Think Hard


Tess Alps talking sense.

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Tess Alps is smart.

Here she talks about the government’s pathetic defence of slashing public service advertising because they claim there are more (cost) effective ways to change behaviour.

A 26% increase in drink driving deaths last year.  In the wake of an advertising embargo.  What did they expect? 

This sort of behaviour needs more than nudging.  It needs full spotlight disdain and only TV can do that.

Trying to get junkies off heroin.  That’s a different matter but this sort of behaviour needs social antipathy and TV’s the best way to galvanise that.

I agree 100% that broadcast TV advertising is not the only way to change behaviour.

But let’s get this straight. 

If you have the money there is STILL nothing that can replicate a great big dollop of TV advertising. 

Nothing.

 



Creative Edinburgh. Creative and Corporate Love. Tonight, Live in Leith.

Creative Edinburgh Logo

I bet you’d enjoy this.  But you can’t, because you were too slow off the mark.

It’s the latest Creative Edinburgh event tonight on The Leith Agency’s Mary De Guise Barge.

As our membership grows (it’s well over 500 now) our events are getting more and more popular.  That’s why this one’s sold out.

Ed Brooke (Ed of Leith) will share the speaker’s podium with award winning photographer Jannica Honey and Arts Learning Specialist and Drama Artist Fi Milligan Rennie.

Keep an eye on the Creative Edinburgh website for our future evens (we’ve planned hosting and curating of over 50 already this year)

Better still.  Become a member.  It costs very little.

Or pop along to Creative Circles at Brew-Lab.  It’s free.



Advertising’s new “way”?

I’m looking at a lot of interesting advertising at the moment because I’m teaching a module at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s BA Digital Film and TV degree course. It’s required me to look for examples of old classics and new.

I’ve been struck by what’s winning the gongs these days.

Nothing, but nothing is short.

And a lot of it frankly isn’t really that good. (I think, because they are too long and flabby)

So, if you’re gonna read on, and you should, make yourself comfortable.

The most awarded ad in the world last year was this one for Canal +.

It’s OK. And it’s only 60″  (that’s short)

This is good mind. The Guardian’s 3 Little Pigs (120″)

This is great.  It’s for Chipotle (and their sustainable/organic farming approach to sourcing – if you believe it) and takes a Coldplay song and covers it by Willie Nelson.  It’s 2 minutes 20″ long.

Metro Trains from Melbourne have made this 3 minute monster. And it’s garnered 38million YouTube hits so far.

But this is the one.  This is the absolute king of the pack.  It’s for Expedia and it brought a tear to my sorry old eyes.  It too is a beast weighing in at 3 minutes 20″

What though, happened to 30″ spots?

 



An amusing Christmas distraction

Our annual SEX party (Self Employed Xmas) found me assuming the role of auctioneer to raise money amongst the assembled 25 or so creative luminaries on behalf of our old, and sadly missed, pal Kenny Harris for his charity of choice; Diabetes Scotland.

Post lunch, rather lubricated my job began and after a few successful and enthusiastic lots had been sold we moved onto “the Sting” lot donated by David Reid for a “lost afternoon” lunch at The Canny Man’s.  Everything covered including taxi home.

All were pre-warned not to bid under any circumstances (for a wee laugh) apart from one person who tried but was restrained from bidding.  The action was caught on camera by a stealthy Mike Coulter.

The auction went on to raise £1,800 and David had the last laugh as his lot reached the highest total of £200 when it was later auctioned for real.

Enjoy!



How to bow out with dignity.

My good friend Guy Robertson saw his business go bust after 25 years in the saddle last week.

This happens a lot in this industry but usually the vanquished faces a barrage of abuse and leaves with bad feelings all round for suppliers and staff.

Typically the business owner is full of vitriol and blame. Not Guy. This is how he said his final hurrah and I think it deserves a wider audience so that people can see the dignity, decency and wit with which Guy made his final bow (for now)

Good luck in the future mate. You deserve it….

Warm felicitations from the West End of Glesga,

A sense of self-respect, vanishing pride or perhaps plain bloody ego moved me to drop a note to a few of the many friends I have made in the Scottish Ad Industry and some of the more recent acquaintances I’ve made throughout the UK via the IPA. Sadly it’s to report the demise of GRP, the advertising and design business I started back in 1986 (remember those hedonistic and heady email-free days of full commission, meaty mark-ups and boozy lunches?)and which my Partners and I ran pretty successfully for more than 23 out of the next 25 years.

The past year or so has been a very stressful time, both emotionally and financially, so in some ways it’s a relief now I’ve brought it to a head by making the decision to wind down the Partnership. I guess the cracks started at the beginning of the global recession in December 2008 when we lost the Toyota Dealer Advertising business, an account that contributed more than 60% of our income at that point. We made the mistake, easily identified in hindsight if not at the time, of not cutting costs deeply or quickly enough and allowed our hearts to rule our heads when it came to reducing staff numbers. As everyone knows the general business climate continued to decline and despite GRP’s successful transition to Digital, which included winning accounts such as Highland Spring, we couldn’t achieve the profit levels needed to exceed our overheads, tied as we are to the building we bought back in 2005 and which is now too big and too expensive.

With the Bank seeking to down-value the building to the point at which our £450k equity had all but disappeared we took the decision to enter a Trust Deed before we reached the point at which a third party may have sought to sequestrate us.

As a Partnership my 2 Partners and I have unlimited liability (probably our other significant error!) so it has been important to manage the wind-up in a professional, honest and transparent manner and to minimise the effect on staff, suppliers and clients.

This process is happening as I write and I remain hopeful that the majority of the debt can be repaid without recourse to what’s left of my personal assets!! The building will have to be sold and given the commercial property market right now I’m not betting on a surplus after RBS get their claws into it! Meantime I have formed a new company in the name of Guy Robertson Advertising Ltd and happily I’m starting with the support of many of my clients at GRP. So thanks for reading my rambles and apologies if it comes across as somewhat self-indulgent, I guess that’s because it is!



This is why Mother is one of the greatest ad agencies in the world.

Must watch.  Genius.



John Hegarty – a proper legend

In my business development role at STV I have had the pleasure this year of putting on events with Trevor Beattie of BMB, Mark Waites of Mother and now Sir John Hegarty, founder and creative director of BBH and the nearest you can come to a living legend in our industry.

He was spellbinding and bewitching.

So, so relevant.  And a perfect gentleman.  Not for him a trawl through the old BBH ads (of which there are dozens of gems to showcase); no,  he talked a lot about the digital world (and how it fits so well with TV which remains at the heart of any really succesful brand campaign) and the opportunities it held in the midst of a deep recession where the guard could easily change fundamentally.

He waxed lyrical about X factor and the renewed vigour of ITV (and STV) as a vibrant and exciting audience builder.

It reminded us that this is not a bad time to be in advertising and that we just need to remain in touch with the media landscape and prepared to harness new technologies not be afraid of them.

After all when Guttenberg reinvented bookmaking in the 15th century what was the first book he printed?

The bible!




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