Tuesday 31 October 2006

Trick or Treat?

What better way to celebrate my 300th post to DNA than with a goulish Heineken ad.

Monday 30 October 2006

Spot Runner off and running

Web based ad production company Spot Runner has announced it has raised $40million in investment capital.

Sniffing an obvious opportunity investors include both WPP and Interpublic. Lachlan Murdoch is also rumoured to be involved.

This investment deal comes only 10 months after the launch of Spot Runner, which already has 125 people on staff.

If you’re not familiar with this online advertising upstart you should be, as its ongoing success will impact dramatically on the advertising industry as we know it.

Spot Runner create low budget generic TV spots. They have an entire library of spots available to small business owners to customise and schedule on local TV networks.

Their ads cost as little as $499 which, let's face it, isn’t even enough for the catering budget on a conventional commercial.

Beer drinking weather

In the last year or so I’ve pitched a couple of ideas to clients based around the weather chart on Nine-MSN.

Sadly I’ve never managed to get one off the ground.

My congratulations then to the team behind these weather report ideas for Brazilian beer Sol.

Not only did they manage to actually get the idea to run but they also made the sunny little Sol icons link to the Sol website if you click them.

I’d love to buy the Brazilian creatives a Sol or two but sadly I don’t know the name of the agency.

Thanx to AC

Saturday 28 October 2006


Looks like we can’t blame the obesity epedemic on junk food ads after all if this wonderful ad by the mighty TBWA Paris is anything to go by.

Personally I can’t believe they’re actually marketing diet dog food. Haven’t these people heard of taking their dog for walkees?

Great ad none the less. Also love the fact the cat’s so clever it can paint with its tail.

Friday 27 October 2006

CP&B rewrites the rule book

Speaking at the Forrester Consumer Forum in the US Jeff Hicks, CEO of Crispin Porter & Bogusky listed his five new rules for advertising and communication.

Interruption as a tool is obsolete.

Let ideas find the medium.

Great ideas, not channels, create buzz.

Get comfortable with consumers messing with your brand.

Business results are the only measure of success.

I wonder who’d feel most uncomfortable with the CB&P way of doing things. Clients or agencies?

Thursday 26 October 2006

Who is that evil clown?

It seems the new Sony Bravia TV spot has upset a few sensitive souls in the UK.

However unlike most of us opinionated adfolk they’re not simply unhappy about the choice of music used in the ad.

Believe it or not they consider the ad to be reminiscent of the 9/11 World Trade Centre attack.

Yes you read that correctly.

The Advertising Standards Authority has received complaints from viewers who found the ad ‘disturbing’ and felt that it was inappropriate ‘in today’s climate of terror.’

Obviously these people have never lived in a run down Glasgow council estate like the one in the ad.

Perhaps if they had they’d be tough enough to handle a few exploding cans of paint on their telly.

One woman's rant

I’ve always said that working in advertising is a hell of a lot better than having a real job.

And believe I’ve had a few in my time.

As much fun as adland is though it can be a shit of a place to work sometimes.

It definitely beats having a real job though.

One person who does have a real job and is desperate to get into advertising is OneWomanRunning.

She’s written a great rant about how hard it is to get that illusive first advertising job.

It’s well worth a read, whether you’re already in the industry or you want to be.

Click here to check it out and don’t forget to tell her Stan sent you.

Wednesday 25 October 2006

Lack of intelligence agency

What a pity the CIA couldn’t find someone with any intelligence to work on their advertising.

Honestly if this is the best they can do it’s no wonder they’re strip searching people at US airports looking for Vegemite.

As for ‘Be a part of the national clandestine service’ well that surely has to be the most bizarre call to action ever written.

Thanx to Heresy

Tuesday 24 October 2006

Cardboard crime fighter

It seems the ubiquitous vinyl toy now has some competition in the cool collectible stakes.

It’s Cardboy. The ever so cute cardboard crime fighting toy.

