Friday 30 November 2007

Ultimate driving machine

I saw a beatifully understated poster in the window of a BMW dealer the other day.

It read: It’s not just how fast you go, it’s how you go fast.

Classic BMW.

Sadly the wowsers don't agree.

The poster has just been banned by the Advertising Standards Board (ASB) for referring to speed.

A spokesman for BMW said, "Our intention was to show that when buying a powerful car, acceleration should not be the only consideration,”

Like I said, classic BMW.

What a pity the humourless folk at the ASB didn't agree.

Thursday 29 November 2007

Take no prisoners

Captive commuters?

Who writes this stuff?

More to the point who approves it?

Wisdom from Leo

Tuesday 27 November 2007

15 steps to bigger ideas

Having struggled for a while to crack a half decent Christmas card idea I wish I'd come across this post from Tim Seidell a couple of days ago.

"Thinking is hard work. When you're up against a deadline or facing a declining sales chart, it gets even harder. Whether you're a business owner or a creative professional, here are some steps you can take to get even bigger and better ideas."

Click here for Tim's tips.

Updating status update

As I mentioned the other day, I'm addicted to status updates on Facebook.

What bugs me about the feature though is the way 'is' is included in the update.

You can't see it when you update but as soon as you publish - there it is.

As such you get loads of people whose status is described as 'is was' or 'is has' etc.

Obviously I'm not the only grumpy old man who's not happy about the 'is' because Facebook have just announced that they're getting rid of it.

And I can't wait.

Sad I know.

Monday 26 November 2007

Purple Haze

Max got Guitar Hero III for his birthday last week.

Suffice to say he and his friends have been jamming up in his bedroom ever since.

As much fun as they've been having though, turning it into a Purple Haze in a Blendtec blender looks to be a lot more fun.

As the man in the white coat says, "Dude, don't try this at home!"

Sunday 25 November 2007

Thoughts of Trevor Beattie

"I for one would be much happier shuffling off this mortal coil having been known as an 'umble adman who flogged stuff (by hook, crook, blogosphere or blag) than a fully-rounded pervasive brand ideas communicator who provided integrated 360 degree media neutral solutions for all his client's comms and content needs."

The Independent

Classic with a twist

Trust Crispin Porter & Bogusky to take a tired old advertising formula and give it a refreshing twist.

Long copy and witty wordplay have been staples of mail order clothing brands for many years.

It's a style of advertising I'd have thought would have died out by now, but somehow it never has.

On the surface these ads for Haggar may look a lot like the classic mail order ads of old, but take a closer look.

Very clever headlines, with a nice touch of tongue in cheek knowingness.

The copy is just as good as the headlines. Try clicking on the ads to take a closer look.

The use of stitching in the layouts is a nice touch too.

What a shame we can't get these clothes here in Australia.

Friday 23 November 2007

What's your status?

Call me childish, but one of the things I love about Facebook are the status updates.

Here are a couple of my favourites from today:

Kirsty is hoping to make a citizen’s arrest next year.

Dan is eating Swedish food while the wife is away.

Kon is Sawadee Kap...

Becky is ykceB backwards go figure...

Dave is enjoying the taste of purple.

Simon is in need of some generous sponsors to justify looking this ugly.

Thursday 22 November 2007

Capturing ideas

I've been working on ideas for the agency Christmas card today.

They weren't exactly flowing this morning, so my A/D and I adjourned to a bar on the riverside.

Suffice to say we had a couple of really good ideas once the ales started to kick in.

Most of them were captured on napkins.

Writing on napkins is very much a creative right of passage.

Everyone who's anyone has done it.

Now Euro RSCG have taken the essense of this great creative tool and created the Napkin Notebook.

A spiral bound set of napkins, plus pencil.

Available now from, of all places, the MoMA Store.

Wednesday 21 November 2007

Now that's impressive

I'm on a creative workshop today, where one of the guys just showed us this 3D photo-montage application.

I was so impressed I had to post it.

Amazingly this video demo is a year old. Who knows how good this app must be by now.

Tuesday 20 November 2007

Coffee or donuts?

First time I saw this ad I wondered just how many donuts 2lb actually is.

Surely it would be easier to say 6 or 12?

Then I took a closer look and realised it's actually 2lbs of coffee that they're giving away, not donuts.


Free petrol? Absolutely.

Discount on insurance? Why not?

Even 2 cups of coffee would be good.

But 2lbs of coffee?

Where on earth did that idea come from?

Thanx to MLB

Monday 19 November 2007

Why am I afraid to laugh?

I laughed out loud first time I saw this ad for the Sony PSP by TBWA\Madrid.

Then I felt a bit guilty.


