Thursday 31 May 2007

All aboard

Advertising is definitely get its money’s worth out of grafitti these days.

Recent highlights of this trend include the Absolut billboards from last year and the Haviana’s murals I blogged about last week.

Whether these collaborations are the result of a tired industry borrowing from the street, or an underground culture selling out, depends on which side of the street art fence you sit I guess.

The latest graf campaign to hit the streets, or more accurately tracks, is by Gorillaz artist Jamie Hewlett for the Manchester International Festival.

Created in collaboration with street artist Choo, the artwork covers nine train carriages and features over ninety images and characters.

Which may well make it the longest piece of outdoor ever made.

Wednesday 30 May 2007

Recipe for success

The creatives from Fallon London weren’t joking when they wrote that the Skoda Fabia was full of lovely stuff.

Here’s the recipe for the car cake in the Skoda TVC:

10kg white chocolate chunks
20kg raisins
3kg orange peel strips
25kg dried apricot
12.5kg raspberry jam
5kg cocoa powder
100kg wheat flour
180 fresh eggs
100kg caster sugar
90kg brown sugar paste
50kg icing sugar
40kg black sugar paste
20kg glacier cherries
50kg white sugar paste
30kg brown almonds
42kg chocolate fudge

The team behind the Skoda cake were intending to cut it up once filming had finished and distribute it to local charities, schools and hospitals.

Sadly several days under hot studio lights made the cake inedible, so it ended up being composted for use by gardeners in East London.


Tuesday 29 May 2007

Full of lovely stuff

I've been working on a car launch for the last couple of weeks.

We've had tons of fun ideas. But none of them anywhere near as much fun as this Skoda ad from Fallon London.

I'm so jealous. Especially of the gorgeous tagline:

"Full of lovely stuff"

Looks like it's back to the drawing board for me.

Sign of the times

The D&AD announced the winners of their 2007 awards on the weekend.

I took a look at the list and was shocked by the results in the TV category.

Not one single British ad picked up an award. Not one!

Sure there were plenty of nominated ads, but none of them was considered good enough to pick up a much coveted Yellow Pencil.

Never thought I'd see the day.

Monday 28 May 2007

Quote of the day

I stumbled on this great quote by John Elliott Jnr today.

Well worth printing out and pinning up in the office.

"Big ideas are so hard to recognize, so fragile, so easy to kill.
Don't forget that, all of you who don't have them."

Sunday 27 May 2007

Life after death by powerpoint

Who'd have thought powerpoint could be this funny?

Excellent video by tech-head turned comedian Don McMillan.

Saturday 26 May 2007

Age old ad agency ritual

Lovely cartoon from the Shedwatoon series by Victoria Levan.
Captures beautifully one of the few perks left in advertising these days.

Empire strikes back

It seems we’re coming up to the thirtieth anniversary of what I consider to be the world’s most overrated film.

To celebrate, movie magazine Empire is producing 30 different Star Wars covers for its next issue.

Yes you read that right – 30 covers.

Sounds more like a cash in than a celebration to me.

Still I’m sure that won’t stop the geeks buying all thirty copies.

Could it be that Empire readership and circulation figures are heading downwards?

Friday 25 May 2007

Show me the money!

According to no less an authority than When Saturday Comes, Melbourne is the oldest football club in the world.

Older than Man Utd, older than Liverpool, older than Real Madrid, older than…well you get the picture.

Which is why the ad I’ve scanned from today’s newspaper is so sad.

Talk about desperate.

We’re currently in round nine of the season and Melbourne has yet to win a game.

As you can imagine, their crowds are dwindling.

So much so, that they’re not getting enough people through the turnstiles to cover the operational costs of the stadium.

Now I’m sure the headline in this ad was intended be ironic, but it’s not.

It’s pathetic.

Melbourne FC – Now paying fans to come to games!

Come on. Who wrote / approved this kind of thinking?

Thursday 24 May 2007

Reality Check!

Oh dear...

I'm becoming an advertising wanker.

Surely not, I hear you cry.

Sadly it's true.

I use the word mnemonic in a meeting today.


Does anyone know if there's someone I can see about this before it becomes a serious problem?

