Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My 2c on Publicis & Omnicom

Staying up to date on what's happening in the ad biz is important for me both personally and professionally.

So I subscribe to several industry email newsletters.

All of which are currently awash with news, views and speculation over the merger between Publicis and Omnicon.

Five out of the seven stories in today's AdAge news are on the merger.

It's like the ad industry equivalent of Will and Kate's baby.

What troubles me most about this merger is that it will create a holding company bigger than WPP.

Now I'm no expert on the numbers but I'd hazard a guess that this means that around eight out of every ten dollars spent on advertising in Australia will go through these two companies.

If my guesstimate is wildly off the mark please let me know and I'll correct it.

Another issue for me is the fact that most new business pitches will now probably feature agencies pitching against agencies within a holding company.

A seriously inefficient way of doing business I'd have thought.

But then again I'm nothing more than an over opinionated old creative guy. So what would I know? 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Clow at Cannes 2013



Monday, July 29, 2013

Totally addicted



Friday, July 26, 2013

Liverpool fly Garuda apparently



Wednesday night saw over 95,000 people cram into the MCG to see a touring Liverpool side take on local boys Melbourne Victory.

I reckon you could ask every single one of those 95,000 people what they thought of this ad and they'd all give you the exact same answer.

And I'm pretty sure you don't me to tell you what that answer would be.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

From fat to fit at Gold's Gym

Hat tip to Mona for this classic.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Banksy vs the World

The picture above is from Banksy's website. It's obviously one of his artworks.

I took the pic below when I was in Auckland earlier this year.

It was a prominent piece of signage in the window of an upmarket lifestyle store called World.

So what came first?


Banksy often takes a easily recognisible brand images and subverts them.

However I very much doubt that is the case here.

Which means (I'm guessing) that the sign in the World window is a reproduction of a Banksy.

Thinking about it now I'm pretty sure I came across two World stores in Auckland. And they both had that signage in the window.

I love the irony of a critique of consumerism being used to market a store that actively promotes consumerism.

There's every possibility that Bansky would get a kick out of it too.

But I wonder if the people behind World do?

And more importantly I wonder how they would feel if Bansky challenged them over the use of his artwork.

Guess we'll never know. Will we?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Will you desire a Jaguar?



A mate who works on an auto account sent me this online film for Jaguar.

As you'll see if you watch it the budget must've been pretty sizeable.

Produced by Ridley Scott. Staring the guy from Homeland. And music by Lana Del Ray.

What a pity they never put as much work in to the idea as they did into the production values.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Do your research

It's been a few weeks since the British Lions tour of Australia and it's already dropped off our sporting radar to be replaced by The Ashes and the Tour de France.

The Lions tour was huge news with massive crowds at all their games. As you would expect.

But what I also would've expected is that Microsoft would've done their homework for their #HoleInTheWorld fan promo.

Any Aussie will tell you Melbourne is Australia's sporting capital.

In fact this week 95,000 people will pack the MCG to watch a touring Liverpool play.

But there's one thing Melbourne isn't associated with and that's rugby.

So why oh why would Microsoft choose Melbourne for the #HoleInThe World promo?

Yes it was clever. Yes people would've engaged with it.

But I can guarantee you it would've been 100 times more successful if it had been done in Sydney.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Sad but true

Reminds me a bit of this.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Wax on - Wax off



I love a good product demonstration and what better way to publicise a waxing salon the to get people involved in a waxing.

To be honest I really don't think this idea warranted a case study video but what the hell. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

No excuses



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I am creatively un-satisfied



Neil Perkin tipped me off to this video. It asks the question "Are you creatively satisfied?" to a group of creative people.

Some of their responses have me baffled.

Some say yes. One guy says that a big pay cheque is satisfying. And many are indifferent.

Personally I don't consider myself overly creative but I've somehow managed a 20 year career in adland so I must have some sort talent.

Anyway I don't think I have ever been creatively satisfied.

Every time I see a piece of my work I see a small part of it that could've been done better.

It could be a word. It could be the way a headline has be set. It could be the way a fingerprint marks a  paperstock. Or it could just be that I am never 100% happy with what I do.

Of course I would go slowly insane (and miss every deadline) if I tried to make every piece of work I do 100%.

But that doesn't mean I'll ever stop striving for it.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Worshiping a ritual not a God

Two years before he started the agency we now know as DDB, Bill Bernbach was Creative Director at Grey in New York.

During his time with the agency he'd noticed that the creative product had started to suffer as the agency had grown.

