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Creative Beef



Horror stories from the world of advertising



Last Build Date: Fri, 03 Oct 2014 06:36:24 +0000

 



WEB 2. NO

Wed, 30 Mar 2011 05:19:00 +0000

(image)

I was thinking I should update my online portfolio. Oh I know, all of you out there update your sites every 3 weeks. But I haven’t really gone near it in quite a while. So in preparation, I asked a few friends what they thought of my old url. The responses were interesting.




“You don’t have any digital.”


“Where’s the digital?”


“Digital? Seriously”


Ok ok, like I said it’s been awhile. I HAVE digital, I just haven’t put any on my site. So before I went through the painful process of changing my port, I thought I’d check out the digital rich sites of my friends. (Who really aren’t a very helpful group, if you think about it.)


You know what I saw? Great print. Great TV. Great radio (ha). And a whole bunch of flash banners that featured something kicking something and a bad pun.


Seriously. It was like a dog kicking a beer can and the line “Kick off the Big Game with a 18 pack of Coors Lite.”


This is what I’m missing? Seriously? If these were print ads, they would get laughed out of ad 101. I understand that the web is a different medium, but come on.


A lot of these ads remind me of television commercials from the black and white days. Simple, goofy, and so desperate to grab attention that they are dumbed-down to the point of surrealism.


So I’ll get digital on my site eventually. But in the meantime, don’t get all huffy with me. We may think we’re in the golden age of web advertising, but the fact is, this is just the beginning, or the end of the beginning or whatever Churchill said.


Disclaimer: I am sure that everyone reading this has wonderful digital work on their portfolios. Incredible deep and strategic ideas that are interactive, viral and just oozing with social media.




How to get a job in advertising 2011 edition

Tue, 22 Mar 2011 06:41:00 +0000

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Oh how the mighty have fallen. A few years ago creatives were sending out cover letters that were cocky as all hell.


“If you’re looking for copy that burns, contact me. I’m not gonna give you my phone number. If you’re smart enough to get me, you’ll figure it out.”


Today’s cover letters are a bit more “pathetic”. Filled with a lot more “begging.”


Dear Creative Director, I have over 10 years of experience in advertising. I have 20-30 produced national televisions commercials, including 7 Super Bowl spots. I HAVE awards too numerous to mention and I am related to 22 Academy Award Winning directors (all of who are willing to work for scale if it’s on one of my spots). And I personally created dramatic gopher, keyboard cat and Rick Rolling. I am looking for a full time job in advertising. If you have nothing open…if there is no current position at your office…I would be winning to work….for FREE. Call 24/7.


I wish I was making this up. But I have actually seen many offers to work for free. Now doing any job for nothing sucks. But working in advertising for no money real really sucks. Think about it, you’re selling out for NO MONEY. You would make the same salary just sitting on the couch playing XBOX.


I know, I know….if I get in the door, they’ll find out how talented I am. They’ll dump some no-talent hack and give ME their salary. I have two problems with this scenario:


1. Bad Karma dude

2. They’ll never pay you

3. XBOX




Very Negative Advertising

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 06:36:00 +0000

(image)
Spoliers! This is not a real news event. It is an ad for the game, Homefront. Now that we have that cleared up, lets explore how this happened.

"We really need to get people's attention. Are there any topical events we can cling to?"

"Well North Korea is threatening an attack, but it would be very irresponsible to..."

"Great, we can use that. We'll make it a fake news event. Worked for Orson Wells."

'Who?"

"Never mind. We'll stick it on YouTube. Big picture of Hilary Clinton to make it seem legit."

"The Secretary of State? You can't just use her imag..."

This thing is gonna go big. I bet it'll go viral. Stupid people will even post this thing on their blogs.

Oh come on, that's never gonna happen.



The Change

Thu, 03 Mar 2011 06:35:00 +0000

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Spend a few years in advertising, and you’ll rack up quite a few late nights. Nights when the evil boss/client/AE dumps a big project on your desk and needs it in the morning. Then comes the pizza, and the coffee, and the booze. And finally at 1am you and your coworkers spill out into the night and climb into your cars (one of which won’t start).


