Archive of: January, 2017

  • Is the Ad industry defying uncertainty caused by the referendum?

    Ad spend up 4.2% after Brexit vote

    Advertising, Brexit

    Following the vote to leave the EU, UK Ad pend rose 4.2% in first 3 months which indicates the industry is “defying uncertainty” caused by the referendum.

    The Advertising Associations (AA) findings were released on the 26th January as part of the AA’s annual LEAD conference where Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport will give her first address to the industry since being appointed by Theresa May last year.

    Ad spend serves not just as an established lead for the wider economy, but as a driver of jobs and GDP growth, so negotiating the best possible terms for UK advertising should be a priority as government engineers our exit from the EU.

    However the big issue for the industry is how it maintains its position both pre and post Brexit. The UK exported more than £40bn worth of advertising services throughout EU, with trade bodies quick to stress the sector’s economic value to ministers so that the government is totally aware of what it is required to do to protect it going into the Brexit negotiations.

    Karen Bradley is expected to comment on some of the key priorities for the industry as outlined by the AA, and in particular the negotiation of the UK’s position on various media and advertising related EU rules to ensure as much market access as possible as well as the continued support of advertising’s self regulation.

    The AA’s arguments have been compounded by figures from Deloitte and Credos which show advertising contributed £120.4bn to GDP in 2015, and supports over 550,000 jobs.

    As an established global creative hub with strong creative and technology credentials, the UK should, with the right government support, be able to make the most of a lot of opportunities, both in Europe and internationally.

  • Do young creatives know it all?

    Learn from the masters

    Most young creatives believe they’ve nothing to learn from the older generation – but they couldn’t be more wrong.

    Being informed that your creative work was way ahead of any other agency is fantastic to hear. And although it hasn’t happened to us, imagine losing a pitch because a client chose instead to believe the other agency as they promised they’d deliver the leads they wanted via SEO and programmatic science.

    It’s quite sad to discover that a lot of today’s marketers don’t know the difference between marketing strategies, marketing channels and marketing content. And in some cases we’ve had to write pitch and campaign briefs on behalf of potential clients! Of course SEO and programmatic science can find your customers online, but unless the creative content they see is persuasive and relevant they won’t even notice it, let alone buy. People accept offline advertising and remember the best examples of it. But they tend to hate online advertising and get irritated by it invading their screens and actively block it.

    This current devaluation of creativity in the minds of our clients is somewhat mirrored within our advertising agencies. Since its launch in 1962 and once every young creative’s bible, the D&AD Annual this year added an ‘M’ and described itself as a ‘Manual’. Inside there are exercises designed to teach creatives how to generate ideas. When we all entered into the advertising industry in the 80’s, we were desperate to learn and we had heroes to look up to and learn from, creatives like Dave Trott, David Abbott and John Hegarty. And it was their creative work that drew us into the industry. Beautifully written magazine ads for Sainsbury’s; glamorous, funny TV commercials for:-

    Hamlet Cigars Advert


    John West Salmon Advert

    Jon Smith's

    Levi's Advert

    Ask any creative in their early 20’s today who John Webster is and they’ll look at you pan faced. They would never have watched his Guardian Points Of View ad or laughed at his Smash ‘Martians’ Commercial.

    Smash Advert

    They don’t seem to have any heroes in the business, just carefully well groomed beards.

    So when did young creatives start to think they couldn’t learn anything from the previous generation? When did they stop reading books about those great Volkswagen ads? When did they stop reading or caring about spelling and punctuation? Why haven’t they read the world’s best book on creativity A Technique For Producing Ideas written in 1939 by James Webb Young?

    Creativity lost its way during the digital boom when almost overnight, online software meant anyone could create their own design, and therefore clients decided that art direction wasn’t a precious skill any more. If their young child could churn out pictures and typography in 10 minutes, anybody could, hence a whole new generation of digital native ‘designers’ being born.

    Instead of magic marker ideas more highly finished Mac designs were presented. The copy art team fell into disfavour. Instead of teams, in most creative departments you’ll just see individuals sitting behind computers. So how do they swap ideas or chat about the best way to crack a brief? Without face to face dialogue, new digital creatives are just selecting a typeface and photoshopping images before they’ve even tested the thinking, so rather than constant interrogation and questioning it’s just become instant prettiness.

    Copy has suffered somewhat too. Copy used to be a way to test your thinking. You had to put your initial idea into plain English and make sure it was strong enough to stand up. Today there are people who’ve never heard of David Abbott who call themselves ‘web copy specialists’, as if writing for a digital channel requires a different skillset than writing for print.

