Thursday, July 26, 2007

Crispin loses Deadenbacher, Slim Jim

You probably remember the creepy Orville Redenbacher ads from a few months ago. Poor Orville didn't quite look himself. His skin was rubbery, his eyes soulless and vague, and his speech didn't quite sync with the movement of his lips. What ever could be the matter with him?

Oh, yeah. HE'S DEAD.

Crispin Porter and Bogusky resurrected Orville through CGI--evil, Satanic CGI--and it cost them $34 million. To add insult to injury, ConAgra also pulled the Slim Jim account, which Crispin did some funny, award-winning stuff for.

The hot Venables Bell & Partners cleaned up after Crispin, winning the ConAgra account.

The lesson? Being weird might win awards, but does not necessarily sell products.

Are they selling iPods or popcorn?

And you thought J. K. Rowling was creative

The magical minds at Leo Burnett Colombo/Sri Lanka came up with a super simple way to promote Harry Potter 7. Watch as captivated individuals take pictures & video with their camera phones and even flip through the book, as if it is powering the bewitched object. Perhaps it is? Who knows!

Credits: Ramesh De Silva, Lalindra Amarasekara, Ifaz Bin Jameel, Selonica Nalawansa

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What is Viagra all about?

New Viagra commercial premiered last night during NBC Nightly News, although I saw it later on Jimmy Kimmel. It caught my attention for a couple of reasons: one, it showed several guys singing Viva Viagra to the tune of Viva Las Vegas, and two, it showed several guys singing about Viagra to each other!

Not only did this strike me as weird, because I doubt any man would ever openly admit to using Viagra, let alone sing about it with his friends. I guess perhaps that's the point, the ad is supposed to make men feel less embarrassed and inhibited about taking Viagra.

However, AIDS Healthcare Foundation attacked Pfizer for supposedly promoting Viagra for recreational use and contributing to an increase in STDs. They suggest that Pfizer is using the success of the Vegas campaign ("What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas") to promote Viagra.

Personally, I don’t think Pfizer is guilty of anything else but using the same old strategy to sell Viagra. When are they going to come up with something more original than showing men being happy again after reuniting with their erections?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Not enough talented advertising graduates

Thanks to DRoth for the heads up about this article. Scroll down for the article or click on the post title.

I'd like to comment on two of his points.

1. The shortage of talent has also driven up salaries to record levels.

The average starting salary for advertising graduates is around $30,000. Although the source is only one school's Career Office, I know that estimate is accurate based on my conversations with people around the country.

$30,000 is not a record level salary. I have a friend who works at an interactive SEO agency and her starting salary is around that range too so I'm not sure if he's referring to traditional or interactive agencies.

2. The problem begins in the universities.

Geoffrey Roche, a very successful ECD in Canada had this to say about the way the advertising industry treats its jr. level employees.

"The greatest paradox in our industry and the most cruel joke in the biz. Kids save their money, their parents mortgage their homes, they take out student loans, attend prestigious design schools for 4 years, finally get their degree and what do we tell them? “You need experience for this entry-level job that pays a little more than a waiter earns!”

Deb Morrison, the renown former Chairperson of the Texas Creative Program had this to say about teaching new media and the convergence of industry and academia.

DWen: Do you think portfolio programs should take into account the current and future trends of interactive and viral advertising when teaching jr. creatives? What about direct mail and direct marketing?

Wow. The convergence + the immense growth of so many creative content opportunities tells us that 1 -- careers can shake and rattle in so many ways and 2 -- advertising curriculum has to keep up. That's not easy. But we should be ready to bring smart and engaged people in, to flexibly reform classes, and to help guide trends, not just react to them. Academe should be a partner with industry, not simply ask for money and support.

I just wrote a column on this for Talent'll see it next week or the next, I believe.


Art & Commerce: The Education Gap
July 23, 2007
By Bob Greenberg

NEW YORK Without a doubt, cultivating new talent is the most pressing issue facing our industry. As we all know, we cannot move ahead without new talent and right now, there is a dearth of it-particularly in new media disciplines like interactive.

The problem begins in the universities. We are all struggling to attract the best and brightest to our industry. There was a time when advertising was considered a sexy, desirable profession. In the 1970s and 1980s, top graduates from the best colleges and universities pursued careers in advertising, fueling the industry and creating a body of work that built brands and changed the world. In the mass-media era, the lure of advertising was strong: Agencies were a great place to make one's mark in terms of both money and cultural influence.

