The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


If It Walks Like A Twat … Talks Like A Twat … It’s Probably A Twat.
April 28, 2010, 6:43 am
Filed under: Comment

There’s a lot of talk in adland at the moment about doing stuff that achieves stuff … stuff that will help our clients grow culturally, commercially, environmentally and/or simply in terms of love, adoration or popularity.

Errrm, isn’t that exactly what we are supposed to have been doing – and have been claiming we do – for the past 30 odd years?

To present this as a ‘new view’ is absolutely terrifying but not as scary as people in adland thinking our clients will greet this news with smiles, applause and open arms.

Seriously, are we really that fucking stupid?

I think we are you know …

I’ve said for years that the ad industry of the 50’s and 60’s were more industrious and commercially minded than much of what goes on today … and whilst [thankfully] there are still some people and agencies who believe in ‘doing’ rather than ‘saying’ … the fact the industry is happy to talk about this stuff like they’ve cracked the Da Vinci code demonstrates how increasingly myopic, delusional and irrelevant we’ve all become.

PS: Just in case anyone gets the wrong impression, this post is NOT aimed at Gareth’s brilliant speech from the 4A’s … he is most definitely allowed on his soapbox because he [1] means it [2] has been living it and [3] has been fighting for it for a very long time … however to the self-appointed gurus who talk a good game, despite never having actually done what they proclaim – I would like you to know your dirty little secret isn’t safe, it’s not even a secret.

About these ads

46 Comments so far
Leave a comment

The normal definition for “stuff” in this context is awards, no?

But seriously, don’t you think it is more important to do “stuff” nowadays? In the dark ages prior saturated choice, the web and less friction in the marketplace, it was a lot easier to take the buck and run. Charlatans and cheats have got to make a living too.

Comment by Simon Kendrick

its always been about doing stuff its just nerdy tech has let people find out whether youre a lying sack of shit or worth the cash before the bullshit hype machine really has a chance to kick in.

if we had this shit when jesus was around the fucking bible would be in the 2 for 1 bucket at whsmiths not in every fucking hotel room.

Comment by andy@cynic

Your bible analogy may be the best analogy I’ve heard regading the benefits/concerns brands face in the modern era of communication and technology.

Great post Robert, I could hear your keyboard being bashed in anger as I read it.

Comment by Pete

you sound like youre surprised im such a fucking genius pete. dont know why, i tell you 10 times a fucking day.

Comment by andy@cynic

I’m fine with creating stupid products [we've done them for us/cynic and - in past lives - clients such as the Tango megaphone] but we never did them claiming to be the Kings of Commerce … which seems to be the pirch many agencies are putting out because they made some fucking jam or something.

Besides, all this weirdo stuff has been done better and with more profit years before with Pet Rock … so yet again adland tends to be late to the party on stuff.

Saying that some agencies – be it us, 72, Brooklyn Bros etc do want to evolve into being genuine idea manufacturing centres however the difference is they do it when it is the right thing to do, not just because it’s trendy.

Comment by Rob

the best fucking part is all the pricks jumping on the “create something” bandwagon who create niche bullshit thinking that will impress clients about the new face of advertising because they dont know what to do, dont know how to be commercially aware and dont know how to answer a brief without an ad in it. best evidence of passive adland a client could get.

Comment by andy@cynic

Are you talking about the latest “product development” craze Andy?

if so, can I join in please?

Comment by Rafik

“musical” calculators and suitcases with stickers on it? give me a fucking break.

we were making and selling novelty shit when they most of these fuckers thought digital was alien technology sent to destroy the world (cynic christmas cards, how to be a procrastinator book, tea & biscuit mug) but we moved on to stuff that had real fucking commercial value even if it was for clients more than us, but helping develop a moped for piaggio or tv shows for mtv or airline interiors for virgin or kill free military hardware for the uk government based on the real needs of a client trumps selling some tshirts with an ironic statement on them any day of the fucking week.

over to you rafik.

Comment by andy@cynic

When you read it, you realsie we did alright didn’t we!

PS) Don’t slag off the ruler ;)

Comment by Rob

you mean “i” did alright. yes i fucking did. and the ruler is shit and you fucking know it but at least they took the piss rather than claimed it was a revolution in fucking musical instruments like a certain luggage
“developer” tried to say. good fucking job theyre brilliant in a load of other fucking ways or id have to go round with some matches and dynamite.

Comment by andy@cynic

I was going to bitch about stupid products and risk alienating even more friends, but I think your observation about the most interesting products being done for clients rather than yourselves is actually a very important one. When agencies go that route, the output tends to make a lot more sense. Even when it’s t-shirts! (CNN)

The baby mattress 72andSunny did for whatever they’re called is good too. So maybe there’s a lesson in there…

Comment by Rafik

I am alarmed, I have nothing to add to Andy’s comment – especially the one where he talks about the bible, which is the sort of analogy I wish I could come up with.

