Wednesday 31 January 2007

Headline of the week

Very nice work from DDB Paris for John McEnroe Nikes.

The type treatment captures beautifully the frustrated genius of mad Mac in full flight.

I can't imagine Roger Federer inspiring anything as funky as this.

Minor problem with the pathetically tiny tagline which reads 'Get McEnroe style'.

Any fool knows McEnroe style had nothing to do with shoes, it was all about the headband.

A sweet little ad none the less.

Tuesday 30 January 2007

Spend Spend Spend

Given that most PCs run Windows, there’s probably a strong chance that every PC sold from here on in will be running the new Windows Vista operating system.

So why on earth are Microsoft spending a whopping $500million on a global launch campaign?

Could it be because Apple increased their share of the PC market from 3 to 5%?

Could it be because Bill Gates has so much money he needed to lose some before submitting his tax returns?

Could it be because Microsoft needed to divert attention away from the over-hyped under-performing Zune?

Or could it be because some desperate ad agency creative had an idea for a TV ad that compares the arrival of Vista with the fall of the Berlin Wall?

Whatever the reason, it better be a good one, because $500million is a bloody lot of money to spend on something that you get for free when you buy a PC.

Monday 29 January 2007

15 minutes too long

Talk about flogging a dead horse.

Snowboarding company Burton has just released a range of Andy Warhol clothing.


There was no-one who better understood the relationship between art and commerce better than Andy, but still.

The guys been dead for twenty years. Not only that, but he's the last person I'd expect to see on a ski slope.

Apparently the clothes carry Andy's infamous 15 minutes quote in the lining.

Yeah, whatever.

I reckon this short interview from the early sixties says it all really.

Thanks to Mike for video info.

Ad Generator - Hmmm!?

Several of the planning blogs I read regularly have posted interesting pieces about the Ad Generator.

It was developed by Alexis Lloyd as part of an academic thesis.

In the words of Alexis, "The ad generator is a generative artwork that explores how advertising uses and manipulates language."

Sounds good. Even interesting. But that's about it.

In my humble opinion the Ad Generator should have stayed within the cloistered confines of academia.

Every ad it generates is anything but an ad. Unless of course your idea of advertising is all about empty words and vapid visuals.

In fact it's the whole concept of generating ads that I have a problem with. We're not in the ad business. We're in the ideas business.

Perhaps Alexis should revisit the project and create an Idea Generator.

Now there's something I'd pay money to see.

Classic Aussie summer rituals

I love this new ad for Drumstick. Everything about it is beautifully done.

For me it captures the suburban Australian summer better than any
ad I've seen in a very long time.

Excellent work from Mojo Melbourne.

Saturday 27 January 2007

The home of Brand DNA

Iain Tait has come up with a fun idea about where people blog and what they blog with.

It's called Computers Behind Blogs and you can read all about it here.

He's set up a dedicated Flickr page and it's well worth a look.

I've uploaded my Mac on my desk. Why don't you?

Pay attention kids

Having experienced many knock-backs and “he’s in a meeting” phone calls at the start of my career, I always said that I’d do what I could to help young people get into advertising.

Barely a week goes by where I don’t talk to someone about their folio, who’s a good person to go see, do I know of any jobs for juniors etc.

Let’s face facts. Advertising is a difficult business to get into. Always has been, always will be. Someone once told me that cracking a job as an agency creative was about as difficult as winning an Oscar.

If you’re hawking a folio at the moment, and starting to get frustrated about the lack of opportunity, hang in there. To steal from an old shampoo ad, it won’t happen overnight but it will happen.

It won’t happen though, if you’re not 110% passionate. You have to love the business to be in the business.

If you’re after a bit of inspiration look no further than the ten question interview Guy Kawasaki has just done with Donald Trump.

Whilst he’s not everyone’s cup of tea, the Donald makes some sound points, none more so than this one:

“You have to love what you do. Without passion, great success is hard to come by. An entrepreneur will have tough times if he or she isn’t passionate about what they’re doing. People who love what they’re doing don’t give up. It’s never even a consideration. It’s a pretty simple formula.”

