Wednesday, December 19, 2007
"Last Christmas we set up a screen made of fairy lights in the Moving Brands window.
We then invited people to send messages and drawings, via a simple web-interface, to be shown in sequence in the window. The window was captured by webcam and broadcast live to the internet.
We stored everything sent to the window in a gallery, and the full sequence has been used to create this scarf.
Nice. More here.
Tags: moving brands social fashion user generated fashion giles rhys jones moving toby younger
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Lots of chat in the industry about Dell's recent decision to create an integrated marketing and communications agency in partnership with WPP in a deal valued at $4.5 billion in agency billings over the first three years.
The deal is a massive statement by Dell on the importance of coordinated, integrated marketing activities. It is one of the most important statements about marketing I've have seen in years.
Martin Sorrell seems to have done the first proper example of what only serious network players can and have to do to survive. On winning the Dell business he is jointly building an agency from scratch to service it.
Hopefully he will built it with a central brain who has no vested interest in channel, a single P&L and process. A couple of years late but everyone seems to be getting wise fast - pick a network or group chairman who is not doing the chat about integrated bespoke solutions. The key reason for client consolidation is the massive fragementation of media, channels, agencies and the effort to manage them and make it all consistent. Creatively, Dell were happy....
Tags: WPP WPP DEll WPP giles rhys jones
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
He is saying something I have long championed: “everyone is a direct marketer, or at least everyone is marketing directly”.
Once the whipping boys of the agency world, the skills and approach of direct marketers have are the ones that will win out. Everyone in the industry no matter what the discipline or task is increasingly taking a direct approach.
I have worked in many different styles of agencies and have always found the direct folk the more open to new ideas; often feeding off the scraps of traditional media they, out of necessity embraced retail, digital & mobile quicker and with more passion that many ivory tower traditional media folk.
Hats off to Stan for always looking to find a better way, I am half his age and appear to have half his energy. That said and as far as I can tell this seems more spin than substance. He has not done anything particularly revolutionary, merely said that direct principles will become increasingly important, data is therefore key and channels are consolidating with digital emerging as the lead. Oh and content is king.
This is something my 2 year old could have told him. And something many others have been banging on about for years. He has then bought a couple of traditional single discipline agencies and slammend them together.
Emperor's new clothes anyone?
The sad thing is that this is causing such a storm on a Madison Avenue watching revenue and people drain out of its traditional channels.
Oh and he probably should have bought "Engauge" on Google or put a site description....talk about falling at the first hurdle.
PS Yes I am grumpy. my house got broken into at the weekend and the fuckers nicked my audi. Sods law; the first night the kids slept all the way through and I spent it talking to the police.
Tags: stan rapp giles rhys jones enguage new ad model future+of+advertising
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Video will be the big online story next year in the UK and Europe. During April 2007 80 per cent of UK internet users over the age of 15 watched a video online and online video usage is outpacing the US. (Comscore)
Bigger pipes, cheaper production, a change in the way people use the internet and the fact clients still get to go on shoots but without the huge media expense, mean there is an appetite for online video ads. Oh, not to mention the fact they just plain old more effective that non video online ads or even video ads played on TV.
The one thing standing in the way? UK media owners. The average video CPM in the US is bugger all but in the UK and europe there seems to be a huge media premium.
According to Michael Shehan in The Buyer's Guide to video ads a US range is starting to emerge
Professional content on tier one sites (e.g., NBC): $20 to $75 CPM
Original content, smaller niche sites (e.g., LiveVideo's LiveBands): $10 to $50 CPM
Local video inventory (state or city): $10 to $40 CPM
Professional content distributed on syndication networks (e.g., Voxant's Newsroom): $10 to $25 CPM
User-generated content (e.g., MySpace): $1 to $20 CPM
This is expected to change in the coming year as demand from the big media houses forces it down. Any friendly media bods out there fancy quantifying the european market for me....
An aside; allegedly at a recent client meeting the budget was halved - TV got cut, online did not - and to add insult to injury the online guys took the film director who was lined up for the TV to shoot the site.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Claire Beale has a look at the Willott Kingston Smith Agency Performance report to uncover some of the hidden, interesting stories.
You might think all the action is if you believe everyone else's hot air, gross income was higher than any other sector but margins are still lower than for any other discipline:a disappointing 8.7 per cent.
Given the youth of the agencies, without all the lard carried by more traditional agencies, you'd expect digital shops to be leaner and meaner and more efficient.
Clearly the general lack of ingrained management expertise across the sector means that the businesses are not being run at their optimum to take advantage of the current (and surely finite) opportunities to steal a march on traditional agencies.
The point she misses is that digital is harder and more labour intensive to develop. Most traditional guys can produce creative assets in their sleep, I used to. Digital doesn't work like that.
Tags: claire beale Willott Kingston Smith Agency Performance Giles Rhys Jones
"When the smoking ban came into place in July Ogilvy collected as many newly unemployed ashtrays as pub landlords across London would donate.
