Monday 31 March 2008

The internet is a fad

Hindsight is useless when it comes to predicting the future. Just ask the guy from Decca who told the Beatles that rock ‘n roll groups were old hat.

More recently think of the man from IBM who said he couldn’t see a market for home computers.

Now we can add another name to this less than illustrious list - Clifford Stoll.

Here are a handful of quotes from Stoll’s less than visionary 1995 Newsweek article on the much hyped internet.

“Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic. Baloney”

“….Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we'll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure.”

“Then there are those pushing computers into schools. We're told that multimedia will make schoolwork easy and fun….Who needs teachers when you've got computer-aided education? Bah.”

“Then there's cyberbusiness. We're promised instant catalog shopping - just point and click for great deals. We'll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month?”

“What's missing from this electronic wonderland? Human contact. Discount the fawning techno-burble about virtual communities. Computers and networks isolate us from one another. A network chat line is a limp substitute for meeting friends over coffee.”

Big thanks to Dave and Asi for alerting me to the ‘wisdom’ of Mr Stoll.

Click here to read Stoll’s article in full.

Death of the agency?

The April issue of Marketing magazine is available in newsagents across Australia from today.

Each month I take a look at chatter on the web for my column Around The Blogosphere.

This month I take a look at discussion emanating from a post by Marcus Brown entitled Content Will Kill Your Agency.

Click here to read all about it.

Do feel free to join the discussion by leaving a comment.

Sunday 30 March 2008

And they're natural apparently

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times:

Who writes this crap?

And who approves it?


Saturday 29 March 2008

Make a wish

Here's an interesting wish list from T. Willerer.

He wishes that:

There was less advertising, not more.

Advertising were more about being useful than funny.

Agencies focused more on pleasing their consumers than their clients.

Advertising was on-demand instead of ubiquitous.

Advertising was there when I wanted it, but not any time else.

Advertising was more overt, not covert.

i actually didn't feel the need to skip or block advertising.

Is he asking too much?

I don't think so. Do you?

Age of Conversation on Amazon

Last year I somehow managed to join over 100 of the best advertising and marketing thinkers in the blogosphere as a contributor to the Age of Conversation book.

The book is now available through Amazon.

If you haven't got a copy, click here to go to Amazon and buy one.

Also keep an eye out for news of a new Age of Conversation project. Details as they come to hand.

Friday 28 March 2008

Quote of the day

"I do have an incredible immune system. I had hepatitis C and cured it by myself.


Just by being me."

Who else but current Louis Vuitton model Keith Richards in an interview with GC.

Anything but fungtastic

What do I hate most? Corny puns or tacky borrowed interest tits 'n ass?

Either way, this has to be one of the most bizarre ways to advertise sliced mushrooms I've ever seen.

As for any negative thoughts related to women and fungus, the less said the better.

Click on the ad to enlarge - if you can be bothered.

Possibility for free advertising?

A number of digital billboards in California have been hacked by 18 year old graffiti artist Skullphone.

He hacked into the Clear Channel Communications computer network and uploaded his trademark skull image, which now runs on a number of billboards along with paid for advertising.

Lots more photos can be seen here.

Wednesday 26 March 2008

Beware of symmetry

I can't remember ever seeing the word wonky used in a headline.

Now I have and I like it.

Great work from the always reliable W&K London.

A touch of chili

Just when I was starting to tire of visual puns along come this beauty for Chili Pringles from Grey, Canada.

TV shows - Who needs 'em?

Both my kids were very excited when Channel 10 started advertising the return of Friends to fill the 7pm spot over summer.

Quite why I don't know, as we have several seasons of the show on DVD.

Recently however, Ruby noticed that some of the episodes were slightly different to the ones on the DVDs.

Which lead me to suspect that the shows were being edited.

But why?

Surely not to allow Channel to insert even more ads?

Today I saw a letter to The Guide about this matter.

Rather than paraphrase, here it is in its succinct entirety:

"I have noticed the editing of Friends by Ten, not to mention the fast play that makes them move at twice the correct speed. Soon we'll be watching ads with short program breaks. When quality and quantity are gone, what are we left with?"

My thoughts exactly!

Tuesday 25 March 2008

Too damn hot

Always quick to spot an opportunity, the guys at the Glue Society have installed their melting ice cream van sculpture in heatwave troubled Adelaide.

At least I think that's what this pic is.

Given that Adelaide recently recorded a record number of continuous days over 35 degrees celcius, this could well be a pic a real ice cream van wilting in the heat.

Monday 24 March 2008

Wasting taxpayer's money

The media schedules have been scrutinised and the media budgets tallied up.

So who was Australia's biggest advertiser in 2007?

A supermarket perhaps? Nope.

How about the a telecoms provider? No!

Must be an auto manufacturer, surely?

Wrong again.

The biggest advertising spender in 2007 was the Australian goverment.

