Our world is changing. Advertising agencies blew the web opportunity the first time around, but they’re not going to let this happen again. They’re smart. They understand communication. They can run persuasive rings around BJ Fogg. And they’ve been doing user research since before Jakob Nielsen was born.
If you’re considering a job as an IA or UX professional at a traditional ad agency, you don’t want to miss this session.
Ad agencies generally stayed out of the blast range when the dot.bomb went off. And they’ve since waited patiently. Happily, most ad folks still haven’t got a clue as to what IAs do. But when they finally do “get it,” we are either going to learn to get along with them or find ourselves relegated to an unenviable group of semi-human subcontractors — a status otherwise reserved for printers, layouters, and the gopher who delivers lunch each day.
The last couple of years, IAs have learned to appreciate business thinkers like Philip Kottler and Peter Drucker. Now it’s time to get acquainted with the ad industry’s pioneers: Claude Hopkins, John Caples, Rosser Reeves, Bill Bernbach, and David Ogilvy.
This presentation will take a closer look at what ad agencies consider “good” advertising, how they interpret “concept,” and why our notion of “proof of concept” is completely nonsensical in the world of advertising. I’ll show you some successful campaigns and some award-winning campaigns — these are not necessarily the same thing — and explain out why these are admired or condemned by so-called “creatives” at ad agencies.
Together, we’ll explore why advertising creatives despise web types in general and usability folks in particular. You’ll find out why stuff that “works” on screen doesn’t work in print ads — and vice versa. And I’ll dispel some of the popular myths about advertising, such as “all advertising is good advertising.”
Why the Mad Men are Mad at Us [ 41:17 ] Play Now | Play in Popup | Download
Brought to you by
The 2014 IA Summit podcasts were recorded and produced by the fantastic team at UIE. UIE is a research and training company that brings you the latest thinking from the top experts in the world of User Experience Design. UIE’s virtual seminars allow you to get your hands on that information, to absorb as much as you can, on your schedule. Of course, you can keep up with all the shenanigans by signing up for UIE’s free newsletter, UIEtips.
Eric Reiss: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for getting up at 9:30 on a Sunday morning. I realized that this is what we call in the industry the death slot because you’ve been karaoke-ing until four in the morning. I figured I’d bribe you with Bloody Mary’s. Some of you have Bloody Mary’s. Very good. We do what we can.
Bribery is how advertising works, completely disreputable profession. How many of you watch "Mad Men" on TV? Quite a few of you. For those of you who don’t, both of you, [laughs] you can be an ad man, which means you work for an advertising agency, but most of the advertising agencies were centered on and around Madison Avenue in New York.
That’s where Mad Men come from. It’s not necessarily because they’re angry, but I was quite pleased that I got this picture of Don Draper because he looked very very upset.
I want to introduce you to Jacques SÃƒÂ©guÃƒÂ©la, who you probably never heard of. He was Francois Mitterrand’s Director of Communications when Francois Mitterrand was President of France. SÃƒÂ©guÃƒÂ©la is credited with having said, "Don’t tell my mother I work in advertising. She thinks I play the piano in a whore house." [laughter] I mean that’s where advertising sits in the grand scheme of things.
I’ve won a lot of awards. I’ve been nominated for a Cleo. I’ve been in this business for a long time. And I’m pretty good at what I do. But what really gives me the authority to speak about advertising is that I actually have played piano in a whore house. [laughter] I think I’m the only person in advertising who’s a…
Big Al mother’s head had a whore house above a flea market in St. Louis. Above his…never mind. It was a very depressing experience. If any one of you are contemplating a career change, let me tell you playing piano in a whore house on a Saturday afternoons is not a good thing.
This is nap time. There are no customers. I’m the only person who has ever worked at a whore house and left a virgin. [laughter] That’s how bad it was. What can I say? But it gives me a unique insight into advertising, somehow. You work that out.