Is it having a laugh at the expense of blind people?


So why?

Guess it's just a reflection of the prevelance of political correctness here in Australia.

Then again maybe it is in bad taste.

Now I'm all confused.

Still a bloody funny ad though!

Sunday 18 November 2007

Excellent advice

"Come up with an idea you can do for half the budget.

Then spend the other half polishing it."

Dave Birss - CD at Poke, London

Misleading advertising

Talk about over promise and under deliver.

If I bought a pair of JBS Undies they'd never look as good on me as they do on the models in these ads.

Bloody advertising.

Saturday 17 November 2007

Making music with Wikipedia

Today I found another use for Wikipedia thanks to The Word magazine Facebook group.

The Prog Rock album generator.

Yes you read that right. Prog Rock album generator.

With no more than a couple of clicks on Wikipedia you can create a long lost album by a mythical bunch of prog rockers.

Here's how it works:

Step 1 - Go to Wikipedia
Step 2 - Click 'random article' - this is your band name
Step 3 - Click again - this is your album title
Step 4 - Repeat for album tracks

Being a prog album you may only need two tracks, unless it's a concept album of course.

Here's my album:

Perkins School for the Blind by Arthur Frost

A Side
Suhum/Kraboa/Coaltar District
African Grass Rat
James Elliott (politician)
Hare Do

B Side
Cooperation procedure
1971 Pittsburgh Steelers season
Haemus Mountains
Metuchen High School

Friday 16 November 2007

Imitation or Inspiration?

Telephone message for the creatives behind the new Canon photography website:

David Hockney rang.

He'd like his concept back or at least a slice of the action.

Thursday 15 November 2007

Little things count

As much as I love a big idea, I really love the little things.

The minute details that make a good idea a great one.

John Grant has just released his new book, The Green Marketing Manifesto.

Knowing John's work and writings, I know it's going to be an illuminating read.

What really caught my eye about his book however, was a tiny detail on the front cover.

'Please don't put this book in a plastic shopping bag.'


Wednesday 14 November 2007

The peoples' computer?

Every time a see a Lenovo ad I think to myself - who writes that crap?

Their ads are so confusing.

Packed with features. Multiple headlines. Everything but the kitchen sink, as the saying goes.

I really cannot believe that IBM let their highly regarded Think Pad brand become so devalued.

Obviously I have no idea what I'm talking about however, because the Chinese computer manufacturer tripled their earnings in the last quarter to $105million.

And now they've announced that they will be removing the IBM badges from their computers two years earlier than expected.

Think I'll go and get myself a nice slice of humble pie.

Tuesday 13 November 2007

Spam worth reading

Linzie Hunter is a very talented illustrator who's decided to put her email spam to good use.

Well kind of.

She done a series of beautiful hand lettered pieces using spam subject lines as her starting point.

Click here to check out some spam that's definitely worth reading.

Spice up your shopping

Not many people know this, but the Spice Girls movie is one of my favourite films.

Loads of sixties style London pop culture references.

Tonnes of cornball cameo appearances.

And they get around on a bus. Just like the Double Deckers.

So it stands to reason I was probably going to like the new Spice Girls ad for Tesco.

And I'm proud to say I do.

Go girls!

Money well spent?

I just heard the new Guinness TV spot cost $21million.

Surely not?

Monday 12 November 2007

Here we go again

Over the last few weeks I've noticed several outdoor posters advertising new online businesses. Very reminisent of the turn of the century when I was working in London.

Only difference is the newspapers aren't profiling these companies like they did the chino and chambray shirt wearing dotcom start-ups of a few years back.

Something else that's been reminding me a lot of the dotcom era is the way that many of the new online businesses are basing their model on attracting lots of advertising.

Have these people learnt nothing?

Maybe they were too young to have fully experienced the bursting of the dotcom bubble.

It seems I'm not the only person who's noticed this re-emergence of dotcom era thinking. So too has Maurice Levy, head honcho of global ad group Publicis.

Speaking at the Monaco Media Forum this weekend, Levy said:

"Far too many people are building plans based on advertising and they may well be disappointed because there is not enough money for everyone.

It's exactly the same situation as we saw at the end of the 1990s, when everyone thought that because he had a website he'd get the valuation.

Now everyone building a Web 2.0 operation believes he will receive the advertising."

As George Santayana famously said, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Only time will tell I guess.

Thanx to CSM for the pic.

Sunday 11 November 2007

Farewell to a true maverick

I was just about to shut down my Mac and head off to bed when the death of Norman Mailer was announced.

Now I can't sleep 'cause I'm feeling kinda blue.

Mailer for me was a very special kind of writer.

