Monday 31 July 2006

Inspirational reading

Amazon has a great deal on two of the best advertising books around. 2 Kilo of Kessels Kramer and CBP's Hoopla. There's money to be saved with this deal but beware the postage as 2 Kilo is the weight of the Kessels Kramer book as well as the title.

Beep Beep!

Gotta love this fun DM promo to media buyers by Claydon Heeley for The Guardian Formula One guide.

With Michael Schumacher looking almost as unstoppable as the Roadrunner this concept nails the brief beautifully.

So great to see Claydon Heeley continuing to do innovative DM work.

Sunday 30 July 2006

Answer your mouse

Convergence has been a buzz term in adland for some time now.

If there's two things I never thought I'd see converge it's the mouse and the phone.

The about to be released Sony VAIO VN-CX1 is just that.

Developed in conjunction with Skype it switches from a VOIP phone to an optical mouse and back again at the click of a button.

Sadly it's not wireless although it probably will be by next year.

Who's laughing now?

The following quotes all date from 1976. What a difference a decade or three makes huh?

"We don't need you. You haven't got through college yet."
HP on Steve Jobs and his so called personal computer.

"Get your feet off my desk, get out of here; you stink and we're not going to buy your product"
Joe Keenan of Atari also to Steve Jobs.

"There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home"
Ken Olson from DEC to, believe it or not, Steve Jobs.

Saturday 29 July 2006

Satisfaction on your mobile

Business Week reports on a new technology allowing subscribers to the Cingular network to listen to a live audio feed from this weekend's Rolling Stones concert in Paris on their mobile phone.

To listen in users simply register the number. Once the concert is about to start they get a phone call which then connects them directly to the Stones mixing desk.

With 3.8 million people listening to music on their mobile each month in the US this concert hook up could well be the start of something big.

Really taking the piss

Proving that there really is nowhere left to hide from intrusive advertising along comes the Wizmark Urinal Communicator.

Believe it or not it's a talking urinal. The brains behind this thing reckon it has many uses but would be great for drink driving messages.

They have a point there. If a urinal started talking to me I'd definitely think I'd had too much to drink.

Friday 28 July 2006

Agency types & stereotypes

Although adland can often be a frustrating place to work it still beats having a real job.

Which brings me to a great post over at Advergirl on the 10 habits of highly annoying agency folk.

I've suffered all of them....

Honda view suspended

Not content with having produced what is surely the finest ad to ever feature nothing but car parts, Honda has now gone a step further.

They commisioned Dutch artist Paul Veroude to create a living exploded technical diagram known as View Suspended for the British Motor Show.

Every single one of the more than 3000 parts that make up the Honda F1 vehicle are hanging in a kind of suspended animation.

The pic above really doesn't do this piece justice but it must look truly spectacular in the flesh.

For more info and lots of better pics click here.

Thursday 27 July 2006

Comic genius

I stumbled on this lovely comic book style ad for Strepsils on some bizarre Russian advertising website.

Literally lost for words is such a fresh way to demonstrate people losing their voice.

If you know who did the ad please let me know so I can credit them.

Wednesday 26 July 2006

Graffiti takes on urban spam

I posted last week on the anti graffiti campaign for the San Francisco mayor's office which was done pro-bono by BBDO.

My issue if you remember was that agencies should be doing freebies for important issues like AIDS and refugees not graffiti.

Suffice to say the ads really got the graf community talking and over at Wooster they have several remixes of ads from the campaign.

This urban spam is graffiti too ad is one of my personal faves.

Where's the sunshine?

In what was obviously a severely misguided attempt to capitalise on their Feel Sunny campaign Ricard and their agency Duval Guillaume have been dressing up statues in Belgium with yellow clothing.

This is really giving urban spam a bad name if you ask me. Honestly the statues look more like they’re dressed for a severe south-westerly storm than a summer frolic.

You can click on the pic to enlarge it if you wish but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Monday 24 July 2006

Mazda Picasso

So nice to see a corporate sponsorship ad that not only shows empathy with the event but also has a sense of humour.

