Wednesday, September 4, 2013

We Are Not Advertisers, We Are Responsible Influencers

So this is a presentation I made during my Postgrad in Advertising & Digital Comms in DIT. I thought it was worth slapping up here on the interland.

Ad-Peeps tend to get boxed off into the 'your just selling shit and you don't give a fuck as long as you make cash' category. However, there has been a changing mould in advertising over the past few years. I would argue that Ad-Peeps should no longer consider themselves Advertisers but 'Responsible Influencers'. Some (certainly not all) agencies are balancing their car and sports accounts with clients who are solely working to better the world, whether it be environmental, social, local or global, and the agencies genuinely seem to care about these causes (they are people after all).

For the presentation I used BBH New York as a case study. BBHNY worked with the New York City Rescue Mission to formulate 'Underheard in NY', a worthwhile cause to make a difference and create awareness of the issue of homelessness in NY and dispel some of the preconceptions that go along with it. Here's an overview of what the project was about:

Underheard in New York is an initiative to help homeless residents in New York City speak for themselves. We’ve provided Danny, Derrick, Albert and Carlos each with their own mobile phone, a month of unlimited text messaging and a Twitter account. They’ve found their voices by texting their thoughts, feelings and actions to Twitter. Our mission is to use their social media presence to create real interaction and make them a part of our global community.

You can view the full 'Underheard in NY' project here & here.

BBHNY realised their position as influencers and created awareness and worked to improve these men's lives. Another agency leading the way is Droga5 who created the Tap Project with UNICEF, which was wildly successful.

I might be looking at this through rose-tinted glasses but some Ad-Landers do realise they are in a position of influence and are taking responsibility for that. I think agencies realise they have access to the media which allows their work and ideas to be seen by the masses. They are becoming more conscious of their position as influencers and, as often as possible, the messages sent through these channels are for a greater good, not just to sell soap.

So yes there will still be the back-patting at Cannes & The Clios and the egos still exist but the real rewards some of these people have and can be truly proud of are the ones that cannot be measured necessarily in dollars & trophies but in the difference they have made for people in harsh situations who needed and benefitted most from 'Ad-Land's' creative talent.

Friday, July 5, 2013

New Work in NYC,

I've just completed my first job in NYC, a website & identity for the extremely talented fashion designer Claire Diederichs. The job was a dream to work on and a result of a good collaboration and understanding between client & designer. The process also involved a fun photoshoot in Greenpoint of two of Claire's collections Articulate & Faceblind. The identity was born from the focus within Claire's work on human interaction and body language.

Check out the final product here:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

These are going to be addictive. 'The New Yorker' weekly captions competition, just for fun...

(1) "Fido's water & food bowls have been full for the past three days."

(2) "It just gets lonely out there sometimes, y'know."

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bridging Understanding and Embracing Engagement.

Two recent pieces of creative advertising I admire for seeking to challenge common ground and engage audiences in a way that is actually, well, engaging, are Ogilvy NY's work for IBM "A Boy & His Atom – The World's Smallest Movie" and BBDO NY's online mini-drama series "Daybreak2012" combined with a multi-platform experience for AT&T.

For me, the reason Ogilvy's IBM spot works is because it asks me to be interested, learn something and appreciate the research and work behind the product. It showcases the capability of the scientists who work for IBM and their innate skill to produce something new and push their own boundaries. I see people who genuinely love what they are doing and really want to share this fascinating work as well as challenge themselves. This in turn gives me a unique insight into the commitment and desire IBM have towards innovation and development. Breaking weird and wonderful world records along the way is also a nice bonus. Most importantly; its interesting, educational beyond the product, engaging and I feel like I've benefitted from watching (a rare bonus from an advert).

BBDO's work 'Daybreak2012' for AT&T is a different animal. There's always the argument that agencies and clients are so keen to engage audiences on a multitude of digital levels for the sake of it that the idea (if any) becomes the secondary vehicle to getting a brand 'talking' in whatever online space is available even with no story to tell or relevance to the platform (ugh).

BBDO though have made sure the online platforms are utilised correctly and in an engaging and involving way (say I anyway). It doesn't feel like the product is being shoved into the spaces but it sits quite comfortably into them, admittedly here and there the occasional shoe-horn is used but not to the point were you're thinking 'For f**k sake! That was completely irrelevant and unnecessary.' I'm actually curious about the technology AT&T are flogging me. But again, more importantly, I was interested in the story being told around the product. BBDO have tapped into the available on demand TV series zeitgeist that people are gorging on (people talk about Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Dexter etc. like they matter more than real life sometimes but they are genuinely good shows, a purple patch for TV series'). The use of discovery and investigation within Daybreak2012 is a nice device that involves me, if I choose to, but it doesn't need me which might be the only flaw. If I made more of a difference to the story it could make the campaign more robust. But overall I was excited and engaged in being a Jack Boxer & following the Daybreak story. Good work BBDO, Tom Kring and AT&T.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

IAPI One To Watch Award 2013 nomination

I am absolutely delighted to be nominated for the IAPI One to Watch Award 2013. The award recognises the achievement of excellent professional standards, creativity and innovation in marketing communications by a graduate student of the IAPI/DIT Advertising and Digital Communication Postgraduate programme. The nominees are voted by their peers and then the winner will be decided by lecturers from the postgrad. What a great finale to a brilliant year. The Winner will be announced on Tuesday March 12th in Smock Alley, Dublin.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

School's Out for Summer!

There's been a substantial gap in the frequency of posts here but for good reason; in January I was accepted onto IAPI & DIT's Advertising & Digital Communications Postgrad. I applied for the course with a view to furthering my education and keeping pace with the rapidly changing face of advertising and the role of digital technology within the field. Semester one has ended for the summer and the course is living up to the lofty reviews from graduates, as well as my own expectations. Roll on Semester two!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ads of Super Bowl 2012

Thanks Mashable for collating all of these. Some good, more bad unfortunately, babies and dogs can't hide a poor ad. VW, very disappointing to see them attempt to shoehorn in the Star Wars theme. Some of the better ones are the Chevrolet Mayan Apocalypse, History Channel's Swamp People, Audi's Vampires and for purely nostalgic reasons Honda's Broderick's Day-Off. None will live very long in the memory or have broken any new ground in what is the biggest commercial window in the world. Opportunities missed all round.