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


It’s The Little Things That Terrorism Changes …
February 1, 2007, 8:55 am
Filed under: Comment

So I flew back from Bangkok and whilst walking through their fancy [but seemingly, still unfinished] airport …

 

… I noticed a rather interesting – yet astoundingly practical – evolution to the common rubbish bin.

Yep, it’s see-through.  So bloody obvious eh?!

I remember a friend of mine who was a soldier in Ireland – and he said the thing he was most scared of were rubbish bins because you never knew what was hiding in them. I wonder how many lives would have been saved it they had simply moved from bins of solid colour to bins of transparency?  Can’t of been that hard to do could it?

Anyway, this is another example of what I call ‘practical innovation’.

At the heart of all these is the need to answer a particular issue/problem.

There are a couple of examples I particularly love …

1. The photocopier was invented by a guy at a US patent office who was fed up of having to fill in the same form over and over again.

2. My mate Ian created the see-through shoe box because he saw his wife constantly hunting through her shoe boxes to find the right pair for the outfit she was wearing.

3. The ‘Trim Trolley’ that Tesco’s created [again, thanks to Ian] to help time-poor women get fit by making the trolley have variable resistance levels.

Great eh!

So isn’t it sad so many people in advertising talk about channel-neutral solutions and then end up solving their clients problems always via an ‘ad’?

And isn’t it disappointing that so many clients talk about wanting agencies to solve their business problems then only allow them to do a TVC?

This industry needs a great big fucking wake-up call … and I include those clients with 1950’s philosophies as to how to market to consumers.

I truly believe advertising is still an important force in business … hardly any other area [bar product development – which has been the driving force for brand growth over the last 5-8 years] can match it for helping create an ‘image memory’ into the minds of existing/potential consumers.  However unless more people and agencies start backing this up with practical solutions to clients/consumer needs – then we’re going to end up being more frustrated, restricted and humiliated than we ever thought possible.

I mean, do you really like the fact one-dimensional thinkers [copyright Fred] like ‘McKinsey’s’ are treated with greater respect than us folk in adland?   Especially because at end of the day, all they try and do is ‘cost-cut’ their way to profitability when we know that if you really want to make your business better, you do it from people power … something adland [and planners] are the true experts in.

I love advertising … some of the people and attitudes are abit questionable … but I really love what I do. 

What’s pissing me off is what it’s becoming – especially because alot of it is in the hands of the people within the industry … the people who have an inherent [and almost un-natural] desire to be regarded as a high-end business intellectual as opposed to an expert in ‘motivating the masses’.

Power FROM The People … Power TO The People … it’s what made us [and should continue to make us] unbelievably valuable to business!

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60 Comments so far
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Will this post be sausage free?

Great comment again, but what has got your goat because you’re ranting like a planner obsessed.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great and almost inspiring 🙂 but what is feeding this flame of passion, anger and determination?

Should I read in to it that a certain piece of “secret news” is about to made public?

And I love the Tesco’s trolley thing. Ian is the best example of a guy who actually practices brand neutral thinking and deserves all the money and praise he gets.

Come back to the US, have more fun and you can bring Hari with you.

Comment by Pete

after a great post on wooster about a nike ad that’s been jammed, i think i have a bit of a clue as to why those in adland are not as regarded as you might hope, rob.

people see ads only as the company they represent. so when you see a nike ad, you don’t see it as an image of a nike product, you see it as a nike product. or a stereotypical image of a blonde with a huge rack wearing a cougar shirt is not an image of a cougar product, but a blonde with a huge rack wearing a cougar shirt.

unfortunately, it’s a bit of a dichotomy because you want brand recognition through this phenomenon. you want people to associate sony with a film about exploding paint, but as a result, advertising writers, directors, planners, etc, lose their creative mark on the whole thing by forgoing their signature for the brand.

and because of all of this, those companies are unwilling to let go of their control, because whatever solution is used, will ultimately reflect on the company as the company, not as an ad/promo/how’s-it-going-i’m-alright-jack for the company. plus an economic rationalist will always love a quantifiable solution and what’s quantifiable about creativity and passion?

did i just regurgitate the obvious there?