Now, rack up a few MORE years. And suddenly you’re the one telling them they have to work late. Staring into their tired little eyes and saying those dreaded words, “you gotta stay.”


Ouch. Now you’re the bad guy. You’re not one of us, you’re one of THEM.


But you’re not ready. In your heart, these people are your friends. You see them every day. You eat with them. Get drunk with them. Get really, really drunk with them. And so you start feeling guilty.


But it has to end sometime. I mean the bosses don’t walk out weeping. I figure it gets a little bit easier every time you do it. The guilt lasts a day, then a few hours, until you find yourself telling a room full of people on Dec 24 that you need to see 5 new campaigns in 3 days (right when you get back from your trip to Aspen).


But I’m not there yet. I still feel bad when I make people work late. Real bad. But I figure I’ll get there eventually. I mean it happens to everyone, right?


Right?




Oscar Fever

Mon, 28 Feb 2011 22:21:00 +0000

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So the Oscars are over. The speeches are done. And all those lame parties have wrapped (and I wasn’t invited AGAIN).


So what does the Academy Awards show have to do with advertising? Well apart from the fact that it is essentially a three-hour commercial for movies, I think the Academy Awards has a big effect on advertising creatives.


Admit it. When you see those people up there thanking their moms and gods, all you’re thinking is, “that could be me.” “If I had taken a different path. If I had made better choices. If I hadn’t dumped that writing partner who I thought was an loser, but turned out to be a genius.” A few more speeches later and the thought process begins to change. “Wait, there’s still time. I can pull out my old screenplay, take a few acting classes, call mom and ask for my old camcorder! How long would it take before I’M up there? One year? Maybe two? And what would (I mean WILL) I say when it’s my time to make a speech? Oh I can remember watching these awards a few years ago. I was in a dead-end advertising job, writing a smart-ass blog and praying for a way out. And tonight I am the toast of Hollywood! Now where’s my gift bag?”


And don’t think for a second it’s just a desire for a new creative output. A dream to create media that people actually WANT to watch. We know what it means to be one of those people at the podium. It means an end to Monday status meetings. An end to print ads. An end to advertising. It means long lunch meetings in sunny Malibu, coke parties in the Hollywood Hills and lots of fun development projects that won’t necessarily ever get made but pay remarkably well.


And then MORE awards and MORE money. And finally when you’re 95, they wheel you on stage at the Oscars and you get a standing ovation. Just try to keep the drooling at a minimum.


Also…sucked that banksy didn’t crash.




Is there anybody out there?

Sun, 20 Feb 2011 23:46:00 +0000

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Ok, I get it. I dropped this blog without a word of warning. One day I was there, the next GONE. So what happened? Why did the Beef suddenly dry up? There are a few likely possibilities.

1. Got laid off

2. Got discovered

3. Got bored

4. Got really really busy because everyone else got laid off.

Whatever the reason I left, I have decided to return. I mean, think of all the stuff I missed talking about. New Logo Madness. American Apparel getting even MORE pornier. And everyone getting laid off!

So tune it to the your friendly neighborhood Creative Beef. There won’t be updates everyday, but I will try to get something up every week. And together we can remember why we love advertising in the first place.


What was that again?




Couldn't have said it better myself

Wed, 10 Dec 2008 20:23:00 +0000

(image)

original here



Where's the beef?

Mon, 24 Nov 2008 08:28:00 +0000

You may have noticed I took last week off. Why? Well here’s a quick list of possible reasons:

Camped out all week to secure my place in line for Twilight.

High drama and layoffs at CosmoDemonic.

Came to the sudden realization that the Microsoft Vista campaign is brilliant.

Spent last week in a conference room listening to standard CD lecture #12 (We Must Understand our Client’s Point of View.)

In training for Black Friday.

Just busy.