Wednesday 23 May 2007

H&M loves Kylie

What's not to love about this TV spot for the launch of Kylie's new clothing range for H&M?

It's got Kylie looking cute.

It's got Kylie smoldering.

It's got Kylie in a damn fine car.

Best of all it's got Kylie in a bikini.

And yet it leaves me feeling strangely unsatisfied.

Missed opportunity me thinks.

No, not that kind of thong

We call them thongs. The Poms call them flip flops. Whatever you call them this is certainly a fun way to promote them.

BBDO New York commissioned several building size murals by street artists, who were given pretty much an open brief.

The agency then attached huge rubber straps and an outline and before you know it they has a series of colourful ads for Havianas.

Heaps of fun. Just like thongs.

Tuesday 22 May 2007

Gondry goes over the top

The current HP campaign is an interesting one.

I do like most of the ads, but sadly the ideas remind me of an old Apple campaign. However unlike Apple, HP can't seem to keep things simple.

This is especially true in this Michel Gondry spot, which is utterly charming, but overly long.

It's also, let's be honest, more than a little self indulgent.

Looks like I might be sticking with my Mac for a little while longer.

Monday 21 May 2007

Aerial spam shot down

Guerilla marketing is under attack here in Melbourne.

Bowing to pressure from sponsors of sporting events such as the cricket, football and Grand Prix, the goverment passed the Major Events (Aerial Advertising) Act 2007.

Under the Act blimps, skywriting, laser or digital projections, and planes pulling flags or banners are banned.

And the fine for breaching the Aerial Advertising law?

A mere $264,000!

Sunday 20 May 2007

CV Cloud

Now here's an interesting idea.

Nathanael from Pure Caffeine was looking for a webcentric way to showcase his skills for a job application.

Something a little different from the traditional word doc CV.

So he did in the style of a Zoom Cloud.

I don't know about you, but I love this kind of thinking.

It's fun, easy to read and tells me everything he can do.

Here's hoping he got the job.

Start Rippling

Katie has introduced me to Ripple, the easiest way to help out charitable and worthy causes.

It's a terrific idea developed right here in Melbourne by three friends from Melbourne Uni.

Click here to read all about this very worthwhile initiative.

Saturday 19 May 2007


Last year he mysteriously appeared alongside the rail tracks in Richmond. Now he's gone and popped up in deepest Collingwood.

It's CrateMan.

Brightening the morning train journey of rail commuters from the northern suburbs of wintry Melbourne town.

Thanx to Ed

Friday 18 May 2007

For Sale - The Tick

Call me naive.

Tell me I’m gullible.

I thought a Tick from the Heart Foundation was something a product had to earn.

A mark of approval from an official authority which implied that a product was healthy and good for you.

Like I said, call me naive, because I came across this ad in Marketing magazine this morning.

An ad for the Heart Foundation Tick. Who’d have thought!?

I cropped the copy off the scan, as it was too small to read. Here’s what it said:

"Nearly 70% of grocery buyers would buy a food with the Tick over one without it.

So it makes sense that the Tick on your product can add value to your brand.

To find out how the Tick could help you stand out from the competition and increase sales, please call…."

No need to call me naive anymore. Just call me cynical.

Thursday 17 May 2007

Let's just hug

A must watch video for every person working in advertising and marketing who thinks 'female 28 to 34' is enough to build a dialogue with a consumer.

Quite what this has to do with Microsoft is anyone's guess, but it's damn funny none the less.

Big thanx to David Armano

Wednesday 16 May 2007

Yes, but....

Wonderful wisdom from Hugh McLeod.

Print it out. Pin it on your office wall.

Maybe even carry a small printout in your wallet as well.

Eternal inspiration.

Beer + Milk = Bilk

Following last year’s milk surplus in Japan, a brewery has found a way to put excess milk to good use.


It’s a bizarre combination of beer and milk.

I can’t see a drink like Bilk catching on here in Australia, but stranger things have happened I guess.

It’s apparently got quite a fruity flavour and the brewer thinks it will become popular with women.

Sounds suspiciously like an alcoholic version of Yakult to me.

I’m off to Japan late next month. If I come across a bottle of Bilk I promise to give it a try and tell you all about it.

Tuesday 15 May 2007

Shoe care by Puma

Puma is one of my favourite brands.

