Saturday 30 September 2006

Google turns eight

It was Google's eighth birthday this week. Boy have they achieved a lot in those eight brief years.

I've been involved in the web since the days when the media were touting it as the information superhighway.

Obviously I've done some good work and picked up some awards and plaudits along the way.

But who am I compared to the mighty eight year old?

As Bart Simpson once said, “I’m an underachiever and proud of it man!”

Leo Burnett tries something new

Boldly going where no agency has gone before, Leo Burnett is setting up an Ideas Hub in the web based virtual world Second Life.

Several high profile brands have already established a virtual presence within Second Life including Adidas, Amazon and Toyota.

With a ‘population’ in the region of 800,000 people, Second Life is the size of a small city.

Burnett’s Worldwide CD Mark Tutssel believes the virtual agency will enable all the agency’s creatives to live in the same place.

Tutssel will be in Australia next week for AWARD. Hopefully one of our local ad rags will quiz him on the Second Life venture.

Thursday 28 September 2006

Show me the money

Advertising Age has been running an online poll pondering the eternal question.

Does advertising have an image problem?

Of course it does.

It's portrayed as a glamorous place where we all drive to our over long lunches in our German luxury cars.

Talk about over promise and under deliver.

The reality of adland in the noughties is nothing like that. At least not at any agency I've ever worked at.

Audi travels a different route

German auto maker Audi is currently negotiating with several high profile figures from the music world to create audio material for the launch of the new Audi TT.

Most of the music will be available in a series of exclusive podcasts downloadable from the Audi website.

The launch is being handled by BBH London and will focus largely on non-traditional media.

Audi are no strangers to this area, with their most high profile project being the sponsorship of a private lounge at the Manchester United stadium.

I love Love's ad

Siimon Reynolds and his agency Love have copped a bit of flack during the year for the similarities between their work on the Financial Review and the classic Economist campaign.

I reckon it's all a bit unfair to be honest. The Fin Review ads have brightened up many a bus-stop down my way.

Well now it seems that the tables have been turned.

The recent Economist Trump ad by O&M Malaysia is, I think you'll agree, remarkably similar to Love's Trump ad from last year.

Good on ya Love.

Pic via CB

Wednesday 27 September 2006

Gotta love Paris

Here in Melbourne serious driving offences by football players have caused no end of headaches for their clubs and their ‘road safety’ sponsors.

In the most high profile example last year Richmond Tigers had their sponsorship pulled after a player tested positive for driving under the influence.

I wonder how Paris Hilton’s upcoming drink driving charge will impact on her relationship with Italian alcohol brand Prosecco.

The media always jumps on the ‘players are role models’ bandwagon when it comes to this kind of thing.

Miss Hilton however is anything but a role model, what with her video escapades etc.

In fact, if Kate Moss is anything to go by Paris may well come out in front on this. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Where does the money go?

Mercedes has just launched a very interesting website in South East Asia called Experience The Star.

The site gives you a peak inside many of the exhaustive processes that Mercedes use to bring you a car that costs a lot more than the average car.

There's all sorts of interesting stuff to see and read about. My favourite is the ostrich farm.Yes that's right Mercedes have an ostrich farm.

It ensures they have a steady supply of feathers which they use to pick up every little dust particle between coats of paint.

Click here to Experience The Star.

Tuesday 26 September 2006

Online has another growth spurt

Online advertising revenue in the US for the first half of 2006 has reached an astonishing $7.9 billion.

That's 37% more than for the corresponding period last year.

With that kind of money floating around you'd hope that we might see an improvement in the overall quality of creative sometime soon.

Monday 25 September 2006

One bad Apple

Cnet reports that Apple is cracking down on people using the term Podcast.

The term was originally conceived for downloadable audio files that were playable on iPods.

However podcasting has now gone mainstream, with podcasts available from radio stations, corporate sites, news sites and many more.

Even universities have started offering students lectures via podcast.

