Okay, so we're nearly there with judges feedback. I'm still waiting for poor Gareth to share his, but he's under the cosh at the moment, Depending on how he does, we'll either share his feedback before the end, this week, or sum up share Gareth's after. Either way, we'll conclude this week.
Here's Rob Campbells. He's been thorough and he's been honest. One thing I want you take in is that he's Planning Director at Weiden and Kennedy Shanghai. I don't mean, listen to him because he's a senior person at an organisation most of us would probably like to work at the most,I mean look at the rigour. I sometimes think that the so called, 'cooler' more creative agencies do themselves a disservice by not exposing the utter mania for rigorous, watertight thinking. All the great work you see isn't just a result of a mania for doing great creative work, it's about taking care of the detail. Take the famous Old Spice work. It's probably as creative and provocative as an integrated campaign gets, but don't forger it was done for P&G - one the most notoriously formulaic, risk averse clients there is. You don't get any work through clients like that, especially work like this without proven rigorous thinking. There's a case study here in case you're interested:
So apart from the feedback itself, take in the fact that the most groundbreaking agencies get to the work they do by having coffee and being wacky. They work very hard and don't anything leave the building until it's as good as it can be. That goes for a strategy presentation as much as it goes for rough storyboard or a finished film.
Here's Rob's feedback:
OK, so before I go on to individual submissions, a general overview:
The range of entries - at least in duration - was very varied.
Some were very to the point whereas some seemed to go on for so long that when I got to the end, I had to re–look at them because I genuinely thought I'd missed a page explaining what they were trying to say.
NONE, were very clear.
They either used 1,000 words when 100 would do or used 10 when 100 was needed. [Those number are obviously just to prove my point, I don't mean it literally – just incase John Dodds reads this] I would suggest everyone hands their preso over to someone not in the industry to read. Preferably their mums or dads. If they can understand it, fantastic – if they can't, look at how you're talking, framing or telling the story again.
Another thing was that all of them didn't title their submission in a way that started selling me their 'view' from the get-go.
I absolutely detest bland titles like "KING OF SHAVES ASSIGNMENT".
It might sound like a little thing, but you want to start guiding people down your path of thinking from the moment you see it and only one person did it [and even then it wasn't that good] – a tragedy.
Also, I know it should be about substance over style … but that should not mean you don't put any design element into it.
Pages of text don't encourage you to read it.
Sure, in a perfect world, that shouldn't matter – but people still want to be engaged and entertained. They need to be kept interested and how you present your work has a very important role to play – not least, to ensure your submission gets the attention and focus it is due.
A couple of the presentations were good, but sadly, the layout – or flow – was so disparate that all the good energy they built up started dying within a few pages.
Finally, I'd say that my overall view is the people who submitted their assignments didn't quite get the challenge.
That sounds unfair because it's obvious a lot of work went into the submissions – however I can't help but in some cases, they were more about showing they'd done a lot of work rather than they'd truly grasped what you were saying.
In most cases, I felt they were still focusing too much on trying to be different from the category rather than coming up with something that infiltrated, changed or created culture – which highlights a need for the industry as a whole to step away from focusing all their energies on celebrating what's new and cool and get back to highlighting the values of some of the fundamentals.
Again, that sounds harsh – especially as I know a lot of people who are doing planning at a senior level who wouldn't have come up with something as good as some of these guys – however I guess I was just disappointed overall because nothing really grabbed me by the balls and screamed "THIS IS IT".
Gareth once said [or it might of been – god forbid – Andy] that the key is to find "unexpected relevance" and sadly I didn't find any.
A cultural tension point is like a crossroads, where there is a mass of energy all congregated, waiting for one of the other doors to be opened and let liberation or – at the least – validation to be released. I didn't feel the tension point the submissions highlighted really got under the skin of the audience, they were either more a CATEGORY tension point or amplifying what the media has been promoting in terms of gender attitudes and issues.
Some entries definitely have potential … some are better than others … however if I was KOS and looking for a direction to create culture rather than just reflect it, I think I'd still be putting my business out to pitch because at the end of the day, as much as everyone mocks Gillette, they're the market leader by a country mile [admittedly, aided by their incredible distribution] and I'm sure the objective for KOS wold be to give the major players a real run for their money, not just give the public an alternative positioning.
OK, so that's the overview errrrrm, over – now to the specifics.
Given the amount of judges comments you'll of got, I'm going to be very efficient by just highlighting key points rather than go into detail for each entry.
I liked 'boys must figure out who they are to become a man'. I liked it a lot.
And I liked the idea of targeting younger men – men before they were men – but then it ended up like a wet weekend in Cleethorpes for me. I don't buy the justification – it sounds like someone trying desperately to look academic and while it may be true, I come away going "so what".
Also, the 'bringing it to life' section at the end just didn't capture my imagination. It said nothing – and this is a point where they could have made me feel their idea and overcome many of my views. Sadly they didn't do that as well as they could have. Or should have.
When I saw the 'mission' chart, I was interested, by the end I was disappointed.
I like Zeljko a lot, but this isn't one of their best submissions.
It feels a bit lazy to be honest … in terms of the background, strategy and ideas.
