work isn't going to feed my career prospects, so you say it's what you do after hours. Are you suggesting speculative ideas that never run will fare you better even if you've been in the industry for over ten years?

As for teams, each half should take an equal interest in art direction and copy, even fighting to win in each other's nominal territory.

Finally, it strikes me a lot of creative directors prefer to be doing the work than directing it. Job security fears I guess. Any thoughts?

holly said...

well be a bit more concise then!

Dave Trott said...

Holly, I didn't say it was a great ad.
Read it again.
If you are a writer, and a fusspot, you should be more particular about words.

holly said...

Dave, Andy asked you what your favourite UK TV ad was, and that was your response. It makes sense to me that someone's favourite ad would also be one they thought was great, but I apologise for my presumption there.

Also, someone else is now posting under my name...

Dave Trott said...

Nelson. Personally I'd rather see what you think is good work whether it ran or not.
Nowadays you can Mac up work so that nobody knows whether it ran or not anyway.
Be creative, lie.
Secondly, art directors v writers.
A month or so ago, John Hegarty said to me "Of course advertising is 80% idea. It's also 80% execution."
I like that a lot.
Finally, being a good creative doesn't mean you'll make a good CD.
Bobby Moore and Bobby Charlton were the best players we've ever produced.
Both utterly useless managers.

Ant M said...

Ah, fair enough, Dave. I thought you might be a Droga5 fan (they did the Net10 virals, the Tap Project campaign, the Ecko graffitti stunt and this great work across a load of different for the New Museum on The Bowery, NY).

Dave Trott said...

Holly. Fair enough.
I just think we should have more distinction between a great piece of film, or photography, or animation, or stunt, or whatever the craft is, and a great ad.
The two are not necessarilly the same.
They can be of course, but it's not automatic.
One is form, one is function.
It's the difference between 'style' and 'design'.

Holly said...

You're not the only Holly out there you know.
Or are you accusing my parents of plagiarizing yours?

james Feess said...

is it tough for americans to work in the UK? especially since we don't have the whole 'creative team' thing.

Holly said...

It just seems a bit silly to use a name that's already been extensively used in this discussion - would make sense to at least add an initial.

I'll use my google account now so there's no confusion, OK?

Syracuse grad said...

I just want to say that I read Dave's booklet 30 years ago and he took me in for a few weeks at BMP. I then left for New York and got a job instantly based on my work. I've been working nonstop ever since, so his booklet is as relevant today as it was then. If it wasn't for Dave I'd be a factory worker today instead of a Creative Director. He is singularly responsible for my career. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

What's been your best advertising moment over the last 30 years. And what moment are you most looking forward to in the next?

johnf said...

Dave

You’re a star. 30 years ago I was one of those writers that you took time out to explain what advertising was all about. Your little book was (and still is) brilliant. So big thanks for dedicating so much of your time helping students get a job in the business.

mark said...

syracuse grad.

Are you saying that you achieved a creative director role in NY by reading a book 30 years ago?

This advertising game is easier than I thought.

Gordon Comstock said...

I reckon your "Style:Design", "Form:Function", "Pretty Football:Winning Football" ratio is awry Mr. Trott.

Your Sacla ad for instance is all function, no form. Why is that better in your eyes than an all form piece of brand confection?

If we're talking about ideals, we should probably go for both right?

That mints ad with the Magritte does both, surely even you can agree on that one.

nelson said...

Thanks Dave,

So back to the same tactics I employed when I was starting out - that'll keep me fresh. Then again I've got some good old ads printed on vellum.

Absolutely agree r.e. writers vs a.d's.

True of Bobby Moore and Charlton although their weaknesses are easier to spot!
Creative directors engineer how they are perceived by the people that count.

I'm forgetting it's the cut throat world of advertising.

Dave S said...

Dave, just caught up with today's questions and answers.
My question is, when are you going to tackle the other end of the problem of getting a job and write a guide to getting a job when you're late thirties, have a book showing what you can do, not what you've done (which many people say is one of the best they've ever seen) and yet people still won't give you a go.
Don't these people know that greatness isn't age dependent?
Homer Simpson didn't get discovered 'til he was 38, for Gods sake (luckily for him, he'll always be 38. Git!)

Larry Bird said...

Dave,

In your book and a lot of your comments on this, you essentially say that a creative (and a copywriter in particular) is a thinker, not an artist, and a vital piece in the creative process is grass roots problem solving.

In 1965, I guess the creatives did this. Now, we have planners to do this.

In your view, do we need planners? If we do, in what capacity? Are they doing things in the traditional agency model that they perhaps shouldn't be?

Dave Trott said...

Anonymous 5.04pm.
My best advertisng moment was the 'advertising rejects' course.
D&AD started vetting people for the concepts workshop. So at my agency, we said we'd only take the rejects.
We took about 40 every Wednesday evening for 10 weeks and they ended up getting more jobs than the people who'd been accepted by D&AD.
In fact the next year we did it, people were pretending to be 'rejects' who'd been accepted on the main course.

Thierry said...

You seem a very confident bloke Mr Trott, ever been afraid of a client or creative director? ever had insecurities or self doubt? are you human at all?

