Friday, 13 November 2015

Small ads and Big Ideas

I read an article in the FT magazine from Ian Leslie recently, entitled How the Man Men lost the plot which rung a few bells for me. It starts off with ad man Jeff Goodby's observation that cabbies used to know about our ads and what we did, when the Saatchis were as big as Persil and 'we made famous stuff, and we made stuff famous.' The author poses the question: has the ad industry, through 'embracing the digital gospel... lost sight of what made it valuable in the first place?'

The internet has changed how the game is played, but certain rules still seem to hold. Mass marketing works. Fame works. Emotion works. And so does a long-term coherence in the sum total of what a brand says and does. All of these work to inject the brand into what the author calls 'the cultural bloodstream' - so that those cabbies know about the ads.

Reading through, it did strike me that in the past, we also had a mass of cheap, throwaway ads that even a member of the general public could afford and compose themselves. They were called small ads. But in those days, small ads didn't frighten the industry, neither did we try and use them for our clients, except in cases where we were being clever and disruptive and ironic. We concentrated on our skills, our talents, what we knew how to do.

We had big ideas, we used big, bold media that we knew would generate emotion and build fame.

Surely there is a parallel here?

3 comments:

Barbara Fisher said...

Hello Sue, thanks for sharing the link to the article in the FT magazine, I found it fascinating. I don’t know much about advertising, but I do remember lots of TV ads from the 1970s – perhaps I was more impressionable then or maybe the ads were better. My favourite of the Christmas offerings this year is the one for Sainsbury’s – not surprising really as it’s based on a children’s book. It’s a shame they have so few of the Mog soft toys available – eBay sellers are making a fortune. I can’t buy one in Sainsbury’s but I could buy one on eBay for £30/£40 if I so desired.

We are so excited about Christmas this year and can’t wait for the family to arrive. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a Very Happy New Year.

I should be back to blogging in Feb 2016, so I hope to catch up with you then. Barbara.

Sue Imgrund said...

You're quite right in pointing out that Christmas ads in the UK are the big exception, where the public get involved and everyone debates whether they prefer Mog or The Man in the Moon. The retailers' Christmas TV ads are still a big event!

I have a particular thank you for you, talking of Christmas. I got my first Christmas card yesterday, and guess who it was from! Many thanks and wish you a wonderful Christmas, too.

Kelly Steel said...

Hello! Interesting post and thanks for the link. Advertising is same all over.