An election year saw our goverment increase their ad spend by around 50% from the previous year.


Sadly all that money was in vain, as we all know the goverment was soundly defeated at the polls.

Which kinda makes you question the value of political advertising. Don't you think?

Friday 21 March 2008

Good Friday fun

I came across a gem of a quote on an email signature. Not sure who said it, but it made me smile:

"I saw a subliminal advertising executive once. But only for a second."

Thursday 20 March 2008

Expanded album covers

My son Max recently bought a great album covers magazine.

Which is quite surprising really, given the bulk of his music in in the form of MP3s.

He's away at a friend's house tonight, but when he returns tomorrow I can't wait to show him the Expanded Covers site.

It's a great source of album art fun. Basically people take an album cover and expand upon it.

The cover above is just one of many on the site.

If you're looking for some fun on the web to kill a few hours between Easter eggs go check it out.

On the air

I love a good business card and this is definitely one of the best I've seen in a long time.

Wednesday 19 March 2008

It's no iPod, but...

The iPod has been around for several years now and it's dominance of the MP3 player market cannot be questioned.

There are, as we all know, lots of MP3 players around, but only one iPod.

This is the launch video for the new Rolly from Sony.

It's only available in Japan at the moment.

Looks cool. No denying that - but it's no iPod.

It has only 1GB of flash memory and can store a paltry 250 songs!

When oh when are Sony going to finally get their shit together and reclaim their title of the kings of portable music?

Tuesday 18 March 2008

Going green

Looks like they do St Patrick's Day a little differently in Seattle.

Spanish Civil War design

I just came across a collection of beautiful posters produced during the Spanish Ciil War.

Exquisite design. Well worth a look.

To see all the posters click here.

To enlarge the pics I've posted simply click on them.

Monday 17 March 2008

Beers of the world

I was just taking a look at my posts over the last few days and noticed there's been a fair bit of beer work.

Carlberg. Amstel. Carlton Draught.

I promise this will be my last beer post for a while.

These ads are for the worldwide selection of amber fluids available at the Sunset Grill & Tap in Boston.

They're by Arnold...Cheers!

Friday 14 March 2008

Keeping things simple


Thursday 13 March 2008

Look up, it's Skytroop

Hot off the press - the latest Carlton Draught extravaganza.

Grant Rutherford, who art directed this, was my first art director many years ago.

Gee that boy's done well for himself.

Go and test yourself

Have you done The Test yet?

Get closer than you thought

There's much talk about Japanese whaling in the name of 'research' here in Australia.

Here's a great whaling idea that Hayes tipped me off to.

Well worth a look. If you know who did it let me know.

Click here for more info on whaling.

Wednesday 12 March 2008

Pretentious PR

Carlton Draught - Made from beer.

Carlsberg - Probably the best beer in the world.

Heineken - Refreshes the parts other beers can't reach.

Great beers. Great taglines.

What about Amstel?

Dutch beer. Very rarely sighted in Australia.

Somehow I don't things are going to change if the 'innovative' new Amstel campaign is anything to go by.

Here's a couple of gems from what is surely the most pretentious campaign press release I have ever seen:

"Photographs from a series of photo shoots will be projected onto buildings in some of the trendiest hotspots in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, chosen for their close affinity with the lifestyle of the typical Amstel drinker."

"The interactive shoots featured model Lilia Osadchuk popping Amstel bottles in front of a crowd while fashion photographer Kane Skennar directed the perfect photo."

"The campaign set out to bring to life the vitality and innovation of the Amstel brand right into the heart of its target market. Consumers could interact with the shoot by staring in a photo with Lilia. The photo was then beamed up, in real time, on the wall as a live billboard for others to see."

"Kylie Wallbridge, Marketing Director said, Amstel is a modern, vibrant brand and we wanted to reflect its personality by engaging with consumers in a different and exciting way. Consumers can not help but be drawn to a live photo shoot that interrupts them as they are on their way out on the town."

As Basil Fawlty once said - Pretentious. Moi?

Looking for a chick?

Allow me to recommend the Chickipedia.

Tuesday 11 March 2008

Looks like I’m it

I seem to remember being tagged with a 5 things you didn’t know about me meme last year.

Now Neil has tagged me with its big brother – 8 things.

Here goes:

1: I never finished high school.

2: I purchased ‘Never mind the bollocks’ when I was a 16 year old fledgling Punk. My Dad said he wouldn’t have “that filth” in his house and made me take it back to the record shop.

3: I did an apprenticeship after I left school. Tucked away in a cupboard somewhere is my Trade Certificate – Scale Fitter.

4: I was made a Creative Director two years after starting my first full time job in advertising.

5: I used to do a drivetime show on Melbourne public radio station PBS-fm.

6: A couple of years ago I found myself in hospital after a very serious bout of Diverticulitis.