Apple is claiming that terms such as Podcast Ready infringe on its trademarks and has already sent out warning letters to several sites.

It'll be interesting to see how this stoush develops out there in the blogosphere, as Apple could easily find itself becoming the new Microsoft if they're not careful.

Parking fines ain't funny

What a pity they don't have signs like this in Melbourne.

I came home the other day to find I'd been 'observed' stopping in a No Standing zone last week and had been fined $107.


Pic via American Copywriter

Saturday 23 September 2006

It's Brian Eno on the phone

Nokia have really upped the ante in the mobile phone war with their glossy four page cover wrap on today’s Good Weekend magazine.

It wasn’t the indulgent photography or even the wrap itself that caught my eye. It was the headline “Soundscaped by Brian Eno.”

Surely not the same Brian Eno who, when asked in music mag Q back in 2001 if he’d ever composed his own ring tones replied, “I can’t believe that anyone could even be interested in thinking about such a thing.”

Who knows how much Nokia must have paid to entice the ambient music godfather and producer of U2 to create so called ‘sonic textures’ for the new Nokia Sirocco.

It must have been a fair bit as the phone has a retail price of around $1700 in Europe with the Oz price yet to be confirmed.

Q mag quote via EnoWeb

Friday 22 September 2006

Beautify your Beetle

Someone at Volkswagen in the UK has obviously noticed the seemingly endless variety of customisable options available to Mini drivers.

Now VW is offering Beetle buyers the chance to customise their car at the Beetle Art website.

The site has a variety of fun designs made by different artists. Pricing ranges from around $100 up to almost $500.

Best of all the design is semi permanent. It can be removed using a hairdryer if you get sick of it.

Click here to visit the Beatle Art site. It’s fun for all the family.

Sight for sore eyes

I don't think I've ever seen a literal proposition treated so laterally.

The loosely translated tagline is Visine for red eyes.

Excellent use of spot colour in the newspaper.

Nice one JWT Santiago.

Thursday 21 September 2006

Guinness hits the mark

Pubs and dart boards go together like...well you know what I mean.

What better way to get drinkers thinking about Guinness than while they're lining up for a throw.

Drinks on the house for the crew at BBDO New York who took an ordinary old dart board and turned it in to something special.

Wednesday 20 September 2006

Guess who’s coming out?

I'm sure we’re all very familiar with the term ‘coming out of the closet.’

So what better way to promote an upcoming Gay and Lesbian Film Festival than with a closet in the foyer of the cinema.

A looped recording of people knocking and asking to come out was installed inside the closet.

This lovely idea by the mighty South African agency Jupiter Drawing Room is guaranteed to raise a smile.

Tuesday 19 September 2006

Adobe need a copywriter

Spare a though for Seth at American Copywriter who came across this baffling dialog box while installing Adobe software on his laptop the other day.

I know tech guys love to waffle on and on but this is ridiculous. Maybe it's time Adobe got themselves a half decent writer on the payroll.

Yesterday's hero

Gillette has announced it is dropping David Beckham from its promotional team.

Beckham signed his much hyped $100m deal with Gillette in 2004.

His star started dimming after his abysmal performance at this year's World Cup in Germany.

He has since stepped down as England captain and also lost his place in the squad.

Gillette is reported to have put together a list of sporting up and comers to represent the brand.

Don’t go shedding any tears for Becks just yet as he still has megadeals in place with Motorola, Pepsi and Adidas.

Monday 18 September 2006

Stuck for a headline?

Came across this billboard on Russell Davies blog.

He took the pic whilst he was in Romania recently.

Don't you just love the way True Statement underpins the headline.


Sunday 17 September 2006

Product placement that never was

If there was one thing that bugged me about Tim Burton’s remake of Willy Wonka it was the over the top product placement and tie-ins.

Of course this didn’t happen with the original as Wonka Bars didn’t exist back when the original film was made.

At least that’s what I thought.

Turns out the Quaker company funded the Gene Wilder original as a way of launching their new Wonka branded confectionery.

