A creative network of the idea, by the idea, for the idea

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Request to Account Services: Be a Lando Carlissian

I remember watching "The Empire Strikes Back" in 1980, fully engaged in the story and the characters. You know? Dreaming to be like Han Solo or Luke, living exciting adventures fighting storm troopers and Darth Vader.

I remember being afraid of Darth Vader and the dark side.

I can still recall the disappointment, betrayal really, that I felt when Lando Carlissian surprisingly turns our heroes into hands of the empire.

Being young dreamer I couldn't understand how he could betray their friendship for money. And why Han Solo could've trusted Landon, after everything they had gone through together. (remember Landon won the Millennium Falcon from Han in a game of sabacc)

Landon was supposed to be on the side of the Rebels, the good guys. And their friendship meant more even now that the universe was fighting for its freedom. So his betrayal to his friend and to the cause was devastating.

But perhaps one of the best moments of any Star Wars movie is when Landon changes his mind and he helps Chewbacca, Princess Leia Organa, R2-D2 and C-3PO escape. He later on assists Leia in rescuing a maimed Luke Skywalker from the underside of Cloud City.

Few things make us happier than an old friend who left us joining back the force.

Please, see the Carlissian within you and come back to our side. I know that playing both sides feels safe. But believe me, we want you back, fighting by our side, for the good of ideas and the future of marketing.

Join our Rebel Alliance. We need you.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The creativity behind company names.

Naming a company is a fascinating exercise that requires vision, creativity and a sharp knowledge of vocabulary, right?


Most companies show a surprising lack of originality. And most fall under three well defined categories: Companies named after the owner's names. Comapny names formed following a combination of names. And third; acronyms created by the first letter of a long series of words.

Owner's names:
  • Adidas – from the name of the founder Adolf (Adi) Dassler
  • Boeing – named after founder William E. Boeing.
  • Black & Decker – named after founders S. Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker.
  • Bang & Olufsen – from the names of its founders, Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen, who met at a School of Engineering in Denmark.
  • Mattel – a portmanteau of the founders names Harold "Matt" Matson and Elliot Handler.
  • Taco Bell – named after founder Glen Bell
Combination of names or words:
  • Alfa Romeo – the company was originally known as ALFA, an acronym for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili. When Nicola Romeo bought ALFA in 1915, his surname was appended.
  • 3Com – Network technology producer; the three coms are computer, communication, and compatibility
  • Accenture – from "Accent on the future". The name Accenture was proposed by a company employee in Norway as part of an internal name finding process.
  • AOL – from America Online.
  • Cisco – short for San Francisco. It has also been suggested that it was "CIS-co": Computer Information Services was the department at Stanford University where the founders worked.
  • Coca-Cola – derived from the coca leaves and kola nuts used as flavoring. Coca-Cola creator John S. Pemberton changed the 'K' of kola to 'C' to make the name look better.
  • Duane Reade – named after Duane and Reade Streets in lower Manhattan, where the chain's first warehouse was located.
  • Skype – the original concept for the name was Sky-Peer-to-Peer, which morphed into Skyper, then Skype
  • ASICS – an acronym for Anima Sana In Corpore Sano, which, translated from Latin, means "Healthy soul in a healthy body".
  • BMWBayerische Motoren Werke
  • CVSConvenience Value Service.
  • GEICO – from Government Employees Insurance Company
  • IBM – named by Tom (Thomas John) Watson Sr, an ex-employee of National Cash Register (NCR Corporation). To one-up them in all respects, he called his company International Business Machines.
  • Qantas – from its original name, Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services.
  • WPP – Global advertising and marketing company. Originally called Wire and Plastic Products.
Random or/and Original:
  • Amazon.com – founder Jeff Bezos renamed the company Amazon (from the earlier name of Cadabra.com) after the world's most voluminous river, the Amazon. He saw the potential for a larger volume of sales in an online (as opposed to a bricks and mortar) bookstore. (Alternative: Amazon was chosen to cash in on the popularity of Yahoo, which listed entries alphabetically.)
  • Apple – For the favorite fruit of co-founder Steve Jobs and/or for the time he worked at an apple orchard, and to distance itself from the cold, unapproachable, complicated imagery created by other computer companies at the time – which had names such as IBM, DEC, Cincom and Tesseract
  • Google – an originally accidental misspelling of the word googol and settled upon because google.com was unregistered. Googol was proposed to reflect the company's mission to organize the immense amount of information available online.
  • Häagen-Dazs – Name was invented in 1961 by ice-cream makers Reuben and Rose Mattus of the Bronx "to convey an aura of the old-world traditions and craftsmanship. The name has no meaning.
  • Kodak – Both the Kodak camera and the name were the invention of founder George Eastman. The letter "K" was a favorite with Eastman; he felt it a strong and incisive letter. He tried out various combinations of words starting and ending with "K". He saw three advantages in the name. It had the merits of a trademark word, would not be mis-pronounced and the name did not resemble anything in the art. There is a misconception that the name was chosen because of its similarity to the sound produced by the shutter of the camera.
  • Lego – combination of the Danish "leg godt", which means to "play well".[37] Lego also means "I put together" in Latin, but Lego Group claims this is only a coincidence and the etymology of the word is entirely Danish. Years before the little plastic brick was invented, Lego manufactured wooden toys.
  • Pepsi – named from the digestive enzyme pepsin.
  • Virgin – founder Richard Branson started a magazine called Student while still at school. In his autobiography, Losing My Virginity, Branson says that when they were starting a business to sell records by mail order, "one of the girls suggested: 'What about Virgin? We're complete virgins at business.'"