This self styled Flat Packed Freedom Fighter is on a mission to fight crime in cardboard city. Except when it's raining of course!

Cardboy’s first step towards total toy market domination is a series of sneakers where the box transforms into a Cardboy.

Click here to check out the Cardboy website.

Special tip of the cardboard cap to Vando

Monday 23 October 2006

Unhappy little Vegemites

In a move that is sure to test the coalition of the willing the USA has banned the importation and sale of Vegemite.

I rang Aussie PM John Howard but he was too busy power-walking in his daggy green tracksuit to offer any comment.

It seems Vegemite contains folate which is only allowed in bread and cereals in the US.

It's time we took a stand people!

Vegemite is listed in Wikipedia. It is one of Australia's greatest brands.

A fifty year old Vegemite ad is regarded as one of the ten best Aussie ads ever made.

Me thinks it time for us to ban something quintessentially American.

I know, lets ban Budweiser.

Then again what's the point. No one in Australia would be caught dead drinking it anyway.

Sunday 22 October 2006

Remixers wanted

The much anticipated Jonathan Glazer directed Sony Bravia ad broke this week and as expected it has got a lot of people talking.

Sadly most of them seem to be talking about the music in the ad. Not the hypnotic visuals. Not the creepy clown. The music.

Of course the team behind the ad were pretty much on a hiding to nothing anyway, having to follow up on one of the most loved ads of recent times.

I hate to say it but I’m not a fan of the music either. I love the ad but the music just doesn’t have the emotional resonance of the Jose Gonzales track in the Balls ad.

Looks to me like it’s time for the mash-up masters to start remixing the ad and uploading it to YouTube.

I think those dancing paint bombs would choreograph beautifully with a bit of Basement Jaxx.

Even better, how about a bit of old school Jamaican dub. I can picture it now. Rumbling bass, splashes of hi-hat and a touch of echo. Now you’re talking.

In fact, how about Sony commission a series of remixes with different soundtracks to run during different types of programs.

Sure it’ll be expensive, but it’s not like they haven’t spent a whole bunch of money already anyway.

Saturday 21 October 2006

The insight of kids

My son Max was putting the finishing touch to one of his prototype vinyl toy designs.

He was telling me how the colours he would use would be a yellow like an egg yolk and pitch white.

Pitch white?

“It’s the brightest white you can get” said Max.

“The opposite of pitch black.”

Why didn't I think of that?

I give up

I love this clever little promo piece for Nicorette by FCB Austria.

Problem is I’m just not sure what to make of it. Sure it’s clever but would it really work?

Aussie cigarette packs are plastered with incredibly graphic images of cancer infected body parts.

If these pics don’t make you wanna give up why would a couple of Nicorettes in a match book?

I hate to come over all negative, but…

Friday 20 October 2006

Words of wisdom

"I believe anyone can achieve success if he/she is ready to work hard. Talent is nothing if you don't have passion. That's what I really believe. If you have talent and passion nothing can stop you.”

That’s an excerpt from a very illuminating interview with Erik Vervroegen, Exec CD of TBWA Paris.

As the man in the hat used to say, do yourself a favour and click here to read the full interview at I Have An Idea.

Thursday 19 October 2006

Curiosity doesn't kill cats

David from Logic & Emotion wrote an interesting post recently on empathy, experience and curiosity.

This really got me thinking. Curiosity is a very under utilised term in advertising.

How many briefs have a little box for the target audience called 'What do we want them to do/think/feel?'

Just imagine how much more interesting our work could be if those type of boxes were replaced with a box marked 'How can we spark their curiosity?' Now there’s an idea don't you think.

Wednesday 18 October 2006

New Directors in Melbourne

Every year Bob Isherwood and his creative comrades at Saatchi & Saatchi hand pick the the world's finest up and coming talent for their New Directors Showcase.

This year’s showcase is apparently one of the best yet.

It's happening tonight at 7pm at ACMI in Federation Square.

Might be worth getting there a bit early as there's drinks from 6.30pm.

