Thursday 30 November 2006

Whingeing Pom alert

Proving that it’s not just the Germans who lack a sense of humour, a bunch of English expats are trying to have the word Pom banned in Australia.

The so called ‘British People Against Racial Discrimination’ have complained to the Advertising Standards Board about a series of ads for Tooheys Supercold which claim the beer is ‘cold enough to scare a Pom’.

Says Tooheys spokesman Paul Foster, “Supercold is the coldest tap beer on the market in Australia, and given the Poms enthusiasm for warm beer we're just pointing out that they may have issues with it.”

Icing the cake very nicely, Foster went on to say, "Frankly, as a Pom, I'm not the least bit offended."

Are ads really that bad?

Proving once and for all that the Germans really don’t have a sense of humour is legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog.

It seems that old Werner was less than happy with the number of ads interrupting the showing of one of his films on TV recently.

Said Herzog, “Centuries from now our great-great-great grandchildren will look back at us with amazement at how we could allow such a precious achievement of human culture as the telling of a story to be shattered into smithereens by commercials.”

Fair enough, I guess.

However he then went on to say, “The same amazement we feel today when we look at our ancestors for whom slavery, capital punishment, burning of witches, and the inquisition were acceptable everyday events.”

I guess this means we won’t be seeing any of Werner’s work on the next Shots reel then.

Wednesday 29 November 2006

Know your audience

Management consulting firm McKinsey has a history of hiring innovative thinkers.

To attract the smartest graduates they recently used what seemed to be a very simple approach.

So simple in fact that only those smart enough to work out how to apply could apply.

You see the tear-offs at the bottom of the flyer used a complex equation in place of the phone number.

Obviously only a small number of people applied, but all of them were the type of people McKinsey were looking for.

Proving once and for all that you really need to know your audience before communicating with them.

If you'd like to have a go at solving the equation click here.

Via Adverbox

Tuesday 28 November 2006

That's my book

Penguin Books have been doing some very interesting work since appointing Mother to their account a little while ago.

They’ve done some very clever ambient and outdoor ideas including an alfresco library in London’s Soho Square.

Their latest idea is DIY book covers, or as Penguin are calling it ‘Books by the greats, covers by you.’

Only six classic titles are available at the moment although more are sure to follow.

All books are supplied with an art quality blank cover for you to customise.

You can also upload your cover design to the Penguin website where it will feature in the My Penguin Gallery.

Viral Learning Centre

Forget about the likes of Miami Adschool, VCU Adcentre, RMIT and Award School.

If you’re into advertising there’s really only one educational institution worth considering in my book.

The Viral Learning Centre.

Watch and learn my friends.

Spotted on AC

Monday 27 November 2006

Chicken or Egg?

I have to admit I found this new Canon TVC from Leo Burnett Sydney absolutely charming.

However it is very reminisent of the Honda Cog spot.

Which was, if memory serves, quite similar to a Swiss video art piece.

If the old adage that talent imitates and genius steals holds true, where does this concept leave Leo Burnett Sydney?

Genius, talent or magpie?

Missed Opportunity

Truly living up to its UK Tow Car Of The Year award a VW Touareg has towed a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet.

Ken Gibson, Motoring Editor of The Sun, was the man behind the wheel. You can read all about his exploits here.

Believe it or not Volkswagen have been pretty low key on the Touareg's achievement.

“We are delighted and a little amazed that the Touareg pulled the Jumbo jet so easily,” said VW spokesman Paul Buckett.

A little amazed? Come on!

I can't believe they didn't film this and post it on YouTube.

Talk about a missed opportunity.

Pic courtesy The Sun

Saturday 25 November 2006

Buy Nothing Day

Today is international Buy Nothing Day.

This is an interesting idea developed by Kalle Lasn, one of the co-founders of anti-advertising activist group Adbusters.

The aim of the day is to challenge all us consumerist types to try and spend a day without spending.

I love this idea, I really do.

Problem is it's not even 10am and I’ve already been out and bought half a dozen bagels, a bottle of milk and two newspapers.