Comment by lauren

Hi Lauren, nice comment though I am not sure I agree with all of it.

While I think I agree with the Cougar example you give (I’m guessing its an alcohol product) in NIKE’s case, their work is predominantly attitudinaly based (even when they show a particular product attribute and/or a sporting endorser) so the line between product and brand is so thin that people don’t see it as separate entities and buy into the brand attitude as a whole.

I do believe Ad-association can and does work and while people may deny it (because they hate the idea they are caught up in it all) the fact is the cosmetic business was built in this way. As for the Sony Bravia ad it was (as far as I know) not about associating with exploding paint, but demonstrating the televisions colour variety. We shouldn’t confuse the two, even though I do understand where you are coming from.

Finally, while too many companies don’t let creative people do their job with total freedom, we do need to remember our job is not to sell art, but to sell products so whilst they may wish to push more and more rational elements, our skill is being able to take this and express it in entertaining, memorable and motivating ways, so that the fusion between art and commerce can exist.

I can say with experience that once clients trust you, they do tend to let you get on with it which is why my agency is famous for the work we create in 2007 whereas many others are famous for their work they did back in the 1950’s.

Comment by Pete

Hurrah … debate without the ‘s’ word in sight.

Keep going … keep going …

[For the record: I do see both sides of the argument, not because I like sitting on the fence [I think we all know that’s not something I am good at] but because there is always more than one way to look at things.

Without doubt too many agencies and companies think their brand has a disproportionate importance in people’s lives … which is why so many products and advertising end up as faceless crap … however there are some out there who understand how to really build a brand ‘image’ and ‘association’ – and whilst it tends to start with a great product it also is about engaging on a cultural level rather than a blatant product and category focus.

Sure this still is ‘advertising’ as opposed to a more purist approach to communication, but then the line is so thin these days I could argue the iPOD was also a fusion of these 2 elements.

Comment by Rob

Just some thoughts on this. They may even be grown up ones so let’s see. As someone who has sat on both sides of the fence (agency and client) maybe I can give a little insight. Maybe not. Firstly, I think it should be made quite clear that your clients rarely have a true understanding of what it is we waffle on about. If anybody had turned up at Nintendo with triangles, pyramids, circles or whatever communication paradigms we happen to be planning with, you would be met with blank, glassy stare. The assumption is we all speak the same language, when of course we don’t.

When you a client your motivations are different. We spend ours thinking, blogging and arguing about this stuff. We spend time and energy on it. And hell, yes, we happen to think it’s important. As a client you concerned with how many units have been shifted, and if there will be spaghetti bolognese in the canteen at lunch time.

Good agencies have passion. So should good clients. But the fact of the matter is, if you took over the employment of most of your clients (Brand Managers, marketing managers etc) you would kick their arses out of the office within a week. I can’t remember who said it, (I think it may have been a German – Adorno?) but somebody said “a critic is the impotent shadow of the practitioner” (I think that’s right) and the same is often true of the communications people employed by our clients.

I’m off on one now.

Have you noticed that the people, client side, who have some say, are getting younger? Straight out of college, multi million Euro account, never worked anywhere else and wear their agencies like a bright shiny badge?

The fundamental problem is that the industry as a whole accepts this nonsense. Worse still, it, as a whole, thinks it’s rather good.

When you’re a client, you like it when the agency comes in, because it gets you away from your desk and you get to have biscuits and maybe a better cup of coffee than usual. You don’t want real innovation, even if you know your business needs it, because the internal battle would be too bloody. And even if you manage to box the idea through in, for arguments sake, Germany, head office may and often do, steamroll in and declare “it’s not on brand”.