They then asked renowned designer Anthony Stern to recycle them into flower vases.
If you would like to own one, either to sadly commemorate, or celebrate the advent of the great indoors you can now bid for one on ebay.
All proceeds from the sales of these unique items will be donated to Cancer Research UK. To be recycled into research into preventing, treating and curing cancer. "
Disclosure: I work for Ogilvy but was not involved in this project
Tags: CRUK giles rhys jones ogilvy
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Here are afew definitions I have picked up:
- digital = just the channels we deliver in
- interactive = specialist agency
- interactive = everything we do should have some form of interaction with our audience, therefore eveything we do is "interative"
- digital = craft
- interactive = strategy
Tags: giles rhys jones digital vs interactive
Friday, November 09, 2007
i guess their new ad model is an attempt to steer a course between these two conflicting groups. there is alot of chat about this on the message boards and blogs and it seems to be edging towards condemnation, based around big brother and rights from its largely student US base, but not a small amount of admiration too.
i don't think this will be an advertising panacea and they have not done a google. google fundamentally changed the market by defining the market as a "when" not a "who". demography means little when someone is actively searching for your brand or product. facebook have not really changed the market to this extent but none the less done something interesting.
i am a big advocate of advertising being relevant, the audience then selecting to bring it in, and ultimately recommending.
with facebook ads they allow brands to be much more targeted than any main stream and possibly broadcast digital media, they enable the audience to hand raise, be advocates and it spits out some fantatsic learnings. this really put the onus on brands and advertisers to have something useful/interesting/amusing to say/do. nothing earth shattering, the are just doing what we have always tried to do but better.
beacon is however quite interesting. as online you don't exist, you have to write yourself into being. you are define by your friends, your comments and your wall posts. some brands have tapped into this by providing social media apps to allow this. fb have taken this to a new level and turned it commercial: you see a brand you like on another web site and click the beacon button to add to your profile as a brand supporter.
facebook ad model giles rhys jones google vs facebook
Thursday, October 25, 2007
1. destroy & rebuild:
a la DRAFT/FCB UK - offering voluntary redundancy to all staff so they can rebuild in the right way - not sure that they expected 50 people to say yes...
fund key staff (who are probably thinking about their own start-up anyway) to set up competing/complimentary fast moving companies to challenge and change the model. assimilate key lessons into the main agency. naked - though an untraditional model in the first placed has done this with a variety of offerings including Naked Inside as have Anomaly with Another Anomaly.
3. the brain:
a collection of the right minds with no vested interest in what channel gets produced and with a thin level of creative. in-sourcing work to other agencies within a holding company or large group. As mentioned in the comments below Agency Republic started out as this model then moved to full service digital.
similar to above but outsourced to a black book of key suppliers and orchestrate not only delivery of a core idea through their relevant channels/disciplines but work with them and share ideas. similar to a tv directors/producer model. many agencies, including digital, operate this model using people like the Barbarian Group to deliver. Agency.com outsource 20% of their work.
do the above then buy them in. though differing cultures could be a big issue. again many have been through this model including to varying degrees of success.
6. don't do digital:
don't attempt to do everything digital but just do what you are good at - direct response, story tell ling or reputation management - and integrate it simply into the mix. "no digital - go away" was Gooby's approach where no work was allowed to be presented if it didn't have a digital component.
7. the tweak:
though it might appear to be rearranging deck chairs on the titanic, there seems to be merit in this approach as most are doing it. incremental shifts but nothing seismic, Fallon is a good example
er... 8. the ostrich
"only a few years till i am out so it will all fall apart on someone else's watch." No names mentioned...
Any thoughts or other suggestions...
Tags: future of advertising interactive marketing giles rhys jones goodby silverstein model
Friday, October 19, 2007
A 3 minute video highlighting the most important characteristics of US students today - how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
All of it's staff, though it expects to lose 60.
I recently ran a poll on facebook to see what people thought about the future of the industry and who would be best placed to succeed. Over half the votes went to brand new models like Anomaly but I think that if your clients will indulge you, this could be equally successful...
Disclaimer: I worked at Draft London in 2005 & with Nigel Jones whilst at AgencyRepublic
Tags: Marketing 2010 Booze Allen Giles Rhys Jones
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
In a panel session later in the day he was asked "On a scale of 1-10 how is Web 2.0 and the rise of social computing affecting the advertising industry". His response was the Fuck'd-O-Meter which I have taken the liberty to visualise above.
Tags: death of advertising future of advertising advertising trends bob garfield giles rhys jones ogilvy verge
Another powerful video from our cousins at Ogilvy Vancouver. Following Evolution was always going to be tough but whereas this this is perhaps not as hard hitting, I believe it will actually stimulate more conversations of the sort required, between kids and their parents. Nice work.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
What he discovered was that rather than spending time money and effort working out how to keeping his audience on his site they could actually be more valuable when they left.