Advertise means to notify, to call public attention, especially in order to sell. This is a notice from ancient Thebes, about 1300 BC. "For the return of my slave to the shop of Hapu the weaver, a whole gold coin is offered."
This is communication. Hapu the weaver was not content with just trying to advertise that he wanted his slave back. Instead, "The shop of Hapu the weaver, where the best cloth is woven to your desires." It’s the earliest ad I could find. Hapu just couldn’t resist saying, "Hey, I’m really good at what I do." That’s advertising.
Our problem in the UX community — how many of you actually have worked at advertising agencies? Surprising number. OK, good. Then I hope you’ll agree with this. Maybe this is just my own perspective, but I think it’s true, and if you think I’m full of shit, just call out or have another bloody Mary or go to see Jon Kolko. Whatever.
The problem I’ve experienced is that if we do not understand how the Don Drapers of the world think, we can’t really expect them to understand how we think. There is a tremendous schism between what we do in UX and IA and what people in advertising do. That’s what I wanted to introduce you to today, so that you’ll understand why the advertising industry consistently fucks up and why we have so much trouble trying to communicate our message.
There are three good ways to ensure that we never get invited back to that table. The first is — and these are real bullets, by the way. These are Remington self-loaders. Insisting that we invented user research, misunderstanding the concept of "concept," and finally, humiliating established art directors. That’s about the worst thing you can possibly do.
Let’s take a look at this brief history of advertising. We all know that Jakob Nielsen invented user testing. Jakob. The truth is that… [laughter] Right. This is an advertisement, written by a fellow by the name of John Caples back in 1925. As you can see, it’s a coupon ad. There’s rather a lot of copy text. "They laughed when I sat down at the piano, but when I started to play…"
This advertisement taught the United States how to play the piano. In the days before we had Netflix and whatever, people had to make their own entertainment. They learned to sing and they learned to play the piano and other things.
John Caples’ ad ran for almost 50 years with incredible success. They changed the visuals, they updated it and so on. But the point is, this is probably one of the most effective coupon ads in the history of advertising.
"Tested Advertising Methods," now in it’s fifth edition. It has been in print since 1932. This is the man that invented A/B testing. Do not go into an advertising agency and start to lecture them on testing. We know this. We know this. Except nothing is true about what works best in UX, until it has been scientifically tested. 1932. Let’s move on. OK, because we understand research.
This ad was written by Claude Hopkins in 1908. Now, Claude Hopkins was approached by the Van Camp’s company. The Van Camp’s got their start during the Civil War in the United States in the 1860s. They could put things in tins and they wouldn’t spoil. This was very good, because you could give the tins to the troops and they could open them with bayonets — this is before can openers, by the way — and they got a hearty meal.
Pork and beans, which became the signature product for Van Camp’s, is actually very difficult to make. What Hopkins did was, well, he went down to the diners, he went down to the docks. He talked to the people who ate pork and beans and he talked to the people who made pork and beans to try and find out why this was good.
Try our rivals, too. He’s not scared. He’s not scared of this at all. He spent a lot of time talking to these people. He wrote two books, "My Life in Advertising," and "Scientific Advertising." Now, listen to this. "Talk to the people who are going to buy your product, this is the first step in any successful campaign." 1930.
How many of you are still fighting with your employers or your clients to get them to do years of research? Thank you. Well, if you go into an advertising agency, don’t start talking about this, because the advertising people understand this.
We’ve got BJ Fogg, he talks about question, and Kristina Halvorson, she has taught us about content.
David Ogilvy wrote this ad in 1960 to introduce the Rolls-Royce to North America. "At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock." To which the engineers at Rolls-Royce said, "We’ve got to do something about that damn clock."
It’s a long ad. There is a lot of content on that page and yet, it introduced a brand to the United States which today is an icon for classy cars.
He wrote two books, Mr. Ogilvy. The first was the "Confessions of an Advertising Man." This was the first time that anyone actually started to talk about advertising in public, because we all play pianos in whorehouses.
