Notes from enough time spent in advertising

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

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

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...

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. ...

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.

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

“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...

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...

Adjust The Question…

Clients that ask an agency “What can you do for us?” overlook a major component of the exercise.  A good campaign, an impactful ad, and dynamic effort requires the participation of the client.  Great work requires collaboration.  The better question is “How will you...

We didn’t say it was your fault. We said we were going to blame you.

Back before the war, I was working at a small shop with a pretty good crew. A good creative department, strong production support and reasonable management, and we had a good mid-level client list.  But to go to the next level, the owners hired a big time talent from...

George Zenger…

If we look back and make assessments about whether or not we’ve been reasonably successful over the years, we might tend to blame our good fortune on things like talent, experience, hard work and certainly a measure of good luck.  But in this business, we can’t be...

NOT ALL THE GENIUSES ARE AT THE APPLE STORE.

Last week I purchased the new iPhone 4S from the Apple Store in the Galleria.  No wait; they had them in stock, even the white one.  I paid the money, and then they took me over to the set up table where they attempted to transfer all of the stuff from my old 3GS to...

Advertising Graffiti

How bad can advertising get?  How bad can graffiti get?  We all like to notice and talk about award winning television spots, high production value and good direction.  We love it when we do good work and it gets noticed.  The other stuff that gets noticed are the...

Jenna The Intern

For the spring semester of 2012, I had responsibility for an intern–Jenna. She was actually interning for Hadley Exhibits and I jumped in as the Intern Administrator.  While we hope that Jenna gained something from the experience, turned out to be a great experience...