I was a client for 363 days. It drove me mad.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Fucking well done Marcus – great viewpoint and no mention of the ‘s’ word either.

I am in complete agreement that quite often, agencies and clients talk completely different languages.

Not all of them [you can tell who because they tend to be the ones who do the most interesting stuff] but quite alot.

Why? Well there’s quite a few reasons but the ones that instantly come to mind are …

1. Some agencies are arrogant enough to think they know everything – meaning they don’t understand, appreciate or respond to what the real issues are. [The art of ‘asking questions’ seems to be diminishing]

2. Many marketing people are not versed in the realities of life – basing all their knowledge from an out-of-date … or out-of-context … research paper/book.

3. The industry has cultivated a ‘them’ and ‘us’ attitude [often based around fees] resulting in both parties not trusting or respecting each other.

4. Despite comments to the contrary, companies DON’T appreciate mistakes so job security is often manifested through conservatism and duplication rather than pragmatism and liberation.

5. Despite comments to the contrary, many agencies DON’T really care about solving the clients fundamental problem, they just want short-term profit explosion and/or the opportunity to produce self-indulgent creative expressions aimed more at the ad community rather than the general consumer.

6. The training given … both from client and agency sides … is generally terrible and so comments like ‘It’s Off Brand’ are often expressed by people who actually don’t know what a ‘brand’ actually is. [I’ve met people who regard the brand as the bloody ad template design!!!]

Hell, it’s even harder in Asia … because not only do you have the language barriers, but also the fact the place operates on myth and legend so the implication of any idea has to be evaluated by individual country – which often leads to ‘lowest common denominator communication’ which work more at putting people OFF a brand than attracting them.

Then there’s the fact that culturally Asia
‘follows’ rather than ‘leads’ which means selling a new category direction takes literally years plus the attitude towards client side ‘brand management’ tends to be one of ‘process control’ rather than real brand development. It’s about pleasing their boss rather than the consumer.

Saying that though, enthusiasm does go a bloody long way and given we were told we’d not achieve anything in Asia, we’re doing pretty well so far – even though I say it myself.

Why?

Well as I said, enthusiasm does go a long way but then so does empathy, trust, cultural awareness, business and consumer knowledge, idea and channel nuetrality [sell on ‘ideas’ – never just individual words], perseverence and sheer bloody mindedness & cheekiness.

Well, it’s either that or my looks. Ahem.

Comment by Rob

Billy, I’m really very sorry. You were innocent. I was wrong.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Dear Marcus.
Thank you very much for keeping your word and apologising to Billy. It’s so nice to see people with honour.
Billy is actually away at present, but I will ensure he is aware of your act.
We all hope to meet you one day, you have been quite the topic of conversation in the office as of late.
Kind Regards, Katerina

Comment by Katerina

Isnt trust the big issue.
So many agencies churn out safe rubbish, so the companies dont really trust them, so they keep churning out safe crap.

If you look at how successes like Honda and Sony, how they have taken risks and been bold; and in return the companies have given them more trust to go into more creative places. Thats why I genuinely like the attitude and work of you lot (Rob/Andy/Billy/George etc!), you arent afraid to state the truth for the sake of gaining trust. That trust allows you to produce less safe ads, which are invariably better.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

A terrific post and one that Piers at PSFK who is nuts about branded utility would probably be very excited with. I can imagine Thailand’s largest optician ‘Top Charoen’ being very interested in sponsoring those transparent bins rather than producing the very negative ad campaign they last did through JWT. There’s a bundle of other very good ideas that could work round transparency and being visually alert.

Incidentally the new airport is probably going to be shut down as the cracks in the runway are not going away. I went on the pilots forum and they said they are getting round them in the traditional Thai manner, by steering round them 😉 Back to Don Muan I say.

