— On Comms Design. From London


About 2 weeks ago, I got really upset at seeing this ad and posted a heartfelt “fuck you” to the advertiser behind it. My original post is here and includes a share of an article in the Guardian that, at that time, 2 weeks back, was smugly noticing that we have given in to advertising messages but forgotten to take a stand. The article said “Feminists may fondly recall the Fiat advert – slogan: “if it were a lady, it would get its bottom pinched” – that one clever woman vandalised with the words “if this lady was a car she’d run you down”. You rarely see such things these days, but the art of subvertising is alive and well on the internet.”

I didn’t particularly like the article  mostly because it takes that defeatist, “if we could make the perfect world we would, but unfortunately socialism is dead” stance that I really really hate from neo-socialists, but at the time it was the only thing being shared on the sheer ugliness that the ad was.

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I have been having this issue with people quoting articles I wrote 4-5 years ago.

Now, surprisingly, I have not always been this wise :D.

5 years ago, some things were just starting and I was making assumption about some things. Some of them may have turned out wrong. What am I supposed to do about the old articles where I was not 100% current and wise? Is it part of the blogging business to go back and rewrite things?


Have you heard this? I have. Several times in several agencies I was working at one time or the other. The client does not like strategy so let’s not do any “strategy slides”. The client does not like strategy, he/she likes to evaluate creative and guess the strategy. The client does not like strategy so let’s not discuss metrics, brand tracking, wider objectives and focus on the creative.

When I was starting as a planner, I got all paranoid when hearing this and thought the client lead was trying to keep me from client-facing time. Later, I thought clients had the prerogative of being so in charge of their strategy that they did not need to be reminded of what it was.

It seems to me now, however, that a more insidious thing is happening and it’s not the client’s fault and not the planner’s fault and most certainly not strategy’s fault.  We are effectively misunderstanding the role of strategists.

When clients’ give off the vibe of “not liking strategy” what they do not like

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Today LinkedIn has publicly announced a new curation and sharing tool called Elevate. Read the blog post about this here. This is an interesting development from the social network, which rests on some daring assumptions about why people use LinkedIn and how easy it is to turn your staff into your ambassadors but also meets the increased demand for branded content distribution (mostly after Facebook organic reach for branded pages fell off the cliff last year).

To start with, I think it’s interesting that LinkedIn is refraining from using the more widely spread term of “social brand ambassador” in favor of something a bit more neutral – “social professional”, a term which implies benefits for both the employer and the employee. The implication here is that employees will be trained to be more social media savvy, while the companies will have more “buzz agents” for lack of a better term. Having read and re-read the posting, I wonder if this use of a neutral term is actually an easy way to not get embroiled in the conversation about making employees your brand ambassadors online, a feat which only few companies have managed to pull to date. Read More

Read a HUGE rant I tried to submit as an entry for the AdMap award. They said no and suggested that I keep trying with this actual line “last year’s winner submitted three times before she won”. LOLOL. I guess the idea of writing about something because you care as opposed to writing to win an award is lost on these people :)


The advertising world routinely goes through incomprehensible scares, where “stuff” happening outside of what it defines to be its core business seeps in and, allegedly, affects operations, business modelling, staff structures and, more importantly, the very heart of what we sell, the creative product.

In the paragraphs below, I argue that seismic change has occurred before, that the digital age brings only opportunity with it, and we need to understand that, at the end of it all, it is the human element that will always make the fundamental difference.

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I was watching the last episode of Mad Men season 7 and something struck me. All of those people sitting in their living rooms, hotel rooms, any room really, watching the first man land on the moon.

We’ve been lucky to live in a time where some amazing scientific accomplishments have happened already. The LHC came online only a couple of years back. We put a rover on Mars and another one on a comet.

How many of us were perched on the edge of our seats watching this live as it was happening and NOT playing Candy Crush on our phones?

Not many, I promise you.

OMG! Read this article please! It’s so damned comforting to find such simple truth expressed in such simple and persuasive words! Yes, the tech industry’s ability to solve problems, any problems, has been faultily enhanced by the deluge of money from financing firms looking to get rich fast. But that does not mean than they know any better and examples like Uber messing up big time at everything from basic HR, management, crisis management to Snapchat being unable to put the reins on a misogynistic, childish CEO only go to prove as much.

So why would we assume that Facebook will be able to deliver news and content? Dave Pell is right when he says that:

“But building a really successful app or site does not mean you know more about education than educators. Disrupting the photo-sharing space does not qualify you to disrupt higher education. Or to understand the health system better than doctors. Or to understand the woes of urban poverty better than those who have spent a career on those corners.”

