Monday 30 April 2007

I got the music in me

I don't think I'll ever be able to slip my iPod into the pocket of my jeans ever again after watching that.

Who'd have thought, a vibrator that vibrates to the rythm of whatever is playing on your iPod.

If you like the sound of it click here to find out more.

We'll always have Ringo

One of the guys I work with has been ripping a lot of his old vinyl to his iPod over the last few days.

So we’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing in the office.

“Remember that band?” “I love that song!” “Haven’t heard that for ages.” You get the picture.

Given my current nostalgic musical bent, I couldn’t help laughing at this gem from McSweeney’s:

If the Beatles were born today, they’d be called Conor, Joshua, Andrew and Ringo.

Now that’s what I call a fab four.

Sunday 29 April 2007

Thought for the day

Via the always interesting ThoughtSpurs

Saul Bass at the movies

From Spartacus to Goodfellas, Vertigo to Exodus, the movie title sequences of Saul Bass are legendary.

Now some smart thinker has gone and collated them on a website.

It's called Not Coming To a Theatre near You.

Suffice to say this site is essential viewing for creative types everywhere.

Saturday 28 April 2007

What's that big yellow thing?

An excellent piece of product placement for Google Earth in a recent episode of The Simpsons.

It's not often you see a product woven so beautifully into a show, whilst simultaneously demonstrating just how well the product actually works.

Wonder if we'll see any of this kind of thing when the movie comes out in a couple of months?

Hat tip to JJ

Outsourcing advertising

A press release from the Commonwealth Bank landed in my inbox yesterday.

I've been very busy of late, so I didn't get to it till this morning.

When I started to read, I could not believe my eyes.

The great Australian bank has appointed San Francisco agency Goodby Silverstein as its brand agency.

As John McEnroe used to say, you cannot be serious!

Our banks seem to be outsourcing everything these days, but I never thought they'd outsource their advertising.

No disrepect to Goodby, who are a terrific agency, but Australia is hardly short of world class talent.

On a per capita basis Australia ranked number one at Cannes last year.

Not that anyone cares what I think, but I reckon those marketing folks at the Commonwealth Bank are downright un-Australian!

And I really can't believe I just said that.

Thursday 26 April 2007

Oh Dear...

Seems like hardly a week goes by these days without someone pointing out a less than ideal media placement.

Especially in the online world.

This is a particularly bad one.

Thanx to BloggEd

Well hung footballers

I love a good headline and this one's a cracker I reckon.

One of a great series of ads promoting an exhibition of soccer photography at the Lowry Gallery.

It's by Manchester agency BJL. Nice one lads.

Click here if you don't get it.

Wednesday 25 April 2007

Your very own Pac Man

Ariel has a thing for crocheted Pac Men.

So do I.

Get yourself a pattern and make your own at Craftzine.

If your crochet skills are either rusty or non existent, have a word to your Nanna or an aunty.

I'm sure she'd love to make you a Pac Man for your next birthday.

How to get a job

David Smith is a writer at W&K Amsterdam.

Before that he was a frustrated advertising creative wannabe doing the rounds with his folio.

How he landed the job at W&K is one of the best ideas I’ve seen in a long time.

He’s documented it on his blog which I recently discovered called The Idea That Never Got Sold.

Sadly he seems to have dropped off blogging since landing the job.

It’s still a great read though, so click here and go check it out.

Tell him Stan sent you.

Tuesday 24 April 2007

Stop squinting

I got my first pair of glasses a couple of weeks ago.

Old age is finally catching up with me.

But even my eyesight isn't this bad!

Monday 23 April 2007

M&M's gets all creepy

Who better to plug dark chocolate M&M's than America's darkest family, the Addams.

Gomez, Morticia and all the family all star in a kooky little tv spot that you can watch on the Dark M&M's site.

While you're there be sure and check out the hidden movies game. It's heaps of fun.

Now if only we could get our hands on Dark M&M's down under.

Advertising made easy

This ad has popped up on a least half a dozen of the sites that I've visited today.

'How to write killer ads' is a powerful headline.

But I can't help thinking that America's highest paid ad writer has surely got better things to do than revealing their hitherto top secret 14 point formula.

And just who is America's highest paid ad writer anyway?

Sunday 22 April 2007

Mum...What's a computer?

“A surprising number of high school students graduate without learning how to use a personal computer."

Which country do you think Tim Clark, of the University of Southern California, was talking about when he made that statement?

Somewhere in Africa? Rural China? Eastern Europe perhaps?