Comment by Charles Frith

I appreciate being a client drove you mad Marcus, but what’s holding you back from jumping back into the agency world? I heard from Rob you’re elsewhere. (You better have a pretty good reason to be out of it because the industry certainly needs people like you)

Comment by fredrik sarnblad

Katerina, I would love to meet you all too. Lovely lot that you all are.

Rob M, you need a very special space for trust to happen. It’s a magical place. Only really happens when knowledge, skill, daring, passion etc are on both sides of the table. Hence, a rare thing.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Wonderful debate here people. Lots of great points being made. Im staying in the background mostly to see what people think on this.

Though, Marcus, does that mean you worked for Ninty?!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

True Marcus, but its very sad that more clients and more agencies dont at least strive for it.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I was their European Online Manager yes.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Dear Marcus, you have made me blush despite that compliment being aimed at all of us.
Kind Regards, Katerina

Comment by Katerina

Nice. Did you ever get to meet Mr Miyamoto?

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Karterina, don’t blush.
Rob M, I was with them when he visited but never met him. I do have a signed limited edition Zelda box set though.

Now back to the subject of the post.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Excellent.

I think Nintendo are a good case though, as despite great products they have always (certainly before the DS) suffered from bad advertising. Most Nintendo fans I know put the demise of the Gamecube in Europe almost entirely down to bad ads (boring or badly planned or old fashioned etc)and a lack of ad prescence.

Now they appear to understand it more, and the results are showing clearly.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Jesus … an intelligent debate – am I dreaming???

K you are a total sweetie and Marcus I am very impressed you were true to your word.

I agree that ‘trust’ is the most important word in advertising … however the problem is too many agencies go in thinking they deserve it from Day 1 whereas our view is that you have to go out and earn it. [especially as many clients just want you to solve a problem rather than become a trusted ‘partner’]

The way we do this is starting with some ‘blunt honesty’ … telling clients hard truths … whilst also offering up some real options that can help fulfil their fundamental short and long-term business issues/aspirations – which often have nothing to do with advertising at all. [The mobile signal blocker for a chain of luxury hotels – “Because A Holiday Should Be From Everything” being one example!]

Sure it doesn’t always work out … but the clients who tend to come to us do it because of who we are and what we believe … it’s never because we charge less, have more offices, more staff or greater propriety reasearch tools.

Hell, one client hires us because ‘We Keep The Others Honest’ and all because our attitude is PEOPLE COME FIRST.

As we say in our manifesto – our goal is to protect humanity from communication and brands that have no meaning, relevance, enjoyment or values.

It won’t make us super-rich, but we can sleep at night and look our friends in the eye.

Comment by Rob

I have to say I did love those UK Nintendo ads with Rick Mayall. Especially the pisstake out of Nigel Mansell.

Comment by Rob

To suggest the GameCube failed in Europe because of the advertising is absurd. It is true that Nintendo are one of the blunter tools in the advertising tool kit, but that really wasn’t the problem. When you launch a console there are a few “magical” things that need to be in place to make it a success. First up is Christmas. You’ve got to hit Christmas simple as that. Secondly the console has got to be right. The GameCube is a great console, but it wasn’t the right console. That was the Xbox. Finally you have to launch with the right games. No other console on the market (except, historically, with Sega) has games that are so intertwined with the console. Nintendo launched with Luigi’s Mansion, which was a good game but it wasn’t Mario. And it was a single player. Nintendo tried to make a console that would fit into the console war instead of focusing on what it was good at; family, party funny GAME PLAY.

I’ve written, at length about why Wii is so good, so I’ll stop now.

So Rob M, I believe that no matter how clever, good, innovative the GameCube advertising could have been it was always going to fail. Because it was the wrong product at the wrong time.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Exactly! Agencies expect to be trusted because of who they are, but that actually creates mis-trust. The agencies that (appear at least) to go out and earn that trust are the ones who are booming.

Some of their ads were ok, but certainly from the N64-GC period they were either poor, or not run enough to make any impact.

