Le Divorce

Committing to reciprocal feedback before making agency review decision

I’ve been told all my life that everything sounds sexier in French , from ordering wine from the Bordeaux region at the dinner table to whispering “c’est la vie” after missing a connecting flight. Almost everything I might add.

There are some words that, no matter the pronunciation, still appear quite sterile to us. The 2003 movie “Le Divorce,” based on the 1997 best-selling novel by Diane Johnson, introduces us to two American sisters who experience firsthand the intimate intrigue of the city of light (Paris), the irresistible clash of American and French culture, and the endless complications of human passions, marriages and affairs. (more…)

Why Agency Search Consultants Are Like Casting Directors

Metaphors are powerful literary devices used to communicate complex ideas. Agency search consultants often have difficulty explaining the myriad of roles and responsibilities required by the position. In order to help agency search consultants clarify “what they do” to others — and even themselves — they should view themselves as casting directors. It’s a metaphor uniquely suited for the competitive and dynamic professional lives of these unsung heroes in the advertising industry.

Like the making of a motion picture from Jurassic World to Minions, the creation of advertising and all marketing communications campaigns involves both science and art. It is a very collaborative endeavor that involves various people and objectives. Ultimate control with the making of a motion picture rests with the director, just as a marketing campaign rests with the client. (more…)

Why advertising has embraced an alternative reality.


When Google Cardboard won the Grand Prix in the Mobile category at Cannes, it confirmed what a lot of agency people already knew: virtual reality is the new big thing in advertising.

In case you’ve been hiding in a cave – or too busy watching your old-fashioned 2D TV – Google Cardboard is a stereoscopic 3D viewing device made out of…well, cardboard. You order it online, it arrives flat-packed, and after assembly you find yourself holding a cheap VR viewer that works with your smartphone and a number of apps.

Google Cardboard is a product, not a campaign, which made it an odd choice of Cannes winner. But the Mobile jury described it as “an enabler”, which had made several campaigns possible. Among these, “Volvo Reality”, a collaboration between the US agency R/GA and visual effects house Framestore, which put Google Cardboard users behind the wheel of the new XC90 car. (more…)

6 Marketing Management Tools Developed to Provide Optimal Performance

Yes, technology is impacting all aspects of business, and especially marketing. But it is interesting that there are very few search, pitch or marketing management consultants who invest in technology to innovate their processes to increase their utility or robustness.

Many are using relationship survey tools that have been around since last century or are calculating agency remuneration and compensation using a calculator and a spreadsheet.

In the very first office TrinityP3 (or P3 as it was then) inhabited back in 2000 we were sharing with a technology development start-up called Smart Solution Group. Russell Hibbert, who had left ShowAds to set up his own tech solutions company, founded the company and we shared their offices in Southbank Boulevard in Southbank, Melbourne. (more…)

Why Some Of The Best Ads Just Show What The Product Does

I’ve been in a number of agency/client meetings when the comment surfaces (more often from the client side of the table), “Why don’t we just show what the product can actually do?”

It’s more often than not met with a few looks to the ceiling, silences, and “yes we could do that …but.”

But, why not? Why are agencies so determined to avoid the obvious, when some of the best work ever was a simple product demo?


Just Like You, Only Better

I love pitching to prospective clients, but I tend to take the win – or – lose – outcome personally. That’s because, in our industry, competing with other agencies for a piece of business feels very much like a popularity contest – a professional version of “speed dating” in fact. Like it or not, a person’s ability to sell is linked to their aspirational level and whether the client thinks they’re awesome (or not). Brand owners use a similar principle when investing hefty sums of money hiring celebrities to be “the face” of their brand.

Marketers bank on potential consumers finding an enhanced, positive reflection of themselves in that famous personality and, more importantly, wanting to copy the choice of product/service/behaviour the star agrees to endorse. Take me as an example. I’d love to be as funny a writer as Ricky Gervais, (a girl can dream no?) but thankfully I’m not delusional which is why I’ve settled for being a measly fan and one of his 7.4m Twitter followers happily consuming anything he’s involved in. This new Optus spot featuring Gervais, announcing the partnership with Netflix, made me laugh out loud. (more…)

New Rules For Agency Success

Feeling a bit overwhelmed?

You should be. We’ve all been reading about, talking about, listening, to all the great challenges the marketing industry faces. The new marketing landscape, the evolving relationship between clients and marketing, the so called doom and gloom and end of advertising as we know it. To paraphrase the ex-49ers Head Coach Harbaugh it’s all just “gobble, gobble, gobble, turkey, funk-jive turkey gobblers.” That’s what many agencies are doing, just talking.

There is another option. (more…)

Wondering How Media Advertising Got So Screwed Up? Read on.

When Pivotal Research Group recently downgraded many of the advertising Holding Company shares from hold to sell, the market was shocked. Especially as this was driven by the huge revelation that media agencies within these holding companies were receiving undisclosed payments from media owners.

But why such a shock? We had been advising our clients this was happening for more than three years. Perhaps the events with MediaCom Sydney had brought the whole thing well and truly into the open. But the fact is, this has been an issue festering away behind the scenes for many years. (more…)

Child’s Play

Recruitment ads for our industry should come with a cautionary warning: GROWN UPS NEED NOT APPLY.
Advertising is one of those rare, thrills-a-minute professions where having fun is not forbidden, but actually encouraged. If I had to rank the coolest jobs in the world for me, advertising would come in 4th after 1) chocolate taster 2) water-slide tester and 3) holiday reporter. And don’t get me started about those nice outfits again.
Giving birth to ideas (because that’s what it feels like) and then pitching them involves an enormous amount of stamina, self-belief, a utopic world view and imagination – all of which are a doddle to a healthy child, but harder to maintain once you’re paying for your own birthday parties.


The Ad Agency Is Dead—Or Is It?

The demise of the ad agency appears all set.

A tombstone prepared.

The obituaries written.

The lilies artfully arranged.

Which is a perfect time for the AdForum 2014 Summit.

The “Summit” is where a gathering, gaggle, school or pack (choose your own plural) of the world’s leading pitch intermediaries (or search consultants, if you like) spend five days in NYC meeting with a mix of global advertising networks like Lowe, DDB, JWT and Publicis, (including an appearance by Chairman and CEO Maurice Levy), digital powerhouses like Huge and RG/A, media giants like OMD, international agencies like Saatchi & Saatchi, The Martin Agency and CP&B, smaller shops Story, Work & Co, Brooklyn Brothers, and experiential ones like Iris. (more…)

Angela Natividad Paris, France Strategist and writer
Bob Sanders Pittsburgh, United States Consultant
Bruno Gralpois Seattle, United States Co-Founder & Principal
Dan Pearlman Santa Monica, United States CEO/Managing Partner
Darren Woolley Sydney, Australia Marketing Management Consultant
Emanuele Nenna Milan, Italy Founder, Now Available
Enrico Gervasi Milan, Italy Founder, Istituto Protagora
Florence Garnier PARIS, France Consulting company
Florie Hubac Paris, France Communication & Marketing Manager
Hervé de Clerck , Switzerland Founder
Johanna McDowell Johannesburg, South Africa
Mark Tungate Paris, France Journalist and author
Matt Walsh Wellington, New Zealand Director of Business Development
Maud Largeaud Paris, France Chief Information Manager
michael lee New York, United States creative search consultant.
Monika Vaiciulyte Lund, Sweden Student'
Philippe Paget Paris Area, France Global CEO AdForum
Steve Fajen New York, United States Marketing Consultant
Steven Johnson London, United Kingdom Creative consultant
Tanya Dernaika Beirut, Lebanon Training Leader
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