This book, "Ogilvy on Advertising," if you have not read it, order it today and read it. Because it will keep you out of a lot of very eggy situations when you deal with advertising people. It’s a very easy, readable book and I beg you to take this seriously, because this man knew what it was about.
Listen to this. "What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form." Content strategy? Come on, darlings. Old wine in new bottles. Let’s meet a couple of other people. This is Rosser Reeves, he talks about the USP. How many of you have been shown a list of USPs by your clients? Quite a few. Your clients are assholes.
Do you know what USP stands for? Unique selling proposition. Unique means one. It’s not a fucking feature list. How many of you remember the Creative Zen? None of you. The Creative Zen came out around 1999. It was a five-gigabyte MP3 player with a really good algorithm. You remember.
Audience Member: It was a brick.
Eric: It wasn’t so much a brick, Michael. Excuse me?
[audience member speaks]
Eric: Yeah, that’s right. It was round and it was purple and whatever, and they advertised it as, "We are a five-gigabit MP3 player." In a whole room of geeks, virtually none of us remember it.
How many of you know what an iPod is? Oh, amazing. The iPod understood the concept of the USP. Thousands of songs in your pocket. That’s a USP. Rosser Reeves came up with this. Does anyone know what the tag line is for M and Ms?
Audience Members: [together] Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.
Eric: Amazing. Amazing. After 60 years, half of this room remembers what Rosser Reeves wrote. Very good.
This is Leo Burnett. He started an agency in Chicago. He talked about finding the drama. He invented the Marlboro Man — who died of lung cancer, by the way. He also invented the Jolly Green Giant and he invented Tony the Tiger. We’ll get back to Leo. He’s an important figure.
Bill Bernbach, one of the few Jews in an otherwise WASP-dominated industry, to all people of color, women, this is a very closed arena. I apologize for that. That’s just the way it is, and let’s try and change that. If you say, "Why are there no blacks or Asians or whatever?" it’s because these people, these groups, have not necessarily been able to get into this industry.
I think that is absolutely despicable. 30 years after the Equal Rights Amendment, we still have problems getting women into advertising and getting people of color and so on. This is not good.
Bill Bernbach started to change that. How many of you know DDB? Have you heard..? Well, that’s Doyle Dane Bernbach. Meet Mr. Bernbach. He was the one who came up with "we try harder." He also did the Volkswagen campaign. Actually, he was smart enough to hire this woman, Phyllis Robinson, to walk the Volkswagen campaign. Not only did they start hiring Jews, they started hiring women. That was kind of interesting. DDB, God bless you. Thank you for that. You started to change things.
I want to introduce you to the Mattel See and Say. How many of you are familiar with this? Oh, good. How many of you are not familiar with this? Why? Mike Atherton, what kind of a cave do you live in that you’ve never seen a See and Say?
Mike Atherton: I was raised by wolves.
Eric: He was raised by wolves. [laughter]
Eric: I believe that you know this man brought me bear meat from Helsinki. [laughs]
Well, as a public service, not for you lot, but only for Mike Atherton, I actually have a See and Say. [laughter and applause]
This is the most well-traveled See and Say in the world. I bought it on eBay. It was made in China. Apparently it’s crossed the Pacific. It ended up in Iowa, and then they sent it to my home in Denmark, and it’s been across the Atlantic several times now. It’s more traveled than most people in Davenport. [laughs]
Now, see, Mike, let me show you how this works. See, we have different animals here, OK? Pick an animal.
Mike: I think maybe a coyote.
Eric: A coyote. Oh, excellent. Excellent. A very good choice. We point the thing at the coyote, and then pull that string. [sound of string being pulled] It is quite wonderful, and the duck goes and the dog goes. Oh, the consultant goes, "It depends." [laughter]
This is the See and Say. In advertising, we consider the See and Say absolutely to be the lowest form of advertising. Absolutely useless. Let me explain why. I spent all night working on this. It’s the first animated GIF I’ve ever done. You’re saying, "What was that about?" That was the problem in a nutshell. See, we’ll do it again. See?