A writer with an opinion that he wasn't afraid to wield.

Novelist. Journalist. Sports writer. Activist.

A proud American who wasn't afraid to criticise America.

Now he's gone and the world is definitely a sadder place.

The final word goes to Mr Mailer himself:

"I don't think life is absurd. I think we are all here for a huge purpose. I think we shrink from the immensity of the purpose we are here for."

Saturday 10 November 2007

Two cups of joy

I've posted before about the plethora of Cadbury Gorilla remixes on YouTube.

Now Wonderbra have gone one better and actually done a cover version.

Can't much see the point to be honest, but the drummer is definitely sexier than the drummer in the Cadbury original.

Friday 9 November 2007

M&M's pushes my button

I stumbled across these quirky M&M's ideas on the Spanish language Briefblog. Very cute, although I hope they don't melt in the sun.

Thursday 8 November 2007

Happy 7/11 Day

Yesterday as you all know was the 7th of November.

Which we in Australia shorten to 7/11.

Some smart thinker at the 7/11 noticed this and introduced the concept of 7/11 Day.

Every person who walked into a 7/11 yesterday and wished the staff happy 7/11 Day received a free Slurpee.

What an excellent idea. In fact I think it's one of the best ideas I've heard in ages.

Nice one 7/11 guys!

Wednesday 7 November 2007

Headline of the week

The Channel 9 / MSN homepage is not generally a place to see classic putdowns and tongue in cheek headlines.

However they really outdid themselves this morning.

Tuesday 6 November 2007

Enjoy the ride

Thanx to the VCU

Monday 5 November 2007

Blogosphere on Facebook

The November issue of Marketing magazine is now on sale.

In this month's issue I take a look at discussion online about Facebook and whether or not it is a business timewaster or a valuable social networking tool.

Click here to read the latest Around The Blogosphere.

Whether you agree or disagree with points made in the article, feel free to wade into the debate with a comment on the blog.

Saturday 3 November 2007

The humble laptop

I am writing this post on a white MacBook, sitting at the table with my son who is having his breakfast.

Nothing out of the ordinary in that really. But then I got to thinking.

How amazing is the computer and, even more so, the laptop?

It takes multitasking to a whole new level.

Sitting in front of this white slab with a keyboard and screen I am writing.

In a few minutes I will publish this writing and anyone in the world will be able to read it.

They'll also be able to comment on it and, should they choose, engage in conversation with me about it.

Whilst writing I am listening to Sufjan Stevens, but not on a CD player. In fact I don't own any of his CDs.

From my kitchen in Melbourne I caught up on the morning news from newspapers in New York, London and Sydney.

I read that Sufjan Stevens is performing at the Sydney Festival in January, so I wrote a Sticky Note on my desktop to remind me to buy tickets.

I will use my MacBook to buy those tickets and also book flights and a hotel.

If I wanted to know about any of the things I have just written about I have access to more information than all the libraries in the world combined.

I can watch TV and movies and listen to radio on my computer while I work. Not to mention staying in touch with all of my friends and family.

The longer I thought about the possibilities brought about by the computer and the internet the more in awe of it I became.

And yet, when I spoke to 10 year old Max about all the things the computer lets me do, he said, "Yeah...Hmm. Sure Dad."

Forget digital natives.

He's from a generation who take computers for granted.

Who knows what his kids will be like.

Friday 2 November 2007

Is copywriting doomed?

You're never to old to learn and I learnt a lot from a fantastic piece about copywriting by Suzanne Pope, who's a CD at Toronto agency John St.

Like any good piece of writing it has a great opening passage to hook you in. If you can resist clicking through after having read it you're obviously a hard person to please.

"Hello, young copywriter. I am here today to tell you that you are a member of an endangered species. I'm very sorry, but it's true."

Click here for some wisdom and very good advice from Suzanne.

Thursday 1 November 2007

You can go it alone

The pic above is the invitation to the opening of this year's RMIT Advertising graduate exhibition.

I neglected to post this yesterday, so apologies to all the kids.

Some good work on display until 5th November at Chapel off Chapel gallery in South Yarra.

Well worth a look if you're hunting for some fresh talent.

The invite's reproduced a bit small, so it's hard to fully appreciate the photography of successful former students.

Interestingly only one creative team is featured. All the other photos are of individuals.

I'm fascinated by this as so many of the 'old school' ad folks who teach at RMIT bang on about the importance of finding a creative partner.

So let this be a lesson to all you young folks entering the industry - You don't need to be in a team to succeed.

Out come the freaks

"In order to foster creativity we should hire misfits, goad them to fight and pay them to defy convention and undermine the prevailing culture."

Prof Robert Sutton - Stanford University