Problem was the choc bars weren’t too good so they were never released.

Click here to read the full story by Jason Zasky.

Can't get enough...

Now you too can join Barney, Homer and Moe in enjoying a refreshing drop of Duff beer.

A Mexican brewer has begun producing limited quantities of Duff and selling it online.

I very much doubt this brew has the approval of Matt Groenig, so it probably won’t be available for much longer.

Duff was also produced here in Australia back in the nineties. Production ceased after the brewer was sued by Fox Network.

Via Caffeine

Saturday 16 September 2006

Life after advertising

The cold hard truth of advertising is that sooner or later someone younger than you will come along and do your job for a lot less than you get paid.

As Steve Gill one of my former partners in crime at JWT once said, "In advertising you should always have a Plan B."

Luckily for you the wonderful folks at Wunderman have developed Life After Advertising. A simple to use web based application that formulates your Plan B for you.

Click here to give it a try and find out what the future holds for you.

Friday 15 September 2006

Enter the copywriter

Nielsen watches YouTube

New research released today by Nielsen has named YouTube the fastest growing brand online with a massive 478% increase in site traffic over the last six months.

Everyone’s favourite photo sharing site Flickr came in second followed closely by Murdoch’s pet project MySpace.

Outside of the fun stuff, financial services are also showing good growth online with American Express coming in at number four in the research survey.

Thursday 14 September 2006

Gone but not forgotten

Brooklyn based artist Fynn Sloyan has created the WTC Outline as a memorial piece for the Twin Towers.

Each Saturday in Spetember Flynn is hitting the streets and handing out his WTC Outline transparencies to enable people to appreciate the impact that the collapse of the towers has had on New York.

For more info on Fynn and the Outline project click here.

Wednesday 13 September 2006

Sign of the times

A new version of Monopoly is being launched in the US this week featuring brand name tokens rather than old favorites like the boot and battleship.

The new tokens include mini versions of a Toyota Prius, a serve of McDonald’s fries, a cup of Starbucks coffee and a Motorola mobile phone.

Despite the presence of these branded items the new Monopoly is actually more expensive than the traditional version.

Guess that’s the price you pay for using premium brands.

Pic via NYT

No more sex for a while

I’ve mentioned porn and sex so many times on DNA over the last couple days that I’ll probably get a knock on the door from the Vice Squad next week.

Anyway here’s my last bit of ‘sex in advertising’ for some time. It’s the new print ad for the Playstation game Tekken Five by Whybin TBWA Sydney.

Gratutitous sex or harmless fun? I really don’t know, but you’ve gotta love the line “I love meeting men and smashing their face in.”

Click here to supersize the ad.

Tuesday 12 September 2006

Lee goes from soft porn to…

The other day I posted on the furore surrounding the new campaign for Lee jeans here in Australia.

Well here’s the latest American TV spot for Lee which, in the words of AdAge columnist Bob Garfield, “Is a little bit on the pathetic side.”

Bob goes on to say that Arnold Worldwide had produced an ad “Utterly devoid of originality.”

I’d like to say old Garfield is being a bit harsh, but sadly I can’t. This ad is just plain dull. Who knows what the Stevie Wonder track must’ve cost.

Gimme a good old pseudo porn Aussie Lee ad any day.

Monday 11 September 2006

Many viral ads are anything but

The continued uptake of broadband has seen a dramatic growth in the use of so called viral advertising.

However recent research has shown that more than 50% of consumers hadn’t realised that the funny videos they were viewing were in fact ads.

Given that viral production budgets often reach six figures clients are now starting to question the value of many viral ads.

Richard Spalding from viral seeding company Kontraband reckons four out of five virals are simply not good enough for consumers to consider passing them on.

"Consumers want funny and edgy content,” says Spalding. “If brands push too hard for a sanitised corporate approach then they're going to kill the goose that laid the golden egg."

Sunday 10 September 2006

Who said sex doesn't sell?

