Can You Help?

I wonder if you can help me.

I hope you can.

A lot of us talk about the ad industry being in a poor state, and the output (the work) being of a pretty shoddy standard.

Some people counter this by saying that advertising has always been 80% shite 20% good. Some say 90% shite 10% good. And that today is no different.

I have a some sympathy with that argument, because I know there was a quite a lot of shit advertising in the 50s, 60s, 70, 80s and 90s.

But I just can't shake the nagging feeling that it is worse now than ever.

But I know, maybe I'm being too harsh, maybe I'm looking at it through the rose-tinted eyewear of  nostalgia.

Maybe today isn't so bad, after all.

So I'm wondering if you can help me, kind reader. And I would appreciate you enlisting the help of others in this little request.

Please could you, via the comments section, share with us, companies and brands that have been around for at least more than 20 years, but that have done their best advertising in the last 5 years?

Then I'll be able to rest easy.


  1. One of my favorite agencies is Wieden+Kennedy Portland. Their work on Chrysler and Nike always come to mind when I think about quality work.

  2. Apple + Media Arts Lab.
    In recent years, they've tackled briefs to introduce the masses to iPods, smartphones, apps and tablets. Perhaps not as iconic as '1984', but their last 5 years of Advertising has been crucial to getting Apple to where it is now.

  3. oh, and microsoft. they made poo before. at least they're trying now.

    I also can't think of any old Adidas work that was good. last few years have been nice.

    Old Spice.

    You could make a case for Audi. but that case could also be that all their work has been great for the last 30 odd years.


    Honda? Was cog in the last 5 years?

  4. Cog is 10 years old..freaky. And lets not forget it was nicked.

    The old Lurpak stuff was cool though, with the Lurpak man, 'Leader of the Pack', remember that? I like the new W & K stuff too, better? It never beat, "You'll never put a better bit of butter on your knife did it?"

    I agree re Old Spice and maybe John Lewis.

    Not a big list is it?

  5. john lewis?

    i don't agree with the moans about work.

    the thing that changes everyones perspective is a mixture of nostalgia and work now being online.

    you get to see the best from around the world trickle into your feed every week.

    awards annuals used to be an event.

    you were amazed by the quality of everything and jealous that you didn't get that brief.

    more awe and positivity is needed. it's infectious.

    and so is moaning about everything being shit.

    i know which i'd rather spread. as well as my veracious case of crabs.

  6. I'm not in for mindless, happy-clappy optimism.

    I prefer energising critique.

    All progress depends on the unreasonable man, as George Bernard Shaw famously said.

    The industry needs its creative leaders to be unreasonable - to speak up and stand up for good work and good ways of working, not just accept things as they are.

    If we are constantly fed with the best work from around the world, why is it the commenters of this blog (a broad and intelligent bunch) can only come up with a couple of suggestions.

    John Lewis is good stuff, and old Spice, Nike, well unfortunately their best work is over ten years old.

    I believe we'll get better results in the long term if we fight against the mediocrity by striving for better, rather than sitting back complacently and applaud the mediocrity, picking the raisins out of the turd.

  7. I think IBM's work has been consistently good. As has the work others have mentioned. But so much is dreary. And advertising is so much more omnipresent than in decades past--we are so much more inundated, that the bad is all around us all the time.

  8. "a broad and intelligent bunch"

    You forgot good looking and well endowed.