Friday 24 November 2006

The iTunes side of life

Apple have linked up with Coca Cola to give away a whole bunch of music.

And what better place to kick start their promotion than one of the most sought after advertising locations in the world.

The Coke billboard in London’s Piccadilly Circus, which has been up for over fifty years, has been turned into an interactive Coke + iTunes billboard.

Passers by who sms key words shown on the billboard will receive free songs from the iTunes store.

A team of iPod spotters will also be handing out free stuff during the promotion.

It’s obviously no coincidence that a high profile giveaway like this is coinciding with the launch of Microsoft’s Zune don’t you think?

Thursday 23 November 2006

Product Demonstration

"If you have a product that does something amazing, don't be afraid to demonstrate it."

One of my old creative directors used to say that to me all the time.

Problem was we never got to work on products that did anything even remotely amazing.

This Max Factor billboard by Leo Burnett is a great example of how to do a product demo.

Every time it rains the mascara runs. That's it.

So simple, yet so clever.

What The!?

I've looked at a lot of student and junior folios this year. And not one of them had an ad as bad or as tasteless as this one from Draft-FCB.

It's a very poor attempt at an edgy agency self promotion disguised as a congratulations to the winners at Cannes ad.

At least I think that's what it is.

The saddest thing about this poor excuse for an ad is the agency creatives can't even blame the client.

Wednesday 22 November 2006

Decent disclaimer shock!

“LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Technorati Mini may be habit-forming. Do not operate motorized vehicles while using Technorati Mini. May cause excitement / nostalgia for Web 1.0. Technorati Mini may agitate popup-blockers. Do not taunt Technorati Mini.”

Special thanks to MTLB for spotting this lovely disclaimer for Technorati Mini.

Keeping the bastards honest

Communications Minister Helen Coonan gave a very interesting Andrew Olle Lecture in Sydney on Friday.

She spoke at length about the internet and its impact on politics and politicians, especially YouTube.

Coonan said that the margin of error for politicians was growing ever slimmer, with YouTube being the easiest place to find footage of pollies doing dumb stuff.

As we all know YouTube was practically an alternative media channel during the recent US elections.

In true political style Coonan described YouTube as, “The dumping ground for negative political adverts deemed too tasteless for TV – A convenient bypass of regulated platforms.”

I can’t help thinking that the rise of YouTube and comments like Coonan’s would have had the late Don Chipp smiling.

He was after all the politician who founded a party whose manifesto was to “Keep the bastards honest.’

And what better way to keep them honest than by giving every single person in the country the chance to post videos of them doing what they shouldn’t be doing.

Tuesday 21 November 2006

Golden Gate or Arches?

It appears that San Francisco’s landmark Golden Gate Bridge is on the lookout for corporate sponsors.

According to AdAge a local sponsorship guru has already been engaged to help get things underway.

Of course being a consultant he first has to undertake a six month study on the impact of sponsorships on the bridge.

I don’t know about you but the prospect of the Golden Gate possibly becoming the Golden Arches makes me shiver.

By the time my kids are grown up it’ll probably be quite a novelty to see a landmark without an ad or sponsorship message. Don't you think?

Monday 20 November 2006

Recognise anyone?

This one of Tom Fishburne's vey insightful Brand Camp cartoons.

You can find lots more of them here.

Thanx to Advergirl

Exit the dragon

A friend of mine sent me a link the other day to a new website he was putting the finishing touches to.

It was a fun site, but I couldn’t help noticing the lengthy disclaimer tucked away at the bottom of the home page.

Surely in this day and age you’d think people were smart enough to get by without all the small print rules and regulations.

Then again….

A sausage maker in Wales has been ordered to rename his Welsh Dragon Sausages because they don’t contain any dragon meat!

Talk about bureaucracy gone mad.

A spokesman for the Powys council said, "The product Welsh Dragon Sausage was not sufficiently precise to inform a purchaser of the true nature of the food.”

Perhaps after they’ve renamed the sausages they could add a big yellow ‘No dragons were harmed in the making of these sausages’ label.

Saturday 18 November 2006

Turning Japanese

Looks like Apple have applied the ‘think global act local’ rule over in Japan.