My favourite Nintendo ad I can recall was a print one for Super Mario Land 2, back when Sonic was all the rage. It said “Why did the hedgehog cross the road? To get to Super Mario Land 2.”

On a side note, Sega’s ads in Japan for the Dreamcast were brilliant.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

and it was purple.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Marcus – I agree mostly with you, but that view is very common across Nintendo fans in Europe.

Most casual gamers believed it to be less powerful than PS2, and that dented the chances of a brilliant machine. I think the Cube has some amazing games, but it never lived up to its potential for many reasons.

They have made up for it with Wii though. AND the ads arent bad either. Which reminds me, I must go finish Zelda…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

lol.

Yes, that was a big mistake. Though it was still better looking than the PS2 or Xbox! The silver one was nice though.

3rd party support was its big flaw.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

the ads in Germany are appalling.

Comment by Marcus Brown

if I remember rightly I think we sold about 4 units in oz.

Comment by Marcus Brown

I dread to think.

The Japanese Sega ads for DC were brilliant. A set had one of the heads of Sega going round realising that a company (a Japanese nickname for PS1) had taken over the playgrounds and streets; so he went home sad and then tried to start selling the Dreamcast!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Yes, which makes the success of DS and Wii there all the more impressive.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Ok Rob M – let’s get the Nintendo thing on track with Rob’s post and look at what you said about casual gamers and the PS2. What should Nintendo have done, and what should Leo Burnett have fought for?

Comment by Marcus Brown

They needed a consistent image, and a consistent campaign.

Whilst Sony were at the height of their advertising weirdness, and Xbox was looking powerful and bulky; the Cube was left looking scattered, unsure of itself and as kiddy as some people mistakenly believed.

Both LB and Nintendo needed to come up with a solid consistent campaign and stick with it. Instead of partially hitting one big target they missed lots of targets all over the place.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

OK. That’s consistent with marketing think. And it’s sound. But what about this; Leo should have told Nintendo not to launch.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Depends on whether they would have changed anything, and whether you mean a delayed launch.

If they had advised them to:

Change the colour
Get more 3rd party support
Get more floor space (i.e.: pay game like Sony/MS supposedly did)

or

Give the system a must have launch game (Mario, Zelda…)

or even

Go away and make a more powerful system to launch next xmas, thereby providing a differential.

Then maybe they should yes. They should have seen how hard it would be to differentiate the system in a positive way, especially with the colour/games/support issue; and told Nintendo.

The good thing is that Nintendo now appear to have learnt their lessons from the Cube.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

No, not a delay; a plain and simple “no, don’t do it” is what I meant. You see, the thing is that could only happen if Nintendo had had enough trust in Leo to involve them in the PRODUCT DEVELOPEMENT.

By the time it get’s to briefing the Agency on the brief there are so many dependencies it’s impossible to stop the process. Even if you know it’s all pants. For an agency to have any real value it needs to be involved in product development.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Yep … I’m with you about ‘hold the launch’ Marcus.

I remember being asked to pitch for Michelin and our response was DON’T ADVERTISE [well, spend about 15% on ATL ads just to maintain brand creds]with the rest spent on car manufacture associations as well as tyre fitter / distributor programs & promotions because tyres are a distress purchase and the majority of the purchase decision is based on reccomendation rather than specific request.

We were asked to leave.

The issue was we were talking to people WITHOUT bottom line responsibility [marketing people] so they WANTED an ad and didn’t care about it’s effectiveness.

To be fair to Rob, it’s all well and good saying the agency should have said DON’T LAUNCH but the realities of business tends to mean it is a tidal wave you can’t just stop.

