Monday, May 18, 2009

Print is petrified

Print advertising is by and large frozen in time. It’s not better than it was, and it’s not worse than it was. It’s just there, in a holding pattern.

The winners on display at the CLIOs last week demonstrated that the race to be best at filling a magazine page is over. The result is a virtual dead heat between hundreds of agencies around the world.

Cool visual employing weeks of photoshop. Laterally connected headline. Teensy packshot in left or right corner. Multiply by three in different colors if you want to enter your single idea as a campaign as well.

The good stuff is really good. It’s just not good in a way that’s different to last year’s crop, or even last decade’s.

The stasis is highlighted by the amount of innovation that is still evident in film, and of course the absolutely insane explosion in digital and ‘emerging medias’.

The next level of art, and this is where we could see print grow in the future, is how it can be used imaginatively as part of a well-orchestrated story.

Until then, print is marking time, waiting for its next revolution.

Image by Genista

Monday, May 11, 2009

If you can make it anywhere, you can make it anywhere

My first job in advertising was in a town called Brisbane, on the hot end of Australia’s east coast. That’s B-r-i-s-b-a-n-e.

That job, and the ones that seemed to lay out ahead of me until a projected booze-enforced retirement at the age of 46, consisted of doing ads for real estate developers and rip-cut-and-thrust retailers. Most of my headlines - that’s what we copywriters were hired to do - had either puns or exclamation marks. The really good ones had both. I paged longingly through my copies of D&AD, wondering how I could ever do work like that. All the true brand work in Australia was done in either Melbourne or Sydney. And that’s just the way it was going to be, forever. The very very best of the Brisbane work never even got a look in at the national shows. No matter how many entendres and screamers we could wedge in. Sigh.

But now look. The One Show has just awarded its Best Of Show to an idea from Brisbane. The ‘Best Job In The World’. Which, on a budget of a bit over $1 million, has been appearing in international headlines for four months now. And on a client I myself used to work on. I recall the best I ever got through was a quirky crop on a shot of a beach.

Final proof, as if it’s needed, that potential greatness is right in front of you, wherever you are, whatever you’re working on.

Image by aunwin