I imagine it’s still I’m a Mac, I’m a PC.

It looks like it's still cool Mac guy versus nerdy PC guy.

But it's Japanese. Very Japanese.

Friday 17 November 2006

New sponsorship rocks

According to the BBC an under 10 boys football team have wangled themselves a very cool new sponsor.

None other than mighty metal monsters Motorhead!

Being a bit of an old bastard I thought this was all pretty cool. But what about the under 10s?

So I asked my son Max, who's 10 on Sunday. His response?

"Awesome...I Love that song Ace of Spades."

Apparently so do the football kids, as they run out to the song as they take the field.

They also have a big Motorhead logo on their shirts.

Now that's what I call a sponsorship deal.

Thursday 16 November 2006

Get seriously connected

Thanks to Pete and Wooster for this pic taken at a church in regional NSW.

I thought the idea of a church capitalising on wi-fi was pretty clever.

Then I took a look at the logo. Brilliant!

A church taking the piss out of Telstra during their much hyped share float.

Nice one my Lord.

Melbourne's Gun Creatives

This is my final RMIT post for the week.

As I mentioned the other day Angie Bird and Elle Bullen were finalists in the student section of Young Guns.

I'm proud to say they won. Well done gals!

Great prize too. S5,000 and a 3 month paid placement at a Leo Burnett office of their choice.

Wednesday 15 November 2006

I am not a user!

David from Logic & Emotion has written a lovely post on useability.

He really had me nodding along in agreement. He also got me thinking.

Why oh why after all these years do people in the digital world still refer to people visiting websites as users?

User - It's such an ugly term don't you think?

If you have any suggestions for a warm and
fuzzy replacement please let me know.

Pic courtesy andipantz

Weirdly worded mangles

Until quite recently my inbox used to be relatively spam free.

Now hardly a day goes by that I don't get one of those weird, who the hell writes this shit, let alone buys this shit, emails.

You know the ones I mean. They feature a jumble of phrases more random than an ipod in shuffle mode.

Have a look at this beauty I got this morning:

"I haven't been in too many relationships. Front lower control arms are necessary for advanced driving and suspension setups."

Makes me wonder if these guys have some kind of random phrase generating software.

How else can you possibly explain a sentence combination like the one above?

Wouldn't it be great if we could harness all the brain power behind spam and put it to good use.

Then again I do get a perverse kind of pleasure out of hitting the junk and delete button every morning.

Tuesday 14 November 2006

Young Guns from RMIT

The winners at Young Guns 2006 will be announced at the Chauvel Cinema in Sydney this coming Wednesday evening.

I’m proud to tell you that two students from RMIT in Melbourne have been shortlisted in the student category.

This is a massive achievement given they are the only Australian students to make the final cut.

Take a bow Angie Bird and Elle Bullen, whose wonderful Finger Twister is up against stiff competition from around the world.

If you’re a CD on the lookout for hot young talent Angie and Elle will be at tonight’s RMIT Graduate Exhibition.

It’s at Eckersley’s Open Space, 97 Franklin St in the City from 6 to 9pm.

Who's killing the movie industry?

This is quite a clever ad about movie piracy for online retailer from FCB Cape Town.

Having said that, choosing to use Darth Vader in an ad like this is surely anything but clever.

The tagline reads ‘Piracy is killing the movie industry. Buy the original.’ Correct me if I’m wrong, but George Lucas is a long way off being bankrupt.

In fact he’s probably one of the richest men in Hollywood. Forbes magazine estimated his personal wealth at $3.5billion.

As for Star Wars, well Forbes has put the revenue generated by the the franchise at around $20billion.

So how the hell are a few pirate dvds killing George or his creation?

Monday 13 November 2006

Internet Advertising

Thanks to a new company called Media 20-20 a million homes in Saudi Arabia will have free internet access next year.

Of course there’s a catch, as there always is with these kind of offers. But it’s not too bad really.

You’ll need to look at a few ads before you can log-on.

Media 20-20 have technology that enables them to place ads on home PCs in place of a screensaver and desktop.