One of the things I love about them is the attention to detail in their packaging. They see every swing tag and shoe box as an opportunity.

Who else but Puma would print something as silly as ‘Average Contents – 2’ on a shoe box?

On the weekend I bought a pair of shoes from their archive range. And inside the shoe box was a care booklet unlike any other.

Who else but Puma could pull off these kind of handy hints?

Monday 14 May 2007

Some sexy statistics

Believe it or not 12% of websites are porn related.

And every day 266 new porn sites appear on the internet.

These and many more staggering statistics can be found in this excellent video from Good Magazine looking at the phenomenon of internet porn.


Sunday 13 May 2007

Where are all the Copywriters?

A little while back I wrote a post about how Yahoo had named Copywriter as one of this year's hot jobs.

This ad for Intel surely has to be one of the reasons why.

Multiply your creativity. What does that mean exactly?

Apart from not reading all that well, it's also bloody boring.

I can't imagine that line touching anybody.

The body copy's not much better.

The first line reads: Do all that you do with the Intel Core Duo processor.

Now there's a product benefit - I get to do all that I do. Brilliant!

But wait, there's more...

Multiply your possibilities with Intel Core Duo processor's wide dynamic execution and multi-core technology.

Who the hell writes this stuff?

No wonder copywriter is one of the top five hot jobs for 2007.

Saturday 12 May 2007

Warm 'n fuzzy thinking

It’s not often a direct mail piece leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy, but that's exactly what this great little idea for First Direct bank does.

The creatives behind this pack obviously had a great deal of fun trying to replicate the warm friendly welcome you get from the bank.

I'm having primary school flashbacks just thinking about it.

If only my bank sent me fun stuff like this, rather than mundane DL statement stuffers which always end up unread in the bin.

Top stuff from Craik Jones and Co in London.

Friday 11 May 2007

Arise Sir Bob Isherwood

Last night the Clio Awards honoured Bob Isherwood with the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award.

If ever there was an Aussie who deserved to have his head on a postage stamp it's surely our Bob.

* Worldwide CD of Saatchi & Saatchi

* One of the founders of the legendary Campaign Palace

* The first Australian to get his hands on a Gold Lion at Cannes

* Driving force behind the Award For World Changing Ideas

Yet he still finds time to drop by RMIT Uni, his alma mater, to chat with advertising students.

Kinda makes you wonder why he's never been mentioned in the Australia Day honours list.

Hondamental as anything

Yet another great ad for Honda from those clever kids at W&K London.

Have to say I would have loved to have been at the client presentation for this one.

I mean, how do you get someone to sign off on an idea that is, in a nutshell, a bunch of guys in white coats walking into a strong wind?

Click here for more on Hondamentalism

Thursday 10 May 2007

Chinese mobile mania

There’s a great article on the Chinese mobile market on Contagious by the director of digital strategy at Ogilvy.

It’s primarily focused on the emerging mobile ad market, but what caught my eye were these stats:

* Chinese mobile subscriber base is rapidly approaching half a billion

* There are five million new subscribers every month

* Mobile users in China outnumber internet users three to one

I’m no expert, but it looks to me like China is well on the way to becoming the new Japan.

Wednesday 9 May 2007

Another boring banner

This is a screen grab from a banner ad for a new Nokia phone that I found on Bannerblog.

I don’t know about you, but I think the copywriting is incredibly clumsy.

“Thing’ is such an unattractive word. And to use it twice in the same sentence is just plain lazy.

What really saddens me though, is this ad is just one of millions of poorly written banner ads that appear everyday on the internet.

Why oh why are banners so boring?

I honestly cannot remember the last time I saw one that made me go “wish I’d done that!”

Click here to view the ad in full.

Tuesday 8 May 2007

Words of wisdom

"I try to leave out the
parts that people skip."

Elmore Leonard

Powerful Thinking

Yet another great idea from the very clever David & Phoebe.

Imagine if gyms took up this kind of concept.

All those people running on treadmills, and riding stationary bikes, could probably generate enough power to reduce the gym's electricity consumption quite substantially.

Nice one D&P. Great drawing too!