"The internet works in a very counter intuitive way," Shuster explains. "Adult webmasters like myself figured out pretty early on that they could often make more money advertising their competitors than they could selling their own product."
The internet is a medium that rewards depth above all else, catering to individual passions that go narrow and deep, rather than the wide yet superficial pastimes enjoyed by the masses.
For example The New York Times ought to dedicate quality ad space to The Washington Post, Shuster says, explaining that both publishers make the mistake of treating internet users as a depletable resource. People know they are only a click and search away from more of the same content so why fight it, embrace it.
"People who go to either one of those sites have already expressed an interest in news," he says. "Visitors might actually want more news, so you need to take them there and figure out a business model that makes that profitable. The truth is that you can often make more money steering traffic away from your site than you can by trying to keep it on the page because users are looking to use the internet to dig deep on a given subject."
He goes on to talk about brands and how they should, counter intuitively brand together to service an audience, so in the case of automotive, Ford & Lexus should collaborate to feed the passionate and interested user. Likewise Facebook & MySpace should work together on joint ventures to bounce users between them.
"They're different enough to be distinct, but similar enough to make a lot more money working together," Shuster says.
Interestingly innovations in search tools built into your browser from companies like Autonomy which scans the context of the page and suggest similar content not only circumvents the Google monster but does exactly what the porn boys have been prototyping...
So sex does sell.
Tags: giles rhys jones marketing trends porn advertising Brian Shuster iMedia Connection
She started by clarifying Social Networking vs. A Social Network. Networking is meeting strangers whereas Network is about building existing relationships. Nice distinction.
Then she gave a explanation and history of social spaces.
Real life social spaces are social dip-sticks. They allow us to understand people. Looking at “publics” (parks, squares, gardens) and how people interact and communicate allows us to understand a society at large. Online spaces also allow us this insight.
Online social spaces moved from groups based around common interests on usenets like – “rec/pets/cats” for those who had a particular interest in cats – then on to groups centred on “me & my friends”. This gave friends has a new definition, they are not your nearest and dearest but friends allow you to build out your context – building out who you are. It turns out that 2/3 of people use comments pages not the email functionality. Part of this is for show, signalling that I know this person.
Offline you exist online you have to write yourself into being. Friends are a key part of that, as are the apps and brands that are part of your profile.
Social networks online are different to offline "publics" and throws up very different ways of behaving for individuals and brands: Persistence, Searchable, Replication, Invisible Audiences, Context are the 5 key areas that i really should cover in a separate post.
Danah then moved on the talk about the reasons why social will find translation to mobile difficult.
Mobile conversations are one to one, they are node to node vs internet social sites where they are more connected – on mobile other can’t see whole of conversation – making it lopsided.
Asynchronicity vs Synchronous
Asynchronicity is the norm online but synchronicity is norm on mobile. Mobile is an immediate, push with an expectation of immediate response, it is more intrusive but internet social sites allow the receiver to decide when to read and respond.
Browsers largely present the same experience and functionality – mobile has different handsets and platforms and pricing plans which mean you can never assume your receiver can actually do what you do. Standardization is therefore a big barrier
A mobile user is very identifiable vs the often anonymous web potentially hindering social spread.
Her key point was that you can't translate internet into mobile, they have different structures and ways of working and in the current structure.
This final point I agree with but "mobile and social not suited" I beg to differ...
As more devices have the ability to browse the internet the experience will become more and more consistent, in fact much of it is already bar the size of your screen. As brands develop mobile versions of their other social offering - mfacebook & mtwitter or bloger & sony mobile - they will compliment and enhance not replace their web offering. Adding mobility and geolocation to comments and posts is a huge opportunity.
Mobile can and should be very much be at the heart of social networks.
Tags: danah boyd giles rhys jones mobile social networking mobile social networking interactive marketing
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Beautiful short form content. Nike - Leave Nothing.
NFL Nike Leave Nothing
Uploaded by Masterfill
Massive production values and filmed in HD, Branded Utility can mean just being entertaining for 30 seconds too...
Interestingly this seems to be fostering a trend. Through Firebrand, NBC Universal is presentating advertising as entertainment. It will dish up ads meant to be so captivating that people will gladly watch them. Firebrand will reach out to consumers on television, online and on mobile devices. The hope is that when the ads are deemed to be entertaining, consumers will opt in to watch them rather than skip or zap through them.
XBOX 360: Believe is another great ad that really pulls you in but that said the campaign really comes alive online.
Halo 3 : Believe
Uploaded by jeremy60
Tags: halo 3 xbox 360 believe nike leave nothing giles rhys jones great advertising interactive marketing
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
If your marketing interests have too much of a US influence I have pulle dotgether the top UK marketing blogs, as defined by AdAge's Power 150.
