Richard Cline’s Agency Life
Hal Riney: For Better Or for Worse?
Very appropriate, the use of black-and-white photos for “The Life of Riney” [Adweek Feature, Sept. 13]. It did, after all, read like circa 1979.
I, like many of my contemporaries (creatives around 30), appreciate wizened insight from “old schoolers.” But, more so when it’s insight we can internalize and adapt for stronger creative, not when it comes from an “I’ve been around so I know my way’s right” angle.
For instance, when Hal states, “he thinks visually” and goes on to point out that many young writers do not, he’s further away from the truth than San Francisco is from New York. Hal, it’s the opposite, if anything. Thinking visually? Wow, who would’ve thunk it?
And Hal also edits while he writes. Too bad kids coming out of Creative Circus with reels didn’t possess that foresight.
Let’s face it. Advertising as we knew it is dying and so is Hal. He had his day. It’s time for him to peer over the top of his glasses and try to imitate the vistas in Wyoming. We “guess that’ll be all right” with us.
Emmerling Post Advertising, New York
Hal Riney is a testament to the independent spirit of advertising, a spirit that is lacking in much of the industry today. Hal does it his way. His body of work is one of three that guides us at our shop. Riney, Ogilvy and Bernbach paved the way for all of us who want to take that risk and do truly exceptional work. Sure there have been others, but these guys are simply the best.
I would be pleased if, in 40 years’ time, my shop and I have a reputation and a history of work that is just one-tenth of what Hal Riney has accomplished. May we be so lucky to see another 20 years of Hal Riney. Go, Hal!
You don’t need to be a paragon of moral virtue to shill for corporate America, but consistency doesn’t seem like too much to ask. In your article about Hal Riney, we learn that Mr. Riney feels that “the concept of abandoning your family is unthinkable to me.” Not too far from that quote, we are treated to a shot of the celebrated communicator with the fourth Mrs. Riney.
How unthinkable is that?
Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Spanish or English?
Work in Both Languages
Iwant to offer a counterpoint to Rick Chavarria’s letter [Letters, Aug. 30] about the Hispanic market. I do not believe addressing the Hispanic consumer is strictly a question of language. I do believe, however, that relying only on Spanish or only on English will never address the full range of the Hispanic consumer segment.
In this regard, we have always seen Spanish TV as part of the overall media mix. In the same way that people use Nickelodeon to extend its reach against kids, or MTV to extend its reach against young adults or Lifetime to do the same with women, Spanish television is used to extend reach against Hispanics. This, of course, takes particular care of one end of the Hispanic spectrum, statistically called “Spanish dominant.”
The other end of the spectrum–the “English dominant”–has a problem inherent to Mr. Chavarria’s comments. Marketers believe that their general-market plan does the job with English-dominant Hispanics precisely because they speak English and watch English-language television. Despite this general belief, Hispanic agencies (including our own, of course) have managed to sell and produce a substantial amount of English-language Hispanic advertising that has run in English-language media.
Two final points. First, the effectiveness of Spanish TV is determined by the cost of reaching a certain number of consumers (CPMs), just like English TV. Ratings are provided by the same sources as English TV and with the same methodology. Finally, we do not believe we Hispanics “are not becoming part of the U.S. culture.” We have always been an integral part of the American fabric–from Ricky Ricardo to Ricky Martin.
Eduardo del Rivero
del Rivero Messianu Advertising, Coral Gables, Fla.
Ron Barrett Happens!
Drawing Deserved Praise
Kudos to you and that wonderful Ron Barrett! Ron can really crack me up, like his recent cartoon [Art & Commerce, Aug. 30] for Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos (“Decor style: Crumbs happen!”).
He has a wonderful way of making us feel not so bad about our surroundings. I read his cartoons and think, “Oh, we’re just like that.”
Executive administrative assistant Destia Communications, Paramus, N.J.
Selling the Whopper: BK Has a Brand New Bag
As a real consumer (as opposed to a reviewer) of real hamburgers, I don’t agree with Barbara Lippert’s view that Burger King lacks cohesiveness and identity in its new campaign [Critique,
Aug. 23]. On the contrary, I think they not only break exceptionally well through the TV clutter but also deliver a hell of a message.
Where do I see this effectiveness? I find myself going to Burger King much more than to McDonald’s. I see my 8-year-old daughter not objecting to my choice of BK over McDonald’s (which used to be her favorite) and, best of all, I can actually recall Burger King advertising!
So, as a consumer, BK hits three out of three: It’s got recall; it’s got choice; and it demolished opposition from an opinionated 8-year-old accustomed to having it her way.
Senior vice president, regional media director
Foote, Cone & Belding, Miami
Ogilvy’s Rolls-Royce Ad A Packard Knock-off
The letters praising David Ogilvy’s ad for Rolls-Royce were praising the wrong ad and the wrong copywriter [Letters, Aug. 9].
The headline “All you hear at 60 miles per hour is the ticking of the clock” was copied from an ad written for Packard by Jack Rosebrook at Young & Rubicam. I was writing at Y&R then and I know that Rosebrook called Ogilvy about it. Ogilvy admitted he copied it. That Packard ad is still in Y&R’s library files, if you’d care to check.
Roger A. Purdon
Former creative director
McCann-Erickson, New York
Richard Cline’s Agency Life