There are rumors

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 08:38:00 +0000

(image) Mac sites are abuzz with stories that Apple is going to be super aggressive (going rogue?) this Black Friday. The details are sketchy. But the fan boys are getting excited.

Even if Steve doesn’t toss free nanos to the crowd, this should be a BF for the record books. Retailers are so desperate for our money that they’re going to be offering all sorts of insane deals. Free merchandise! Deeeeep discounts! Happy endings in the back room!

But I don’t need the promise of a HJ to get excited about Black Friday. To me it’s one of our high holy holidays. You see, I’m not a very religious person, so I have to cling to the secular celebrations. Days when we as a people decided to go bat shit crazy. Days like Super Bowl (I mean the Big Game), Cinco de Mayo, St Patrick’s Day and of course, Black Friday.

I love everything about it. The noise, the deals, the crowded parking lots. I even love the crowds. There is something exciting about losing yourself in a massive mall of humanity. And then there’s the promise of fulfillment. Laser printers for $99. Laptops for under $400. iPhones for only [TOO LOW TO MENTION!].

So this November 28, do yourself a favor and head to a mall near you. It’s a great way to help our economy and join together with your fellow consumers.

A BF Safety Message
If you are planning on purchasing a Nintendo wii this Black Friday, please be careful. People will do almost anything to get a hot holiday gift on Black Friday. People like me. (I have a number of heavy metals tools in my trunk that would make excellent weapons.)



How to get a job in advertising

Wed, 12 Nov 2008 08:16:00 +0000

(image) Chapter 7-What to bring on the first day.

Okay, you’ve set your alarm, laid out your work clothes and you’re all ready first your first day as an advertising creative. Or are you?

What are you going to bring to the office? You’re going to be spending a lot of time in that tiny cube. You’d better bring some things from home to make your stay more comfortable.

Stuff for the walls
The walls of your cube are like your locker in high school. You’ll want to add decorations to make you feel more at home and let your coworkers know just how interesting you are. A calendar is a good start. But why stop there? Hang up ads pulled from Archive, retro postcards and typography posters. If you have a family, put up their picture. If you don’t, hang up photos of attractive strangers. Remember, nudity is frowned on at work unless it’s the artsy, black&white stuff.

Stuff for your desk
Your agency will supply you with office supplies, but you’ll want to bring some stuff from home to mark your territory. The type of desk toys depends on your position. If you’re an AAE, you’ll want to stick with professional equipment. Creatives can go for the Hello Kitty Pen and Pencil Set.

Emergency supplies
I’m not talking about water space blankets. Every person in advertising needs an emergency kit. It should include the following:

Stick of deodorant
In case you forget or need to recharge before an EOD meeting

Altoids
Morning breath/Post lunch breath

Band-Aids and Advil
The only time the first aid kit in the break room will be empty is when you’re bleeding to death or suffering from a head-banging hangover.

Clean dress shirt/blouse
Always keep a clean top at the office. You don’t want to walk into a meeting with a giant coffee stain on your shirt.

Condoms
Office parties, drinks after work and late nights make these a necessity if you’re single (or tend to stray).

After you’ve collected all your supplies, stuff them into a leather satchel (suit) or an Army Medical Bag (creative), and you’re all set for you first day.

Oh, and be sure to bring a pen and pad.



Your father's right kids

Tue, 11 Nov 2008 08:16:00 +0000

(image) You get the call. The Creative Director wants to see the whole staff. You drop everything, minimize your porn windows and rush to the conference room.

Sometimes it’s a new job. Sometimes it’s a lost/won account. And sometimes he/she just wants to talk.

CD’s love to tell stories, and their staff is the perfect audience. They come when called. They can’t say they’re too busy. And they laugh at all your jokes.

If you’ve ever worked for a story-telling CD, here are a few titles that may sound familiar:

This Is How Advertising Works

When I Was At The Hot Shop

They Stole My Brilliant Idea

All Account People Are Lazy Morons

All Creatives Are Spoiled Children

Why I Deserve My Huge Salary

Things Were Better Before Photoshop

Working At Home Is Not Really Work

When I Was A Junior

We Must Service Our Clients

I’m Under So Much Pressure.

