Technological slaves

campesino” Today the people does not value the real things , but across the images that they has of them. They knows about the facts with the selected images that the television serves him and forms judgments with the words that he listens to a commentator. The world has become big and is far. And the mass media, though seemingly they bring the things over, what they do actually is to apart it from them. Because they make us believe that everything is there, within reach of our hand, and that everything we can include and assimilate it. They provide to us the culture of the botched job, of the stained averages, of the superficial thing, of the ambiguous thing. They teach us the art of knowing everything, without knowing nothing.

A medieval man, in a little village, had a small, tiny, but familiar and known world. He knew the smell of his land and the weight of every stone with which he had raised his house. He knew every neighbor, every domestic animal, every house, every tree, every path. And though his world was very small, he was more nearby that we of the universe. He had an opinion of the things felt, lived, felt and smelt, whereas to us atrofian the senses the printed inks and the cathode beams of the television ”

I wrote these lines in an article for the magazine Communication in June, 1975. Today, 38 years later, it seems to me that they are more in force than never, because to the media noise of then the whole informative tsunami of Internet has added to finish of complicating everything.

We have to our scope all the possible information, but every time we have less time to assimilate it. So we are reducing our culture to the common places that share the masses. Million of contents overfly our heads, scratching our brain without penetrating in him.

We have learned to handle a few technological instruments that give us the sensation of being able to include everything, but actually we are not any more than slaves than this technology. A species of magic wand that brings the things over, but that does not allow us to have them, to feel them and to assimilate them, because his magic is too fast for our limited aptitude to handle the time.

Mad Men

mad-men-serie-television-creativos-publiciarios-2On December 15, 1960 I had fourteen years old. Two days before I have been employed as trainee at the most important agency of advertising in Spain. Ruescas, had 120 employees and was working for the majority of the American brands that in those years were starting coming to the Spanish market. The cigarettes Winston and Camel, the candlesticks Champion, the soap Palmolive and the toothpaste Colgate were some of his principal clients. Three years later, in 1963, McCann Ericson landed in Spain and bought hundred for hundred of Ruescas’s stocks. The new name was Ruescas-McCann Ericsson and the methods of work were adapted immediately to Madison Avenue´s style. We learned all to be Mad Men.

The more I see the television´s serie, the more I admire his scriptwriters for the thin work that they have developed. Because this way they were the agencies of advertising in the sixties. An environment exciting and glamorous, replete with brilliant minds wrapped in alcohol, tobacco, sex and ambitions. And in addition, with the professional exciting challenge of understanding the television, this new invention that was revolutionizing everything.

The Mad Men of the sixties was facing keenly the conquest of the television. They were advertising´s experts in the printed means, big editors and the directors of art who had forged his careers in the pages of the diaries and the magazines. Also they were handling with fluency the radio, which had been the media´s king in the 40s and 50s. But all his experience was costing very little to move her to this new way that was triumphing in the audience rankings.

In Ruescas-McCann the television was an exclusive heritage of an Australian called Frank Boss, who was the only creative specialist in this area. Nobody any more in the agency was intervening in the television announcements. He was taking charge writing the scripts, the producers choosing and supervising creativamente the whole process. It is possible to say that the big announcements that the agency produced in the middle of the sixties were exclusively a his work.

Naturally, given the importance of the television and his unstoppable growth in the budgets of the clients, all the creative ones of the agency were joining to the process of production of the announcements. I did it from 1965, when I started developing my labor as editor and assistant of Charlie Burlakow, the creative director of the agency. This way so, my career since creative it is possible to say that it is tied to the television of a very special way, since it it is for all those of my generation, that we were giving our first steps at the same time as the own way.

Our generation reached the success as creative of television in the golden decade of the eighties, in which Spain shared prizes and international recognition with England and The United States, undoubtedly the teachers of the kind. I predicted it in 1980, the first time that I was jury of the Festival of Cannes. In these days, the English magazine Campaign asked me for an article about the Spanish creativity and I dared to write that Spain would be the third creative power of the decade. The english men remained so hallucinated that they emphasized this phrase of my article in the front page of the magazine. But they themselves, together with all the rest countries of the world, would recognize it a few years later.