And the thing that pisses me off [and yes, I mean that expression] is the lyrics to the manifesto has some lovely stuff in there - stuff that had the potential to be a really interesting foundation for what KOS could be … certainly more innovative than the 3rd rate Converse territory that was submitted.
I don't know what happened, but I'm guessing Zeljko was busy and pulled this together at the last moment. Kudos for the commitment, detention for the content.
I absolutely love "The Gillette-shaved man isn't exactly a
realistic, interesting or multilayered guy. And once he
does 'interesting' things, he gets axed." Fantastic summation that made me smile and nod at the same time.
Took long enough to get to that point, but like a great joke, the punchline delivered.
Please don't use terms like 'he-cession', especially when the word you are raping doesn't really reflect the point you're trying to make.
My problem with this submission is it feels like the Chivas Regal campaign – Be Chivalrous.
I know it's not, I know what Thomas is saying is different, but I can't help but feel this is more like the evolution of Gillette man than something that captures the spirit of the times.
I agree that the rebellious angle wouldn't work long term [ala Right Wing voting tools] but the direction being presented doesn't make my gut feel it's something that reflects a genuine cultural tension point – something that would touch people in the same way that listening to Al Pacino's 'Any Given Sunday' speech or watching Wieden's 'Chrysler Superbowl' spot made them feel – even if they were about as far away from the 'core target audience' as you could get.
Thorough background, nicely paced – but sadly, once it got to the strategy, I felt it lost direction, energy and interest. Sorry Thomas.
Matt's preso was a bit like Thomas'.
Lot's of great background, a couple of awesome observations [
“The smug look is more
post-coital than posts-have”] but ultimately a conclusion that feels like you've just won 3rd prize in the office lottery.
To be fair, the manifesto kind of worked – it was still way too category focused for my liking – but then when I read his 'what mischief is/isn't', I went away disappointed because I felt I was reading some words to describe a pseudo-wannabe status beer brand, not a shaving company that wanted to put mischief on a pedestal.
Some of the activation ideas were OK [retail location for example, for exactly the reason he states] however I felt what Matt was trying to do was 'upmarket Virgin' but without the charisma or wit and given the heart of his idea was mischief, I would have hoped he would of been far braver in what he put forward.
His 2nd page had a bunch of stuff that could have been explored [albeit, category observations] but turning KOS into KOSkin doesn't answer the brief, even if it could be argued it could drive significant revenue growth. Which I doubt.
I just don't think Justin really understood the task – but seriously good on him for having a go and I hope once he's read the comments of all the judges and the feedback as a whole, he understands where he might have gone wrong and is hungry to rub our faces in the shit on the next assignment.
In all honesty, nothing would make me happier.
Like Thomas, Carolin has identified the everyday good guy, the man who is decent, hardworking and honourable.
And, like Thomas, she has expressed it in a way that feels more like a [boring] category differentiation than a cultural tension point … even though 'the role and purpose of man' is something that is very much is the collective consciousness.
There is obviously something there, however I can't help but feel they've only scratched the surface as regards what this tension point really is/means and as such, have ended up in an area that feels generic rather than liberating.
The preso was also way too cluttered – I'm sure it would have been better if Carolin had presented it herself [I know for a fact she's very good at that] however in powerpoint form, it just seemed to make giant leaps that didn't really flow.
Best laid out preso of the lot but 45 pages is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long, especially when each page is written in 2 columns!
Christ, I overwrite on my blog, but Geert takes it to a new level.
While Geert's overview was in a similar vein to everyone else's, he did it with a style and humour that lifted it from the others. Saying that, he wrote so damn much that there was more than one occasion where I was left wondering 'what the point' of a particular slide was and even now, I still am questioning how he went from the interesting 'gender blending' shift into the 'IVY LEAGUE MAN' territory.
I sort-of buy the idea, but I still feel he came to it because of existing brands going into that area [even if they're not in the shaving category] than a deep understanding of how to create/change culture due to a recognition of undercurrent tension points.
Like everyone else, he has gone for quantity rather than quality in how to bring his idea to life … however, given he actually has an idea, it has allowed him to explore concepts without losing the heart of what he is trying to make KOS represents.
My only point on this is that while being able to show your strategy/idea has real depth and legs, coming up with 10,000 ideas doesn't always do you justice.
Amongst all the things LEVIS did to launch 'GO FORTH', the 'write your own declaration of independence' and Braddock brought it all to life way more than the countless other things that were done and I would suggest in future, people highlight 1 or 2 'shop window' ideas they have - and then maybe detail some of the other concepts – rather than list lots and lots of things and give them all equal billing.
Does that make sense? Probably not, oh well …
I am left in a quandary with SC's entry.
While I think it gives a general overview to a bunch of things, I think there's parts that are very 'light' and parts that take massive jumps [Geeks to comedians?]
Not only that, her manifesto reeks of a remake of the Apple 'Crazy One's' ad and some of her 'findings' are open to massive interpretation, and yet her
comedian thing really interests me … it's just I am not really sure how she got there and how it exists beyond just creative execution.
Shame, because if she could link it all together better for me [or for her] she would have something that could really made me think about KOS going somewhere new, however I am left wondering how they ended up there.