I Totally Understand Things Like Youtubes And Facespace.

I Remember When We Had To Send Copy To The Typesetters

I Remember Airbrushing

My First Job In Advertising

Radio Is NOT A Dying Medium

Internet Advertising Is Just A Fad.

Everything Was Better In The 80’s

Pet Project Status Report

I Worked With [AD GOD] When He Was Just An Intern

Did I Ever Tell You About The Time I Directed William Shatner?



We deserve a break

Mon, 10 Nov 2008 08:29:00 +0000

Okay, I think the whole world needs to take a few days off. I mean look at what we’ve all been through in the past few weeks:

1. The end of a 2 year campaign that had us checking CNN polls every few seconds.

2. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression

3. The Phillies won the World Series.

4. I think there was even some sort of dress-up holiday in there too.

And today I went to Target, and the store was filled with…Holiday stuff!

NOOOOOOOOOOO!

It’s too much. I’m not ready to face to holidays yet. We all need at least a week of sitting by the pool sucking on margaritas.



10 reasons why I'm glad the election is over

Fri, 07 Nov 2008 16:20:00 +0000

(image)
No more Wolf Blitzer!

No more heart palpitations when poll numbers “jump” .02%.

SNL can go back to sucking.

Can focus on more important news.
Who is Hillary Duff dating these days?

Don’t have to read headlines that contain the word, “hammer.”
McCain hammers Obama on economy.
McCain hammers Obama on Ayers.
Palin hammers Obama on possible Martian connection.


Can repair friendships with Republican friends.
I don’t really think you’re a fascist.

No more Joes!

I can actually get some work done.

I can go back to making snarky comments about advertising instead of making snarky comments about politics.

When I hear the name Palin, I’ll think of Michael.



What if?

Thu, 06 Nov 2008 08:56:00 +0000

So the election is over and the headlines have all been written. But what if things had turned out differently? What would yesterday’s papers have looked like? Here is what I think we might have seen if a few of those red states had stayed red. [...]



Our endorsement is…

Wed, 05 Nov 2008 19:29:00 +0000

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Yes, that’s right. Creative Beef is endorsing Barack Obama for President. It’s a controversial choice, but that’s the kind of blog we are.

I know this post is a little late, but that doesn’t mean I was waiting to see who won.

Don’t be so cynical.



Get Out and VOTE!

Tue, 04 Nov 2008 08:06:00 +0000

(image) In January, 1999 Wired magazine launched us into the year 2000 with one of its best covers ever.

Today we begin a new era that is just as unknown as the one we faced eight years ago.

Take a deep breath. Cross your fingers. And get ready to jump.



Happy Halloween!

Fri, 31 Oct 2008 07:09:00 +0000

(image) The help get you in the spirit, here are some truly terrifying Hallowen headlines:

Halloween Headquarters
Spooky Savings
We’ve “slashed” our prices
Bargains Goo-lore
Devilish Discounts
Undead Deals
Satanic Sale
Blood-curdling Bargains
Night of the Living Deal
Zero Percent Fright-nancing



Death of the :30 spot?

Fri, 31 Oct 2008 07:08:00 +0000

So Obama's infomercial got better ratings than the World Series. And it was 30 minutes long!

As a copywriter who has spent days trying to fill a :60 radio spot, this is quite an impressive job.



Upwardly Mobile

Wed, 29 Oct 2008 07:44:00 +0000

(image) As an urbanite, I spend a good deal of time traveling up and down in elevators. So for the benefit of all, I am presenting:

The Elevator Rules

If you only have to go up one story, use the stairs.
Exercise is good for you!

Do not apply perfume/cologne just before boarding the elevator.

No phone calls.
He did? No way! Again? I think I’m losing…I’m back!

Do not burp.
If you burp into your mouth and exhale through your nose, we can still smell your garlic fires.

If you have freight, use the Freight Elevator.

