Monday 25 June 2007


I'm off to Japan for a well earned break.

I'll be taking the laptop with me, so there may be the occasional post.

Normal service will resume in 2 weeks.

Saturday 23 June 2007

Powerful Thinking

Sometimes there's a lot more to an idea than meets the eye.

You have to dig a little deeper.

Go beyond just scratching the surface.

This billboard snared the Grand Prix for Outdoor at Cannes this week.

I couldn't believe it.

How could 'power to the people' possibly be the best outdoor idea in the world this year?

So I dug a little deeper. And came across this video.

Friday 22 June 2007

Clever Kids

I've been working with a client this week on a project involving the Habbo Hotel.

My son Max and his buddies are regular visitors to Habbo, so of course I discussed a few of my ideas with him.

He loved most of the stuff I showed him, as did the client.

When I came home from work today he showed me something he'd won in a Habbo competition.

It was a pretty naff prize to be honest, but what he'd done with it was just brilliant.

I kept an eye on him as he wandered around the hotel chatting.

His chat lines were so funny. Sharp barbs and one liners.

Much funnier than a lot of the stuff I'd written.

Suitably impressed, I asked him what his Habbo name was.

It was heaps better than the selection of names I'd come up with for our character.

I'm now contemplating bringing the brief home for him to work on over the weekend.

Thing is, he's only 10 years old.

Bloody kids!

Thursday 21 June 2007

What The!?

"We've never been able to get to this level of granularity."

Pepsi interactive marketer, John Vail, takes Bullshit Bingo to new heights whilst discussing behavioral targeting with the Wall Sreet Journal.

Advertising does good

Czech car make Skoda is doing some good work with its advertising in its homeland.

It is running ads on the protective screens around statues that are undergoing renovation.

Nothing new in that.

Except Skoda are also footing the bill for the renovations.

Excellent corporate citizenship me thinks.

More Pix

Tuesday 19 June 2007

Cannes' Gold

Seems like the whole advertising industry has gone Cannes crazy at the moment.

Perhaps we should all calm down a little and consider these sobering statistics:

Around 9,000 people are paying up to $4,000 each for tickets to seminars and events.

Agencies are paying anywhere between between $400 and $1,500 per entry.

There were an estimated 26,000 entry submissions this year.

Overall the Cannes festival rakes in somewhere in the region of $35million.

According to Ad Age it is believed to have a profit margin in the range of 60%.

Brings to mind that great old English saying, money for jam.

Monday 18 June 2007

Melbourne's ad of the year

With all the fuss about Cannes at the moment, this weekend's MADC Awards seems to have slipped under the radar.

Which is a real shame, given it's the one night of the year that the Melbourne creative community get together to celebrate work done over the previous 12 months.

The wonderful 'Get Lost in Melbourne' spot by Publicis Mojo was voted best of show.

A very deserving winner if you ask me.

Sunday 17 June 2007

Big Things from Down Under

I did something the other day that I’d never done before.

I went to the post office and bought a first day cover of a newly issued set of stamps.

Must have been my inner nerd coming to the fore.

However these are not just any old stamps. These are lickable works of art by none other than Reg Mombassa.

His series of five stamps is called Big Things.


Because they feature some of Australia’s biggest landmarks.

No, not Ayers Rock or the Sydney Opera House.

Mombassa’s Big Things are those concrete oddities that induce cultural cringe across our sunburnt land.

I’m talking about the big sheep, big banana, big pineapple, big crayfish and the big guitar.

As naff, ugly and utterly dumb as these big things are, they are very much part of the Australian psyche.

So it’s a big good onya mate to Reg Mombassa for taking these blights on our great Australian landscape and immortalising them.

Saturday 16 June 2007

Missed Opportunity

The Bono edited Vanity Fair 'Africa' edition is currently hitting newstands.

Word is that Bono wanted to make a one off change to the masthead for this special issue to Fair Vanity.

What a shame he never got his way.

Chicks with swords

I cannot remember ever seeing an ad for Google.

A young designer who worked for me in London recommended it to me and I've been using it ever since.

That was about 7 years ago.

During that time Google has gone from a wacky dotcom name to a digital super power.

And what about one of the original pioneers of search, Ask?

Well they ditched Jeeves, started using the word algorithym and from what I've heard almost ceased to exist.

Somehow I don't think this TV spot from CBP is going to have anyone from Google too worried about loss of market share.

