Thursday, June 22, 2006

"The judges' decision, if correct, suggests radio advertising must be sorely lacking in fresh big ideas. It's a sad state of affairs."
Lewis Lazare

Lew is talking about DDB/Chicago again taking hardware at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes. He writes...

"It probably says more about the state of radio advertising and the prestigious International Advertising Festival in Cannes, than it does about DDB/Chicago's "Real Men of Genius" radio campaign for Bud Light, which for the second year in a row nabbed the Grand Prix in the radio category. No one can deny the "Genius" campaign is full of strong comedic writing, but the festival allegedly is all about celebrating what's big and fresh in advertising. The "Genius" campaign, in fact, has been around for a number of years. The judges' decision, if correct, suggests radio advertising must be sorely lacking in fresh big ideas. It's a sad state of affairs. Great for DDB, of course, but sad nonetheless." Read Lew's column here

I love the Real Men campaign, it is truly inspired creative but I agree with Lew's view, please not again. Congrats to the DDB/Chicago gang, may they win again next year with fresh new creative for yet another account. Respectfully disagree with Lew's call on the bigger picture; the state of radio advertising is actually better than ever, in my opinion, witness this year's Mercury winners. Perhaps IAF needs to cast a bigger entry net?

The Dan Rather exit, a dog's breakfast. Hard to imagine how it could have been made any worse than it turned out to be - for all involved. Dan certainly deserved better. Not going to argue with the decision, 44 years is a good long run, however this one goes down as a classic case study in how not to end a relationship. It is not what they did but plainly how they didn't do it. As Sean's second at bat (the first being his homerun Katie announcement) this was a wild swinging strikeout. CBS comes off completely tone deaf on this occasion. Where was Bing, er...Gil...on holiday or out to lunch (at Michael's of course)? That Les was MIA is no surprise. My sense is the vets of his news shop have been estranged since the night of November 10, 2004 when the desk made the poor call to break into CSI: NY with the flash on Arafat's passing (a screen crawl would have been the more prudent, smarter move). FD: I first met Dan during my days as a CBS affiliate, while I have not always agreed with him, I like and respect the man. I am also on record as a longtime fan of Les, perhaps the best mind in network television today, but he and his team messed this one up. To paraphrase Murrow, has CBS no decency, sir.

For those keeping score, this marks another poorly managed high-profile Viacom "exit" the two, at least, prior to this being Heyward and Karmazin.

No Place to Hide. Not just the name of the good read by Robert O'Harrow, Jr. but a title also fit for this laugh out loud (and scary chilling) video with audio via the ACLU here. (Thanks to my pal Larry for the tip).

Hearing that John Sebastian had a killer trend in Chicago. Congrats and cheers John! Any such improvement would be the result of John's work product and certainly not the format alone. Imagine what Dave Logan would have achieved had he been given the opportunity in New York - now there's a missed victory. To quote PJ "In all of art it's the singer not the song"

Good things happen to good people. Gary Saunders promoted to APD at KKDA. Well deserved, congrats and cheers Gary! (Long way from 1080 Metromedia Place).

The Anthony Mason package on Rather was well done. Bravo Anthony! He talks about it thanks to Vaughn Ververs (good job Vaughn!)...

“You’re writing the story first,” he said. Then, “you’re writing for the front office, you’re writing for the critics. You’re also writing for the people you work with, your colleagues who are going to judge it in their own way and then, lastly, you’re writing for Dan.” And you’re considering “how each of those audiences are going to perceive the story” -- and asking whether it is “truthful and fair” to each, said Mason. Read Vaughn Ververs' Writing The Rather Story For The "Evening News" here.

Speaking of CBS TV, it is great to hear John Leader reading the book again. Kudos to the folks that made it happen; John and your network have never sounded better.