Friday, February 29, 2008

Result of Salary Survey

More than 4,000 City bankers earned a bonus of over £1 million last year. (source)

Meanwhile, Liz Hurley and her tycoon husband paid their maid just £1.20 an hour. (source)

Us advertising folks? We're somewhere in the middle.


My own view is it's pointless comparing our salaries with those paid in other industries. We generate more wealth than doctors, but their job requires more training. We're smarter than footballers, but there are fewer people with great ball control than can write a decent ad.

But for your own happiness, it's important to feel you're being paid a fair wage in relation to your industry peer group. That's why - embarrassing as it is - I think it's well worth sharing salary information with a small group of trusted peers.

If you don't know what you should be earning, you could get screwed. Of course, you could still find yourself getting screwed even if you DO know what you should be earning. But at least you'll know about it.

Previous poll results:
Friday Poll No.19 - What Do You Think Of Our Trade Rag?
Friday Poll No.18 - Should A Creative Look Creative?
Friday Poll No.17 - Ad Of The Year 2007
Friday Poll No.16 - Do Difficult People Do The Best Work?
Friday Poll No.15 - Who Is Responsible For Ineffectiveness?
Friday Poll No.14 - Your Personal Success Record
Friday Poll No.13 - Which Department Is The Most Insane?
Friday Poll No.12 - What Music Do You Listen To While Working?
Friday Poll No.11 - What Time Do You Get In?
Friday Poll No.10 - Who Drinks The Most?
Friday Poll No.9 - Press v Online
Friday Poll No.8 - Success Or Glory?
Friday Poll No.7 - Is Reading Blogs A Waste Of Time?
Friday Poll No.6 - Job Satisfaction
Friday Poll No.5 - Festive Greetings
Friday Poll No.4 - Ad Of The Year 2006
Friday Poll No.3 - What's Your Favourite Medium To Work In?
Friday Poll No.2 - Agency Of The Year
Friday Poll No.1 - Which Department Is The Most Overpaid?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

What You're Supposed To Be Earning

London Headhunters 'The Talent Business' produce the authoritative industry guide to pay and pay trends, which they provide to agency management. And a friendly ECD let me have a copy to put up on Scamp.

Here's the key table -


Are you on the right amount? And do you think the bands are fair?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tuesday Tip No. 42 - How To Get A Pay Rise


The sad truth is that no one will ever give you a pay rise. You always have to ask.

If you've done good work, you deserve a pay rise. But often, if you're like most Creatives, you don't actually ask for one. Instead, you sit in your office, stewing, thinking that your boss is taking the piss, he must surely know how under-paid you are, it's rude, cruel and frankly almost inconceivable that he hasn't called you in to give you a pay rise.

But you know what? He never will. You have to ask.

It's a shame that we Creatives are not more demanding, and often sit there stewing. Account Men never do. Account Men are constantly scratching at the door of their Head of Account Management saying "I want more money; I want better accounts; I want a promotion; I want to be in charge of something... how about graduate recruitment? Could I be in charge of that? Or what about the Christmas party? For Christ's sake I need to feel like I'm moving forward or I'll just die!"

You don't have to be like that. But you do have to ask.

Even when Scowling A.D. and I won a Grand Prix at Cannes, our boss at the time didn't say "hey well done guys, here's a raise." We had to ask.

And you know what? He was doing exactly the right thing.

A big part of an ECD's job is making the most of his budget. That means hiring good teams cheaply. Getting rid of expensive teams who aren't good. And generally paying each team the least amount of money he can, and still keep them. (That is if he wants to keep them.)

And this is the same for any boss, in any company, in any industry. It's called capitalism. If you don't like it, move to China. Scratch that. Even China is the same now.

So, to recap, as if I haven't said it enough times already: to get a pay rise, the first thing you have to do is actually ask for one.

But what do you say?

Don't say you've been working hard. He doesn't give a shit. He doesn't care if you work 23 hours a day, or 1/2 an hour a day. He just wants good work.

