Friday 31 August 2007

Let the sun shine in

To generate test drive enquiries for the new VW Eos convertible, DDB Sydney mailed out a set of sunny sky posters to potential buyers.

An instruction sheet in the pack explained how the recipient could get a taste for the topless Eos, by sticking one of the posters onto the interior roof of their current car.

Now I hate to be cynical, but I really can't imagine anyone would actually bother to go to the trouble of sticking a poster up in their car.

Having said that, I have to say I love this idea. It's such a fun, involving and unexpected communication piece.

Consumers obviously thought so too, as test drives were up 62% compared to previous VW mailings.

Still don't think anyone would bother to stick up a poster though. ;-)

Thursday 30 August 2007

Think but don't blink

My wife reckons I spend way too much time staring at a computer screen.

So I decided to put her theory to the test on the O2 advergame developed for the Rugby World Cup.

The games pits you in a stare-off against some very mean looking England players.

Best I could manage was a paltry eleven seconds. It seems I'm a bit of a blinker.

Great idea. Lots of fun. Although you do need a webcam to play obviously.

But how does it work?

"We capture the output of the webcam using BitmapData. Using the current and previous frames of data we apply a Difference Filter to the two images and then we analyse, pixel by pixel, what has changed."

Pretty simple really. Not!

Nice work by AIS in London.

Won't hurt a bit

I've just come home after a lengthy visit to the dentist.

I'm a bit nervy about dentists and I haven't been for a while.

So I now have several very expensive appointments scheduled.

Which is probably why I laughed so hard when I stumbled upon this 'In the wrong job?' ad for

No idea who did it. Be sure and let me know if you do.

Wednesday 29 August 2007

Wanna be

Once again Hugh Macleod hits the nail on the head.

Tuesday 28 August 2007

Congratulated!...Why Me?

Having resisted the lure of MySpace and Twitter, I succumbed to Facebook last night.

I'm not sure if was because my wife was away on business and I was bored, or because I wanted to get involved with the Age of Conversation group.

Whatever the reason, I could not believe that one of the first things I saw after joining was a garish, flashing banner ad.

Apparently I was the 999,999th visitor and I was to be congratulated.

Yeah right!

Hopefully I won't come across any more of these annoying animated banners.

Say hello to Stan on Facebook.

Monday 27 August 2007

Milk 'em while you can

Another great cartoon from the Shedwatoon series by NY illustrator Victoria Levan.

Black & white world

'Too soon.' 'Market's not ready yet.' 'Ahead of its time.'

I'm sure innovators and ideas people come up against commments like these all the time.

None more so than the people who developed the first colour copier.

They're ten a penny these days, but not back in the early seventies.

When 3M launched the first colour copier in 1973 it bombed.

Office paperwork was basically black & white back then.

A few years later Xerox launched their colour copier. It failed too.


Because no one had anything in colour to copy.

Hard to believe these days don't you think?

Thanx to Katie

Saturday 25 August 2007

Is this the iPhone killer?

Not so tasty pizza

Tis a very fine line between humour and bad taste.

I suspect that the New Zealand chain Hell's Pizza just crossed it.

Read all about it

Yet another piece of inspired thinking from David & Phoebe.

Adidas hits the road

Adidas in Brazil has pimped out an old school VW Kombi to help promote its new skateboarding range.

The blue Kombi features the trademark three stipes, as well as paintings by well known skater Mark Gonzalez.

Best described as a store on wheels, the Kombi is stocked with Adidas gear, as well as a big screen Samsung TV and MP3 players featuring playlists compiled by well known skaters.

I think this is much more interesting than the Adidas graffiti campaign currently running in Melbourne.

Friday 24 August 2007

Freedom's just another word...

One of half a dozen hard hitting ads from US pro-war lobby group Freedom's Watch.

Whether or not you agree with the ongoing Iraq war, you'd have to agree this ad is a beautifully executed propaganda piece.

To see the other ads in the campaign click here.

This is serious Mum

Bank robbery. Identity theft. Infringment of intellectual property. Stealing ideas. These are thefts that definitely need policing.

Who'd have thought WiFi theft would be this serious?

