Thursday, 16 July 2009

What's going on in the world this week?

Having a read through Campaign there are a number of interesting stories:

1) Shortlist are bringing out a new free mag aimed at women called Stylist!!! Hooray! My creative partner and I are so fed up of being handed the Sport one on the street. I mean really. Do I look like I would read Sport? I wonder if this will have an impact on weekly mags like Grazia. It's hard to believe that anything could shake Grazia of it's pedestal right now but who knows?

2) Food ads lead to snacking. From a creative's point of view YESSS! Big up your advertising spend food brands. Now I'd like to know which ads worked the best. Was it the food porn shots? Or was it the mere reminder of the existence of food? Does alcohol advertising work in the same way?

3) "It's enormously difficult to get to original thinking through conventional research...the chances of getting an ad like 'gorilla' through conventional research are tiny" This quote came from Steve Henry. I totally agree. Whenever the client likes work they are too scared to trust their instincts. It seems you've got somewhere and then you hear the words "we're going to put this into research" and your heart sinks. Not only does your CD, your account managers, your planner and the client have to like the idea, so do a bunch of random people sitting in a room trying to sound clever and earn their £50. People are like sheep. One decides he's had a bad day and has a rant and the idea is dead. Saying that, what is the answer? Don't research?

4) Is it about time we dropped digital?
Should we be thinking about agencies as integrated ideas generators instead? If so then who wouldn't want to be one of them? I have never minded what medium an idea was to be done in. An idea is an idea as far as I'm concerned. It must work in the best media to do the job and to reach the right audiences. This thinking really needs to filter into some of the advertising colleges. Steven Henry recently said that he was disappointed to see some students at D&AD this year turning out books with pure press and poster campaigns. 

5)Women in adland
There are far too few female creatives. My partner and I are the only ones in our company. There is one female designer. She is freelance. When we were students we went on a London week and spoke to about 30 creatives. Non were women. Was this an oversight or were we in the wrong industry? Could we get hired as a all girl team? A guy at Leo Burnett's set me straight - there are hardly any female creatives because women just aren't funny. I think this is actually believed by a lot of companies. 

Funnily enough being a minority has helped me get into adland. After we won an award at D&AD we were contacted by Krow who wanted us to work on a chocolate bar aimed at women. A stereotype we were happy to accept. Then recently we were headhunted by an agency who wanted to up their female numbers. It also makes me feel proud that I have made it where only a handful of women do. I always was a feminist at heart and it feels like I am still fighting on the frontlines. 

The next battle will be when I have children. What happens then?


Laura said...

Ha, 'women aren't funny'. I refer you to the most important xkcd cartoon of all time:

You're a bastion of feminism missus. keep it up!

Welshaims said...

Haha. Thanks Laura.

golublog said...

I was totally the lone female in the creative department at my last agency, so I basically sat through brainstorming sessions that just consisted of boob talk. Joy.

Welshaims said...

Pat on the back for all lone females creatives in the boys arena. Maybe in 10 years the tables will have turned and we will be sipping cocktails and making jokes about useless men instead.

Marina M. said...

Interesting post...I'm surprised to known that in the U.K woman aren't more in numbers in the advertising world. In my country, Portugal, women are the majority in the area, I've heard that several times.

It troubles me how feminism became a dirty word, put at the same level as chauvinim, have to blog about that too *note to herself* :)

Humour is only "allowed" to certain women...I wonder why...