Believe it or not he was talking about Japan. Yes Japan!

The problem has arisen because internet access over the mobile phone is now so commonplace that many Japanese youngsters are no longer using computers.

As such their knowledge and skill with computers is really no better than that of their parents.

This has given rise to a new generation of frustrated young job seekers who are unable to enter the white collar workforce because of their lack of rudimentary computer skills.

Friday 20 April 2007

We'll always have Paris

Remember last year when Banksy did his cheeky makeover of the Paris Hilton cd?

Well this year’s Paris art stunt has just been done by the curiously named Vinchen.

Seems Vinchen spent a night or two at the Hilton Hotel in Columbus, Ohio recently.

While he was there he got a little creative with the framed promo pics hanging in the hotel.

I’m not exactly sure what the promos looked like before, but the addition of a nipple baring Paris works a treat I think.

Especially given the 'Pampered & Privileged' headline.

Here’s hoping we hear more from Vinchen in the coming months.

Click the pic for a closer look.

Yada yada yada

My son Max recommenced football training for 2007 last night.

Stupid old me had forgotten to update his player registration, so after he came home from practice we went online to update his details.

Before we could submit them, we were prompted to read the terms and conditions. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Someone with a sense of humour had tweaked the opening line of the T&Cs and inserted: These terms and conditions are not the usual yada yada please take the time to read them.

Cute. Very cute indeed. Especially for a Seinfeld fan like myself.

Thursday 19 April 2007

Put that coffee down!

Following on from my previous post about David Mamet here are Alec Baldwin's finest seven minutes in Mamet's Pulitzer prize winning Glengarry Glen Ross. Enjoy!

Show me the money

There’s a beautifully shot, but incredibly cheesy, Chanel lipstick ad currently running on the TV.

I read in the paper today it was directed by none other than French jump cut pioneer Jean Luc Godard.

Now there’s a man I didn’t think I’d ever see behind the camera on an advertising shoot.

Although having said that, I seem to recollect a weird jeans ad he may or may not have done in France several years back.

Now another unexpected name has turned up in adland – master of macho dialogue Mr David Mamet.

Obviously things must be a little slow in the world of theatre, so Mamet has turned his hand to directing a series of tv spots for Ford in the US.

Hopefully the ads will help clear a few Fords off the lot.

If they don’t, perhaps Mamet can get Alec Baldwin to reprise his role in Glengarry Glen Ross and scare people into buying a Ford.

Wednesday 18 April 2007

Trademark madness™

I’ve been working™ with a major corporation on a rebranding™ project for the last few weeks.

Much as I’ve enjoyed™ the work, I’m sick and tired of inserting™ trademark into every other sentence.

Don’t have a problem™ with using TM in the first sentence or two, but not every™ single one!

Of course the marketing™ folks blame the legal™ people, but I reckon that’s a cop out.

I always thought the TM only had to appear™ next to a word or statement™ the first time it appears on the page.

Guess™ I was wrong.

Fuel for Halo gamers

Now here’s an idea that I am genuinely surprised has not been done before. A tie-in between a computer game and a beverage company.

This is more than just a cop out cash in. This is I believe a really neat piece of thinking.

Mountain Dew are producing a special edition soft drink to tie in with the launch of Halo 3.

Sadly it has the rather obvious name of Mountain Dew Halo 3, but apart from that there’s a lot to like.

It’s branded Game Fuel for a start, which I think is a really nice touch.

In fact that got me wondering why one of the energy or sports drinks have never done something like this - Or even a beer for that matter.

Of course now that the idea’s been done, you can bet your life we’ll be seeing a lot more just like it pretty soon.

Tuesday 17 April 2007

Sharp sense of humour

I wrote a post a few months back about some new fangled five blade razor from Gillete.

Really couldn't see the point of all those blades.

Well now I can I guess.

Monday 16 April 2007

Almost living in the seventies

The US campaign for Mini featuring Hammer and Coop has its seventies retro vibe turned all the way up to ten.

Ramping it right up to eleven however is this iron-on t-shirt decal included in Rolling Stone magazine.

I'm giving a big Fonzie thumbs up to the media and production people at Butler, Stern, Shine & Partners who took this great idea and made it a reality.

Thanx to Jetpack for the pic

Reel good idea

Given how many film festivals there are around the world, I can't believe this kind of thing hasn't been done before.

Excellent ambient idea for the Gothenburg Film Festival by Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors.

As served at the Copa

Having served up cheese for as long as anyone can remember, Barry Manilow has turned his attention to wine.