Then again, maybe that's why I used up 10gigs of internet in two weeks!

Thanx to Iain for the scoop.

Thursday 23 August 2007

The JWT Womb

Once upon a time I used to work at J Walter Thompson in Melbourne.

One the things I'll always be greatful to JWT for, apart from firing me, is training.

During my time there they sent me on all sorts of training and educational courses.

The old hands at the agency used to refer to it as the university of advertising.

Although that was mainly because you spent a couple of years there, learned everything you needed to know, then went and got a job paying good money.

This year JWT in Australia has introduced a paid internship for prospective creatives, with a position in both the Sydney and Melbourne offices.

They're calling it the JWT Womb.

If you're interested in applying click here to check out the website.

Be warned though, the terms & conditions of entry stretch to an unbelievable 1,715 words!

Tuesday 21 August 2007

Who approved this? - Part 2

I'm lost for words on this ad really.

And those who know me know that I am never short of a word or two.

Perhaps Tom Ford and his team should take a look at a few ads from the Axe/Lynx.

Sure they might be smutty, but at least the men are always the butt of the joke.

Monday 20 August 2007

Can/do art directors read copy?

While searching on a job site for adland opportunities over the weekend, creative superstar in the making Ed Howley came across this fascinating recruitment ad:

Average Ad agency requires mediocre graphic designer/art director.
Limited career opportunity for the right person.

You will be required to do stuff that bores you witless. The ability to cope with the mundane and senseless would be beneficial.

The ability to design and create below par finished art with ease, speed and no sense of accuracy would be expected.

Your folio, or the one you've plagiarised, should pretend to have immense industry experience should demonstrate almost nil creative ability across a broad spectrum of design.

A very clicky, nasty non-team player with an eye for pettiness is a must.
You will be poorly rewarded financially and emotionally for your efforts.

If you are proficient on a mac with a solid knowledge of Illustrator, Indesign, Photoshop and Acrobat plus have a thorough knowledge of pre-press and print production then you're not right for the job, because you'll show your co-workers up.

If this sounds like what you're after, we can put you onto a number of agencies where you'd fit right in.

If it doesn't sound like what you're after then send us your resume, we're ready to get the 'right' person now.

Sunday 19 August 2007

Unexpected surprise

My ISP at home is the much maligned Australian telco, Big Pond.

We have unlimited cable broadband and it's top notch.

At least it was until last Thursday.

I received an email saying we had exceeded our monthly usage allowance, so our supply was going to be slowed to 64k for the rest of the month.

That's two whole weeks!

Given we have unlimited usage I couldn't understand how we could have exceeded our usage.

Seems we get a 10gig allowance, after which they slow us down. Shaping as they call it in the industry.

Thing is, our connection became so slow it was virtually unusable.

I couldn't get any email, as my computer would time out before it was able to download mail off the server.

To say I was pissed off is an understatement.

I thought about ranting about Big Pond on the blog. Instead I listened to my wife, who told me to ring them up.

The lady at the call centre offered to upgrade me to 12gig for an extra $10 a month.

I resisted and told her how unhappy I was with the service.

Guess what she did?

She gave us an extra 4gig for this month.

Free of charge. No questions asked.

Now that's customer service.

Saturday 18 August 2007

Behind closed doors

Last week I began posting my columns from Marketing magazine onto a new blog that I had set up.

My first column took a look at agencies that blog.

Yesterday I received a terrific comment on the post from Steven Noble.

I'd like to share it with you:

"If advertising agencies are, as you suggest, not generally out there blogging in public, then they're passing up an invaluable opportunity to connect with others and to share and test their ideas.

In any professional service — whether advertising, PR, management consulting, whatever — what you're selling is your people and their knowledge, passion and ideas. Keep all that behind closed doors, and you can't expect the world to come knocking forever.

Of course, if you're showing off your people, then you'll want them to show they can be professional and discrete. Airing your own laundry is one thing; airing anyone else's is unforgivable, unless you don't have or want a lasting relationship with them.

But learning what's OK and what's definitely not when blogging is just part of the process of maturing as a blogger, and as a consultant or creative professional"

Thanx to SVW for the pic.

