Friday, August 28, 2009

HELP SAVE Reading Rainbow

My daughter grew up on Reading Rainbow with LeVar Burton. And next to Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers it is the longest running kids show on Public TV. But it is ending.

unless some good samaritan will come forward with the money to support it. PLEASE someone, SAVE Reading Rainbow. Our children need this show. It's about the LOVE of books. And that is soooo important. In a time when words are being shortened, ideas are being homogenized and marginalized, now more than ever...we need all the help we can get to further children's IMAGINATIONS.
If you are reading this and know anyone who can help...please contact them to help save this show.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Shadow Puppets

Ad age's Bob Garfield talks today about a charming spot for shadow puppets in the form of two bunnies. The spot is from Publicis in San Fran (Hal Riney) and it is really sweet...aka "Little Salty" (see previous entry on my blog). But this time Bob is right, this simple, charming little ditty of two shadow puppets dancing across buildings to finally meet is a gimmick, number one and number two; totally vampires any selling message, which is treated as an afterthought with maybe 5 seconds of copy.

And this just makes me shake my head in a cartoon wubbah wubbah way and say: what the heck is going on here? It's no wonder advertising is dying, we don't know how to sell anymore. In actual fact, I haven't seen much breakthrough creative that does sell. It's either so crappy that you rush to hit the change or mute button with its nauseating sham woo pitch or it is so precious that we get caught up in its preciousness and forget who it is for...or in little salty's case, defend the oh so cute culprit.

Even in the height of MadMen, the golden 60's when Doyle and Dane and Bernbach and the Mary Wells of Wells Rich Greene or the Hal Riney's or the Leo Burnetts were hitting them consistently out of the ballpark, these genius ads still had ground rules. And the number one rule is SELL SELL SELL no matter how crass or beneath a creative this may seem, that is the bottom line folks.

So where are these creative folks getting their guidance from one must ask? Well my educated guess is they are being lead by a creative director not much older than themselves with little or no experience. And certainly there is no mentoring going on here.

Back in the Madmen days, the creatives were OLDER. They had some life experience under their belt. It wasn't unusual to see someone over 45 as a copywriter. Today the only one over 45 in an ad agency is either someone who has no real effectual power or the janitor.

And now where DELIVERY SYSTEMS like the web, facebook, twitter et al are considered and valued as being more creative than the creative itself, is it any wonder the creative product is floundering?

And each time a Little Salty or Shadow Puppets comes out and clients see no gain in sales, it is another nail in the coffin for creative being the king and more of a reason for clients to not seek agencies to creatively solve their marketing problems.

It's time to get back to basics. And if I were an agency principal right about now at Publicis I would be phoning my best headhunter to bring back an agency "old salt" who knows the ins and outs of the ad game and can oversee all these babies run amok. And that goes for every other agency on the planet as well.