Those who follow @Davetrott on twitter can't help but notice that he retweets anyone who speaks of his new book: Creative Mischief. It might be borderline spammy but it's often funny. People take friendly jabs at Dave, @ASheldrick (Andrew Sheldrick) just tweeted "@davetrott Like the bloody opera singer and eastern European mongooses, your incessant Creative Mischief plugs have worked. Well played sir." Want to have a peek inside the book to see if you should pick it up? Adland is here to serve! Dave Trott is all about mischief, he's been pranking the business so hard he's left his initial on more ad agency doors than I can recall. He's got an uncanny knack of getting to the heart of the matter in an engaging way by pushing the right buttons. He's often said that 89 percent of advertising is never noticed or remembered. Unlike his pranks, that are quite memorable...
When I worked at BMP, the Head of Television commuted in from Brighton every day. He started reading The Exorcist on the train. He said he thought it was the most evil book he’d ever read. In fact, he said it was so evil he couldn’t finish it. So, at the weekend, he went to the end of Brighton pier and threw it as far as he could. So I went to the bookshop. I bought another copy. Then I ran it under the tap. And left it in his desk drawer. For him to find. As Dawn French says, “If it’s funny it’s not bad taste. And if it’s bad taste it’s not funny.”
The book is full of anecdotes that'll make you laugh and short chapters of experienced advertising wisdom served with a wink.
BEING RIGHT VS BEING INTERESTING I always tell students they will usually have to make a choice. On the one hand: being right, but dull. On the other hand: being wrong, but interesting. So which should they choose? I say go for interesting every time. Why doesn’t most advertising work? Because it’s ‘right’. It’s been debated, discussed, argued, briefed, researched, debriefed, rebriefed, until it’s ‘right’. And that’s the problem: it’s right. It’s not interesting. It’s not interesting, so no one notices it. No one notices it so no one remembers it. No one remembers it so it doesn’t work. No matter how ‘right’ it is. There is just too much advertising out there for all of it to work. Statistics say we are each exposed to roughly 1,000 different advertising messages a day. How many do you remember from yesterday? Radio, posters, tube cards, online pop-ups, SMS, ambient, TV, magazine ads, newspaper ads, viral ads. You can probably remember one that was really good. And one that was really bad. The extremes. Because extremes are interesting. They’re interesting because they haven’t had all the life sucked out of them by being made right. Visibility isn’t about being right. It’s about being interesting. As Picasso said, “What use are computers? All they can do is give you answers.” A women doesn’t really want Mr. Right. She wants Mr. Interesting. In the pub, who do you want to listen to? The bloke who’s always right? Or the bloke who’s always interesting? Being right is overrated. Because being right is seen as the truth. But what is the truth? The truth is whatever you believe it is. And you only believe what you want to believe. And you only want to believe what’s interesting. As Churchill said, “Never let the truth spoil a good story.”
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