Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Most Fun You Can Have With Your Clothes On

That was the title of an enjoyably skewiff canter through the history of advertising, hosted by Robin Wight (the 'W' in WCRS) on Radio 4 last night (available for the next 7 days here).

If anyone is an expert on 'fun with clothes' then it is surely Robin Wight...


I already knew a lot of the stories from those days, through having read Get Smashed, but I did like the bit where Alan Parker described the decor of CDP in its golden era as "like a public lavatory, or a comprehensive school."

As usual, Robin and Alan ascribed much of CDP's success to the talents of their creative department (which also included the likes of Charles Saatchi, Paul Weiland and Tony Kaye) and its "insane" CD Colin Millward.

But they also touched on another factor. Today we think of the CDP work as 'classic' - we forget how radical their work often was for the time. CDP were the first Agency to cast commercials outside London. The first to run full-page newspaper ads. The first to run colour print ads.

That set me wondering whether we should be making more effort to find 'firsts' we could be doing today. I guess Mother are doing it, with their Pot Noodle musical, and Eurostar film. Are the rest of us?

Part 2 next Monday, 8pm.

26 comments:

Rob Mortimer said...

Thanks for the notice!

Tom Morton said...

CDP's firsts weren't just novelties. They were responses to big changes in society and media.

Casting commercials outside London because Britain was becoming less class-ridden.

Capitalising on the launch of the Sunday Times colour magazine - the radical new media of the time.

Big bold choices for the time, much more than creative novelties.


It thrived as an agency for new times.

Luca said...

I think advertising is in a dull and monotonous stage at present and could do with a revolution or two. any one want to light the match?

Anonymous said...

can anyone recomend a book about advertising in the heydays and talks about how much fun it was?

herad some cracking stories but would like to read more

Scamp said...

Get Smashed, by Sam Delaney.

Bentos said...

Luca, ecomomic meltdown, the end of television as we know it with Sky+ and on demand services, and the enormous growth of Social Media and you're waiting for some kind of starting pistol? This is it mate, it's already happening.

Anonymous said...

what's the best you've heard?

Anonymous said...

who's that team that used to bash each other up?

like proper fist fights we're talking.

Alan Parker (not the famous one) said...

I recall a story where a CD thought a scamp for a six sheet poster was so crap that he puked on it and shat on it.

"There's your sick shit poster," he told its luckless art director.

True story. Thems were the days. I think he also did a 48-shit poster.

Anonymous said...

that must be bollocks!!!

Anonymous said...

interesting stuff.

it kind of leads back to the previous topic too. alan parker describes how Pearce of CDP basically sold whatever the creative department believed in - and if he couldn't sell it, he binned the client.

Funnily enough CDP was and is the greatest British ad agency. Maybe that proves your point about awards/creative strength equalling long term survival.

Luca said...

I'm not wait for a starting pistol, but does anyone else not think, where have the ad's that i want to watch rather than the programnes gone? I'm sick of being smacked over the head! Give me some night driving!

Robina said...

That's just rude.

One of Paul Arden's books said something about how people should be nice, and I agree.

I met Hegarty years ago.
Even though my reel was pathetic, he was encouraging and honest.
Said something like "if he had a vacancy, which he didn't at the mo, I won't be first on the list."

I saw John Salmon (CDP CD) the day after they lost a huge account.
He said, "We just lost a huge account. If you still wanna show your book,I'm fine. If not, I understand."

Ogilvy was right - gentlemen with brains make all the difference.

"Inside CDP" is another great book. Anecdotes alongside ads.

Bentos said...

"where have the ad's that i want to watch rather than the programnes gone?"

Think you're living a little in the past there pal (kind of on-topic though that is). Sure there'll still be 'Watercooler' ads, Peter Kays work for John Smiths, that type of thing, but fundamentally things are going to be very different very soon.

Anonymous said...

fucking hell, you lot are all doom and gloom.
great ideas will be made and we'll still see cracking work. Chill out a little and lets see if things change then get all moody about it.

In the words of Napolean Dynamite.

GOSH!

Anonymous said...

bentos - if so, that's sad. but i'm not so sure

Barclays have just announced they're sinking most of their money into TV this year. nice to see a bit of a reversal of the 'digital is all' nonsense. digital has it's role, but so does everything else.

Anonymous said...

sorry Robina, what's rude?

Bentos said...

Anonymous 11:06

Yeah, in times of trouble some people will always run home to Mama. Seeing digital as a whole separate type of advertising seems old-fashioned to me.

My point was that anybody who thinks advertising is in need of a shake-up is going to see one, it's inevitable.

Anonymous said...

Barclays putting their money into TV is a good option for a bank. Other products/brands will also suit TV better than any other channel. But you can't escape the fact that people can and do avoid ads now apart from when they are "exceptional"..(subjective as hell, but spots like Gorilla et al stirred up public hype). Digital is the most effective channel for experiential and effective marketing comms now, and it will be from here on in, but it's also the most challenging. Display ads and Facebook groups are flash in the pan shit, long term deep seated media strategy is far more important in digital and that's where the future lies.

Luca said...

@ Bentos.

That was my original point. It does need a shake up! I'm basing it on the fact that when people want to watch ad's they will inevitably have a better chance of working by selling product, if they don't sell, they still get the brand talked about and in peoples heads. It's positive both ways, obviously not everything can be amazing but the ratio seems to have fall off a cliff.

What is anyone liking at the moment?

I quite like those BMB McCain's 48's. Nice, clear and simple. I caught myself noticing that i actually consider McCains fairly healthy! and they're bloody chips! am i alone on that?

Bentos said...

Loving the Audi A5 ad (whether CR have a problem with the soundtrack or not), but then I'm an animator

Anonymous said...

@Bentos
Yes things are changing and all agencies will adapt or die. What's annoying is digital twerps constantly hinting that they possess some kind of esoteric advertising knowledge that sets them above everyone else. The vast majority of digital creatives are still shit and no matter how many convoluted anacronyms they drop into the conversation, nothing will change that. (That's not meant as a personal attack on you btw, though you were starting to edge into that 'I know something you don't na na' territory.) I'll get my coat.

Luca said...

I don't mind the Audi A5 ad but absolutely love the Audi Quattro grip ad, beautifully simple and engaging, tells me something i didn't know too. More please!

Anonymous said...

5.59 agreed.

and Bentos - seeing digital as a whole separate media is the opposite of what I am suggesting. it's part of the mix, a vital part, but a part.

have people stopped looking at posters? or watching TV (really) and going to the cinema? Have they stopped opening DM? Listening to radio ads? Or going to sponsored events? Of course they haven't.

We are all part of the digital world - we all pretty much know what it's about and it has it's own 'rules' like any other media (as it's a very personal domain, we have be less 'addy' and more about clever engagement) but to assume that digital is the be all and all is obviously nonsense. and it's about time the digital bods realised it.

robina said...

Robina replying to Anonymous.

What's rude is someone throwing up and crapping on another's ad.

Sure it's easy to tear down but isn't it more sensible and rewarding to help others find the way - as Trott did with the D&AD Rejects class.

Anonymous said...

Erm...I think 5.44 was joking.