Thursday 31 January 2008

Plug for White Stripes

I'm not a big fan of the White Stripes to be honest.

Much ado about nothing if you ask me.

What I do love though is their Grammy nominated packaging for their Icky Thump album.

A pair of USB drives containing the album.

One of Meg. One of Jack.

Limited to 3,333 copies of each.

Click here for more pics and info on this great piece of design.

Pass the glue nurse

As a Dad who's done more than his fair share of running repairs on broken toys, bikes and other kid stuff, I really appreciate the thinking behind the new Super Glue campaign.

Given his habit of deconstructing toys, perhaps they could get Sid from Toy Story to do a testimonial.

Nice work from Matt and the team at DDB Sydney.

Wednesday 30 January 2008

End of an icon

The iconic squiggle style logo of the ABC is apperently on its last legs.

Having graced our TV screens for nigh on 40 years, the ABC logo is apparently going to be phased out.

I'm not one to fight against change, but why?

It is synonymous with our national broadcaster.

Kids have been growing up with it for generations.

Why change it ABC?


The web keps on growing

New year. New map.

Click here to take a good look at where the web is headed in 2008.

Tuesday 29 January 2008

Happy Birthday Lego

I've always loved the way that Google change their logo for special occasions.

And what could be more special than the 50th birthday of Lego?

Nice one Googlers.

Monday 28 January 2008

Turn on and tune out

A new study by Big Research sheds light on what people are up when they sit themselves down in front of the TV.

Here's what happens when the commercials come on:

41.2% of viewers take a peak at what's on other channels.
33.5% talk with others in the room or by phone.
30.2% mentally tune out.
5.5% pay attention to commercials.

No surprises there really. I'd be interested to see a similar survey done about people's habits online.

Sunday 27 January 2008

Pass the sharpener

Love this pencil sculpture by Jennifer Maestre. You can see more of her work here.

Saturday 26 January 2008

Furniture exchange

I read in the paper this morning that Ikea are organising an event at one of their stores where people can bring unwanted furniture and exchange it with someone for something they like.

Sounds like a great idea. Not as good as the idea above from David & Phoebe though.

Nice work kids.

The best ad isn't always an ad

No disrepect to Strawberry Frog, who I'm sure are every bit as good an agency as people in adland say they are, but I'm getting a bit tired of pundits in the blogosphere celebrating their work for Ontisuka Tiger.

It's all a bit too try hard for me.

In fact, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say the these cool Japanese sneakers pretty much sell themselves.

I just don't think the Strawberry Frog work has anything interesting or exciting to say.

The best Tiger ad ever made is, I reckon, Tarrantino's Kill Bill.

In fact I have it on very good authority that sales of Tigers have never been the same since Uma Thurman hit the House of Blue leaves in her sexy yellow Tigers.

Friday 25 January 2008

Determined to be different?

Is this what happens when we let Americans write ads for an Australian bank?

Or it is simply a piss take?

Guess we'll have to wait till Sunday when Goodby's first ad for the Commonwealth Bank breaks on TV.

Making a statement

This new campaign for Brit department store Harvey Nichols has me in stitches.

It really is completely mad and I love it.

Click the pics to enlarge.

Final Bulletin

Apart from the time I spent working in London, I've lived pretty much all of my adult life in Melbourne.

Over the years I've seen many magazines come and go, as well as two newspapers.

Today though sees the end of an icon of Australian publishing, the weekly news magazine The Bulletin.

I was shocked when I heard of its closure this morning.

It's such a well respected journal. Our very own Economist.

And it's been a part of Australian life for 128 years.

Oh well.

As Ned Kelly once said - such is life.

Thursday 24 January 2008

Trademark overload

I understand why brands feel the need to trademark things.

What I can't understand is why TM marks have to appear in ads.

The banner above is a great example of trademark overkill.

There are three TM marks in the ad. Three!

One of them is for a website url. Why on earth would you trademark that?

In fact the only line not trademarked is the one at the bottom telling you to ask about their credit card.


Maybe I should go see if I can trademark 'Ask about our credit card'.