So he wrote a letter to the heads of the agency about it. I think you'll like it:

Dear ___________ :

 Our agency is getting big. That’s something to be happy about. But it’s something to worry about, too, and I don’t mind telling you I’m damned worried. I’m worried that we’re going to fall into the trap of bigness, that we’re going to worship techniques instead of substance, that we’re going to follow history instead of making it, that we’re going to be drowned by superficialities instead of buoyed up by solid fundamentals. I’m worried lest hardening of the creative arteries begin to set in.

There are a lot of great technicians in advertising. And unfortunately they talk the best game. They know all the rules. They can tell you that people in an ad will get you greater readership. They can tell you that a sentence should be this short or that long. They can tell you that body copy should be broken up for easier reading. They can give you fact after fact after fact. They are the scientists of advertising. But there’s one little rub. Advertising is fundamentally persuasion and persuasion happens to be not a science, but an art.

It’s that creative spark that I’m so jealous of for our agency and that I am so desperately fearful of losing. I don’t want academicians. I don’t want scientists. I don’t want people who do the right things. I want people who do inspiring things.

In the past year I must have interviewed about 80 people – writers and artists. Many of them were from the so-called giants of the agency field. It was appalling to see how few of these people were genuinely creative. Sure, they had advertising know-how. Yes, they were up on advertising technique.

But look beneath the technique and what did you find? A sameness, a mental weariness, a mediocrity of ideas. But they could defend every ad on the basis that it obeyed the rules of advertising. It was like worshiping a ritual instead of the God.

All this is not to say that technique is unimportant. Superior technical skill will make a good ad better. But the danger is a preoccupation with technical skill or the mistaking of technical skill for creative ability. The danger lies in the temptation to buy routinized men who have a formula for advertising. The danger lies In the natural tendency to go after tried-and-true talent that will not make us stand out in competition but rather make us look like all the others.

If we are to advance we must emerge as a distinctive personality. We must develop our own philosophy and not have the advertising philosophy of others imposed on us.

Let us blaze new trails. Let us prove to the world that good taste, good art, and good writing can be good selling.

Respectfully, Bill Bernbach

Friday, July 12, 2013

Please shut up

I was browsing work on an industry website today and I saw a press ad that was beautifully crafted but so obviously a scam.

So I took a look at the comments to see what the armchair critics had to say.

I wish I hadn't.

Seriously what a bunch of nacisistic under-opinionated idiots.

Don't believe me? He's a selection:

"Fine for concept but i don't like this."

"Nothing creative about it."

"It has an insight to it."

"It think it's only ok.. or what?"

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Automotive QR Codes

I pulled up at the traffic lights today next to a car with a huge QR code plastered on its side.

Dumbest thing I've seen this week I think.

I mean really. Who on earth is going to run out into the road and scan a QR code on the side of a car with their phone?

Certainly not me.

And probably not anyone else either given our general reluctance to use QR codes.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ad of the week


Hat tip to Mona

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Be more dog



I think O2 is a mobile phone company in the UK. And to be honest I have no idea what this ad has got to do with that. But who the hell cares because it's brilliant! 

Monday, July 08, 2013

Fresh new ideas

Sometimes I see an article or quote that really hits a nerve.

This Doug Savage cartoon does exactly that.

Far to many clients want to see ideas that have never been done before.

And then when you present them they ask for case studies or examples of something similar.

So frustrating.


Friday, July 05, 2013

Fireworks packaging

Fourth of July in the USA and I imagine there will be fireworks aplenty.

Which got me thinking about fireworks when I was a kid.

I have fond memories of the beautifully detailed labels and packaging.

A quick search on Google and the memories came flooding back.

These three are particularly nice. Click here for lots more.



Thursday, July 04, 2013

Wash away those germs

I've always preferred a good idea to a good ad.

And the older I get the more I feel like this.

Someone told me about a great healthcare idea today.

It's from Saatchi in Singapore.

Seems kids don't wash their hands very often there.

And dirty hands spread germs.

So they came up with the idea of giving teachers germ stamps.

The teachers stamped the kids hands. And you can guess the rest.

Four weeks after implementation and school sick days were pretty much cut in half.

Not just a clever idea but an effective one too.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Get Kate Moss on your phone

Her face is instantly recognisable and she's been associated with countless luxury brands.

Now Kate Moss has teamed up with the far from luxurious UK mobile phone seller Carphone Warehouse to create a phone accessory range.

I have no idea what sort of things Kate will be designing or creating but when quizzed by the UK press she said she'd be treating the collaboration much like her other brand collaborations.

The phone accessory market in the UK was worth around $300 million last year. Which is definitely not to be sniffed at.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Long before there was Draper



This doco about the original high flying men and women of Madison Avenue looks pretty damn good.

It screened on US television this weekend.

I'd never encourage you to do anything illegal but I'm pretty sure someone in America will be kind enough to share it with the rest of us one day soon.