Don't say there are pressing personal reasons why you need a raise. You want to buy a flat. Who cares? Your wife is pregnant. Who cares? Is she going to write some ads for him? Probably not. Especially if she's pregnant.

Don't say you've had a lot of bad luck, near misses, great ideas that 'almost' got made. It doesn't wash. The quality Napoleon most valued in a general was that he should be lucky. For creatives it's the same. Some teams have a 'knack' of getting work made. If you've been writing good work but not getting it made, you don't have that knack, or you've lost it. Either way, you won't get a pay rise.

Truth is, it's not about what you say. It's about when you say it.

There is only one time to ask for a pay rise, and that is just after you have won an award. It's a cliche, but it works. Why does it work? Because remember, he will only pay you the least he thinks he has to so you'll stay. After you win an award (preferably a big one, or perhaps do some campaign that doesn't win any awards but is famous), your market value goes up. So if he wants you to stay, he has to pay you more.

And that is the only time you can ask for a pay rise.

There is one other way to get a pay rise (not ask for one, just get one) which is to resign. And I am talking about resigning, not threatening to leave. Threatening to leave is lame. Threatening to leave means you're thinking about doing something, you're considering doing something, but you're not actually doing anything. Are you.

So don't threaten to leave. For sure, subtly let it be known to the ECD's confidantes that you are putting your book together. That sometimes works. But don't threaten anything. Just do something.

Go out and get another job. Make sure it's a job you are happy to take. Then when you go in to your ECD and resign, he may offer to match the pay/responsibilities that the new agency are offering.

He may not. That's why you have to make sure it's a job you're happy to take. Because if he won't match the offer, a.k.a. calls your bluff, then you have to go.

Either way, you end up with a pay rise - from the only source that can genuinely give you one. The market.


Tip No.41 - Be Wary Of Punding
Tip No.40 - Challenge The Brief
Tip No.39 - Tell The Truth
Tip No.38 - Playing To Lose
Tip No.37 - How To Write Headlines
Tip No.36 - How To Do Direct
Tip No.35 - How To Do Radio
Tip No.34 - How To Do Press
Tip No.33 - How To Do TV
Tip No.32 - How To Do Digital
Tip No.31 - How To Do Posters
Tip No.30 - Look At Weird Shit
Tip No.29 - Presenting To The Client
Tip No.28 - Presenting To The Team
Tip No.27 - Presenting To The Creative Director
Tip No.26 - How To Deal With Rejection
Tip No.25 - Look Creative
Tip No.24 - Don't Be Afraid To Ask
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

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Poll No.20 - How Much Do You Earn?


I promised a post on pay.

But I'm not going to do that.

The subject is too big, and its influence too important (let's face it, no one goes into advertising to make the world a better place).

So I'm going to do a Pay Week.

Starting with a poll (top right of your screen). Let's see if Scamp readers are driving gold-plated Bentleys, or eating old bits of carpet at the end of the month. Please note that some publications ask people how much they earn because they want to use that information to snare advertisers. Not the case here. This is pure snoopiness.

Let's look at some attitudes towards pay as well.

Are you fairly paid? What about pay levels in the advertising industry in general? Is it unfair that we earn less than lawyers and bankers? Or is it ridiculous that we're paid (on average) more than teachers and nurses?

Let's hear what you think.

Result of Campaign Poll


I'm told this poll was closely watched at Campaign HQ. And funnily enough, the voting did swing sharply more positive on one single day. Still, MP's are allowed to vote for themselves so there's no reason why Campaign staffers shouldn't be.

I suspect they might have been surprised by some of the negativity in the comments. Does the anonymity of blog posting cause people to be excessively nasty? Or is it that when people are speaking to Campaign face-to-face they are excessively nice, because they want to get good coverage? I don't know.

Anyway, the final verdict as you can see is that Campaign is quite good, and that's how I voted so I'm happy.