Wednesday 23 January 2008

Thoughts of Sagmeister

Just read an interesting interview with Stefan Sagmeister.

It well worth a moment of your time. Click here to check it out.

Mac mnemonic

It's early days I know, but the manila envelope that Steve Jobs used for the launch of the Macbook Air is one of the best ideas I've seen in ages.

It's stayed with me for days.

Unlike the computer itself, which I fell out of love with the more I got to know about it.

A boring old manila envelope. Who'd have thought?

Tuesday 22 January 2008

The price we pay

Hardly a day goes by at the moment when someone in the office doesn't complain about the cost of petrol.

This is usually following by a hearty chorus of disaproval of the profiteering oil companies.

Today though someone made a very interesting point - it's still cheaper than bottled water!

As you can imagine, that got everyone's attention.

And it's true.

Thanks to marketing, we're happy to fork over two or three dollars for a 600ml bottle of water.

Which is probably double the cost of a litre of petrol.

Personally I don't have a problem with this, but I do worry about all those empty plastic bottles.

Bottled water sales in the US alone were around 12 million in 2006. That's a hell of a lot of bottles.

In fact, according to the Earth Policy Institute, you could run a million cars for a year with the oil required to make all those plastic bottles.

And according to green group Tappening, the money spent on bottled water in the US would be enough to cover every child in the country with health insurance.

I don't know about you, but those statistics have definitely got me thinking.

To learn more about Tappening and their bottled water campaign click here.

Monday 21 January 2008

Everything's gone green

Ads for the Hans Brinker budget hotel in Amsterdam always make me laugh.

I particularly love this one I stumbled upon today.

Nice to see people are prepared to have a laugh at issues like the environment.

Then again, I wouldn't expect anything less from Kessels Kramer.


Join the fun

"The power of mass creativity is about what the rise of the likes of Wikipedia and Youtube, Linux and Craigslist means for the way we organise ourselves, not just in digital businesses but in schools and hospitals, cities and mainstream corporations.

My argument is that these new forms of mass, creative collaboration announce the arrival of a society in which participation will be the key organising idea rather than consumption and work.

People want to be players not just spectators, part of the action, not on the sidelines."

Charles Leadbeater - 'We think'

Saturday 19 January 2008

Who'd have thought?

In spite of all the talk of their impending demise, it seems people are still buying CDs.

Even though it was available for download, for free if you wanted, the CD release of Radiohead's In Rainbows has gone straight to number one in the UK album chart.

Who'd have thought!?

Tipping point has been reached

The tipping point.

Great book. Great idea.

Thank you Malcolm Gladwell.

Can we now please consign it to the ever growing pile of overused and unwanted contemporary cliches?

I heard it used three times this week at work.

I heard it used twice this week on the evening news.

And it pops up regularly in the newspapers.

Today it turned up in a an article I was reading while enjoying my Saturday morning bagel.

Enough already.

Friday 18 January 2008

Who ya gonna call?

The Design Police.

Click here to download their kit.

Help stamp out ugly stuff.

Thursday 17 January 2008

Required reading

"Forty percent of the people in the US read one book or less last year."

This staggering quote is lifted from Steve Jobs keynote address at this week's Macworld.

He used the statistic as part of a put down of Amazon's eBook device, the Kimble.

Regardless of the context, it's still a worrying statistic, don't you think?

Green fields & rolling hills

2008 marks the 40th anniversary of the banning of advertising billboards in the US state of Vermont.

Given the prevelance of urban spam today, it's a wonder more places haven't acted to restrict outdoor advertising.

Having said that, I do love a nice piece of outdoor.

In fact one of my favourite places in the world is Shibuya, in Japan, where there are so many flashing billboards that it doesn't even get dark at night.

Spare a thought too for the man behind the Vermont ban, Eric Riehle, who died just a couple of weeks ago.

Wednesday 16 January 2008

Words of the Master

If you fancy yourself as a Master of Copywriting click here right now.

Be warned - you must use the skills you learn with care.

Words can kill.

