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Saturday, March 17

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans

John Lennon's famous words...As I took time out from the busy Bombay buzz into the slower groove of Patna, going to the zoo, the circus(Gemini) or spent time at the century old Bankipore club along with my diasporic joint family, I just realised the importance and the neglect of my other life...This trip with Neo has been well worth the little extra effort!

Just had time to do a little surfing everyday...Discovered adobomagazine - this ad creativity website from the Philippines!

Few excerpts/ facts from a Neil French Interview on the web-site - a man whom I had heard more than I know about...I like his bluntness:-) and strong POV especially relevant in the Indian context where most ad guys have nothing original to say and when they it, they do it in the blandest possible way!!

1. In his roller-coaster life, Neil French has been a rent collector, account executive, advertising manager, waiter, singer, matador, beach bum, pornographer, bouncer, debt collector, concert promoter, nightclub owner, Judas Priests’ rock band manager, copywriter, art director, creative director, film director, actor, television station owner, worldwide creative director of Ogilvy and most recently, Godfather and worldwide creative director of WPP.
Now which department does he belong to?:-)

2. On BBH and Mother - "They're not so micro, actually! And what they bring to the party is freshness and an absence of what can only be described as bureaucracy. What clients want increasingly is an idea that will grab the audience. The question remains to be answered, whether the clients themselves will allow the leaps into the unknown that the step involves. It's too soon to tell, but the worst thing that could happen is that they get a smaller version of what they already had..."

3. On now his infamous comment that "women creatives are crap!" - Of course, I didn't say “Women are crap;” that's just the press getting hysterical and as usual failing to do any checking. However, men can't bear children and women can. If a woman in the early stages of her career decides she can do both jobs well, and that there's no price to pay, she's mistaken. I've had forty years of experience in this job, and there are NO exceptions. Nobody has a God-given right to a job or a job-title; it takes hard work and commitment. I'm all for sexual equality, but that means equality...not a free ride on the basis of gender, or for that matter race, religion, or whatever.

4. On long copy ads - Long copy has always been the most effective way of selling in the press. The 'direct' business has always known this. A reasoned argument will always beat a snappy headline with no backup. The present fashion for a big picture and a logo was started by agencies in non-English-speaking countries who realised that they were at a disadvantage in award shows. The format was adopted by everyone else because it seemed easier and required little in the way of actual work. It's one of the reasons that the press is now regarded as a second-class medium. That is sad and needs to be re-addressed. But the growth of the net is a good sign...you must be able to read.

5. On his future book - Haven't thought about it. Unless I get a decent advance and a contract, I'm not interested. Lots of publishers want to put something out, but unless there's money involved, why would I bother?

6. On the future for Asian Advertising - Nothing very exciting. Asia is no different to anywhere else, I have to tell you. If anything great emerges, I'll be delighted, but do remember that agencies all over the world are beavering away as we write.

7. On future plans - Oh, my blood is flowing. I just checked. Advertising isn't the only thing in life, you know. And it's not the only way to make a living. It just happens to be the thing I know best. As I said earlier, I'm not actually dead yet, and the amount of response I've had from ad people throughout the world has been very flattering. My problem is not what to do next, but what NOT to do!

A bit sad that after a long career in advertising he will probably be remembered most by two quotes "women creatives are crap" and "death by blog."
You can read the complete interview at the adobo website

Neil French’s website is http://www.neilfrench.com
Picture Source : www.kleinerfisch.com

3 comments:

svety said...

Check out 2 of the new adidas ads on my blog and do comment.
And, why aren't u updating as frequently nowadays?

Manish said...

hi svety....was in Patna with Neo...that shud partly explain the infrequent updates!

am bak... the day has been very busy... will definitely check the ads and let u know...
cheers

Rajesh Kumar said...

Interesting post..