This little gem for Mazda's sponsorship of the current Picasso exhibition at the NGV in Melbourne is by CHE.

I don't think Picasso could have done it any better himself.

Sunday 23 July 2006

Toyota to get engaged

Strange news emanating from the US where the NBC network has guaranteed Toyota viewer engagement levels during programs.

IAG Research will be monitoring engagement although exactly what they will be monitoring isn’t completely clear.

Most people I know are generally engaged with the programs they watch. However they tend to disengage when the ads come on.

You don’t need research to know that toilet visits and kettle boiling have always taken place during ad-breaks.

Pic by Paul Winstanley

Saturday 22 July 2006

Where's the typesetter?

Came across this little beauty in The Age this morning.

Makes you wonder if anyone bothers to actually sit and read ads before sending them off to publication.

Unless of course they really do have a special offer on ready to wear watches.

Friday 21 July 2006

What they're watching

Asi Sharabi is a planner with Grand Union in London who has started documenting YouTube viewing trends. His stats make for an interesting read.

Of the top 100 most viewed clips 4 are TV ads and 3 are viral ads. I just love how the made for TV spots have become more viral than the so called virals themselves.

Guess it goes to prove that despite the best intentions of marketers and their agencies only an audience can make an ad truly viral.

Top ad was the evergreen Sony Bravia with an eye popping 3,466,011 views. Whilst the other three ads were all by Crispin Porter. Bastards!

Wednesday 19 July 2006

Turn on turn in

I posted about St Lukes founder John Grant's book The New Marketing Manifesto some time ago. He was nice enough to send me a copy and it's a fascinating read especially his theory of brands as molecules.

John talks about his ideas on building brands and tons of other stuff in an excellent podcast chat with Paul Colman. You can download it from Paul's blog Life In The Middle.

Electrolux rewrites the book

Here's an interesting development from Electrolux.

Smart people that they are they realised that young guys living out of home don't watch a lot of TV and have an aversion to laundry.

So rather than try to reach them using traditional advertising they commisioned a book, Men In Aprons.

Written by Alex Mattis it's the adventures of lad about town Dan who has pretty much verything down pat in life apart from his housework.

There's no mention of Electrolux in the story but each chapter ends with practical hints and tips including ‘How to Make Your Bed an Inviting Proposition’.

Tuesday 18 July 2006

They're cracking me up

Just when you thought there was no where left for advertising to intrude along come egg ads.

Yes you read that right. People are printing ads on the humble egg.

First cab off the rank is CBS in the US who are using egg puns to push their new TV shows.

New York Times quotes a CBS exec as saying, "Newspapers, magazines and Web sites are so crowded with ads for entertainment programming that CBS was ready to try something different."

And the best thing about egg ads? “You can’t avoid them,” he said.

Monday 17 July 2006

Watch him fall again and again

Everyone's favourite london hotshop have done a very tasty post World Cup piss take with the Portuguese Football Action Figure from Mother Toys.

Like all Portuguese footballers he runs, dribbles and collapses at will. He even gives you a cheeky wink.

Click here to view Mother's exciting new non-collectible.

Anyone got any wire?

One of the big surprises during my recent trip to Vietnam was the prevalence of WiFi internet. Not only was it easy to access it also worked.

Unlike at the recent 02 sponsored Wireless Festival in the UK where journos are supposed to have struggled to file reports and photos as the wireless web connection wasn’t working.

Since 02 is a leading UK telco this was probably a less than ideal brand experience. Maybe they should have called it the Press 1 followed by the # Key Festival instead.

Sunday 16 July 2006

Giving good work away

I've never met an ad creative who didn't love a good old pro-bono brief.

This freebie campaign from BBDO in San Francisco troubles me though. It's for the Mayor's anti graffiti program.

Sure graffiti can be a pain sometimes, but shouldn't agencies tackling issues related work be doing stuff for serious problems like aids, poverty and refugees?

Click the ad to view full size.

Melbourne's original graffiti reborn

Melbourne has been touting itself as the capital of street art for some time now. It's even received coverage in The Guardian over in the UK.

