Notes from enough time spent in advertising

A place where account people can stay in touch with serious reality.

On the original error:

“Originality isn’t always the answer. The best answer may not be ‘creative’ in the usual sense. It’s often simply a matter of being direct, straight, lucid. Every creative person should remember there’s no virtue in being original if that means you’re not relevant.”...

JUST IN CASE–

Just in case anybody in accounting, manufacturing, shipping, media, creative, finance, human resources, IT or operations forgot–"NOTHING HAPPENS UNTIL SOMEBODY SELLS SOMETHING." Lance English Sales Manager Envise, Garden Grove CA

On changing jobs…

Just passing along a comment that my old boss, Joe Crowley, Crowley Webb & Associates, said a long time ago. He said that if you're thinking about changing agencies, make sure you make a move to some place and not from some place.  If you hate your job and just...

Who cares what a brand is?

You would have thought by now that anyone with a basic business understanding and responsibility would know what a brand is. Apparently not. According to the Wall St. Journal, Frank Hurt, president of the Baker’s union that just brought down Twinkies, putting 18,000...

On invisible advertising:

“Much advertising seems based on the theory you can beat the clutter if you only yell loud enough.  There’s no idea, just more noise.  The result is advertising that’s invisible.  To beat clutter, you need advertising that isn’t part of the din, advertising that works...

Old Guard and New Media

Why is it that the people that seem to have the best handle on the new media, are the same ones that have been doing the old media (print/TV/radio/collateral stuff) since we were ordering type from Hal Leader and running it through the waxer. There has to be some...

Beckert on Media

Recently Michael Wolff, USA Today, published an article titled The End of Advertising As We Know It.  As is usual, when the topic is advertising media, Dave Beckert has an opinion and often a response. A long time ago I took a philosophy course in medieval logic. ...

What should I expect from a trade show exhibit vendor?

I use to think that television was a tough medium to execute–assuming you went to the trouble to do it well. But of all the media I’ve worked with over the last four decades, I think the most problematic has to be trade shows. You can’t get extensions on the dates....

On advertising and sales:

“Advertising is a substitute for a salesperson so it should be likeable.  You wouldn’t buy from a salesperson who’s rude, arrogant, insulting, would you?  Americans like to shop and they like to buy from people they like.  That’s why we want our advertising to be the...

From The Back Of The Class…

Several semesters ago in my Advertising & Media Strategy class, I asked new students why their interest in working in an ad agency.  A hand shot up, and I only recall that his name was Tim and that he was very short…smallish actually. Tim was an avid sports fan,...

Open apology to all creatives.

Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Every time the client told me we had three extra days on the deadline, I told you guys we only had two.

An open note to marketing managers:

If you’re charged with the responsibility to obtain a marketing communications firm (ad agency) you should take the trouble, if you don’t know already, to find out what shops are out there. Find out what they’re capable of–as opposed to just throwing a net over the...

“What we’ve got hea’…is failure to communicate.”

For all the clients I’ve ever had, and all the places I’ve ever worked, right up on top of every priority list is, ability to communicate. So how come it gets screwed up so much? I had a client that was so concerned with communications and the free flow of ideas that...

On Clients:

“Clients seem to get the advertising they deserve. The good ones, they’re the risk takers. They’re willing to risk failure for extraordinary success. That attitude flows down from the top, and you feel a tremendous sense of freedom, a sense of support for your boldest...

DON’T TELL THEM. TEACH THEM.

Lee Clow said, "Don’t tell them you’re going to learn their business.  Tell them that you’re going to teach them yours."  Every shop that ever did a pitch said that they were going to learn their client’s business from the inside out.  Learn what makes their client...

SHOULD HR SCREEN THE CANDIDATES?

There’s a reasonable argument that says they should, but several years ago a great client was seeking a senior professional to join their in-house marketing team.  I, along with Dave Beckert that handled the media, was asked to meet with the new person on the morning...

Who’s The Smartest One In The Room?

People say that we should have a president who is more like us–one of the common folk, just a regular guy.  Not me. I want to vote for the smartest son-of-a-bitch we can find.  He’s got to run the whole government.  If we only got somebody as smart as me to be...