Monday, December 8, 2008

The Bullshit Interview with Dabitch

The Bullshit Interview is an interview with a twist. The idea is to shoot unexpected queries at ad people and see how well they bullshit their way out of it. The first soul on Earth who's volunteered to take the interview is the one and only Dabitch.

Dabitch - or as her passport reads, Åsk Wäppling - is the founder of Adland the commercial archive, obsessively collecting ads since 1996 hosting the worlds largest superbowl collection. She likes turtles, cats, Vespas and hates walks on the beach. An art director by day and maverick ad-commentator by night - when she's not at her computer she's likely dead. Now let's see how she fared...

How do you explain art direction to a blind man?
The same way I explain music to a deaf person and the female orgasm to a man. I let them feel it.

Why do women like pink?
Why do men assume that we do? Women don't like pink. Little girls like pink. The two shouldn't be confused else you might end up in jail.

If a good friend of yours won a Cannes Grand Prix for a plagiarized ad, would you carry that scoop in your blog?
Yes of course, unlike my good friends in advertising my website has actually been with me for the past twelve years. Ad-pals come and go. Tossers.

But seriously, I'd point the similarities out but I could only prove plagiarism if I was there when they used tracing paper on top of the other ad. We all know this doesn't happen (well, it probably did in this case) - ideas do pop up in two peoples heads independent of one another. People do build on things that they have seen in real life. Coincidences do happen. Scam ads, knowingly competing with an ad that no client has ever approved - are a much bigger sin than accidental similarities between two different campaigns in my book. It's like being a steroid body builder competing against a natural body builder. I know that I began Adland by only talking about Badland ads (that is coincidental and similar ideas) but I don't think people copy on purpose as often as people seem to think, I think that similar ads happen when lazy creatives don't push to the next level and execute the very first decent idea that they thought of - which just happens to be the very first decent idea another creative team thought of for another client across the globe. Also there's been quite a few "OMG PLAGIARISM" yelled at people when they simply use the same new media as another campaign, as if every poster in the world communicates the same exact idea. You have to recognize what the idea is in each ad, and please remember that it's not the font, not the media and not the tone of voice that is the idea – they just communicate the idea. They're the execution.

Having said all that I still think it's fun to show twin ads when they happen, even if by accident, just because it's kinda freaky. Like we all share the same brain. Maybe we do?

Also, there's been more than one story where a large brand takes interest in non commercial artists work, and then creates a commercial or similar which is heavily influenced by said work and not a penny goes to the artists for this free inspiration. If a photographer, animator, illustrator or musician is the perfect fit for your advert at least have the decency of hiring the people you're ripping off. Here rip-off means something else.

What's your conspiracy theory on why Neil French started the World Press Awards?
He wanted to see his name in print more often.

If you were to be reborn as a font, which font would you choose to be? And why?
Helvetica. Classically stylish, discreet, versatile, and annoyingly every-damn-where you can't escape me!

What are the three things you will change about Luerzer's Archive if you were made its editor?
Format, paper, website.

If you were to do an ad campaign for the Mumbai Terrorists, what would be your communication strategy?
For media, I'd definitely use guerrilla.

Why is Thai advertising wacky?
Same reason the Thai people are. Too much Sambal Oelek makes you a little unpredictable. They've exported this national feature to The Netherlands where it takes on a new form as it's mellowed out by smoke. All hail Sambal Oelek, the best thing since the birth of chili itself.

If ad agencies were movie titles, what would the apt choice be for a)Crispin Porter Bogusky b) Kessels Kramer c) Wieden+Kennedy?
a) The Dark Knight
b) The Incredibles
c) The Matrix

Which is the most over-hyped campaign of 2008?
Crispin Porter’s VW Routan campaign with Brooke Shields. They missed the funny by half a mile. Runner up: The Whopper Virgins campaign and all other Crispin campaigns - they had a terrible year where they seemed to go out of their way to offend people rather than amuse.


Anonymous said...

Brilliant! Original! More please!

Casie Stewart said...

omg awesome. love this idea.

if you ever wanna bullshit interview me i'd SO be down :)