Now a stenciled mural by one of the original Oz graf artists has been resurrected at the newly revamped Heide Museum of Modern Art.

Mike Brown's explosion of colour on the walls of Heide from 1969 was wallpapered over in the early seventies. It was uncovered during recent renovations.

A team of artists have restored and added to Brown's original piece and it's the star attraction at It Ain't Necessarily So opening this week at Heide.

Hopefully it won't be covered with wallpaper after the show closes.

Pic of Brown's work on a house in Fitzroy courtesy The Age.

Webisodes up for Emmy Awards

In recognition of the growing power of the internet it seems programs broadcast via the web will become eligible for entry into the Emmy Awards from next year.

Apparently one of the key drivers behind this decision was the success of last year’s Live 8 concerts where in excess of five million people logged on to AOL to watch.

Exact details of program eligibility guidelines have yet to be finalized however now might be a good time for BMW to put their BMW Films series back online.

Saturday 15 July 2006

It’s a funny old business

London adland chronicler Scamp witnessed a startling example of just how bizarre advertising can get at his agency the other day.

Seems a senior client had had just about enough during an agency meeting so he stepped out and rang the agency chairman to say, "I want this guy off my business. Today."

The chairman had his PA pull the account director out of the meeting and sacked him on the spot. He was marched out of the agency around ten minutes later.

I know The Trump always says it business not personal, but still.

Frank Gehry comes to Melbourne

I posted a piece a little while back on Sydney Pollack's labour of love doco on Frank Gehry.

The great news is the film has been scheduled for this month's Melbourne Film Festival.

If you have any kind of interest in creativity Sketches Of Frank Gehry is an absolute must see.

It's screening on 29 July and 13 August.

For info and tix click here.

Friday 14 July 2006

Irreverent news on the go

So you’ve got your 3 mobile. You’ve watched a few little videos and scrolled through some website or other. And now you’re wondering what all that 3G hype was really all about.

Might be worth you taking a look at Mobuzz TV. It’s a fun and fast paced news network broadcasting bite sized 3 minute shows created specifically for mobile phones.

If you’re old phone’s not up to it you can also catch the news from Mobuzz on video iPod or Sony PSP. Click here to catch the buzz.

Our most treasured possession

A new survey by ICM for Nokia highlights the ever increasing importance of the mobile phone.

Obviously since the numbers are coming from Nokia they may be a little one sided but they really do hammer home the importance of the mobile in modern living.

The watch/clock stat is an interesting one. I have half a dozen watches but no alarm clock. If I need an alarm I use the one in my mobile.

Can't help wondering how much longer we're going to call this life essential a mere mobile phone?

Special thanks to Lynette Webb for the stats and pic.

Thursday 13 July 2006

Comics start getting clever

As I kid I was always fascinated by the ads in comics. All that American stuff they were hawking always seemed so exotic to me.

Well it seems ads in comics have gotten a little smarter these days with the launch this month of Rush City by DC Comics.

The star of the new comic will be seen hurtling to the rescue in his bright shiny Pontiac Solstice in a canny tie up by DC and General Motors.

Apparently this is not a new phenomenon with Marvel Comics and Nike getting in bed together for the recent New X-Men comic series.

Listen to the future

Remember the old IBM ad where no one ever got fired for buying IBM?

Well Joseph Jaffe, author of Life After The 30 Second Spot reckons marketing people are guilty of the same conservative thinking.

He touches on this and many other salient points in a podcast chat with Simon Andrews from Big Picture.

If you're interested in where advertising is heading click here to listen to what Jaffe has to say.

Wednesday 12 July 2006

The empire strikes back

A cracking series of three spoof Mac ads sees the evil beige box machines fighting back.

Podcasts, iTunes and iPhotos all take a hit as the PC guy knocks off almost every Mac cliche going.

This clip features all three ads with the best of the bunch saved for last.

Tribal DDB goes crazy

Fun new viral piece by Tribal Melbourne for Australian Unity using a YouTube video of a guy dressed as steak jumping in a pool of sharks.

