Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
The real Mad Men
This book was recommended to me by at the beginning of my career by one of my early mentors Marcus Tarrant.
I remember thinking it was a cracking read. Especially given it was several years old at the time.
Sadly it's very hard to find these days as it's been out of print for years.
No idea why.
I was flicking through my yellowing copy earlier this evening and I couldn't help thinking that a lot of the inspiration for Mad Men lay within its pages.
Surely there must be an enterprising publisher out there who could repackage the book with a pic of Don Draper and Co on the cover.
And perhaps a tastefully art directed starburst proclaiming Jerry Della Femina as one of the original Mad Men.
I know I'd buy it - even though I already have a copy!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Not as old as it seems
Silly as it may sound I think this ad was ahead of its time.
It doesn't try to sell the product.
The headline makes no reference to any kind of product benefit.
And the product itself is pretty much obscured.
Sure it's obviously dated. Not to mention sexist.
But by associating the product with nothing more than enjoyment, I believe this ad is an early example of the use of emotion as a selling technique for a 'me too' product.
The best notebook since
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Sad or bad?
This banner ad for Sydney agency The Furnace was on an advertising website I was looking at today.
I quite like the idea of making sad brands smile. I really do.
But this is an incredibly dull ad.
My biggest problem with it is the call to action - Call us.
Take a close look at the ad and you'll see there's no phone number to call.
That oversight made me smile. A lot.
Not sure it would help a sad brand though.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Reversal of fortune
Watched an interesting story on the future of newspapers on the ABC's 7.30 Report.
One of the key points made in the show was charging for online news.
This is an interesting idea I think.
Several major newspapers used to charge for so called premium content on their websites.
Slowly but surely most of this premium content has become free to view simply because people are used to getting online news for free.
So how can a news publisher turn this equation on its head and start charging again?
Yes you read that correctly. Free newspapers.
Here in Melbourne each and every day commuters enjoy a free copy of MX on their train ride home. This paper is published by News Ltd.
Imagine if News Ltd's morning newspaper the Herald Sun was also given away.
It would give the publisher enormous reach and readership. Not for its news stories - for its advertising.
Now imagine if a large majority of the stories carried by these papers had expanded content including video footage available online.
I'm sure people would be interested in paying for this.
Maybe not just yet. But how about 10 years from now, when many smaller publishers have gone bankrupt?
The 7.30 Report story said that Australia's oldest and best broadsheets are in danger of disappearing.
So the prospect of this happening is surely a reality.
And when it happens you can bet News Ltd will be more than happy to give former readers of The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald free papers in exchange for subscription based premium content online.
Monday, May 25, 2009
What better way to promote the Ikea furniture assembly service than by using the supposedly simply (but actually incredibly complex) little pictograms that are included with the flat packed furniture.
Nice work by Grabarz & Partner in Hamburg.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
In the UK at the moment posties are taking a stand and refusing to deliver a direct mail promotional campaign from the extreme right wing political party the BNP.
Good on them for taking a stand.
Not sure how their bosses from the Royal Mail feel about this given they're legally obliged to deliver election materials under the Representation of the People Act.
Meanwhile over in Turkey the people from agency Art Grup and their client Rasayan Tea think its perfectly acceptable to use a high profile extreme right wing figure to promote a brand of tea.
What the hell were they thinking!?
Saturday, May 23, 2009
The TED Commandments
In our business you get to sleep through a large number of dull, uninspiring and overly wordy powerpoint presentations.
When are people going to learn that a presentation is a performance not a presentation?
When are people going to learn that the best way to engage and educate is to involve and inspire?
When are people going to learn that words are not enough?
When are people going to stop talking about how great TED Talks are and start creating TED style presentations of their own?
Hopefully after they read the TED Commandments, which are engraved on a stone tablet and sent to anyone invited to speak at TED.
The TED Commandments
Thou Shalt Not Simply Trot Out thy Usual Shtick.
Thou Shalt Dream a Great Dream, or Show Forth a Wondrous New Thing, Or Share Something Thou Hast Never Shared Before.
Thou Shalt Reveal thy Curiosity and Thy Passion.
Thou Shalt Tell a Story.
Thou Shalt Freely Comment on the Utterances of Other Speakers for the Sake of Blessed Connection and Exquisite Controversy.
Thou Shalt Not Flaunt thine Ego. Be Thou Vulnerable. Speak of thy Failure as well as thy Success.
