Archive for May, 2007

No Saatchi


Someone once said ‘You can’t treat every situation like life or death, cause you’ll die a lot of times’.

That’s some advice I should heed. I tell everyone who emails us asking about getting into advertising that rejection is part and parcel of the process and you should never ever take it personally, because they don’t know you when they reject you.

When I sent my application of for Saatchis summer school I was pretty optimistic, as usual. I felt I had a strong idea and Anton, Jack Bauer (from the BR forums) and Will had all shared their wisdom with me, and I had taken on board what I thought was important. When I got a mention in that week’s Campaign, and various blogs, I was pretty much sure that I had got a place. But there was a twist in the tale and I got the standard rejection letter from Saatchis in the post.

I was a little (or maybe more) disappointed and decided to give them a call to see if I could get any feedback. Reception put me through to HR where I was told there was a huge number of applications this year (like most years I guess) and some weren’t good enough. But I wasn’t able to get any Sam-specific feedback. It seemed as if I was being fobbed off with the ‘too many people applied’ excuse. So I wrote an impassioned email to a few people in HR and explained that in my very junior opinion, the number of applicants shouldn’t stop each one being considered, and again asked for feedback as to how I could have made my application better. Again I got a reply, telling me that there were a large number of applications and that some didn’t quite make the cut, but again no feedback about mine.

I think I’m over the downer of not getting in, and to be honest, things have moved on a little, I got my first mention in Campaign (first of many I hope) and the blog seems to be taking off in terms of readership (so thank you guys a ton).

At this point, I feel like I won’t be getting any feedback about how to make my idea any better, so I will open the floor up to you, our knowledgeable readers. My application is in the ‘Downloads’ sidebar on the right (I’ve put it all in a zip file), or click here to download and have a read. Rather than include screenshots of the blogs that featured the auction, I’ve put the links in a text file to save you guys download times.

All comments welcome.

And because I’m emo (apparently, I don’t buy it) I’ll leave y’all with this:

You are not your job/and you are not the clothes you wear/You are the words, that leave your mouth/So speak up, speak up loud..

Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly – Call Me Ishmael


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PSFK In The Morrow

We’ll be at PSFK London all day tomorrow to report on happenings. If you’re going, come and say hi – we’re the young, exceedingly good looking guys ;). If you’re not and want to buy tickets, do so soon. The clock is ticking.


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Some Blog Admin

We’ve redone the links sidebars, and will be adding a few more of our personal favorites along with some more advertising/planning blogs over the next couple of days (they’ll all sit in ‘More Planning’ because technically everything is planning – we think). If you feel wronged because we haven’t listed you, we apologize and humbly ask you to leave your blog in the comments so we can right this wrong.

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of the dot com boom (and then by definition maybe a burst?) seems to be underway. But this time it’s all about social networking and making connections, I think. Last.FM got picked up by American media giant CBS (story here and reaction here) a few days back and it seems there’s a feeling in large corporate media land that social media, in all it’s forms is where the cash cow is grazing.

Please please please don’t go overboard and brand it to hell. And don’t try to funnel users down a specific path because it will make you a little bit more money. That will wreck it for us. That would not be cool.

(In what I hope is not a blind coincidence, BigShinyThing have written a piece about this in much greater detail and quality here – I hope it’s not a coincidence because I’d like think that I’m clever just like them).

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Live Wii


Whilst feeding my videogame addiction online this morning I stumbled across this (opens in new window). Nintendo and agency Comment UK are debuting the first ever live cinema ads where two members of the audience will participate with a Wii ad for the ever popular Wii Sports.

The ad will feature a character known as Steve, sitting at the front of the cinema and his mother, who will come running in looking for him, the lights will go up as she enters the room and they will engage in some momma-son bonding over a quick game of Wii Sports.

I’ve thought about this for all of 5 minutes in my post exercise haze, but I think it’s an awesome idea. However, the fact that you need real people (who are scripted, so to speak) means that Steve and his mom can only do this one cinema at a time. Which makes it kind of gimmicky. To make it really cool, how about asking cinema-goers to engage in a quick round of tennis, or Mario Party styled minigames while most people are in line for stale popcorn and fluorescent cheese? That would reward, entertain and push the Wii further out into the mainstream market that Nintendo is targeting for this round of the colossal epic that is the console war.

The question is, will this make you want to get to the cinema early and sit through half an hour of ads and trailers? If so get down to Edinburgh, York, Southampton or Brixton this weekend and check it out.

More on this here (courtesy of BrandRepublic) and here (Creative Match)

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We’re trying to get our heads around something. What exactly is the role of an industry trade magazine/website/forum? Is it to report in a factual way about events from with a BBC methodology and thus provide two sides to a story or is it to report on those which the editorial team have a relationship with and facts are replaced with subjective opinion?

We would think the former would be the responsible way to go. Lets take Brand Republic, the love child of Campaign and its approach to Publicis.


