The Gunn Report is out with the top-awarded agencies in the world. No surprise that adam&eveDDB tops the list.
It's true what this year's editor of The Gunn Report said about ideas. It's why nearly any agency can have one hit.
But the real marks of agency team success are two fold: does success happen over time, and does success happen in one shop across multiple categories in one calendar year? If so, you're on it.
"Ideas are fragile; they can collapse at any point. Sometimes an idea is pure and simple, you can feel the power of it from its inception; others have been shaped and crafted into great. It takes passion, tenacity, it takes a team and a great client. None of it is easy, but greatness comes in not giving up."
February 02, 2017 | Permalink
An email train about vintage DDB was happening and I had to add the Porsche work by Helmut Krone. The files online were a little hard to work with so here are some. In the 70s and early 80s you can imagine how inventive these were for car ads. Perhaps still to this day--although how people would take them in would certainly be different. Think of how beautiful the elements of these would be online...
January 17, 2017 | Permalink
Reviewing some numbers today and global ad spending rose 5.2% in 2016. Looking ahead, spending is forecast to grow in 2017 but not at the same rate as last year. WARC anticipates a growth rate of 3.6%. (No Olympics or U.S. Presidential election.)
In the U.S., the ad spending growth rate was 5.8% which was the highest rate of growth since 2010. It's always amazing to be reminded that ad spending in the U.S. represents around one third of global ad spending--we spend around $180B advertising to ourselves.
There are no surprises in the breakdown of spending forecasts by medium this year...
January 03, 2017 | Permalink
There is a proven link between creativity and effectiveness in advertising and marketing. The Case For Creativity has this summarized and presented very well.
Creatively-awarded campaigns deliver 11x the ROI and they are more effective at gaining market share.
Creative marketers are companies who outperform the stock market by 3.5x.
Those campaigns that get talked about are more efficient, have a more dynamic brand impact, and cost less.
December 16, 2016 | Permalink
I moderated a panel at MarketMix about how marketers can be bold. I was up there with three people I greatly admire: Peter, Ryan, and Michael. Their bold work speaks for itself. The session ended up being standing room only--it was quite fun.
The idea for the panel started here: As an agency, you present a very bold idea, it gets approved, and then you leave. But the marketer is left with an entire organization of people who don't work in marketing or advertising so they have to champion the work internally and get it approved and supported. Imagine how difficult that is when your idea is extremely bold?
One of the great bits that came out of our discussion was how to recognize a bold idea. The group's answer: when it makes you uncomfortable. Their opinion was that, when the work is presented, if you don't feel uncomfortable it means you've probably seen something similar before... even if you're not sure where.
Which doesn't mean it's not good! It just means you're probably not in "bold" territory. And that's fine, of course. But if you're looking to be bold, to stand apart, to turn convention around, to surprise your competitors, to earn an unfair share of consumer attention, then you should anticipate being uncomfortable on your way there.
Bowie said the same thing.
"Always go a little further into the water than you feel you're capable of being... go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don't feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you're just about in the right place to do something exciting."
But my favorite part was about why it's important to be bold... you do it on behalf of the customer.
The core reason for bold ideas isn't to make your organization "be different." It isn't to strongly position you against your competition and it isn't to grab headlines. The reason it's important to be bold is to make something notably better for the customer. As Bernbach said, a brand value isn't really a value until it costs you something.
T-Mobile, Xbox and Amazon are all bold because they put the needs of the customer at the top of their thinking. And when they do that, their ideas become bold--and the advertising has to level-up.
Hemingway said the same thing.
When you first start to write you get all the kick and the reader gets none, but after you learn to work it’s your objective to convey everything to the reader so that he remembers it not as a story he had read but something that happened to himself. That’s the true test of writing. When you can do that, the reader gets the kick and you don’t get any.
Tracy Wong offered one of my favorite descriptions of advertising: "commerce, artfully told." So it's not surprising that the process of being bold--understanding what it takes, and what it means--is similar to what the world's best artists, writers and musicians experience, too.
May 14, 2016 | Permalink
This was just a fun read, and I agreed with everything except for a small * on the first thing: choosing the right name. Truth: There are better names and worse names, clear names and confusing names, really strong names and really weak names, clear names and confusing names, strategic names and not-so-strategic names. The Rolling Stones is a great name: far better than Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys.
But, in general, the brand makes the name. It's the gestalt of the whole thing--something good has a way of making for a good name. Is Target a "good" name? How about Radiohead, Dreamworks, Tesla or Android? If these things were crap, names like these could be looked upon much differently. But it's nearly impossible to have your mind go there, isn't it? Their names are good largely because they are good.
Flip side--if your name is lululemon, Dr. Pepper, the Goo Goo Dolls or FourSquare you have to work that much harder to impute desirability into what you call yourself.
May 10, 2016 | Permalink
This was referenced during a speech at MarketMix by Patrick Byers. The capo d'astro bar is a great advertising story that was written in the 80s. Searching for the story took a few attempts, so I thought I'd re-post it here.
April 30, 2016 | Permalink
We will only be able to respond adequately to the continuing rapid pace of change in commerce and communications if we understand the basic principles of how people are influenced by publicity.
This was on page 16 of The Anatomy of Humbug and, upon reading that, I had a hunch the book would be good. "How people are influenced by publicity" is a great choice of words. It's naturally big so it's no surprise that the answer varies.
But that shouldn't be frustrating.
It should be liberating.
And that's the genius of The Anatomy of Humbug--it provides confidence and structure while at the same time requiring the practitioner to study their own situation and apply the right answer from a collection of approaches.
Paul Feldwick confirms several things in this book that I have long believed but couldn't articulate in a way that I liked. Such as how many advertising and marketing people have long-argued for the USP--but that's not always right. In fact, it's often wrong. Equally, others have argued for all emotion-based campaigns. But that's not always right either.
"Humbug" offers six ways to think about how advertising works:
So which way is right?
All of them.
But not all of them, all of the time.
Throughout the history of advertising each of these approaches have been overstated, often by the practitioners who coined (and sold) them. But none of these theories on their own can claim that they are 'how advertising works' because it depends on the brand and what needs to be accomplished.
What is required is deep understanding of the business problems--and the true purpose of the brand at-hand--and then applying whichever type of advertising theory satisfies them best.
And it's often about choosing several of these.
Within the same brand there are times when an ad should be a salesperson. There are other times when it should seduce. As it does both, a campaign should have salience. And so on.
If everything is done well it creates business-driving advantages, hence the title of the book.
My favorite part:
"...rigging the odds in your favor."
Any brand can do this.
Every brand should do this.
And doing this takes deep study, lots of preparation and great creative thought.
January 09, 2016 | Permalink