If you accidentally hit the wrong button, live with it.
Do not force the whole elevator to visit your favorite floors.

Figure out the direction the elevator is traveling before boarding.
Try checking the illuminated arrow on the wall.

Cover all sneezes and coughs.
Especially on a Friday.

Do not carry on loud conversations.
Unless it is about graphic sex.

You may not hold the door open for longer than 3 seconds.
Not nearly enough time for your friend to grab a bottle of water out of the break room fridge.



The Presentation-Chapter 2

Tue, 28 Oct 2008 07:55:00 +0000

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The Deck

Any successful pitch has to begin with a deck. This is a Power Point presentation (Keynote for the fanboys) that will outline your marketing strategy. It has to be at least 90 pages long. Despite it’s length, its root message is very simple:

Your company is great!

This strategy will reinforce the greatness of your company.

Did we mention that your company is great?

So with so little to say, how is it possible to create a lengthy presentation? It’s surprising easy as long as you stick to a few simple rules.

Ask questions, then answer them.
It’s really easy to come up with the answers when you’re the one asking the questions. You can focus on all your client’s positive attributes and avoid the deep dark secrets.

Example:
PAGE 1
What does Xcorp do?
PAGE 2
Make great cookies.

PAGE 1
How do your customers see you?
PAGE 2
Warm, friendly and cheap.

PAGE 1
Are there any better cookies out the market?
PAGE2
No!

Repeat everything
Repetition isn’t just the key to advertising, it’s the key to decks. Remember, anything that isn’t said at least three times is never remembered.

Example:
You make great cookies.
You make great cookies.
You make great cookies.

You should use repetition even when you’re making a simple statement. Just make sure to use different words. Example:

PAGE 1
We will strive
PAGE 2
We will work hard
PAGE 3
We will succeed in making Xcorp the best company on the planet.

No only does this add pages to the deck, it also creates a comforting rhythm that will lull the client into submission.

Stats
Statistics are very important, and you will want to list a lot of them.

A beginner might think that it is logical to put a group of statistics on a single page. That is a mistake. If you’re ever gong to reach 90+ pages, each stat must have its own page. Example:

PAGE 1
30% of the focus group liked the cookies.

PAGE 2
20% of the focus group hated the cookies.

PAGE 3
50% of the focus group was confused by the question.

Then you can sum up.

PAGE 4

So in conclusion:

30% of the focus group liked the cookies.

20% of the focus group hated the cookies.

50% of the focus group was confused by the question.

Follow these simple rules and you will have a deck that is so mind-numbingly boring, that the client will approve anything just to get out of the room.



Typoes

Mon, 27 Oct 2008 07:06:00 +0000

It happens to the best of us. You check and you check, but sometimes a typo gets through.

In the old days, there was a dedicated group of people called proofreaders. Masters of spelling and grammar, these folks worked hard to make sure that no mistake made it to print. But that was a long time ago. Today, most copywriters have to proofread their own work. (Or maybe an assistant rubber stamps an OK on the layout.) And the result is more errors making it into the outside world.

Which would be ok if it wasn’t for the Letter Writers. This is another dedicated group of people who make it their business to send letters to a company whenever they see a typo. I have seen some of these letters, and believe me, they are not meant to be helpful. They are meant to prove that the letter writer is far superior to the idiots who work in the advertising biz.

For example, I once saw a headline that was supposed to read, “Bread at its best” get printed as “Bread at it’s best.” Now that’s a pretty bad mistake. But I think we call all agree that it was a MISTAKE. Unfortunately, I saw a file filled with letters that the client received. They all said that same thing. “Was your ad supposed to say, “Bread at it is best”? Yup, that’s what we meant to say! We not knows how to speaks correctlies!

Now I am not saying that it’s wrong to point out a typo. People point out mistakes in this bog all the time. (In fact, that was the inspiration for this post.) And I even have friends who email me when they find a screw-up (Hi Laura!). The problem with the Letter Writers is not that they point out the typos, but that they point them out to the client! Some clients take this shit very seriously. And it can hurt someone’s job.

