Thursday, April 27, 2006


Well, it had to happen.

I wrote a column suggesting that advertising agencies need to change their persprective on creativity. What other business in the world has a 'department' for creativity.

Now I have been vilified by a particularly ignorant advertising person who has chosen to think that personal attack is a reasonable substitute for choosing to think.
What the heck....?

Thankfully I have a very thick hide.

I also have my own point of view and welcome criticism and debate.
maybe it will change my mind.

"A foolish consisitency is the hob-goblin of little minds. Whoso would be a man must first be an independent." - Emerson

Friday, April 21, 2006

Truth in advertising

Usually an oxymoron.
Children spill things. Ok, so do I. On this occasion child spills on favourite red chair. Actually only red chair, but it's my favourite.
Recalled ad for product that I just happened to have in the laundry.
Applied to chair.
Stain gone.
Just like they said in the ad.
Bet you're wondering what the product is.
Especially if you have kids.
Or furniture.

What do you think this is?…an ad?


UnSpeak- Steven Pool
Thoroughly Recommend this book. Terrifying and instructive.

What do the phrases "pro-life," "intelligent design," and "the war on terror" have in common? Each of them is a name for something that smuggles in a highly charged political opinion. Words and phrases that function in this special way go by many names. Some writers call them "evaluative–descriptive terms." Others talk of "terministic screens" or discuss the way debates are "framed." Author Steven Poole calls them Unspeak. Unspeak represents an attempt by politicians, interest groups, and business corporations to say something without saying it, without getting into an argument and so having to justify itself. At the same time, it tries to unspeak — in the sense of erasing or silencing — any possible opposing point of view by laying a claim right at the start to only one way of looking at a problem. Recalling the vocabulary of George Orwell's 1984, as an Unspeak phrase becomes a widely used term of public debate, it saturates the mind with one viewpoint while simultaneously makes an opposing view ever more difficult to enunciate.

In this fascinating book, Poole traces modern Unspeak and reveals how the evolution of language changes the way we think.

iPod Therefore I am
Into music, culture and technology. Entertaining book by the managing editor of UK GQ

Book Description
A music lover’s astonishing account of his obsession with the iPod, and a fascinating look at the phenomenon that has revolutionized the way we hear music.
First came fire, the wheel, and penicillin…and then, according to Dylan Jones, a compulsive album collector, music journalist, and multi award-winning men’s magazine editor, the next great invention to bless the human race was the iPod, Apple’s groundbreaking mp3 player. Small, sleek, and sexy, but with the capacity to hold up to ten thousand songs, the iPod has stunned music lovers and gadget enthusiasts around the world. It has delighted indie-rock college kids and elderly jazz fans, classical musical buffs and teenage hip-hop hustlers, almost no technology has so seamlessly crossed the great divide.
In iPod, Therefore I Am, Jones tells the story of his own entrée into this exponentially growing cult, taking the reader on a hilariously candid journey through his lifelong addiction to all genres of music, however unfashionable. Along the way, he gives a tantalizing behind-the-scenes look at the genesis of the iPod, from its original conception by Steve Jobs, the man who famously reinvented Apple Computer, to the landmark design of Jonathan Ive, the innovative designer who has become a legend in his own time. Behind it all, we get an insight into the way that the iPod has radically transformed the way we approach music, listen to music, and possess music—turning all of us into curators. Appendices containing Jones’s top playlists and his expert tips on getting the most out of your iPod make this love song to the iPod as practical as it is entertaining.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Money talks

I went to the launch of Blood magazine last night. It is an initiative by the Magazine Publishers Association to provoke interest in enhancingh creativity in magazine advertising.

I hope it works.

Casting my mind back to the days when I actually created ads for a living there was nothing more exciting to me than the opportunity to create a double page spread in a nglossy consumer magazine. My favourite was the Listener (it was the same size mMetro is today. The laminated machine proofs looked sensational in my portfolio).

Today it seems most attention is on television advertisng. Apparently it is sexier.

For me the problem with TV was that there were too many people involved. As creative director I took great pleasure in spenmding more time with a prospective art director or copywriter's print book than their show reel. Looking at their print work I could tell whether or not they had a command of their craft. Looking at their TV work I couldn't be sure.

Of course there is a real talent to making television commercials. Most often it is visible in very simple ideas, beautifully executed. But it is the execution that is problematic. There are simply too many steps in the process and too many vested interests. Matters often get out of hand.

Looking around the room last night at the, largely, advertising crowd, I was surprised by how few people in the business look familiar to me. There is a whole new wave of talent. Some of it is evident in the Blood magazine. The model for the publication is to hand the mantle of editorship to the winner of the best ad in the mag. Andy Blood transfused the role to a team from Mojo who produced a nice little idea about land mines (ketchup sachet with message printed on).

As a magazine publisher I applaud the initiative to encourage a better calibre of ads in mags. But, somehow, I have a feeling that issue one will be the n'est plus ultra. The one and only. In a way it is the inverse of one of my favourite magazines–Viewpoint–a book about trends in fashion and marketing. It carries no ads, so costs over a hunndred dollars per issue. In the case if Blood magazine there is little or no content, aside from the ads, and no-one wanted to talk about the cost. Inspite of the silence, money talks.