As a host of news and events for the industry it seems strange that some of its editorial team took great pleasure in an agency’s demise which essentially has involved redundancies, troubled lives and a brave set of people fighting at the coal face when all the chips are down.

Surely as an industry information source you would think that it’s the responsibility of Brand Republic to give support to London’s 4th largest agency which has carved many a milestone in the UK’s rich advertising history we enjoy today.

Nope, those at Brand Republic decide to laugh and cheer like a load of dribbling paparazzi at a car crash:

“Agencies cease to exist all the time either by merger or failure. Even really good agencies and Publicis – former home of MFI and Asda – is not one of those. HHCL, GGT, Ammirati Puris Lintas and Bozell to name a few. They have no divine right to exist “

“…the merger of APL and Lowe is very much what this looks like. I had pretty much forgotten about DMB&B, its funny how quick big ad brands disappear”

Whilst this provoked a few aggressive retorts that were unnecessary it surely is irresponsible for what is essentially a news site to get involved with such barbaric and snearing views. When does journalism stop being factual and when does it start having an opinion?

In our view – never, it’s not its job and it’s not its reason for being. Now Brand Republic may claim that these comments were said in a forum and therefore are exempt from such reporting scrutiny. WRONG. It’s merely a host of the main advertising forum around and as such still has a responsibility to (mereley) moderate and moderate alone, unless they are scraping the barrel for content and therefore require provocative and controversial comments to get arguments started – either way, the responsible brand that is Brand Republic is now seen as being an unreliable source due to allowing itself to get caught up in such a debate and throw around what they claim to be true – that Publicis should disappear due to lacking creative talent. Hmm, funny that seeing as they won 2 pencils at the D&AD Awards the evening prior to Brand Republic’s comments. Maybe more time researching facts than slinging mud is required.

But how nice of the First in Advertising, Marketing, Media and PR to share their views. Maybe they would like to share those views with all of those at Publicis.


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This is my picture, use it and I will come after you

Today has been a day of catching up on the ‘I should blog about that’ list. So I’ll press on. This post is broadly about how the internet is making it harder to hide yourself. By that I mean your whole self. Convergence and social networking and web 2.0 have all unwittingly contrived to make it that you’re on display all day, everyday. To everyone.

Reading Faris’, Will’s, Amelia’s and Graeme’s posts that are broadly (won’t use that word again, promise) related has helped to arrange some thoughts in my head. So shoutouts to them.

See, here’s the thing, I used to have these boxes where I could put myself into, I’d talk to my old friends who live overseas (that’s where I come from see) by email / instant messenger, I’d phone / text my island based peeps, I’d sit on the Brand Republic forums as an anonymous screen name, flaming without fear of judgement and work type colleagues had another email address that wasn’t quite as embarrassing as the one all my old friends knew. It was easy and I knew when I used each respective medium which Sam I was about to become. Simple.

To be honest the whole MySpace bandwagon passed me by a little, the music kept me going back but I didn’t feel as if I had to check it at certain intervals, I wasn’t going to miss anything if I didn’t. And frankly not enough of my friends were on it in the first place.

Facebook was the first proverbial shot to the head, it’s addictive, easy, well thought out and free of the clutter that turns some people off MySpace. And all of my friends were on it, be they in England or around the world. So quickly it became a place where everyone could reach me. Be they friend, university person, colleague or potential employer. All of a sudden you go from being able to control your projection to having to gauge your reflection in different light. And it is strange because everyone is different in different social situations, but on Facebook you can’t be, because you’re there all the time, your profile is there for everyone all day. And it’s not like Hi5 because it’s not only a vaguely homogenous group of people that are on there. Now almost everyone is on there, or getting on. So your old friends, new friends, everyone, they all see the same thing. And all of a sudden explaining that SJ = Sammy J = ..embarrassing afternoon 7 years ago… isn’t quite as appropriate with someone who’s interviewing you next week as it might be with your homeboys from back in the day. And that’s just the start, del.icio.us is now a window into your browsing habits for all to see and share in, this blog is mine and Anton’s thoughts, Twitter, Jaiku CoComment, LinkedIn…the list goes on.

And you feel compelled to dive into every single one because you want to be known to everyone (especially for someone like me, trying to get to grips with the ad industry), but you don’t want everyone to know you, all at the same time. A conundrum, if you will.

So you hide yourself in layers of social networking because it’s great to have your storefront on the web 24/7 no matter what form it takes but at the same time there’s something about all of us that’s individual and not only can you not express that in words and pictures but you shouldn’t even try to, because you lose some of that (for want of a better word) soul that makes every person that specific person. What I’m trying to get at (partly) is that judging someone from all these things is increasingly easy, but meeting the person is still meeting the person which is still the only real way of knowing the person (way too much person in that sentence).

But Facebook is rocking. And I think (and hope because I don’t want to have to re-pimp my dust-gathered Beebo / Hi5 profiles up again) it’s the real deal and therefore here to stay.

And that’s a wrap, and a great way to finish the day.

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