David was interviewed by Will Burns, Founder & President of Ideasicle.
Among many other things, hear him talk about his new company, Baldwin&, how he’s creating a creative environment there, the importance of authenticity in communications, his concerns about how pitching is affecting the advertising industry, and, of course, his view on how to come up with better ideas (including the role bad ideas play in getting to great ones).
Click here to check out Ideasicle.
I’ve worked on a few brands built around their customer service in my time. Lands End and Travelocity to name a few. Both are companies that really get it and go to great lengths to create great experiences for their customers.
As we all know, if a company handles a situation badly one time out of ten they will likely get scorched by the aggrieved party. That’s just the way it works. And now with all the communication outlets available to us as consumers a complaint can go big, the United breaks guitars song fiasco, comes to mind.
I recently had an experience with Amazon.com that truly raised the bar from anything I’d previously seen.
I bought one of the first generation Kindles a little over a year ago. Within 11 months, the darned thing crapped out on me. The screen went blank and then filled with black lines and finally resolved into this:
I didn’t know if it was irreparably damaged or if it had just crashed and when I finally got around to researching it I realized that not only was it dead but I had let my warranty expire. To make things worse, I bought it from an Amazon reseller so it must have been a refurb. At the time, the Kindle was sold out on Amazon so it was my only choice.
I emailed the reseller and he told me that I was out of luck and that there was nothing he could do. Furthermore, he pointed out that I had refused the protection plan he’d tried to push on me.
So I emailed Amazon, thirteen months after I’d bought it, and asked if I had any options. They referred me to their Kindle customer service section on their site. The way it works is this, you can either choose to email with a representative or they will call you. If you want to talk in-person all you do is enter in your phone number and hit send and within seconds (SECONDS!) your phone rings and it’s a rep.
I was ready to do battle because my beloved Kindle died within warranty. I knew I didn’t have a leg to stand on but hey, squeaky wheel and all that.
Well, I didn’t even have to ask. I explained my situation and that was it, they replaced my Kindle and paid for the shipping. All I had to do was return the damaged one. Now here’s the kicker, my phone call was on Saturday and I had my new Kindle on Tuesday. And it came pre-loaded with my Kindle settings all I had to do was re-download my content.
Obviously, they’ve inspired me to be an even more loyal customer than I had been before the incident.
We talk about walking the walk to our clients all the time. Don’t just say something, BE it. People have to ‘Buy in” before they buy long term. Amazon has stated, “We’re Building Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company.” That’s a heck of a big statement but they proved they mean it.
Well, I’ve bought in.
Amid the flurry of conversations about the allegedly fake 911 ad for the WWF in Brazil, there is a silver lining.
The One Club is taking a stand, listening to our members (particular thanks to Matt Morin for keeping a level head) and the rest of the industry, and saying, ‘enough is enough.
Here’s the new policy:
Effective beginning in 2010…
1. An agency or regional office of an agency network that enters an ad made for a nonexistent client, or made and run without a client’s approval, will be banned from entering the One Show for five years.
2. The entire team credited on the “fake” entry will be banned from entering the One Show for five years.
3. An agency or regional office of an agency network that enters an ad that has run once, on late-night TV, or only because the agency produced a single ad and paid to run it itself will be banned from entering the One Show for three years.
Here’s the AdAge article.
On Adweek online, I offered to host a dialogue about award shows. There’s a lot of invective and hyperbole going on in the Twitterverse about Award Shows and the One Show in particular because this year’s judges deemed the 911/WWF ad worthy of a merit.
Without giving a value judgment to the ad itself, which I find a bit nonsensical more than offensive (though it is that as well) it seems to be sparking a debate about the value of the award show. Let’s make it a healthy debate.
I want to make it clear, I am not an apologist for award shows. There are too many of them, they’re too expensive, and it’s unclear as to their value to our business. That said, there a few shows that I love, in particular the One Show, The Kellys, CA and D&AD. They’re not perfect but they are what they are.
As far as the One Show, I can tell you, we really do try to weed out the fake work, or as I like to call it, Faux-bono. But it’s much more difficult than you think. This is a common topic at our board meetings and during judging.
During the judging we:
- We ask judges to flag work they think might be scam.
- We check each winning piece by asking for a tear sheet, a media plan and/or a letter from the client.
- No agency names/creative names are listed on the work while judging.
-No discussion is allowed while judging.
When we do discover fake work we do one or a combination of the following:
We strip the agency of the award.
We ask for the pencils back if given
We ban the agency/team from entering the next year.
Lastly, I’d like to remind everyone accusing the One Show of being all about greed that we are a non-profit. No one is making tons of money here, it just isn’t happening. If we have a good year it goes towards things like education, programs to further diversity in our industry and of course, into running the following year’s show and process. I served as chairman for 5 years for free as do all board members.
So back to the original point of this post, we have an all day board meeting coming up and I’d like to present some of your thoughts on what we might do to make the show and the process better.