Thou Shalt Not Sell from the Stage: Neither thy Company, thy Goods, thy Writings, nor thy Desperate need for Funding; Lest Thou be Cast Aside into Outer Darkness.
Thou Shalt Remember all the while: Laughter is Good.
Thou Shalt Not Read thy Speech.
Thou Shalt Not Steal the Time of Them that Follow Thee.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Too many experts?
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
One door closes....
As the number of recession casualties continues to grow comes news of an interesting website in the USA.
Cards of Change is a site where people who have recently been retrenched can post a pic of their business card along with a personal message.
The aim of the site is to connect people with opportunities, employers, business partners and people who make the effort to look on the bright side of life.
Click here to go take a look.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Is advertising creative?
Fast Company has just released its list of the 100 most creative people in business.
There are some very well known names on the list.
Sitting on top at No.1 is Jonathan Ive the designer behind the iPod, iPhone and iMac.
Other people on the list include Stella McCartney, Damien Hirst, Brian Eno and JJ Abrams.
What surprised me was how few advertising people were amongst the 100 most creative people.
The legendary Lee Clow of TBWA is there at No.32.
But there's no sign of David Droga, John Hegarty or Bob Isherwood.
Is this because the ad business is no longer a hotbed of creativity?
Or could it be that what these big name creatives do is not on a par with the thinking of the likes of Eno, Hirst or JJ Abrams?
Monday, May 18, 2009
Never averse to a bit of controversy the boys from The Chaser have unveiled a billboard campaign to promote their upcoming ABC series.
It’s a bit hard to read the copy from this photo. So I’ve typed it up for you.
* Stay in your home for the next ten weeks
* Wear one of those little blue face masks
* Watch The Chaser’s War On Everything from Wednesday 27th May at 9pm on ABC1
For added laughs there’s a small warning notice on the billboard. It reads: Caution - Advertisement
Pic taken by Brenden Wood
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Run Run Run
Post It note artwork by Marc Johns. I know how he feels.
See right through emails
Until I got an iPhone last year I really couldn't see the point of accessing emails on your phone.
Of course now I'm an addict and check my mail on the go all the time.
Thing is when you walk and email at the same time it's very easy to bump into things.
Which is where Email 'n Walk comes in.
It's a clever (well kinda) new iPhone app that uses the phone's camera to enable you to see through the phone whilst you're composing an email.
To be honest I thought this was a spoof product when I first heard about it. Turns out it's real.
Can't tell you if it works as I haven't had time to sync my phone!
Friday, May 15, 2009
Email of the week
Normally spam emails go straight to my junk mail. But today I got one that caught my eye. I have chosen some wonderful highlights for your entertainment and perusal:
"I am Mr. Richard Hizon, an attorney at law. I write you in respect of a deceased client of mine, a military defector in the Vietnam war who died in a plane crash [Gulf Air Flight 801] with the whole passengers on board on August 23, 2000."
A Vietnam war defector! WTF!?
"You are hereby notified of this situation since you share the same last name with the deceased so that you can come forward as the next of kin and beneficiary of the funds left behind by my late client before it is confiscated or declared unserviceable."
Same last name as me. Wow.
Last time I checked my surname was in the top 50 most common names in the world!
If you also happen to be a Johnson and have not received this email here are the contact details you need to lay your claim for $8,000,000:
HIZON & ASSOCIATES
LEVEL 12,MENARA TJB
NO 9,JALAN SYED
80000 JOHOR BAHRU
Thursday, May 14, 2009
New uses for Twitter
Two interesting yet not totally unexpected uses for Twitter arrived in my inbox this morning.
First up is career based.
Dutch company Energize is looking to hire some key people and has set up their job application page to look like something from Twitter.
Applicants need to submit why they're the right person for the job in 140 characters or less.
Sounds a bit gimmicky to me but I guess it's no different to pitching a movie using just a poster line or soundbite.
This morning's other Twitter derivative comes from Canadian dating service Radaroo.
People looking to find a potential partner sign up by sending a Tweet that mentions their sex, their sexual orientation, stuff they're interested in and even things they might like to do on a first date.
Sounds like a lot to squeeze into 140 characters, but obviously preferable to meeting someone in a cafe and listening to them drone on and on about themselves.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Inspiration and opportunity
The boys from Junior have put together a great resource for aspiring creative types.
Their website and monthly talks are a terrific source of advice and inspiration.
But as anyone who works as a creative will tell you – jobs are not easy to come by.
Which is why I’m such a fan of the V-Raw program.