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here. I have personally experienced stock, modified and ROM and forked and I have to say, if you’re a user of all things Google through your one Google account like me, the stock version is pristine and flaweless, the modified one quite scary on low-end devices like the 100GBP Samsungs and the ROMs give you an interestingly clean experience.

Colombian Illustrator Alejandro Giraldo made these. From here





The definitions are too imprecise, the lists not exhaustive, the approach too schematic but there is something to be learned from this deck so have a look

Daca tot am facut filmulet de endorsement(mai jos), hai sa zic cateva vorbe si despre carte ca sa nu para ca l-am laudat numai ptr ca e autorul simpatic.

“Brief, 99 de chestii pe care as fi vrut sa le stiu cand am intrat in publicitate” e o carte care o sa displaca creativilor tineri si accountzilor batrani.

In esenta cartea e plina ochi de “miez“, adica de sfaturi muncite, gandite, relevante si pline de bun simt. Problema ei e ca transforma un job pe care avem nevoie sa il vedem drept individual si aspirational, intr-unul relational si uman.  Tranca vorbeste foarte putin despre lucrurile despre care auzim la conferintele de profil. Nimic din ce descrie el in cartea asta nu seamana cu ce stim noi din interviurile cu directori de creatie aroganti, culi si atinsi de spleenul artistului neinteles. Publicitatea lui Tranca  nu e una aspirationala in stilul clasic, e una cu sfaturi “batranesti” al caror principal punct comun este, repet, bunul simt, adica exact ce nu vrem sa stim cand intram un publicitate, pentru ca, nu?, publicitatea inseamna conversi, cearcane, postari absconse pe Facebook, tigari fumate in lant, cinism si alte cele.

“Brief” ne invata sa fim adulti si sa ne luam in serios munca, sa ii intelegem profund pe cei cu care lucram, sa muncim mult, greu, focusat, sa ne dezvoltam ca oameni.

Nimic din asta nu seamana cu lucrurile pe care le stim despre publicitate. Iata numai cateva exemple de idei despre care te prinzi tarziu, cu siguranta numai dupa 30 si de ani, cand deja esti in publicitate de mai bine de 5 si nu te-ai lasat complet aiurit de mirajul “spleenului”.

–       sa te raportezi la oamenii de la client ca la niste oameni nu ca la niste surse de finantare ptr ideile tale

–       sa intelegi ca ideile se nasc dintr-un context mental pe care il stimulezi constant NU cu care te nasti

–       sa inveti niste chestii de bun simt legate de “productia” creatiei cum ar fi ca un spot radio se scrie intr-un fel si se citeste in alt fel.

Marturisesc ca pe mine cel mai tare m-au atins chestiunile legate de relatia cu clientii. Multa vreme am trait cu credo-ul Wieden& Kennedy in cap. The work comes first, relationships and egos later sau deloc. Fiind genul de control freak indragostit de ideea de a avea dreptate si de Dr. House, nu intelegeam nevoia raportarii la o realitate mai complexa. Daca insightul si creatia erau “corecte” atunci opiniile alora nu contau. Ce interpretasem eu gresit era importanta. Wieden nu zice ca numai munca conteaza, el zice ca munca e cea mai importanta dar trebuie sa ne uitam si la relatii si la ce ne satisface la nivel personal. Mi-au trebuit 10 ani sa ajung cu capul la nivelul asta si acolo unde Sorin Tranca incearca sa ne aduca pe toti, intr-un loc unde ce fac e un Job, facut alaturi de zeci de alti oameni, intr-o realitate economica complicata si una umana si mai complicata si cei care obtin rezultate sunt cei care pot sa combine toate aceste informatii in ceva constructiv.

In final, daca va intrebati cum ramane cu Big Idea (stiti voi, chestia aia pe care o cautam cu totii acum 10 ani), o sa gasiti cateva raspunsuri interesante in sectiunea Ideile din cartea lui Sorin. Si da, e posibil ca toate cele de mai sus, precum si cateva dintre “chestiile” lui Sorin sa sune mai putin eroic decat ne asteptam, dar realitatea este ca Big Idea exista de cele mai multe ori retroactiv (cam cum zicea cineva ca te prinzi ca o persoana este The One nu la inceput ci la final) si, ca sa nu te arzi la 40 de ani si sa trebuiasca sa iti iei lumea in cap ca sa nu o iei razna, trebuie sa iti faci cele cateva milioane de momente in-between cat mai bune si mai rewarding pentru toti cei implicati. Cartea lui Sorin te invata cum sa faci asta.

Luati, deci, si cititi.