Kinda gives a whole new meaning to internet advertising don’t you think?

Before your eyes

I love this idea for WWF by Chinese agency CC&E.

It's one of three ads highlighting how endangered animals are disapearing before our eyes.

Nice campaign. Simply done.

Saturday 11 November 2006

Sucked in by advertising

I don’t like the music in the current Bravia ad. I’m not even sure if I like the ad itself to be honest.

In fact I didn’t care that much for the original Balls ad either. Although I did download the Jose Gonzales track.

Well despite all my seemingly negative thoughts the ads must be working, because I went and shelled out for a Bravia today.

Can’t tell you how good it is though, as the salesman talked me into buying every possible extra going - except for the $10 cable plug that I needed to connect it to my PVR.

Masochistic Freaks

Having buggered their chances of becoming doctors, lawyers or supermodels, graduates of RMIT University's advertising degree will be holding their Graduate Exhibition this coming Tuesday.

Meet the cream of Melbourne's up and coming advertising thinkers from 6-9pm at Eckersley's Open Space, 97 Franklin St in the City.

Obviously work on display is not for sale, but most of the graduates are definitely open to offers.

Click here for more info on what promises to be a great night.

Friday 10 November 2006

Virtual Shopping

Procter & Gamble in the UK has created a new research facility which uses computer-generated imagery to create a 3D virtual store.

Known as The Cave it is used to study the reactions of shoppers to things like store layout, shelving and packaging design.

Several big name retailers are already conducting research using The Cave including Tesco, Sainsbury and Boots.

I wonder how long it will be before we see one of the big London ad agencies use The Cave for a big new business pitch?

Thursday 9 November 2006

Feel free to comment

I just got an email from Servant of Chaos wondering why you had to have a Blogger ID to leave a comment on my blog.

Excuse my ignorance, but I didn't realise that was the case!

I can't believe it just took me less than a minute to turn it off.

So if you've nothing better to do today, why not post a comment.

Come on...Don't be shy.

You can even be anonymous if you want to.

Apple to kill off Mac

My kids absolutely love it whenever one of Apple’s ‘get a Mac’ ads comes on the television.

They have a real soft spot for the lovably geeky PC guy. It seems that they’re not the only ones.

Radar reports that Apple has ditched the Mac guy from their new spots which are about to go into production.

It could be the Mac guy’s smugness was working against him.

Then again he may well have got lucky and run off with Gisele, who featured prominently in the last Mac TV spot.

Wednesday 8 November 2006

Creative Problem Solvers

There’s a great interview on Creative Generalist with the recently retired lan Wiggan from Hayhurst Communications in Canada.

Ian has some interesting ideas on the way advertising has to adapt and change over the next few years.

One of the points he touches on is the industry’s need for what I call ‘creative problem solvers’. Here’s a snippet of what he had to say:

“What doesn’t change is the need for communication strategies that spark great creative ideas.

Developing these strategies continues to require really smart people with a generalist and creative approach to thinking about problems.

A significant issue that arises for agencies as media choices multiply is the need to integrate their client’s messages across a fragmented media landscape; to be advertising generalists, simultaneously building the brand to a mass audience and selling very specific benefits to micro fragments.

This in turn means having an incredibly diverse talent pool to draw on - and that requires a change to the traditional structure of agencies.

It is not financially feasible to employ all these folks full-time so the agency will likely, more and more, only be made up of the strategic thinkers, and project creative directors…big picture people with the ability to identify and manage highly skilled freelancers.”

Read the full interview here.

Tuesday 7 November 2006

Come fly with me

The primary intention of advertising is to grab people’s attention. And some ads are obviously much better at doing this than others.

This must be particularly true for the brands who will be participating in E-Miles, a new website that rewards you with 'air miles' for watching ads.

After registering with the site people select the type of advertising message they want to watch, then answer three simple questions about the ads.

To me this sounds like a great way to rack up a 'air miles' but not such a good way to build a brand.

Perhaps the brands involved should be rethinking their advertising or maybe even their agency.