I’m not sure if they serve Vino Manilow at the Copacabana, but you can definitely buy it at Barry’s website.

Be sure and check the warning label on the bottle before drinking. Apparently excessive consumption of Manilow can cause drowsiness.

Sunday 15 April 2007

New vinyl from Wilco

My son Max and I were out and about in South Yarra yesterday.

We stopped for a bite to eat at a cafe where Wilco was playing over the sound system.

Afterwards we walked across to a bookstore where they were also playing Wilco.

On the way back to the car we stopped in to chat with the guys at Greville Records. Lo and behold they were playing Wilco too.

"Must be Wilco week," said Max. Turns out it is.

They're playing two shows in Melbourne this week and I'd completely forgotten that I'd bought a ticket.

Much as I love the band though, I really can't get excited about the set of soon to be released Wilco vinyl toys sitting above this post.

I'm a big fan of both vinyl toys and Wilco, but the combination of the two really doesn't do it for me. At all.

If only...

I've been working flat out this week.

Even went in to the office today.

Finally found the time this evening to clear my rss feeder when I came across this headline from Marketing Vox:

Neilson Buzz Tool reads Brand DNA.

Wow! Wasn't expecting that.

Not that it's got anything to do with my humble blog of course, but it sure did make me smile.

Friday 13 April 2007

Farewell to a maverick

Long before it became an industry where talented graduates pursued a career, advertising was home to mavericks.

And one of the most maverick of them all was Kurt Vonnegut, who sadly passed away this week.

Long before he became an author Vonnegut worked in PR, did a stint as a copywriter and also ran a Saab dealership.

Here are some of the Slaughterhouse Five author’s finest tips for writers:

“Start as close to the end as possible.”

“Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.”

“Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.”

And last of all, my personal favourite:

“Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that they will not feel the time was wasted.”

Thursday 12 April 2007

We got ourselves a convoy

Hate to shamelessly steal from another blog, but Diablogue have nailed the whole Twitter thing beautifully.

Here's what they had to say about it:

"Been fiddling with Twitter for a month or so on and off, and the more I hear the hype the less I can really figure out what is behind it.

Of course I can see some usefulness in limited applications of it, and I'm willing to keep an open mind, but the best I can really figure it so far is that Twitter is the new CB radio."

Reckon all we need now is get ourselves a Twitter Convoy!

Don't believe the hype

A recent New York graffiti stunt by Adidas seems to have gotten a few people hot under the collar.

Adidas set up a full sized ‘replica’ of a train carriage and commissioned seven graffiti artists to do their thing.

Anti graffiti campaigner Peter Vallone was less than impressed. “Graffiti has nothing to do with sneakers,” said Vallone.

“It's just another despicable corporation trying to look edgy by promoting a crime in search of profits."

Sounds to me exactly the sort of response a stunt like this would have been looking to generate.

Wednesday 11 April 2007

Counting the cost

No that’s not the price of the chair on the tag, it’s the number of Orangutans who die each week as a result of the logging of rainforest timber to make furniture.

That’s a staggering statistic.

Problem is, this ad for Greenpeace originated from Ogilvy in China. Yes China.

Hate to be a cynic, but since when has China cared about this sort of stuff?

No disrespect to our furry friends in the rainforest, but how ‘bout we rework this ad and run it as part of a ‘Buy Australian Made’ campaign.

All we’d need to do is write some supporting copy about how the number on the tag equates to the number of Aussie jobs lost each week because local furniture companies are outsourcing production to China.

Tuesday 10 April 2007

Rotten to the core

This year is the thirtieth anniversary of God Save The Queen by the Sex Pistols. Which I remember as if it was yesterday, so I guess I must be getting old.

The reason I'm writing about it however, is because access to YouTube has been banned in Thailand following the posting of a series of anti monarchy videos.

The videos in question were apparently ridiculing the King of Thailand. An offence punishable with a hefty prison term in Thailand.

I did a quick search for the Thai King on YouTube. Here are the three top rated videos:

We loves our king Thailand

Why Thai people love the king

60th anniversary of our beloved King

As Johnny Rotten once said, ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

Get yourself a dream car

I'm not generally a fan of piss takes and send ups. They're no substitute for a real idea in my book.

This 3 minute video however is definitely an exception to the rule.

What I really love about this spot is how beautifully observed the dialogue is.

The team who wrote this have either had kids or spent a lot of time talking to people who do.

Best of all, I can't helping thinking that Mums everywhere will get a kick out of it.

Sunday 8 April 2007

Gimme more of this

It's been a long weekend of football, football and more football here in Melbourne.