I have outputted it as 25 UK Marketing blogs widget and as a Yahoo Pipe generated 25 UK Marketing blogs RSS feed.
Similar to the Ogilvy Blog Aggregator.
Tags: adage power 150 widget
marketing trends giles rhys jones uk marketing blogs marketing blogs
Friday, September 21, 2007
With no money, no credit cards, no food, no phone. He has to survive for 10 days, with the only help of a computer, and a internet connection. He is not allowed to go out of the room.
He has to get everything... bed, food, services, mobile phone, clothes, support from brands through internet. He has to convince people and brands to support him with goods, and everything.
He has been assigned tasks to do everyday: get a mobile phone, a bed, clothes, start a blog, a video camera, a viral video in youtube, speakers for his computer, tickets for Police concert, digital TV connection, etc…
The result of this experience will be shown at the event and if you want to see him, just go to thedigitalchallenge and ask him to do something.
London's event was last week and you can see footage and comments from the day.
Tags: ogilvy verge ogilvy giles rhys jones
Thursday, September 20, 2007
1. Provide a subscription-administration center in each message.
How many use it: 17.7%
2. Provide a site search function.
How many use it: 17.7%
Why it’s important: Allows users to search for products, past article, company information, etc., without having to first click to the site then initiate the search.
3. Provide a forward-to-a-friend link.
How many use it: 25.1%
Why it’s important: Giving subscribers a link to send your emails on to their friends is a more proactive stance than just including a line somewhere in the message asking them to pass on your messages. The link sends the request through your server, which can also allow you to track who’s forwarding your message, how often and what actions result. It also ensures the forwarded message will render properly, which may not happen when a recipient simply forwards through their email client.
4. Provide a subscription link.
How many use it: 27.1%
Why it’s important: Offering a subscription function in your newsletter allows readers who received it from a friend to sign up without having to search your site for instructions.
5. Add-to-safe-senders-list request.
How many use it: 35%
Why it’s important: Most email clients won’t block email from a sender listed on the recipient’s personal whitelist and image rendering is also less likely to be blocked (also a safe-sender list, approved-sender list, etc.)
6. Link to a Web version.
How many use it: 37.4%
Why it’s important: Many email clients either block images or don’t render HTML messages properly, especially if they read email in a preview pane. Providing this link allows readers to view your message in their Web browser instead.
7. Provide a telephone contact number.
How many use it: 40.4%
Why it’s important: Email is fast, but a phone call is faster. Many respondents want to get in touch with you directly, especially buyers, clients, or salespeople, may want to get in touch with you directly. This way you spare them the extra step of going to your Web site and hunting down your contact information.
8. Display the recipient’s email address.
How many use it: 43.8%
Why it’s important: Showing the recipient’s address helps boost the email’s credibility and helps readers who may be receiving duplicate copies under several different email addresses unsubscribe from the correct address.
9. Provide navigation links within the email and to the Web site.
How many use it: 48.3%
Why it’s important: Navigation links near the top of newsletters with multiple departments or articles help readers find information quickly and efficiently. Multiple site links help your readers move directly to the areas on your Web site they need or want, which adds
value and strengthens your relationship with them.
10. Provide an email address for feedback or sender contact.
How many use it: 53.2%
Why it’s important: The email contact address gives subscribers a way to reach you to ask questions, send comments or alert you to a problem, such as an unsubscribe link that doesn’t work. More senders provide a contact email address than a telephone number, but even more should add this feature to build their credibility and relationship with recipients.
From EmailLabs Via Benoit Octave
Tags: email email+best+practise email best practise
Monday, September 17, 2007
About 20% of OpenAd's creatives are from Latin America, 15% from Asia, 32% from continental Europe, 20% from the U.K., and 6% from the U.S. and Canada.
Traditionally serving European clients they are however starting to make moves into the US as more and more big clients are starting to kick their tyres.
This summer, executives from Gillette heard pitches from creatives in 21 countries for a campaign to persuade men to trade in their disposable razors for the Fusion shaver. Among the winners were a Slovenian student, a British photographer and an American creative director, all of whom based their submissions on an initial idea from a small agency based in India. Gillette paid the winners of its pitch $1,000 each.
Now we know that this isn't going to replace the Ogilvys and Leo Burnetts. It simply doesn't offer the strategic guidance, account management or executional capabilities agencies have.
But it speaks to a key business trend that McKinsey predicted, that of the increasing partnerships amongst once fierce competitors forced by an ever fragmented global market.
Corporate borders are becoming blurrier as interlinked "ecosystems" of
suppliers, producers, and customers emerge.
This is not lost on founder Katarina Skoberne who suggests . "In an ideal world," she said, "agencies will use OpenAd on behalf of clients."
People seem to easily group together across agencies, geographies and disciplines as my twitter, facebook and various like minded coffee morning friends will attest. Oddly it seems big agency groups or networks don't really subscribe to this more fluid approach. Imagine the power of an OpenOgilvyAd.net...