Monday 7 May 2007

White Pages Weirdness

I’m meeting someone for coffee tomorrow at a café called Two Fingers.

I wasn’t sure of the address so I decided to check it with the White Pages online.

The intricacies of how search engines work are a mystery to me. And also to the folks at White Pages online, if their results to my query are anything to go by.

I knew the café was in Russell St, so I entered the following into the search fields:

Business Name – Two Fingers

Street – Russell

Top of the White Pages list was exactly what I was looking for - Two Fingers, 27 Russell St.

Strangely an additional 34 possibilities were also listed.

I have no idea why, as none of them featured both Two and Fingers in the business name.

Here’s a couple of the oddest names that were listed:

Act Two Electro Painters, Australian Two Way Radio Rentals, Bestcorp Two Pty Ltd, Cheap & Hot Two Dollar Plus and thirty more unlikely candidates.

Weird. Very weird.

Saturday 5 May 2007

Heavenly Videos

Chimp Media Monitoring has blogged a lot of late about the creationist version of Wikipedia.

Now there’s a Christian YouTube called, you guessed it, GodTube.

I don’t know if there’s some higher force monitoring the videos, but there’s still quite a bit of the dumb 'don’t try this at home' stuff you find on YouTube.

Thing is these videos come with wacky blurbs like this one:

"What NOT to do on your church retreat. You'll never guess what these crazy Christians are up to!"

Click here to sample a few of these wholesome videos for yourself.

Friday 4 May 2007

Powerpoint is innocent

Seems like poor old powerpoint has been getting a bit of a bum rap of late. And is it any wonder?

I’ve sat through more than my fair share of boring slides filled with clichéd clip art and masses of boring undersized text.

Thing is I can’t help thinking powerpoint is not to blame. It’s surely the person putting the presentation together.

They’re so concerned with squeezing in every ounce of detail that they leave themselves with nothing to talk about.

This week I got lumbered with the job of putting together a powerpoint for a major telco client.

Rather than a brief, they gave me two presentations done for internal use.

There was not an ounce of white space to be seen on any of the slides. Hardly any pictures either.

So I took out my favourite pink highlighter and highlighted the key points. These became the basis of the new presentation.

I then took a large proportion of the remaining info and included it in the ‘notes’ section.

Next up I searched the client image library for some interesting pics, which really helped to lift the whole thing.

Suffice to say the client loved it. Best powerpoint they’ve ever seen apparently.

The key to my success was the use of the ‘notes’ section. Without these notes the powerpoint didn’t make a lot of sense.

By including them the client felt comfortable with an incomplete story that they were able to complete during the presentation.

If I’d left them out they’d have taken one look at the slides and panicked.

So there you have it. Powerpoint is innocent.

For more great tips on presentations visit Presentation Zen.

Thursday 3 May 2007

Ring Ring!...Ring Ring!

Starting from today Australian households are going to be a little calmer around dinner time.


Because the government has just launched it anti-telemarketing Do Not Call register.

Fingers crossed this should mean the end of those pesky telemarketers who always seem to call when you’re in the kitchen making dinner.

Companies who breach the legislation could end up being fined as much as a million dollars.

At the official launch today Comms Minister Helan Coonan pointed out, with considerable irony, that several other countries had also introduced similar legislation, most notably India.

The art of delegation

Thanx to Amelia

Wednesday 2 May 2007

How much!?

Top five most expensive domain names in a cute 'n quirky stop motion video courtesy of Good Magazine.

Tuesday 1 May 2007

Copywriters are so hot right now

US job search site Yahoo Hot-Jobs has nominated copywriter as one of the top five in demand professions for 2007.

According to Hot-Jobs:

"Demand for skilled copywriters is rising as more companies require compelling content for Web-based initiatives and print advertising.

In fact, in a survey by our company, 60 percent of advertising and marketing executives who plan to hire new employees said they'll be adding copywriters."

I did a quick search of the Hot-Jobs site for copywriting jobs and it returned a whopping 264 opportunities.

Me thinks it's time all those frustrated AWARD and RMIT graduates who are hustling their folios around Melbourne bought themselves a one way ticket to the USA.

Given that Hot-Jobs also reckons copywriting salaries will increase by around 6% this year, I might have to consider a move to the US myself.