Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Input = Output

Up until now my only posts about Crispin Porter + Bogusky have been positive. I admire much about the agency and the way they work. However, if I am committed to sharing my truthful observations I must include my criticism.
Advertising is a very intense industry, everyone works hard, no matter what agency you work in. However, I feel that CP+B must be near to the top of the list . No matter what day and hour you walk in to the agency you will find people working. As an intern I recently spent a full week and a half working until at least 3am everyday, on several priority projects. It was expected no one flinched at the thought. So believe me when I say CP+B is likely the hardest working agency right now. This is good to know. With all the hype the CP+B receives, it is nice to know that it has been paid for with extreme effort.
So now I get to my criticism, which is that advertising is also an industry dependent upon ones ability to communicate effectively with everyday people, and in order to do this you must make a practice of taking in the world around you. In general, CP+B seems to be lacking this practice.
So much work is done inside the concrete block of an agency that It seems they are getting better only at talking to themselves. For example, a once, very mainstream VW audience has now become a, people-like-CP+B VW owners audience. The humor in the BK campaign is very much CP+B humor. I also recently saw a concept that combined two CP+B clients in one execution. That just feels wrong and not in line with true creativity. This doesn’t mean they aren’t doing a good job. The clients are happy, sales are up, and I am very impressed myself. This may be just a personal opinion in the end, but I feel that it takes great input to create great output. Get out side and live for a while. It may improve the ability to talk to people you live with. We should always remember that it is these people who are the very audiences seek to communicate with.

Breed a VW rabbit

1 comment:

jausetgoen said...

Creativity, as it is understood by almost all that breathe, cannot be scheduled or controlled. Eureka moments can happen at any time, day or night. That's why most advertising agencies have resident creatives. Almost every agency also expects employees to burn the midnight oil in order to meet a deadline, even if they are "closed." Christmas and New Years included. But it should also be stated that every agency has its own culture. From your posts, it sounds like Crispin lives up to its sweatshop reputation. That is its culture. The sad fact is that every agency also has its own formula. Crispin's is quite obvious for some accounts (like those you mentioned in your post), as it is at Ogilvy where I work (see the BP and DHL print layouts and every commercial shot with Pitka). How does this happen? Because that's what clients have come to expect from that shop and because it is a product of creatives beginning to think the same due to their being cooped up in the same space for long periods of time, sometimes without food, water, or meaningful social interaction. Do I think it's as much of a problem as you, Concept Hunter? Yes in most cases and no for Crispin. Crispin has been able to reach a demographic that no other agency could. And since they have created this nationwide subculture, they are the only ones that group will listen to. Hence keeping Crispin alive an well. But do we all (creatives) need to get out more? YES!

As for co-branded efforts, I'm all for them. It's the best way to get the most bang for your buck now that companies are slashing their advertising budgets. We will see more and more of that as time goes on and, as advertisers, we need to embrace this trend. If you need a car in your ad, sell that space to the highest bidder. There's no shame in that. This is advertising, baby!!!