Look agencies are always the worlds biggest hypocrites. It’s true. But, you have to applaud, laugh, and shake your head when you see Crispin Porter + Bogusky bemoaning the flack they’re receiving for crowd sourcing a logo design for their client Brammo Motorcycles. Alex Bogusky, creative god to some and immature frat boy leader to others, got a nice little feel good pat on the back from Edward Boches. Why do I say “feel good pat on the back?” Well, Alex’s tweet earlier today certainly conveys that he believes Edward (who sides with CP+B) was spot on. For what it’s worth, I think it was a dumb gimmicky idea.
On with the show…so why do I think Crispin and Alex are hypocrites? Well, CP+B has had a loooooooong standing policy/philosophy that negated ever doing spec-work. As indicated by Ad Week in the 2008 Agency Report Card article, Nike was the only time they reneged on this philosophy.
This proved to be an overconfident move when the MDC shop cut 7% of staff, about 60 people, in early ’09. Agency backtracked on its no-spec pitch policy as relationship with Nike quickly soured over creative differences, learning that sometimes the process provides valuable foresight into the future success of the client/agency pairing.
Make no mistake, crowd sourcing a logo design where the winner get $1,000 is spec-creative. The $1,000 prize doesn’t even come close to compensating for the time and effort that will go into a logo design. Look, you can’t have an agency principle that says no spec creative, but then advise your clients to exactly the opposite. Where’s the integrity? If you waffle on something as simple as whether you’re for or against spec-work, what else will you waffle on? Oh, the hypocrisy.
Brands aren’t people. They never have been. They never will be. Nope. Brands are color, typography, a photo, an icon, a product, a building, a cube, some letterhead, but not a person. Ironically though, people can be brands. Michael Jordan is perhaps the best example. The Jump Man 23 logo and product line is Michael Jordan and without him there would be no brand…because he is the brand.
The brands I get the most out of on twitter are the brands that aren’t coming across as brands. They’re coming across as people. You know, real people. From Scott Monty to Frank Eliason there’s plenty of companies getting this right. But, for every Tom at Fancast, there’s Pizzahut. Some companies just don’t get it. I don’t want to connect with you logo. I want to connect with a real person.
Now I’m not saying your avatar/photo can’t be a logo. I’m totally cool with that. In fact I prefer it, because the people representing a brand can change, but the brand won’t. But, the bio should indicate who is representing the brand on twitter. Here’s an example of two brands using logos as avatars:
- Your direct line to the Pepsiverse. Currently serving: Ana and Rachel.
- Now You’re Eating
Hmm, do you want to connect with Ana and Rachel or “Now You’re Eating?” Seriously, think about it. Brands and brands on twitter will never make it, because people, despite their reliance on digital communication, want a personal and human touch.