Friday 26 January 2007

Forget Lamb on Australia Day

What better way to celebrate Australia’s national day than with an Aussie Burger on the barbie.

Exclusive to Woolies and Safeway this culinary delight in the shape of Australia retails in a pack of 4 for a mere $4.48.

Best of all, if you look closely you’ll see that the burger has been finely scored to delineate between the mainland and Tasmania.

A traditional Aussie “Good onya mate” to 1+1=3 for putting me on to the great Aussie Burger.

Thursday 25 January 2007

There’s big and then there’s WPP

As we all know WPP owns JWT, Y&R, Grey, Wunderman and a host of other specialist advertising and communications firms.

That obviously means they’re pretty big. In fact they’re even bigger than big. They’re enormous.

Collectively WPP employs 97,000 people in more than 2,000 offices in 106 countries.

Their client list includes more than 330 of the Fortune Global 500, as well as over half of the NASDAQ 100 and in excess of 30 of the Fortune e-50.

In addition to the ad agencies above, locally WPP also has a stake in Singletons, George Patterson and the Campaign Palace.

I’d love to know what percentage of advertising spend in Australia goes through WPP companies. It’d have to be a hell of a lot. Any ideas anyone?

Wednesday 24 January 2007

Imperfect Match

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought one of the keys to a successful ad campaign was to get the right message to the right person at the right time.

Obviously the folks from LavaLife don’t agree.

The ad above ran as a huge over-the-page ad on MSN today.

Now I’m not totally anti over-the-page ads, in fact I’ve done a few myself over the years.

No, my issue is why on earth would you run an ad for a mating, oops I mean dating service on a mainstream website?

It’s like taking out a full page front cover ad in a daily newspaper. You just wouldn’t do it. This is an ad/product for a niche market.

How many people in Australia are using matchmaking services anyway? Surely not enough to warrant a high price media buy on MSN.

For the money it must have cost to run this ad LavaLife could have probably paid for an ‘escort’ for each of its clients.

When oh when are we going to see an end to traditional adland thinking being applied to the online space?

Tuesday 23 January 2007

Outstanding Australian Creativity

Caught up with some uniquely Australian art over the last few days. Utterly inspiring in so many ways.

The Howard Arkley retrospective in Melbourne is a riot of colour. His vividly airbrushed canvases quite literally transform dull suburbia into enticing exotica.

I remember doing some work with Arkley about ten years ago on an art project for Ericsson. Of course I didn’t realise at the time he’d be dead a couple of years later.

Another great Oz artist who died too soon was Brett Whiteley. I took a walk through the back streets of Surry Hills while I was in Sydney and visited his studio.

There were some great paintings on display, but Whiteley’s studio was something else. It was pretty much as he’d left it when he died.

It was so special being able to spend time in this creative space. Interesting scribbles on the wall, personal photos and newspaper cuttings. Even the music playing came from his cd collection.

I also went to see the Reg Mombassa exhibition when I was in Sydney. Well worth the climb on a 38 degree day to a gallery at the highest point in town.

As I expected there was plenty of his work for Mambo, including Australian Jesus. What I didn’t expect was his landscape work, which was a lot like Howard Arkley with the colour bleached out.

With the pressures of work and family it’s often difficult to find time to get to galleries. After the last week I’ll be making a bit more of an effort in future.

Links: Howard Arkley - Brett Whiteley - Reg Mombassa

Monday 22 January 2007

Cold Turkey

This house ad for BBDO is currently doing the rounds of the ad-sites.

It surely has to be a scam. I don't believe that the top brass at BBDO would ever let an idea like this get out.

BBDO Greece are taking the credit for the idea. Their creative director even worked on the ad.

I suspect that the team behind it will soon be out on the street hawking their folios.

Finally, anyone who's ever worked in advertising knows that creatives work with Pentels, Yokens or similar black felt pens. Not pencils.

