Saturday, October 13, 2007


This whole week has been a week of deja vu's. Everywhere I go, every station I'm getting out, every street I'm walking, every club I'm going, I've been there before. And it's great to see it again. Every once in a while I also see former Miami Ad School students. Today former student Lennart walked into a coffee bar where Salvatore and I were drinking a cappuccino. And a couple of days ago Marius and Charles came to school and showed us one of the weirdest portfolio's I've every seen. Some stuff they made makes no sense at all in a traditional way of thinking, but it's damn funny. And in every ad you can just feel the fun they must have had making it.

The risk of working in advertising as a creative is that you tend to think too much about selling the product. Of course, in the end that's what you want to achieve. But in order to sell the product, you have to be original and entertaining first. If a salesman comes to your door wearing a tie, you might slam the door in his face before he can even finish his first sentence. If, however the same salesman is dressed up like a clown, he grabs your attention and you're more likely to find out what he has to offer. It's that simple.

I think agencies often make the mistake that the main objective of a creative is to sell the product. It's not. The actual selling happens in the store and there are no creatives behind the counter. If you're interrupting someone's favorite TV show you better be really entertaining to make sure he watches your commercial instead of walking to the kitchen to make coffee. The power of advertising is that it can give a brand a sympathetic face, it can make people feel passionate about a package of butter. And when a product has become like a friend, consumers are more likely to buy it next time they're in the stores; even if it's more expensive than other products.

A creative who really understands the value of entertainment in advertising is my former teammate Daniel Serrano. His work is among the absolute top of the Miami Ad School and when you look at his portfolio you know that there's passion behind every piece of work. There's even a good idea in the portfolio itself. Take a look at his work here.


Anonymous kathy cheng said...

hi robin.

I read your blog for no particular reason than I wanted to go to miami ad school in the past, and I enjoy keeping up with your progress.

one of the questions I've always wondered is: why do you do advertising? Is it simply the challenge to come up with a clever or "entertaining" piece of creative? Or is there a greater reason why you've pursued it?

also, how do you feel about the clients you create ads for? Do you feel any connection to the product, the company, and the company's values? And are there any companies you wouldn't want as clients?

how would you describe what you've accomplished after one day at work?


2:26 am  
Blogger Robin Stam said...

Hi Kathy,

Good to know you enjoy reading my weblog. I'm doing advertising because there's no other creative business where you can use so many creative disciplines. You have to be able to do photography, music, film, graphic design to name just a few. Besides, advertising is one of the only businesses where you get paid for making your idea. You have to be able to cope with the difficulties, like clients that kill your ideas for no reason. But for me that's all part of it. In the end it keeps the job challenging.

To be honest, I don't feel a lot of connection with the product or the company. I think as a creative you must be able to be independent of the client. You have to look at the product with a helicopter view. That way you can look at it with the eye of a consumer and see how the product or brand can be communicated in the most effective way. And what's most important, you're willing to take risks. Which is vital for a brand to succeed. There's no company I wouldn't want as a client because I don't feel it's my responsibility to judge about clients. It's my responsibility to make good ads and that's what I try to do.

I can't tell what I've accomplished after one day of work. It's too irregular. I know one thing: a bad day in which you don't have any ideas is building up towards a good creative day. And a good creative day always make the next days seem dissapointing. You can never tell what the day brings and that's what makes the job so exciting.

12:09 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home