by Herman Manson (@marklives) The South African ad industry has recently seen a series of takeovers and mergers of high-profile independent agencies by global communications networks — WPP and Publicis, specifically — thanks to accelerated interest in the African comms landscape and a cheap rand. Some independents are worried by the Competition Commission’s seeming lack of concern regarding this acquisition spree and the increased local-market dominance.
by Herman Manson (@marklives) After all the rah rah of the last couple of weeks around the annual advertising backslap it was nice of David Nobay, Creative Chairman at Droga5 in Sydney, to sit us all down and share some of the harder truths of advertising.
He had five of them in fact.
1. Not all clients want great work.
2. There are too many of us.
3. We lost our exotic
4. We’ve forgotten how to sell
5. We reward mediocrity
Chris Moerdyk eat your heart out. As everybody grabbed for their iPhones to check in on Twitter and see which ECD would be first to denounce Nobay an ‘enemy of the creative industry’ the man himself happily droned on in the presentation that made the seminar worth its 500 bucks.
That would be the grandly named International Seminar of Creativity hosted by the Loerie Awards in Cape Town City Hall as part of Creative Week.
Nobay, noting an arrogance in the trade when it comes to ‘creativity’ and ‘advertising,’ or at least what creative types in advertising consider creative work, says clients often have practical reasons for not implementing your potentially Loerie winning idea.
This is also the problem with award shows said Nobay – they oversimplify what is considered ‘creative.’ Awarding winning work has become a matter of looking at a piece of work and having an immediate reaction to it before moving to the next piece.
“We are in this business to make money,” Nobay told his stunned audience, “Or we would all have become artists.” Great work, according to Nobay, is really a moving target, isn’t really tangible and lots of clients are running businesses in maintenance mode, while ‘award winning creative’ has become all about the new.
The Sunday Times smack down has begun with all and sundry having something to say after the paper retracted its front page story on Transnet supposedly selling most off Table Bay to “foreigners” (‘Transnet sold our sea to foreigners’- August 24, 2008).