APG Guest Editors This Month - Us!

Hello there fine reader. Something strange has happened. For over ten years (9 on this blog) we've been calling bullshit on the ad industry and it's weird and counterproductive practices from the periphery of the business.

But this month, the rather lovely people at the APG have invited us to be guest editors of their website, specifically to help unpick the way that planning and creative work together (or don’t) in ad agencies. And suggest a better way of working.

We are on the inside, people.

The APG describe themselves as a membership organisation that promotes smarter thinking. That sounds good to us. More of that is needed.

Anyway, head on over the to the site here http://www.apg.org.uk/guesteditor-andy-and-vic to read the introduction. Check back over the next four weeks as we'll be posting up articles that are intended to challenge the current way agencies work with clients and develop ideas.

If you have landed here from the APG website and are new to the karayzee world of Sell! Sell!, hello and thanks for stopping by. Stay a while and have a root around, here's a few posts to give you a flavour...

From 2008: Strategy Is Not a Department http://sellsellblog.blogspot.co.uk/2009/07/strategy-is-not-department.html

2009: Three Chords and the Truth: http://sellsellblog.blogspot.co.uk/2009/12/three-chords-and-truth-how-advertising.html

2010: Is Advertising More Stupider Than it Thinks? http://sellsellblog.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/is-modern-advertising-more-stupider.html

2010: The Centre for Common Fucking Sense in Marketing:  http://sellsellblog.blogspot.co.uk/2010/08/centre-for-common-fucking-sense-in.html

2010: An Open Letter (The 'Brian Letter'): http://sellsellblog.blogspot.co.uk/2010/08/open-letter-to-all-of-advertising-and.html

2010: The Truth About Advertising Blog Readers: http://sellsellblog.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/this-is-truth-about-advertising-blog.html

2016: Are You Really Okay with the Idea of Creativity? http://sellsellblog.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/are-you-okay-with-idea-of-creativity.html


And don't forget our book (although it's currently sold out, new run hopefully coming soon) you can read about it here: http://sellsellblog.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-make-better-advertising-and.html




Pink Floyd V&A Exhibition

If any of you mortals happen to find yourself not sat on the sofa shovelling a combination of pickled gherkins and ice cream down your gob this weekend, I suggest you mosey on down to the V&A and check out the Pink Floyd exhibition.

Why? Because it's good (I hope you didn't come here hoping to find some kind of insightful review).

There's lots of musicy stuff to enjoy. There's also a dizzying amount of art directiony stuff to enjoy too.

Or, if you're like myself and you enjoy irritating the well spoken and well mannered amongst us by standing uncomfortably close and breathing your gherkiny-ice-creamy-breath all over them, then there's lots of potential for that as well.

It's the perfect day out for all the family.


New W&K ad for Finish

There's a hell of a lot to enjoy in Wieden & Kennedy's swansong ad for Finish. It's refreshing to see something so entertaining in what is a relatively dull category. Also refreshing to see something grounded so firmly in the world of subject of cleaning dishes rather than any high falutin' brand purpose lifestyle nonsense. Seems absolutely ludicrous that the account is moving when the creative work is as good as this. Maybe it's a sad indictment and sign of our times that for some marketing folk other things matter far more that the quality of their advertising...

 

Harry Willcock via the excellent Mike Dempsey blog

Mike Dempsey has written two great pieces about Harry Willcock, the man who helped create a large portion Alan Aldridge's work. You can check out the first piece here, and the second here.

If you're not yet familiar with Mike Dempsey's blog, then get to know, son. It's one of the few blogs remaining that is written by someone capable of designing themselves, it features in-depth and thoughtful pieces about work created from both today and yesteryear, and there's not a shred of 'it's-ironic-therefore-it-must-be-good-omg-lol'.


"I Like It" "So What?"

One of the things I like most about our agency is that when someone says something like "I think this works better" someone else always asks why.

Being able to explain why you think one thing is better than another is vital to our industry - because we need to do it if we want to get people to make better advertising.

Nothing in advertising is pure art, pure creative, for its own sake. We use the power of artistic techniques and creative crafts for a reason - to make communication more effective.

If you're putting something in a piece of communication that isn't there to make it more effective, just for your own artistic reasons or to win a creative award, you're probably a hack. Sorry about that.

This is why the language of how we talk about advertising is vital.

We have to be able to talk to senior people in client companies about why the creativity or craft will be more effective.

One of the fascinating, yet slightly crazy, things about advertising, is that it seems even the people who work in advertising can't agree on what is 'good'.

And I think part of the reason for that is that people are often not arguing about whether something is 'good' or not at all.

They're just saying they like it. So it becomes subjective.

I hear people say I like this.

Woopee-fucking-do. I like pineapple on pizza.

I don't care, quite frankly, whether you like it or not.

Instead, let's have a conversation about what makes it work. Why do you think it will work?

That's a conversation that professional people should be having.

Liking an ad is a privilege of the amateur.

Does it do what it's meant to do?

Why will this do the job well?

I still believe that there is no single 'formula' for what makes something a 'good' piece of advertising, which I think can only be a good thing, can't it?

But because of this, we have to become better as an industry, creatives, planners, everyone, at having a proper conversation about why things work, and why our creativity and craft makes things work better.

Until we all magically find clients who will just let us do whatever we think is right (I'm not sure that's a good idea by the way), this is the only way better advertising is going to be made.

With a respectful doff of the cap to Dave Trott

Breaking The Myth of How Great Work is Created

We need to break the myth of how the best advertising is created.

The advertising industry has to realise that its value to clients lies in its talented people – not process.

It needs to be confident of that fact, and put it proudly back in the centre of the business.

That means agencies need to stop making out it’s their proprietary process that creates the best solution, and accept that it is talented people that really make the difference.

Agencies have unfortunately become moulded in the image of what they think clients want.

So they over-emphasise process, because they believe it makes clients feel comfortable that the agency can consistently produce the goods.

Whereas, in reality, smart clients know the best ideas come from talented people

But agencies seem to find it really hard to be honest about that, maybe because people are complex – they leave, they have bad days, they get sick, and let’s face it – not all agencies have the most talented people.

So they put the emphasis on their process or system.


The truth is, the agency’s most valuable product – brilliant creative thinking that helps clients meet their business objectives – comes from the brains and talents of good people.

Unfortunately, in modern agency set-ups, these talented people are all too often stifled within poor systems.

They need to be freed from the shackles of these counter-productive processes that prevent them from tackling problems effectively. 

An excerpt from our new book ‘How To Make Better Advertising and Advertising Better – The Manifesto for a New Creative Revolution’ is available exclusively at the Design Museum. (edit: although it might be sold-out oops!)