I’m Quitting Advertising


In case you missed it, That Damn Oreo Tweet recently won a Cannes Lion. Which puts me in an awkward spot personally I suppose.

Now it’s not so much the work itself that makes me angry. I think Oreo does really nice stuff creatively. It’s simple, it’s clever, it’s timely, it’s on-brand, and it almost always fits the medium in which it appears

I have no axe to grind with Oreo.

My anger and disappointment is actually with the ad industry, that’s holding this up as something revolutionary. Something that deserves the grandest of advertising awards.

But the joke’s on us. 

Because in bestowing this award on this piece of work, we’re actually exposing a really sad truth. That the advertising industry has become so top-heavy with cost and process and approvals and meetings and waste, that the idea of just making a simple image, and deploying it to a simple platform at an opportune moment, is considered at this point to be ground-breaking.

We’re so screwed, that we’re giving out awards based less on the work itself, and based mainly on the fact that someone (by all appearances) was able to dodge the bullshit and actually do something.

And it’s not going to get better.

So….what then?

The existing system is breaking. And though I am certainly not the first to say it, and definitely won’t be the last, I’m going to try like hell to do something about it. 

I promised that if the Oreo tweet won a Cannes Lion, I’d quit advertising. And now I’m going to do that. Kind of.

I’m leaving my day job, and heading off to create my own agency (with my friend and now partner Thomas), and it’s going to be called Heart.

For now, we’ll just be two misfit planner/strategist/creative guys with a simple philosophy - In that we want to bring brand thinking to startups, and startup thinking to brands, by stripping away all of the superfluous things in the traditional agency model, that don’t matter to us and don’t work hard for you.

We want to work faster, smarter, and lighter. We want to work at pace with other passionate people. We want to make smart things that make our partners richer and famous-er. We want to work in the name of work that works.

In simple terms, we’ll be offering our deep expertise in brand planning, creative development and growth strategy, without the cumbersome ad agency model and way of working.

So here goes nothing. Maybe we’ll fail. Maybe the machine is the machine and the current current will be too strong for us to swim against. Might happen.

But we’re still going to fucking try and do this. Because we believe it and believe in it. Because we have heart.

47 notes

  1. lukashmayyn reblogged this from andrewteman and added:
    I’m late on this, but really interesting read & the comments have some great POV too. If you work in advertising, you...
  2. apetersen reblogged this from andrewteman
  3. thegreatdanaj reblogged this from andrewteman and added:
    {Great message. He’s right, the ad/marketing industry is changing, but how do we get back to where it should be? -dj}
  4. reakti0ner reblogged this from andrewteman
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  9. jamescobo reblogged this from andrewteman and added:
    I have a new hero.
  10. getbeta reblogged this from andrewteman and added:
    An interesting read (particularly the comments lower down on his post).
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