Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Impressions of the U.S.

Couldn't blog much from the U.S. because United sent my luggage to Tokyo so I couldn't use my laptop.

But now that I'm back, here's a few thoughts on differences between the US and UK ad scenes. Feel free to add your own.

1. Interactive advertising is huge over there. It grew 38% year on year. Seems to be second only to TV in importance to agencies now. We are way behind in the UK but it can only go the same way.

2. They don't have separate interactive creatives. Makes sense. I mean, we don't have separate creatives doing posters, for example.

3. All the creatives over there use a Mac for their print layouts. There are no 'scamps'. Not a layout pad to be found. This surely is a mistake. It means creatives are spending time on making something look good, time which they could use to have better ideas. And secondly, when something is presented to the client already 'finished...' it leaves less room for the photographer or illustrator to add their input.

4. The Top 20 UK agencies are all in London. So if you move agencies, you don't have to move house. But of the top 20 US agencies, quite a few are in New York, but others are spread around in LA, San Fancisco, Miami, Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland etc. So getting a new job most likely means uprooting yourself (and your family if you have one). Despite this, people in the U.S. move jobs a lot more often!!

5. A lot of creatives work on just one account. The reason is obvious - accounts over there are huge. But is it a good thing? On the plus side, you'll get to know that business well. But on the downside, I worry it could get dull...


Anonymous said...

Re: No Scamps
Not only is presenting concepts as finished ads a bad idea as it wastes creatives time and limits input of photographers etc; I believe the worst thing about it is that it stops the debate being about the idea, rather than the execution. At the very best of times clients have a tendancy to go straight to the heart of the periphery, and this practice heightens their temptation to do so. They're more likely to jump straight into concerns about logo size, prominence of pack-shot, ethnic mix of the people etc, rather than considering, is this a good idea? And lets face it, it runs the risk of dressing those occassional 'muttonous' ads up as spring lambs. Not good for agencies, not good for clients. Stop it now.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I was more interested in the Big Country cover. What does the UK really think of them?

I'm not sure, but I think the UK is beating the US in band members who killed themselves via the drinking method.


I'm old school enough to still use a marker and pad to skecth stuff out, but I can’t lie: Photoshop is sometimes my best friend. While the idea is King, it won’t be for long if the execution is poor.