Thursday 16 August 2007


When I first saw this ad I thought it was a sketch from a comedy show.

Sadly it's not.


Wednesday 15 August 2007


Every now and again I come across something from Brand DNA on another blog.

As long as it's acknowleged, I am always happy to see my thoughts reach a wider audience.

What I never thought I'd see on another blog however, is a picture of myself.

Yes little old me.

I am one of the heads in the mosaic above, which has just been used in a post on his blog by Mr Lovemarks himself, Kevin Roberts.

Good onya Kev.

Tuesday 14 August 2007

Just beautiful

How I wish the new Hondamentalism print campaign was running here in Australia.

It really is a thing of beauty. And unlike anything I've seen in print in recent times.

Part Futurist, part Bauhaus, its style is both retro and modern.

I imagine these ads will still look great 20 years from now.

It also refreshing to see type used so cleverly in an ad.

No simply setting a column or two of type at the bottom of the ad for the kids at W&K London.

To fully appreciate the ads, click them to enlarge.

Monday 13 August 2007

Brand promise and delivery

One of the things I love about the Apple Store is the Genius Bar.

Gotta problem with your Mac or iPod? Simply ask the person behind the bar and they’ll solve it. Genius!

Calling it the Genius Bar is pretty risky though. It reeks of that age old brand problem of over-promise and under-deliver.

Being Apple of course, they deliver.

This weekend I popped into a hardware store and had the opposite experience.

I needed to buy Loctite to fix a loose screw on my son’s guitar.

Loctite, for those of you who don’t know, is a liquid adhesive used to secure screws and bolts.

It is a pretty common item available at any hardware store.

“Can I help you?” said the enthusiastic girl behind the counter at my hardware store.

Loctite, I replied. Can you tell me where to find Loctite?

Without any hesitation the girl replied, “It’s in aisle 4. That’s where we keep the locks.”


Sunday 12 August 2007

Who approved this?

I remember years ago doing an ad for HP servers.

This was around the time when Mark Philippoussis was an Aussie tennis star with the fastest serve in the world.

The client knocked back our Philippoussis based headline about fastest servers.

I'll admit our tennis pun was a bit cheesy, but this ad for QSOL is definitely in a class of its own.

FIngers crossed it'll stay there.

On its own.

All alone....

Can't argue with Banksy

Saturday 11 August 2007

Enough already

I've always had a fascination with typography.

One of the things about type that's been troubling me of late, is the sheer number of fonts available.

Talk about spoiled for choice.

You have to wonder when it's going to come to an end.

Who's going to be the first person to put up their hand and say enough.

Last year somewhere in the region of 1,800 new commercial typefaces were released.


I bet hardly any of them ever get to see the light of day in publications.

Required reading

One of the things i love about my house is the reading room.

Actually it's more like a wide hallway with a couple of comfy chairs and a lot of books to be honest.

Still the realtor called it a reading room. So why shouldn't I?

With the Cave bookshelf by Japanese designer Sakura Adachi any room can be a reading room.

Such a clever idea, don't you think?

Friday 10 August 2007

De-Sign Gangsta

Dumb, yet clever, and damn funny to boot.

Thursday 9 August 2007

Now rambling in print

I recently started writing a monthly column for Marketing magazine here in Australia.

It's my thoughts and opinions on the debates and issues that are taking place on advertising and marketing blogs.

I've called it Around the Blogosphere.

If you're interested in reading my ramblings, I've set up a new blog to post the articles.

It's called, you guessed it - Around the Blogosphere.

I've just posted the first two columns. And will post each months as soon as the magazine hits the streets.

Click here to take a look. If you like what you see, please leave a comment.

Wednesday 8 August 2007

I'm drooling

Chicken chain Nando's has a history of fun creative ideas.

All the staff wear T-shirts with quirky slogans.

They give away packets of Nando's gum to help you deal with your chicken cravings.

But my personal favourite is the napkin I picked up today.

The Wet Floor message instantly grabs the attention.

At the base of the napkin it says, "The new Supremo Wrap has everyone drooling."

Nuff said really.

Finger lickin' good work from CHE Melbourne.