It’s Fashion Week here in Melbourne and Lee jeans have cashed in with a vengeance with the launch of their new ad campaign.

Shot by high profile American photographer Terry Richardson the ads were designed to provoke and provoke they most definitely have.

Childhood and family groups claim the ads are suggestive of prostitution and oral sex and want them banned.

The Herald Sun newspaper has jumped on this with gusto. They’ve even mentioned it in their Sunday editorial piece.
Problem is only one ad has actually run, a billboard across the road from the South Yarra station.

Fiona Jolly from the Advertising Standards Bureau said she had received a complaint about an image on the Lee website. Yes that’s right the website, not the poster.

In an interesting quote she said, “There is no formal mandatory process of assessing ads prior to publication.”

So it seems people are complaining about ads that haven’t even run yet!

Adding further fuel to the fire a marketing spokesman for Lee said he would have failed in his job if the ads hadn’t upset family groups.

Can't wait to see what happens when the ads actually start running.

Saturday 9 September 2006

Sponsorship with a twist

Putting their over hyped rivals Real Madrid to shame Barcelona have signed a shirt sponsorship deal with a difference.

Their new sponsor is Unicef and, in an interesting twist, Barcelona will be paying the sponsor not the other way around.

The deal will see the Spanish football giants donate two million Euros to Unicef during the 2006/07 season.

It's so nice to know not everyone in European football is in it just to line their own pockets.

Nike to focus on ads not shoes

With its tongue wedged firmly in its collective cheek The Onion ‘reports’ that Nike will cease making sportswear in order to focus solely on making ads.

A very funny ‘quote’ has Nike founder Phil Knight claiming, “By discontinuing our entire product line, we will ensure that Nike remains the world leader in the field of incredibly cool TV commercials."

The Onion piece goes on to say that Nike is also intending to fire most of its 6,800 employees and use their combined salary of $210 million to sign basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal.

To be honest I actually think this idea has some merit, although this might be because even though I really love Nike ads I’ve never actually bought any of their products.

Friday 8 September 2006

Pimp my Blog

And there I was thinking that a burger chain trademarking ‘Oh Yeah!” was a little bit over the top.

Now it seems you can’t even use the word pimp without fear of legal action.

The Guardian reports that Viacom, owners of MTV, has sent legal letters to sweets and lollies website Pimp My Snack.

Another letter was sent to an English pet store called Pimp My Pet.

Fingers crossed I won’t get a note from Viacom's legal heavies for calling this post Pimp My Blog.

Nokia to dazzle New York

This Saturday sees the unveiling of an exciting new Nokia concept store in New York.

Located just off 5th Avenue the store promises to be nothing less than an experiential brand overload.

The first two floors feature luminous colour changing panels wrapped around flat panel monitors and product displays.

Dazzling animations by the likes of Tomato, Phunk Studio and more will run on rotation throughout the store.

By the way, did I mention you'll also be able to buy Nokia mobiles here?

Thursday 7 September 2006

WPP gets a bit of BIG

As part of its ongoing plan to help spend most of the world’s marketing budgets WPP has bought a sizeable chunk of product development group BIG.

According to Martin Sorrell BIG provides WPP with opportunities to deliver product innovation and ideas to clients.

Of course being WPP they also have plenty of advertising agencies to help position, brand and market these new products for their clients.

Wednesday 6 September 2006

Kind of the best of Japan

An inspired collection of TVC insanity from the land of the rising sun courtesy of HighT3ch.

Good to see the long forgotten Fuji spot by the Campaign Palace at number one.

However like many of these ads it's not actually from Japan. They're still bloody funny though.

Click here to view the Top 20.

Tuesday 5 September 2006

Print takes on the web in China

There has been much talk of late about the impact of the internet on print media.

No such problems over in China, where a new low budget gossip mag is being produced entirely from material lifted from the internet.

Net News Weekly is anything but embarrassed about the source of its stories. It even features a browser window in its layout.

