Robertson says he finds himself agreeing with P&G's Jim Stengel's public pronouncements about thinking of marketing communications as permission based. "More and more, it's not going to be about the amount of time you can buy, but the amount of time you can earn," says Robertson, who demonstrates that infuriating flair for both deep insight and the excellent soundbite. The statement is a big one, and one expects that the agency will do more to make it meaningful than just making better commercials than BBDO's already fine commercials.
The idea of earning consumers' attention brings me once again to the idea of storytelling, which represents such an important part of what people in this business do (as noted by Wieden + Kennedy's ad school manifesto on p. 70: "What is a brand? It's a good story."). And that in turn brings me, inexorably, to the No Spot Creativity Film Festival. The event is designed to celebrate the creative skills of the writers, designers, editors, directors, art directors, producers and others in the industry, unleashed from the parameters of a commercial and loosed on the short-film format. Even we couldn't have anticipated the stellar quality of many of the entries. From a pool of nearly 150 entries, judges narrowed the field to 20 finalists and then to the 13 films that will make up the No Spot program that will screen at the event (see www.adcritic.com/nospot for details). A new film from top director Bryan Buckley will also screen.
Judges came from agencies, commercials production companies, feature film production companies, talent agencies, development companies and branded content concerns-in other words, a full complement of people who are more and more players in the brand communications landscape. As the ad world becomes an ever more fertile field from which Hollywood can pick filmmaking talent, and spot companies look for new ways to nurture and showcase their directors, the festival represents a handy new-talent hub for all concerned.
And new talent is at the heart of another new report we're introducing in Creativity this month-the Ad School Review. With the future of the industry riding on the artful creation of new forms of brand messages and experiences, the future of the industry's talent becomes an area of greater interest, and there is much to indicate that having, as one creative recruiter puts it, a nice print portfolio full of ads for Vietnamese Tourism won't be enough. In this report, we take a quick look at what ad schools are doing, in their words, and in the words of creative recruiters and students, to prepare the way. An expanded version of the Ad School Review will be found on our website, AdCritic.com. Click on the Creativity cover to find this report and other content from the issue.