Thursday 28 February 2008

Thought for the day

Wednesday 27 February 2008

Remember when?

Do they still use testcards on the TV?

I can't remember seeing one for ages.

Most channels run 24 hours these days, so I guess there's no need for them.

I had a real stroll down memory lane today, when I stumbled across the Testcard Gallery.

It's a bit nerdy to be honest, but well worth a visit if you have any kind of interest in the history of television.

Tuesday 26 February 2008

Around the blogosphere

The latest issue of Marketing magazine hits news stands this week.

In my Around The Blogosphere column I've written about a couple of favourite agency blogs that have served as inspiration for the soon to be launched Wunderman Melbourne blog that I have been working on.

Click here to read all about it at Around The Blogosphere.

Yesterday's news on Oscar

I've been banging on for ages now about how newspapers need to adapt to the instant availability of news on the web.

Most of the stories in the morning papers are at least 24 hours old. Possibly more.

Looks like this isn't always the case though.

The pic above is a screengrab from the NineMSN website. It was taken 5 minutes ago.

That's around 24 hours after the Oscars ceremony kicked off.

Yet it is still talking about who may win and why.


Were the team at NineMSN all at an Oscars party, leaving the news updates unattended?

Who knows.

Monday 25 February 2008

Keep your screen clean

If your computer screen is looking a little grubby click here to trial the beta of the revolutionary KleenSkreen application.

Suitable for Mac. Not too sure about PC.

Sunday 24 February 2008

The first Apple

I've always loved the Apple logo.

I remember working on the train when I worked in London and how all the stuffy suit types in the carriage would secretly glance at the glowing white Apple on the back of my black Powerbook.

As for the coloured logo, I can't believe it's been ten years since they phased it out.

What surprised me today though, was seeing the original Apple logo for the very first time.

It's just so un-Apple like don't you thnk?

Quite reminiscent of those iconic Californian fruit company logos.

Which really shouldn't come as a surprise given how proudly Californian the company is.

I wonder why they ditched it?

Friday 22 February 2008

What a great view

We're getting some ideas together for an office revamp at the moment.

There are two windows that look out on to nothing more than bird shit and the wall of the building next door.

We've been wondering how to add some interest to these windows.

I think these wonderful blinds would make a nice solution to the problem.

Only available with Helsinki and Tokyo views at the moment, although I'm sure there must be more in the pipeline.

Thursday 21 February 2008

Are green puns off limits?

I found this over on Dan Germain's blog.

He wrote a post about how much he enjoyed the little details that Ocado do so well.

I'm not familiar with this online grocer, but if Dan from Innocent rates them, then they must be good.

The reason I'm writing this post, is because I'm not happy about the headline in the email.

"We're reducing our footprint."

I read the email. It has nothing to do with the company's carbon footprint.

It's a pun. And a not particularly good one at that.

I really don't think it's a good idea to borrow interest from important environmental issues.

What do you think?

Do you agree with me or am I being overly sensitive?

Not again!?

Just what the world needs - another ad using the well worn Swiss army knife concept.

Come on TBWA Barcelona, surely you can do better?

Wednesday 20 February 2008

PDF on the way out?

This is a demo of iPaper, a new internet based document format.

It's pretty interesting I think.

Could this possibly become the next generation replacement for PDF?.

Click here for a bigger and better look.

Tuesday 19 February 2008

TV viewing map

This is a fascinating little map I discovered on the Flickr site of someone who calls themself Bumblebee.

The map plots the movements of Bumblebee, his two kids and their cat in front of the TV over the course of an hour.

As you can imagine with kids and a cat, there's not a lot of sitting still.

This is a very interesting piece of cartography I think.

For a closer look click the map to enlarge it.

If you'd like more detail on how the movements were plotted click here.

Monday 18 February 2008

Look the part

I'm sure there must be a slightly more rectangular Graphic Designer version of these DIY specs floating around on the internet somewhere.


Sunday 17 February 2008

Bring on the revolution

If there's one thing that bugs me, it's lazy creative people who borrow interest from a well known song rather than have an original idea of their own.

