It was two days of photographing a dairy farm in Wisconsin.
The good ones are gone, now all that’s left is the sad assortment you take to the office. Here’s what went first:
1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (That’s not a cup, that’s a crown. Reese’s are king–always have been.)
2. Baby Ruth (It honors a great baseball player, shush you finicky historians.)
3. Snickers (I love a Snickers Bar, always have, but I only eat the things around Halloween, and this goes for ALL candy, I only have a tepid lust for sugar. That said, Snickers and I are close. What strengthens this bond, this friendship I have with the brand, is the marketing. The ads are funny. I see them as entertainment, and I’m never bothered by an interruption of the silly humor. Original ideas, good writing, good execution, and truly funny. You can tell the brand takes their humor seriously. So do I. What a match we are.
I believe Snickers and I are the perfect example of a good consumer/marketing relationship. It’s a good product–of course, but I like being around them, just like I like being around certain people I have screened to become my good friends. There’s no difference, every time I’m with a good friend, I always have a confirmation that that person is important to me, and I like their ‘company’, same with Snickers, or any brand I feel ‘brand loyalty’. Would I stop eating Snickers if all of a sudden they made a radical change and became the voice of figure skating? No, I would still consume them, but I wouldn’t hand them out on Halloween. I wouldn’t give them the victory at the supermarket when I load up on the candy I’m about to give away to the neighborhood. I wouldn’t do that for Almond Joy.
4. 3 Musketeers. (Have always loved the name, it suits my masculine essence. But Mars, why did you have to go and take the three guys off the packaging?)
5. Peanut M&M’s. (I do enjoy a confection with nut.)
6. Crunch. (Got loads of these this year, HAD to eat them, just because they got in the way of everything else. And tell me, do I detect coconut in there?)
7. M&M’s (Yawn, but you can’t knock a classic. Nice colors.)
8. Twizzlers (No one gives out black licorice anymore! WTF?)
9. Milk Duds (Good, but too chewy, I don’t worry about losing a filling; I don’t have any, but I do worry about losing molars.)
10. Smarties (A real journeyman. And back in the day, when I was hitting the junk hard, this would rank 2-ish)
Note 1: Always last to go: Almond Joy. (Who eats these things??)
Note 2: Did not see one Milky Way this year. (Who’d a thunk?)
Note 3: I Love Good & Plenty, and it’s sibling, “Fruity”, but have not seen either one of them in years. (sad face)
(pictured above, Jolly Rancher)
"No one cares about quality anymore." I heard that line three times, in a span of three days, from three different people in regards to commercial production. You hear it from the old producers the most. They're the ones crying over their late night beers in the sports lounge at the Holiday Inn Express, dreaming of the days when they were yakking it up with Billy Joel in the elevator at Shutters.
But I don't believe it for one second. It's confusing, for everyone-still. Brands can't keep up. The focus is on followers, likers. You got them, now you have to keep them happy and entertained 24/7. Ever hear dead air on a radio program?
On the other end of that, you have to consider how slow the agency and client are moving on their decisions to put every little thing out there. Only the entire world will see/judge it.... I'll admit, it's been a while since I was an agency man, so I ask, what is the approval process for a Coca-Cola Instagram?
As the portals become more robust, better resources and more money will be put toward them. It'll be tough for some big brands, but eventually they will stop rationalizing their amateurish media as "organic" and "real", and grow up.
It's inevitable. Human nature is on our side, an innate desire, for better.
The bowling ball-sized pill we creators have to swallow is, that truism the old producer sitting at the bar always preaches, "Time, budget, quality; pick two."
How important is the PICTURE? In terms of marketing, a logical place to find the answer to that question would be to dissect the most recognizable and effective brand campaign in the history of marketing, Marlboro. What is the Marlboro campaign, but artful pictures of cowboys in a mythic version of the American West? I'm not oversimplifying anything when I state the fact that Marlboro has sold billions of dollars worth of product by using three ingredients: a picture, a logo, and a tag ("Come to where the flavor is", "This is Marlboro Country"). Talk about, "keep it simple"! And, they've been doing it for 58 years (still going strong in Eastern Europe and Asia). But, not just any picture; the right one, and one that's, powerful, likable, believable, original, memorable, authentic, branded, story-lined, consistent, strategic, aspirational, and extraordinary. In marketing, words are overrated. Words take too long. Pictures tell a story in an international language, and if a cigarette brand isn't convincing enough, then we can discuss Apple, Nike, or many other industry leading brands that depend on and thrive, on their good looks.
Setting up for the Verizon/NHL shoot. A loud and public thank you goes out to all the fine folks at, mcgarrybowen, Verizon, and the NHL. ECD: Russell Lambrecht, CD: Russell Heubach, ACD: Christian Duffy, AD: Marc Del Vecchio, Art Buyer: Kayte Geldzahler. And of course all the pros. Scott Hartnell, Claude Giroux, Dustin Brown, Jonathan Quick, Matt Green, Jarrett Stoll.