If you’re going to be hater, and accuse all work of being fake, I ask you to step out from behind your anonymity and name the names and the work and more importantly, the proof that the award winning work you’re referencing is fake. Seriously.
Okay, have at it.
The accolades keep coming. Durham has been proclaimed one of America’s ‘best neighborhoods’ by Men’s Journal’s, well, Best neighborhood’s feature. That’s twice in one week, not bad. We love it but it’s good to see our fair city finally getting its due. And if you go to Elmo’s get the meatloaf. I’ll tell it to your face, it’s some good.
Here’s the Durham Excerpt:
12-Hour Test Drive: The Triangle’s Quiet Corner
WATTS-HILLANDALE/ DURHAM, NC
Chapel Hill gets more press, and Raleigh has more heft, but Durham is where sweet tea sidles up to espresso. 8 am: Stroll down Ninth, the strip serving Duke University, and stop at Elmo’s Diner. It’s great for gossip and a heaping plate of biscuits. 11 am: Clear your arteries with hoops in Oval Park, and note the park bulletin board’s for-sale-by-owner houses. Plenty of early-20th-century bungalows change hands this way because of the locals’ DIY ways. 6 pm: Head downtown for a Bulls game. Since Bull Durham the team has gone Triple A and gotten a swish stadium.
- Timothy Gray
Median Home Price: $161,710
Cost of Living Compared to Rest of U.S.: 2% lower
Sunny Days Per Year: 217
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Durham a city you Love once you get there
I Love Durham, I grew up in Cary believing the motto “Where Better Living Begins” never wanting to go to Durham only for visits to a cuz or fam friend’s house terrified from the news reports blasted daily by the durham news media(WTVD11), However years later I move to Durham and found the things reported are not always true, you have to experience Durham for yourself. Most of RTP is in Durham County so the job market is booming. Cary would not even be the size it is today without Durham Counties employment opportunities. Downtown has become the ideal place for food, fun, entertainment and the best Triple A baseball team in the country the Durham Bulls. Check out the major league players that came thru Durham. Remeber the movie Bull Durham shot in Durham, currently they are in talks about Kevin Costner making a 2nd movie. Currently they are shooting two movies in the “City Of Medicene” another nick name for Durham. Also known as the home of the Blue Devils(Duke)
The new Beatles RockBand has just been released. The game doesn’t actually interest me, but the animation for The Opening Cinematic is very cool. Heres the link http://www.thebeatlesrockband.com/cinematic.php
VMan Magazine asked Doug Pray to write a VManifesto on something he holds dear. In the ‘Hate something, Change something’ theme. (Their words not mine, sorry WK, London.)
He chose to write about what he learned from making Art & Copy.
His article begins with the last quote of the movie, George Lois saying “Creativity can solve anything…anything!” He goes on to talk about how the revolutionaries in our business are akin to insurgents working within the system to change things.
Advertising, when it’s done right, can be about a lot more than just crassly selling products. You can actually change culture and try to have a positive impact in the world. This is not a black and white issue and there’s no question that advertising can have a negative impact on the world. But it can also have a positive impact as well.
No matter what you do in the world of commerce, you can choose to make it bigger than just a ‘job’ and have a positive impact on everyone around you and even the rest of the world. (Cynics, start your flaming!)
Anyone can do this! All it takes is the will and determination. Creativity can solve anything!
Many of you have sent me emails about buying the Obama ‘States United’ poster. Greg Beauchamp, the artist/designer/all-around-hell-of-a-good-guy-behind-it with me is now selling it and some of his other works here.
Take a look and order it already. Better yet send the email to Barack.
If you were at this year’s One Show you already saw Ludacris hand out the first Green pencil. The Pencil went to Goodby/Silverstein for their Haagen Das Honey Bee Integrated campaign.
Because it’s an integrated campaign just go check out the work on Youtube to get the full scope. Really fantastic work and a great example of how a corporation can make a difference in the world and help their bottom line at the same time.
This just crossed my transom. I’ve always felt that the way agencies allow themselves to be treated is a bit ludicrous. Sure we can do things for less, especially if you have the right business model, but there are so many agencies clamoring for the same business that it’s a buyers market. But it’s all our own damned fault that this kind of thing goes on. Of course, this works perfectly for production companies as well.
Fun to watch though, no?
Who says print is dead? Or maybe more importantly, newspapers?
This idea for Tourism Queensland just won Best of Show at the One Show. The idea was to place small-space ads in newspapers all over the world advertising the “best job in the world.” To get the job you had to upload a video to a microsite saying why you should get the gig. A very unconventional idea for tourism advertising. The response was truly staggering.
Check out this drive safely commercial for Auckland’s Rodney District. It is an amazing piece of work.
Well produced, great music.
Check it out. In progress.
This is an article in Creativity David was asked to write about judging the Cannes in 2006. Click it to read.