From the pulpit
The Editor’s introduction. Patrick Collister, Editor
Issue 54 | March 2020
The advertising industry continues to twist in pain.
In his entertaining autobiography "Blah! Blah! Blah!", Dave Buonaguidi, founder of three agencies in his time, ends by lamenting the death of creativity as we know it.
He's packed up shop and become an artist.
I wish him as much success as former Leo Burnett creative director Gerard Stamp, who now sells his paintings to royalty and to the millionaires who can afford them.
Other creative luminaries also tweet and post about creativity on its knees.
Usually they point stabbing fingers at digital as the culprit.
I would argue (and do, on pages 10-11) that if you define creativity as the impulsion to solve problems, then it is simply morphing from one set of skills, defined by the 30-second TV commercial, to another, defined by brand experience.
On the next four pages, Orlando Wood is more precise about what sort of creativity is currently out of favour. The sort that uses charm, characterisation and narrative skill to build brands.
In a digest of his important book "Lemon" he calls for "right-brained" creativity and argues persuasively that we live in "left-brained" times.
This is a problem. If "right-brained", brand building advertising is being replaced by more transactional comms, then long-term sales are being damaged in the pursuit of short-term results.
This is self-harm on a massive scale.
I have always argued that all marketing communications can be, nay should be, brand-centric. When invited, I talk to marketers about the new rules of brand building. And I ask the rhetorical question, is there a single brand adhering to all the new rules?
Yup. Burger King.
Many of BK's campaigns have featured in previous issues of Directory and I hope we will feature its latest work in our next edition.
Startling, brave and with a potent selling message at its heart.
It's a reminder to the rest of us of the purpose of advertising.
To sell stuff.
And if you're looking for an instance of how our definitions of creative have changed, Burger King's CMO Fernando Machado is the single most-awarded person in advertising in 2019 and 2020.
Yes, creativity is changing. Evidence of that is in the 37 case studies we publish here. But what hasn't changed is the need for ideas that people warm to.
Xerox and Directory
The cover pages of this magazine have been printed using the new Xerox Iridesse™ print system. It's a six-colour set-up which goes beyond conventional CMYK to let you print with metallic colours, white and clear inks. I know a lot of designers say you can't print silver and gold but Directory 54 is proof you bloody well can!
This is the first manifestation of our relationship with Xerox Corporation, now sponsors of Directory. It is a genuinely symbiotic collaboration with creativity as its focus, the shared desire to do new, interesting things ourselves and to celebrate innovation in communication.
We have exciting changes ahead.