(Hen(ry) & Angus. Dan & Ben not available when shot taken. Probably getting a bit of extra kip I shouldn't wonder.)
I'd just finished a meeting in Centotre this morn, and was walking down the street when I happened upon a couple of lycra clad blokes stuffing overnight backs in the back of a car.
Ah, I thought, 'endurance cyclists.'
You can always tell them apart from 'normal' cyclists by the way they are kitted out, the lean-ness, the slightly/absolutely knackered demeanor, and the haunted/maniacal look in the eyes.
(Incidentally, having done a bit of biking in the past, I don't see anything wrong in going up to strange men. clad in lycra, and striking up conversations. Unless of course it's in Old Compton Street, London W1.)
Anyhow, turns out three blokes, Hen, Angus and Dan, are riding from Lands End to John O'Groats over 10 days in March. The ride is called the LEJOG ride. As in Land's End-John O'Groats.
As someone who did something of similar distance in the 2005 FireFlies Ride from a somewhat sunnier Geneva to much warmer Cannes, I take my cycling cap off to them.
Long distance bike rides can be both, (and at the same time), a mental-killer and also incredibly life-enhancing. (I should know I was at the back of the peloton. Way back. For most of the ride.)
I like Campaign magazine. (The weekly advertising trade paper in the UK if you don't know.) I like it a lot.
Like any old friend, it makes me laugh . (Sometimes intentionally, other times accidentally.)
On occasion I feel it can be a bit pompous, old-fashioned, bossy and indignant. (But then can't we all.)
Yet in the main, I look forward to it every week, just as much as when I was a trainee copywriter nicking into the creative director's office to half-inch that pristine, shrunk wrapped Thursday morning copy before he arrived. Creative Review too every month illicited a similarly kleptomanical streak in me. (Though I'm not too wild about the recent re-design. Typical, now I'm paying for my own copies.)
The Bearded Prophet however is no such sentimental fool. Being an out and out digital animal he much prefers NMA. (Oh dear.) He still claims Wired to be the dogs. (Double, oh dear.) And, conversely and perversely to his print consumption, he goes on to claim that he gets 95% of his industry news today from rss feeds.
And his sandwich board comment below?
Well the story behind that is my fault. I related to the BP that it was a quote I picked up from a creative director I was trying to impress back in the days of flared trousers, tank-tops and kickers. (First time round.)
So the line; about Campaign getting two things right on the front page. The date and the price. Is alas not mine, but David Abbott's.
I was showing him my book and in the course of the conversation I asked what it was like to be front page news on Campaign, what seemed like very week. (He'd just started Abbott Mead Vickers, AMV to you youngsters of today. He and his agency were constantly in the news.)
He was/is one of the most awarded, admired and emulated copywriters in the history of British advertising. (And the US come to that, see OneShow archives.)
His work for Volvo, The Economist and Sainsbury's was/is awesome.
But he carried his greatness lightly, and as his Campaign quote testified, good humour and good nature were hallmarks of his work.
So, in a way Campaign is for me, not just a link to the past but a bridge to the future. A glance at recent copies and you'll see the way it rightly gives the appropriate amount of coverage to the ever-growing digital world as it unfolds around us and we endeavour to latch on/understand it. Yet this illustrious organ also gives a platform to a writer that preceded even David Abbott, in the shape of Jeremy Bullmore.
And whose writing is as fresh and vigorous as anything you'll read anywhere today.
Which sort of brings me I suppose to my fundamental point:
With the relentless rise of digital, we keep hearing about how traditional advertising is dead, that creativity is increasingly becoming the domain of the young, and how the older ad-fuddy-duds, have had their day.
However I think that those who claim this is a game primarily for youth of today are getting there adjectives muddled.
Digital as the domain of the young? No. The youthful? Yes.
Coffee Morn attendance today was small, but perfectly formed.
After discussing open source vs. custom built blog tools with Nev, mp3 enabled iPhones, and me having my customary contradictory rant about the irritations and delights of Twitter, we moved onto some stuff that was much more interesting.
Film-maker Tim Maguire, brought us up to speed on the latest developments on his "Authors Movies' series, and let us in on some absolutely killer thinking on the social media development of the idea, including a great domain name. (That's about as detailed as I can get for now, but Tim promises to give us an exclusive insight when the concept is about to go live.)
Also at Coffee Morn today was Darcie Condie.
Copywriter, Art Director, with a degree in Photography, she even baked delicious Easter Friday Cup Cakes to bring along. (Mmmm, I think hate her, she's too accomplished by far ;-)
To be serious for a moment, it's great having young creatives like her at Coffee Morn, I wish more came.
Because, (going back to being silly again), it allows me, as an 'elder-statesman', to pontificate at great length about everything from how too many advertising agencies are getting online all wrong, how unbelievably accomplished and self-effacing I am at, (oh, you name it, the list is endless); cooking, interviewing people, photography, social media, technology, sport, writing and doing the football pools.
Poor girl couldn't get a word in. Nor Tim. (Which is really saying something.)
(In this instance Danii, at the lovingly crafted design and web agency whitespace in Edinburgh.)
The cuckoo clocks are a nice touch, although a bit dis-concerting if you're sat directly under them as they crank up on the hour.
Apparently the staff are encouraged to bring a new one back each time they go on holiday.
What's wrong with straw donkeys, they're much quieter.
(You can see more of my slowly growing, somewhat sad, somewhat boring, 'Reception-ist' series here.)
It's no secret that Google think mobile is going to be a big deal, as do the phone operators and manufacturers themselves. And who knows? The penny might also drop soon enough for more ad and digital agencies to gear up appropriately.
So do yourself a favour and read Toni's vision of the not so distant future for all of us.
As an ad agency copywriter in a previous life, I related particularly to the authors reminder that mobile, permission-based advertising will have to entertain and please the recipient, (something the more enlightened ad agencies have appreciated for donkey's of course.)
And was both staggered and delighted to read the stat that 44% of Japanese mobile users click on links in mobile advertising. (Bet they weren't Proctor & Gamble ads.)
WooHoo, bring it on.