Have you got George writing your comments again Andy?

Comment by Rob

This is pretty much wet dream territory as far as “creating products” goes:

http://www.dvorak.org/blog/2010/04/22/blizzard-makes-3-5-million-dollars-in-3-hours-on-wow-horse/

Comment by Rafik

Yes, but taking cash from the never-been-kissed brigade isn’t very kind is it, hahaha!

Comment by Rob

in the red corner we have the jelly backboned pampered pansy planners. theyve had few fights because they just talk a lot with their peers about whatever they have been told is the right thing to say even if everyone else has been saying the same thing for 6 years. but they dont mind because they think it only fucking counts when they say it even if they never fucking do anything about it or with it. they are italian in all but their fucking nationality.

in the blue corner we have the annoying little fuck rob campbell. he drones on about everything, likes queen and the worlds best shit telly and dresses like a a teen twat but has done a fuckload of stuff, worked with a fuckload of people and is more commercially aware and creative than most of the fuckers in the red corner put together mainly because the ugly nottingham twat does stuff and actually enjoys trying it than worrying about his hair or upsetting the sheep. ironically he is half italian but the way he fucking attacks and doesnt fucking surrender youd think the fucker is half north korean, half terrier.

im complimenting you campbell if you didnt know. send the money to the usual address.

Comment by andy@cynic

I could tell. It’s worrying.

Comment by Rob

the bird example in the video is very cool. and to the point if you ask me.

Comment by peggy

It’s great … and as I said, Gareth can speak out about this stuff because he’s lived and living it, it’s not bandwagon-jumping-with-no-substance ranting like many I could mention. One in particular, but his ears will be burning from my conversation with a couple of his ex colleagues last night, ha!

Comment by Rob

The whole concept of “stuff” is very vague in itself and allows a lot of people to get away with saying they’ve done or are doing “stuff” without being accountable for much. What started as a very humble cry to get out and do something (“something”) has turned into yet another buzz word.

Well that’s what how I feel anyway.

Comment by Rafik

as long as you can look like youre part of the set, thats enough. makes me fycking sick but to be fair to campbell and auntie, they were the ones who showed me the way, i just made it and them brilliant.

Comment by andy@cynic

OK, what’s going on … I know you managed to get a kick in, but that’s still a compliment and that’s like 3 IN ONE DAY!

Are you OK?

Comment by Rob

I’ve been thinking about ‘planner': what is actually planned?

Unless it’s an action plan- a ‘where we start, what do we do, how do we roll, when are finished’ plan- it is indeed duck like.

Comment by katiechatfield

seems the output of many planners is overlong documents and sycophantic mumbles. its about thinking like youre manufacturers not advertisers and then something of note wont just get talked about but actually fucking done.

an action plan is good but an action plan and do would be better but too many fuckers dont want to get their hands dirty, accept they dont know it all or stray from their comfy little spaces theyve created for themselves.

they talk collaberation but they only want to do it with their mirror image which achieves fuck all which is probably the point.

Comment by andy@cynic

An action plan is designed for doing- lots of doing by all kinds of people who need to make all kinds of decisions: HR, R&D, Sales as well as marketing

An as to those who don’t get it? Boo Hoo

Comment by katiechatfield

The future belongs to the few of us still willing to get our hands dirty

Get the poster + the dirty hands

http://katiechatfield.wordpress.com/2009/12/22/the-future-belongs-to-the-few-of-us-still-willing-to-get-our-hands-dirty/

Comment by katiechatfield

I absolutely love the “hands dirty” poster Katie – that alone is more than most could claim to have actually done beyond an ad or a ‘viral video’.

Comment by Rob

I think what Andy is getting at is that an action plan is just a piece of paper until people actually act. Its not the action plan that is at fault, it’s the lack of action that follows.

Comment by John Dodds

G’day John- that would be our role then as planners- not only to frame the action but to inspire it and to enable and empower people to act on it.
There’s not much point in writing a symphony and allowing it to live as sheet music.

Comment by katiechatfield

That’s why I love Gareth Kay’s description of what planners should be, conductors of the orchestra … but that could be [1] because it appeals to my ego and [2] they get all the credit but all the other poor bastards with more talent do all the work.

Comment by Rob

As a client, I find it offensive that a focus on commercial effectiveness is being touted like a breakthrough within the advertising industry.

George friendships aside, the reason we enjoy our relationship with you and your illustrious team is because you have always understood the commercial requirements of our business, not just leap or create a communication opportunity.