The television has not died since they preach some, but undoubtedly already it is not what was. The spots are increasingly boring and the interruption of our leisure with blocks of unbearable duration makes them really odious. On the other hand, the Internet irruption in the last years of last century and his unstoppable development, has discovered to the users of this new way a power of choice that is revolutionizing everything. The consumer already does not want, or wants less and less, to be interrupted by the advertising and it is required that this one forms a part indissolubly of the contents in that he is interested. And only it is ready to support it if this union turns out to be completely satisfactory for him.

On the other hand, the conventional media of the 20th century, has broken in thousand pieces. The creativity has flooded the streets with new formats and the digital means triumph on all the screens, penetrating the old frontiers of the television and the cinema, to exploit in the computers, the mobiles, the tablets or the plasma panels. Again the Mad Men must face to a prodigious decade. From his particular job, very different environment undoubtedly to that of the happy ones sixty, have to appear that the advertising of before already does not work for the future.

The new times demand new solutions and the people that begin now, have ahead the task of finding them. That forget the old men Mad Men, dinosaurs of a brilliant epoch of the past. His example only must to them serve to confront keenly this new stage, with the safety of which they also will shine in the new means, as his predecessors they did it with that revolutionary television, which made go on to them to the history of the advertising and lead fifty years later one of the most popular series of the television of today.

Interview about my book “Bye, bye, Marketing”


bye-bye-marketingIs marketing in crisis? Judging by the title of the book, it would be said that he has died.

– Undoubtedly the marketing is in crisis, as almost all the commercial tools and of communication. And it is possible to say that the old marketing of the 20th century, this marketing based on the famous ones 4 P (Product, Price, Place, Promotion) has gone on to the history. Now the new managerial strategies cannot lose of sight to fifth P, the Persons, who have turned into the axis of all the processes.

If the marketing has died, what or has who killed it?

– It has expired of natural death. Already it was almost centenary and all the ailments were weighing him. In addition, the whole world has pledged in spoiling it, giving him new surnames and loading him with responsibilities. Mobile Marketing, E-mail Marketing, Buzz Marketing, Street Marketing, Field Marketing, Geo Marketing, Engagement Marketing … and dozens of surnames more. Too many confusion. Undoubtedly the marketing already is not what was.
Along the history, have the agencies of advertising done the marketing to his clients? Has this situation changed?

In fact, the advertising agencies invented the marketing before the teacher of the Harvard Business School Neil H. Borden it was putting name in 1950. Marion Harper Jr., president of McCann-Erickson arranged the tools of marketing that were used of form isolated by companies as Coca Cola or Procter & Gamble from ends of the 19th century, and he has created the Agency of Full Services that, for many years it was the department of marketing of the majority of the companies.
Later the companies created his own departments of marketing, and it, together with the summit of the television in the eighties, it finished with the Agencies of Full Services.

Has Internet had also some protagonism in all these changes?

Certainly. And not only Internet. The classic technologies of marketing have met exceeded by the conversion of the products in brands, for the Internet appearance and the shining development of the new technologies, the irruption of the mobiles, the decadence of the television and the transformation that the mass media are suffering. And very specially for the abandon of the passive attitude on the part of the consumers.

 ” From the power of the market to the power of the consumer ” it is the subtitle of his book. Internally, in Unilever they are called the consumer ” the chief “. But many people think that the consumer is easily operable, which one cheats often. Which is true of all this?

– The consumer has never been operable. Not at least in the fifties, when the strong seller’s markets were allowing that one should not possess him in the commercial strategies. The people know very well what wants and what he needs, and the only thing that there can do the manufacturers, the brands, the products and the most possible thing is the distributors to adjust to his demands.

There is marketing behind the white brands?

– I believe that the white brands do not exist. All the brands have connotations and values that make them different. I do not believe that the same value has the white brand of one company that the other. It is sure that the people distinguish very well the quality perceived of some and of others.

Finally, might it say to us who and why they should read his book?

I believe that ” Bye, bye, marketing ” is of great interest for all those that have done till now of the marketing or of the communication his professions. And also for the persons who have some type of responsibility in the future of his companies. Because it is a question of a book focused to understanding what is happening and to feeling the future. And it is basic for anyone that it wants to evolve in his work.

Internet is a minefield.

campo de minasI, as almost all the internauts, receipt every day hundreds of spam in my e-mail, offering me business all kinds for incautious. It is not a question only of Viagra’s sale and other pharmaceutical products to lengthen the penis, to avoid the premature ejaculation, or to improve of hundred ways the sexual life. Even they manage to offer me the sexual omnipotence, which I do not know very well what is, but that sounds to something exhausting.

