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January 20, 2004

BANG! – Unfinished Business

for those that need a BIG BANG! refresher course ... click here.

It is not my intention to rip on the authors of BANG! , but I did not like the book. Not at all.

BANG! reads more like a marketing memoir from two advertising executives than it does a marketing book. When I invest my time reading a business book, I expect a positive return on my investment. I expect to generate new ideas that I can implement at work. This book provided me with a negative ROI -- no new ideas that I can implement at work. (Not good.)

Instead of offering solid advice on how to create, nuture, and implement great marketing ideas, BANG! offers readers a glimpse into the happenings of a happenin’ ad agency. The authors glamorize how so many of their best campaigns were created at the last minute -- sometimes minutes before a presentation to their client. Do you really want to trust your company’s marketing campaign to an advertising agency that boasts about continuously developing their best ideas at the last minute? I understand the spontaneity of creativity, but I do not understand bragging about how your BANG! worthy advertising campaigns are developed at the last minute.

The authors also wrote about how they trick clients that come to visit their offices by instructing their employees to look busy. On page 169 you will find this story:
“I (Linda Kaplan Thaler) want all the computers turned on – I don’t care if you are looking at your stock portfolios.” As I would walk the client from the foyer to my office, I’d say, “I’d love to introduce you to everyone, but we’re all so busy.” I’d have people crossing my path, and clusters of people would look up and say, “Oh, hi, can’t talk!” Then, when the client would leave, everyone would scurry back to work and the office would empty out again.”

My advice is to leave BANG! on the shelf and instead pick up Eating the Big Fish: How Challenger Brands can Compete with Brand Leaders written by Adam Morgan. I guarantee that reading Eating the Big Fish will generate a positive ROI as the book will help you develop ideas on how to better design marketing communications to compete in the crowded brandscape.

If you still want to read BANG! ... I’ll make it easy for you. The first person who emails me (see left-hand side bar), I will send you my copy of BANG! absolutely free. Yep … free. Just email me.

(Side note: my blog on the 2003 Marketing Books of Year Awards is still available on FC Now. )

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