Of course I would

Friday 19 January 2007

Berlin in Sydney

I'm off to Sydney to catch Lou Reed's theatrical presentation of Berlin.

Can't wait.

Back in a couple days.

Introducing iSpam

It's not as sleek, sexy or stylish as most Apple products.

In fact it's not even from Apple.

It's spam or should I say iSpam.

You've gotta love those spammers don't ya?

Thursday 18 January 2007

Very chilled Mars

As I mentioned in my previous post, those Kiwis do some very nice ads.

This poster combo for Mars really made me smile.

One of those ideas that's so obvious you can't believe it hasn't been done before.

Great work Colenso-BBDO Auckland.

Not everyone loves Lovable

If there’s one group of creatives us Aussies are envious of it’s the Kiwis.

They seem to get away with ads ‘n stuff that would never run down under.

At least that’s what we thought.

The new outdoor campaign for Lovable lingerie featuring the very lovable Jennifer Hawkins has been banned from the Auckland airport.

I caught an interview on the telly with a spokesman for New Zealand’s Family First organisation about the poster.

To say he was lacking in a sense of humour is a bit of an understatement.

Bizarely he didn’t have a problem with the image of a twenty foot high former Miss Universe in her slinky underwear.

No he’d taken umbrage with the headline. Horny?

How refreshing to see a wowser with an eye for the ladies.

Wednesday 17 January 2007

Hot Love

Very excited to receive a package from Love yesterday.

If you don't know them, they're a great little agency in Manchester.

Anyway they were kind enough to send me a copy of their 5th birthday book.

Even better, they included a beautifully packaged bar of chocolate in the package.

Problem was it was a scorching 41 degrees in Melbourne yesterday. That's about 106 degrees in the old language.

Suffice to say the chocolate wasn't in the best of health.

As you can see from the photo, it had turned into hot chocolate.

As my Mum always says, it's the thought that counts.

Thanks for thinking of me Love. Love your work.

I want some Zubbles

I don’t think I’ve ever worked in a creative department that didn’t have a copy of Willy Wonka tucked away somewhere.

It been a source of inspiration to creatives for years.

Now US company Ascadia is about to launch a truly Wonkaesque product that kids everywhere are gonna want.


Zubbles are, I reckon, every bit as revolutionary as the everlasting gobstopper.

They’re fantastic coloured bubbles. And kids will be going mad for them.

How they make them coloured is a secret. How the colours disappear when they pop is a mystery.

Great name. Great product. Heaps of fun.

What’s not to love?

Click here to visit the home of Zubbles.

Tuesday 16 January 2007

Give pick-n-click the flick

Someone sent me a link last year to the website of Zimmerman.

Stupidly I though it was going to be a Bob Dylan fan site or something similar.

Boy was I wrong.

Zimmerman looked like the kind of agency that anyone with an ounce of creativity wouldn't want to be working at.

Not that they probably have any need for creative thinkers, given their new venture Pick-n-Click Ads.

Whatever your business or marketing needs, register with Pick-n-Click and pick and click is pretty much all you need to do to get yourself some off the rack creative.

They have it all from print to TV, as well as radio, online and, believe it or not, DM.

Yes DM!

Forget closely targeted mail packs, these guys have a generic postcard that you can easily adapt to any offer or business message.

What kind of agency sets itself up to supply generic creative for unknown target audiences?

Certainly not one that I'd want to work with if I was in marketing that's for sure.

Monday 15 January 2007

Finger lickin' good

Here in Australia we use peel and stick stamps. Have done for years.

I very much doubt people miss the disgusting taste of stamp adhesive.

Over in China however they've actually introduced flavoured glue for their stamps.

Now that's a clever idea. I was tempted to say tasty, but resisted.

To celebrate the Year of the Pig the Chinese postal people have issued sweet 'n sour pork flavoured stamps.

As if that wasn't enough, if you scratch them they even smell of pork.

