Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stealing ads? Let's shoot somebody!

Damn dem ad people! They never have an original idea. They just steal stuff from awards books or from their own agency portfolios. Ripping art directors, hack writers and total losers. How can we find the real ideas?

Today I received a pair of ads from a friend in the biz here in Vietnam, and he's passing me some local industry gossip from some Viet boys/girls who think that one agency ripped it's own ads and made another ad. Let's take a look - ad busters that you think you all are, and see what we have.

Ha. What we have here is rubbish. Rubbish on two fronts. Exhibit "A" is for a client called Milex. It's a milk powder that will make your average Vietnamese kid a genius. Not. The agency should be a respected multinational but with this rubbish, that should come seriously into question. Let's not talk about this ad. It suks big time. Somebody, please fire the creative director.

Exhibit "B" is an ad for, 'Oh my Gwad', VNPT. A telephone company. It suks too. So let me get this straight? People in the ad business think that this one ad steals the other ad because they both suk? Yes. They both suk. And that's the only thing they have in common. They are both perfunctorily terrible. Please reward the wonderful multinational agency who made them both. Who are they? Go find a list of shite agencies and look em' up.

As opposed to the local creatives thinking that one agency ripped off themselves and copied one ad for another client - here's what happened. They had one ad for a milk client that used a bad illustration of a spaceship - and then they made another ad for a telephone company with a poorly illustrated spaceship as well. One agency copied their own bad idea and made another bad idea?

Yup. That's what happened. A shite agency turned shite into more shite. But they didn't steal. They simply reproduced bad stuff. Fire the creative director. It's not a copy. It's simply bad X 2.

For a great post on 'Copycats', see Mads Monsen's blog, here.
For Copy Products in Mekong tourism see this post in Come And Go Vietnam

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Anger, Hurt, Love = ?

"Underneath anger is hurt, and underneath hurt is love."

Yes, it came from a movie, but I've learned not to take advice from employers, governments or other authority figures. I like movies. They may be the best we get in a 140 character world. Nobody reads books anymore.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Day: Stream of subconciousness VI

German client: "Imagetext is perfect-Thank you for helping me! Invoice?!" (Pay: 50 Euro per hour) Vietnamese client: "Your prepararing for the whole 2 recruitment seminars were very bad." (Pay: $20 per hour) # It's Curtis King's birthday. A ragtag group of musicians and musician wannabees is having a jam at Bernie's. A man with glasses crawls on the stage and begins to kiss the crotch of the lead singer under his guitar. Forty-something expat ladies wander onto the stage and spin around like Stevie Nicks well past her prime. I do substance abused harmonies. Bernie smiles. # American client: "I am so happy we are working together. It's GREAT (I don't bold letters easy)... you are truly a consummate professional and a super talented writer." (Pay: $40 per hour) French client: "I'm going to dock your pay 10 minutes every time you go out and have a cigarette because when you're smoking you're not writing and I don't pay for smoking" (Pay: $6 per hour) # We're remodeling the old patio area to be an enclosed room with patio and BBQ outdoors. The construction boys have installed frosted glass to the now enclosed indoor area thus blocking the large expansive view we used to have to the patio. Uhh. Do it again Vietnam. Until we get it fucking right. # German client: "Hi David- Magnificent (work)!". (Pay: 50 Euro per hour) Vietnamese client: "We want to stop working with you." (Pay: $20 per hour) # I'm convinced tomorrow will be a better day. Because I'm an optimist. I wonder how the black bespectacled drunk fan made out with the lead singer at the birthday party. I should kiss more crotch (female) on stage :) Because I'm terrible at kissing ass. Want respect in your job? Charge more.

Blockbuster Gone Bust: Who knew? Everybody.

Advertising, Marketing, Leo Burnett, Nintendo, Marshall McLuhan,  Torrents, Technology,  On-line, According to Market Playground, "It was only a matter of time. In a press release on Thursday, September 23rd, Blockbuster Inc. (PK: BLOKA, BLOCKB) filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to recapitalize its balance sheet and put the Company in a stronger financial position as it continues to pursue its strategic plan and transform its business model.”

Duh. Ask any American kid what Blockbuster is and he'll tell you that's where mom hangs out to get bad movies. Ask an Asian kid and you'll get a blank stare. "So you go there and pay money and they give you a movie, but you have to bring it back?" Right. Germany has automats to handle this function. I laugh, as I torrent my next blockbuster.

I recall somewhere in the mid 90s, being asked to pitch the Blockbuster business at the Leo Burnett Company in Chicago. Having also been working on the Nintendo business, I was keenly aware of what the online gaming market was becoming and how video game consoles, even at that time, had a land-line phone jack already built in, ready for the kids to connect. "Isn't this all going online?", I naively asked at a prep meeting, having gone through reams of insignificant data stating that the brick and mortar concept had at least another 20 years in it.

Advertising, Marketing, Leo Burnett, Nintendo, Marshall McLuhan,  Torrents, Technology,  On-line, Hmm. Time flies. Seems as if we're already there. My old question was answered by a smarter-than-me account executive who told me that Blockbuster had determined that limited bandwidth would hamper online delivery for quite sometime and there was no need to worry about that. Until now, I guess. So hmm again. Sears created the catalogue, but lost the online business to Amazon. Sony created the Walkman but lost the personal music player market to Apple. And now Blockbuster has lost the home video market to Netflix and torrents. So what's the message here? The medium is the message here. The medium. Marshall McLuhan told us that. Too many years ago.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Children of Charles & Ray Eames: What Have I Done For You Lately III

Advertising, Charles Eames, Ray Eames, Art, Film, The Eames Office, Chairs, Design,  architecture, Rarely are we able to do something we love and be paid for it, but this month I was lucky. When Nathalie, the Editor of East&West Magazine here in Saigon, asked me to write a story about Charles & Ray Eames for their September issue, I was overjoyed. The Eames' through their design, art, films and architecture have always proven to have been an inspiration of a higher power to me. See my story below, and share with me a life of art, love, design and modern technique that lives in complete harmony.


For more in the "What I have I Done For You Lately" series see:

(I)WHIDFYL I: American Airlines
(II)WHIDFYL II: Nintendo
(III) WHIDFYL III: The Children of Charles & Ray Eames
(IV) WHIDFYL IV: Heartbeat Vietnam
(V) WHIDFYL V: A Study in Contrast - Sandrine Lloquet

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ADS Design School, Saigon - Rubbish?

Welcome ADS. Probably the first real Advertising and Design school in Vietnam. And thank them for asking me to help.

As I understand, ADS found me from LinkedIn and approached me to be their Program Director, based on my professional background and award winning history.


What matters most? Can I teach their students to think? In the end my personal background and experience won't mean a thing if I can't instill questioning, critical thinking and an extreme aversion to all things tried and true and lacking in originality. What matters most about my background is not the companies I worked for, but the work I did at those companies compared to the standard product they were turning out. And in the end, a school promising to make a difference and bring an international standard to design and advertising education in Vietnam won't mean a thing unless they can turn out graduates who can compete on an international level and challenge the status quo. And in this country, that's a tall order. Being different or original is not valued half as much as being the same or being wealthy. Can the values of creativity and originality really be taught over the prevailing values that money and status conquer all? And did the school buy my name and international history as a logo on a polo shirt or did they buy a concept that an international education is broader, more liberal and more adaptive to change than one steeped in conservative rhetoric? Only time will tell.

Should you have questions about the school either as a student or faculty, please let me know.

I am no longer associated with ADS Design School. Please click here for notice.

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