Tuesday, May 28, 2013


McDonalds doesn't make a habit of running commercials about the Whopper.

BMW doesn't rave about the handling ability of the Mercedes S Class.

And Apple doesn't like talking about the new Windows tablet. Though I will say the recent spot for it, done in a clean, competitive manner, has a lot going for it.

So it doesn't really make sense for me to speak glowingly about one of my copywriting colleagues/competitors.  Particularly now, when work is a bit slow. But playing by the rules has never been of my strengths.

A couple of weeks ago, Victor and Spoils, an ad agency built on the crowdsourcing model (I'll save my thoughts on that for another post) paid tribute to Michael Collado, a young copywriter who used to work for me at Chiat/Day in 1997 (Best. Advertising Year. Ever.)

Because of his prodigious contributions as a freelance writer, they had an oil painting commissioned on Mikey's behalf.

The painting (seen above) hangs in the V&S corporate conference room.

I'm sure it's quite the conversation starter. But it's also a subtle reminder to the creatives working at V&S that they had better stay on their game.

You see Michael Collado is an advertising machine. He has 10 ideas before the briefing has started. He can knock out a hundred headlines before the planner reaches the USP. He'll fill a deck before you can fill your second cup of coffee.

You know that guy who flies in a helicopter over a major world city and then draws the skyline completely from memory? Well, Mikey can't do that. But if that guy ever went into business and wanted to sell his drawings, he would be the advertising savant for the job.

But make no mistake, he is not just about quantity, though it is hard to believe he can write so much and so fast without hurting his fingers, the quality is there as well. In fact last year I wrote about his incredible talking head campaign for Charles Schwab that still stands the test of time.

So why haven't you heard of Michael Collado?

The truth is he scares Creative Directors. He does the kind of bold, disruptive, make-your-hair-stand-on-end kind of work that they blather on about in internal meetings or the week after returning from Cannes, but shy away from when there's an actual client at the table. Mikey was writing Skittles/Old Spice Man/Kayak absurdist type spots before those spots ever hit the airwaves.

Gerry Graf should book a flight to Tamba Bay and not leave until he has a signed contract with Mr. Collado.

As you might have guessed I'm a huge fan.

On my portfolio page I jokingly sign off with:

Rich Siegel
@Three writers for the price of two.

If Collado were to rip me off, and I know he wouldn't, he could legitimately use:

Michael Collado
@A hundred writers for the price of one.

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