Also I receive offers of work in those who promise me thousands of Euros without moving of house, or the representation in Spain of renowned brands throughout the world and that will make me a millionaire in a few weeks.

Also they sent me letters of banks in which I have never had an account. Offers to obtain university masters without spending for no classroom. And they threaten me to there destroy a package that they have to my name in a supposed company of messenger company, if I do not answer at once to his demands of information. Lately also I receive matrimonial offers of wonderful Russian women, who in every sending, with the same image, have a different name, and I presume that they are never called indeed either Nadia, or Irina, but behind these angelic faces any Boris hides, Iván or Vasili with face of artful mafioso.

They are old in Internet the deceptions of the chats, where a 50-year-old pederast makes pass for a sweet teenager of 15, in order to steal his intimacy from him for his personal enjoyment, or to put it later for money at the disposal of a network of undesirable as him. And the free word is a lying trap in ninety nine per cent of the offers of any type that do us in the network. If you want to stoop one and – book, for example, they will say to you that it is free, that only you have to register, but when you make it they will ask you for a “symbolic” quantity to support the operability of the system. And if you do not pay, there is neither book, nor movie, nor football match, does not even programme to come out.

All that is very bad, but I believe that Internet has still a worse thing: The false information that circulates along millions web pages. You can write, for example, that Christopher Colón was an aeronautical engineer, contemporary disciple of Leonardo da Vinci, who was a famous cook chef, intimate friend of Ferrán Adriá, with which they carried out the desestructuración of the tortilla of potatoes during a night of fun in the Easter Island. And many people will believe it because it discovered it in Google’s page. Any thing found in the magic seeker is capable of turning in real and of being repeated in thousands of blogs that daily expand subculture for five continents.

What is not in Internet does not exist and the Network is already the new god of million individuals who follow the apostles reincarnated in the social networks. Exchange of postmodern culture empties of content. A verbosity, in addition, loaded with offers garbage and false information.


japonI do not remember if he was Gabriel Celaya or Gabriel Otero the poet who wrote many years ago: “We Have to go to China to orientate ourselves “. But it was the one that was it turned out to be a prodigy of premonition. The future is in east and it is necessary to go even there to be orientated. To China still he still has a boiling and, though the transformations are dizzy, they will need still some years to be able to contemplate the future in all his brilliance. Japan, on the other hand, already for many years marks the guideline of the modernity in many aspects.

I was in Japan for the first time in 1991. It was a rapid tourist visit to three of the most representative cities: Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo, which they me dazzled each one in his style. Later I have returned with calmer, visiting the same cities and a few more, and seeing everything with a more professional look. It was looking for advertising for my typical professional deformation, also it was looking for art for my classic worries in this area, and was looking also for mode, shops of luxury and new trends, for my tasks as strategic adviser in some company of the sector. I found of everything and galore.

The cloggings traffic continue being the same, specially in Tokyo, a city without spatial planning, where the buildings arraciman some on others, without any concession neither to the order nor to the landscape. The highways of access to the city are superposed some to others up to forming avenues of four floors crammed with cars without movement. Ours of the rush hours is an advertisement next to this urban resounding reality. Nevertheless, in the middle of this chaos, one finds the harmony of the life and of the beauty. It yes, a harmony different from ours, as special as the character of these Japanese who never look at you abreast, they do not even support your look.Nothing either in the city, or in the social relations, is submitted to our unidirectional geometry. The doors of the gardens are never aligned by the doors of the houses. To accede to the interior of a building of ultramodern architecture we will have to give a rodeo following the contours of a reservoir. And to sit down to pondering in the most ancient Zen garden that is known, we will have to fix our look in seventeen asymmetric stones, which rest on a bed of sand.

These Japanese are rare, yes. With this interest become insolent by the lights of neon and the karaokes. The commercial streets of the big Japanese cities are a species of Swindle Square to beast, where the gigantic plasma panels that issue advertising without pause, compete with the deafening noise of the pachinkos, in hundred those who of players celebrate the communion with an infernal machine that works with little bolls of steel. It is like to be inside a video game where the music, the images and the decibels form a part of a dizzy assembly, which stuns our senses.