Thanx to the Toad

Now that's an apology

One of the guys I work with got a serious fright yesterday.

When he opened his bill for web hosting it was a lot bigger than he had anticipated.

Twelve times bigger to be precise.

Luckily it was all sorted with a quick phone call.

Today they followed up with an email apology.

It's so nice, I thought I'd share it with you:

Hi Tobie!

Ack. Through a COMPLETE bumbling on our part, we've accidentally attempted
to charge you for the ENTIRE year of 2008 (and probably 2009!) ALREADY 
(it was all due to a fat finger)!

We're really really realllly embarassed about this, but you have nothing
to worry about. Please ignore any confusing billing messages you may have
received recently; we've already removed all those bum future charges on
your account and fixed everything up.

Thank you very very much for your patience with this.. we PROMISE
this won't happen again. There's no need to reply to this message unless
of course you have any other questions at all!

The Foolish DreamHost Billing Team!

Tuesday 15 January 2008

More sneaker butterflies

Follow up on the butterly sneaker ad I posted last week.
A lovely in-store installation.

Monday 14 January 2008

Folio or museum piece?

A couple of very talented young kids came to show me their folio today.

Last time I'd seen their book I really liked it, because they had all sorts of ideas in it, not just print ads.

Today however their folio had changed. It had a heavy focus on print ads. In fact it was almost all print executions.

When I asked them why, they told me that the people they'd shown their folio to had said that in order to get a job they needed a simple folio of mostly print ads.

I cannot believe that people are giving out that kind of advice in 2008.

So what should a modern folio look like?

I know what I'd put in a folio, but it seems many of my peers disagree.

So who's right - predominantly print or a selection of ideas?

I took a look at Scamp's 'how to get a job' tips.

He's a senior creative at BBH in London. Here's what he had to say:

"Well, the answer to that used to be easy: 8 advertising campaigns, each consisting of 3 print ads, plus maybe an ambient execution or a TV storyboard.

But it's all changed now. If your book still looks like that, you're doing it wrong.

Your book must show compelling examples of how brands can exploit the digital space.

Heck, maybe your book shouldn't even be a book, but a website or a CD.

Having said all this, you've got to show you can do all the traditional media as well.

So yes, your book still needs to have lots of great print work, and the odd TV ad, if you want a job in a so-called above-the-line agency).

But more and more you need to demonstrate how to reach consumers in new ways.

That means new media, events, ideas for mobile games, TV shows, crazy shit... maybe even new products."

Sounds like Scamp and I are on the same wavelength.

How about you?

What do you think these aspiring advertising superstars should have in their folios?

Saturday 12 January 2008

Thought for the weekend

Dave Birss is a CD at Poke in London.

He regularly posts pearls of wisdom in his series - The Rules.

Here's his latest:

"Sharing any creative thought runs the risk of you looking like a complete arse. The more adventurous and original the thought, the higher the risk."


Friday 11 January 2008

She writes and draws

Kate Lightfoot is a copywriter at Melbourne agency Trademark.

Lovely lady with a real way with the words.

What I didn't know is she's also good with the coloured pencils.

Those beautiful pics above were done by Kate.

See more of her work here.

Who'd have thought - A copywriter who can draw?

I'm so jealous.

Amazing new mobile phone

And there was I thinking text messages were clever.

Thursday 10 January 2008

Recycling direct mail

Now this is clever.

To bring to life how little effort was required to do your bit for the environment with Origin GreenPower, Wunderman Melbourne created the opposite - a direct mail piece that had obviously required a lot of work to be produced

A recycled mail-pack.

Nothing new in that, you’re probably thinking. But this was a genuinely recycled mail-pack.

The envelope used ‘dead mail’ that had been returned to Origin for a variety of reasons.

All mailing and return details on the envelopes were ‘crossed out’ by hand so they could be re-used.

The mail-packs were sealed with brown packing tape and the headline on the envelope was written by hand.

A very clever way to highlight Origin’s green credentials, whilst giving prospective customers very little excuse not to do their bit by switching to GreenPower.

Sneaker freaker captured

I saw this ad on Age's blog today and it really made me smile.


