Cannes Is For Closers

The New York Times and Adfreak are highlighting this self-promo campaign from Ogilvy One.

Ogilvy execs apparently believe that salesmanship is a lost art. One they intend to find and revive.

Rory Sutherland, vice chairman for the British operations of Ogilvy & Mather, said, “There’s an interesting case to be made that advertising has strayed too far from the business of salesmanship,” which is unfortunate because it can be “a good test of how well you understand people and your creativity.”
“Salesmanship has been lost in the pursuit of art or the dazzle of technology,” said Brian Fetherstonhaugh, chairman and chief executive at OgilvyOne in New York. “It needs to be rekindled in this postrecession environment, as consumers are making more informed and deliberate choices.”

While this is one more consumer generated video pitch, I do like Ogilvy’s emphasis on the need for sales. What I don’t like is the conceptual nature of selling judges within the agency a brick. There’s no actual transaction built into this promotion. It would be much improved if the video contestants actually drove real sales of a real product or service. Then Ogilvy wouldn’t need to “judge” the winners, the winners would be those with the most sales.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.