Sure they should have [and maybe did] say the product wasn’t good enough for the market [we now have been asked to advise SONY on consumer expectation levels to ensure they don’t fall into this trap as they have numerous times] however if they were told ‘IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN SO MAKE IT WORK’ then I think on top of many other key areas, they should of definitely had a clear, concise and focused strategy rather than the scattergun approach they chose to adopt. Who knows what was going on in the background – I hate it when the agencies get all the blame because someone, somewhere approved all the work/thinking so it should definitely be shared blame / shared fame … though maybe I’m living in dreamland.

Comment by Rob

parrallel posting can be funny.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Yes.

Like I said:

“Go away and make a more powerful system to launch next xmas, thereby providing a differential.”

In essence I meant the same thing, cancel the product as it is. Thereby involving them in the dev process to ensure a successful launch of what would come next.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

You are so right Marcus … but the other side of the coin is agencies should turn down working with clients if they DON’T give them access to R&D etc etc.

It’s not always easy because everyone is so damn secretive these days … however in my experience, the R&D people LOVE adfolk – especially if they can be told their ‘bottom drawer idea’ could be huge and they will help them prove it to top management.

Comment by Rob

My word I’ve enjoyed reading this stuff. Marcus, fully fledged bastard of a good point on clients.

By the way, if it’s a fact that agencies and clients speak a different language, why the hell do so many agencies pretend they do? I happen to beleive that everyone can bring something to the table, but while smoke and mirrors and hidden agendas stalk the corridors of this industry it won’t happen, we’re all too busy pretending to agree.
Behind closed doors, agencies slag of clients and berate them for not listening their advice – which is fine, they know communication. BUT clients know business. Lets all be honest about where good at.
Rob, that’s why I like Cynic, you set out you’re stall from the offset.

Comment by Northern Planner

Before I go to bed … a little story.

Years ago I was in a meeting and a planner on Coke suggested putting a can of the product in every PS2 box because that way, the brand could leverage some of the PS2’s ‘cool credentials’ for itself.

If memory serves me, her actual words were something like “… it will dimensionalize [yes, her word!] a completely new brand experience”.

I sat there [as a new guy on the Coke business – and from a different agency from this lady] and asked if Coke had actually invented a new product … because unless their product had an ‘anti-shake’ feature, it was possibly the most stupid idea I’d ever heard and maybe they should concentrate on making their brand cool rather than trying to be parasites on other brands hard work.

Amazingly I stayed … she went … but this is how huge marketing mistakes can happen. I could see in their eyes they liked the idea .. because excitement has a nasty way of blinding logic.

Night … keep debating… this is refreshing.

Comment by Rob

To use a rubbish analogy, its like football.

If you have two strikers who both want to score and dont work together, they will never be as effective as two who work together.

Shevchenko vs Henry

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I don’t think marketing directors should be allowed to work with advertising agencies anymore. Honestly, I mean that.

Marketing Director: “Here it is. Make it sell.”
Agency: “But it’s purple”
Marketing Director: “So what. Make it sell”.

this could be better:
R&D Chap: “Look what I’m thinking of making”
Agency: “Why is it purple?”
R&D Chap: “Is that a problem?”

Comment by Marcus Brown

Absolutely Marcus.

R+D is about making something consumers want to buy, so why on earth would you not want to involve the people who talk on your behalf to those consumers?

Comment by Rob Mortimer

sorry Fred, just seen your comment. I’m a printer. Really, I work in a printing company.

Comment by Marcus Brown

What I love is that agencies tell clients to be differentiated from their competition but then are just like all the others themselves.

They obviously rationalise this approach by saying if they were to have too strong a philosophy, they could alienate a potential big piece of business. Hypocrites and liars …

What’s interesting is more and more clients ARE seeking agencies with strong values and philosophies because they obviously feel the bigger agencies don’t stand for anything and are more focused on getting the cash they need to survive [with their massive overheads] than doing something they truly believe in.

Hell, we’re now being approached by very un-cynic clients and whilst that doesn’t mean we’ll end up working with them [the Huggies debacle left a weird taste in our mouths] it is very promising for us and every other opionated boutique agency.

