Friday, December 01, 2006

Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Fallon - the Novels

It seems that the hot thing for hot shops to do is publish a book.

This summer, founding partner Fred Senn and agency chairman Pat Fallon published Fallon's creative manifesto, "Juicing the Orange." Fallon quickly followed this with "The Work: 25 Years of Fallon," which features the infamous SuperBowl cat herder on the cover.

Not to be outdone, Crispin, Porter + Bogusky recently came out with "Hoopla," which highlights CP+B's rise to the "new hotness." Make sure to check out this great post about CP+B and the book from Room 116's Bryan Chiao. The post includes this great email from Alex Bogusky:
Subject: Creativity
Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2002 5:44 AM
From: Alex Bogusky
To: All Agency

In the second paragraph of the Creativity magazine article begins, "Right now the agency (Crispin Porter + Bogusky) is probably the hottest in the United States." It is amazing for me to read those words being written about us. In a lot of ways it is the culmination of a dream that seemed silly to everyone I know except my wife. She really did see it happening all those years ago and has never been surprised by our successes. Even when I wanted her to be surprised. But dreams need to last a lifetime and we're not dead yet. Some of you just arrived and I imagine you are hoping that you haven't gotten here right after all the excitement either. So we need some new lofty goals. I have a few that always get my blood going.

Being "hot" as they put it in the Creativity article feels pretty fickle. And how "hot" something got usually is a pretty poor indicator of how much impact it had on the world. Case in point: The Razor scooter. I don't want to be a Razor scooter. I want to change the world. At least a few little bits of it.

  • I want people to say "then cp+b came along and changed things and now nobody does it that old way anymore."
  • I want to be the agency that ruined it for every other agency in the world.
  • I want old fashioned agencies to look at us and see their own demise because they know they won't be able to do what we do.
  • I want to continue to evolve and morph into what all the smart people we hire want us to become.
  • I want to be a great place for clients to keep their brands and I want to be an even greater place to work.
  • I want to become known as the best place to work in south florida.
  • I want us all to look for more ways to help out in our community.
  • I want to run our company the way every 12 year old dreams of running a company because 12 year olds are right.
  • I want to be the agency that ruined it for every other agency in the world.

We make our clients famous by any means at our disposal. We need to be what ad agencies will become. When Steve Breen from Molson spoke today you could see how excited he was about our bizarre and fresh way of looking at brand building. And Molson hasn't even begun to tap into that yet. They're still just using us as a typical agency and all he can think about is what we will build that twists his product and his marketing and his PR into one big Molson famous makin' machine.

Here's the tricky part. I want us to do all this while keeping the qualities that make us decent folks to hang out with. I want us to remain humble. Past success is no measure of what we will do so best to be humble. After all it's just advertising anyhow. I want us to hold onto our ability to accomplish a lot with a lot less than most agencies. The huge amounts of money that we are put in charge with should always be looked at in terms of what it can accomplish outside of what we are doing with it. $100,000 might seem like less money than you might want to produce a national tv spot but remember you can build a freaking house with it. Always keep perspective on the money you are allocating.

And finally, I want us to keep having fun and being good to one another. Because otherwise, why bother with all the rest. A good friend of mine wrote me recently because he was frustrated with the advertising business and frustrated by so many of the people he works for and with. He wrote. "It astounds me how people are afraid of so many things but mediocrity never seems to be one of them."

I'm afraid to be mediocre. I'm afraid to stop getting better. I hope you are, too. Because to the rest of the world that looks like courage. Just look at Creativity magazine.

As I told Bryan, that's some "Jerry McGuire 5 a.m. making copies at Kinkos to pass out to the whole company" stuff right there.

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At 3:53 PM, Anonymous MINIapolis said...

I've seen both books. And they just may be suited to different audiences.

The Fallon book is a beautiful, albeit "slick" coffe table book, layed out very traditionally. It takes itself pretty seriously.

The CP+B Hoopla book is untraditional in the layout, more scrapbooky, and as the name indicates, doesn't take itself so seriously. Along with the work are a lot of fun and entertaining elements from the agency culture (real emails, personal ads, agency foods in the kitchen, etc.)

So, which book are you? You decide.


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