That is a See and Say. We’ll do it again. [laughter] I’m quite proud of that.
Thank you. Thank you. In the communications industry, we talk about something called AIDA. That’s the model — awareness, interest, desire, and action.
When you have 1.7 seconds and you’re trying to get people to read your advertisement while they’re leafing through a magazine, you need to catch their attention. Then you have to make it interesting in some way. At one point, you want them to actually desire your product and actually go to the store or fill out the coupon or call the toll-free number, whatever course of action you’ve given them.
Now, the thing is, there’s a line that runs through this, and this is where the advertising agencies and those of us in interactive media go in different directions, because the traditional art directors think that if they’re going to do a website, they have to start with awareness. The point is, nobody goes into a website or downloads an app by accident. "Well, I wanted to see what the weather was going to be like in San Diego, but OK, I’ll buy a new suitcase. All right." It doesn’t work that way.
This is a critical divide, that the advertising industry does not understand, and this is where we start to fight with the art directors. It’s sad, but this is what we do.
Now, back to Leo Burnett. This is absolutely interesting. The secret of all effective originality in advertising is not the creation of new and tricky words and pictures but of putting familiar words and pictures into new relationships. That is good advertising, and that does not mean a See and Say.
All you IAs, what would you label this picture?
Audience Member: Landscape.
Audience Member: Landscape.
Eric: Right. What kind of a landscape?
Audience Member: Winter.
Eric: Winter landscape. Good. This is what we do. A link is a promise. When you click on winter landscape you expect to come to a page that will deal with a winter landscape. Do we agree on this?
Would this catch anybody’s attention of they’re leafing through a magazine? No, so instead we’ll do something else. Scene of the crime. No blood, no footprints, this is fascinating. We have got to…what do they mean by "Scene of the crime?"
This is what we do in advertising, but if you use "Scene of the crime" as a link, it’s not going to work. The things that make us good online are exactly the things that make us shit offline. The advertising people think that what makes them brilliant offline also apply online and it doesn’t work. That is the problem. Here are some things that are not See and Says.
HSBC, the Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corporation has had the longest running and most successful advertising campaign in the history of financial advertising.
This is beautiful. In the future, there will be no difference between waste in energy and they’ve got banana peels as windmills. This is lovely. Very clever. A fish with a bar code. In the future, transport networks will think for themselves.
In terms of a See and Say, look at this, wonderful. Style, soldier, survivor. That’s a see and say, but they’ve given it a twist. Only by understanding what people value can we better meet their needs. This is good advertising. This is lovely, [foreign language] . "There are better car rental agency than sixth." This is on a jet-way at an airport, and so Pinocchio’s nose grows as the thing expands. Lovely, lovely way.
What makes the See and Say the lowest for advertising, basically these things rely on eye-catching irrelevancies. [background noise] See, there was absolutely no point to bring a spitfire into this, but this is the kind of thing that bad advertisers do. Are you the picture of health?
This is HP, you would think that a company like HP knew better, but apparently not. Their advertising sucks. I’m sorry. We’re here in San Diego, but I’m not going to pull any punches. They have some of the shittiest advertising out there.
Pop quiz, Australia, ahead by leaps and bounds. What do you think is in the visual? Kanga-fucking-roos, absolutely. [laughter] This is, without question, one of the most talent-less ads ever produced. Happily, this is only for the invest in Australia company.
The tourists board does stuff. They like…"Hey, we’ve shampooed the camels and we’ve laid on a great sunset, so where the hell are you?" You know, "Where the bloody hell are you?" They do good ads. This is crap. You can also force a See and Say. This is quite odd. This is like a Coke machine. A cold drink would be nice, but it would be great if I could find a product to help me develop more profitable customer relationships. [laughter]
I didn’t Photoshop this crap. Don’t be a victim. This is Toshiba, you think they’d know better. They’re talking about the cost of toner, and what’s happened is this photo copier has come and snatched her purse. Words cannot describe.