Right, DEFINITELY off to bed.

Comment by Rob

Huggies debacle?!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I mix ink.

Comment by Marcus Brown

If your machines were so loud you couldnt hear a tune, would that make you pantone deaf?

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I’m not qualified to answer pantone questions sorry.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Rats!

Thanks for the enjoyable debate on advertising and Nintendo (two of my favourite subjects)!

Now if you can tell me where I can pick up a Wavebird cheaply to use on the Wii my day would be complete…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

in your attic. Your old GC WaveBird works with Wii.

Comment by Marcus Brown

I know, but I dont have any for the GC!
The VC pad is nice, but I prefer a Cube pad for Cube games.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I knew it couldn’t last – now we’re in Wavebird conversations.

The Huggies debacle was that we created an a campaign for them that achieved the highest global recall rates in Kimberly Clarke history but then, because it was rather risque [“Protects You From People Full Of Crap” – but it was aimed at Dad’s rather than Mum’s] they paid us NOT to run it.

OK so we didn’t lose out financially – but given they knew what we were like, we were rather surprised and disappointed that a campaign everyone absolutely loved, didn’t see the light of day because of corporate uncomfortableness.

Comment by Rob @ Cynic

Thats just crazy. I can almost see where the cynic minds would have gone on this one.

I also think its a great idea to try marketing nappies at dads rather than mums. I cant recall any other company doing that.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

It was genius … shot like an old Wild West film in the Saloon. There were cowboys all over the place before a baby with a giant nappy tried to get in through the swing doors.

Oh, I’m not doing it justice – but it was great – as was the new packaging, which we made look like a tool box!

Comment by Rob @ Cynic

Haha! Shame they backed out.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

rob m, that pantone joke was possibly the worst in the history of ‘industry jokes’.. but damn if i didn’t have a giggle!

this post has been fantastic reading and thankfully reminded me that authenticity is the key.

during the day i’m one of those awful in-house communications people that you guys despise and i’ve been trying to ‘encourage’ my organisation to be present for a younger audience, make itself a little more accessible to those who might see us as a daggy, boring kind of organisation and get a whole bunch of new people to associate with us. with much resistance from all directions.

and, thanks to this blog, i realised that the fact of the matter is, that ain’t gonna happen and somehow, it’s time for us to embrace our inner dork and speak to our true audience.

now, i’m off to channel my inner middle-aged-mother-of-3-with-a-fine-arts-degree-and-an-absent-husband and see what i find :)…

[perhaps i can come up with a safe Huggies campaign while i’m at it..ha!]

Comment by lauren

Lauren – we don’t HATE you – we simply dislike the interal comms people who don’t understand what they really do … who they really do it for … what they really need to achieve … how best to do it and who best to do it with. Ha

As we said, in too many cases, these peoples life experience is a text book and while we are all for education, some people are being given huge responsibilities far too early in their career – ultimately affecting the relationship with the consumers, the distribution network, the morale of the organisation and the brands opportunity to flourish in the future.

And yes, I do realise the companies that give them this job are to blame for lack of training etc … and then we can blame the shareholders who demand higher returns which is why less trained people are often hired because they’re cheaper etc etc.

It’s all connected isn’t it … but we’re sure you’re not one of them. [Please say you’re not one of them, ha!]

As for inner geek … we once were approached by the computer network people, CISCO, to do a campaign that would raise their awareness with the man on the street. After pointing out they didn’t really need to be known by the man on the street [but their ego wanted it] we came up with the campaign, “Where Would The World Be Without The Geek?”.

Just like Huggies, it tested amazingly and then we were asked to bugger off. I guess their ego to be famous didn’t stretch to doing it in a way that the average person would actually understand, find entertaining and relate to. Whoops!

Comment by Rob @ Cynic

[…] a bin [and let’s remember, this is not the first time this has happened] produces more effective solutions than much of adland – and certainly what adland awards at […]

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