Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Seven brides for seven creative brothers

I saw an article the other day that made me kind of sad. It appeared to demonstrate just how one sided the advertising industry still is.

Important obvious disclaimer:: This is in no way a criticism of the work of these individuals.

It was in Brand Republic, and happily declared that Saatchi's in London had announced seven new creative hires!

Hurrah. Always good to see creative talent given an opportunity to join such a great agency. I wonder who they are?

White guy, dark hair.
White guy, dark hair.
White guy, dark hair.
White guy, dark hair.
White guy, dark hair.
White guy, dark hair.
White guy, ginger hair.

Now clearly these guys are good, or they wouldn't get these roles. But surely there must be a good female creative out there, or even a team, that's worth hiring? The photo looks a bit like a shot of a well dressed hipster band, you could probably pick them out as creatives from a mile away. Again, there's nothing specifically wrong with that style, but surely as an industry we need to have more people with different styles and viewpoints?

The industry has been lacking in female creatives for such a long time, and we still are far too lacking in people of black or mixed race backgrounds. It's been getting better, and I'm sure (and hope) Saatchis would be able to point out plenty of women and people of non-white backgrounds in the department...

But it still looks like a reminder of the bad not so old days, and that's a shame.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Your World? Taglines are not just words.

I think it's easy sometimes to forget that everything that we produce in advertising needs to be accurate. Not that the average agency person lies or sets out to mislead, in my experience it's quite the opposite... but we like to give clients meaningful, powerful words to describe themselves.

Taglines are not just words.

A good tagline says something powerful about your brand and product. The best taglines are created from the truth, with that wonderful balance of being half where the brand is, and half where they are striving to be. Something that customers can believe in, and staff feel empowered by, and want to keep working towards.

I was looking at ANZ the other day, and was reminded of something Rob Campbell once said: "If Qantas truly lived up to their tagline (The Spirit of Australia), they would be the best airline in the world." After 15 months living in Australia, I totally agree.

I think the same is true for ANZ.

Their current tagline is We Live in Your World.

For a bank, that's a powerful statement of difference. Standing out from the general perception of all banks as greedy, profit focused institutions. I think it's a great line, that really gives them a sense that they stand for something. Just as with Qantas though, I don't feel like they are quite living up to that.

Let's just state upfront, that they definitely did live up to it with the magnificent GayTMs campaign. I'm sure there are a number of other schemes or ideas they run internally that live up to it too.

The problem is the day to day, the real world.

ATM fees are such a pain. I bank with NAB, who appear to have a policy of locating their cash machines at least 200m from every other bank, if at all. This means I regularly have to pay fees to take out my money. Surely a bank that lived in the real world would scrap them? After all ING Direct offers an account with no withdrawl fees.

Well. I went to the ANZ Stadium. A hugely costly sponsorship designed to make the brand look good. Where the only cash machines are, obviously, ANZ ones. What better place to show that you live in the real world than by not charging a fee to customers that you are hoping to convert to your service, in a location where access to another bank machine is impossible and your branding is everywhere?


So as with Qantas earlier. I'd like to set ANZ this challenge: Really live up to your tagline. If you do, you'll be the Australian bank that everyone wants to switch to.