Friday 15 June 2007

Painting the town

Every now and again I have an idea that I put to one side because I think it's probably been done before.

Then I flick through a few award annuals and do a bit of a web trawl to see if someone has actually done it before.

The weird thing is, quite a few genuinely big ideas feel like this.

Ideas that are so obvious you cannot believe that nobody else has stumbled upon them.

This outdoor extravaganza for Coop's Paints is one of those kind of ideas.

With all the money that Dulux have spent around the world over the last fifty years surely someone must have had an idea like this.

Guess not.

Thanx to Leigh for the pic

Beer Goggles

Another great find by the legendary Fish 'n Chimps

Thursday 14 June 2007

Onions smell

Reckon this would be even funnier as a powerpoint, don't you?


Dad...What's a video?

I've been working on an idea for the last couple of days, based around the premise that a lot can happen in five years.

Sometimes changes are small and gradual. Like putting on weight or turning grey.

Other changes are much less subtle. Like the shift from vinyl to CD to iPod.

But who would have thought that the name of your business may one day have to change because of change.

Twenty years ago Video Ezy rented videos.

Now they don't. They rent DVDs and games.

For us old folks the name doesn't matter. But what about kids?

Kids who've only known DVDs. What does Video Ezy mean to them?

Wednesday 13 June 2007

F for Fake

One of the great things about the internet is it gives you the opportunity to see lots of ads from other countries.

YouTube is filled with TV spots. And there are literally dozens of sites to see great print and poster work.

Sadly this proliferation of ad-sites has also lead to a rise in the number of scam ads.

The major advertising award shows have done their best to weed out scams, but there seems to be no qualification process for the posting of work on ad-sites.

As such many highly finished folio pieces are posted to these sites. And guess what - They look just like real ads.

Earlier this year we saw a controversial campaign out of Saatchi in China turn out to be a scam. Suffice to say the creatives involved all lost their jobs.

More recently we've had the furore other Saatchi's London and their work for Doc Martens, which was posted to several ad-sites without any involvement from the client.

As my Mum used to say to me and my sister many years ago, sooner or later someone's going to get hurt.

Creative people losing their jobs is one thing, but imagine if the client involved decided to sue.

If a story like that made the trade press, how soon before the agency loses a client?

Of course I could be completely over reacting.

It's just that I'm sick and tired of seeing ads that are so obviously scams being passed off as real ads on ad-sites.

Like the one above for the Beetle Convertible.

Sure it's a clever idea, but visually it says VW Convertible, not Beetle Convertible. And that’s why I don't believe it's a real ad.

Then again, I could be completely wrong….

Monday 11 June 2007

Nice bracelet....

Thanx to the Chimp

Sunday 10 June 2007

What does it all mean?

For some reason or other I found myself on the WPP website today.

Curiosity got the better of me and I clicked on the Y&R link.

This opened a page listing about 100 office worldwide.

No surprises there.

The weird thing was each of them was listed as 'Full Service Advertising'.

Full service advertising - What does that mean exactly?

And if you do know what it means, is it still a relevant term in the 21st century?

Listen up people

This is most definitely one of those I can't believe this hasn't been done before kind of stories.

Y&R Amsterdam has set up an internet radio station broadcasting songs that have been used in ads.

I'd imagine they're not restricting it purely to Dutch ads, as they'd run out of songs pretty quickly.

If their criteria for airplay is any song that's ever been used in an ad, well the possibilities are endless.

From the Beatles to the Stones via Eno and the Velvet Underground, that's a station I'd listen to.

Tune in here.

Saturday 9 June 2007

Inventing the future

Just stumbled on this great quote by Alex Bogusky from CPB.

"Hurry up. Now is one of the most dynamic times in the history of advertising. So many things are in flux right now - with all the fractured media and the new ways of interacting with the consumers. I don't think there has been a more exciting time to get into advertising since the introduction of television."

Nice one Alex - Couldn't have put it better myself.

Thursday 7 June 2007

And on the 8th day....

There are many things that are instantly recognisible as Italian.

Pasta. Peroni. Gelati. Armani. Alfa.

And, most iconic of all, Vespa scooters.

For me the concept of Peugeot trying to sell scooters to Italians is surely the motorised equivalent of selling coals to Newcastle.

If you were to take on this seemingly impossible task, I doubt very much that you'd use another great Italian icon, The Sistine Chapel, and use it to flog French scooters.

