Five Pointed Questions: Ivan Raszl of Ads of the World

Meet Ivan Raszl, the creative entrepreneur behind Ads of the World. It’s rated as the most influential advertising blog on the internet on Ad Age‘s “Power 150.”

Launched in 2005, Ads of the World is different from other industry blogs. Besides curating the content, Ivan provides little to no commentary on his posts, leaving the ratings and critique to the members of his registered community. His position as a neutral moderator provides an opportunity not only to view creative from many different cultures, but also to get a sampling of different attitudes towards concepts and messages from around the world. It is often cited as a reference by several other ad blogs, including AdFreak, Adland, Buzzfeed’s Copyranter, Adrants, Joe La Pompe, Osocio, and (of course) my own.

Originally from Hungary, Ivan has traveled and lived around the globe with his wife and children. Today, he is putting down roots right here in Canada. I caught up with him via Google+, and asked for a short interview:

1. Where did you get the idea to start Ads of The World?

IR: I worked at McCann and I was in a group that did pitches for new clients frequently. Whenever we got a new client in an industry I was not familiar with I felt I need to learn about what others around the world, or in the region, have done for the sector. Planners prepared the competitive landscape analysis that showed us the competing ads, but I was more interested in the ads that were above the average — pushing the boundaries in some way. There were many ad blogs out there at the time that I read, and all I wanted is better categorization for them with a view that resembled a stock image site for easier navigation. First I started collecting ads from various places internally for the agency, and then I decided to open it up for the public. That’s how AotW was born.

2. Why do you think it became such a hit with agency people?

IR: I don’t really know, but I think mainly because it has a different presentation of ads with thumbnails that no other ad blog was doing at the time. Later the thumbnails view was adapted by other blogs as well. And many years later it became mainstream to present lots of content — like Pinterest for example.

3. How do you choose which campaigns are posted? (Any tips for submitters?)

IR: I choose the content based on several criteria and any one of them can make a campaign qualify.

Inspires: good creative idea, great execution or unusual approach.

Informative: Famous brand or agency.

I also pick ads from students and unusual countries or cultures to inject diversity.

My tip for submission is to follow the guidelines on the upload page. Do not send a regular PR message, which takes lots of time for me to digest and extract the content from. AotW is not blog like AgencySpy, I just post the ads without commentary and I let the community discuss the work.

4. What is your favourite campaign that’s been featured there?

IR: There are many. But there was one from 2007 that is increasingly prophetic and I think on par with some of the Benetton classics. I think this is the kind of good advertising that sells the brand, entertains the consumer and is still deep and beneficial to society: The Diesel Global Warming campaign.

5. Are you able to monetize your success, or does the site help you in other ways?

IR: Yes, we make money by selling ads, ironically. We have several great clients that allow us to do more than just banner ads, like Adobe and Veer. We plan and execute great campaigns together bringing value to our readers I believe. Veer recently ran a poster design contest with great prizes, for example.

Some of Acart’s recent work has been featured on Ads of the World. You can see it here.

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