Yesterday from out of the blue I received a note from a young copywriter who is looking to move. She wondered if I would take a look at her book a provide some feedback. And, if I would help her insinuate herself into the agency at which I work.
There was a campaign for a kid's toy. A toy that's sold well for probably 60 years and needs no advertising, though their ads (spreads, of course) regularly festoon the pages of awards annuals. There was a campaign for a sneaker company impelling young wearers to graffiti rooftops rather than streetscapes. There was an ad for a dog food that talked neither about dog food nor dogs.
In all, a typical book from Miami Ad School.
Oh so cool. And oh so irrelevant.
Here's what I wrote to the young copywriter:
"I need to start this note by admitting that, while I'm not old, I am somewhat old school.
I think your portfolio is good for what it is.
But there are no ads in it.
No things that are hard to sell.
Nothing that feels like it takes a mainstream brand and helps it sell what they make
or helps regenerate and revitalize their brand.
I look for books with that kind of rigor.
Cool is not the only strategy.
How do you sell a Nissan Maxima?
What makes it better than a Camry or an Accord?
Not just cooler, but what's important about the machine,
the design, the engineering, the experience it delivers.
Yes, I come from Ogilvy and Ally & Gargano.
We examined real products with real in market problems.
That's the day in day out job of advertising.
I worry with your book.
How do I put you on an assignment for a client that spends
$10 million with my agency when I don't see any ads for
products or services?
Sorry if I'm being harsh.
And I'll admit, I think Miami Ad School has lost their way.
77% of the wealth in the US is controlled by people 55+.
Where are ads to those people?"