Previous poll results:
Friday Poll No.18 - Should A Creative Look Creative?
Friday Poll No.17 - Ad Of The Year 2007
Friday Poll No.16 - Do Difficult People Do The Best Work?
Friday Poll No.15 - Who Is Responsible For Ineffectiveness?
Friday Poll No.14 - Your Personal Success Record
Friday Poll No.13 - Which Department Is The Most Insane?
Friday Poll No.12 - What Music Do You Listen To While Working?
Friday Poll No.11 - What Time Do You Get In?
Friday Poll No.10 - Who Drinks The Most?
Friday Poll No.9 - Press v Online
Friday Poll No.8 - Success Or Glory?
Friday Poll No.7 - Is Reading Blogs A Waste Of Time?
Friday Poll No.6 - Job Satisfaction
Friday Poll No.5 - Festive Greetings
Friday Poll No.4 - Ad Of The Year 2006
Friday Poll No.3 - What's Your Favourite Medium To Work In?
Friday Poll No.2 - Agency Of The Year
Friday Poll No.1 - Which Department Is The Most Overpaid?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Colour Purple


Sorry to post about Gorilla yet again... I couldn't help noticing that buried in the story of Cadbury's annual results is a quote from chief executive Todd Stitzer saying he "overrruled his own marketers" when they presented the idea to him without the "Cadbury cues" of the purple background and glass-and-a-half device.

This is surely baloney - just a CEO bigging-up his own role. I bet it was actually the Cadbury's marketers overruling Fallon.

Interesting, though, that someone thought it was a good idea for the spot to be virtually unbranded. Whoever did insist on the "Cadbury cues" made the right call, in my view. Misattribution is a deadly sin, and if the Gorilla is going to be sitting in front of a wall then it might as well be a purple one.

Why some creatives are so sniffy about branding I will never understand. For sure there's no need for packshots the size of alient spacecraft, and it's annoying when an ad repeats the brand name three times - I always fight client requests for 'branding that will hurt' - but if the brand's colours appear here and there in the ad, then so what? Nobody dies.

UPDATE: In today's Campaign school report, Fallon only got a 9. Despite doing the best ads of the year, and finishing top of the new business table. What would it take to get a 10?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Everyone Thinks They Can Do What We Do

Freud Communications, a PR company, has won the advertising account for my favourite newspaper - the Independent. Full story here.

This kind of thing happens from time to time. After all, most advertising is shit - so naturally there are a lot of people out there who think they can do it better.

And maybe Freud can. They did recently take over a real ad agency (DFGW) which had done some great work back in the day, before falling on hard times.

But luckily for us, most 'non ad agencies' cock it up.

Look at this ad for Kickers, done by ODD - the 'creative arm' of Naked Communications (a media company).


I don't even get it. Do you?

(Other executions, equally incomprehensible, are on Brand Republic)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tuesday Tip No.41 - How Do You Know When Something's Finished?


While David Bowie was recording 'Low' in Berlin, he apparently took so much coke that he was unable to finish any song, instead spending weeks on a restless, repetitive fiddling that he later referred to as 'punding'.

Be wary of punding.

As a Creative, time is your only resource. And just as stopping too soon is a deadly sin, so is going on too long.

Hence, it's vital to know when something is finished. Unfortunately, as there are an infinite number of ways to write a headline, or crop a photo, there is no 100% foolproof rational method of deciding when a job of work is done, especially when it comes to craft.

All you have to go on is a feeling. The time to stop is when whatever you're working on 'just feels right.' You need to listen for that feeling in your head, nurture it, and pay heed to it.

Perhaps a couple of analogies might help explain what 'it' is:

In his magnificent book "Hey Whipple Squeeze This" Luke Sullivan quotes the poet William Butler Yeats who said the sound a good poem makes when it's finished is like a lid clicking shut on a perfectly made box.

Then there's these lyrics by New Zealand songwriter Don McGlashan, as featured on Cleaver's blog.