"This is quite a writing for global markets, bring the words of the world to your fingertips." She has a map, two desks, and she’s apparently typing on both of them at the same time. Bloody hell. Illustrations, OK. This is from the UPA Conference.
The UPA sometimes does it right, usually they do it wrong. Patterns, blueprints for usability, it’s on the edge. This is a Time magazine from a couple of years ago during the first presidential election for Obama. "The race is on."
This is a good headline, but if they had said, "Darling, you need a bloody Mary very, very much. Are you OK? You…OK, good." Who needs a bloody Mary by the way at this point? Everyone. All right. They’re there. They’re there. They’re there.
The bar is open. You know, just get up and get them. You know, ignore me. I’m just going to waffle on until…if they had said, "The race to the White House is on" it probably would have been too close. OK, but this is acceptable.
You can also use it for logos. For example, wines. If we take something like Chateau Margaux, what is on the label? A picture of the chateau. If we take Frog’s Leap, what is on the label of Frog’s Leap? Come on, we’re in California.
A leaping frog. If I say, "There’s a wine called, Red Truck," what do you think is on the label? A red truck. OK, that’s fine. These are logos. Sex sells. Now, all of you women who think that advertising is sexist, I want to introduce you to Helen Resor, because she’s the fault.
She married Stanley Resor, who bought an agency called, "J Walter Thompson" in 1916," and in 1917, she started selling woodbury soap, "A skin you love to touch." Some of the sexiest ads ever done at the time of the first world war.
It’s Helen’s fault that we have sex in advertising, so don’t blame it on the men. H&M. My god, they sell sex like nobody’s business. Just, you know, to try and even the playing field, we also have men in their pictures. This one I rather like.
[laughter] This company sells faux fur bags, and if you buy their bag they contribute part of their revenue to protection of animals and so on. The best part of this ad is if you buy that particular purse, you can get a bikini wax. [laughter]
In the advertising industry, we talk about babies, boobs, and beagles. That’s what sells. "We double dog dare you," it has absolutely nothing to do with the ad itself. We just have a cute kid, and so he’s the eye-catching irrelevancy, but there are better ways to do it.
This is Michelin. This is slightly better. Michelin, "Because so much is riding on your tires." The next one is absolutely bloody brilliant.
"Children of parents who smoke go to heaven earlier." That’s a good ad. They got the kid in there, they’re getting the attention, and they’re selling the message. This is the American Red Cross for god sakes. [laughter]
"Oh man, she wants my bodily fluids? She can have them." This is not Photoshop, these are real ads. Sex sells. The American Red Cross, they want you to donate blood. Shower gel. "What’s in your martini?" "Hey, I worked in a whore house, I know." Then of course we have the beagles. "Finding the right job can be rough."
What’s the point of this dog? The Molson people, they combine sex and dogs. [laughter]
"Hundreds of thousands of woman pre-programmed for your convenience." This is rather nice. [laughter] This is from the Calgary zoo. "Have you heard the one about the dyslexic man who walked into a bra?" [laughter]
We have pseudo-creativity. I’ve never understood this one for Intuit, "What’s your passion?" It’s a cute picture, but it makes no sense. This one I can’t even read, and this has been hanging in the Copenhagen Airport for about a year.
I have no bloody clue what this is about. We have a woman who has clearly never held a cello in her life. We have a stoplight and hidden insights with high performance analytics. I do not get it. If any of you know what this is about, send me a mail because I’m really curious, because this is a spot that costs like hundreds of thousands of dollars and I don’t get the ad. I see this twice a week when I go the airport.
[Female Participant talking weakly in the background]
You probably have a point. [laughter] I think it’s such a bad ad that I’m presenting it to you lot, so that you can make fun of this and Tweet about it all day and say, "Eric had all these really shitty ads that he showed us."