The campaign is built around the idea that not having health insurance is crazier than being shark bait.

After forking out close to $200 on an injection for my trip to Vietnam I'm inclined to agree.

Tuesday 11 July 2006

Why just browse when you can share

Flock is a new type of web browser for the myspace generation.

It lets you share photos, read your RSS feeds and stacks of other social networking stuff with ease.

If you're into sharing stuff using the web click here to find out more about Flock.

Isherwood back at school

Despite the much hyped Influentials conference being cancelled Bob Isherwood still managed to front up at RMIT Uni yesterday to address students at his old school.

It was an inspirational talk focussed on the power of ideas. He showed how we as creative people can use ideas to not only shift soap powder and stuff, but also help make the world a better place.

“We believe that ideas and technology will change the world faster than politicians or religious leaders,” said Isherwood.

As the driving force behind the Saatchi Award for World Changing Ideas he’s better qualified than most to make this statement.

Click here to find out more about these exciting World Changing Ideas.

Genuine guerilla marketing

This very clever shopping channel spoof can be found on the UK edition of the Lords Of War dvd.

It's was developed by Mother London for Amnesty International's Protect The Human campaign.

Hate the idea of ads on dvds but this really is exceptional thinking.

Monday 10 July 2006

Werthers kills off Grandpa

The Grandpa from the Werther's Original ads was almost as annoying as Grandpa Joe from the Willy Wonka movie.

But that's no reason to kill him off and replace him with a cliched father and son chatting about new fangled gizmos like iPods and X-Boxes.

According to Werthers marketing director Anne Hollamby, "Grandpa doesn't reflect people's lives today." So McCanns have rung in the changes with a new father and son tvc.

Best steer clear of the supermarket as I feel a grey market backlash coming on.

Nothing's better than beer

Whether it's Aussie work like Boony, Big Ad and Hahn or overseas classics for Guinness, Miller or Bavaria, amber fluid advertising is almost always top shelf.

Which is more than can be said for Better Than Beer a lads mag style bogus blog brought to you by some dodgy new alcopop from Bacardi.

Any bloke who gets a kick out of this stuff doesn't deserve to drink beer if you ask me. Not even a bottle of that appalling low-carb stuff.

Anything but priceless

Here's a sneak preview of the new Mastercard logo. What is it with companies who like to fix things that ain't broke?

Apparently it's for the parent company and won't be appearing on credit cards at this stage.

Looks a lot like some budding design guru got Photoshop for their birthday to me.

Sunday 9 July 2006

Get a free Harvard education

When it comes to the business of strategy Harvard is up there with the best. Now you too can get yourself a Harvard education courtesy of your iPod.

The school puts out a regular podcast which can be downloaded from the iTunes store or the Harvard Website. Best of all it's free. Now that's what I call good value.

Saturday 8 July 2006

Excellent product demonstration

This transparent poster by Hunt Lascaris in South Africa for a glass cleaner has to be one of the best product demo ads I've seen in a long time.

Google now a word

It looks like googling is now officially a real word rather than just something you do on the web.

The Oxford English Dictionary announced the inclusion of google as a verb a couple of weeks ago. Now Websters Dictionary has done the same.

Other common digitally derived terms to make it into dictionaries of late include pixelate, uninstall and the ubiquitous texting.

I just googled google on Google and it returned an incredible 2,460 billion entries!

Advertising wastes money

The $750million Wal Mart advertising account is currently up for grabs in the US and the retailer has just announced its 10 agency shortlist.

Bizarrely the list includes several agencies from the same parent company including O&M and JWT from WPP and Publicis and Saatchis from the Publicis Group.

Given the costs involved in a pitch of this magnitude you’d think that the number crunchers at both parent companies would pull one of their agencies off the pitch.

Geez advertising is a funny old business.

Friday 7 July 2006

Next year's iMac

If there’s one company that never fails to surprise it’s Apple, but sadly this is one iMac that won’t be rolling off the Apple production line.

