Friday, August 18, 2006
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
There's a lot of energy at work right now surrounding The Bios. You know, a bio. Basically your resume. All the places you worked before, key accounts you've touched, brands and categories name-dropped to make you seem, well, qualified.
Granted, most of the guys who are agonizing over the bios are account folks and haven't ever truly learned that "nobody reads the body copy" (or have, and use that point to sheepishly dump the strategy -VERBATIM - into the body copy and, when the copywriter points at it and says 'That's fucking DUMB.' they quickly snap 'nobody reads the body copy, right? What do you care?')
Anyway, I was perusing the judges from this year's One Show. Some of the most phenomenal talent in the industry. And each has a neatly crafted bio.
But there's a bio in there that kicks ass. For the same reason that the guy's agency kicks ass. It has left the high-falutin', name dropping, award-listing, agency-hopping, hoping-to-impress-us bullshit where it belongs - somewhere else. And in the process, he distinguishes himself from every other creative judge.
Maybe he can do that because he's responsible for some of the most memorable (and, yes, awarded) work of the last three years. Maybe he just does it because, truly, bios are about as useless to this industry as a fucking GPA from Portfolio Center. It doesn't matter where you've been. Every day the game changes. And a closet full of awards and a Rolodex full of kissed asses is not going to solve the new dilemmas of advertising. Or make anyone think you're any cooler than your last spot/poster/project.
You could be Bob Barrie with a bookshelf built entirely out of Gold Pencils (someone told me that once - I wonder if it's true.) But you gotta get up everyday, put the Boxster in 1st gear and fucking nail it AGAIN. and Again. And again. And the guys with the awards and Christmas cards from A-list directors are deep-down-terrified that it might not come again. So they list all that shit on their bio. To keep it true until the next hit.
We're all banging our head against the same fucking wall.*
Some of us just take it more seriously than others.
Here's the bio.
"In kindergarten when asked to draw a picture of what he wanted to be, Andrew drew a garbage man. He liked the idea of hanging off the back of a moving truck. When other kids copied him, he changed it to a mad scientist. In '79 Keller made a short film called the Demon Witch. He taped firecrackers to metal bowls and strapped them to the chests of friends for special effect. His favorite holiday is Halloween. He wanted to be a drummer. He couldn't do a drum roll. He learned to play guitar listening to Jimmy Page and Eddie VanHalen and a myriad of metal virtuosos with names like Yngwie. He studied to be a doctor. Tests revealed he should be a flight attendant, priest or advertising executive. A-dog did badly on MCATS. Andrew found his calling in advertising, 'I love to disrupt, to tap into the collective unconsciousness, predict behavior and then mess with people.' He was an English Major, became an Art Director and is now Executive Creative Director. He launched MINI in the US with 100 or so of the most talented and dedicated people you'd ever want to meet. And now leads the Burger King and Volkswagen accounts. Andrew likes to say, 'The more advertising is like rock 'n roll, the more I like it. And right now, it's a lot like rock 'n roll.'"
*I do realize that Arthur Bijur, Ty Montague and Chuck McBride are banging their head on a significantly different - probably higher - piece of said wall. And they've been doing it longer. And the dents in their respective areas are probably deeper and significantly more bloody. Especially Ty - get a load of that forehead.
NEXT: Pictures. They can make or break a bio.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Monday, August 14, 2006
Regular readers will understand the relief with which I make the following statement - I have traded my 99 Volvo V70 for a new goddamn car.
Sweet mercy. It's over.
But I have to tell you. Mazda's advertising is right up there in the friggin' Actively Annoying category. Why? If one more person arches an eyebrow at me and utters their tagline, I'll grab said person by said eyebrow and jerk it like a windowshade. I'm in advertising. therefore, I HATE most advertising. When will that sink in with other people? In advertising?
The 3 Z-words aside, a souped-up import has advantages and disadvantages.
Pro: fuel economy
Con: Infiniti driver refers to car as "tuner"
Pro: 2.3 L 4 cyl. engine has 160 hp
Con: formed bumper wouldn't deflect Paris Hilton's dog
Pro: it's friggin dope
con: cops may assume I'm smoking dope
Pro: black leather
Con: black leather in Dallas in August
Pro: accurate odometer
Con: interior seems dark without illuminated "check engine" light
It sure is fun to drive, no matter what the kid in the knickers whispers at you as you whiz by. And by fun I mean way, way, way funner than an ailing turbo station wagon that smells like someone put a cigarette out on their cat.