Even if you did, I doubt you'd ever consider pissing off this most Catholic of people by using a headline like 'And Peugeot created the scooter'.

Just to recap - They're trying to get Italians off their Vespas and onto Peugeot scooters by ripping off the Sistine Chapel ceiling and taking the piss out of a quote from the Bible.

Somehow I doubt they're selling like hot cakes!


Wednesday 6 June 2007

Do you or don't you?

Shameless outdoor plug for David Nobay's favourite Oz ad blog.

Ironic post modern in-joke for Aussie ad creatives?


Lazy borrowed interest in search of a real idea?

I know which side of the fence I'm sitting on.

What about you?

Tuesday 5 June 2007

This ain't no disco

When I was a wee lad hawking around my home-made folio I thought all ad agencies would look like they did on US sitcoms.

Exposed brick. Basketball hoops on the wall. Guys wizzing around the hallways on scooters.

Somehow the reality was very different.

I remember when I was at JWT Melbourne in the 90’s. I had a top-floor office that looked out over the Albert Park lake across to the sparkling waters of Port Phillip bay.

Sounds glamorous I know, but the offices were really more like an accounting firm than an ad agency.

Grey walls. Grey carpet tiles. Grubby elevators. Etc etc.

If your working day is spent in a boring old office, or even worse a cubicle, whatever you do don’t visit This ain’t no disco, a new blog about agency interiors.

iPhone on its way

If this doesn't make you want one, nothing will.

Monday 4 June 2007

Two and a half pulls

Boddingtons ‘Cream of Manchester’ campaign from a few years ago is one of my all time favourite campaigns.

This new campaign is definitely not in the same league, but it made me smile none the less.

I remember when I was a kid in the north of England, my mum worked behind the bar at a pub called the Hare & Hounds.

One afternoon after school she showed me how it took two and a half pulls of the pump handle to serve the perfect pint of ale.

Judging by the right arm of the lovely lass in this ad, I’d say that it probably still takes two and a half pulls to get the perfect pint.

Sunday 3 June 2007

No Knickers

Following my previous rant about the AussieBum undies I did a search on YouTube for an Aussie advertising classic.

No Knickers by the Campaign Palace.

It dates back to 1985, which probably makes it older than the guys who did the AussieBum banner.

All I can say is watch and learn my banner building friends.

Bum Banner

You don’t have to spend much time online to see a crap banner ad.
This is the first frame of a banner ad for AussieBum underwear.

Below is the closing frame of the same banner ad.
I've cut off the tagline and logo to make them fit my page layout.

I reckon banners are one of the great missed opportunities of the advertising world.

You hardly ever see a good one.

The big question is why?

Is it because so called above-the-line creatives don’t consider banners as worthy of their time?

Perhaps it could be because most online ads are done by designers rather than advertising creatives?

Whatever the reason, truly great single minded banners are few and far between.

As for this banner for mens’ underwear with a built in bulge, the less said the better.

I can’t imagine any half decent Creative Director ever letting this “idea” get beyond the concept stage.

The two frames above tell the whole story, but if you really can’t resist a bit of dodgy animated Full Monty action click here.

Saturday 2 June 2007

What did you do today?

I filled in my first digital timesheet yesterday.

Sadly it didn’t have a little box to record the time it took me to set up a user name and password.

Nor was there a box to record the time I wasted trying to enter the invalid job number on the brief I’d been working on since Tuesday.

The worse thing about timesheets though, whether they’re actual sheets of paper or digital, is that they’re not an accurate reflection of time spent on the job.

They never include a little box to record time on the train, time in the car, time spent getting a coffee, time at the gallery opening last Wednesday.

I think they should.


Because most ideas happen when you’re not sitting in an office staring at a blank A3 pad. And even when you’re not working, your subconcious is probably still mulling things over.

The other thing timesheets don’t allow for is how networked we are today.

Whether you’re in the office or not, you’re still expected to answer your mobile phone and respond to emails. Even on the weekend. No little box on the timesheet for this unpaid on-call availability.

In fact the more I write about timesheets, the more convinced I become that they’re a complete waste of time.

Timesheets a waste of time. Now there's a thought.

Friday 1 June 2007

Absolut Indifference

I'm all for progress and change, but there are some things that should be left alone.

And Absolut advertising is one of those things.

A campain so good it was deemed worthy of a book about it.

Not to mention a sequel.

Somehow I can't picture a third volume of Absolut advertising.

Especially if they continue to do advertising like this...