There have been literally thousands of examples over the years. The worst of which, I think, was the tyre ad featuring Venus In Furs by the Velvet Underground.

Things hit an all time low for me on the weekend however, when I saw the banner ad above in the Ad Age email newsletter.

As I've said so many times before - who the hell approves this shit!?

Somehow I really don't think Gil Scott Heron had the Ad Age March On Digital conference in mind when he wrote The Revolution Will Not Be Televised way back in the early seventies.

In fact, borrowing interest from Gil's rallying cry to the disenfranchised of America, is quite probably one of the dumbest and most cynical advertising 'ideas' I have ever seen.

Here's a couple of lyric grabs from Gil's masterpiece:

"You will not be able to stay home, brother.

You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.

You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip out for beer during commercials,

Because the revolution will not be televised."

That's hardly the sort of thinking you'd associate with a digital advertising conference, now is it?

Here's a few more words from Gil:

"The revolution will not be right back after a message about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.

You will not have to worry about a dove in your bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.

The revolution will not go better with Coke.

The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.

The revolution will put you in the driver's seat."

I see the creators of the March On Digital banner at least credited Gil Scott Heron in their ad.

They also listed as 'unknown' the person behind the quote But It Will Be Digitised.

Could that be because they're too embarrassed to take credit for what I believe is one of the most pathetic attemps at advertising I have ever seen?

Here's The Revolution being televised courtesy of YouTube.

Friday 15 February 2008

Sweet as

I just stuck this ad up on my pinboard in the agency.

It's from DDB in South Africa.

We do a lot of automotive where I work, so I like to share great thinking by other car brands with my colleagues.

Suffice to say everyone who has stopped to look at the ad has loved it.

It's a bit hard to read the copy at this size so click the pic to enlarge.

Thursday 14 February 2008

Got me thinking

"Precautions when surfing in contaminated data fluids: Never surf alone or when under the influence of drugs or alcohol and never dive head first into an unfamiliar source of data."

Found this quote by Barbara Strebel on the website of the Museum Gestaltung.

I think there's something in it for all of us. Don't you?

Wednesday 13 February 2008

Heard about Harrison Ford?

I just got an email with very sad news about about Harrison Ford.

It's closing down.

Yes the popular Bacchus Marsh Ford Dealer is closing down.

In case you're interested, the other Harrison Ford is currently making an unecessary Raiders Of The Lost Ark sequel.

What's changed?

Interesting slide show from Les Binet of DDB Matrix.

Can't argue with the figures I guess, but I would like to question them.

Both my kids, ages 11 and 15, spend way more time online than watching TV.

They also go online while they're watching TV.

It's as if the TV has become this generation's background music.

Something to have on to take away the silence whilst you're doing other things.

Tuesday 12 February 2008

Who needs writers?

Quite why Leo Burnett in Madrid would write an ad about the writers' strike I don't know.

What I do know is I love it.

Click here to enlarge.

Monday 11 February 2008

Mr Adidas

Lovely little animated film about Adi Dassler and the birth of the Adidas brand.

Pity they left out his brother Rudi.

I'd hate to suggest that they're rewriting history, but could it be because he split from his brother and went off and started Puma?

Nice work none the less by 180 Amsterdam.

Urban spam season

When I first started this blog I often used to post stuff about urban spam.

I don't have a problem with ambient ideas. In fact I've done a few myself.

But sometimes they overstep the mark. Like this one from Publicis Frankfurt.

Its for Rubin snap lock bags.

Mid winter, when the trees were bare, the agency stuck a load of plastic leaves on trees and then slipped massive snap lock bags over the top of them.

Nice idea, no doubt about it.

But should we really be mucking around with Mother Nature to help sell. of all things, plastic bags?

Saturday 9 February 2008

That's much better

Late last year a pink billboard was put up on Melrose Ave in Los Angeles advertising a Murakami exhibition at the LA Museum of Contemporary Art.

Not long after it went up it was tagged by a couple of LA graff artists.

Seventy two hours later the billboard was gone.

Censorship? Theft? Publicity stunt?

According to a recent story in the LA Weekly it seems Murakami saw an image of the billboard on the internet and loved it so much he had the poster taken down and sent to him in Tokyo.