You can see a larger list in Wikipedia

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The perfect brief.

I've been thinking about writing this post for a long time. But it never quite materialize in my head.
Its difficult because a brief is a interesting instrument. Most people agree on having one but few people know how build it properly.
The Planning Lab blog has put together a review of 4 briefs. From Saatchi and Saatchi, Falon, BBH and CP+B.

This is a summary of his comments:

Pros: Good amount of elements. Requires structured thinking.

Cons: One simple proposition might not always be the solution.

Verdict: My favourite brief for standard projects. Gets the job done. 7/10.


Pros: Openess allows for flexibility and creativity.

Cons: Quality will depend solely on who writes the brief.

Verdict: Will only be better than your standard brief template when there’s a sharp mind behind the pen, and it will not work when you have a hangover. 6.5/10


Pros: Focus on the task rather than the message allows for creative flexibility.

Cons: No focus on HOW the communication should be to be effective allows for free interpretation of how a problem can be solved.

Verdict: A modern creative brief template that covers most areas while still allowing for creativity, but not that inspiring to be honest. 8/10.


Pros: Puts pressure on planner to deliver psychological insights and on CD to deliver a workable concept.

Cons: Less creative freedom for creative teams in terms of creating a big idea themselves.

Verdict: Phenomenal, I love it. 9.5/10.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

8 things I wish I had known when I started in advertising.

To save energy and to keep my mind.

I wish this post was about the corporate values my parents tough me:
Work hard, you'll get far.
Learn as much as you can, people will look up to you.
Managers know the way.
Your principles will prevail.

These are great lessons about the way the world is supposed to be. But in my experience the world rarely is the way we want it to be. The world is complex, office politics complicated and most people are just passing by.

This is why I want to share this list with you; The 8 things that would have made my life easier when I started as a creative in advertising.

  1. You are a creative. You have the best job in the world. Brainstorm, read, share ideas and have fun. Do as little politics as possible. Believe me, there is always someone above you who can take of that.
  2. The Account services dept. doesn't care about the creative idea. They care about the client, and unless the client cares about ideas and creativity, AS won't do it. Save yourself some disappointments and don't expect too much creative input from them.
  3. Look at the big idea picture. I know you worked hard to come up with cool creative ideas, but don't spend too much time defending the small stuff. Keep you eye on the big idea. You'll be happier.
  4. All agencies and all accounts are the same. Believe me, they are. Clients are demanding, the time line sucks, the brief lacks depth, the agency politics interfere with true innovation and the hard, talented workers hardly get the credit.
  5. People is what makes the difference. When choosing an agency to work for, look for chemistry, soul mates and mentors. As a creative you need to feel confident to screw up, say the crazy thing and share your soul every day with the people you work with.
  6. 20% of the people do 80% of the work. Be part of the 20% no matter what. Because you are doing it for you, your own satisfaction, your career and your principles. Don't pay attention to the 80% downloading music, playing Foosball or watching youtube. Stay focus on your work.
  7. Don't take it personal. Believe it or not, most times is not personal. Most times its mediocrity.
  8. Know what drives each department. Account services=make client happy and timeline. Finance=money. Production=Budget and timeline. Traffic=timeline and paperwork. Planners= strategy and originality. Clients=their brand. When you know their interest, you know what to expect from each one.
I hope this list of insights helps you to be a happier creative, because at the end, that's all that matters.