For more info click here.

Consumers are taking over

Seems like anyone with a video camera and a computer can make a TV ad these days.

And thanks to Current TV many of these so called consumer generated ads are actually getting aired.

For struggling students and interested amateurs there’s obviously nothing quite like seeing your homemade ad actually run.

Except CurrentTV’s VCAM goes one step further. They pay you a $1,000 if they run your ad.

If you fancy yourself as a budding Ridley Scott the VCAM site is currently looking for people to make an ad for mysterious American softdrink Mountain Dew.

Quite where all this consumer generated stuff leaves us copywriters and art directors I don’t know. But $1,000 wouldn’t even cover the catering costs on a big budget TVC shoot.

Tuesday 17 October 2006

Upsize your virus

McDonalds in Japan have been running a promotion giving away 10,000 MP3 players to people who bought specially marked cups of Coke.

The players came pre-loaded with ten songs as well as a very nasty trojan virus called QQPass.

The virus enables hackers to access and steal passwords and other personal data.

Obviously McDonalds has since issued an apology and will be replacing all 10,000 of the dodgy MP3s.

Rumours of unhappy customers being asked if they wanted fries with their virus are as yet unconfirmed.

Thanks to adrantsfor the pic.

Pepsi to reignite cola wars

AdAge reports that Pepsi is readying itself for a pre-emptive strike in the cola war.

Armed with a massive $50million budget BBDO are looking to have everyone with a mouth looking to Feel the Pepsi.

As we speak Melbourne is being plastered with Coke Side of Life posters. So if nothing else, the latest cola war should be good news for outdoor companies.

Whether or not BBDO can top the lovely Coke ads that have been coming out of W&K Amsterdam recently we’ll just have to wait and see.

Monday 16 October 2006

Fine print for idiots

This ad caught my eye in the paper this morning. I'm not sure why, but I noticed a line of fine print just below the pic of the vehicle.

Normally I don't read that sort of stuff, but curiosity got the better of me.

As you can see the ad is a pun on extended warranty with an extended Mercedes van.

Well obviously Mercedes' drivers are not as clever as I always thought they were because the fine print said;

"The model shown here has been deliberately distorted for advertising purposes and is not available for purchase."

Bummer! I always fancied a stretch Mercedes panel van.

Sunday 15 October 2006

Another reason to buy a Mac

This glamour shot of Uncle Bill from Microsoft brings to mind a great quote from Seinfeld.

"He is a loathsome offensive brute, yet I can't look away."

Me thinks this may well be where the idea for the nerdy yet lovable PC guy in the Mac v PC ads came from.

Pic via Caffeine

This video is a real beauty

This excellent video cleverly brings to life the transition from person to perfection that is the stock in trade of fashion mags everywhere.

It's part of the ongoing Dove campaign for real beauty.

Although I admired the thinking behind the campaign I was very sceptical when it first started.

I have to to admit though I've recently become a convert. I love this campaign and so do lots of women. Especially young ones.

Saturday 14 October 2006

But it's only October 14th

I know it's a cliche but it seems like Christmas arrives earlier every year.

Yet I was still surprised to see a full page K-Mart Christmas ad in today's newspaper.

It's only October 14th after all.

Guess Santa's big day out really is becoming more and more commercialised.

Friday 13 October 2006

Negative calorie soft drink

Coca Cola will be launching a new canned drink early next year that they say could be a dieter’s dream drink.

It’s a sparkling green tea that gives the metabolism a bit of a boost. So much so that it’s described as having ‘negative’ calories.

In typical Fast Food Nation style Coca Cola claims that a person who drinks three servings of the new drink each day will burn an extra 60 to 100 calories a day.

Yes you read that right. Three servings a day!

Who the hell drinks three cans of drink a day? No wonder we have an obesity problem.

Thursday 12 October 2006

Cinema goes interactive

Brazilian masters of the offbeat online idea, AgenciaClick have created an interactive cinema spot for Fiat.