Look at the way this gun fits the crook of your arm
To make a thing like that you’d need to know what you were about
You’d need to know where you were going and go there in a straight line
And everything else you’d have to shut right out

Can you see the man who made that?
Can you see him putting it down and standing back?
Can you see the moment when he said, “that’s it, that’s perfect”?
At a time like that you wouldn’t care about your job
Or your mortgage or the fight you had with your wife
‘Cause when a man holds a thing well made there’s connection
There’s completeness when a man holds a thing well made

I don't actually know who Don McGlashan is, but he hit the nail on the head there for anyone whose job involves crafting something.

Tip No.40 - Challenge The Brief
Tip No.39 - Tell The Truth
Tip No.38 - Playing To Lose
Tip No.37 - How To Write Headlines
Tip No.36 - How To Do Direct
Tip No.35 - How To Do Radio
Tip No.34 - How To Do Press
Tip No.33 - How To Do TV
Tip No.32 - How To Do Digital
Tip No.31 - How To Do Posters
Tip No.30 - Look At Weird Shit
Tip No.29 - Presenting To The Client
Tip No.28 - Presenting To The Team
Tip No.27 - Presenting To The Creative Director
Tip No.26 - How To Deal With Rejection
Tip No.25 - Look Creative
Tip No.24 - Don't Be Afraid To Ask
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

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Poll - What Do You Think Of Our Trade Rag?

Every industry has a trade magazine, and ours is no exception.

But what do you really think of the publication that - this week alone - has brought us such unforgettable headlines as:

"Six line up to pitch for N&P [that's the Norwich & Peterborough Building Society] media task"

and

"The Cello Group has rebranded its Response Communications divisions as the Tangible Group"

Do you find it's an essential read - eagerly devouring every page... even the media bits?

A thoroughly shoddy publication, not even fit for wiping your bottom on because the paper's too hard and shiny?

Or is the truth somewhere in the middle.

What do you think of it? The comment section is below; also you can vote in the poll, top right hand corner of your screen.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Would You Like To Write The Copy On Innocent Smoothies?


Dan Germain, creative supremo at Innocent Drinks, is looking for a copywriter.

Dan says: "It’s still me writing all of the rubbish that people have to wade through whenever they buy an innocent smoothie. Imagine the delight on a child’s face when he/she realises that someone new and fresh wrote the copy on the back of that label, and not that old guy with the beard again."

You rarely see job ads for creatives, and when you do, they're often dodgy. Scowling A.D. and I once applied to a "Creative team wanted" ad that appeared in Campaign. It said at the bottom of the ad "No wankers". We got the job, but unfortunately our boss was himself a world-class wanker. I guess it should have been obvious. I mean, who else but a wanker would write "no wankers" in a job ad?

But that isn't the case here. Dan is someone that I've known (virtually) for some time and I can state with confidence that he is a good egg.

See full info on Dan's job here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

If Banner Ads Were Honest...






See more here.

Thanks for this tip are due to Doc Rogers (tagline: surfing the web, so you don't have to)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tuesday Tip No.40 - Challenge The Brief

Creative team during a briefing
(Incorrect attitude)


Correct


We Creatives like to think of ourselves as maverick uncontrollable rebels.

But we're not.

The truth is, we're all too compliant.

How many briefs have you rejected - ever? How many have you even challenged?

I've seen briefs where under "single-minded proposition" there were three adjectives. Linked by two uses of the word 'and'.

How can you possibly write a good ad to that?

Now, it's true that before the brief gets to you it will have been signed off by your creative director. Perhaps by a few planners and clients also.

Nevertheless, a brief is not a legal contract. It's a series of suggestions, a step in a process - and you're a part of that process.

So don't be like rabbits just sitting there in your hutch, happy to nibble on whatever you're given.

Be like the tiger cubs. Cute and adorable, of course. But alert and challenging also. Indulge in a bit of 'rough play' with your planner. Bat his brief around like a balled-up pair of socks. If anything doesn't smell right, scratch at it.

Above all, if you don't feel the brief is right, say something. You may be surprised how much say you can have.