The invention of the Web, which ushered in the era of consumer control, changed all that. As consumers gain control of the marketing landscape, advertising has lost its luster-ironic considering there has never been a better time to join the industry. As those who attended Cannes last month can attest, the diversity of work today is breathtaking. We saw campaigns that range from Dove "Evolution" to Tate Tracks to Burger King Games to Nike+. The days when award-show winners were synonymous with television spots and print ads are over. We've come such a long way that there is now recognition for everyone in advertising.

The shortage of talent has also driven up salaries to record levels. It's as if we are living inside another dotcom-style bubble-minus the flocks of people migrating to our industry as they did back then. Without the inflated stock prices of those days, I can't see us going back to recruiting parties, stock options and signing bonuses.

To change perceptions, we must begin inside the university programs from which agencies draw their talent. Whereas Goldman Sachs and McKinsey need target only one kind of student—graduates of the nation's top MBA programs—the advertising industry must draw from sources as diverse as business schools, design schools, and specialized programs like VCU Adcenter and Miami Ad School.

Digital agencies also need to target students in computer science programs as well as programs like MIT's Media Lab and New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP).

As agencies and clients, we need to take a proactive role inside all these programs if we're going to capture the hearts and minds of the next generation.

I serve on the boards of four universities: VCU Adcenter, NYU's Tisch School of the Arts (which houses ITP), Parsons School of Design and, most recently, the Berlin School of Creative Leadership. My involvement with these schools has been rewarding personally and professionally. From VCU, we recruit some of our hottest young account planners. NYU's ITP program is the source of dozens of our top interaction designers. Our visual design department is loaded with Parsons grads. And I'm counting on the Berlin School to feed us top creative talent in the future.

By providing us with first-rate recruits, these schools are helping my agency.

Coming full circle, my participation is helping them shape their curriculum to fit the needs of agencies in our new marketing era. The kinds of professionals needed today have changed dramatically in the past 10 years, but in many cases colleges and universities haven't entirely caught up with the new reality. Just as agencies and clients have too many people working in the old marketing model, colleges have professors who use outdated methods to train the next generation of ad-industry pros. Take copywriting, for example. Whereas copywriters in the past focused on the narrative arts associated with television and print, the next generation of copywriters needs to tackle a more diverse mix of assignments, from response-generating copy in banner ads to viral videos, Web sites and mobile campaigns. In this one area alone, there aren't enough professors with diverse backgrounds, and the problem is replicated across disciplines like planning, design, data intelligence, media and all the departments that make up the modern agency.

As much as these schools need members to serve on their boards, they also need money to help attract faculty and students, and to upgrade their curricula to serve the needs of today's agencies and clients. That's why it is so important that the industry contribute its share, as IPG recently did with a gift of $1 million to the VCU Adcenter. Putting money where my mouth is, R/GA has donated pro bono services to schools including NYU, Rhode Island School of Design and Parsons (and VCU, which is in development as I write this) to help them develop world-class Web sites—one of the most important pieces in the recruiting puzzle.

Like schools, various industry associations play a critical role in ensuring that there is a new generation of advertising talent. All agencies and clients should support the Advertising Educational Foundation and, in particular, its online curriculum project, an excellent source of content for professors and students wanting to learn about our industry.

We should all get involved in the education scene, as a matter of both self-preservation and self-satisfaction. I can't think of a better way to give and receive at the same time.

Bob Greenberg is CEO of R/GA in New York and a regular 'Adweek' columnist.

Mad Men

Hey ad students, if you want to feel bad about yourself and your chosen profession, tune in to Mad Men, AMC's new show about the ad world in the 60's. Sexual exploits, corruption, sleazy salesmen: what's not to love?

I haven't actually seen the show yet (debuted last week) but I've heard it's not bad. Would love to know people's thoughts on it, particularly anyone was around during that era.

Update: Speaking of people around during that era, there's a TV spot that shows that old-timers (60+) can still work and thrive in todays agencies at Duncans TV and here.

Friday, July 13, 2007

ads from Turkey

Someone from an international agency sent me work to post! They must think that highly of this mere blog...

I received these print work and interactive work from Clara from DDB Istanbul. Their interactive work (kindly hosted by James at Adverlicio) really grabs your attention.

On a side note, after work today I went to a UT advertising, mostly Texas Media graduates, alumni and professor happy hour at Ozona Grill and I met a lot of great people who work at Dieste Harmel & Partners, Tribal DDB Dallas, Is7,, Sabre Travel Network and many others. I was one of the younger people there and I caught up with Prof. Dobias and Gene Kincaid too. Based on my many conversations, it seems like interactive really is the future.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Speaking of controversial images

I saw this ad on facebook the other day. Is the American Civil War really a good image to associate your website with? If these are Confederate troops in the picture, I certainly wouldn't brag about my ancestors being involved with them.

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