He was on the telly the other day. Novelist to watch on the Culture Show. He oozes class.
Ben, do you agree with him on FCUK?
Ta for sharing this, Ben.
I love this section:
“In advertising, words are the servant of the argument. Choosing the precise word is important, but I don’t use words to impress the audience by their strangeness or the their intellectual quality. Good plain words usually work better. The language we use in advertising should serve the argument. [It should] not stand out in sense that makes on think, “Oh my God, that’s well-written.” It’s like typography. If something is well-written, you walk in and out, you don’t notice that it’s well-written. You just know you’re into the ad, and you’re liking what they’re saying. You might buy this product or go on that cruise ship or whatever. We’re not poets, we are salesmen.”
So right. And represents for me the difference between properly good advertising and the creative cartwheels that you often see people doing these days.
To your post the other day about awards, if current ad awards juries recognised what Mr Abbott is talking about above and didn’t just award self-conscious and self-congratulatory ‘creadividee!’ I’d have a bit more respect for them.
Great line, “We’re not poets, we are salesmen”.
FCUK was a great campaign.
Move on Grandad.
Love that this is from over 10 years ago and as relevant today as ever.
I went to meet David at his office last month. He was excellent company and we had a great chat about writing novels, publishing and ethics in agencies.
He said that things were very different these days – much harder to get good work out. But he explained how AMV became the biggest and most successful agency in the UK. What it basically came down to was protecting the excellence of the creative output.
But now that no one really does that to the extent he did, it doesn’t really matter in terms of anyone being better (bigger) than anyone else (that’s my point, not his).
Thanks for that Ben. Made me remember why it was I fell in love with this industry.
The FCUK thing? I’m not sure. I don’t think there’s anything intrinsically wrong with so-called swearing, but I do understand that, as with nudity, it does offend some people and make them uncomfortable.
Perhaps if we all were less bum-poo-tit-willy it would be a non-issue.
David is right, however, that it was somewhat cynical.
Has anyone sent you this yet?
Can you not type it all out so it’s easier to read?
Ben, a friend said he found some spunk in a creative dept. bathroom stall recently. How about bringing back the weekly poll to ask the question: “How many of you have had a wank at work?”
“But now that no one really does that to the extent he did, it doesn‚Äôt really matter in terms of anyone being better (bigger) than anyone else”
It‚Äôs just another way of saying that it doesn‚Äôt matter where you go, the shit will follow you.
What was he like as a boss, Ben?
Unrelated: I don’t know how to do polls on WordPress, but if I ever work it out that will be the first question.
Toni: Peter Souter was the actual boss (hiring and firing etc.). David was more of a CD you showed work to. He was excellent, but you couldn’t help being a bit awed.
The one exchange I remember was when we did a Millennium Bug pitch. Our idea was based on Pac Man eating up lots of useful stuff, so I said that the character used the sounds of Pac Man, who was this video game character from the 80s.
David looked at me like I’d just described an apple. ‘I know who Pac Man is,’ he said.
But then God is omniscient.
Abbot confirms it – standup comedy is the answer to everything!
what a cool dude David Abbbott is. had the good luck to meet him a couple of times. a true gentleman. and he’s a catholic! what more could you ask?
Hey Ben, thanks for sharing it!
[…] « Dans la communication publicitaire, les mots sont les serviteurs de l’argumentation. Choisir le mot juste est important, mais je n’utilise pas les mots pour impressionner l’audience pour leur étrangeté ou leur qualité intellectuelle. Des mots simples font généralement davantage l’affaire. Le langage que nous utilisons dans la communication publicitaire devrait servir l’argumentation. Il ne devrait pas se démarquer de telle sorte qu’on en dise « oh mon Dieu, c’est très bien écrit ». C’est comme la typographie. Si quelque chose est bien écrit, vous lisez et relisez, vous ne remarquez pas que c’est bien écrit. Vous savez juste que vous « êtes » dans la pub, et vous appréciez ce qu’ils disent. Vous pourriez même acheter le produit… Nous ne sommes pas des poètes, nous sommes des commerciaux. » – David Abbott, publicitaire britannique […]
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