I hereby delcare this the winner of the first weekly “OH SNAP!” headline award

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More BADvertising

This is a classic bad ad, that has actually been REMADE.  Why, I have no idea because no big changes were made to it other than replacing the bad actors with different bad actors.

Here are the things about this ad that warm my heart.

1)  The woman makes a call from a REPAIR SHOP.  We know this because she says, “Enterprise?  I’m at the REPAIR SHOP.”  Then, in case you didn’t get it, she’s under the worlds most uninteresting sign that screams REPAIR SHOP.  Apparently, the shop owners have no creativity whatsoever when it came to naming their business.

2) The creepy expression for the Enterprise Rep/Serial Rapist.

This is the face I make when I wear my 'skin-suit'

3)  The unexplained unwrapping of the car from brown paper.  Obviously, a hold-over from an older campaign that senior management wants to keep.

4) The awesome tagline:  “We’ll pick you up!”

See the awesomemess in it’s entirety!


And yes, I have made commercials like this.

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Challenge. What’s the best ad in your portfolio?

UPDATE:  To the nice people who sent in some work as part of the challenge…my emailed crashed and I lost your submissions–sorry!  Please re-send? Ugh.

Part of being a creative is having the guts to present something that you’ve created and say, “Here, World!  I made this.  What do you think?”  It’s one of the hardest things to do and we have to constantly struggle against petty criticisms.

In that spirit, this is an open call for a civilized advertising community version of “Show me yours and I’ll show you mine”

Send the best ad in your portfolio (or just a favorite) to this address robrooney@sbcglobal.net.  I’ll post it for all the world dozens to see and to give respectful feedback.  Just to be fair, I’ll go first.   Here’s one of my favorites. (Click on number 3).

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Why do we work so Goddamn hard?

Am I the only one who thinks we spin our wheels a lot? I worked at SPY Magazine right out of college and one of the guys in the AdSales staff became a sort of pal/mentor to me. He was in…his THIRTIES!!!! Which at the time seemed so ADULT that I, obviously, believed he knew EXACTLY what he was talking about.

Well, one thing he told me was this: If you can’t get your work done during working hours–you’re doing something wrong.

This idea is heresy in the ad biz. Basically, every place I’ve ever worked at expected you to be available 24/7. Granted, your day starts at 10 am. But that’s the only perk, because however many hours you knock off the front of the day, they just get tacked onto the end.

I may be ultra-sensitive to this. I made the two worst decisions you could make for being a member of the ad community.

1) I had children.

2) I moved out of the city.

Having kids is like taking a little blue pill labeled ‘perspective’. Suddenly, your need to be at work till midnight four days away from the pitch meeting evaporates (especially when you know all work will be scrapped 48 hours away from the deadline and worked on up until the last-minute). Compared to actually giving your child the sense that they actually have TWO parents, it’s not even a choice.

Also, there are certain people who have malicious sense of glee when making you choose between family and work. I’ve been at places where shoots have gone right through Christmas. Literally shooting on Christmas Eve, then, out of the goodness of their black hearts they let you take a red-eye home for a handful of hours before reporting back on set the next day. When complaints arose, I remember a person saying, “Well, this is the business we have chosen.”

Sorry. But, no. It’s not. Bill Bernbach left work at 5:30 everyday. Look it up. The proper thing to do is to NOT TO SHOOT ON CHRISTMAS. It’s not brain surgery. It’s advertising. The shit can wait. 87% of the free world does sweet fuck-all between X-Mas and New Years anyway.

Now on top of all this, I threw on an hour plus commute. So putting in the extra hours, really whittles away my home time.  Now, to make it clear:  I don’t mind putting extra work when it’s needed and necessary.  I want the extra hours to be used efficiently. I don’t want to hang around waiting for time on some shit-heads calendar. I don’t want to stay late just because my boss is staying late and he likes seeing people in cubicles. No. My days of waiting around for the ‘bedcheck’ before I can leave are over. Time is too valuable to use it just to stroke someones ego.

And doesn’t having well-rounded lives make us better at our jobs?  Doesn’t it put us in touch with our communities and families and give us valuable experiences that we can use to reach an audience?  And I’m not solely talking about having a family, either.  Just having interests OUTSIDE of advertising makes you a better creative.  (I’ll always remember Stacey Wall saying that the idea for Lil’ Penny, came from his love of the show Thunderbirds!)

I’ve found that the people in upper management who give a crap about YOUR work/life balance are few and far between. They care about it until there is a dead-line that needs to be met. They care about it until they have to face the possibility of having a difficult conversation with a pain-in-the-ass client. They care about it on paper.

