Bill Bernbach Said #49

Number 49 in our Bernbach series...

“Maybe we’re getting bogged down in too much detail. Maybe our advertising ideas are being ground up in that multi-level American efficiency machine.

Read all of the previous Bernbach Said posts here.


Brighten up your Monday with a visit to Kempfolds.  A dedicated blog to the art of folding Ross Kemp's face. You can see plenty more here [Thanks for sharing, Rich].

Sell! Sell! Goes On The Road

Sell! Sell! operative and man-about-town Ryan spent last Friday on an expedition to the frozen north (well Carlisle) to spread the good word to the students of the Graphic Design and Illustration (GRILLUST) courses at The University of Cumbria (where he was once a student himself dontchaknow). You can read an account from the receiving end, on the GRILLUST blog, here.

What an attractive lot.
"Don't be a dick" - solid career advice.

Bill Bernbach Said #48

Number 48 in our Bernbach series...

“Getting a product known isn’t the answer. Getting it WANTED is the answer. Some of the best known product names have failed.

Read all of the previous Bernbach Said posts here.

Does Working Longer And Harder Really Lead To Better Work?

A theory persists in ad agencies that to do the best work, you have to work longer and harder than other people. So the pressure is often on for creatives to burn the midnight oil, work weekends and generally spend all of their waking hours at the coal face.

It's not the case everywhere, one agency that I worked at for a bit had a definite lean towards not encouraging people to work through lunch or late (and they had a good creative reputation at the time). That said though, they once forced us to go in on a Saturday for no particular reason, which didn't go down well. But there are those places around town that have a reputation for making people work long hours and weekends. And some of these do have good creative reputations. Do the two things go hand-in-hand?

I don't think so. Okay, I do know genuinely good people who are in the habit of working long and hard. But I've also known plenty of people who worked really long hours who never came up with anything great. Then there are the ones who never seem to be around, or working, but who always come up with something great. (We'll ignore the very last category - those who don't work long and hard, and don't come up up with anything good - because they don't last very long anyway.)

I don't see any definite correlation between hours spent and the quality of the work. Over here we take coming up with creative ideas very, very seriously, seriously enough to know not to take it too seriously.

If you push people too hard, too long, it has the opposite to the desired effect. People think differently (not in a good way) when put under too much pressure, or worked too hard. You are more focused on doing something than on allowing yourself to find things. It narrows the mind.

I think you need a freewheeling, uninhibited mind to come up with good stuff. Sometimes you have to really work hard through something, really apply yourself. But equally it can mean allowing yourself the freedom to get away from the desk.

We like to keep it relaxed and fun at Sell! Towers, and we don't want people staying late or working weekends (we've only worked one weekend day in six years). I'd rather a brief was in someone's mind while they were getting on with enjoying and experiencing life, than forcing them to sit in a room all weekend trying to crack it. I'm certain it's not the only way of getting great stuff, but it works out well for us, and I believe in it way more than the battery hen, beating-with-a-stick approach.

I'm interested to know what you think though, dear reader. Does more pressure and longer hours work out better for you? Do you think great work is linked to working longer and harder?

Have a great weekend!

Hydraulic Fracking

This use of a long, scrolling website as a moving infographic is really smart. It's aim is to tell the story and highlight the dangers of fracking, which it does in a very simple, clean, easy to use way - all you have to do is scroll. I love the art direction too. The site was designed and coded by Linda Dong. You can see it here.


It's a miserable, grey morning. This might help brighten it up, a little.


Happy Monday

Today is, according to a million PR releases, Blue Monday. Supposedly the most depressing day of the year. Oh yeah? Well fuck you Blue Monday, have a piece of this:

And this:

First New Yorker Covers

The New Yorker was launched back in 1925. An 87 year track record of creating iconic covers ain't bad. Here are the first five issues off the block. You can feast your eyes on thousands more at this excellent archive at Cover Browser

Peter the Signwriter of Spitalfields

There's a cracking 2 part article over on Spitalfields Life, here & here about Peter Hardwicke, one of London's last signwriters. If you've been down Columbia Road or around Brick Lane recently you'll no doubt have seen his work adorning many of the independent shops. It's great to read that there's a real demand for his craft in London at the minute, we can't help but think Britain’s soulless High Streets would be a lot more attractive if they had some of his timeless signwriting to brighten them up.

You can check out more of Peter's work on the flickr.


Bill Bernbach Said #47

Number 47 in our Bernbach series...

“You cannot sell a man who isn’t listening.”

Read all of the previous Bernbach Said posts here.

Eve Arnold 1912-2012

The Guardian has collected together some of the late Eve Arnold's most iconic images. Feast your eyes on more here.

Happy New Year!

Happy Cat wishes you a happy new year.
And so do we.
We hope you have a cracking 2012.
May it bring you laughter and success.