Anonymous said...

larry bird.

i'm not dt. but there's a good bullmore article about "what are account planners for" in his book.

Dave Trott said...

Thierry. I can't really answer that because it's not really a question is it?

Dave Trott said...

Larry Bird. Planners have become just what Stephen King warned about: "ad tweakers".
Real planners are like the AMV planner who repitched the Sainsburys account.
The brief was to put on £3 BILLION sales in 2 years.
She didn't worry about brand, she divided 14 million store visits a week into 365 x 2 and it ended up about £1.50.
So the brief was, get every existing customer to spend an average £1.50 extra.
Now that's a planner.
Attacking the business problem, not just tweaking ads,

Al said...

In your view, what makes a bloody great ad? and you mentioned Gorilla is one of them, why? I find it purely random humour.

Dave Trott said...

Syracuse Grad. I remember you from BMP I think. You were there with Thor from Thailand and another guy from Mexico, who got kidnapped later.
I'm so glad it all worked out from you.
I learned it in America, so it's nice to think I gave a bit of it back.
Well done.

Larry Bird said...

Great answer.

Once more, kudos for the marathon chat, I think a lot of people have taken a lot out of this.

Ambitious Fucker said...

Your booklet mentions 5 print campaigns but that's not what are you after these days, are you?

What kind of book would make you fire those girls you hired?

Dave Trott said...

Al. I didn't say I thought Gorilla was a great ad, I said I thought it was great piece of integrated advertising. The way it worked TV to PR to digital to sales force.
That's what I admire, the thinking behind it.
What they understood is that ads don't work in a vacuum.
Somewhere on the line from factory to consumer is the pressure point that advertising can have an effect on.
Spotting that a TV ad can't, on its own, do the whole job is where they were brilliant.
The thinking, not the ad.

Dave Trott said...

Ambitious fucker. I love the question and I'm going to make sure the girls read it.

Anonymous said...

Scamp you've been the biggest disappointment of this debate, mate.

the girls said...

what's the answer?

Dave Trott said...

John F. Fantastic, I'm glad it worked for you. Thanks so much for letting me know too.
There's a Buddhist saying, "When I point at the moon, don't look at my finger look at the moon."
Well done.

Dave S said...

Dave, you seem to have skipped my earlier question, so please forgive me for hijacking you for a moment:

Dave, Scamp, Peter Souter (yes, you behind the sofa), and all you other great CDs out there who are reading this. Anyone looking to hire a 38 year old team or know anyone that's looking? We're English and more hungry than any Brazilian, Argentinian creative out there. In fact we're starving. We have a book full of ideas we love and loads of other people love but we can't seem to be in the right place at the right time. Headhunters won't give us the time of day because of our age. We just want to work. And work really hard. Any takers?

Jeremy said...

You seem to be very much in love with the Americans.

What do you think are the good and bad things of the British thinking versus American?

Scamp said...

Just trying to be a good host!

Sorry if I've been a disappointment.

Dave Trott said...

Dave S. We don't have any vacancies. But if it will help I'll have a cup of coffee with and look at your book. Maybe I can give you some advice.

Dave Trott said...

Scamp, I think you've been a great host. As you said, while everyone's talking there's no need to artificially move it along.
I think it's great.

Anonymous said...

ignore him dave!

this man is dangerous and must be stopped!

Anonymous said...

Scamp, I respect your style, mate. Just please, do us a favour, don't ever apply as Johnatan Ross' replacement.

Dave Trott said...

Jeremy. Of course I like Americans. I got rejected by 7 British art schools, then America gave me a scholarship to go to art school in New York.
When I came back those same British art schools asked me to go back and lecture.
What I prefer about America is they have a 'can do' culture unlike the British 'can't do' culture.
What I prefer about the British (and Aussies) is their sense of humour.

Anonymous said...

dave,

if you're still there. what's the secret to starting a great agency?

chemistry? luck? determination?

thanks.

Anonymous said...

We must be nearing the end of extra time...are we going to have to have penalties?

Big respect for giving us your time today Dave, don't know many CDs that would do the same!

Ant M said...

Yeah, thanks a million for your time Dave. This has been absolutely invaluable.

Dave Trott said...

Anonymous 6.06pm
I never meant to start an agency.
I was at BMP and I wanted to get a job as a CD somewhere, but I wasn't famous enough.
So I thought if I start an agency with the bloke who used to be David Abbott's partner, people will think I'm in Abbott's league.
Then, in 6 months when it hasn't worked, I'll be able to get a job as a CD somewhere.
That gives you a tremendous freedom.
Instead of holding onto something you're just trying to make a splash while you've got the chance.
So we did work that made an impact, instead of trying to be fashionable or win awards.
And accidentally it worked and I never had to go anywhere else for A CDs job.
Like Bob Dylan says, "When you've got nothing you've got nothing to lose."

Anika said...

I've met you at a lecture and loved it. You mentioned energy beats talent. It made a big impression on me. Whenever I tried to pull that off I'm afraid I come across as a wanker.

What kind of energy do you refer to? How do you go about using that properly?

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