Tags: giles rhys jones ogilvy openad.net gillette interactive marketing future of advertising
Friday, September 14, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
From a speech from Rory Sutherland at Ogilvy's UK Verge Event.
Tags: ogilvy ogilvy verge verge interactive marketing giles rhys jones future of advertising
London Verge was held on the 13th September at the original information super highway, the British Library. The program structure was: Listen, Experiment and Engage. Exactly what smart marketers have always done.
We had 150 of our senior clients from Cisco, Unilever, IBM, BT, British Gas, CRUK and American Express attending. Speakers included AdAge's Bob Garfield, Unilever's Caroline Slootweg & Nike's Michael Tchao.
We blogged it here, photos are here, presentations here and video interviews here. Come by and have a look, comment or have a rant.
Disclosure: I work for Ogilvy & helped to organise the event
Tags: ogilvy verge future of marketing interactive trends giles rhys jones
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Ogilvy PR just published thier new Blogger Outreach Code of Ethics on the 360° Digital Influence Blog. It builds on the WOMMA's code and their own 7 Tips.
Ogilvy PR’s Blogger Outreach Code of Ethics
- We reach out to bloggers because we respect your influence and feel that we might have something that is “remarkable” which could be of interest to you and/or your audience.
- We will only propose blogger outreach as a tactic if it complements our overall strategy.
- We will not recommend it as a panacea for every social media campaign.
- We will always be transparent and clearly disclose who we are and who we work for in our outreach email.
- Before we email you, we will check out your blog’s About, Contact and Advertising page in an effort to see if you have blatantly said you would not like to be contacted by PR/Marketing companies. If so, we’ll leave you alone.
- If you tell us there is a specific way you want to be reached, we’ll adhere to those guidelines.
- We won’t pretend to have read your blog if we haven’t.
- In our email we will convey why we think you, in particular, might be interested in our client’s product, issue, event or message.
- We won’t leave you hanging. If your contact at Ogilvy PR is going out of town or will be unreachable, we will provide you with an alternate point of contact.
- We encourage you to disclose our relationship with you to your readers, and will never ask you to do otherwise.
- You are entitled to blog on information or products we give you in any way you see fit. (Yes, you can even say you hate it.)
- If you don’t want to hear from us again, we will place you on our Do Not Contact list – which we will share with the rest of the Ogilvy PR agency.
- If you are initially interested in the campaign, but don’t respond to one of our emails, we will follow up with you no more than once. If you don’t respond to us at all, we’ll leave you alone.
- Our initial outreach email will always include a link to Ogilvy PR’s Blog Outreach Code of Ethics.
OK so not rocket science but good that they have gone on record.
Tags: giles rhys jones ogilvy pr blogger outreach
Friday, August 31, 2007
2. Consequently roster agencies based on channel will become redundant as clients look to task based allocation of accounts, covering disciplines and channels.
3. We will see more of the likes of Neo being appointed lead media agency, though the focus will shift from the traditional “buying attention” to understanding how purchased media can enhance “earned attention”.
4. To this end creative agencies will move from creating TV ads to creating experiences that they film and encourage others to and share. Think Sony Paint ad but designed as an event to participate in rather than just a few people attending the filming of a TV ad.
5. Whilst digital media agencies will become lead agencies less digital creative agencies will as the watch words shift from viral, widgets and microsites back to defining the big idea, and more people remember that “branded utility” can also mean being entertaining. Digital agencies will continue to creak under the weight of doing everything digital.
6. That said competitive agency lines will start to break down as partnerships will start to form in unlikely ways as agencies struggle to be masters of all trades and managing digital suppliers will start to replicate how we work with TV directors and production companies though specialist “conductors” with a large black contact books will become some of the most important people in the agency.
7. A new creative dynamic will start to emerge with experience planners, technologists and even third parties become an integral and ongoing part of the development process rather than at either end.
8. Lack of specialist staff will continue to be a concern with more people looking to balance consumer culture with a positive work life balance. Agencies will start to offer individualised remuneration packages based on flexible working hours and locations as well as international and cross discipline opportunities, not just cash.
9. Social media will also continue to play a part in advertising life as the power brokers of tomorrow meet across Facebook and twitter rather than/or as well as Soho bars.
10. With 80% of the global economy based locally the importance of global reach and local expertise and ability to deliver on the ground will increase.
er...10a. The bar bell structure will continue to pervade with the big networkds getting bigger and more encompasing, the few middle sized players being squeezed and loads of new and innovative companies like Anomaly, Callcott Marketing and The Ides Of March getting in on the game and taking a part of the IP for their ideas.
**update** Trendspotting's 2008 Marketing Predictions
Tags: digital advertising giles rhys jones marketing trends, creative hydra ogilvy future of advertising 2008 marketing trends
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Basically she states that middle/upper class, college bound american teens are all on or switching to Facebook. Marginalized teens from poorer or less educated backgrounds, continue to be drawn to MySpace.