You’re probably right. I mean, I have been in sales pitches where I know I’ve sold crap, but I had a boss that said, "This is the campaign. This is what we’re doing." This is also why I left advertising and started my own agency.
"Tell the story," that’s what Leo Burnett talked about. Find the drama. How are we doing? We’ve got 15 minutes. This, I think is a brilliant ad for the BBC. "Terrorist, hero, victim? Demand a broader view." Absolutely lovely ad.
This one from the streets of New York. "Gaffer tap, gasoline, and a pussycat. Whatever you can imagine, we’ve seen worse." This is for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Same concept used by Penn & Teller, "Two words, wood-chipper." [laughs] Reinventing the yes-man. This man does not look like a yes-man. Again, a standard phrase.
A fairly stocked picture and yet put together in a new way that creates drama. That’s good advertising. It’s not the See and Say. Apogee, I don’t know how many of you know they are a Hongkong based usability agency. Wonderful people.
They do some of absolutely the best work in their part of the world, but advertising…"Bridging the gap between your users and your products. Your users," and a bridge, "And your products." [laughter] Are we all on the same page?
This is the way good information architects do ads. [laughter] All right? The metadata is all in place. You know, it’s all working.
Apparently, somebody talked to the people at Apogee and said, "Well, you know, you could actually do these a little better," so they hired an advertising agency and they came up with…I think this is one of the most brilliant ads I’ve seen in a long time because usable interfaces live forever.
They are talking about Asia. We know that the abacus is still in use. I’ve seen people who can do things on an abacus faster than I can do it on a calculator. Brilliant ad. "Simple designs promote use." Lovely.
At which point, apparently Apogee decided, "We don’t need no sneaking advertising agency," and so we’re "Lighting the path for your users." It’s like "Whoa, well, where did this come from?" That’s sad, because they were on the right track, but they didn’t understand what the advertising industry or the creatives were bringing to the table. The other agencies don’t always get it right either.
This is an advertisement that was done by my former agency to advertise sort of a desktop firewall. The idea was that people were taking their laptops, they were going out on vacation, logging into all types of networks, coming back with viruses.
When they came in behind the firewall and tapped in back at the office, all kinds of bad things were being spread. The idea of this particular software product was to keep the vira and other things concentrated within the individual laptop and not let them go out into the network.
My old agency did this. It only takes one bad laptop to bring down your entire network and they’ve built this house of cards. They did AB testing. I was actually the competing agency at that point and I came up with something that was rather more low brow.
"Jimmy had a fantastic vacation, but his laptop picked up a communicable disease," and that sold 10 times as much product as the first one. Sometimes, you can be too creative for your own good. Rosser Reeves, Mr. USP says, "Yeah, you want fine writing or you want your fucking sales to go up?" That’s really what it’s about. Lets talk about concept. In advertising, the concept is the big idea. It’s look and feel. This is from Land Rover.
[laughs] You’ve got this mountain goat on top of the car, which I think is quite lovely. In our world, this is the kind of stuff we have, "Are you not sure what your website should look like?" This is how we’re selling concept? The advertisers think that concept is look and feel, and we know that concept, at least in terms of interactive media, is a question of function.
This is a very difficult thing to communicate to the traditional advertising community, precisely because of AIDA, because of this awareness interest desire action. There’s only one proof of concept and that’s sales in advertising.
This is an advertisement for a company that sells cement factories, and believe it or not, I have sold cement factories. We needed to create an ad that would get people to sign up for service agreements, so this is what we came up to.
Sometimes a simple upgrade is all you need. This sold five million dollars worth of product within the first two weeks and there is not a cement factory in the picture. Let me explain how art directors think. We had a client that sold something called, "OSS." What the hell did "OSS" stand for?
