Advertising
Advertising's moral responsibility

Advertising’s moral responsibility

Advertising and ethics have never been close bedfellows in the popular imagination. When I entered the industry it was characterised by a culture derived from the bar (not the agency one the legal one) – that all businesses deserved representation as long as their product was legal. This may sound perfectly sensible to you but...
In defence of war

In defence of war

  The first recorded use of the acronym OMG doesn’t appear in a text from an over enthusiastic adolescent but in a letter from a crusty old sea lord to a future Prime Minister. In 1917 Winston Churchill, then Minister of Munitions, received correspondence from John Arbuthnot Fischer complaining about the progress of the war...
Guest Post: Can advertising be too good?

Guest Post: Can advertising be too good?

In this very rare guest post John Shaw, Chief Strategy Officer at WPP’s Team Red, asks whether sometimes advertising can be too good, not for the brand but for the consumer.   Long, long ago in the mid- 1980’s, Levi’s 501’s created a moment for me – a fashion moment, a music moment, an advertising...
Why 'always on' is such a turn off

Why ‘always on’ is such a turn off

When you have fireworks like this who needs bonfires. Image courtesy of Fernando Castaneda. In recent years the business of marketing has been assailed by a litany of new buzzwords and phrases that often gain extraordinary momentary popularity and spawn a slew of new job titles and agency offerings. However, increasingly this ‘new marketing’ jargon...
Stop confusing targeting with relevance

Stop confusing targeting with relevance

Advertising is not everyone’s cup of tea. However, for most of us inside and outside the industry, advertising is seen as commercially vital, economically important and culturally essential – funding and subsidising vast tranches of the media and many other facets of our lives. But there is a big if. And that is if advertising...
Keynesian marketing and the business of confidence

Keynesian marketing and the business of confidence

I am not an economist but let’s say I am economically curious.   And I wonder whether some of the debates that are happening in the world of economics might have relevance to the world of brands and marketing. And specifically the rekindling of interest in Keynesian economics following the financial crisis and the failure...
Does oxytocin hold the answer?

Does oxytocin hold the answer?

Chances are that you will be familiar with the properties of oxytocin. Whether male or female you will have enjoyed the sense of warmth it creates just after orgasm, if you are a mum you will probably have experienced its effects during childbirth (indeed its name comes from the Greek ōkytokínē meaning ‘quick birth’) and...
Adland entrepreneurs

Adland entrepreneurs

Pair 27 were made by Amanda. I know that because she has signed them next to the unique reference number that allows you to record and the life of your jeans at their history tag online. These are of course no ordinary jeans these are Hiut Denim jeans named after the founders David and Clare...
Gossage - the overlooked legend?

Gossage – the overlooked legend?

I have always felt it’s important to honour and respect the legends of our business. The Ogilvys, Bernbachs, Abbotts and Hegartys. Whatever one might think of their work now its clear to see that they were revolutionaries on their own times. But there is one legend that rarely gets the recognition that he deserves, certainly...
Why I hate targeting

Why I hate targeting

Image courtesy of Rebecca Ellen I have always been deeply suspicious of targeting in advertising. I don’t really mean the practice of placing communications, engagement and utility into the lives of the people most likely to buy. That does seem pretty sensible. No, the thing that bugs me is an obsession with targeting and optimisation...
Positioning versus execution - why the BA ad is not shit

Positioning versus execution – why the BA ad is not shit

Image courtesy of Mike 926 I have just finished reading Creative Mischief by Dave Trott. I think its really rather good. He is a first rate storyteller with a no nonsense approach to business, brands and communication. He reminds us that we can get too obsessed with the new and newfangled and bypass common sense...
Hegarty on Advertising

Hegarty on Advertising

Image courtesy of Johnnie Walker Espana. “Do not go gentle into the good night but rage, rage against the dying of the light” Dylan Thomas. Sir John Hegarty’s thoughts and memoirs, packaged together in Hegarty on Advertising (Thames and Hudson), must be amongst the most eagerly awaited stories from the world of advertising. This is...
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