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November 09, 2005

AC #25 Now Availble

John & and a grumpier than usual Tug welcome Radio Talent Zoo Listeners and provide a brief description about what the show is and is not. Then, as usual, the two go on to contradict everything they just said. John and Tug give praise to Sally and Adrants, debate the Apple vs. Lugz debacle then talk about non-creative creativity.

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Okay guys, about Dyson. Sure he had some valuable things to say, but don't forget, in the end, his ads are shit. Spokesperson on camera talking about a product. Like that's never been done before. Boring. He should've left the Creatives in the room staring at the drawing board for a day or two longer. He doesn't want to work with ad people cause he's in love with his own face. And wants to see it every night on the tele. Keep the faith.

I would agree that the Dyson ads are not all that great. There must be a more creative way to say that a vacuum doesn't lose suction than just saying that it doesn't lose suction. But the product is amazing. I'm not so sure traditional advertising is the way to go for this product. Especially with the price point. The real kicker is the cult or club status that it has. Thats kind of an odd niche for a traditionally mundane category like a vacuum cleaner. Anyone that I know, including myself, that has one becomes a virtual sales recruit endorsing the product. Much more convincing than a talking head or celebrity. At least in the short term Dyson can probably run with the not-so-spectacular awareness ads. The big question is how many people will pay that much for a vacuum cleaner and when will it start to top out. Then what? Much more of a marketing problem than just a cool ad problem I think. Oh and by the way guys, congratulations on the Talent Zoo thing. "I'm sooooo creative." You crack me up.

Dyson however did bring up a good point. It takes more than being locked up on the top floor of your ad agency. We're sales people. We just sell things from a completely different angle. We need to be out there talking with our clients as much as the account people. That's where we'll gain the most insight.

On another note. I hate creatives who play the part. Sally Hogshead said "Creatives with tattoos and piercings rarely make the best creative." (now I know creatives with piercings and tattoos, but I think she's going for the mindset, no the physical aspects here.)She's damn right. The most creative people I've ever met have been brilliant "Regular Joes". And Tug, I get as fired up as you about the subject. That's partly where the negative stigma on advertising comes from. It's not the suits who over bill, that people complain about. It's the creatives who carry an ego the size of Wisconsin.

Fellas, excellent job this week on the 'cast. I enjoyed your segment of James Dyson. Having been living in England for the past year, I learned a lot more about him as a businessman and as a designer/engineer. He has his critics, and he is very vocal about the (sorry) state of Britain as a whole. But, like you all said, usually he's spot on.

Last December, Dyson delivered the Richard Dimbleby Lecture, an annual televised lecture on BBC. I found the hour-long sermon to be inspiring and insightful, as well as well-researched and academic. I think its worth a read of the transcript.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/dyson_10_12_04.pdf

To the other Scott, I agree with your comment about creatives who play the role. My rule of thumb is that anyone who refers to himself as a creative is usually the opposite. (think of when you meet someone and the first thing they say is "I'm a very deep person"). Like Dyson, I have entered the design profession through an engineering degree and therefore have always been somewhat of the "anti-creative" (creative, in this case, used as a noun), and I think we all should embrace people who aren't cut from the mould of typical creatives.

Is there a more inventive and creative way to say "I just think the thing should work properly?" Probably.

But, you know, I like it. It has the same strange appeal that infomercials can have with it's filtered sales pitch, it's a 30 second spot, and it's designed half-way decent. And it's plainly honest. If the claim didn't hold up, people wouldn't buy it or continue to use it.

That's the most important part: it worked. People know what Dyson is all about and many are buying and becoming brand loyal.

To turn the table on Dyson, there have been plenty of engineers and manufacturers who produce bad products and have bad ideas. One of the reasons I left engineering was the lack of interesting conversations among engineers. They couldn't communicate without segmenting themselves from the rest of society, and thus often need help communicating the brilliant aspects of their inventions/discoveries.

Overall, Dyson has made us look inward and ask questions. That's never a bad thing.

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