7: I was heartbroken when RMIT University turned down my permanent teaching position because my educational qualifications weren’t up to scratch. (See Pt.1)

8: On my last birthday I ended a lifetime of procrastination and took up Wing Chun Bing Fa Kung Fu.

I secretly had my fingers crossed behind my back when Neil tagged me, making me immune from having to pass on the meme. Honest!

Monday 10 March 2008

Too many cooks?

Someone sent me a pic of this huge Vodafone fridge this morning.

It's at Heathrow airport in London.

Not a bad idea, although not exactly exciting either.

What I want to know is why it took so many creative people to make it happen.

It's by BBH London and the credits list 2 Creatives, 7 Designers, a Creative Director and an Exec. Creative Director.

That's 11 creative people to produce a fridge with fridge magnets on it.

What on earth were all those people responsible for?

Click pic to enlarge.

How not to Photoshop

This nippleless babe is just one of many great examples of how not to use Photoshop to be found at Photoshop Disasters.

Their motto - With great power comes great responsibility.

Click here to check it out.

Sunday 9 March 2008

Cute cotton

And there was I thinking that visual puns and ads with no headline were a late 20th century trend.

These ads for reels of cotton date from the 1880s.

They're most definitely the best cotton reel ads I've seen in ages.

Actually make that the only cotton reel ads I've ever seen.

Pics Via

Saturday 8 March 2008

Fans of Facebook

Facebook has become so ubiquitous these days, it's easy to take pot shots at it. So I won't. Funny video though.

Thursday 6 March 2008

Nice boots

Do people in America really wear cowboy boots?

It is 2008 after all.

Regardless of that, if I had to wear cowboy boots I'd definitely want a pair of Noconas.

These are brilliant illustrations.

So good in fact, that a photograph wouldn't have worked nearly as well.

Wednesday 5 March 2008

Clever or tasteless?

It's by DDB Sweden and I think it's tastless.

Definitely clever, but that doesn't excuse the fact it is in very bad taste.

Click on the ad to enlarge and read the copy and let me know what you think.

Bottle to be proud of

It may not look too exciting in this crappy photo, but this is probably one of the best product shots ever.

To publicise the new Carlsberg bottle Belgian agency Duval Guillame created the logo on a billboard using bottles.

That's actual bottles, not a photo of them.

The tagline, of course, is: Probably the best bottle in the world.

Can't argue with that.

Here's a pic of the billboard being built.

Tuesday 4 March 2008

Turning cars green

I don't really like to plug my own work, but I've very excited about this piece.

It's an Australian first - a Carbon Offset Card from Origin.

Most of us are aware of carbon offsets, but how do you purchase them?

There are a couple of schemes as far as I'm aware, but nothing straightforward that you can simply purchase over the counter.

The Carbon Offset Card lets you offset the carbon emissions generated by your car.

You choose to offset for 3, 6 or 12 months for a small, medium or large car.

And that's pretty much it. Too easy!

The pic above shows the prototype display stand at an Origin pop up store in Melbourne.

They should be popping up at shopping centres across the country real soon.

So keep an eye out for the Origin Tree. It's the easiest way to help green your car.

To learn more about carbon offsetting click here.

Monday 3 March 2008

Keith and Louis

There was something strangly alluring about the Louis Vuitton ad featuring Mikhail Gorbachev.

Now we have the latest ad in the campaign, featuring guitar gunslinger Keith Richards.

Yes Keith Richards.

'Some journeys cannot be put into words' is the tagline.

Last time I saw Keith interviewed on the TV he had trouble putting pretty much anything into words.

At least words that made sense anyway.

Sunday 2 March 2008

Get out of advertising

I was reading an interesting post on Advertising for Peanuts yesterday about having interests outside of the ad biz.

In the post they quoted Tom Burrell, who had this to say, "If you don’t have a life outside, you don’t have anything to bring to the job."

Tom and the Peanuts crew were talking about people in the creative department.

I believe getting out of advertising is even more important for account people.

Where I work, most of the suits have lunch at their desk.

Whereas I try whenever possible to get out for a wander at lunchtime.

That's a brief wander by the way - not a boozy lunch.

I stop by a gallery, browse in a book or music store or simply sit with a sandwich and do a bit of people watching.

Of course sometimes work gets in the way, but I do get out of the office quite a lot at lunch.

Meanwhile....back in account management, they're working away, picking at a salad or warmed up food from home.

Who do you think is more inspired for the afternoon?

At least once a week I get an email with a meeting request scheduled during lunchtime.

When I say I am unavailable, these meetings are always resheduled.

So why schedule them at lunchtime in the first place?

Is it just me, or are too many people so focussed on their job that they forget about what's important - the work.

Saturday 1 March 2008

Well written

This just turned up in my RSS feed.

Clever thinking from Edwina Nolan, a student at Dublin's IOT Ad School.