The blurb: "Tony Brignull, Sir Frank Lowe, Sir Alan Parker, John Salmon and Alan Waldie answer your questions on one of the most important UK advertising agencies of the twentieth century. Chaired by Anthony Simonds-Gooding, D&AD Chairman and one-time client of CDP"
Following-up from our post the other day about selling, It was heartening for us to hear these genuine ad legends, who are revered by today's creative heavy-hitters, say that they were in the business of persuasion, of trying to get people to buy the products they were selling.
The tendency is for creatives today to look at the work CDP produced in a misty-eyed way, as some kind of creative ideal world where crazy ideas and elaborate production were celebrated.
But the reality is that they set out to simply find the best ways of selling the products they were advertising, not to just create interesting entertainment or creative stuff in their own right.
I can't help thinking that if more of todays creative people started with that aim more firmly in mind, we would see better and more interesting advertising.
There seems to be a general feeling that selling is at the opposite end of the scale as creativity, that you do either one or the other. But I firmly believe that the opposite is true.
The work we see winning advertising awards these days mostly isn't really advertising at all. It's just vaguely-related entertainment with a product shoe-horned in at the end in the least obtrusive way possible. And whether we like it or not, by awarding this work, we're showing it as an example of the best of our industry and encouraging the new generation to work in this way too. If we teach young creatives that creative awards are important, and then show them that this is the way to get awards, then who can blame them for continuing the cycle?
When I meet young creatives these days, often they make no connection between what they do and the sales or success of the product.
It seems bananas that a whole generation of ad people don't really get why the business actually exists in the first place.
That the only point of creativity in advertising is to help make the client's advertising more effective.
Or more persuasive, as the gents from CDP might put it.
Anyway here's an old Heineken ad. It refreshes the parts other beers can't reach donchaknow?