Where portfolio students talk.

Monday, March 5, 2007

The Crispin Porter Effect

The past couple of years have been big ones for the Miami based agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky. They've brought a new wave of guerilla marketing/advertising to the forefront of the industry, and challenged classic norms on how people interact with the thousands of messages everyday consumers are bombarded by, to cut thru the clutter of today's age of commercial clutter (phew, long sentence).

Their non-conventional/alternative approach to Cooper Mini won them awards and accounts--including the VW account without even having to bid.

But the question I pose to all of you: Is the Crispin model for sucess, a legitamete model of sucess for students trying to break into the advertising industry?

How many clever ego emissions ads, mailers, or magazine placement specific ads should we as students be putting in our books? A lot of these kinds of executions seem risky to me in the big picture, and our industry professional teachers either really dig them, or dismiss them. I often find myself boiling it down to a battle of classic vs. contemporary. There are those who will say that a great idea is a great idea, and you should find a way to do it no matter what, and while I agree with that--there's no doubt in my mind that it isn't that clear cut. Case in point:

We were given the assignment of 3M Filtrete Air filters. One cross-platform campaign we came up with was the idea of marketing air as a cologne, or perfume. There would be print ads that looked like classic cologne/perfume (essentially parodys) that had the fold out tab where you could smell the scent of pure air. Interactive would follow, as well as possibly television running the whole campaign as this sarcastic homage to a scent that doesn't really exist.

To me, that's an example of a big idea that has cross media legs, but our instructor--a writer at BBDO Minneapolis, and veteran writer at Carmichael Lynch wasn't a big fan of the idea, citing that it seemed played out.

But when we brought the campaign idea to another writer, Colin Corchoran, admitidley younger, he really dug the idea. I know, I know, it's a really subjective industry--but what I'm trying to get at is whether the pervasivness of the Crispin Porter attitude/creative creedo, is merely a style that only comes into play once you get into the industry, or, a legitamte well for all students to not only try and tap into--but, a must to tap into.


Brock Johnson said...

I don't hate on Crispin because they hit a fresh idea hard. I don't think that doing all alt media or Crispin style will work for you, just as I don't think all headline ads will do it for you.

The goal is to have a book with killer campaigns in alt media, newspaper, headline ads, super conceptual shit, visual solution etc. With a nice variety, you can't go wrong. Focusing on just one specialty is a mistake in my opinion.

It's like me hooking up with fat chicks. Fuck it, gotta add to the repertoire, ya know?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Johnson, I would kindly ask you to keep your analogies to a dull-roar.