If the industry wants to be taken seriously with business they should take business seriously.

Comment by Lee Hill

I knew this would upset you Lee and I don’t blame you … I am sure it would upset every client who has thrown money at an angency in the belief they would consider the commercial requirements of the client, not just the communication brief.

To be fair some clients talk about ‘commercial effectiveness’ but will only discuss/accept communication requirements/executions with their agency … but that’s a byproduct of how many agencies have positioned their role with clients as much as it is a reflection of the lower standard/value many companies place on their marketing departments/staff.

For the record, I love your “If the industry wants to be taken seriously with business they should take business seriously” statement … it’s a bit wanky Yodaish, but unlike the green big ears, it makes sense to the layman and that’s more than much of adlands current claims do.

PS: Thanks for the kind words, but we both know the real reason it works don’t we. Ha.

Comment by Rob

Impressed with Boucher. Very impressed with Boucher.

Comment by Marcus

George must of written it for him – it’s the only possible explanation.

Comment by Rob

In this particular case Lee and Robert are totally correct in their lucid and lasersharp analysis of the advertising industry. i mean to so clearly lay bare the faults of an industry, and to punch holes in THE emporers clothes..that is almost genius like ability…very few posses this kind of power of observation. I for one am in awe of such ability..

don’t you agree..Rob ;)

Comment by Niko

Are you on the same drugs as Andy appears to be Niko?

Comment by Rob

I’m not entirely sure most agengies have forgotten commercial effectiveness, but they’ve totally forgotten what that really is. In my view view, too many clients have colluded with them to aim for nothing more than a few shifts in the tracking study rather than actual action or ideas that build business, but that’s just me.
Incidentally, the best idea I ever had was for a bed retailer you won’t have heard of. It resulted in a really cheap print job for an instore thingy. The account director went mental when the client pulled telly – there was no need.

Comment by northern

I understand what you’re saying Northern – and I know that companies have played a major role in this devolution [which is why we believe more and more companies are giving their marketing department/directors less of a say in how the company operates/develops] – however whilst I agree agencies still talk about commercial effectiveness, the fact they relate it to elements that have little economical return on their clients business [ie: the things that the CEO and shareholders will care about and will ultimately prove your own value and contribution] means for all intents and purposes, they’d forgotten about commercial effectiveness and think by bringing it up now, they’ll look professional and business savvy.

And I wholeheartedly agree that a good idea can cause a major effect without billions being spent on ads – but when agencies derive their income from the production of these things, it’s little surprise to hear certain people want volume, not effectiveness.

Comment by Rob

Good to see Andy’s awareness of the reality of that mug and interesting to note Lee’s allusion to George and his illustrious team.

That said Lee and Northern are right, as ever. Too many job descriptions that highlight functional skills and delineated silos, not enough that emphasise collaborative pursuit of cashflow.

Comment by John Dodds

And my post that started the debate counts for nothing does it. :)

Comment by Rob

I only read the comments.

Comment by John Dodds

Don’t blame you … wish I did.

Comment by Rob

lee and northern are right as ever? shall i book you a room doddsy?

Comment by andy@cynic

the point rafik made about the definition of stuff is interesting. i also see this as an issue. for example, i was wondering to see a sponsored ‘virtual gift’ to post on someone elses facebook wall recently. it was for a telco. and i can imagine reasons. but why was the money not spent on real life stuff/gifts. how about sponsored cell phones for poor people in some developing country. just a thought. think that has been done before anyway… but just something thats got a real meaning for people in their life. i dont know how big the budget was tho, and what plan the sponsored virtual gift stuff is part of… but anyway. im sure there could have something been done with the money that would leave a strong impression on people’s minds, bringing the telcos message to life. not a virtual gift which was an icon showing three balloons and the logo attached. admittedly, that left a strong impression on my mind. but thats because im into communications stuff, ha.

Comment by peggy

I think one issue is that many agencies get briefs [which is both the agency and the clients fault] where the solution has been given – they just have to execute. Because of this, budget constraints means doing bigger, better, more meaningful stuff gets put on the backburner.

That’s why we like getting business issues/challenges/opportunities, because not only can we quantifiably demonstrate our value – the focus is on the result, not just the way we do it which means we stand a greater chance of [for example] putting real phones into developing nations hands rather than an icon on a Facebook page.

Doesn’t always work … it’s infinitely more difficult to pull off … but it means the budget isn’t the key issue in doing interesting work, but the mindset of the client.

Comment by Rob

All this money pillowtalk…getting me aroused.

Comment by Niko

even gary fucking glitter isnt that sick.

well done niko.

Comment by andy@cynic




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,409 other followers

%d bloggers like this: