Friday, December 23, 2011

Yes Virginia there's more to life than advertising. PEACE, RESPECT, UNDERSTANDING... but mostly LOVE!!!

I mostly hate this poster but it still makes me think.
Yes Virginia there's more to life than advertising. After all we in advertising created that fat man in the red suit to flog just about anything under the sun and most rocks. Yup, there's more.

It's that time of year again to take a moment to simply say "Thank You"... to share peace, respect, understanding and most important to share our LOVE.

My LOVE is my family. My wonderful wife who supports a billion hair-brained ideas I seem to create in my little corner of my brain. My two wonderful sons. Each becoming awesome people. My first born just finished his first semester away from home at university... somehow he is becoming everything I ever imagined he might and more. My little one amazes me everyday... he embraces life faster then it seems to come at him. I love my family, and I thank them for being my anchor and keeping me humble.

Christmas brings a few great great and not so great ads. Some advertising agencies send out their self promos to clients or simple create that piece that will hopefully have them taking that long walk to the award podium.

Christmas brings a few legendary, great and not so great ads... maybe next year I'll start in August assembling a "Best of Christmas" since a YouTube search brought about a zillion ads.

FOLGERS - Peter's Home

COCA-COLA -  Snow Globes

LUCKY STRIKE -  200 Merry Christmas Wishes

This spot is truly in it's own class of copywriting... after all Don Draper of course proclaimed that "Lucky Strikes, their toasted'.

... and Santa flogging Camels

Guinness - We Dream of White Christmas

Some advertising agencies send out their self promos to clients or simple create that piece that will hopefully have them taking that long walk to the award podium.
Here's a few that caught my eye this Christmas season.

RETHINK CANADA - Holiday Piñata Bash 2011

Rethink’s Holiday Piñata Bash 2011 offers up the cool concept of breaking a pinata, but the real experience breaks some cool interactive rules... you can “interact” with each YouTube film.

BLAMMO WORLDWIDE - "hohoholdonasec"

Fold7 - Santa 'The Creative Director" (NSFW or Kids - some liberal use of the F-word)

The very best came from Droga5 in the form of a "Press Release"... gather attention at minimum cost... isn't that the ultimate? Droga5 announced it had lost their own internal “Holiday Card”  assignment to rival ad agency McGarryBowen who have won their share of new business in 2011. Well written. See the pressrelease here.

Thank you for following along. My blog has taken a back seat to my Twitter feed this past year. I hope to return to this space more often.

Remember, take a moment (everyday) to simple say either these two or three little words: THANK YOU... or better yet I LOVE YOU.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Uprising and The Art of Cultural Movements

I was asked by Scott Goodson Founder of Strawberry Frog to join the Uprising team of writers, I am humbled and honored at this call.

In the spring Scott will be launching his first book "Uprising: How to Build a Brand and Change the World By Sparking Cultural Movements" and has launched a website to generate conversations on "Cultural Movements". The site is stocked with outstanding insights and dialog with timely updates by Scott and a growing team of writers. Take some time and check out the site, it's worth the time and plenty of great learning.

I discovered a great movement recently created by American Express last year called "Small Business Saturday: as an answer to the traditional "Black Friday" (day after US Thanksgiving) and "Cyber Monday" (the after Black Friday for online retailers). Here is the piece I wrote for Uprising.

Posted on Uprising 20th Nov 2011

In America this week we will celebrate Thanksgiving. A day to celebrate family, friends and reasons to be thankful, but the days following will give the economy a great measuring device; How good will this holiday season be in terms of retail sales?

Can a “movement” inspire people to shop different?

“Big Box” retail and mall chain stores will own Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) starting sometime after midnight and the following Monday on-line sellers will open their discounts to shoppers. But what about the backbone of the economy, the small local business? Last year, American Express® launched a movement to get shoppers to think about shopping locally. Meet “Small Business Saturday”, a movement to engage communities.

Small Business Saturday was a movement created in response to small business owners' most pressing need; to create a demand and traffic for their products and services and a reminder of their importance to community. In all, 130 small business advocate groups, public and private organizations and elected officials joined American Express® in declaring November 26 as Small Business Saturday.

So has the consumer and business bought into the movement? YES!

To date, over 2.3 million people have joined and helped spread the word by “liking” Small Business Saturday on Facebook and some 35,000 tweets using the hashtags #smallbusinessaturday or #smallbizsaturday were sent all in the name of getting folks to shop local.

American Express® has asked consumers to take the “pledge” to shop small and in return will get a one-time $25 statement credit when you use an eligible American Express® cards for a $25 purchase or more at a small business.

Local shops will also benefit from the program with American Express® offering small businesses $100 of Facebook advertising by joining the movement and give them the tools to build their messages using ‘geo-targeting’ for their locations.

Last year, American Express® pledged a significant donation to Girls, Inc. tied to the number of "likes" on Facebook, and based on the popularity of the Facebook page, Girls Inc., received a $1 million donation for programs to empower young women to become entrepreneurs.

It is such a simple idea to inspire and remind consumers that small businesses are the lifeblood of their communities and that thrive on these businesses that keep people employed, build spirit and keep money in the local economy.

So join the movement this Saturday, shop at a small business.

The campaign creative elements were a collaboration between agencies CP+B and Digitas.

Here's the link to the original Uprising blog post.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

BRILLIANTLY MOVING: State Farm "Empire State of Mind"

I am not afraid to admit it but the first time I saw this spot I cried.

Directed by Spike Lee State Farm Insurance partnered with the director for this tribute following 150 New York City school children as they visited area firehouses and thanked the firefighters through song.

Jay-Z "Empire State of Mind" has become an update anthem for New York the Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" was for decades before it.

State Farm is paying tribute to the FDNY by showing gratitude for those who sacrificed all through a commemorative video of 9/11’s heroes and supporting the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation by downloading a special version of “Empire State of Mind” throught iTunes. Click here to download 

Visit State Farms YouTube Channel for additional videos.

The Making of "Empire State of Mind"

Director: Spike Lee
Artist: James Davis Jr. & The Children of New York City
Song: Empire State Of Mind (Part II)

The NFL is Back.

Yup NFL Football is back and Verizon is bringing it straight to you.

Great little spot well crafted and smart concept; "Built to bring you the game. Only from Verizon. Built so you can rule the air".

Verizon is using the spot to introduce "NFL Mobile" for the 2011 season.

CREATIVE GENIUS: An Animated Moving Tribute to Vicitms of 9|11

Animation artists from around the world were invited to take part in a special project commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

The project was created by Aniboom Virtual Studio, who partnered with award winning communication artist Gideon Amichay Chief Creative Officer at and partner at Shalmor Avnon Amichay/Y&R Interactive Tel Aviv to honor the vicitms  of 9/11 on the 10th anniversary. They brought together animators from all over the world. This is a personal project for Amichay, and any proceeds generated will be donated to the Twin Towers Orphan Fund and the Tuesday's Children Organization

Amichay noted, "the vision, mood, and message of every ten-second animation vary greatly among the individual artists. This collection of 9/11 animation shorts is currently being screened in its entirety on the Web on Aniboom’s 9/11 YouTube channel with future plans to debut in different forms on television and in real-world venues. All animation clips are signed with the artist’s name followed by the flag of his/her home country".

Amichay developed the idea of bringing together animators from all over the world to honor the upcoming 10th anniversary.  Gideon’s idea was simple yet complex at the same time: "Bring together the worlds top animators who would create a ten-second animation inspired by the title: "9/11.  It’s been ten years."

Each of the ten-second animations is completely personal to each individual artist, which I found emotional, inspiring and extremely refreshing with the sad memories I have personally of that day.
The first two animations had me hitting pause inorder to wipe away the tears.

The complete project can also be viewed below and the Aniboom Virtual Studio website.

Stop and say "I Love You". Remembering 9|11 and the Firefighters.

True, my blog is all about advertising and what might inspire, motivate and nurture, but this year marks the tenth anniversary of the tragic September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and felt it was right to honor true heroes the 343 firefighters and first responders who gave their lives to save others. Tragically, since 9/11 another 55 FDNY members have passed away from related illness to the job they did that and following days.
I remember the day like it was yesterday.  I was driving into school that day with my colleague and friend Richard Slaven thinking about my lecture on strategy and the relationship to execution (odd topic considering) when Howard Stern literally yelled "A plane just hit the World Trade Center". I called my wife right away and told her to tune into CNN to see if it was true, when she confirmed it was IRichard Slaven and I ran into the school to the student lounge for the nearest TV and tuned into a new world. I had to be there for my students, but I also had a class to teach. 

Today, I regret even trying to hold class that day.

My hope is this post will inspire all of us to be better to each other and stop and remember what is important and  to say "I Love You" to those that matter.

RIP Lt. Peter Martin Rescue 2
 All gave some, Some gave all.
Firefighter Joseph Agnello Ladder 118
Lieutenant Brian Ahearn Engine 230
Firefighter Eric Allen Squad 18
Firefighter Richard Allen Ladder 15
Captain James Amato Squad 1
Firefighter Calixto Anaya Jr. Engine 4
Firefighter Joseph Angelini Rescue 1
Firefighter Joseph Angelini Jr. Ladder 4
Firefighter Faustino Apostol Jr. Battalion 9
Firefighter David Arce Engine 33
Firefighter Louis Arena Ladder 5
Firefighter Carl Asaro Battalion 9
Lieutenant Gregg Atlas Engine 10
Firefighter Gerald Atwood Ladder 21
Firefighter Gerald Baptiste Ladder 9
Assistant Chief Gerard Barbara
Firefighter Matthew Barnes Ladder 25
Firefighter Arthur Barry Ladder 15
Lieutenant Steven Bates Engine 235
Lieutenant Carl Bedigian Engine 214
Firefighter Stephen Belson Ladder 24
Firefighter John Bergin Rescue 5
Firefighter Paul Beyer Engine 6
Firefighter Peter Bielfeld Ladder 42
Firefighter Brian Bilcher Squad 1
Firefighter Carl Bini Rescue 5
Firefighter Christopher Blackwell Rescue 3
Firefighter Michael Bocchino Battalion 48
Firefighter Frank Bonomo Engine 230
Firefighter Gary Box Squad 1
Firefighter Michael Boyle Engine 33
Firefighter Kevin Bracken Engine 40
Firefighter Michael Brennan Ladder 4
Firefighter Peter Brennan Rescue 4
Captain Daniel Brethel Ladder 24
Captain Patrick Brown Ladder 3
Firefighter Andrew Brunn Ladder 5
Captain Vincent Brunton Ladder 105
Fire Marshal Ronald Bucca
Firefighter Greg Buck Engine 201
Captain William Burke Jr. Engine 21
Assistant Chief Donald Burns
Firefighter John Burnside Ladder 20
Firefighter Thomas Butler Squad 1
Firefighter Patrick Byrne Ladder 101
FF Firefighter George Cain Ladder 7
Firefighter Salvatore Calabro Ladder 101
Captain. Frank Callahan Ladder 35
Firefighter Michael Cammarata Ladder 11
Firefighter Brian Cannizzaro Ladder 101
Firefighter Dennis Carey Haz-mat Co. 1
Firefighter Michael Carlo Engine 230
Firefighter Michael Carroll Ladder 3
Firefighter Peter Carroll Squad 1
Firefighter Thomas Casoria Engine 22
Firefighter Michael Cawley Ladder 136
Firefighter Vernon Cherry Ladder 118
Firefighter Nicholas Chiofalo Engine 235
Firefighter John Chipura Engine 219
Firefighter Michael Clarke Ladder 2
Firefighter Steven Coakley Engine 217
Firefighter Tarel Coleman Squad 252
Firefighter John Collins Ladder 25
Firefighter Robert Cordice Squad 1
Firefighter Ruben Correa Engine 74
Firefighter James Coyle Ladder 3
Firefighter Robert Crawford Safety Battalion 1
Lieutenant John Crisci Haz-Mat Co. 1
Battalion Chief Dennis Cross Battalion 57
Firefighter Thomas Cullen III Squad 41
Firefighter Robert Curatolo Ladder 16
Lieutenant Edward Datri Squad
Firefighter Michael D'Auria Engine 40
Firefighter Scott Davidson Ladder 118
Firefighter Edward Day Ladder 11
Battalion Chief Thomas DeAngelis Battalion 8
Firefighter Manuel Delvalle Engine 5
Firefighter Martin DeMeo Haz-Mat Co. 1
Firefighter David DeRubbio Engine 226
Lieutenant Andrew Desperito Engine 1
Battalion Chief Dennis Devlin Battalion 9
Firefighter Gerard Dewan Ladder 3
Firefighter George DiPasquale Ladder 2
Lieutenant Kevin Donnelly Ladder 3
Lieutenant Kevin Dowdell Rescue 4
Battalion Chief Raymond Downey Special Operations
Firefighter Gerard Duffy Ladder 21
Captain Martin Egan, Jr. Division 15
Firefighter Michael Elferis Engine 22
Firefighter Francis Esposito Engine 235
Lieutenant Michael Esposito Squad 1
Firefighter Robert Evans Engine 33
Battalion Chief John Fanning Haz-Mat Operations
Captain Thomas Farino Engine 26
Firefighter Terrence Farrell Rescue 4
Deputy Commissioner Chief. William Feehan
Firefighter Lee Fehling Engine 235
Firefighter Alan Feinberg Battalion 9
Firefighter Michael Fiore Rescue 5
Captain John Fischer Ladder
Firefighter Andre Fletcher Rescue 5
Firefighter John Florio Engine 214
Lieutenant Michael Fodor Dquad 1
Firefighter Thomas Foley Rescue 3
Firefighter David Fontana Squad 1
Firefighter Robert Foti Ladder 7
Firefighter Andrew Fredericks Sqaud 18
Lieutenant Peter Freund Engine 55
Firefighter Thomas Gambino Jr. Rescue 3
Chief of Dept. Peter Ganci Jr.
Lieutenant Charles Garbarini Battalion 9
Firefighter Thomas Gardner Haz-Mat Co. 1
Firefighter Matthew Garvey Squad 1
Firefighter Bruce Gary Engine 40
Firefighter Gary Geidel Rescue 1
Battalion Chief Edward Geraghty Battalion 9
Firefighter Dennis Germain Ladder 2
Lieutenant Vincent Giammona Ladder 5
Firefighter James Giberson Ladder 35
Firefighter Ronnie Gies Squad 288
Firefighter Paul Gill Engine 54
Lieutenant John Ginley Engine 40
Firefighter Jeffrey Giordano Ladder 3
Firefighter John Giordano Engine 37
Firefighter Keith Glascoe Ladder 21
Firefighter James Gray Ladder 20
Battalion Chief Joseph Grzelak Battalion 48
Firefighter Jose Guadalupe Engine 54
Lieutenant Geoffrey Guja Battalion 43
Lieutenant Joseph Gullickson Ladder 101
Firefighter David Halderman Squad 18
Lieutenant Vincent Halloran Ladder 8
Firefighter Robert Hamilton Squad 41
Firefighter Sean Hanley Ladder 20
Firefighter Thomas Hannafin Ladder 5
Firefighter Dana Hannon Engine 26
Firefighter Daniel Harlin Ladder 2
Lieutenant Harvey Harrell Rescue 5
Lieutenant Stephen Harrell Battalion 7
Battalion Chief Thomas Haskell, Jr. Division 15
Firefighter Timothy Haskell Squad 18
Captain Terence Hatton Rescue 1
Firefighter Michael Haub Ladder 4
Firefighter Philp Hayes Retired- Engine 217
Lieutenant Michael Healey Squad 41
Firefighter John Hefferman Ladder 11
Firefighter Ronnie Henderson Engine 279
Firefighter Joseph Henry Ladder 21
Firefighter William Henry Rescue 1
Firefighter Thomas Hetzel Ladder 13
Captain Brian Hickey Rescue 4
Lieutenant Timothy Higgins Special Operations
Firefighter Jonathan Hohmann Haz-Mat Co. 1
Firefighter Thomas Holohan Engine 6
Firefighter Joseph Hunter Squad 288
Captain Walter Hynes Ladder 13
FF Jonathan Ielpi Squad 288
Captain Frederick Ill Jr. Ladder 2
Firefighter William Johnston Engine 6
Firefighter Andrew Jordan ladder 132
Firefighter Karl Joseph Engine 207
Lieutenant Anthony Jovic Battalion 47
Firefighter Angel Juarbe Jr. Ladder 12
Chaplain Mychal Judge
Firefighter Vincent Kane Engine 22
Battalion Chief Charles Kasper SOC Battalion
Firefighter Paul Keating Ladder 5
Firefighter Richard Kelly Jr. Ladder 11
Firefighter Thomas Kelly Ladder 15
Firefighter Thomas Kelly Ladder 105
Firefighter Thomas Kennedy Ladder 101
Lieutenant Ronald Kerwin Squad 288
Firefighter Michael Kiefer Ladder 132
Firefighter Robert King Jr. Engine 33
Firefighter Scott Kopytko Ladder 15
Firefighter William Krukowski Ladder 21
Firefighter Kenneth Kumpel Ladder 25
Firefighter Thomas Kuveikis Squad 252
Firefighter David LaForge Ladder 20
Firefighter William Lake Rescue 2
Firefighter Robert Lane Engine 55
Firefighter Peter Langone Squad 252
Firefighter Scott Larsen Ladder 15
Lieutenant Joseph Leavey Ladder 15
Firefighter Neil Leavy Engine 217
Firefighter Daniel Libretti Rescue 2
Paramedic Carlos Lillo Battalion 49
Firefighter Robert Linnane ladder 20
Firefighter Michael Lynch Engine 40
Firefighter Michael Lynch Ladder 4
Firefighter Michael Lyons Squad 41
Firefighter Patrick Lyons Squad 252
Firefighter Joseph Maffeo Ladder 101
Firefighter William Mahoney Rescue 4
Firefighter Joseph Maloney Ladder 3
Battalion Chief Joseph Marchbanks Jr. Battalion 57
Lieutenant Charles Margiotta Battalion 22
Firefighter Kenneth Marino Rescue 1
Firefighter John Marshall Ladder 27
Lieutenant Peter Martin Rescue 2

Lieutenant Paul Martini Engine 201
Firefighter Joseph Mascali Tactical Support 2
Firefighter Keithroy Maynard Engine 33
Firefighter Brian McAleese Engine 226
Firefighter John McAvoy Ladder 3
Firefighter Thomas McCann Battalion 8
Lieutenant William McGinn Squad 18
Battalion Chief William McGovern Battalion 2
Firefighter Dennis McHugh Ladder 13
Firefighter Robert McMahon Ladder 20
Firefighter Robert McPadden Engine 23
Firefighter Terence McShane Ladder 101
Firefighter Timothy McSweeney Ladder 3
Firefighter Martin McWilliams Engine 22
Firefighter Raymond Meisenheimer Rescue 3
Firefighter Charles Mendez Ladder 7
Firefighter Steve Mercado Engine 40
Firefighter Douglas Miller Rescue 5
Firefighter Henry Miller Jr. Ladder 105
Firefighter Robert Minara Ladder 25
Firefighter Thomas Mingione Ladder 132
Lieutenant Paul Mitchell Battalion 1
Captain Louis Modafferi Rescue 5
Lieutenant Dennis Mojica Rescue 1
Firefighter Manuel Mojica Squad 18
Firefighter Carl Molinaro Ladder 2
Firefighter Michael Montesi Rescue 1
Captain Thomas Moody Division 1
Battalion Chief John Moran Battalion 49
Firefighter Vincent Morello Ladder 35
Firefighter Christopher Mozzillo Engine 55
Firefighter Richard Muldowney Jr. Ladder 7
Firefighter Michael Mullan Ladder 12
Firefighter Dennis Mulligan Ladder 2
Lieutenant Raymond Murphy Ladder 16
Lieutenant Robert Nagel Engine 58
Firefighter John Napolitano Rescue 2
Firefighter Peter Nelson Rescue 4
Firefighter Gerard Nevins Rescue 1
Firefighter Dennis O'Berg Ladder 105
Lieutenant Daniel O'Callaghan Ladder 4
Firefighter Douglas Oelschlager Ladder 15
Firefighter Joseph Ogren Ladder 3
Lieutenant Thomas O'Hagan Battalion 4
Firefighter Samuel Oitice Ladder 4
Firefighter Patrick O'Keefe Rescue 1
Captain William O'Keefe Division 15
Firefighter Eric Olsen Ladder 15
Firefighter Jeffery Olsen Engine 10
Firefighter Steven Olson Ladder 3
Firefighter Kevin O'Rourke Rescue 2
Firefighter Michael Otten Ladder 35
Firefighter Jeffery Palazzo Rescue 5
Battalion Chief Orio Palmer Battalion 7
Firefighter Frank Palombo Ladder 105
Firefighter Paul Pansini Engine 10
Battalion Chief John Paolillo Battalion 11
Firefighter James Pappageorge Engine 23
Firefighter Robert Parro Engine 8
Firefighter Durrell Pearsall Rescue 4
Lieutenant Glenn Perry Ladder 25
Lieutenant Philip Petti Battalion 7
Lieutenant Kevin Pfeifer Engine 33
Lieutenant Kenneth Phelan Engine 217
Firefighter Christopher Pickford Engine 201
Firefighter Shawn Powell Engine 207
Firefighter Vincent Princiotta Ladder 7
Firefighter Kevin Prior Squad 252
Battalion Chief Richard Prunty Battalion 2
Firefighter Lincoln Quappe Rescue 2
Lieutenant Michael Quilty Ladder 11
Paramedic Ricardo Quinn Battalion 57
Firefighter Leonard Ragaglia Engine 54
Firefighter Michael Ragusa Engine 250
Firefighter Edward Rall Rescue 2
Firefighter Adam Rand Squad 288
Firefighter Donald Regan Rescue 3
Lieutenant Robert Regan Ladder 118
Firefighter Christian Regenhard Ladder 131
Firefighter Kevin Reilly Engine 207
Captain Vernon Richard Ladder 7
Firefighter James Riches Rescue 4
Firefighter Joseph Rivelli Jr. Ladder 25
Firefighter Michael Roberts Engine 214
Firefighter Michael Roberts Ladder 35
Firefighter Anthony Rodriguez Engine 279
Firefighter Matthew Rogan Ladder 11
Firefighter Nicholas Rossomando Rescue 5
Firefighter Paul Ruback Ladder 25
Firefighter Stephen Russell Engine 55
Lieutenant Michael Russo Special Operations
Battalion Chief Matthew Ryan Battalion 1
Firefighter Thomas Sabella Ladder 13
Firefighter Christopher Santora Engine 54
Firefighter John Santore Ladder 5
Firefighter Gregory Saucedo Ladder 5
Firefighter Dennis Scauso Haz-Mat Co. 1
Firefighter John Schardt Engine 201
Battalion Chief Fred Scheffold Battalion 12
Firefighter Thomas Schoales Engine 4
Firefighter Gerard Schrang Rescue 3
Firefighter Gregory Sikorsky Squad 41
Firefighter Stephen Siller Squad 1
Firefighter Stanley Smagala Jr. Engine 226
Firefighter Kevin Smith Haz-Mat Co. 1
Firefighter Leon Smith Jr. Ladder 118
Firefighter Robert Spear Jr. Engine 50
Firefighter Joseph Spor Ladder 38
Battalion Chief Lawrence Stack Battalion 50
Captain Timothy Stackpole Division 11
Firefighter Gregory Stajk Ladder 13
Firefighter Jeffery Stark Engine 230
Firefighter Benjamin Suarez Ladder 21
Firefighter Daniel Suhr Engine 216
Lieutenant Christopher Sullivan Ladder 111
Firefighter Brian Sweeney Rescue 1
Firefighter Sean Tallon Ladder 10
Firefighter Allan Tarasiewicz Rescue 5
Firefighter Paul Tegtmeier Engine 4
Firefighter John Tierney Ladder 9
Firefighter John Tipping II Ladder 4
Firefighter Hector Tirado Jr. Engine 23
Firefighter Richard VanHine Squad 41
Firefighter Peter Vega Ladder 118
Firefighter Lawrence Veling Engine 235
Firefighter John Vigiano II Ladder 132
Firefighter Sergio Villanueva Ladder 132
Firefighter Lawrence Virgilio Squad 18
Lieutenant Robert Wallace Engine 205
Firefighter Jeffery Walz Ladder 9
Lieutenant Michael Warchola Ladder 5
Captain Patrick Waters Special Operations
Firefighter Kenneth Watson Engine 214
Firefighter Michael Weinberg Engine 1
Firefighter David Weiss Rescue 1
Firefighter Timothy Welty Squad 288
Firefighter Eugene Whelan Engine 230
Firefighter Edward White Engine 230
Firefighter Mark Whitford Engine 23
Lieutenant Glenn Wilkinson Engine 238
Battalion Chief John Williamson Battalion 6
Captain David Wooley Ladder 4
Firefighter Raymond York Engine 285

A Memorial Wall listing the names of 55 FDNY members who died in the last 10 years due to World Trade Center-related illnesses was unveiled at FDNY Headquarters.

The names included:

Firefighter Robert W. Dillon, Engine Co. 153
Firefighter Vanclive A. Johnson, Ladder Co. 135
Firefighter Russell C. Brinkworth, Ladder Co. 135
Firefighter Edward V. Tietjen, Ladder Co. 48
Firefighter Walter Voight, Ladder Co. 144
Battalion Chief Kevin R. Byrnes, Battalion 7
Firefighter Stephen M. Johnson, Ladder Co. 25
Lieutenant Richard M. Burke, Engine Co. 97
Firefighter Michael Sofia, Engine Co. 165
Firefighter Joseph P. Costello, Battalion Co. 58
Firefighter William R. O'Connor, Ladder Co. 84
Lieutenant Reinaldo Natal, Field Communications Unit
Paramedic Deborah Reeve, EMS Station 20
Fire Marshal William Wilson, Jr., Manhattan Base
Lieutenant Thomas J. Hodges, Engine Co. 313
Firefighter Robert J. Wieber, Engine Co. 262
Lieutenant Joseph P. Colleluori, Jr., Engine Co. 324
Firefighter Michael J. Shagi, Engine Co. 74
Firefighter William R. St. George, Batallion Special Operations Command
Firefighter Raymond W. Hauber, Engine Co. 284
EMS Lieutenant Brian Ellicott, EMS Dispatch
Firefighter William E. Moreau, Engine Co. 166
Lieutenant John P. Murray, Engine Co. 165
Firefighter Sean M. McCarthy, Engine Co. 280
Firefighter Bruce M. Foss, Ladder Co. 108
Firefighter Jacques W. Paultre, Engine Co. 50
Firefighter Kevin M. Delano, Sr., Ladder Co. 142
Lieutenant Vincent J. Tancredi, II, Ladder Co. 47
Paramedic Clyde F. Sealey, Bureau of Health Services
Firefighter Timothy G. Lockwood, Engine Co. 275
Firefighter Edward F. Reilly, Jr., Ladder Co. 160
Firefighter John F. McNamara, Engine Co. 234
Lieutenant Thomas G. Roberts, Ladder Co. 40
Captain Kevin J. Cassidy, Engine Co. 320
Firefighter Joan R. Daley, Engine Co. 63
Firefighter Richard A. Manetta, Ladder Co. 156
Lieutenant Peter J. Farrenkopf, Marine Co. 6
Battalion Chief John J. Vaughan, Battalion Co. 3
Firefighter Robert A. Ford, Engine Co. 284
Paramedic Carene A. Brown, EMS Bureau of Training
Firefighter James J. Ryan, Ladder Co. 167
Lieutenant Robert M. Hess, Ladder Co. 76
EMT Freddie Rosario, EMS Station 4
Lieutenant Harry Wanamaker, Jr., Marine Co. 1
Supv. Commun. Electrician Philip J. Berger, Outside Plant Operations
Firefighter Vincent J. Albanese, Ladder Co. 38
Firefighter John P. Sullivan, Jr., Ladder Co. 34
Firefighter Roy W. Chelsen, Engine Co. 28
Firefighter John F. O'Neill, Ladder Co. 52
Lieutenant Randy J. Wiebicke, Ladder Co. 1
Firefighter Brian C. Malloy, Ladder Co. 80
Lieutenant John A. Garcia, Ladder Co. 5
Firefighter Anthony J. Nuccio, Ladder Co. 175
Fire Marshal Steven C. Mosiello, Chief of Department's Office
Firefighter Carl Capobianco, Ladder Co. 87

Sunday, August 21, 2011

AdMissions Review: Burger King Whopper "Ring Master" Spot Visits Old School Gag

Interesting challenge put to the National Post AdMissions team this past week. We reviewed a spot for the renamed Burger King Whopper Ring Master (formerly known as the Bourbon Whopper). The spot called upon an old school gag of "hide the engagement ring in the food" trick. SO do are two young lovers seal the deal or do we see the girl as a gold-digger"? Overall the spot is simple and sweet. In fact it works but only for the required final shot.

I think Henry Wong of Tanzig Toronto (bonus if you know where the agency name came from without Google) added a great note in his review, "... there are two versions: A 30-second and a 15-second. Thirty-second ads are a good length to tell such a story. Fifteen-second ads – no. The shortened version lacks the time needed for the action and reaction of two funny actors. As well as to show the requisite mouth-watering product shot". Take a look at the :15sec version and you see it exactly how this spot fails and the :30sec wins.

Here's my AdMissions Review:

You know you might have a great spot when it can make you laugh, cry and then turn to prayer. Well after seeing the Burger King Ring Master Whopper spot I did laugh at how Taxi 2 managed to pull out the old school gag of “hide the ring” in the food. Sheesh, 1974 called and wants its gag back.

But after seeing the spot a couple more times that laughter turned to tears of disappointment when I thought about the audience that was likely hoping (if not encouraging) for the perky blonde gold-digger to not check the burger, eat the ring, choke and be forever silenced. All that was left was a few prayers for the poor chump left thinking he was a little more original.

Yup, I laughed, I cried and now a couple of Bloody Marys er … Hail Marys … will ensure that I will never forget the BK Ring Master Whopper. Success, I guess, since I never remembered this Whopper was originally known as the Bourbon Whopper. Bartender..

The Burger King Whopper Ring Master :30sec

The Burger King Whopper Ring Master :15sec

Read the full AdMission Teams reviews: National Post AdMissions

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

AdMissions Review: Facebook Fans Drive Volkswagen Ad Campaign "Drive Until"

Red Urban Toronto created an new campaign called "Drive Until" for the Volkswagen Golf and it has been generating great attention. Created as a series of spots or chapters titled "Courage" and "Time". Chapters one and two each drew upon memorable soundtracks, emotional and thoughtful story lines leading to the potential of endless chapters. But VW and Red Urban created even greater intrigue when it offered up the opportunity for followers of the VW Facebook page to help bring to life Chapter 3, the next part of the story. It has finally been launched and is titled "Talk".

For the final chapter of the trilogy, Red Urban asked Facebook fans of Volkswagen to collaborate and create the script, choose a cast and pick the music. "Talk" is by far my favorite. Red Urban posted the :45sec spot as part of 2 minute film version that gives credit to all the "fans" that offered their thoughts and contributions. 

Christina Yu the EVP, Executive Creative Director noted, "Volkswagen translates as "The People's Car" and was is founded on the democratization of mobility, so its seems fitting to open up the 'Drive Until' Campaign and invite people to help create the next commercial in the series. We like to call the initiative the "Volks ad".

Das Smart.

Very cool wrap on the trilogy.

Here's my AdMissions Review
It's taught at every level of film and ad schools that to be a great storyteller you need the right mix of ingredients. Two of these are great images to capture the viewer's eye, the other is adopting the right soundtrack to evoke emotion.

These two vignette spots fully captured the view and emotions of real life through beautiful photography and direction by Jean-Michel Ravon and Red Urban Toronto.

If the two spots "Courage" and "Time" are the start to the campaign, which will unfold in a series of chapters, it will be a best seller. And now calling upon the very loyal and deeply passionate Volkswagen nation to come along for the ride by writing the next chapters via Facebook will add the authenticity too often missing in serial ad campaigns.

Curious to see how the next chapters will unfold bringing together the user content, the agency filters and the client bravery.

Be brave Volkswagen. Be brave. Wish there was a LOVE+ button.
Note: Since the posting of the original AdMissions review Chapter Three was released see below.
Volkswagen "Drive Until" Chapter One: "Courage"

Volkswagen "Drive Until" Chapter Two: "Time"

Volkswagen "Drive Until" Chapter Three: "Talk"

Read the full AdMission Teams reviews: National Post AdMissions

AdMissions Review: "Sie Sind Verrückt!" - Playland Vancouver Goes For The Big Tease

Rethink Vancouver has won more awards for the Vancouver amusement park Playland then you can shake a stick at... and rightfully so. This latest spot features the latest ride addition, "Atmosfear".

I have always loved the creative for Playland because they generally creates a big buzz, amuse and give the viewer an understanding of the actual ride experience without actually experiencing it.

Here's my review of the spot for AdMissions.

"Sie sind verrückt!" (That means, "You must be crazy," in German).

You must be crazy if you don't love a great cliché either, and here we have one of the best subtly at work: "Only an awesome feat of engineering and thrill can be delivered if the Germans are behind it" (insert snicker or snooze).

Great tease, and it may be crazy, but what is it? What is Atmosfear? A coaster? A thrill ride? I guess I wanted a bit more of an idea of what I was in for, especially if it's designed by Germans (again, insert a snicker or snooze). 

A simple, subtle hint - a model at the desk, a blueprint during the presentation - because after all, it's "only" a chair attached to chains spinning 200 feet above the earth at 70 kilometres an hour that would likely have you revisiting the pound of fudge or half-gallon of cola you downed with your deep-fried burrito.

Less tease, more action. Me, I'm staying safely on the ground.
Playland - "Atmosfear"

Read the full AdMission Teams reviews: National Post AdMissions

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lee Clow At Ground Zero of California Cool: Think Different - The Surfer's Journal 20.4 Feature

I've been reading The Surfer's Journal now for about 15 years... yup I may be landlocked but I'm passionate about surfing from a very young age during my summer's spent in Ocean City, New Jersey. No big waves, but enough to fuel an young boys interest. Life on the beach can do that.

When I briefly moved to California in 1981 I spent many a weekend admiring and watching the surfers off the Manhattan Beach Pier, Santa Monica Pier and countless beaches along the PCH.

This story features the 68 year-old Lee Clow from his many complex sides. Creative genius, hardcore surfer and passionate life-liver (okay I made that word up) and every piece of Lee in between. From his early days at Santa Monica College to his army stint at Fort Bliss, Texas (okay that name is just too cool) to being landlocked in New Mexico (he notes "I never understood how people can live out there or anywhere in the middle of the continent) to staring in advertising at NW Ayer and finally hitting full stride when he campaigned Chiat/Day CD Hy Yablonka and landed upright. The rest is history. A brilliant history.

Read the excerpt at The Surfers Journal 20.4

"Lee Clow At Ground Zero of California Cool: Think Different"

BTW Consider buying TSJ, the stories are from surfer's and images will find you booking your next vacation.

Watch this video to better understand "Give Me Water, Give Me Surf or Kill Me Now"

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bill Bernbach at 100 ~ The Legend That Was Bill Bernbach He Sold A Nazi Car & Jewish Bread. "Not To Be Different Is Virtual Suicide".


Originally posted this March 28th, 2010 as post to introduce the "legends" or the "original" Mad Men of our business to my students. To date this post has had over 5,800 visits. Enjoy!
Bill Bernbach believed in a simple truth, “In advertising, not to be different is virtual suicide.” From this simple quote he and his legendary colleagues created and made major contributions to what we refer to as the "auteur" of the Creative Revolution. or advertising's "Golden Age".

He was a philosopher, a scientist, a humanitarian. And his influence was felt well beyond the world of advertising.

Bill Bernbach indeed changed the face of advertising forever.
In the rich history of the advertising, there were far more David Oglivy's, Hal Riney's and Shirley Polykoff's than there were Bill Bernbach's.

Hey, he sold a post war America that defeated the Nazi's a German car, the Volkswagen and convinced a the nation "You Don't Have to be Jewish to Love Levy's" rye bread".

When Advertising Age published their "Advertising Century" issue in 1999, they referred to Bernbach's creative revolution as "the most influential" and the Bernbach name was "the hands-down winner" as the number one " Advertising Person of the Century". When defining Bernbach they added he created the "devising creative yardstick by which most advertising today is measured."In the same issue, DDB's included 1959's "Think Small" Volkswagen advertisements, which was voted the No. 1 campaign of all time in Advertising Age’s 1999 “The Century of Advertising.

The Beginning of the Creative Revolution

On June 1, 1949, Bill Bernbach opened Doyle Dane Bernbach. Joined by partners Ned Doyle, Maxwell Dane they started what would become better known as DDB and the creative agency that began a creative revolution with 13 employees, one client and a point of view that was very different from any other agency that existed at the time: that good taste, good art and good writing could be good selling.

DDB opened its spartan offices at 350 Madison Avenue.  All 13 employees came from the ranks of Grey Advertising where Bernbach truly established himself as a writer and found his "creative" voice. The exodus from Grey included the cream of its copy and art departments, Phyllis Robinson and Bob Gage. The Grey exodus also included DDB's first client, Orbach's department store. Each principal had his job to do, a division of labor that kept them out of each others hair. "There was no strongest among us," Max Dane once said, "We each had our function and never had to fight the others for authority. Ned handled the clients. Bill produced the product. And I ran the infrastructure and even a little public relations. I never told Bill that for several years I had earned my living as a copywriter with the agency."

DDB invented the "Creative Team", the art and copy team concept, by pairing Bob Gage Hall of Fame Art Director & Phyllis Robinson copywriter. History refers to them as the first "Creative Team", the original art and copy combination. In the early 1960s another Art Director named George Lois would work on the legendary Volkswagen ads "Think small" and "Lemon".

From DDB's founding in 1949, Bernbach played an integral role in the writing of advertising, distancing himself from the administrative and promotional aspects of the business. He served as the creative engine behind DDB helping the company increase its billings from approximately $1 million to more than $40 million by the time he retired. DDB quickly grew to become the 11th largest advertising agency in America by 1976, when Bernbach stepped aside as chief executive officer.

Bernbach the ad man "philosopher" believed to be interesting you have to say things in ways other people don’t—but can still relate to. "To be heard, you have to say interesting things as often and in as many places as possible. To be understood, you have to communicate clearly. And to tell the truth, you have to tell the truth, which can be found in everything. For example, Satan is undeniably “the most evil man in the world,” so if you are ever hired by the devil to sell more immorality, brand him as such in a creatively loud way and you’re gold".

Bernbach's advertising philosophy went contrary to convention. His ads were always fresh, simple, and intelligent, yet exuded energy. He advocated a soft-sell technique to draw in the consumer that resulted in the product not getting lost in the advertising.

Above all he valued innovation and intuition over science and rules. In an interview, he credited his creativity as being the secret of his success, saying, "I think I...had the advantage of not knowing too much about advertising, and therefore I could be fresher and more original about it. As soon as you become a slave to the rules, you’re doing what everybody else does; when you do what everybody else does, you don’t stand out."

Simplicity was another quality exhibited in Bernbach’s work. His copywriting philosophy revolved around the idea that persuasion was the purpose of advertising and that only a simple approach would "make crystal clear and memorable the message of the advertisement." By incorporating creativity, simplicity and humor into his advertisements, Bernbach was able to create some of the most successful campaigns in the history of advertising.

Bernbach believed that copy is more important than market research, graphs, formal presentations and much of the other paraphernalia that dominate many agencies of the era, he said in a 1958 Time Magazine article that, "We get people to look and listen by being good artists and writers. We don't expect of research what it is unable to do. It won't give you a great idea."

Bernbach never believed in à la mode advertising. His creative philosophy was outlined in a guide he once wrote:

“Merely to let your imagination run riot, to dream unrelated dreams, to indulge in graphic acrobatics and verbal gymnastics is not being creative. The creative person has harnessed his imagination. He has disciplined it so that every thought, every idea, every line he draws, every light and shadow in every photograph he takes, makes more vivid, more believable, more persuasive the original theme or product advantage he has decided he must convey.”
If Bernbach believed a product could not live up to its advertising, he would not take on the client.
He strongly believed that advertising success hinged on the quality of the product. One of Bernbach’s most quoted lines is "[N]othing makes a bad product fail faster than a great advertising campaign." This guiding principle led DDB to select only products that could live up to their advertising.
In the book "Ad Land - A Global Advertising History" by Mark Tungate writes
"DDB was more like a hip jazz combo than an advertising agency" and Bernbach once compared its work to that of jazz great Thelonius Monk, founder of bebop (1)As a leader it is clear Bernbach was not afraid to be visible, tap into the culture of the time and break down barriers. He was also very clear about the type of people he wanted to recruit. He insisted the people hired fulfill two requirements: They had to be talented and they had to be nice. “If you were nice but without talent, we were very sorry but you just wouldn’t do,” he observed. “We had to ‘make it,’ and only great talent would help us do that. If you were a great talent but not a nice person, we had no hesitation in saying ‘no.’ Life is too short to sacrifice so much of it to living with a bastard.” (2). True to his beliefs, and borrowing from his mentor, William Weintraub, DDB was the first to hire ethnic minorities and women into visible and decision-making positions.
William (Bill) Bernbach - The Man

Bernbach was born August 13, 1911, in New York City ( he passed away of Leukemia October 2, 1982). As a child he enjoyed reading and writing verse and grew up with an appreciation of art. With the exception of a two-year tour of duty during World War II, Bernbach never strayed far from his roots in New York City.

Bernbach liked to hint that he came from a deprived background, saying that "he had no middle name because his parent’s couldn’t afford one". However, his family was better off than most, his father being described by Bernbach as "an austere but elegant designer of women’s clothes".

He attended New York University, receiving a bachelor's degree in literature in 1933. Bernbach also pursued studies in art, philosophy, and business administration that would serve him well during his career.

Job hunting during the Depression years would be a challenge as he decided upon advertising as his preferred field, he was unable to obtain work.

As many of "legendary", Bernbach started at the bottom of the corporate ladder, the mailroom of Schenley Distillers Company. But he always seemed to have his mind focused on an advertising career, he found himself spending his free hours creating ads, and once submitted one of his ads to Schenley's in-house advertising department but received no response. Soon after his submission he would see his ideas and words appear exactly as he had written them, in the New York Time Sunday Magazine. With some anger in his blood, the young Bernbach in a masterstroke of networking he made the acquaintance and made sure that Lewis Rosenthiel, the president of Schenley knew of the ad's true origin and creator. Rosenthiel appreciated Bernbach's creative spirit, and gave Bernbach a raise and placed him in the advertising department. He had begun his ad "agency" career as a writer with the opening of William Weintraub & Co. in 1942, but the following year he would join the army and spend two years in the army before returning to advertising and taking a job at Grey Advertising.

In 1945 Bernbach, became the Vice President of the Grey Art and Copy departments.  There, while working on the account of Ohrbach's, a low-priced Manhattan and Los Angeles department store, he stressed sophistication instead of price with the eye-catching illustration and a minimum of copy that later became his trademark, best scene in Ohrbach's "Cat" ad. But he found his style crimped by conventional ad concepts. He left Grey in early 1949 to form DDB with Grey Vice President Ned Doyle and a friend, Maxwell Dane. To no ones surprise he took the Ohrbach account along as the nucleus of the new agency.

Throughout his career, Bernbach won many awards and honors for his work within the advertising industry. These include induction into the Copywriters Hall of Fame in 1964, The Man of the Year of Advertising Award in 1964 and 1965, and The Pulse Inc., Man of the Year Award in 1966. He was also named "Top Advertising Agency Executive" in 1969 and received the American Academy of Achievement Award in 1976. In addition to receiving countless awards, he also designed the Advertising Hall of Fame "Golden Ladder" trophy.

But no bigger tribute or achievement would be made when he was inducted into the Art Directors Club of New York in 1983. It was said that Bill Bernbach was a discoverer and he was the art director’s first great benefactor. He loved to discover art directors; and he loved to purr and revel at their magical power to conjure images. So there was no way that Bernbach would start the world’s first "creative agency" (having worked with the dazzling Paul Rand) without Bob Gage, Bernbach’s most inspired discovery, and years later George Lois.

The Bernbach Effect

Bernbach stressed a simplicity, but a striking idea, a specific selling point that got across a message without a lot of talk. He had a disdain for the use of gimmicks to lure readers. Said he: "A picture of a man standing on his head would get attention, but the reader would feel tricked by the gimmick-unless, of course, we were trying to sell a gadget to keep change in his pocket."

He got a reputation for being an adman's adman, for putting small accounts on a level with big ones.
He made an once obscure New York bread one of the city's best known with ads showing nibbled slices and the message, "New York is eating it up." Among the agency's other memorable ideas came for Israel's El Al airline's new, faster Britannia plane service, with a picture of the Atlantic Ocean one-fifth torn away ""Starting Dec. 23, the Atlantic Ocean will be 20% smaller".

Great writing and simple visual were his trademark on the breakthrough work created for Volkswagen, other notable campaigns of Bernbach's and DDB are "We Try Harder" for Avis Car Rental", created "Mikey" for Life Cereal, "You Don't Have to be Jewish to Love Levy's" for Levy's Rye Bread and "It's so simple" made Polaroid a household camera.

What Made the Bernbach Effect Different?
What made Bernbach’s vision of how to make advertising work effectively? Take the Volkswagen campaign which was launched in 1959 with the famous “Think Small” ad. If there was one ad that marked the start of the golden era of advertising, “Think Small” was the one. (NOTE: According to Advertising Age, the No. 1 campaign of the 20th century).

But how did the decade of the Sixties differ from the decade of the Fifties? There was a summary that appeared on a blog called The Brand Strategy Insider that analyzed 146 automobile advertisements from the 1950s and compared them with the Volkswagen ad: 

Almost all of the 1950s auto ads (137 advertisements, or 94 percent) showed people in the ads. How else was a creative director going to demonstrate the pleasure that car buyers might feel about their new acquisitions?  

Almost all of them (135 advertisements, or 92 percent) used artwork, not photography. How else was a creative director going to make the cars look long and low and beautiful? 

Most of them (102 or 70 percent) used multiple illustrations. Some single-page advertisements had as many as eight separate illustrations. How else was a creative director going to communicate all of the car’s exciting features except by using a number of different illustrations? 

Almost all the ads were in color with hand-lettered headlines, big illustrations and large logotypes. How else was a creative director going to communicate the excitement of buying a new car? 

Some typical automobile headlines from the 1950s: 

Buick: “You can make your ‘someday’ come true now.

Cadillac: “Maybe this will be the year.” 

Oldsmobile: “You’ve got to drive it to believe it!”

Chevrolet: “Filled with grace and great new things.” 

Now compare these ads with “Think small.” The Volkswagen ad was in black and white with a small illustration, lots of white space and a headline totally lacking in news value. Everybody knew that Beetles were small cars.

At the time the ad ran, Volkswagen had been in the American market for nine years, had sold more than 350,000 vehicles and had generated a lot of favorable publicity.

As our industry is currently under a new a new "creative revolution", but this one is being lead and influenced by technology first. But it to be compared to the "original revolution", we must remember it was Bernbach's ideas and keen insights into human nature may be more relevant than ever. His timeless words have inspired thousands of creative men and women around the world. They have the power to inspire many more.

The advertising industry worships the creative process. At Cannes and at countless other places, the industry lavishes praise on its creative folks. The people who think up these wonderful ads. But it’s a rare individual who is good at recognizing the power of an idea once it is created. Bill Bernbach was one of those rare masters.

Hmmmmm, I wonder what he might have said about the Press Grand Prix winner at Cannes?
Much to be learned from the masters that came before us.

Below are a series interviews featuring Bill Bernbach and George Lois who at one time was a art director at DDB, plus a series of legendary DDB television ads created during the "Creative Revolution" era.

Bill Bernbach on Advertising ~ Part One Intro

Bill Bernbach on Advertising ~ Part Two

Bill Bernbach on Advertising ~ Part Three

George Lois Talks About Bernbach

George Lois on The Creative Revelution

Retrospective of Bill Bernbach / DDB Work

Volkswagen "Funeral" (The Spot that actually got me into this crazy business)

Volkswagen "Keeping Up With The Klemplers"

Volkswagen "Snowplow"

McDonalds "Two All Beef Patties" 

Alka Seltzer "Spicy Meatball"

American Tourister "Goes Ape"

Video Retrospective of Print Ads

Friday, July 29, 2011

BEST OF A View From An AdGuy - CP+B's Alex Bogusky Part Two - What Every "Student of Advertising" Should Watch -w/ Alex Bogusky, CP+B Creative Directors Dave Swartz and Bill Wright

Originally posted this February 5th, 2010 as second post simple titled under"What Every Advertising Student Should Watch". There 2 parts to the posting was based on the original "portfolio show" episode of the webcast FearlessQA from Alex Bogusky and CP+B. I have had over 7,500 visits to these specific post. Enjoy!

A few months back I posted a piece that I simple titled "What Every Advertising Student Should Watch", the posting was based on the "portfolio show" episode of the recently introduced webcast FearlessQA from Alex Bogusky and CP+B. Much to my surprise between my Blogger and Posterous blogspots I have had over 3,500 visits to that specific topic. Since that original post I also posted a message about finding how you define yourself, are you a "Student of Advertising" or an "Advertising Student".

Yet again, FearlessQA has hit another "Homer Run" with this episode on "Old School" advertising. Odd title on first glimpse, but the as the subject unfolded... WOWzer, it easily became "What Every Student of Advertising Should Watch Part Two - Alex Bogusky with CP+B Creative Directors Dave Swartz and Bill Wright.

The show was promoted on the idea of "Old School", upon first hearing this some of my students suggested we tell Alex to think about "dressing" the role, kinda "Don Draper" like. Well that's not what show delivered (nice hat Alex). Yes, "old school" was the concept... but message was timeless. Timeless because it is truly what every "Student of Advertising" should know. It may even seem that Alex and his guest are "old school" but in fact they are the "bridge" between old school and today as we move forward.
"Old School is not about doing it for a long time... it's more about what we have done and have forgotten... the craft of the business"
"Creative's must blend the craft and the knowledge of what has come before them and what is happening now... if you don't have that perspective, then something will get lost".

                                                       - Alex Bogusky FearlessQA
I remember my first informational and job interviews and being asked, "who did I follow... who inspired me"? Seemed like a trick question, but I knew the answer needed, I needed to demonstrate how I developed my craft. Who inspired me was about the past, while who do I follow was for identifying my knowledge of the moment. Oddly, my response was always quick and simple. The people who created the craft of "the big idea", Bill Bernbach, David Olgilvy, George Lois, Rosser Reeves and Leo Burnett, they inspired me. As an Art Director I studied Herb Lubalin and the art of typography, Helmut Krome, Paul Rand, they inspired the craft of Art Direction. That was my "school", neither "old" or "current"... it was my education. (Note: My Professor Ken Coleman actual inspired me to travel to New York to have my portfolio reviewed by both Herb Lubalin and Milton Glaser who at the time was the Design Director of the Village Voice, today viewed as the "old testiment" of old school.

What makes this episode a "must watch", is the insights of what you should be reading. I take some heat about having a "suggested" reading list that is about 100 books deep, but really where will you find it one place. Sadly, I see too many hours wasted on "Ads of the World", a wonderful site, but the navigation through "real" and "spec" ads can be cumbersome. But, does it really teach you about the craft? No, there is not point of reference, that is why the good old "book" on the shelf can't be beat. Between the covers is the story of "How".
"I'm speaking from a person who has no respect for advertising that has come before because of craft... just blow it up... blow it up... over and over... advertising is supposed to be timely, it's supposed to be about the NOW... but know the people and know the thinking... because they blew it up before you blow it up and before I blew it up... you're not going to be able to blow things up unless you know and understand the thinking behind the idea. Study the masters of the trade".  
                                                      - Alex Bogusky FearlessQA

Bill Wright started at CP+B as a copywriter showed two books that should top everyone's book list. First, "The Book of Gossage" and "The Art of Writing Advertising". Both have been referred to as "the Bible of the Craft of Copywriting". Howard Luck Gossage is commonly referred to as the father of the "Conversational Style" of advertising. The book is more then just a guide to better creative thinking but it displays the thinking any creative needs to understand. "The real fact of the matter is that nobody reads ads. People read what interest them, and sometimes it's an ad” once said to describe what he needed to use as a baseline in any ad he approached. Gossage is often attributed with a line I often quote in lecture, "To explain responsibility to advertising is like trying to convince an eight-year-old that sexual intercourse is more fun than a chocolate ice cream cone", it's what we do, but we never clearly understand that. I guess it comes down to 'know your audience".

David Swartz has his roots is graphic design and joined CP+B as an art director. What brought great joy to me was seeing one of my favorite books appear, Herb Lubalin - Art Director, Graphic Designer and Typographer. This brilliant book was the soul of my development, sadly out of print now (if you can find it, you're looking at $350+ for a copy) it showed why in my book Herb Lubalin was a brilliant art director and designer who, for over forty years, produced a continuous stream of stunning graphic design and in particular expressive typographic ideas. So what makes a great art director? No simple answer was offered but, you need a grand sense of design. You need to study design because you are the backbone of the big idea, the bodygaurd. Understand the concept of "Hierarchy" and "Order", find out and clearly understand what that means, what order does the message need to be delivered. Maybe that's why the best art directors come from art schools and having studied graphic design and typography. Sadly, Dave and Alex do make it clear that maybe technology has ruined the craft of art direction.

I can't express enough why this episode of FearlessQA which could have been a "trip down memory lane" will hopefully remain a "standard" for all "students of advertising" as what you need to know to truly succeed.

BTW... I tried to keep up with the boys and their "bourbon", they drank me under the table.

Required/Suggested Reading:

The Book of Gossage by Howard Luck Gossage; Jeff Goodby and Bruce Bendinger
The Art of Writing Advertising by Denis Higgins
Herb Lubalin - Art Director, Graphic Designer & Typographer by Gertrude Snyder & Alan Peckolick
The Bill Bernbach Book by Bob Levenson
The King of Madison Avenue: David Ogilvy by
When Advertising Tried Harder by Lawrence Dobrow
Creative Advertising by Mario Pricken
The Advertising Concept Book by Pete Barry
Hey Whipple Squeeze This by Luke Sullivan
History of Advertising by Stephane Pincas
Twenty Ads That Shock the World: The Century's Most Groundbreaking Advertising and How it Changes Us All by Bill Twitchell

View the FearLess Episode

Part One - What Every "Student of Advertising" Should Watch -w/ Alex Bogusky and CP+B Creative Director Tiffany Kosel

BEST OF A View From An AdGuy - CP+B's Alex Bogusky Part One - What Every "Student of Advertising" Should Watch - Your Portfolio w/Alex Bogusky and Tiffany Kosel

What should I put into my portfolio?

What order should it been in?

How many pieces should I have in my portfolio?

I'm a Art Director, does the copy matter?

Should it be about ideas, or is the execution more important?

If I got a nickle for every time I am asked these questions I could blog full-time, sip on 1981 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon and smoke Fuente Opus X Robustos. All of these questions are standard issues, standard concerns and the standard of every young future "AdLander".

But as often as I offer my answers, trusted answers based on my years of reviewing books and making my frequent trips to agency Creative Directors to ask "What should my students have in their portfolios?" I get a different response every time. Whether its how many pieces, size, quality, types of work to include, Print vs. Out of Home, Broadcast YES or broadcast NO, interactive... you get the deal.

NOT once have I got the same answer let alone even get the same recommendations. Simply more questions.

So every year as I set my young AdLanders into gear on building their portfolios I start with one difficult to understand standard line:
Recently, Alex Bogusky launched a weekly webcast called Fearless Q&A. Part Crispin Porter +Bogusky "news and views", part "self-promotion" but mostly very informational and very, very entertaining. Alex may have another career ahead of him. This past week (November 12th, 2009) Fearless Q&A turned its attention to the portfolio. Alex invited CP+B VP Creative Director Tiffany Kosel to share the stage and more important her thoughts on what makes for a good portfolio.

Tiffany Kosel has won awards at nearly every show out there, from Clios to Cannes Lions. She has worked on campaigns for BMW Mini, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Volkswagen, Burger King, Victoria's Secret, Jawbone and the "Truth" anti-tobacco effort, among others. After being promoted to VP Creative Director in 2008 she is the sole female among eight creative directors at the agency and directs up to 30 people on Old Navy, estimated to be worth a cool $200 million account for CP+B which she also led in the pitch. In June, Advertising Age named her as one of the "Women to Follow" in 2009.

The Fearless Q&A webcast offered some excellent insights and look into what Tiffany herself did to land the gig at CB+P. They both answered more questions then expected, and seeing this episode received more questions the any other episode to date. I can proudly say that my students bombarded the Twitter feed (follow my students on Twitter) in advance and several of my talented creatives submitted portfolios for review.

It was an excellent hour of conversation, the beauty of Twitter and the Justin.Tv it allows for a two-way conversation, live questions as the show goes on. Alex and Tiffany did there best not to just answer questions, but to show some samples of "what makes a idea great". I was proud that one of my students Ryan Dzur get his book shown and mentioned near the end, sadly they never got to give any feedback... the show was over too soon.
One of the questions submitted by my students was need for a portfolio if you are going into account management or strategic planning. I have crafted a unique approach to this type of portfolio over the years and I wasn't surprise that both Alex and Tiffany agree it is more  and more important as "creative" is needed in all areas of business. Suits and Planners need to bring more to the table then ever before.

Highlights of the conversation... the basics:
- Show your craft and show your skills
- Be unique, show you can think, find the "difference" in your product/client/brand" (the   Graham Crackers are an excellent example)
- Interactive and ambient are critical, show that you know what is fresh and what connects
- Makes sure that what you have are "Big Ideas" not just one-offs
- It really doesn't matter if it's a $10 book or $200 case, it's the work that matters
- Show who you ar, it can be more then just your advertising ideas.
But once it was all over (and too soon I might add), there are still a million questions... but really it's all about "Big Ideas" and  "Selling Yourself".

Watch Alex Bogusky and Tiffany Kosel on Fearless

Part Two - What Every "Student of Advertising" Should Watch -w/ Alex Bogusky, CP+B Creative Directors Dave Schwartz and Bill Wright
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