The go-to podcast for anyone trying to make sense of the world of Marketing, Advertising and beyond. In an industry that is a minefield of utter bollocks, we aim to capture our heroes and allies from the front line to have a chin-wag with.
It’s like Pokémon Go, with the single but vital exception that it’s not a short-term bandwagon of shite.
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This week we’ve got our longship out of dry dock and nipped North to Nyhavn to snare Danish marketing activist and author, Thomas Kolster.
Hell-bent on making businesses put people and the planet first, Thomas is a branding and sustainability professional, the founder of the global Goodvertising movement, and the author of two books, Goodvertising and The Hero Trap.
He talks to us about joining the industry with dreams of helicopters and Ogilvy’s Chateau, frustration, getting brand purpose all wrong, the problem when megalomanic brands try to do good, Simon Sinek’s self-glorifying exercises, dinosaurs, what he really thinks of Patagonia, consuming Carlsberg and playing Lego (simultaneously, of course), where to get an evasive cheap pint in Copenhagen and bucket loads more.
Follow Thomas on Twitter and LinkedIn
Here’s his website
Check out his books:
The Hero Trap
And if you’re gasping for a pint in Copenhagen, but don’t fancy paying through the nose for it, Thomas recommends Det Lille Øresund, Oehlenschlægersgade 41, 1663, Copenhagen.
Thomas’s book recommendation is:
Spørge-Jørgen by Kamme Laurents and Robert Storm Petersen
Summer is over, so we’re migrating south (well, to Bristol) to catch a Bird not afraid to ruffle some feathers: one of the all-time greats in the world of copywriting, Drayton Bird.
A man who could fill The British Library twice-over with his stories of mayhem and misadventure, Drayton was dubbed the man who “knows more about direct marketing than anyone in the world” by David Ogilvy and, at 85 years old, still writes great copy every day.
He chirps to us on what makes a great copywriter, reading, what he learned from David Ogilvy, applying his principles to Airbus planes and Peppa Pig, living under a false name for 7 years, why despair is the route to success, skirting death (more than once) and a treasure trove more.
Follow Drayton on Twitter and LinkedIn
Here’s his website
And sign up for his mailing list (if you're brave enough)
If you want to learn from the man himself, check out Ask Drayton
Get a free copy of Scientific Advertising
Drayton’s book recommendations are:
Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples
How to Write Sales Letters that Sell by Drayton Bird
This week we’ve ditched the Dolmio and danced across the pond to sniff out Brooklyn’s master meatball maker and talented designer, Victoria Rosselli.
Victoria is a freelance Art Director and Designer based in New York. She’s also a Pitch 100 Superwoman and co-founder of Our Silent Partner, a collection of crowdsourced work designed to give voice to the silent mental health struggles of creatives.
We tuck into tons of topics including the benefits of an early internship at FCB, mental health in the advertising industry and why she chose to leave it altogether, hustle culture, imposter syndrome, freaky flashbacks of Gary Vaynerchuk, using ADHD as a creative advantage, Our Silent Partner, and, most importantly, the Rosselli family secrets for a winning meatball are revealed. Buon appetito.
You can find Victoria on Twitter and Instagram.
Go support Our Silent Partner.
Here’s her Campaign article on mental health and working in advertising.
Watch Mental Health and Creativity by Victoria Rosselli and Laurel Stark Akman.
Enjoy the Mental Health Matters Clear Channel Event.
Victoria kindly dedicates this episode to Becky Brinkerhoff. Give her some love too.
And, most importantly, has Victoria finished redoing her portfolio yet?
Victoria’s book recommendations are:
The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St Clair
Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler
There’s a Freaky Friday/Trading Places film vibe to this episode, as JP Castlin puts the boot very much on the other foot to volley a tonne of tough posers to the outspoken founder and Creative Director of Gasp, and this show’s usual host, Giles Edwards.
A “wonderful overachiever”, he’s also the creator of ISOLATED Talks and has collaborated on two #1 best-selling books. He believes in “proper (timeless) Marketing” and its vital role in the boardroom and usually rants about this, and more, with esteemed guests on this podcast. But today, it is him who is in the hot seat.
He talks to us on almost becoming Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons, learning Serbo-Croat and the fundamentals of communication, what he set out to do with Gasp, media neutrality, the noose around the neck of many marketers (aka the billable hour), awards, behavioural economics, stand-up comedy, and Wu-Tang Clan. Plus, find out why the front page of an Indonesian newspaper dubbed him “Mr. Cheater” after an ill-fated spelling bee…
You can find Giles on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Enjoy all 67 episodes of Call to Action so far.
Check out and support ISOLATED Talks.
Don’t Be Brave, Be Right by Giles Edwards and Ryan Wallman.
Here’s the Hans Brinker ads, the Party Cannon logo, and Gasp’s award-winning crumpled up letter campaign.
A huge thank you to a friend of the show JP Castlin who, not being content with being on this podcast twice already, humbly invited himself to be a guest host. You can listen to both his episodes of Call to Action here and here.
Giles’s book recommendations are:
Delusions of Brandeur by Ryan Wallman
Copywriting Is by Andrew Boulton
How to Make Better Advertising and Advertising Better by Vic Polkinghorne and Andy Palmer
A Smile in the Mind by Beryl McAlhone and David Stuart
Sync by Steven Strogatz
We flogged an old, precious ad book on Amazon for three grand and just about covered a one-way ticket t’Blackpool (cheers privatisation) to nab one of the most outspoken voices in ad land: copywriter, Creative Director and author, Steve Harrison.
He’s bagged more Cannes Lions in his discipline than any other Creative Director in the world, and his book “How to do better creative work” became the most expensive ad book ever sold. His new, updated version of "Can't Sell, Won't Sell: Advertising, Politics and Culture Wars" has turned up the heat and promises to be “the most provocative advertising book in years”.
He not only shoots the breeze, but scary Birds, the big problem with big agencies, the juggernaut band-wagon of social purpose, class and the diversity conversation, and the vanity and entitlement of our industry to think we can set a cultural agenda. In fact, we had to stop and reload a few times to take aim at industry leaders, publications, Soho pub-goers, and Peter Crouch. What an episode.
Follow Steve on Twitter and LinkedIn
Bung the updated version of Can’t Sell, Won’t Sell in yer’ basket
Check out How To Write Better Copy
Here’s his biography on Howard Gossage
And here’s How to do better creative work (but good luck getting your mitts on it!)
Here’s his pod with Dave Dye
And the talk we mention by Hans Rosling
Steve’s book recommendations are:
More Bull More by Jeremy Bullmore
Factfulness by Hans Rosling
We’ve set tripwires to snare the Jimmy Choo’s of the freelance community’s very own Anna Wintour, the editor of Freelancer Magazine, Sophie Cross.
An OG freelancer with over 15 years’ marketing experience, Sophie launched her very own 100-pages of glossy printed freelance goodness earlier this year.
She talks to us her first cheese-related jobs, thinking she wasn’t creative enough for marketing, sausage and mash business plans, launching a magazine, her ‘Kevin from Home Alone’ moment, starting before you’re ready, the immensely supportive freelance community, how to get your first client and more. Ears this way please.
Check out Sophie’s website
Follow her on Twitter
Issue 2 ‘Community’ of Freelancer Magazine is out now
Watch Start Before You’re Ready on ISOLATED Talks
Listen to the stunning rendition of Dave Harland’s poem ‘Dogs’
Sophie kindly dedicated this episode to @thatcontentshed
Sophie’s book recommendations are:
The Artists Way by Julia Cameron
The Choice Factory by Richard Shotton
Fantastic show, great guests, deep dives into marketing! 🙌