The advertising invades everything. In the streets, in the meter, in the malls and inside the buildings, which low floors interlace some with others, forming big underground avenues replete with shops, with cafeterias, with restaurants of snack food, and of people. Thousands of persons who walk fast without looking, but observed always from the eyes of plasma of the Great Brother of Orwell, in the version that Ridley Scott was doing for Apple in the spot of launch of the Macintosh in 1984. Or, from the omnipresent screens.The street screens serve for everything. They issue advertising in conventional spots, with or without audio, and often with sonorous band connected to the bluetooth of the mobile phone. Also they serve to show the pop videos of the fashionable singers. And even they offer the free spectacle of one looking to yes same while it crosses, accompanied of thousands of persons, a square of Osaka that is them more travelled of the world, where there come together six pedestrian crossings that put his semaphores in green simultaneously, to turn of the act of crossing the street in a multitudinous perfectly synchronized ballet.

Unlike the Spanish, the Japanese are a predictable, structured and very disciplined people. And it is obvious in every corner of his territory, where everything is thought to his measure, without concessions to the western world, in spite of the appearances. For example, in Japan almost nobody speaks either Englishman, or certainly any other language that is not Japanese. They do not even bother to facilitate a bit the life to the visitor writing in Latin characters the most indispensable texts. There are many stations of meter in which you will never know where you are, and many restaurants in which you will not be able to eat if you do not understand his alphabet. They do not think about the tourism, and the truth is that few western tourists meet very for his streets.

In all the sidewalks of the city a yellow line, which emerges in relief of the pavement, indicates the blind persons where they must walk, where to cross the semaphores and where they must enter to the meter or the buildings, in that a sonorous model will indicate them also the exact situation of the elevators or of the mechanical stairs. In the meter, besides the famous push-rods with white gloves, which in the rush hours they push to the personnel towards the interior of the coaches in order that the doors are closed without damaging anybody, we can see also coaches, exclusive of pink color for women, where they will be to except of the possible sobeteo of the males. Before many them were touching the bottom and they, since they are very submissive, were not daring to protest.

The taxi drivers take suit and tie, and the majority of the times white gloves. His vehicles are wide, the most clean and the doors are opened and are closed alone when you approach them. The Japanese taxi drivers never cheat you and you do not have to give them gratuity. Neither to they nor to nobody more in the whole Japan. The gratuity is not a custom and, much less, an obligation, for which one is grateful extraordinarily. The service always is rapid and impeccable, also in the hotels and in the restaurants, where it is frequent to find a stamp in every table to call the waiter without having to lift the voice nor do gestures with the hands.Also there is modernity and vanguardismo in the architecture, which shines everywhere and dazzles specially in the work of some architects as the brilliant Tadao Ando. It is necessary to do a special mention to the architecture of the shops of luxury, a weapon of powerful communication that is fashionable between the big brands. Today already it is not New York the great shop window of the international luxury. Tokyo is the place where it is necessary to be in order that they all see you, and the big brands know it. Almost all of them: Dior, Hermés, Cloé, Tods or Prada have his temples in Ginzha’s neighborhood, or in more fashion still of Omotesando. The brands of luxury know that these buildings are the emblem of his personality, because of it they do not have anything to see with a conventional shop.It is a question works of art as certifications of more than ten plants, where the important thing is not what is inside, but the exterior image that they project to the entire world. An image that, since in case of Dior, we can see reproduced in the design of his hundreds of shops located in the malls of the whole world. Undoubtedly, an intelligent strategy of marketing elaborated by one of the brands of luxury that better has could commercialize his image, across articles, complements, cosmetics or perfumes, throughout last 50 years.

Japan is the place that marks the difference. The point of view that must guide in these moments the vision of everything that one who tries to understand the new communication of the 21st century. A magic site where it is possible to discover simultaneously the secret of an ancient culture, and glimpse the mysteries of a future nearby that very prompt will be before us. Discipline and modernity are two singular characteristics that they find throughout. The modernity is present in the most intimate places, since in this mixture of water closet and bidet, so practically, with his trickles of water directed the strategic orifices. Or in the rabid mode that these women take bajitas and ugly in general, of arched legs, without anus or hips, but that dare with everything: mini, high leg boots, trousers to half a leg, minitrousers, or shorts with return. An authentic horror that, nevertheless, marks trends in the whole world, and that prompt we will see to put on our wives, who undoubtedly will illuminate it much better than the Japaneses.