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Did Anybody See a Big Red Dragon in the Room? thumbnail

Did Anybody See a Big Red Dragon in the Room?

China is hot and big. No matter which magazine, newspaper or interview you read, it’s obvious. The Middle Kingdom is back on the centre stage of the world and it’s going to sit here for while. Strictly speaking, China has always been a very large economy and out of the last 20 centuries, 19 times it was one of the largest. But history is something you learn at school and once politics and companies take over, you tend to get bucked down with that reality. Well, let me say it again and don’t be surprised: China is back and it’s big this time.


Your Soul for a Ping-Pong Table thumbnail

Your Soul for a Ping-Pong Table

Can creative people think themselves to freedom?

My friend hates his job. This wouldn’t be worthy of an opening sentence anywhere, except he has a job everyone is supposed to envy, in a place everyone is suppose to love – a creative place.


Does Your Portfolio Reflect the Future? thumbnail

Does Your Portfolio Reflect the Future?

In a recent article from the Washington Post some very simple graphs point to what seems like obvious stuff (yeah, the internet is growing, print is dead and no one can remember what radio is).

Ironically, even though most juniors are young and are the best examples of people who are diving knee-deep into new media and technology in their quotidian lives, their portfolios are often a blast from the past.


Great Ideas Must Live. Here’s How to Make Sure They Do. thumbnail

Great Ideas Must Live. Here’s How to Make Sure They Do.

You’ve got to get as good as you can possibly get at presenting.

It’s about money. If you sell your idea, that’s the one that has a chance to win awards, and I believe, perform effectively in the marketplace. So both the agency and the client will make more money. If you sell it the first time, you don’t have to spend the time necessary to “fix” it, so the agency saves money and you can still win awards and move product. And maybe most importantly for you, if you get a reputation as a great presenter, you will make more money. Most of the highest paid people in advertising are the best presenters. Look around. It’s true.


How to Win the Super Bowl “Ad” Game thumbnail

How to Win the Super Bowl “Ad” Game

Advertisers and brands that are destined to raise the proverbial advertising Lombardi Trophy after the 2012 Super Bowl “Ad” Game might want to look beyond simply producing that “one great spot.” While that “one great spot” may win the USA Today Ad Meter, garner positive reviews and chalk up numerous industry accolades, the true winner of the Super Bowl “Ad” Game will be the collective client/agency team that both created that “one great spot,” and pro-actively built an in-depth social hub for that “one great spot” to live on well after the big game ends.


So You Think You Know How to Present? thumbnail

So You Think You Know How to Present?

So you think you know how to present? Let me be the first (or maybe the 10th) to tell you that you don’t. In fact you have no idea how to present. How do I know this? Because you’re making it to finals and you’re not winning. Why? Because you are focusing on yourself and not the client. It’s that simple.


Talent with a Capital T thumbnail

Talent with a Capital T

Okay, jargon alert! I’m going to talk about T-shaped people. While I’m there I may throw in the odd reference to silos, pushing the envelope and fluffing the sausage. So get your jargon bingo cards ready and eyes down for a full house…


Two is the Loneliest Number thumbnail

Two is the Loneliest Number

The world might not end in 2012 as the Mayans predicted, but you don’t need an ancient calendar to see that the traditional way advertising is created, and more specifically the way ideas have traditionally been created, is quickly becoming extinct.

In the good ol’ days of advertising, the joined-at-the-hipster duo of copywriter and art director was the most efficient way to develop ideas into a campaign. Whether they were locked in an office together, in side-by-side cubicles, or sharing a table at the local coffee house, these two people were expected to change a client’s fortunes, or at least come up with something decent for the agency reel.


The Portfolio of the Future thumbnail

The Portfolio of the Future

I know it makes me sound old but eleven years ago I was job-hunting for my first art director job. Since I’d decided to study web and art direction at the same time, I had a combination of interactive and print campaigns in my book. The advice I got from CD’s was always the same: “If you want to be a web developer, make a web portfolio. If you want to be an art director, make another one but don’t mix them up. We don’t care if you do web.”


Spread A Little Happiness thumbnail

Spread A Little Happiness

In the run up to Christmas I had an invitation from Uniqlo – to climb aboard the Happy Machine, which offered online discounts every lunchtime for a week. It didn’t quite leave me with a warm glow, but did almost make me buy a sweater.

I also had a festive invitation from Coca Cola, to ‘open happiness,’ in the latest incarnation of their longstanding brand campaign. If only it were that easy, I thought. Which also made me think a bit deeper about happiness generally, and how brands and we as advertisers contribute to it. Or – according The Public Interest Research Centre (PIRC) in the UK – don’t.


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