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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : November December 2007
NEWSMAKE R the interactive and 80% on the tra- ditional work. It was a wake-up call to change the agency to ensure the skill base matched the workload. Says Goodby: “We had a meeting with the creative department and said everyone had to learn to do everything. If you work in tradition- al advertising you are going to have to work on the web, if you work on the web you are going to have to learn to make TV commercials and print ads for the first time and radio commercials and if you don’t like that you should start interviewing and getting your book together and some people did that. We didn’t expect that but some people freaked out, they were in the business because they were writers or film- makers and thought we were going in some direction that wasn’t going to interest them.” While there was some hesitation among traditional art directors and copywriters that the new style of advertising is not as writing or film- making intensive he suggests the opposite is true, comparing it to writing a novel: “You start with some characters that are having their cows stolen, then you get alien abductions, you’ve got people blog- ging about the thing, you’ve got a MySpace page for the cow and all kinds of things,” he says. Having ramped up to 500 staffers from 300 a year ago, some of the staff are from non-traditional back- grounds, such as stand-up comics, lawyers, rappers and documentary filmmakers. Goodby says they’ve had a really high success rate hiring people from comedy troupes and they are fitting in just fine: “You’ve got to do a lit- tle bit of finessing with them but they learn. They’ve never done any- thing totally awkward but they also tend to come up with very original, funny work that advertising people wouldn’t necessarily think of. It’s been helpful to have people like that there, plus they see things as the audience, they establish a kind of wonderful freedom and art school feeling to the place because they are very often people that have been making their own videos online and they tend to be very freeform like rap videos,” Goodby says. As well as being a shift in mindset it also requires creatives to be excit- ed about working on the internet and working in alternative ways. He refers to an execution for Got Milk that saw scented bus shelters appearing around San Francisco, emitting the scent of chocolate chip cookies together with a Got Milk? sign – an idea you would never come up with if you kept yourself in a box. “It’s the biggest media event I’ve seen for anything we have ever done. CNN was there and National Public Radio and all the networks,” he says. Unfortunately it didn’t have a long shelf life with the city ruling they be taken down after being besieged by people who argued for the rights of people with allergies. 10 C A M P A I G N B R I E F Goodby with BMF Sydney partner Warren Brown out on Brown’s boat during his visit to Australia. BMF handles the Bank’s DM account so it was a good chance to get to know each other. CB of course was the only trade press invited. Goodby says they’ve had a really high success rate hiring people from comedy troupes and they are fitting in just fine: “You’ve got to do a little bit of finessing with them but they learn. They’ve never done anything totally awkward but they also tend to come up with very original, funny, work that advertising people wouldn’t necessarily think of. It’s been helpful to have people like that there, plus they see things as the audience, they establish a kind of wonderful freedom and art school feeling to the place because they are very often people that have been making their own videos online and they tend to be very freeform like rap videos,” Goodby says. They also said homeless people will feel bad when they smell them because they can’t have any. “That’s the kind of idea I don’t think you will think of if you think of your normal three TV commer- cials because that’s what they used to do. You have to give yourself permission, people don’t demand it, you have to do it yourself and you have to be at a place that wants it,” he says, However, he acknowledges this fully integrated approach means there is less money for each of the individual media such as TVCs if the campaign is spread across so many channels, and it’s more expensive for clients. Goodby says: “It takes a lot longer to make all these different channels than just making three commercials so you end up billing more hours to clients than you used to and some clients don’t like that and some clients don’t pay that. We charge by the hour, it doesn’t really lose us money but when we serve them a big bill at the end of the month they don’t like that, so you have to mod- erate it in certain ways and make it fit into the client’s budget some- how.” It also poses problems for award categories. He was president of the Cannes Titanium Jury in 2005. Says Goodby: “It was very hard to ascertain how to judge Titanium because there is so much to look at so people end up making a little film about their campaign. You watch millions of those and you see there’s a difference between the ones that have an idea to them and the ones that are just taking a logo and a look and putting it across a lot of different mediums. What we try to do is have an idea that justi- fies using other media instead of just spreading the thing over a lot of media for no reason,” he says. While he epitomises the laid-back Californian with his trademark ponytail, Goodby actually grew up on Rhode Island and went to Harvard, only moving to San Francisco when he followed his now wife there in the seventies. As the son of an artist and an MBA educated business executive, Goodby has the genes for advertis- ing’s peculiar blend of art and com- merce but his first career was as a journalist. During his speech he joked that he had to leave journal- ism because of his penchant for making stuff up, but what really happened was when he relocated to the West Coast he interviewed at the big dailies and couldn’t get a job, something that made him rethink his career, deciding on advertising. However, there was a naivete in his approach that probably wouldn’t get him through the doors of GS&P today – he worked his way through the Yellow Pages, calling agencies for interviews: “I’d go to Bob and Sheila’s advertising one day and BBDO the next, because I didn’t know anything about adver- tising - sometimes I would get a big office, sometimes I would get a lit- tle office,” he recalls. Eventually the creative director of McCann-Erickson San Francisco took pity on him, telling him he would never get a job with his newspaper clippings, suggesting he pick three brands he loved and three he hated and write his own ads and replace his resume with a one page autobiography, preferably one that showed a sense of humour. This was his ticket in and he immediately got a job at J. Walter Thompson, working on the Chevron oil account, which was quite a cultural shock after working in the newspaper business. He stayed a couple of years N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 0 7 (
AWARD Awards 2007
September October 2007