More short film than ad, the 6 minute clip invites cinema goers to SMS the answer to a series of onscreen questions.

The mini movie has 16 possible outcomes, with the ending chosen via the collated SMS data.

I reckon it would be good to see this kind of idea adapted to the movies themselves.

That way we could choose whether or not we wanted to watch the script writer’s original ending, the director's arty ending or the more upbeat studio ending.

Wednesday 11 October 2006

Make movie with a Mac

Another fun TV spot in the ongoing get a Mac campaign.

This one features sometime supermodel Giselle.

Nuff said really. Enjoy.

YouTube sale or sell out?

The freshly inked deal between YouTube and Google has generated a lot of column space both on and offline.

A deal of $1.6billion harks back to the crazy nineties, when guys in chinos, chambray shirts and their start-ups filled the financial pages.

This deal however is a little different. For starters both parties have recently signed deals with major entertainment companies. This makes concerns over copyright issues much less of a worry.

What is a worry though, is the impact of corporate advertisers on YouTube videos. The days of unbridled freedom of expression are quite probably over.

YouTube has always allowed its users to flag offensive content. However what we consider offensive and what a corporation considers offensive are two very different things.

So where does this leave YouTube or should I say GooTube?

If it allows videos that sponsors aren’t happy with then its revenue will suffer. However if it overdoes censorship then it will lose users. Not only that, but they’ll also spread the censorship issue globally in the blink of an eye.

Me thinks that media watchers will be watching YouTube very closely over the coming months. Sadly though it’ll be the company itself they’re watching, not the Coke+Mentos videos.

Thanks to SG for the logo.

Tuesday 10 October 2006

Anybody seen Banksy?

After his LA exhibition and the Paris Hilton CD remix, it seems like Banksy is everywhere these days.

Brad and Angelina came to his opening. Agency planners have started slipping his name into briefs. Hell even my wife is talking about him.

The big question though is 'Who is Banksy?'

The answer, for around $50 plus postage, could be little old you.

Click here to order your 'I'm Banksy' T shirt and keep them all guessing.

Monday 9 October 2006

Just spend it

Nike have released details of their spend this year on sports star sponsorship.

As you can imagine it's a serious amount of money. $476million to be precise.

So what do they get for all that money?

14 of the top 25 highest paid athletes in the world for a start.

Not to mention annual sales in the region of $16billion.

Amazingly Michael Jordan still pulls in the punters for Nike.

In fact shoes promoted by Jordan outsell those by current NBA stars Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

Kinda makes you wonder which is the bigger brand. Jordan or Nike?

Sunday 8 October 2006

I'm getting all steamed up

Found this on Cloribus and it's got me all hot 'n bothered.

Who on earth thought this was a good idea?

Obviously someone who's never ironed a piece of clothing in their life, that's who.

You can just picture the creatives coming up with this.

"It's an iron dude." "Yeah, I know. My mom has one."

"Yeah but this one is steam powered or something."

"Oh yeah...Cool."

Actually I suspect this may well be a scam ad. I can't imagine Bosch signing off on something this stupid.

Saturday 7 October 2006

Fake eavesdropping in adland

TBWA: "So...there you go. We think 'Dogs Rule' will really resonate with dog lovers."

SENIOR CLIENT: "Yes, it's great."

JUNIOR CLIENT: "But won't it alienate cat owners?"

TBWA: "Maybe. But this is dog food."

JUNIOR CLIENT: "Yes, but what about multi-pet families? I mean, those people aren't just for dogs. They are also for cats....maybe this should be, Pets rule!"

To continue eavesdropping visit American Copywriter

Friday 6 October 2006

Saatchi sells out

The advertising talent pool is surely a little shallower today with the news that Charles Saatchi has sold his share of M&C Saatchi.

Truth be told old Charlie has been pretty much hands off at M&C for a couple of years now anyway.

Best known outside of adland for his art collection, the Saatchi legacy lives on in both the agencies operating under the Saatchi moniker.

