Saturday, 16 April 2011

How to get a Watford place

So I'm winding up the blog.
This is because I've lost my love for advertising.
I didn't try and fail. I've just changed path...

I did manage to get a place on the Watford course. I just didn't accept the offer. If anyone wants to know roughly how to do it, its all here in the archives. The creative test I used is here. The portfolio I submitted is here...(it only got 6/10 so you should look to do better than this). Tony doesn't really like digital so don't do complex google-maps-treasure-hunt rubbish. If you do digital, do something simple like Subservient Chicken. And before you do anything, I'd read 'Hey Whipple, Squeeze This', 'Advertising is dead, long live advertising' and 'The Idea Writers'.

So yeah. Don't get me wrong, I still think that a lot of the work (especially in the 60s) was great, fresh, exciting, artful, witty, intelligent. But I've realized that I don't like selling. I don't like 'creating want'. And for those who say that advertising can't make people buy something they don't already want or need - that it simply convinces them chose my brand over the competitor's - well, I don't like branding either. Creating something from nothing - adding value which isn't there and getting people to pay more for it. Some people think that stuff is cool, but I'm not one of them. And I'm not so keen on state of advertising today... the phrases crowd-sourcing, multi-platform, user-experience and brand advocacy make me feel empty inside and a little angry.

And while I'm aware that the lifestyle of an adman would be fun - drawing, filming, travelling... If I'm doing something I don't believe in, then deep down inside I'll never really be satisfied. So I'd rather do something meaningful if possible - and if not meaningful, at least something which is appreciated rather than widely hated.

Yes there are your Duncan Marshalls (an ex-Watfordian himself) who do good and meaningful things in the field of advertising, like helping get clean water to millions (see Tap Project) or Obama elected, but these type of people are 1 in a million. And the type of projects those types of individuals initiate are vastly removed from what I'd label advertising. They're simply great ideas.

And you don't have to be in advertising to have one of those.

Think on this

"The greatest damage done by advertising is precisely that it incessantly demonstrates the prostitution of men and women who lend their intellects, their voices, their artistic skills to purposes in which they themselves do not believe, and …. that it helps to shatter and ultimately destroy our most precious non-material possessions: the confidence in the existence of meaningful purposes of human activity and respect for the integrity of man." - Paul Baran And Paul Sweezy

And more recently...

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The Online Intern

This is how you get the ad world's attention. This young Manchester based lass has a set up her own site where she will respond to 5 creative briefs set by whichever agencies want to get involved. She practically interns for a week with that agency, but all from the comfort of her own home.

This is a great idea, setting an example for all those Northerners who want a foot in the door with an agency down south but can't afford to travel or move to live down there. She gets to keep the low rent of the North, but work with the best London based agencies there are.

Poke London, digital trailblazers that they are, are the first agency to have gotten on board. I foresee big things - lets just hope, spotlight on, that she has some more good ideas in response to the briefs.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Indecision overcomes me

Dear followers and passers-by alike,

Indecision looms like a dark cloud. I'm having serious doubts about my goal of 'getting into advertising'. These doubts can be summed up in the following comment I made on Luke 'Hey Whipple' Sullivan's blog the other day. The post itself is well worth a read, it's a review of a new book he likes called The Idea Writers by Teresa Iezzi.

"I first read your book about a year ago. It was recommended reading for an ad course I’m about to start in Watford, near London, next year. Each time I read from it I was inspired. Among other things, I learnt that simplicity is key. Eventually I put together a book and got offered a place on the course. Since waiting for the course to begin, and saving money for the fees, I’ve gradually become more and more disillusioned with the industry. The more blog posts and articles I read, the more I get the impression that things aren’t as simple as they used to be. I’m overwhelmed by negativity; by people praising ‘codewriting over copywriting’, heralding the death of traditional and such like. Overly complex ‘integrated-online-treasure-hunt-google-maps-tweet-your-confession-then-like-us-on-facebook’ type campaigns proliferate and seem to go straight over my head. I mean who has the time of day to engage with brands like that? I think I’ve maybe engaged with 2 digital campaigns as a consumer (as opposed to an ad student) and I’m a young white male who spends a shit load of of time online. Aren’t I suppose to love this sort of stuff? Anyway, where I used to feel a desire to write simple, witty, yet logical ads, I already feel bitter, and I haven’t even worked in the industry yet. I’m 23 for chrissake! Do you think Teresa Iezzi’s book soothe me woes? Or is it time to re-think the career? I’ve just ordered the thing either way."

To which Luke replied:

"Hey Tom: While I’m glad you like to write clever ads, your assessment of the new advertising world is, in general, correct. It is no longer about ads. Yes, our work today INCLUDES ads, but the world is going toward telling an interesting brand story on many platforms. What was once a pretty clear playing field of print-TV-radio-outdoor has become kaliedoscopic with media opportunities. The new ad people need to be able to work in all platforms. I still think it is one of the best industries for a creative person to be in. It’s just …different. I think reading Teresa’s book will calm you down."

So I sit here in limbo; waiting for the postman to knock (twice), not knowing whether to continue to pursue that ad career or re-think entirely. Hopefully the book will make me think again.
The problem is, anyone entering the industry at this time has likely been taught a trade that may quickly become redundant - like luke says, it isn't TV/Print/Outdoor/Radio anymore. The only tangible skill which you can enter a creative department with is an ability to come up with ideas. To come up with stories for brands in whatever medium might work best. And is that something that can be taught? I don't know.
Hence: woe.

On another note - I like this. It's not really advertising, but it sure made a buzz:

Friday, 17 September 2010

Pleasing colours

via I Believe in Advertising.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Ikea Cats: Happy Inside

This doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense, but I like anyway.
I guess if you film anything as well as this and put a solo piano track to it it can seem meaningful.
Nice end line too.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Copywriter No.2

New weetabix ad it quite good. Very similar to the ad below though...