It had to do with all these software services…I can’t remember what it was. It was software that was designed for the telcos so that they could do roaming charges correctly, hand-offs, and all this stuff. What the hell did OSS mean? Anyway, the problem was it was a really quirky piece of software. I mean, it wasn’t something shrink wrapped.
It was something that you really had to work on and customize because every telco was a little different. Deutsche Telecom was not the same as British Telecom, which wasn’t the same as Vodafone, which wasn’t the same as AT&T, and so on and so forth, so there was a lot of tweaking to be done.
You couldn’t just open this operational support systems. Operational support systems, that was it. Yeah, OSS. Operational support systems, so that’s the software. The company color was blue. Now we will be the art directors here.
Oh, but that’s boring, so we’ll change it to green. And they have this swoosh that we have to live with. That’s rather bright, that white. We’ll tone that down a little bit. Thank you. There’s something slightly yin and yang about this, isn’t it?
We have this operational support systems software. We clearly want to appeal to the business community. [laughter] So, what would be the opposite if we’re going to go the yin and yang route? Shit, I don’t know. Oh, tattoos. We’ll do tattoos. "Off the shelf OSS solutions are great if you have off the shelf customers." That was the campaign, it sold a lot of product. That’s kind of the creative process and it’s very different from what we do in our particular arena.
We could roll this out to brochures and this is the kind of website shit that…never in my career has anyone ever said, "Oh please, can’t we have more pdfs?" [laughter] This is the kind of stuff people do in mock up and it’s a shame.
I want to kill a myth. I brought the light to the picture. "All advertising is good advertising." "Well, that’s what they say," and it’s not. Let me tell you a story. There was a Milwaukee brewer, Schlitz. They found out that people who could actually remember their advertising bought less beer from them. I’m not kidding.
See, Schlitz used to have an ad, they had these macho men often in sailing or skiing or something like that, but they had a great tagline, "If you’re out of Schlitz, you’re out of beer." It was brilliant. In terms of beer advertising, this is a good tagline.
Old Milwaukee, the beer that made Milwaukee famous, also a great tagline. Well, at one point, this was in 1972, by 1976, Schlitz was the second largest brewer in the United States after Anheuser-Busch. That’s rather impressive.
Well, somebody got tired of this and so in 1982, "Behind every Schlitz is a man who knows his beer." You know what their advertising looked like in 1984? This. They were out of business. Bad advertising hurts. In summary, I want to introduce you to Bernice Fitz-Gibbon. She worked primarily in the retail industry. She worked for Gimbells, Macy’s, Wanamakers, a lot of big department stores.
She wrote a book in 1967, which is really very interesting if you’re into this kind of thing. I’m going to get back to Bernice in a minute, but I want to talk about titles. Back in 1995, we had webmasters. I mean, these were basically long gray pages.
There wasn’t a lot on there, but by 1998, we had a webmaster, we had a visual designer, we had a copywriter. Does this look familiar? Good. 2000, we had a developer, web designer, information architect, and a copywriter, maybe.
Where are we today in 2014? [background conversations] I’m the token baby boomer. I will wait while you take your picture. Do you need my Twitter handle? Yes, it’s ELReiss. It’s advertising, guys. I think this is a problem because all these people expect to be creative and they’re not.
There’s a too many cooks syndrome going on, and I don’t think that with these great teams where everyone is expected to love each other and go on group hugs and whatever that we’re actually producing better product. This is where I get back to Bernice Fitz-Gibbon. She says, "Creativity varies inversely with the number of cooks involved in the broth."
I think that we really need to step back and be very very careful about where we’re going because I see a lot of our disciplines being split up into little bitty pieces. Let me tell you, I think a cracker is worth more than a handful of crumbs.
We have to be very careful about what we’re doing. David Oglivy said something that I think is wonderful, "In all the parks in all the cities you won’t find statues of committees."
Thank you for listening. [applause]
We have 30 seconds to take questions. No question? OK, lets go and drink some more. Thank you very much for coming. Thank you. [applause]