I've just had another article put on the APG site (click on articles for the link or you can download it here.)
It's about the fallacy of trying to reduce brands to words on a powerpoint slide. Let me know your thoughts.
It's been a long time since my last entry as it's been really busy at work. And all this busy-ness has made me think about the way agencies get paid for their ideas. There's been a lot of debate about whether the current model of essentially being paid for time spent is flawed and, if so, what should we do instead. (For what it's worth, I think this payment system has devalued the industry even more than the commission system as it has commoditized the only thing we have - ideas - and does not truly recognize and reward their commercial value.)
I get concerned over ideas to link payment to results (the common solution, most recently called for by Andy Berlin) for a number of reasons, not least the fact that communication ideas impact brands over a longer time frame and in a broader way than just simply sales in the short to medium term (I recommend anyone interested in this to read any or all of Advertising Works and How (UK-centric but invalauable), The Ultimate Secrets of Advertising by John Philip Jones and Effective Advertising by Gerard Tellis). Add that to the seeming inability of most clients and agencies to have the data or the wherewithal to be able to really isolate the impact of advertising (just read the 'evidence' in most EFFIE entries) and this seems a recipe for disaster.
One interesting model has been floated in the UK by the IPA (the UK ad industry body) which takes a leaf out of the movie industry and looks at licensing ideas. The attached article from Campaign is worth a read.
The Caffeine Goddess has tagged me in another online game of tag. This time it's the more analogue subject of books. I'm late replying so here goes...
Total number of books owned: probably around 400-500 made it with me to the US. There's about another 300 which my parents are kindly looking after.
The last book I bought: Mix Tape: The Art of Cassette Culture by Thurston Moore. Great read about the mix tapes that have touched Thurston and his friends' lives, and a possible source of inspiration for a new client. Also, as far as I'm concerned, Thurston is one of the best writers about music out there when he's not busy making Sonic Youth records or running his label.
Book I'm currently reading: Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. Really interesting book about the new school of social economics, fascinating examples and stories (eg. why groups of real estate agents are like the ku-klux klan) and arguably the best book I've read on the craft of planning that's not directly about planning skills or communications. At its heart, it's about looking at problems differently, and relentlessly digging for the truth rather than accepting false assumptions.
Five books I read a lot, or mean a lot to me: (this is tough)