A class division has emerged and it is playing out in the aesthetics, the kinds of advertising, and the policy decisions being made.
Viewing Class Divisions Through MySpace & Facebook
Via: PHD Perspectives
phd advertising danah boyd giles rhys jones future marketing
Monday, August 20, 2007
Rory Sutherland has written a brilliant article on the way that creatives industries can marry the conflicting requirements of the consumer culture and a good work life balance. Rather than link through to this - though you can at the end if you want to make comment - I have unashamedly replicated the whole article here:
"If you heard a friend of yours had landed a job at the Playboy mansion, your first question probably wouldn’t be “What’s the pension plan like?”
Or how advertising people could have a much better life on less money.
I am old enough to remember a time in London when friends would spend the odd evening trying to work out what our contemporaries were earning. Back then, someone’s salary was an interesting source of speculation.
Nowadays there isn’t much point in asking what someone earns. Instead you can find out all you need to know about a Londoner’s wealth by asking two apparently innocuous questions instead. These are “Do you work in banking” and “when did you buy your house”.
A third, supplementary question “are you a Russian criminal of some kind” may occasionally clarify matters.
The first question is important. The last few years have seen rewards in the financial sector move far beyond reach of any other salaried economic activity. Of my own university contemporaries, with one exception, every single person who works in banking or finance is richer than everyone who does not. Along with that spectacular exception (Dr Michael Lynch, the onetime billionaire founder of Autonomy) I am one of only a few people not working in finance or law who could be described as vaguely prosperous.
But the housing question is just as much a cause for concern. Someone brilliant in our industry who has not yet bought a flat, or who has bought one only recently, cannot reasonably expect to be well housed in London in their lifetime. Contrastingly almost any minor advertising staffer who borrowed heavily in the mid 80s is a millionaire. If this iniquity affected people by gender or race rather than by age we would consider it appalling.
These problems aren’t unconnected. The property issue is certainly worsened by the city/oligarch factor (it is an eye-opener to see how well senior advertising colleagues live outside London, New York and Tokyo where they do not have to compete with large financial or expatriate communities). It is compounded by a tax policy which taxes earnings derived from work at 41% but gives vast allowances to money made from selling your house, engaging in Russian criminal activity or peculiar banking practices. Taxing the proceeds of hard work more heavily than the proceeds of luck and deviousness seems odd behaviour from a chancellor who is supposed to be a Socialist and a Presbyterian, but there you go. It’s also a bit galling to see London endlessly celebrated as a “centre for the creative industries” when the city’s real wealth goes to people of high numerical ability yet limited imagination working in a culture of stultifying conformity.
So how can we compete? We can’t.
So, er, don’t.
Everything we have learned as marketers surely teaches us that you should never tackle a competitor in a field where they enjoy unassailable strength.
It is now almost impossible to out-earn people in financial services. It is, however, amazingly easy to outthink them. They are not imaginative to begin with. But, on top of this, their herd mentality has rendered them incapable of independent thought, action or taste. A successful banker simply aspires to be an even more successful banker. (You can see the effect of this in ghettos such as Clapham or Fulham where the uniformity of aspiration has created something resembling a council estate only with the average income multiplied by 50.)
Indeed, so driven now are such people by competing with each other (rather than asking whether the game is worth winning) that, in the Anglo-Saxon world at least, almost all people with type-A personalities (what I call ‘Nature’s BMW drivers’) have completely lost the plot of capitalism. The purpose of which is surely not to accumulate as much money as possible but to accumulate as much money as is necessary to have a good time with as little effort as possible.
In asking the question “who has more money” we have completely lost sight of the question “what is this money for?”
Look at the strange people who are admired in business nowadays. Twenty years ago it was people like Hugh Hefner or James Goldsmith, people with lives worth emulating: now it’s a bunch of austere workaholics – or septuagenarians who still go to the office every day. Do you think Hefner (a pioneer of the working-from-home movement, incidentally) ever took a Blackberry into the grotto? Now there was a man who really understood work-life balance.
Today, no sooner is the word out that Conrad Black knows how to throw a decent party than the vultures start circling.
We, as a creative industry should fight this trend. We should ignore the senseless greed and purposeless effort of other areas of business and set out to establish ourselves as simply the best place for sane, imaginative and thoughtful people to work anywhere in the UK. Which isn’t far from what the business was when I joined it in 1988.
Back then we earned a lot less than our banking colleagues too. But I don’t think we doubted for a second that we had other benefits which compensated for the differential. With a little imagination (and that is our USP versus bankers, remember) we can restore those benefits.
Here’s how we could do it at Ogilvy.
