Stephen has been kind, or insane enough, to include me in the coterie of Ad Greats, Almost Greats, Wanna be Greats, and never will be fucking Greats, who, for some unexplained reason, he believes the readers of Moreaboutadvertising might take a few minutes to enjoy – between indulging in a packet of Rat Vindeloo crisps, a couple of Woodbines and a pint or two of Old Frog Spawn – our geriatric ramblings… So, here goes.
Before getting into who would be crazy enough to employ me now, let us first take a couple of minutes to consider where anyone with any understanding of what this business used to be about, would have liked to have worked in the past…
In the 60’s: In the USA… DDB. If not, you would have been committed to a life in the lower circle of Dante’s Inferno… Which would have been honing your USP’s at Ted Bates working for Rosser Reeves, the creator of hammers in the head and flames in the stomach. Whereas, in the UK… Advertising, what exactly is that old boy?
In the 70’s: In the USA, Ally Gargano, Wells, Rich, Green… Before Mary’s millions went to her uber-sexy head and she retired to Cap Ferrat . In the UK… Obviously CDP. Perhaps Early Saatchi, before they discovered banking and Toryism. Maybe even dear old Ronnie’s shop (Kirkwoods). “Wodka from Varrington” indeed.
In the 80’s.: Chiat, without question, and the resurgence of Ogilvy with their great AmEx and IBM work. In the UK, take your pick from the many agencies and spin-offs that seemed to happen on a weekly basis… There are dozens more that MAA readers will no doubt harangue me about. But enough, let us move on to the meat of this discussion, which was… Oh yes…
If I was transmogrified through the Matrix Space Time Continuum, emerging at the other end, having washed off the alcohol impregnated jelly fluid covering my Adonis-like body… I would immediately offer my amazing services to these three agencies.
Goodby Silverstein + Partners… Yeah, I know, fucking boring, ‘cos I never stop pimping them… But I defy anyone to check out their over 25-year track record and find me another agency which is not only still insane enough to still be in this business, but has the drive and balls to consistently produce work of this quality and originality. And, just as importantly sell it to their clients, which is an attribute common to all my final three choices.
Wieden + Kennedy… Not just fucking NIKE… But tons of other great shit. We shall choose to quickly move on from the “Lusty Smithy” ravishing lonely housewives with his Mac & Cheese delights. Even great agencies are allowed the occasional fuck up. And God bless Dan Wieden for saying he would rather go down at the helm of his multi-million dollar yacht than sell out to a BDHC. Or, something like that.
I still think W+K London is the killer agency of all time… And am prepared to sit outside for days on a lawn chair until they hire me, or persuade “Ruby Pseudo” to take me home and feed me Welsh rarebit.
(George chose this W+K ad for Nokia – hadn’t seen it before, it’s brilliant – Editor).
Droga5… On a final note, I have to agree with the last writer on this important subject, my old mate, Paul Simons, who plumped for Droga5. For a “Bruce” who seems to have cornered the market on judging award shows in exotic locations, when he does show up at the office, Dave and his incomparable team have demonstrated that is still possible to create a product that not only works, but allows you to look at yourself in the mirror every morning and feel good about what you are going to be doing for the rest of the day.
Something truly rare these days in a business that was summed up many years ago by the title of Jacques Seguela’s book… “Please don’t tell my mother I work in advertising, tell her I play the piano in a brothel.” Or, as The Poisoned Dwarf would put it… “Please don’t tell my mother I am a Mad Man, tell her I am a Math Man.”
As the guys at Droga5 would say… No bollocks.