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Original articles from Steffan Postaer.
The End of Bad Contracts (or, Money Tips for Creatives)
Like pro athletes, advertising creatives are notoriously bad when it comes to figuring out money, especially when it pertains to their employment contracts. Unlike pro athletes, however, we don’t have agents and managers to help us. With that in mind, here are a few tips.

'Romper Room' or Frat House? Sophomoric Behavior in the Creative Department Is Nothing New
Either way, what is it about creatives that make us -- at times -- so juvenile?

Just in Time for Winter: The Amish Fireplace!
Sensational ad copy -- and by sensational I mean flowery and deceiving -- still has a place in Ad land, even if it’s alongside a horse and buggy.

Don Draper Gets His Hat Handed to Him by Advertising Age, but Then Comes Back for More!
All were atwitter over the “Mad Men” premier this summer, because so much of the story had to do with moody Don Draper’s bungled interview with Advertising Age.

Advertisers: Are They Dreammakers or Frenemies?
Advertisers evoke our desires by creating dreams for us, also known as commercials, billboards, banners, and the like.

Guppies F*cking and the New Hybrid
I work for the day when of all my colleagues are hybrids, with digital folks thinking high concept and their creative counterparts respecting utility.

Advertising Today Is Less Interested in Legs, More Interested in Tits
Back when building a brand supposedly took time, it was deemed critical that marketing ideas have legs, particularly advertising campaigns.

Is Fashion Advertising Always Vapid and Pretentious?
By definition, fashion is advertising, but not the kind you and I specialize in. Uncut and undiluted by narratives, fashion advertising projects the creativity of the fashion designer or the “House” from which it originates: Gucci, Prada, Channel, or Dior. For the most part, these iconic brands eschew advertising campaigns in the ad-agency sense of the word, preferring projection to conception. It is the line that matters.

Here Lies Steffan Postaer
We define ourselves by our work. It becomes the who, what, where, how, and why of our lives. Can you deny it?

Oh, Pioneers! Feigning Expertise Ad Agencies Grapple With Social Media
Think about it. The experts and gurus of the Internet got their first computers 20 years ago (give or take), many much later. The inventors of Facebook, Craigslist, You Tube, Amazon and just about every dot com are not only still alive, they are still working. They are still pioneers, still learning as they go.

Is it a "Viral" or a TV Commercial and What's The Difference Anyway?
The rules for creating video content are different than they used to be. You Tube and the like have given everyone the idea that making a commercial is now cheap, fast and easy.

In Advertising, and in General, We are No Longer Capable of Being Appalled
Remember appalling? Remember when being intrusive or disruptive was a bad thing? Whether it was a terrible TV commercial or a gruesome homicide, we used to grimace at the offensive, raise hell about it if necessary. We were capable of being aghast.

The Recession in Adland: Can Bad Times Have a Silver Lining?
There is brutal comedy in the misfortune of others. If/when one agency hears of another’s misfortune we cheer. In bigger agencies, creative groups on one floor often compete and root against creative groups from another.

Au revoir les enfants d’advertising! My final column from Cannes.
And so we’ve come to the end of another Cannes Festival, albeit a smaller, more restrained version.

USA Today Dinner in Cannes: A Who's Who of the US Ad Scene
I attended the USA Today dinner honoring all the US judges participating in the Cannes festival. As it is every year, the dinner was at famed restaurant, Le Moulin de Mougins just outside of Cannes. At the event were many of our country’s leading advertising and marketing professionals, including the following: Bob Greenberg, Gerry Graph (jury), Michael Roth, David Lubars (head juror), Tom Bernadin, Ty Montegue, Howard Draft, Tom Bedecarre and dozens of others whose names and faces you’d recognize. Other jurors invited were Rich Silverstein, Nick Brien and David Droga. In addition, I was able to identify various marketing big wigs from Kraft, P&G and McDonald's.

Vanity and Pride on Full Display at Cannes (if You're Lucky!)
"We've created a system that rewards work that is increasingly unknown to anyone outside the business. We have become connoisseurs of esoterica. And in the process, we're becoming more about us, and less about changing the world. "We are becoming irrelevant award-chasers." - Jeff Goodby, in AdAge There was a comment on my blog, Gods of Advertising, from an anonymous person that said, “awards shows (such as Cannes) are for people who like the smell of their own farts.”

Observations from Cannes
Here are some of the big Lion winners for direct marketing, promotion and PR, by client: The Obama campaign, Haagan Dazs, Tourism Queensland, Guinness, and DeBeers Diamonds. There were others but the above-mentioned fared particularly well. Tourism Queensland managed to get the Grand Prix in both PR and Direct. Look at that list again. What do these seemingly disparate interests have in common, besides excellent campaigns? They are all very wonderful things.

Steffan Postaer's Guide to the Species in Cannes
All right folks, this is my official Cannes guide to people watching. For the sake of this discussion, we will be limiting our research to only advertising professionals migrating here for the International Advertising Festival. As you know, species from all over the world congregate on this balmy coast to network and compete against one another for Lions. The creatures have much in common, but let us focus on the differences, for that will make them easier to tell apart.

Steffan Postaer Writes from Cannes
The first time I went to Cannes, my agency booked me into a villa. A villa in the South of France! You can imagine how excited I was. Alas, though my trip had many high-points, said villa was not one of them. The accommodation was a warren of un-air-conditioned cubbyholes dug into the side of a hill, many kilometers away from town. The property did have an outdoor Jacuzzi. Unfortunately, it was almost constantly inhabited by a group of drunk, sunburned Germans. Vile in every way, I never went near them or it. I did, however, befriend a mouse-cat that had found its way into my room every night. In the end, if you’re in your hotel room, you’re either ill, making love, sleeping or dead. I wasn’t any of those.

In the Eyes of the Beholder
One thing that has always driven me crazy about advertising is the grandiosity we agencies have when it comes to talking about ourselves. As soon as I became part of my agency’s creative leadership I became part of the “Who are we?” discussion.

Integrated Marketing. For Guns and Roses, “it’s so easy.” For Ad Agencies, Not So Much.
Everything about Guns early “marketing” was a brilliant example of integrated marketing. A teaser campaign? Unofficial pseudo-bootleg? Sound familiar? That’s because it’s the same strategy countless brands...

Insecurity In the Creative Department. It Happens To the Best of Us.
Busy time at the agency. Lots of pitches. Lots of production. Always plenty of meetings. Factor in the brutal economy and you’ve got pressure. Being both player and coach in the creative department, I feel this pressure like a barometer.

Creative Rock Star
Another best of 2008! This article by Steffan Postaer was one of the years' most popular pieces. Please enjoy this article again and have a safe holiday season.

Why Are Creatives Such Big Babies?
Because we’re “connecting to our inner fantastic.” I spent the evening at my children’s school, meeting their teachers, discussing the upcoming year. During this visit, I became aware of how “creative” so much of my girl’s curriculum really is.

"Put it in writing."The power of print & outdoor
In 1998, Altoids won the prestigious Kelly award for best print campaign in North America. The campaign has since won numerous prizes and all of them, save last year’s Gold at Cannes, have come from print or outdoor executions.

The Creative Athlete: Winning at Any Age
Last week my piece on ageism created a small furor in Ad Land. This week, I continue the topic with the “Creative Athlete.” A bit of an eye-roller, I know. But before the haters crawl out from under their Macs, here me out…

Your Career in Creative: ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray'
Growing old. It’s the one thing we ad folks dare not speak of. Yet the ‘circle of life’ is anything but gradual in the agency jungle.


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