1) Move at least half the agency out of London. Brighton or Ashford might be a good idea for a second location. New electronic means of communication no longer require everyone to be in London all the time. Ashford (with fast trains to Victoria, Charing X and St Pancras) is a hideous place but the surrounding countryside is glorious, with apple-cheeked barmaids serving large tankards of frothing ale on every village green. An agency which offered the option of living out of London would attract more than its share of those bright young talents who can’t afford London. Your agency could have its own cricket pitch (better than a pool table, no?). Best of all, people could stay in Whitstable all week.
2) Cut all senior people’s salaries by 20% and cap them at around £100,000. As part of my rejection of senseless capitalist thrust, I occasionally ask myself whether extra money would actually add to my happiness. The answer is the opposite. When given more money than you need, one is prone to engage in foolish, uncreative, status-driven activities such as buying second homes abroad (only sensible, frankly, if your idea of a good summer holiday is going to the same bloody place every year and then spending two weeks learning the Italian for “my septic tank appears to have exploded”). Yachts - no more than floating caravans that make you sick - are even stupider still. The rising levels of wealth, coupled with the low prices of consumer goods, mean that differential displays of status require increasingly foolish expenditure.
3) Use half the money saved in senior salaries to create a large bonus pool to be shared among younger staff – who generally need lump sums more than senior people do.
4) Use most of the remainder to join Netjets and keep an Ogilvy Gulfstream poised on the tarmac at Lydd or Biggin Hill 24 hours a day. As Hefner, Warren Buffett and Conrad Black have all found, private aviation is the single compelling reason to be rich rather than merely prosperous. And, as Conrad found, the very best kind of private aviation is the kind you don’t pay for yourself. (It’s more tax efficient, too.)
5) Award bonuses not of money but of working perks. After a certain length of service people earn the right to work from home weekly or to work irregular hours.
6) Spend well on hospitality and entertaining (Paris, remember, is only an hour and a half away). If they are having a good enough time, people don’t mind what they are paid. I mean, if you heard that a friend of yours had landed a job at the Playboy mansion, your first question probably wouldn’t be “what’s the pension plan like?”
7) Instigate a four-day working week of 10 hours per day. I do most of my best thinking at the weekend, which means a three-day weekend would make me 50% more productive. And what a USP that would be for future recruits.
8) Remove payment by the hour and replace it with – well, anything frankly. This system of payment maintains the absurd pretence that value created is proportionate to effort expended –the very belief a creative organisation should be fighting. According to payment by the hour, the value of a song is directly proportionate to the time it took to write it. This conception leads to the encouragement of unproductive but time consuming activities in agencies: account management, for instance.
9) Kent Grammar schools would amount to a saving of perhaps £30,000 in pretax income for most senior staff with children – partly offsetting my swingeing pay-cuts. Private education is another rich man’s folly – generally a means of ensuring that your children can eventually lead professional lives in banking and accountancy involving just as much grinding tedium as your own. (Fortunately I have different aspirations for my two daughters: my dream is for them to become country and western singers, and hence I have told them that an expensive education would be a serious setback to their careers versus, say, time spent waitressing at a truckstop.)
10) Restore compulsory company cars (au fond people really prefer cars to salary – but if you give them – or their wives – any choice in the matter, they tend to choose the boring option of money instead). The agency should also operate a small stable of really flash motors to loan to younger staff. If a 23 year old can turn up at a wedding with their banker chums in an Aston once a year, who cares what they actually earn?
Money is, in short, a commodity. As believers in differentiation, we should seek to reward people in currencies that our competitors cannot supply in greater quantities – such as civility or quality of life. Unusually this approach could actually hold appeal to our shareholders and ourselves.
How do you react to this proposal? I would be very happy to discuss it further – wither in the space below or at a meeting held at a country pub some time after 11am.
Too radical? It is only a later expression of David Ogilvy’s dream of moving the agency to Princeton from Manhattan, a plan vetoed by cowardly colleagues. It’s time has now come."
This is impressive and thought provoking stuff, what is equally impressive is that we have time allocated to discuss it at our board meeting tomorrow.
giles rhys jones future of advertising marketing trends rory sutherland
Thursday, August 09, 2007
In an interesting move they have also chosen to broaden their eclectic skills base by pulling in ex Sony BMGer David Watts to launch and run it, though he is ad man at heart.
I look forward to the next interesting development from the guys who launched and have a stake in the Jawbone, have been working with Virgin America on interiors, uniforms and entertainment and the soon to be launched men's skincare Eu.
Even more interesting is the recent news about The Ingram Partnership whose similar but more media based model struggled to crack a sceptical, traditional and Soho based UK market.
Tags: anomaly anomalynyc another anomaly future of advertising giles rhys jones duncan bird
Monday, July 23, 2007
Imagine what would happen if everyone on Facebook poked each other simultaneously. The result would be brilliant - 30 odd million people feeling better, more connected and loved, fancied or just remembered.