P.S. Knowing my luck I am sure that this post is filled with typos. Since I am my own client, feel free to find them all.



Friday Fun

Fri, 24 Oct 2008 07:21:00 +0000

Okay, it’s crunch time. You and your partner need to concept some killer ideas. So find an empty conference room, pull out the sketch/legal pads and start concepting.

Whoa there, speedy. You might not want to rush into this. Like a fine wine, good creative takes time to develop. But what can you do while you’re waiting for inspiration to strike?

20 Ways to Waste Time When You're Supposed to be Concepting

Call an AE and ask for more information.

Flip through old copies of Archive and CA. Stop every few pages and say, “why can’t we do shit like this?”

Go on a 15-minute rant. Suggested titles:
This Place is Fucking Killing Me
Account People Are Lazy
If I Ran This Agency, Things Would be Different!
I Need to Put my Book Together

Check out the latest videos on YouTube

Check out the latest episode of You Suck at Photoshop.

“Research”

PS3, Xbox360, Wii

Foosball/Ping-pong

Get a coffee at Starbucks! Don’t go to the one in the lobby. Go to the one that’s six blocks away.

Steal a few beers out of the Creative Director’s private fridge.

Instant focus group. Call Libraries all over America and ask them what they think about your product.

Have a leisurely meal at a sit-down restaurant. Do not talk about the work. It’s bad for indigestion.

Acoustic guitar+trash can=ROCK BAND!!!!

Throw pencils at the ceiling.

Throw pencils at your partner.

If it’s late, pretend you’re Indiana Jones and explore the agency. Remember, the best treasure is hidden in the boss’s desk.

If it’s even later, look for computers that still have their email aps open. Read a few emails (or send some).

Go to the gym.

Have sex.

Call your CD and ask if you can show your stuff tomorrow EOD.



What were we thinking?

Thu, 23 Oct 2008 07:01:00 +0000

(image)
I hit on this topic yesterday, but I don’t think I did it justice.

It’s a strange phenomenon. It happens when creatives are working far too late. The lack of sleep combines with the pizza and coffee (or beer) to create a bizarre mental state. There are 3 levels:




Level 1
People are nodding off. Long periods of silence are interrupted by shouts of “What if we…” All ideas seem like crap.

Level 2
You want to go home, but you can’t. So your brain’s survival instinct kicks in. Suddenly shit ideas look ok. And ok ideas look good. Lots of stuff gets pinned to the wall during this stage.

Level 3
The pizza is long gone. Your brain is running on fumes. A strange feeling of euphoria sets in. You laugh at everything. At this point a half decent idea seems like the most brilliant thing in the world. You haven’t just done the work, you’ve fucking nailed it! Go home get some sleep.

The next morning, blurry-eyed, you hobble into the conference room to review your late-night genius. But wait. What happened? The ideas that seemed so killer last night have lost their shine. You’re now looking at a bunch of weird concepts that don’t really work. Like these:

The No Idea-Idea
Just the product and the logo! Or no logo! It’s so simple. It’s so clean!

The Work in Progress
Amazing illustration goes here. Brilliant, poetic copy goes there.

Apple Amnesia
I think I may have seen the black silhouette look before.

The Logistical Nightmare
We film in all 52 states and at both poles!

Ain’t Gonna Happen
It’ll only work if we can get Tiger Woods to sing with David Bowie.

SNL Skit
Totally hilarious :28 spot with no connection to the product or strategy.

Way Off-Target
I think 10-15 year-olds will get the “Where’s the Beef” reference.

Way Too Current
Joe the Plumber jokes are going to be big for at least two years.

The In-Joke
Everyone knows what it’s like to work in a New York advertising agency for a creative director who wears Hawaiian Shirts and likes to tell stories about his Mom’s big orange cat.

We Are the World
A spot about a bunch of creatives sitting around at 1am trying to come up with a great idea.

Revenge
Sample headline: The only people too stupid to use this product are Creative Directors named Steve.

