The power of poster advertising. The fall of the Economist’s advertising intelligence.

In august last year I was asked to argue a debate in favour of big ideas over big data.  Little was I to know that my defence of the Big Idea could never be about to be validated more perfectly.

AMV, for many years, were the top agency in the UK and the jewel in the crown (creatively, not financially was The Economist).  Their advertising was legendary and I show some of it below.  It was always on posters and garnered more PR than it did sightings.  I rarely saw an Economist ad in the flesh but I knew them all.

Proximity now hold the account and the proudly stay

We use data-driven creativity to solve business problems

Their data driven creativity brings together a bunch of algorithms (I guess) to create an an ad on medium that ticks every box going.  And the result is a piece of communication that adds up to…well, zero.

It’s a sad day indeed to see how the Economist has abandoned its incredibly intelligent generation-long advertising campaign on posters for a TV spot that will simply make you cringe.

From these….

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To this….

Truly a sign of the times.

The New Elton John Lewis Christmas ad. (Meh.)

The problem with tracing the Elton John lifetime in reverse is that we know it’s all fake and the vicious whip pans are used so you don’t spend enough time on younger Elton’s face to spot that it’s a series of lookalikes.

Consequently the viewer experience is like watching Elton perform from the seat of a rollercoaster.

It’s a mess.

The central idea has some merit, although I have to say the Christmas element is pretty minimal.

Now, if you wanna see an ad that tells someone’s life story in reverse in a believable and very moving way check out this far superior (and much cheaper) execution from Barnardos.

Why I’ve joined the Nods team as Vice Chair.

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I was a guest at the inaugural Nods Awards last year and was impressed by its enthusiastic rejection of the usual awards puffery.

  • No suits ( I wore my daughter’s purple hat, inexplicably)
  • No drawn out sit-down dinner with expensive wine. (In fact it was a selection of market stalls selling street food in a really cool venue in the Barras called BAAD)
  • No two hour ceremony with so many awards you couldn’t even begin to work out who had won what.  (It was by contrast a little rushed and in need of sharing the work visually more – but it was all done and dusted in half an hour – the criticism was noted and a balance will be struck this year).
  • No overblown entry fees or ticket prices
  • And, most importantly for me, no profit motive – the proceeds went to the STV Children’s Appeal. But this year, and hopefully for the long term, proceeds will go to NABS (Scotland) well that’s an obvious choice is it not given that NABS is the creative (Communications) industry’s representative charity

This all made the event refreshing, more so when the judges are revealed as global giants, the Chair is a Global Giant herself (MT Rainey) and the organisers are Lux Events and CRAK Marketing, two small businesses wanting to put something back.

Many in our industry have bemoaned media owners using Awards as money-spinning bun fights and whilst I don’t wholly subscribe to that point of view there is no doubt this represents a refreshing change.

So year two now approaches, this time the awards ceremony will swap to Edinburgh and the ethos will be identical, although all of the people and organisations categories have been opened up for FREE entry.  This makes sense as people feel awkward paying to enter themselves for an award.  Instead it will be a Nod of recognition to those that deserve it.

Also we have introduced a craft category – a chance for photographers, illustrators, animators, musicians, film makers to enter for themselves – or for makers in agencies to have a bit of a spotlight shone on them.

I hope the industry will support the awards like they did last year.  It’s a shop window for the winners both to clients and to prospective staff and the awards themselves are keenly priced.

You can find out more here.

But, please note, the deadline for entries is 23rd November.  So get your skates on.

 

 

 

 

 

Free Promotion FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY: Exclusively for attendees of The Nods 2018.

I will be attending the Nods tonight.  To celebrate the launch of this exciting new creative awards initiative I will be offering all new commissions a FREE HAT with every commission.  LARGE or SMALL.

There’s only two commonly used words that can sum that up…

Blimey!

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You know what they say.  Get ahead.  Get a hat!

To avail yourself of this offer simply stop me at The Nods Awards tonight and say. “Hoy, take this work commission Mark and I claim a free hat.”

This. Is London. Greatness from Nike. (Thanks to Wieden and Kennedy.)

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London gets its own Nike ad.

We regionistas should hate it ‘cos it’s Lundin, innit.

But nah; it’s just great.  The fastest three minutes in advertising you will see in a long time.

What I particularly love about it is that it twists the ULTIMATE regional yarn – the Four Yorkshireman sketch from the 1970’s by Monty Python – and makes it relevant to both London and 2018.

Every sport, every exercise, every trope explored with wit and excellent cultural mixing.

Everyone comes out of it well.

Except Peckham.

What’s wrong with Peckham?