Anyone have a client or organisation that this would work for or does anyone fancy building an app. that randomly pokes 10 friends every week?
Tags: facebook giles rhys jones poke social
Monday, July 09, 2007
Odd then that RGA pick this analogy to describe the creative team changes required in how we solve clients marketing challenges. On second thoughts, aggressive, mystical creatures... especially after lunch is about right, only joking Bo. And does that make planners Heracles?
I agree that the old linear model of insight, creative, studio, production and distribution followed, slowly if at all, by measurement is however dying.
There is a need to have a circular, amorphous development cycle that involves creatives, experience planners, designers, tech and media in constant dialogue.
Maybe a Three-Ringed Circus might be a better analogy.
Tags: creative hydra giles rhys jones rga future of advertising
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
A simple chart from RGA that makes sense. The movement from Campaigns to Experiences and the associated disciplines required to deliver. One thing that everyone seems to miss is the need to influence staff, process and systems. Digital does complete this loop to a certain extent and agencies are comfortable operating in this space. Offline however agency only scrape the surface of these areas, if at all.
The more we are required to deliver a total experience across all touchpoints the more agencies will have to offer change management and process designer to ensure that the customer experience matches the promises made in communication.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
However in this connected world where people and campaigns slip seamlessly between channels this model is looking increasingly flawed. How can you think just in a TV, web site or email box anymore?
Ideally hand-offs between client departments, and between agencies would be as seamless as would the notion of collective ownership of the idea, but this rarely happens.
As digital stops being a discipline I think this will be felt keenest by the digital roster agencies, with direct, pr and branding agencies starting to offer digital as part of their service.
So what do we do? Assign agencies by campaign or by task; acquisition, relationship, advocacy, across all channels?
Build a model that has the brains to develop the idea, identify the most appropriate channels and how people move through them, then assign craft specialists to produce?
Stick our heads in the sand until someone brighter than us changes the model?
There is no right answer except to, as we tell our clients, permanently experiment and evolve...
Tags: advertising future of advertising trends giles rhys jones
Sunday, June 24, 2007
A poll I started on Facebook to see where people thought that the future model of marketing communications might come from.
Many commented that they would be combinations of one or more of the choices and I agree. Most marketing people agree with McKinsey and that the current model is broken and all disciplines are trying to solve it. It seems from this unscientific poll that many think that a blank sheet is a better way to go than trying to shift ingrained perceptions and processes.
One must destroy in order to create. I would be interested in your vote.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
As I noted at the start of the year it is great to see a company actually living up to their claim of an "agenda-smashing advertising and marketing company" and excelling across multiple disciplines rather than talk, posturing and reverting to type and the channel that they are most comfortable with.
With the recent shoddy showing of UK agencies in Cannes perhaps there is something we can learn from outside Soho.
Tags: anomaly design giles rhys jones anomaly nyc Cutting Edge Designers of 2007 Business Week
Sunday, June 17, 2007
The difference between earned and bought attention.
But just as channels should not have preconcieved notions about what they do: DM does relationship, TV does branding and just as attitude to technology is not defined by age, neither is being wedded to grps, reach, frequency and volume defined by whether you work in media or at a creative agency.
I have yet to define the golden question to identify these people but it might just be Rory's "do you identify your ideal man/women by her shoes size?"
As marketing directors and their agencies are increasingly being held more accountable they retreat ever more into the safety of number and "proven" best practice. (If a panel of 600 odd people reporting behavior and attitude change is proven success of anything.)
This is in stark contrast with the increasing need for investment or risk marketing which he describe one element of in his article.
The more we move away from payment models based on the production of stuff to ones that reward success and the more we move away from ideas just coming from the creative department the better opportunity we have of producing stuff that works.
Tags: rory sutherland giles rhys jones future of advertising advertising media
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
In future, advertising will be driven by agencies that are capable of digitally locating and monitoring audiences rather than those that can create beautiful campaigns aimed at anyone prepared to watch and listen.
If you look at the industry over the next ten years, you will see a group of very premium agencies emerge that will provide a new total service. These high-quality, full-service agencies will combine the technical skills of the digital specialists with the planning and creative abilities of the traditional agencies.
Interestingly he states it is all about locating these people then doesn't mention media agencies as key to the solution. Once you define the big idea - which in turn might come from their media habits - it is all about reaching the audience.
Tags: advertising trends giles rhys jones david benady media ad agencies
Monday, June 11, 2007
Advertising is often accused of being a superficial, one way and impersonal; in many of its current forms it is about as far from a true conversation as you can get.
There are signs that this is changing. As media fragments and technology develops, people are changing how they communicate with each other - and likewise the way they communicate with companies.
What once was a conversation in a pub between 2 people is now a conversation online amongst 200. This is forcing a change in not only how businesses communicate but fundamentally how they behave; there is a need to be more inclusive, to be open and honest, to listen and engage; to treat contact as a conversation.