Monday, May 28, 2007

Bob Isherwood on advertising

+ An interview with Bob Isherwood, worldwide creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi.
Q: Consumers are saturated with advertising these days. How can agencies break through that ennui?

A: In our industry, it's all about reinvention. This is a great time for creative people. Creativity doesn't change, what changes are the tools and the means to express it. We have computer technology.

In this world, the consumer has become lost. Mass marketing is kind of over. Personalized marketing is the way it is now. People are increasingly able to block out and ignore the messages they don't want. The industry has to move from a model of intrusion.

Advertising has always been about intruding -- barging our way into your living room. It has to move to a model of attraction, by offering messages that people want to seek out by giving people something new.

We did a spot in Denmark for Quicksilver. A bomb went off in a lake, creating a huge explosion. A kid then surfed across the lake. We got 22 million hits on that. That's the way it has to be done.

Q: Those types of quirky spots seem as if they could just as easily flop as make a tremendous splash. How do you know something like that is going to be a hit or not?

A: Our starting point is love marks -- brands that have loyalty beyond reason. It's not just about a quirky ad. It's about every touch point for a brand.

Saatchi & Saatchi wants to turn shoppers into buyers. We've designed the store of the future for Wal-Mart in Plano, Texas. It's about making it easier for shoppers to navigate the store and making it a more interesting experience.

We also invented a new sport that we launched last year in Madrid called ''Battle of the Surfaces.'' It was about which is better: clay or grass courts for tennis. Half the court was grass, half was clay. We had Federer vs. Nadine. We had an audience of 250 million people on Fox. It got a lot of sponsors.

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