This week the adweak.com link starting making it's rounds in the massmailings of office-adgrunts and onto the various mailinglists out there. Who are these guys? Why are they doing this? Are they even guys? We decided to ask them, so here follows a short talk with the Editor - spokesperson for the Adweak crew. First we had to travel blindfolded in the trunk of car to get to the secret meeting place....
You will not find out who Adweak.com are unless you hire a good detective. They have the Editor as owner of their domains and the voicemailnumber listed (which does indeed reach them in the U.S.) has no real name attached to it either.
Dabitch: Why so secretive guys? And why "Adweak"?
Adweak: Yes, as you've noticed we are taking pains to keep our identities under wraps lest revenge minded editorial subjects come searching with evil intentions. (Plus, it allows us to mock our friends whenever they do something stupid.)...To briefly cover your "why adweak?" question, actually, we have no real point to all this at all, other than we thought it about time we had some fun with an industry we've worked in too long to take all that seriously. We have no motive other than that, nor do we have any sort of agenda against anyone or anything in particular. If an ad is bad, we'll make fun of it. If an agency is bad or a campaign is particularly off-base or a type of person (planners, for example) are notably a bit too full of themselves, we'll make fun of that as well. Fortunately, everyone to this point has been a good sport about it all, at least according to the emails we've been getting. (We thought we'd be up to our eyeballs in death threats by now... or at least "cease and desist" letters.)
Dabitch: Are you several people behind this - like a group of ad-mates or is it just one.. Or shall I not reveal that? Adweak: There are a couple of us, plus The Editor, of course, who speaks through all.
Dabitch: You seem to be making fun of a certain type of campaigns - the big budget beer/jeans and style things. Do you only critique well-known, big-budget campaigns, or will you ever comment on smaller regional campaigns as well?
Adweak: We'll be going for anything that crosses our field of view that's particularly annoying/stupid/inane/etc., and would be funny to make fun of. Other than that we have no real criteria at all, though we probably won't pick too much on the defenseless, because that's just not as funny as deflating something that someone must of thought was really good, but just isn't. Besides, it would really be a waste of venom to spend it detailing how poorly shot or unoriginal a Cracklin' Oat Bran or Dial soap ad. (That's Bob Garfield and Mark Doliver's job, anyway.) We'll probably stick with national rather than regional ads as well, mostly so our readers will know what we're talking about (the local Wally's House of Waffles can rest easy.) Again, basic rule of thumb is if something is deserving of mockery, be it an unfunny campaign from a good agency or your basic huge waste of money, we'll do our best to mock it.
Dabitch:Will you be commenting on U.S. ads only or will you grow a little to include large well known multinational campaigns as well?
Adweak: Lacking the satellite dish or other means to watch and be annoyed by those wacky overseas ads, we'll probably be sticking to U.S. ads for the most part. Though those European ads are pretty.
Dabitch:Any plans on how the future will look like?
Adweak: Hmm... how do you mean? As in "will the apes finally take over and become our lords and masters?" Sounds like something got lost in the translation. In the specific ad world sense, perhaps? We have no idea, really. Let's say smaller agencies. Though for our sake we hope there will be the same level of self absorption and general chuckleheaded pretentiousness.
Dabitch:Can one email you guys tips on ads/companies that need a "writedown"?
Adweak: One can, I imagine, but we can't promise it'll ever amount to anything. We really don't want to become a means by which the disgruntled anonymously launch vendettas, air gripes, etc. We're selfish that way.
Dabitch: Do you think this proves that deep down - ad people still have a sense of humour and some distance to not take themselves too seriously? (I do hope so)
Adweak: It's funny, but it always seems that the ones who take this business the most seriously, the ones with the personalized license plates that read "AD GOD" and own subscriptions to Graphis and weird european design annuals and have a hard time talking about anything but advertising are usually the ones writing bad ads for bad agencies. It's a job, people, not a goddamn lifestyle. Fortunately though, as most of the emails we've been getting will attest, there do seem to be a good number of people out there with a decent sense of perspective on everything, which is encouraging to know.
Dabitch: What does your mother think that you do for a living?
Adweak: Our mothers know we're somehow involved in those commercials they see on tv, but exactly how they're never quite sure. Thanks for the support, and look for a new Adweak every Monday (unless we find something better to do, of course.)