Tip No.39 - Tell The Truth
Tip No.38 - Playing To Lose
Tip No.37 - How To Write Headlines
Tip No.36 - How To Do Direct
Tip No.35 - How To Do Radio
Tip No.34 - How To Do Press
Tip No.33 - How To Do TV
Tip No.32 - How To Do Digital
Tip No.31 - How To Do Posters
Tip No.30 - Look At Weird Shit
Tip No.29 - Presenting To The Client
Tip No.28 - Presenting To The Team
Tip No.27 - Presenting To The Creative Director
Tip No.26 - How To Deal With Rejection
Tip No.25 - Look Creative
Tip No.24 - Don't Be Afraid To Ask
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

Monday, February 11, 2008

Heresy Of The Month

Orthodoxy:
We all need to stop doing TV ads, because a) The young people are not watching TV any more, and b) The airtime is getting too expensive.

Heresy:


via Diary Of A London Account Handler

Friday, February 08, 2008

Do You Like Horses?

Apologies for the 'unscheduled outage' earlier, a problem with blogpoll caused people trying to access Scamp to end up at blogpoll. They have also lost the most recent poll.

Doesn't matter. The results had been stable for a while, revealing that 61% of non-digital creatives are looking forward to getting involved in digital, while 39% would rather not.

It may seem easy to write off the 39% as idiots, but that would be hasty. Remember, the question doesn't measure "what do you think is going to happen in the advertising business" it measures "what do you want to spend your working day doing."

I think I understand where those 39% are at. Imagine you were someone who loved horses, and you got a job driving a horse-and-cart. Then they invent the internal combustion engine, and you are now forced to drive a van.

Now, this isn't an exact analogy, because digital is not going to exterminate other media in the way that vans eliminated horses.

But it does show that maybe it isn't fair to lambast the horse-and-cart driver as a "dinosaur" who doesn't understand that "the goods delivery business has totally changed now."

He's just a guy who loves horses, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Previous poll results:
Friday Poll No.18 - Does It Help If You Look Creative?
Friday Poll No.17 - Ad Of The Year 2007
Friday Poll No.16 - Do Difficult People Do The Best Work?
Friday Poll No.15 - Who Is Responsible For Ineffectiveness?
Friday Poll No.14 - Your Personal Success Record
Friday Poll No.13 - Which Department Is The Most Insane?
Friday Poll No.12 - What Music Do You Listen To While Working?
Friday Poll No.11 - What Time Do You Get In?
Friday Poll No.10 - Who Drinks The Most?
Friday Poll No.9 - Press v Online
Friday Poll No.8 - Success Or Glory?
Friday Poll No.7 - Is Reading Blogs A Waste Of Time?
Friday Poll No.6 - Job Satisfaction
Friday Poll No.5 - Festive Greetings
Friday Poll No.4 - Ad Of The Year 2006
Friday Poll No.3 - What's Your Favourite Medium To Work In?
Friday Poll No.2 - Agency Of The Year
Friday Poll No.1 - Which Department Is The Most Overpaid?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

More Jury Gossip - This Time About Gorilla

Juan Cabral, at last year's Pantene awards

When the ad first came out, a lot of people felt they'd seen drumming gorillas before. Or at least drumming babies (Magic FM).

I went on record to say I didn't believe Juan had lifted the idea from YouTube.

But I was wrong.

Jury gossip reveals he originally presented the idea in the form of a YouTube clip.

Not only that, but he had previously presented it to Cinzano (in Argentina), who didn't bite.

Please please please let's not have the originality debate again.

I want to make a different point here: NEVER FORGET THAT YOUR BOTTOM DRAWER IS YOUR BIGGEST ASSET.

Have an efficient filing system for your rejected work, because a lot of briefs come up time and time again (this product is simple to use, this product is inexpensive, or in the case of Cadbury's - this product will make you happy).

And have an efficient storage area for funny photos, YouTube clips, news articles - things that one day you may be able to make into an ad. Because as someone once said, "the worst time to be looking for an idea is when you actually need one."