An oldie but a goodie

One of my old students from RMIT just sent me an email about how many advertising people it takes to change a light bulb.

I've seen these gags a dozen times before, but they still make me smile. Here's a couple of my favourites:

Q. How many copywriters does it take to change a light bulb?
A. I’m not changing a bloody thing!

Q. How many art directors does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Does it have to be a light bulb?

Q. How many account executives does it take to change a light bulb?
A. How many would you like?

Monday 6 November 2006

Coffee with Russell Davies

I found this ad for the UK Tea Council on Media Wasp. It’s part of a campaign to get the Brits to drink more tea.

Yes that’s right, drink more tea! Well a minimum of four cups a day anyway.

Can you believe they have to advertise to get people in England to put the kettle on?

I can’t help wondering if Russell Davies is to blame for some of this lack of tea consumption.

Hardly a week goes by without him mentioning coffee or coffee mornings on his planning blog.

Me thinks it’s time for the planning guru to do his bit for the UK Tea council.

Come on Russell. Your country’s depending on you.

Saturday 4 November 2006

What is a brand Mummy?

David at Logic & Emotion has put me onto an interesting looking new book by Marty Neumeier called Zag.

What really grabbed about Marty’s book is his definition of a brand. It’s simple, succinct and absolutely spot–on.

‘A brand is a person’s gut reaction about a product service or company.’

I don’t know about you, but I suspect I’m going to be dropping that little pearl of wisdom more than once over the coming weeks.

Irish Chupa Chups suck

Newspapers in Melbourne had a field day this week after AFL footballer Brendon Fevola was kicked out of Ireland for allegedly putting a pub barman in a headlock.

On tour with the Aussie national team, Fevola claimed the Irish had been baiting the Aussies throughout the tour.

Not surprisingly no-one in the media believes a word of what he has to say.

Perhaps if he'd been a bit smarter he would have told the police that the barman was behind the appalling Irish Chupa Chups campaign and that he was placing him under citizen's arrest.

Then instead of sending him home the Irish would have probably given him a medal instead.

Thanx to O&P for the pic

Friday 3 November 2006

Kick off poverty

The lovely people at Manchester agency Love have recently returned from South Africa where they’ve been shooting a short film on the recent Homeless World Cup.

This project brings to mind the wonderful KesselsKramer instigated “Other Final’ where the world’s worst soccer teams played off against each other.

The Homeless World Cup was created by Mel Young, who saw a soccer tournament as the ideal vehicle to help change the fortunes of homeless people.

Thanks to Mel’s idea almost 80% of HWC competitors have improved their life as a result of things like teamwork, fitness and competition.

This reminds me of Bob Isherwood’s speech at RMIT earlier this year where he spoke about how ideas can change the world.

The Homeless World Cup is definitely one of those kind of ideas.

Thursday 2 November 2006

Is the iPhone ready yet?

As ubiquitous as the iPod has become during its brief five year lifespan, its sales are still massively below those of mobile phones.

Reuters reports that sales of Nokia phones with built-in music players are easily outstripping dedicated MP3 players.

According to Nokia spokesman Tommi Mustonen the company aims to sell 80million music playing mobiles this year.

Now that’s a lot of phones. It's also a hell of a lot of music players!

Nokia have got the music industry well in their sights, having recently acquired digital music distributor Loudeye for $60million.

Rumours are now circulating that this will lead to Nokia debuting their own iTunes style music store in 2007.

So where does all this leave Apple and the iPod? Well let’s just say the iPhone surely can’t be too far away.

Wednesday 1 November 2006

Sony unleash the baby

Here's the launch commercial for the much delayed Sony PS3.

Creepy but fun.

I love the way the baby's tears run backwards.

Common sense prevails

It seems the Advertising Standards people in the UK have decided not to investigate recent complaints lodged against the new Sony Bravia ad.

In case you missed the story last week, a few sensitive souls felt that 70,000 litres of paint exploding over a disused Glasgow tenement was inapropriate in 'today's climate of terror.'

Rumours that the offended people were known to have consumed a large quantity of Tennents
Scottish Lager are apparently unfounded.