    We also now have a new breed of digital creatives who call themselves ‘content creators’. They have business cards with ridiculous titles like ‘global head of content’. But how many of them can explain what ‘content’ actually is. Content isn’t a thing, it’s anything that can be made public in any medium, from a book to a film. So why does it need a shallow new name?

    Ageism is another factor that marks a decline in creative standards. The younger generation are pushing hard for their creative director titles and salaries and combined with the fact they are ‘digital natives’ means that agency management starts believing that they represent the future. Creative directors over the age of 50 are ditched in favour of a new generation who can “do digital”. Ask any agency managing director what the ability to “do digital” is and they will probably say it means kids who can knock out a bland banner ad as fast as their account handlers can type ‘ASAP’ in the deadline field.

    The result is that agencies have lost and are losing their creative teachers, the people who made those agencies great in the first place. John Hegarty put it well in a recent talk about advertising’s ageism: “In our industry, we’ve lost that sense of where we’ve come from and understanding how to go forward.” And if you think that we suddenly stop knowing how to crack a brief or craft a commercial once we hit the age of 50 then you’re very much mistaken. ‘Wrinkles’ and ‘grey hair’ seem to be bad words in ad agencies these days. But us so called ‘old has-beens’ are still doing it. And do you know what? We’ve still got it and we’ve never lost it.

    The real test of the new digital generation is the quality of their work which should be better than the work of the generation that preceded it, but sadly it falls short.

  • launches futuristic pop-up Espresso Yourself 3D

    Find love in your latte

    As part of an Espresso Yourself campaign, is about to launch a pop-up coffee shop in London to help singles find love on their way to work.

    Espresso Yourself is a UK first, created to entice singles in London to call in to the cafe which will serve up drinks featuring 3D-printed selfies of eligible Match members.

    The two-day pop-up at Shoreditch’s Boxpark will be open to the public on Thursday and Friday 20th January and there will be a menu of eight different Match members to choose from, 4 male, 4 female. Once visitors have chosen there preferred drink they will be given a free coffee with the profile picture of their chosen single printed in 3D into the coffee’s foam. While drinking their beverage they can find out more about their potential partner by reading the outside of a specially-designed coffee cup containing more information. If they like what they see and drink they can then follow a link printed on the cup to track down their match.

    Other singles who want to get involved can print their own face onto a cup of coffee and then give it away to someone they are attracted to.

    The service has been designed to encourage time-poor, coffee-loving Londoners to find themselves a date while getting their daily caffeine fix.

  • Break Free

    Adidas ad goes viral

    Eugen Merher, a German film student shot to fame over the weekend when his imaginary ad campaign he created for Adidas as part of a class project went viral.

    Break Free, Adidas Advert

    25 year old Merher who studies at Baden-Württemberg Film Academy created ‘Break Free’, a powerful film which tells the story of a retired marathon runner in a care home who rediscovers his passion for running after discovering his old Adidas training shoes. The minute and a half film has now received over 8.6m online views.

    With an emotional John Lewis-esque ending the film has not just captured the hearts of people across the world, but it also captured our interest and some of the world’s best creative agencies. Although Adidas has not commented publicly, several of the brand’s marketing team have contacted Merher directly.

    Why Adidas?

    Originally the advert was about an old man breaking out of a retirement home in a pair of branded running shoes that represented marathon and Olympic runners of the 1970’s. And as Nike didn’t have real marathon outfits back then, Adidas was chosen because apart from being a well known German brand, they were more involved in the Olympics at the time.

    Why was the ad rejected?

    Before the ad was made the concept was sent to the Adidas team in hope of sponsorship, but they rejected it because they receive so many similar requests and already have agencies who take care of their creative content. When the ad was completed it was sent to the team again and the reaction was similar. Interestingly, now it’s gone viral various departments from Adidas have been in touch?

    We think it’s a great ad, and one we would have sponsored like a shot.

  • Congratulations

    Cezara banks the winner!

    Following on from exhibiting at the Great Manchester Expo which proved to be very successful, we’d now like to announce the winner of our Prize Draw.

    The Prize Draw was for a bottle of Veuve Clicquot which was won by Cezara Glynn, Marketing Manager of Woodbank Office Solutions based in Stockport.

    The presentation took place late December 2016 following an initial exploratory marketing meeting, and BZ now look forward to raising a glass and toasting the start of a brand new working relationship with Woodbank Office Solutions in 2017.


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