Mystery solved I guess.

Friday 8 February 2008

Interactive is better than digital

I was catching up on ad news from the UK this morning on the Brand Republic site, when the title of a blog post caught my eye.

“What is digital?”

This is a great question I think, especially now that most of us are watching digital TV.

So what is the answer?

According to the Brand Republic post, digital is an outdated term, as is online and, although they consider it the closest, interactive.

I’m not sure I completely agree.

I’ve said on many occasions that good direct marketing is truly interactive. Way more interactive than a few clicks of a mouse.

Of course these days a lot of digital work is also a much more interactive than a few mouse clicks.

Which means, I think, that interaction is something we’re all looking to achieve with our work. Regardless of the medium.

As for the question what is digital?

Guess the Brand Republic post was right – it is an outdated term.

So what do we call it?

Thursday 7 February 2008

Get stoned at home

We need to get a couple of cool beanbags for a photo shoot for a project I'm currently working on.

I saw of couple of great ones today.

Good as they were though, none of them were as cool as these Stones.

Wonder if they're available in Australia?

Wonderbra has me wondering

Neil left a comment about the Wonderbra Vespa ad I posted yesterday.

In it he linked to the terrific tactical ad Wonderbra had done for Pancake Day in the UK.

Funny thing was, I'd just been talking about lemon and sugar pancakes on Pancake Day in the office.

When I showed the ad to a couple of the people I work with though, it left me wondering.

Actually it left them wondering.

"I don't get the bit about pancakes."

"Are they grapefruits?"

Now I'm wondering if some ads are just too clever or are some people not quite as clever as I thought?


Wednesday 6 February 2008

Wonder Vespa

I'm a sucker for anything to do with Vespa, so this ad really caught my eye the first time I saw it.

Very cute. Very funny. I like it a lot.

Would it have worked as well if they'd used a cheap Chinese scooter rather than a Vespa?

The idea would still be as strong, that's for sure, but using a Vespa adds a touch of cool.

Nice work from TBWA Prague.

Tuesday 5 February 2008

Engage or interupt?

The blogosphere is currently running hot with talk about the ads run during the Superbowl.

It's about the only time of the year we hear ads being discussed with such excitement.

So where does that leave all the talk about the age of conversation and engagement rather than interuption?

Stuff like this:

"Permission marketing, non-intrusive advertising, opting in and engaging with rather than shouting at the consumer are not just fashionable buzzwords but essential ways of thinking about how to communicate successfully.”
Manfred Mareck - Admap, Jan 2008

Unwrapping an Apple

Last night my son Max was watching Superbowl ads on YouTube.

One of the ads that came up in his search was the Apple 1984 ad.

"Seen it before Dad. What's so special about it?"

I explained to him how before that ad there were no Macs to speak of.

He found it hard to comprehend a world without Macs.

Although he's only eleven, he loves Apple products.

I suspect he's not alone in his Apple advocacy.

My iPod skips every time I go for a walk with it in the morning. I curse it each time it does this, yet I still love it.

Apple is a brand that generates that kind of passion.

Today I stumbled on a fantastic Flickr set of a man and his new Mac.

Not just any Mac mind you, but a brand new, still wrapped in plastic 1988 Apple IIc.

Click here to see Apple advocacy captured in photos by Kathryn Yu.

Monday 4 February 2008

Just add...

This season's must have for anyone looking to participate in the age of conversation.

Spreading the word

Big thanx to Neil who put me on to this interesting visualisation of a blog post.

Click here to take a look.

It's a bit fiddly, but well worth a moment of your time.

Sunday 3 February 2008

First Blogosphere for 2008

After a summer hiatus, Marketing magazine is back for 2008.

My first column for the year looks at the thoughts of leading adland thinkers on transmedia planning and storytelling.

Click here to read all about it. Feel free to comment, as it's always great to get feedback and opinions.

Friday 1 February 2008

Thinking about energy

I've been doing a lot of work with a green energy company lately, so I'm always interested in ideas for alternative energy.

This little video from the New York Times magazine highlights some great thinking in a charming illustrative style.

Well worth watching.