Hyper Truth
Our Double-Cheese Pizza will clog your arteries and kill you. But it’s a tasty death.

Noob Error
Uh, we submitted that same idea last year.

Didn’t Read the Brief
You might have mentioned that the product is new.

It Writes Itself!
No it doesn’t.



More ideas please

Wed, 22 Oct 2008 07:23:00 +0000

So you worked really hard. You racked your brain for hours. You stayed up late. You did research. You even got the whole group together for a 3-hour gangbang. And you struck gold. 20, no 30 great concepts. All of them on-strategy, innovative and doable. You present them to your CD. You hold your breath as he/she studies every ad. This time he/she’s gonna be happy. This time he/she’s gonna say you’re done. But the CD doesn’t . Oh, he/she likes a lot on the work. He/she even says it’s a “Good start.” But he/she would like to see some more, tomorrow. Groan. More work? But you’re tapped out. You dug deep, you can’t dig any deeper. WHY GOD, OH WHY?I hear you. We all want to be done with our projects. We want to get a brief, come up with ideas and send them off. It gives you a sense of closure. I mean, you don’t wash your car and then decide to wash it again, do you? But this is not a post about how shitty it is to ask for more work. This is about the need for review. Unless your CD is a total asshole, he/she is actually doing you a favor. They’re giving you more time to refine your ideas and to come up with new ones. And that’s a good thing. Sometimes we are in such a hurry to finish a job that we rush the ideas. “Ok, that’s another one! Next!” But when you are given a time to take a second look at your work, you start to notice a few things.Headline that seemed hilarious at 1am after several meetings with “MJ”-Not so funny todayKick-ass layout-Looks a lot like Apple’s new campaignMillion-dollar TV idea-Uh, client only has $30K. Really cool logo design-If you turn it sideways it looks like a penisAnother day lets you toss out your “What Were We Thinking?” concepts. It also gives you time to do a little fine-tuning. Change the color, shorten the headlines, and tweak the layout. And you mind be able to take that idea that just didn’t quite work and turn it into something great. As for the “new” work, it doesn’t always have to be that new. Usually you’ll have a bunch of ideas that never went anywhere. Pull out your notes and look for some gold in the reject pile. And take another hard look at your original concepts. That little ad in the corner could lead into a whole new direction. Or it could be the first in a campaign. It might even lead you to the BIG IDEA.So the next time your CD ask you to go back to the idea pool, get pissed, cruse their name, then get to work. Remember more time=better ideas.BIG DISCLAIMERAsking for more ideas is NOT always a good thing. For example:Ever-changing StrategiesIf the client, CD, or Account people keep changing the message, you get less time to work on your concepts. And the final work is often done at the very last minute. MistakesSame thing. Nothing is more painful then finding out you wasted a night’s work because someone cut-and-pasted from the wrong file.Too Much Time“It’s October, and the layouts are due in March. Lets have 27 rounds until then.” This is a great way to create work that is over-designed, over-written and over-thought.[...]



Pause please

Tue, 21 Oct 2008 06:59:00 +0000

Everyone who needs a break from the election, please stand up!

Okay, so it’s not just me. I enjoy following the ups and downs of politics, but Jesus, we need a break. Every day it’s a new sound bite. Then the response to the sound bite. Then the analysis on the sound bite. And just when you think it’s all over, it’s Saturday night and time for Tina Fey to appear on SNL.

What we need is an all-star break. (For those of you who don’t know, the all-star break is when the regular season is put on hold for a few days, so that the all-star game can be played.) The candidates could stop campaigning for a couple of days. And we could watch politicians battle it out on the playing field. Who wouldn’t want to watch Al Gore take on Bob Dole in a cage math? Or see Hilary and Sarah fight it out with pool cues? We could even have a “Homerun Derby” where politicians attempt to top each other with more and more bullshit.

The truth is we need a break from politics so we can get back to focusing on what is important in this country.

I mean what has Brittney been up to? Has anyone flashed a breast on TV? Is Paris Hilton seeing someone new?

Priorities people. Priorities.