Quite what a mailhouse would smell like, after a couple of million direct mail packs with pork scented stamps had passed through the scanning machine, is anybody's guess.

A Brazilian for Coke

Whilst not quite in the same league as the Saatchi NZ Primo campaign I posted about yesterday, this is another great example of art directors giving an open brief to an artist or visualiser.

Also good to see strong interpretations of a global branding idea by a local agency, in this case JWT Brazil.

Sunday 14 January 2007

Airport Spam

As if having to take off my belt to go through airport security isn't enough.

Now I have to put up with an ad in the plastic tray where I put my belt.

Thanks a lot Security Point Media.

Artistic Interpretation

Forget your so called consumer created content.

I’m a big fan of art directors briefing an illustrator to run wild and interpret the brief however they want content.

This ad is from a cracking campaign for an energy drink by Saatchis in New Zealand.

A big Fonzie thumbs up to creatives Andy and Jay for letting artists Mephisto Jones, Misery and Paul McNeil put their own spin on some very nice copywriting.

Check out all the detail by clicking on the ad to enlarge.

Saturday 13 January 2007

Hands off!

My old art director Ali used to hate me using the word 'got' in headlines.

She reckoned it always looked tacky.

Somehow I don't think it's the word 'got' that's lowering the tone of this poster though.

Thanx to MTLB for the pic.

Watch with Mother

This has to be the best dialog driven TV ad I've seen in ages.

No borrowed interest pop song.

No over the top CGI effects.

Just good old fashioned copywriting craftsmanship.

Nice one Mother.

Friday 12 January 2007 hands

Spotted this on Ad Mashup.

It was originally an ad for a glass cleaner.

I reckon this Viagra remix is much better.

Pity it's not a real ad though.

Thursday 11 January 2007

Inspiration from one of the greats

The W&K blog has an interesting post about Jack Kerouac's Belief & Technique For Modern Prose.

Despite being written almost 50 years ago, and even though he never wrote an ad, Kerouac's list should be stuck on the pinboard of every copywriter.

Here's a cutdown of Jack's list of essentials for writers.

Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
Submissive to everything, open, listening
Try never get drunk outside yr own house
Be in love with yr life
Something that you feel will find its own form
Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
Write what you want bottomless from bottom of mind
The unspeakable visions of the individual
Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven
As ever,

Click here to see Jack's rambling list in its entirety.

Wednesday 10 January 2007

Hans Brinker Hotel

Those crazy cats at Kessels Kramer must have churned out at least a hundred ads for the Hans Brinker Hotel over the years.

Just when you think they've run out of ideas, they go and launch yet another campaign.

This ad is my favourite from a series of six focusing on the hotel's so called unique design features.

From what I've heard the hotel's no Hilton, but it's almost as much fun as Paris.

Click on the pic for a closer look.

What If...

Just stumbled on a lovely little blog called What If...

The brains behind it are David and Phoebe, a young creative team from London.

Their blog is filled with clever thoughts and ideas. Much more fun than any of the folios I've looked at in the last few months.

Click here to go and check out What If...

Tuesday 9 January 2007

Advertising whitewash

I was just alerted to very 'odd' ad on craiglist by MTLB.

To be honest, I really don't know what to make of it.

You'd never be allowed to get away with this kind of thing in Australia.

Here's a brief excerpt from the ad in question:

African-American Creatives needed.

Reply to: ">
Date: 2007-01-05, 7:27AM CST

Milwaukee ad agency seeks freelance African-American copywriter, art director or creative director for immediate assignment. Please forward resume and 3 samples of work that targeted the African-American community.


Make some new friends

A few weeks back The Viral Garden put together the Z-List to help spread a little link love in the blog world.

I thought this was a great idea, problem was it involved posting an ugly list of links on your blog. Not any more.

The very clever Sandy from Purple Wren has spent hours and hours producing the visual Z-List.

Every one of the pics in the montage above has a link to a blog.

Feel free to click away and discover something new to read.

Who knows, you may even make a new friend along the way.