And the highlight of the whole weekend surely has to be this lovely little TV spot for kid's footy.

Not sure who did it, but it's so good to see such a uniquely Australian ad running on the telly.

Friday 6 April 2007

I think they're serious

Chimp Media Monitoring is one blog that always makes me laugh. Today it really cracked me up, with this short post on Kangaroos.

“Modern kangaroos are the descendants of the two founding members of the modern kangaroo baramin that were taken aboard Noah's Ark prior to the Great Flood...

After the Flood, these kangaroos bred from the Ark passengers migrated to Australia. There is debate whether ... they rafted on mats of vegetation torn up by the receding flood waters."

Those words of wisdom are from the eminent and always accurate Conservapedia.

Click here for more absurd, yet sincere, only in America style ramblings.

Suits you Sir

I saw the British hostages being released on the news this evening and wondered aloud where they got their suits from.

Then I saw the Iranian President bid them farewell and noticed he had a suit just like they had.

After dinner I paid a visit to Amelia and found this cracking headline from The Sun.

Well may we rubbish the British Red Tops, but they sure do know how to knock up a good headline.

Move over little doggie

HMV has signed claymation mutt Gromit, of Wallace and Gromit fame, as the new face of its advertising.

He’ll take over from iconic dog Nipper, who’ll be spending a bit of time in the dog house.

Wallace was at the shops buying some Wensleydale cheese and was unavailable for comment.

Thursday 5 April 2007

Always on but not always open

The good old BBC was one of the first off-line brands to fully embrace the possibilities offered by the online world.

At least I thought it was.

I was catching up with my daily dose of English football news this morning and went to post a comment on the story I was reading.

But I couldn’t, because they were closed!

Seems the BBC is staying true to its public service roots and sticking to its specified opening hours.

Which is even weirder than it seems, given that they broadcast radio and TV around the clock all around the world.

Odd...Very odd.

Wednesday 4 April 2007

Music set free

Great to see EMI have decided to ditch copy protection from their digital music files.

Not so great to see that EMI tracks at the iTunes Store will now cost 30% more.

Wonder if they’ll start offering buyers a choice of formats?

It’d be like back in the days before Napster, only rather than choosing between LP, CD or Cassette, you choose between DRM or Unprotected.

Tuesday 3 April 2007

Give Second Life a break

A hard man is good to find

I exchanged a couple of emails about recruitment ads over the weekend with Tait.

He sent me a pathetic excuse for a job ad he’d seen that day in The Age.

I was going to post about Tait’s ad today, but then I went and stumbled on this little beauty.

It seems Durex in the UK are looking for talented individuals to join their team as Condom Testers.

This is a very rewarding position, with benefits too numerous to mention.

If you think you’ve got what it takes click here. Experience is preferred but not essential.

X-Box plays with Playstation

Quite why Sony decided to hold a launch party for the PS3 on a boat cruise along the Seine in Paris is a mystery to me.

What I do know though, is that X-Box crashed the party by sailing their own boat alongside the Playstation one.

Ooh la la, as the French would say.

Via fubiz

Monday 2 April 2007

MoJo loses its Mo

A very sad day for Oz advertising today with the passing of Alan Morris, a true original.

The man who put the Mo in MoJo finally lost his year long battle with cancer.

Whilst the agency he founded still bears his name, his lasting legacy is in a string of iconic ads that have become part of our national psyche.

Just look at this list of Oz ad classics:

I can feel a Fourex coming on; Hit ‘em with the old Pea Beau; Throw another shrimp on the barbie; I still call Australia home; You oughta be congratulated.

And, of course, the timeless C’mon Aussie C’mon. A tune that transcended its advertising origins and went on to be sung by all and sundry at the funeral of Kerry Packer.

Ever the creative director, Mo spent the last few weeks organising his own funeral.

A date has not been set as yet, but I imagine the beer and song will flow long into the night when they lay him to rest.

You've got mail

How much junk mail do you get each day?

I’m not talking about Nigerian scams and other assorted bits of spam.

I mean real junk mail.

The stuff that gets slipped into your letterbox whether you want it or not.

Well it seems like we get a lot more than we probably realised.

According to US company 41-Pounds, the average person in America receives around 41 pounds of junk mail each year.

That’s more than 18kg for us folks in the metric world.

People in the US can now have 41-Pounds put an end to their junk mail problem.

And it only costs $41 for the privilege.

Nice idea I'm sure - but not as good as buying a self adhesive No Junk Mail sign from the local hardware store for $1.75.