Notes: Chapter 1

Notes: Chapter 1

1. Being the only dot-com without a dot was remarkable, given that in those days even hardware companies and telcos went out of their way to be perceived as “.coms”. Sun Microsystems bragged that they were “the dot in dot-com“. Not the ones to be outdone by anybody, in France Telecom started posing as France Très cool.

2. The “pipe” is also called in other ways such as vertical bar, Sheffer stroke, vertical line, vertical slash, etc.

3. Nor with our custom-made proprietary company font for all our corporate communications. I kid you not. We had our own proprietary, custom-made font for all the oh, so very important Corporate Communications coming from a Start-up nobody had ever heard of. Ah, those were the times!

4. Our online advertising performed decently only when we were able to buy ads really on the cheap. No matter how aggressive we were with our in-your-face and click-baiting creativities, banner ads campaigns that performed well enough for us to invest in them on a steady basis were the exception, not the rule.

5. He was right, of course. But we did not care about “branding via advertising”: it was way too expensive for a Start-up in any case, not to mention that we did not believe in it. All we were trying to do was to get people to sign up!

6. Please see Hoffman, Bob, 101 Contrarian Ideas About Advertising, pages 42-3.

7. Who is to blame if Young&Rubicam call themselves a “BrandAsset Valuator”? Or if at Ogilvy they say they are “360 Degree Brand Stewards”? At Grey, apparently they do “Brand Acceleration”; JWT is in “Brand Storytelling”; and even at DDB they now say that their job is “Positioning brands to compete”, as noted in Parker, George, The Ubiquitous Persuaders, page 203. George Lois says the culprits are Jack Trout and Al Ries and their seminal 1981 book Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, in which they said: “Today, creativity is dead. The name of the game on Madison Avenue is positioning”. Too bad that the idea of “slots” in consumers’ heads is pseudo-scientific nonsense. Lois, George, What’s the Big Idea? How to Win With Outrageous Ideas (That Sell!), pages 33-42.

8. It’s that creative spark that I’m so jealous of for our agency and that I’m so desperately fearful of losing. I don’t want academicians. I don’t want scientists. I don’t want people who do the right things. I want people who do inspiring things – From Bill Bernbach’s 1947 Letter to Gray. Bernbach, Evelyn and Levenson, Bob, Bill Bernbach’s Book: A History of Advertising That Changed the History of Advertising, page 112.

9. Bob Marley and the Wailers, Three Little Birds.

10. Was there not another, nicer, kinder and smarter way to sell over-the-counter drugs’? Of course there was. See (and read about) the pure brilliance of what George Lois did years later for Coldene.

11. Ogilvy, David, Ogilvy on Advertising, pages 10, 11, 14, 59, 79 and 87.

12. Cracknell, Andrew, The Real Mad Men: The Renegade of Madison Avenue and the Golden Age of Advertising, pages 26-30, 37-48, 64-68, 84-100, 125-131.

13. Harrison, Steve, Changing the World is the Only Fit Work for a Grown Man, pages 16-19 and 69-80.

14. Especially not the ones nobody ever clicked on. Want to create a brand on the web? Get people to try out your service. Want to do it offline? Get them to buy your product. It’s that simple.