Sir Alan Parker, former advertising copywriter, cartoonist, distinguished director of feature films, and now fine artist, proves to be an entertaining lunch companion.
I had spent much of my youth eagerly watching the adventures of the Starship Enterprise. But, being an advertising man, Nimoy’s death brought to mind something else: a poster that I consider to be the greatest-ever created for the famous ‘Heineken refreshes the parts campaign’: Mr. Spock’s pointy ears in need of refreshment.
Nick Asbury, a fellow writer, has produced a masterpiece of negative thinking. It’s called the Perpetual Disappointments Diary.
A short while ago I completed a project that I undertook on behalf of D&AD, the international creative awards organisation. It involved me interviewing 20 of the country’s top creative people and then writing about the D&AD training courses that they conducted. I wasn’t surprised to learn that creative professionals who wish to brush up their skills take up the lion’s share of places on these courses. But increasingly D&AD find that a significant number of non-creative professionals are signing up, too.
Recently the advertising news website ‘More About Advertising’ published my choice of ads to take to a desert island. Many people have chosen their Desert Island Ads before. Often they select ads, (usually TV commercials) that others have previously chosen, which is fair enough. If you’re going to be alone, stuck on a desert island, you’re entitled to take whichever ads you want, even if a bunch of other people have picked the same ones. But I wanted to be different.
For the second year running, I have been asked by Stephen Foster, editor of advertising news website, More About Advertising, to ghost-write an article on behalf of one of the site’s more unusual contributors. The contributor in question is Ebenezer Scrooge, the Victorian miser. Unlike his creator, Charles Dickens, Scrooge isn’t much of a writer. So the task falls to me. And what a task it is.
Back in the sixties I was a messenger boy in a small advertising agency. For some reason the agency had an international department. This meant I could get my hands on copies of Life Magazine, The New Yorker and McCall’s. Flicking through these magazines, I started to see ads, the like of which I had never seen before. Mostly, they were for Volkswagen.
We were asked to find a director of some artistic subtlety to produce a piece of animated work that, whilst being CGI-based, had to have an ‘organic’ or ‘illustrated’ quality instead of the more normal ‘hard-gloss’ look, in order to give a more appealing feeling to this quality product.
Last Thursday, at the Ham Yard Hotel, the Direct Marketing Association hosted part of their Great British Copywriting Campaign. I was invited to join a panel on the stage of the hotel’s theatre to discuss the demise or otherwise of copywriting. The question that underpinned the evening was this: Is the art of copywriting dead?
This year is the 20th anniversary of family-based charity Home-Start Woking. Anatomised is helping the Home-Start planning team create an event on 31st Oct.
I need your support and I haven’t got much time. Anyone who knows me will realise that the invitation, ‘Let’s walk!’ may as well have been followed by ‘on hot coals’ such is the dread it inspires in me. So you can only imaging my bewilderment when I tell you that somehow I’ve managed to commit myself to walk 20km on the 6th of September.
The mention of Suriname caught David Hughes’ attention when he first heard about J P Knight’s river transport services in South America. He had spent time in the country when he was much, much, younger. In fact his first job in Advertising was in Suriname.