crispin porter

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I don’t know Mike Braue of David&Goliath and I haven’t seen Dave Angelo since softball in the 90s (Nice mouth, nice hands.) but I have been a fan of their work for years. Mr. Braue wrote a post for Talent Zoo this week in which he shared David&Goliath’s corporate philosophy of bravery.  I’m on board with bravery, not of the stupid, blind type that seeks to “break through the clutter” (Oh, how I loathe those words), but the bravery that makes one feel a bit uncomfortable and suggests acting with an unpredictable outcome.

Crispin Porter (May I call them Crispin Potter? They are sort of Harry Potteresque.) has a theorem about creative that suggests good work must create conflict for the consumer; conflict being a keystone of good storytelling. Oddly, when I present a brand strategy there is typically one word that makes the CEO uncomfortable. Often it’s a critical word…a strategically pivotal word. When I hear that nervousness, I know I’ve got them. You see CEOs want to be brave, love to be brave – that’s how they got to be CEOs.

Seeing the future and predicting the future is not for the weak kneed. Seeing and acting on the past on the other hand is the practice of 92% of marketers. The brave have been hit in the schnoz, they’ve been struck by an arrow…and lived. Stick your nose out, take an arrow. Be brave. Peace!

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Crispin Porter

Crispin Porter is a good ad agency. That said, I’ve often wondered whether they can represent large consumer brands in a way that actually grows and sustains business. I’m not alone. They have taken some heat in the press and had high profile account losses.
This past weekend, though, they ran a Volkswagen Jetta ad in the New York Times and it was “terrific.”  Sitting beneath the traditional silhouetted car photo – the traditional layout from years past – was the headline “Junk in the Trunk.” I couldn’t pass it by. Expecting to read about extra trunk space, I was surprised to find out all about Jetta’s extra features. 
I know Crispin is a great media company and that they conceive startling creative, but maybe they should just sit the creative teams down and ask everyone to hone their print advertising skills. Our business is not only about being inventive, it’s about learning how to “sell.” This may be a good place for them to recharge their batteries.  

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