This totally transparent and seriously sexy future iMac was designed by Adam Benton to accompany an article in MacFormat magazine.

Almost makes you wonder if the ill fated Mac Cube was merely just a little ahead of its time doesn't it?

Pic copyright Adam Benton. Full size pic click here.

Mentos marketing erupts

As I mentioned last month videos of people making geysers by putting Mentos in bottles of Diet Coke are all over YouTube.

With over 800 videos online I saw an opportunity for a Pepsi Max tie-in.

Coke's Susan McDermott however saw anything but the funny side.

Obviously Mentos are a little more hip with the kids than Coke as they're launching Mentos Geysers.

Can't anyone out there get Pepsi Max to get involved?

Create your own Beck

MTV reports that Beck is kinda dipping his toe into the waters of consumer generated content.

His new and as yet untitled album will come with a blank cover for fans to customise.

Says Beck, “You get a sheet of stickers and you make your own cover."

Sounds fun but not exactly up there with all the great stuff done around the world for Adidcolor.

Hopefully he’s working on a website where album downloaders can print off stickers.

Special thanx to eboy for the graphic.

Thursday 6 July 2006

All aboard with J&B Whiskey

How’s this for a nice twist on the consumer generated content cliché? J&B whisky is hosting Nightology, a huge party on a boat off the coast of Malaga in Spain.

Sadly simply sipping scotch isn’t enough to get you on board the boat. You have to film yourself dancing somewhere weird and then submit it to the J&B Nightology website.

If a cruise with a bunch of Travolta wannabes sounds like fun to you click here to upload your dirty dancing video.

Semi Permanent Sydney

Looks like Sydney is the place to be this weekend with the fourth annual Semi Permanent conference.

With speakers from W&K Amsterdam, The Glue Society, Dumbo Feather and more it almost makes the trip to Sydney worthwhile.

For further info and a full list of speakers click here.

Can't live without broadband

Ever since Mark Burnett proclaimed 9-to-5 as the new primetime advertising agencies have been scrambling to reposition both themselves and their digital offerering.

Proof positive that Burnett was definitely on to something is an emerging trend in rural areas of the USA where people are considering broadband access when looking at housing.

USA Today took a look at the importance of broadband in the small town of Berry in Kentucky.

"We had people come in and want to buy a house, but when they found out we don't have high-speed DSL they said they couldn't live here," said Mayor of Berry Donald Adams.

Just 35% of adults in rural America can get online via broadband at home or work compared to 50% in urban and suburban areas according to a study by Pew Internet & American Life.

Pic courtesy smh.

Tuesday 4 July 2006

Look at me damn it!

ClickZ reports a recent eye-tracking study conducted by Nielsen/Norman has found internet users avoid viewing banner ads.

They're calling this phenonemon Banner Blindness with people focussing on web content and ignoring ads.

Me thinks it's simply because most banners are just plain bad.

It had to happen sometime

Whether it's corporate blogging or just people ranting about products the humble blog has been a marketing tool for some time now.

Business Week has an interesting piece on a new company that brings bloggers and marketers together.

I'm currently sipping an ice cold Coke as I type this post on my new MacBook. Gotta make a quid somehow I guess.

A tasty little blog

Quirky Oz juice brand Nudie seems to bear an uncanny resemblance to Innocent drinks from the UK.

Innocent have done lots of fun cultural maketing over the last five years including their own Fruitstock music festival.

Now they've started blogging. Check out their tasty little blog here.

Bright ideas from Chile

Who would have thought such a literal concept for sunblock would make such a great piece of print?

Guess this is one of those simple ideas that really drives home the old theory that the ad is in the product.

One of a campaign of three from O&M Santiago.

On sale now

Not quite sure how to put this but who else but Ikea could pull of an ironic post-modern retail ad?

Elephant stamps all round for the team at Lowe Malaysia.

Monday 3 July 2006

Good work at grass roots

Not content with dominating World Cup marketing with the idea of Joga Bonita Nike have also been doing their bit at grass roots level.

Click here for a look at the email campaign for in conjunction with MSN and the United Nations.