It’s taken me years, but I’ve found that no one is going to fight to maintain my work/life balance but me.  And you know what?  It’s harder than it should be.

Post Script:  If you are thinking about making a comment along the lines of:  “hey, if you won’t work late, someone else will.”  Fuck you.  You’re part of the problem.

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The Ad Industry’s Biggest Enemy.

UPDATE: Recently heard from a friend who just so happens to be a big-wig creative dude at well-known agency. He told me that AFTER READING THE AMAZING BLOG POST BELOW he read deep into the terms and conditions of an RFP he had received and found that their client wanted to own the intellectual property from the pitch and reserve the right to not award the actual business. It was buried in the document. He turned down the pitch. NICE.

Take a look in the mirror. It’s US. WE are OUR own WORST enemy.

Why? Because we give it away for free. We are the people to whom businesses come to for expert advice on how to reach an audience, what to say to that audience and how to say it. That’s what we do. That’s how we make our living.

AND YET, how many times have we sent the message that our ideas are worthless? We do it every time…

1) we agree to insane turnaround times:

ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT: You changed the brief at the last-minute, still want to meet your air date, so we have 24 hours to come up with a fully cooked integrated campaign? Is that right?



This is telling the client–what we do has no value. You turn a crank and POP! Out comes an idea! It’s quick! It’s easy! It’s advertising!

2) Every time we agree to a “creative check in” before the “actual meeting”

Guys, when we agree to this the “creative check-in” BECOMES the “actual meeting”. It’s just another way clients have to screw us out of the time that is necessary to fully bake an idea. It’s bad business and we become mere “vendors” in our clients eyes, when we should be partners.

3) Agreeing to stupid shit like:

Project work. (Fuck you. You give us the account or hit the fucking bricks, you are wasting our time)

Sudden Fee Re-negotiations. (This happens when the client wakes up one day and notices the economy is down and decides to see just how much he can fuck you. 99% of Agency Upper Management Douche-bags will play ball and agree to whatever terms just to keep the business. Those with testicles, however will resign the account.)

And putting up with this bullshit .

Apparently, clients are telling prospective agencies that if they want to pitch their shitty business, then they have to agree to let the client OWN the creative that’s presented to them for a pittance, AND have the agency agree not to pitch any competitors for TWO years!  Are you kidding me? So you can steal my idea, not pay me for it and keep me from making money in the future?  What?

If you are in a pitch, you should be giving clients MILLION DOLLAR IDEAS.  If they like the idea, they can have it— by giving you the business.  If not, you should be able to take your MILLION DOLLAR idea down the road to their competitor and they can have a huge case of Regretitus.  That fear is one of the FEW tools that works in our favor when dealing with new business clients.  Why piss that away?

The sad thing is that all it takes is ONE scared asshole to give in to this nonsense and it makes this business that much worse for everyone.

I know it makes me sound like a dinosaur; but the first agency to walk away from the old 15% of ad spend commission structure and agreed to a more ala carte system really screwed the pooch.

Now, we have clients who say they won’t pay for ANYTHING unless it sells.  Which seems fair on the face of it, but anyone in the business knows that a lot of sales are driven by internal client policies that agencies have NO control over; like naming a product, designing the packaging, what stores its found in, what aisle in the store, the price of the product, and finally…whether or not the product is a complete and total piece of shit.  All factors beyond the scope of most agencies.  Still sound fair? No.  But I guarantee you that there is an agency out there willing to accept this nonsense.  And that agency is screwing it up for the rest of us.

We need to get on the same page and have some respect for the business we have chosen to be in.  Let’s keep this stuff from happening, ok?  Ok.

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Metaphor’s are fun!

It’s totally apt one. But I still ain’t turning in my iPhone. And now I’m wondering why that is. Any answers?

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McRib conundrum

McDonald’s is rolling out the McRib nationally.  Yep.  You’ll be able to get it ANYWHERE.  Now, as a person-0f-girth, I loves me my McRibs.  And I do get a sense of giddy delight in my belly whenever I stumble across one.

But, let’s face it.  It’s just a shitty pressed ‘meat’ sandwich.  It’s the fact that I can’t have it all the time that makes it so good.  So while McDonald’s is making it available nationwide –it’s ONLY for a limited time, so technically, it’s still rare.

But that sense of wonder and the universe coming into perfect harmony as you found yourself in the RIGHT town at the RIGHT time for the precious McRib experience is somehow lessened.  And that’s not good McD’s.  For some reason, you got lucky with this product catching your customers imagination.  Don’t leverage it into oblivion. Now gimme a friggin’ McRib.


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