Advertising with bite – from old men with all their own teeth!
I once had a work colleague who complained that she got her first wrinkle before she lost her last spot. Or, to put it another way, her prime was over before it began.
I know how she felt. It fits with the prejudices we all have about age, especially in the advertising world. You go from being unemployable because you have no experience to being put out to grass because you’re set in your ways.
Of course, In the ad industry we’ve made a rod for our own backs by our veneration of all that is ‘new’. We tell our prospects the product you have is ‘so last year’. You need the latest, new improved model etc. – all to generate new sales for our clients.
New media has reinforced this mindset. The death of the press, TV and all forms of traditional advertising has been solemnly announced, and digital proclaimed its invincible successor.
The Media Machine worships at the shrine of youth. Most recently, Auntie has attracted derision for its mutton-dressed-as-lamb programming in desperate pursuit of the youth market, whilst alienating its vastly more numerous mature viewers who actually watch tv.
Why this blind spot for the old? Especially as the elderly are the most rapidly growing sector of the population, and those between 50 and 65 have, on average, higher incomes and greater purchasing power than the young.
Which is why it’s gratifying to see that not everyone views wrinklies as write-offs. A new London Agency called Ancient & Modern has them firmly in their sights. And it won’t surprise you to learn that the partners of that agency are all Old Men.
They’re veterans of the business who, as they say, ‘can still produce advertising in the way it made, with care, craft and (hold on to your hats) an actual creative idea at the centre’.
And that’s no idle boast. Adrian Holmes, John O’Driscoll and Seamus O’Farrell (average age 64) are the bright old things who came up with such commercial classics as the ‘Heineken Refreshes the Parts’, ‘Happiness is a Cigar Called Hamlet’ and BT’s ‘Good to Talk’ campaigns.
And the work they’re turning out now – for Unilever, the London Diabetes Centre and Simplicity Cremations shows they’re far from past it. They might write about the grave, but they haven’t got one foot in it!
If you’re looking for someone with the wit and wisdom of the ages you might also like to look up Simpsons Creative. We’ve been in business for over 35 years and some of us still work a layout pad better than a Mac.
We also cut our teeth on traditional media, and still have them (teeth that is) for getting to grips with any creative challenge you care to set us!