It gives young wannabes the chance to secure a foot in the door at all sorts of creative businesses.
The good news is V-Raw will be running again this year.
With internships to be won at the likes of Diesel, Lifelounge and the Glue Society.
As you can imagine competition for these internships is going to be fierce. Really fierce.
But if you think you’ve got what it takes click here and go get involved.
And if you’re looking for some inspiration why not pop down to tonight’s Junior event at Seamstress.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Keeping printing alive
I showed this video to my 12 year old son and he was blown away by the technology of yesteryear.
It was filmed at Firely Press in Massachusetts.
You can get a look at some fantastic old school typesetting and letterpress work at an exhibition this Sunday at the Melbourne Museum of Printing.
Entrance is free. And legendary Melbourne post punk band the Primitive Calculators will be performing on the day.
Click here for more info. Hopefully I'll see you there!
Monday, May 11, 2009
This week's email from The Word magazine tipped me off to a very clever and quite lovely Flickr set.
It's basically classic albums re-imagined as Pelican books.
This one for Joy Division's debut is my favourite.
Suffice to say there's sure to be one that you'll love too.
Click here to go browse through the racks.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
The taste of summer
If there's one thing the folks at Coca Cola know how to do it's play around with their branding elements.
Of course each and every Coke can carries plenty of copyright info. But the people who market the brand are given licence to have fun with it.
This clever new can design from the US is a great case in point.
It captures one of the great summer experiences and puts Coke right at the heart of it.
And it does it with a logo. Actually 3 logos to be precise. Each of them butted up against each other.
You'd hardly ever see other big brands doing this.
Because so called brand custodians would be too busy flicking through their brand manuals and style guides to check the clearance tolerances around their logo.
So a huge Fonzie thumbs up from me to the folks from Coca Cola for allowing their creative people to be creative.
Saturday, May 09, 2009
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Absolutely love this ad. Reckon it's the best Aussie TVC I've seen in ages.
Yet it doesn't even have an idea in it.
What it does have though is Sarah Murdoch channeling the spirit of Betty Draper from Madmen.
Not to mention art direction and cinematography strongly reminiscent of Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette.
As well as the early 80's rythmic mayhem of Bow Wow Wow on the soundtrack.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Does this idea suck?
I really rate this idea by JWT Hong Kong.
And pretty hard to miss its message.
But what exactly is its message?
Pollution is closer than you think says the headline.
No shit Sherlock!
Remember this drink lid idea is from Hong Kong.
I don't know if you've been there. But it has a serious pollution problem.
And as much as I love this idea I can't see it having any effect whatsoever on the Hong Kong pollution problem.
What a waste of a great idea.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
This is a blog about advertising.
So it may surprise you to learn that the one thing I hate seeing on blogs is advertising.
Endless columns of tacky Google text ads really lower the tone I think.
I don't mind seeing them in a Google search. In fact I've clicked on more than my fair share of the ads in the right hand column of a search.
But when it comes to blogs all I wanna see is the thoughts and opinions of the blogger.
Which is why I was surprised to see a new link had appeared in my blog dashboard.
Yes. You guessed it. I'm talking about the monetize link.
Suffice to say I won't be clicking it.
Monday, May 04, 2009
Please play nicely
Another great issue of Marketing magazine has just hit the news stands of Australia.
In my Around the Blogosphere column this month I take a look at bickering and badgering in social media.
Click here to go take a look. Feel free to join the conversation by voicing your opinion in the comments.
Saturday, May 02, 2009
Most days I make my way through the Centreway Arcade to pick up lunch from one of the many little cafes.
It's a strange arcade to be honest. Very much a product of the 80's.
If you look up as you walk through you'll see an interesting piece of decoration using random letters.
At least that's what I thought.
Today's Age newspaper has an interview with Stephen Banham from the typographic studio Letterbox.
In it he mentions the Centreway type decoration and reveals the hidden message with the jumble of letters.
Acccording to Banham if you put the letters together you get the following:
We live in a society that sets an inordinate value on consumer goods and services.
Pretty cheeky huh?
Take a look next time you're in the City.
Friday, May 01, 2009
Gillette goes disco
I've no idea what it must cost to secure the Bee Gees' Staying Alive for an ad but it's sure to be a significant amount of money.
Getting Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and American baseballer Derek Jeter wouldn't be all that cheap either.
So wouldn't you think that with all that money to spend that Gillette could at least come up with something approaching a half decent tv spot?