TV stations addicted to txt

How often have we read that young people aren’t watching as much TV as previous generations.

And when they do tune in they always seem to be watching ‘vote em out’ reality shows like Big Brother.

Well believe it or not income from all the SMS votes is actually helping networks make up for any advertising revenue shortfall.

In fact French TV station M6 has actually managed to surpass its ad revenue with SMS income this year.

Who knows where this rethink on network revenue will lead?

Imagine messages running across the screen during a football match telling you to SMS your best player votes throughout the game.

What a nightmare. Gimme TV ads any day.


Thursday 5 October 2006

Warhol would be proud

I love this remix of the iconic Campbells soup can for breast cancer awareness in the US.

Consumers must love it too, as sales have reportedly doubled at Campells top retail outlet.

If only Andy Warhol was still alive. He could have done a painting of the pink can to auction for the charity.

Wednesday 4 October 2006

Getty offers creative therapy

If you’re a bit bored or you're looking to kill some time go and check out Gestalt the fun new mind game from Getty Images.

Based on Rorschach inkblot therapy Gestalt is designed to engage and inspire you.

After each ‘therapy session’ you go into a daily draw to win $1,000. You also get an entry into the major prize draw to win one of six fantasy experiences

The old stock photo business has definitely come a long way over the last few years.

Much ado about nothing

This controversial Lee Jeans poster that I posted about recently has been found to be acceptable by the Advertising Standards Board.

The Australian Childhood Foundation was outraged by the overt sexuality of the campaign, which was shot by high profile photographer Terry Richardson.

While the Board acknowledged the sexual overtones in the model’s pose, and her antics with the lollipop, it said that sexuality in advertising was not unacceptable.

"The Board (notes) that the woman is over 18, is fully clothed in attire that is fashionable amongst young women for summer, and that there is no nudity," its determination said.

I suspect the Board were having a bit of a laugh when they went on to say that, “Consumption of this style of lollipop is now common amongst people over 18.”

Whether the Board noticed the ever so subtle placement of the Lee logo is probably open to debate.

Interestingly my wife bumped into someone from Lee in a Sydney hotel foyer yesterday. He commented that the Richardson campaign had proven way too troublesome for the folks at Lee HQ in the USA and that they had been told to pull it.

Tuesday 3 October 2006

Flat screens to get even flatter

Canon and Toshiba will start production on a new ultra flat screen TV next year.

The new TV format will be known as SED and is thinner than any current LED or Plasma TV on the market.

Full scale production of SED screens is expected by early 2008 enabling Canon to cash in on the anticipated demand for huge tellys from the Beijing Olympics.

Monday 2 October 2006

Come on Aussie come on

B&T magazine has commissioned the boys over at Bannerblog to write a monthly column featuring their top 5 banner ads.

Sadly their first top 5 doesn’t feature a single online ad from down under.

If the boring banners I see each and every time I open my web browser are anything to go by I can’t see this situation changing for sometime.

The big question is why?

One of Australia’s greatest creatives, David Droga, picked up the Cyber Lion at Cannes this year.

The Wedding Crashers website by Tequila Sydney won gold at ADMA. It also achieved an amazing 3.5 million unique visitors in its first week.

We obviously have pretty decent digital talent here in Australia. We just can’t do brilliant banners.

Come on Aussies prove me wrong. Pleeease.

Sunday 1 October 2006

Elvis introduces the band

I've never been a fan of ads where they digitally insert some old or dead celeb into contemporary footage.

The recent Adidas spot with Franz Beckenbauer playing with current players is a particularly bad example.

This 60 second little beauty for BBC Radio 2 by DFGW is definitely the exception to the rule.

What an ingenius way to bring to life the breadth of music featured by Radio 2.

All footage used was existing, apart from the Sugababes, which was shot using a seventies camera to ensure it was in keeping with the look of the other footage.

As a wise old man once said, "If there's music in heaven then they've gotta have a hell of a band."