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Psychoanalysing Account Handlers And Planners


I'm lucky, in that relations between the departments are excellent at BBH, and were great at my previous agency too. But I've certainly experienced shops where that isn't the case.

A CD I met yesterday on an awards jury had a very interesting psycho-analytic explanation for inter-departmental tensions: he suggested that Account Handlers and Planners in fact hate Creatives, because unconsciously they are jealous that we can do something they're unable to.

Furthermore, since they are dependent on us to come up with ideas, they also resent us, just as all human beings unconsciously resent anyone they are dependent on.

Got a couch? Climb aboard.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Tuesday Tip No.39 - Tell The Truth


I don't think much of McCann's.

But I do like their logo.

And 'Tell the truth' is great advice for young creatives. Now, let me be clear : this isn't for moral or ethical reasons. But purely because it will help you create better adverts.

1. It's more interesting. Telling the truth can often make an ad nicely raw, fresh or edgy - especially in staid categories.

2. It's more persuasive. Something that contains a genuine truth about the product, the world, or the target will always be more persuasive than flim-flam. And persuasiveness doesn't just make an ad effective, it's a quality that awards juries value too.

3. It's quicker. The list of true things about the product is much shorter than the list of all the possible things you COULD say. So you save time in your workings.

4. It's easier to sell. Ads based on a truth about the product automatically have 'relevance' and are therefore easier for the client to buy.

5. It gives you more creative licence. If your ad is based on a solid truth, then executionally you can stretch it way, way far - and it will still make sense. Example: Carling have been able to set recent ads in the Antarctic, or even in space, because they're grounded in a solid truth about mate-ship.

N.B. It is possible to be EXCESSIVELY truthful. For example, the real reason that men buy Porsches is that they believe the car will make them sexually appealing to women. But this is an uncomfortable (possibly even unconscious) truth, that would be embarrassing and counter-productive to reveal. I call it 'saying the unsayable'. If you find yourself saying the unsayable, you have gone too far.

Tip No.38 - Playing To Lose
Tip No.37 - How To Write Headlines
Tip No.36 - How To Do Direct
Tip No.35 - How To Do Radio
Tip No.34 - How To Do Press
Tip No.33 - How To Do TV
Tip No.32 - How To Do Digital
Tip No.31 - How To Do Posters
Tip No.30 - Look At Weird Shit
Tip No.29 - Presenting To The Client
Tip No.28 - Presenting To The Team
Tip No.27 - Presenting To The Creative Director
Tip No.26 - How To Deal With Rejection
Tip No.25 - Look Creative
Tip No.24 - Don't Be Afraid To Ask
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

Monday, February 04, 2008

Battle Of The Epic Car Ads

Honda 'Problem Playground' from W&K London...



...utterly spanks the pants off Ford's 'Beautifully Arranged' commercial for the new Focus.



First of all, Problem Playground has a great piece of thinking at its heart: the original and rather resonant truth that a job you enjoy doesn't feel like work.

And a truth is always persuasive - I do now actually believe that Honda engineers enjoy solving engineering problems (even though rationally I know these are not the real engineers in the ad but just interesting-looking men with beards).

Meanwhile, the Ford ad contains no 'thinking' at all; it's based purely on a pun - "beautifully arranged". And as this is just a claim rather than a truth, it isn't believable or persuasive.

Then the executions are worlds (or perhaps generations) apart. Honda is fresh, fun, quirky and modern. The Ford ad could have been shot in 1957.

Also one ad is honest and the other isn't. The Honda promises a problem playground and it delivers a problem playground. It's 100% quirky fun out there in that car-park. The Ford ad promises beauty but delivers ugliness. Giselle Bundchen is beautiful. The paintings of Cezanne are beautiful. This Ford ad is not beautiful.

Even the music in the Ford ad is dull as dishwater. Whereas Honda's is ace. So good, in fact, that it may force me to reappraise my allergy to modern jazz.

Perhaps slagging off Ford is too easy. Ditto praising Wieden & Kennedy.

And yet, the sheer size of the gulf between them does tell us something, don't you think?