Believe it or not it’s all completely legit. A text box on the back pages invites people whose work has turned up in the mag to write in for their contribution fees.

Monday 4 September 2006

Banksy remixes Paris

Brit art bad boy Banksy has struck again, doing his own revamp of Paris Hilton’s new CD.

He is said to have doctored 500 copies of her debut album Paris in 48 record shops across the UK.

However he left the original barcode so people could buy the CD without realising it had been tampered with.

The Banksy version even came with a new release style front cover sticker highlighting tracks such as ‘Why Am I Famous?’ and ‘What Have I Done?’

A spokeperson for HMV was quoted on the BBC as saying, “It might be that there will be some people who agree with his views on the Paris Hilton album.”

To see detailed pics of the CD click here. Thanx to Sharl.

I've got women in my inbox

This is Lindsay.

As you can see she’s a very attractive young lady with what she calls an athletic body.

So why doesn’t anybody want to go out with her?

Honestly this ad has been popping up for ages whenever I check my Hotmail.

Is there something wrong with the lovely Lindsay?

Do me a favour. Help get this women out of my inbox.

Click the contact me now button. Please!

Spot the difference

Adidas by TBWA India. Nike by DDB Berlin.

Sunday 3 September 2006

Melbourne gets pixelated

Issue number five of online magazine Melbourne Pixel has just hit the world wide web.

It features profiles on interesting and innovative creative types from right here in good old Melbourne town.

If you’re sick of waiting for that illusive big break why not try contributing to this damn fine mag.

Whether you’re a writer, photographer, designer or just have an artistic bent, Melbourne Pixel would love to hear from you.

Click here to check out Issue 5. You’ll find a submission form on the site too.

Don’t forget to tell them Stan at Brand DNA sent you.

Happy birthday Flash

To celebrate 10 years of Flash on the web FWA (Favourite Website Awards) in conjunction with Adobe has opened the voting to find the most influential Flash site.

Polling has taken place over the last few weeks and it's now down to the final ten.

My favourite is the Leo Burnett site from Canada. Whether or or not I'd call it influential is open to debate, but it sure is a lot of fun.

Voting closes on 5 September so click here and place your vote now.

Saturday 2 September 2006

Here's a surprising statistic

52% of MySpace users are 35 or older.


Who'd have thought that?

Source: ComScore

Speak up I can't hear you

These Nokia sound proof booths have been popping up at festivals across Europe over the last few months.

So we can probably expect to see them at many of the big outdoor shows down under.

Whether they’re classed as ambient media, a public service or merely a bloody good idea, they’re sure to come in handy at the Big Day Out.

Friday 1 September 2006

A little creative magic

Thanks to the team at I Have An Idea you may be feeling a bit more creative than usual today.

IHAI president Ignacio Oreamuno believes the ad industry could use a little more spark and he’s commissioned a witch to do something about it.

Heidi Reiss, who’s a certified witch apparently, is creating a magic potion to enhance the abilities of copywriters and art directors everywhere.

Having just had a client shoot down a beautifully simple concept this morning I’m hoping the magic starts working pretty soon.

Starbucks viral too viral

A Starbucks email offering free coffees has been pulled after it became way to successful.

It was mailed to a small group of Starbucks employees with instructions to forward to family and friends.

Problem was the e-mail spread further and faster than Starbucks had intended. Some even ended up on eBay.

As a result Starbucks has cancelled the offer because it was redistributed beyond the original intent.

Like I said in my previous post, be careful with that viral.

Be careful with that viral

In a rather disturbing development the Coolzor blog has been threatened with legal proceedings for posting TV ads on YouTube.

A drink driving commercial was named in the action against Coolzor which has resulted in suspension of his YouTube account for a year.

Makes you wonder how successful future viral campaigns will be if people are taken to task for forwarding and sharing ads.

Most puzzling of all is why spreading the word on drinking and driving is considered a crime not a public service. Hmmm?

Click here to view the cease and decist notice.