Tuesday 7 August 2007

Brussel Sprouts?

They've cut down on trans-fats.

Introduced healthy choices.

And picked up a couple of Ticks from the Heart Foundation.

But kids don't care.

They'll each just about anything, so long as it comes in a McDonalds wrapper, as this article shows.

Let it in...

When I was in Tokyo recently I came across a shop that sold what they called Wall Vinyls.

Huge decorative stickers basically.

I was tempted to get a couple for the kids bedroom, but they wouldn't have fitted into my suitcase.

Given how cramped Tokyo can feel, I'm surprised they don't sell more of these Sunshine vinyls.

Monday 6 August 2007

Pass the tissues


Drumroll please!

Not sure where this Guinness ad originated from.

Spain possibly.

It's a bit like a drum 'n beer version of the Honda choir ad.

If you know who did it, please let me know.

Saturday 4 August 2007

Laughing lawers

Looks like I may have a few fans in the legal department at one of my clients.

Seems the copy I wrote for a DM pack the other day made someone from legal laugh out loud.

Now I know this isn't exactly earth shattering news, but is in the legal department apparently.

Guess this means one of two things:

Either I'm a pretty good copywriter or the lads from legal need to get our more.

I suspect it's the latter. But then again....

Friday 3 August 2007

Anything but the greatest

We received a letter at the office today, from a company called Elite Memorabilia Leasing.

It was odd. Very odd. It started like this:

“Dear Fellow Business Leader.”


It went on to say, “We are all striving to find that special something that will capture the attention of our customers and focus their minds on the benefits and value of our products or services.”

Can’t argue with that I suppose. But what do you think that ‘special something’ might be?

A consumer insight?

A special offer?

Better service?

No. The ‘special something’ they think customers are looking for is a picture of Muhammad Ali!


Well there were several reasons given by Elite Memorabilia, but my favourite was this one:

“He has indicated that he will never again conduct a public signing of memorabilia due to his deteriorating health, his last public signing being in January 2006.”

Of course!

Exactly what my customers are looking for. Not.

I could ramble on forever about this pathetic attempt at memorabilia marketing, but I won’t. Instead I’ll leave you with the closing sentence from the Elite Memorabilia letter:

“Please don’t put yourself in a position of having to say to your firm in a month or so, ‘If only?”

Thursday 2 August 2007

Pedal power

There are many benefits to riding a bicycle.

This lovely ad for the Bountiful Bicycle Centre has taken one of them and run with it.

I can't believe it hasn't been done before to be honest.

Two Fonzie thumbs up to Richter 7 of Salt Lake City.

What year is it?

I spent a lovely half hour at lunchtime today wandering around Basement Discs.

It's my idea of a music store.

Broad range of eclectic titles. Plenty of music dvds. And people behind the counter who know their stuff, yet are mature enough to have ditched the attitude.

There's also a huge coffee table stacked with back issues of music mags, as well as a couple of comfy old chairs to sit and read them.

One thing I hope they don't have is the new album by the Stereophonics.

It has what can only be described as a truly appalling cover.

Looking at it, it's hard to believe it's 2007.

Click here to see some classic album covers. Hopefully they'll take your mind off that Stereophonics album.

Wednesday 1 August 2007

Danger danger!

Here in Australia we seem to have more than our fair share of ads killed off by wowsers.

It seems we're not the only ones.

A UK ad for Powerade has just been banned by the advertising watchdog.


Because it featured someone riding a bike without a reflective vest or a headlight.

Seems a viewer complained that the ad was condoning behaviour that was prejudicial to health and safety.

And the advertising watchdog agreed.


Paul who?

Other than when I was in Japan recently, I never watch MTV.

Could be because I'm a bit too old for that sort of thing.

Then again I've never been a big fan of MTV generally.

Anyway that's enough rambling from me.

I very much doubt that MTV have ever shown any videos of the Beatles circa 1963.

I also doubt that the 1963 Paul McCartney would have worn a Rolling Stones t-shirt from 1972.

But most of all I doubt that the average MTV viewer would give a shit about the Beatles or the Stones.

And there endeth the rant...