Could it be because I had just bought three pairs of the same trainer in three different colours?

Could it be because my wife couldn't believe that I had bought those three pairs given I already had two pairs of the same shoe in other colours?

Or could it simply be because it's a nice ad that captures beautifully what a sneaker fetish is all about?

Wednesday 9 January 2008

Classic Bernbach

Thanx to Charlie

Louis Vuitton goes glamour

Obviously I've never bought or owned a handbag. Ever.

But if I was going to buy one, you can be sure I'd be headed straight to Louis Vuitton.

This is one of a campaign of six 'glamour' ads for Vuitton featuring the likes of Eva Herzigova, Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer.

I love these ads.

Not sure how or why they would appeal to women though?

Click here for more Vuitton ads and a making of the campaign video.

Tuesday 8 January 2008

Crocodile tears of joy

Great to see a bit of common sense from legal eagles in the UK, where a court has ruled in favour of a small dental practice in a ridiculous intellectual property case.

Lacoste had argued that the dental practice's logo was way too similar to their well known crocodile icon. Crikey! as Steve Irwin used to say.

Haven't these brand police people got anything better to do?

Times they are a changing

This slide is taken from an excellent presentation given by Ian Rogers of Yahoo! Music at the Aspen Live conference.

Click here to see the whole presentation.

Monday 7 January 2008

Overcoming immunisation

The year has only just begun and already Lynette has posted one of her always insighful slides.

On her Flickr page she talks a bit about the concept of the the immunised consumer.

Someone who subconsciously blocks out advertising.

More of a problem for adland I'd imagine than any form of ad blocking software.

Saturday 5 January 2008

Whatever happened to Meg Ryan?

Meg Ryan has pretty much disapeared from our movie theatres since her much publicised tantrum on Parkinson.

Despite her movie career hiatus, she's obviously still managed to get 'work' in Japan.

Although it's definitely not in the same league as Sleepless in Seattle.

Nice lips though ;-)

Pun of the year thus far

Given the cuteness of the little balls of wool I was almost tempted to let this appalling pun get off scott free.

Then again...

Who writes this stuff?

And even more perplexing, who approves it?


Get a Seth for your office

Get your very own Seth the wonder doll for your workplace for a mere nine dollars or thereabouts.

Guaranteed to withstand the heat of any boardroom or marketing budget discussion.

Batteries not included and PowerPoint slides sold separately.

Click here for more info.

Friday 4 January 2008

Radio that rocks

Low cost hard rocking idea for 96.3 Rock Radio in Glasgow by Scottish agency The Bridge.

Thursday 3 January 2008

Buzzword of the week

Found a fabulous new word over at Buzzwack today.


It's the process of digitally removing wrinkles and blemishes from a photograph using Photoshop or some other software program.

Can't believe Dove haven't used it in an ad yet.

Wednesday 2 January 2008

What are you watching?

A new report from the World Advertising Research Centre (WARC) highlights the increasing uptake of people watching TV on something other than their TV.

Around 38% of people in the US are now watching TV programs online.

Whether or not this figure includes downloads and peer-to-peer programs is unclear, but I'd imagine it probably does.

The survey also claimed that 36% of Americans use a mobile phone as an entertainment source.

These are pretty significant figures if you ask me. Even more significant however is the speed of uptake.

In a similar survey conducted just eight months earlier, only 24% of respondents used their mobile phone as an entertainment device.

That's a 50% increase in less than a year.

Looks like the future is well and truly upon us.

Tuesday 1 January 2008

Farewell Phil

Adland lost one of its most enigmatic figures during the holiday break.

After a year long lung cancer battle Phil Dusenberry passed away on the 27th, aged 71.

His book is a brilliant read. And at the moment you can pick it up on Amazon for a paltry five dollars.

It reads like an episode of MadMen. Especially his story about the infamous Michael Jackson's hair on fire Pepsi commercial.

I'll leave you with one of Phil's best quotes. Be sure and pass it on to any suits you work with who can't put a decent brief together.

"One great insight is worth a thousand ideas."