Can't Sell, Won't Sell; Why adland has stopped selling and started saving the world - Steve Harrison

In this episode, I have got someone that most definitely lives up to the billing of "uncensored". Steve Harrison is the author of Can't Sell Won't Sell; Why adland has stopped selling and started saving the world. If you've listened to my podcast before, you know how passionate I am about making work that works and what Steve does is bring to our attention how we have been distracted from commercial purpose to social purpose and how every industry trade press award ceremony is all dedicated to celebrating social purpose rather than commercial success. Which if like me, you're a CMO or have been a CMO before, you'll know you don't get very far without delivering tangible results. So delighted to catch up with Steve Harrison and find out the man behind the book and why he's got such strong opinions on this.
Pick up a copy of Steve's book "Can't Sell, Wont Sell" here.

Steve was European Creative Director (OgilvyOne) and Global Creative Director (Wunderman) either side of starting his own agency, HTW, where, in the seven years the agency operated, he won more Cannes Lions (18) in his discipline than any creative director in the world. His work has subsequently featured in the D&AD Copy Book. He has also authored Changing the world is the only fit work for a grown man; How to write better copy; and How to do better creative work - the latter becoming the most expensive advertising book ever when it traded on amazon for £3,854 a copy.

What we covered in this episode:
  • Why a propose driven entry will increase your chances of winning a Cannes
  • Why creative should come up with an idea to dramatise the benefit of the brand and then sell it to the client
  • How Turkeys beat Lions and what that says about our priorities are
  • Creative awarded campaigns are less effective than in the entire 24 year history of the IPA database
  • Do people still believe in advertising’s role in creating demand? We need to see our purpose as commercial again
  • The drug of fast data. Why we prioritise what is easy to measure rather than what works
  • Lack of accountability to track and evaluate the impact over the long term
  • Why you should judge a CMO on year 2
  • The importance of winning the board room battle
  • Clients no longer appreciates the time and talent to create great work. The public now to anything they can to avoid advertising. A once powerful business tool is now debased and devalued. Chairman of D&AD.
  • Dropped commercial purpose for social purpose
  • Great examples of social and commercial purpose combining
  • Why social purpose shouldn’t be marketing strategy
  • First purpose is shareholders and employees
  • Lazy solution to a complex marketing problem
  • The insanity of Gillette’s toxic masculinity and how it performed badly against men
  • How did we disconnect from the audience we serve? 84% are 18-40, 80% AB etc we live in a London centric metropolitan bubble
  • How regional agencies reacted differently to London ones
  • Steve’s surprise at the reaction for his book and why he believes social purpose is being pushed by a small clique
  • Why the boycott of GB News should worry us whatever political side we at
  • Why Twitter pressure groups shouldn’t dictate your media strategy
  • Why fear is driving the politicisation of business
  • How pampers got social and commercial purpose right
  • Steve’s manifestos for change
  • Every speech should end with the commercial value of Advertising
  • A new initiative to make creative effectiveness
  • Awards panels needs cognitive diversity
  • What a CMO thinks of Cannes
  • How people fear speaking up
  • Steve’s vision for the future of awards
Can't Sell, Won't Sell; Why adland has stopped selling and started saving the world - Steve Harrison
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