Michael Cullinan [mcullinan]
What is your specialty: creativity, contact, or research?
Mental Pixel specializes in creative solutions to promoting a new business or product
Please list some brand names or clients that you have worked for.
Nikon, Canon, AutoShow NY, Audio Command Systems
Have you got a blog or web page?
What do your clients value more, strategy, creativity, design, or return of investment?
First we decide on what is the most inportant goal for your company or product. This goal is problem solved in a creative manner and we propose the most dynamic solutions we can, while keeping it simple and trying to infuse humor or a unique perspective to grow a community for your business
The word 'creativity' is much-used in advertising, yet most commercials are annoying, why is that?
First some commercials are GREAT! They are singular visions and voices of a capable creative director to get the job done. A project is a delicate balance of client, audience and the creative solution. Sometimes the formula can be off. But this just makes you try harder next time.
Can a bad advertising campaign sell well?
No. A bad ad campaign does no one any favors. Thats why its so important to get it done right the first time
Which advertising agencies and directors seem the best to you at this moment?
Rethink, Strawberry frog, Peruse Archive and you will see plenty of great work out there.
How do you respond to the classic quote, "I love the idea, but right now's not the time"?
Right now is the perfect time! We need to think bold and attack this business problem and go big!
What brings you the most satisfaction: when your advert pleases your boss, your client, your friends, or your mother?
The client has to be happy, but the only long-term way to do this is to reach and grow a business community
How do you see the transition between traditional advertising and online advertising?
There is room for both, and if executed well any advertising no matter where will be successful
Are people in advertising paid too much?
No. They get paid for their ability and it takes hard work and committment to come up with great solutions
Is advertising merely spam?
It can be if it doesnt inform or entertain in a positive manner. Thoughtless dribble plows into our mailboxes everyday. Its got to be special.
Have you ever felt cheated by adverts?
If you promise too much, or mislead a potential customer, sure you can feel cheated. We deal in truth, just in a unique perspective to capture the imagination and hearts of consumers.
What is your favourite thing about working in advertising and what is your least favourite?
My favorite thing about advertising is coming up with that great idea that you know will blast a company into stardom and relevancy. The worst is a client with a bad attitude and a desire to do the same thing they have always done.
Do advertising festivals help to improve the industry, or are they only ways for the elite to pay homage to themselves?
They celebrate great design, great ideas and execution and ad guys are much more aware of the journey and how hard it is to come to a successful campaign. This should be celebrated!
When you select an intern to work, what quality do you deem the most valuable?
We havent yet, but I suspect attutude would be someones greatest asset.
Brand names as generators of content hardly ever have success: is the online world different in this sense?
Well, if your Wonder Bread, your not going to go to there site for a people who like white bread community. It really depends on the product and whether it makes sense to have content that matters
Does the public buy the product or the product image?
The public is smart. They will buy a great product. People read reviews and use there own senses. No attempt at smoke and mirrors will fool the buying public
Has your experience in qualitative research served in helping you discover new pathways or, more often than not, to kill good ideas?
Certainly. Sometimes you can be so sure something will work. Down the road, from talking to customers, you realize the mark has been missed. Get back on that horse and try again!
IMPACT! Is this the main scale for judging the work of an advertising professional?
Getting through to the customer on a tangible level is the MOST important. Shock and awe only lead to open mouths and not much business growth
What are the main mistakes clients make in judging creativity?
They see some things as far fetched or perhaps too light (humor), when these are the things that will break through to a difficult and nebulous customer base
Is it possible for someone in advertising to communicate well with people of other generations or cultures not their own?
We all have things in common. We just focus on these things when coming up with a campaign for a product or service
In advertising, what is most effective, frequency or surprise?
Surprise. Novelty, humor, and interest create a lasting memory for a business or product.
Is a political candidate the same as a product?
Id say so. Except over time a candidate may change his viewpoints. With a product you may change your viewpoint at which you advertise a product
How do you explain the way in which some brands have been able to expand so widely and rapidly without advertising? Are the laws of marketing changing?
Word of mouth is devastatingly effective. If you have this at a grass roots level. Kudos!
What advice would give to someone who wants to join the ranks of advertising?
Be persistent in your dream. Stay focused and Good Luck!