Friday 30 May 2008

Going out in style

Since I started Brand DNA over two years ago many of the blogs I visit have fallen by the wayside.

Strangely a few of the blogs that I thought had died resurrected themselves recently.

As for me, I'll be here for a while yet.

But if I was thinking of pulling the pin, I think I'd do it like this.

Thursday 29 May 2008

Pure evil

Love this new viral by Droga and co.


As anyone who's ever stood waiting for something to heat in microwave knows, anything you put in the micro rotates as it heats.

Which ever so slightly ruins this idea for me.

At least until the bloody huge alien pops up!

Wednesday 28 May 2008

The price of Gold

Awards are often a topic of discussion in adland.

Some people knock them them. Some people are obsessed with winning them.

As for me, I have a few gathering dust at the back of a cupboard in my study.

They used to be important when I was younger. They helped me to build a great CV and get a couple of very good jobs.

These days though I'm not really bothered.

Of course I still enter work if I think it is exceptional. Got to be in it to win it, as the saying goes.

This year I entered three pieces of work into Cannes.

Luckily for me I work for a multinational agency, so we have an awards budget.

Each entry cost about $380. That's almost $1,200.

With that figure in mind, think about this:

There were a record 28,284 entries at Cannes this year.

That's a lot of money in anyone's language.

But where does it all go?

Tuesday 27 May 2008

Guilty pleasure

Maybe I'm a bit stupid.

Perhaps I've been working too hard of late.

But the Vodaphone website streaker really makes me laugh.

Click here to see him in action.

Monday 26 May 2008

This car's fully loaded

I've done a lot of automotive work during my career.

Ford, Volkswagen, Peugeot, Renault and Nissan.

And it get's harder and harder to come up with new and interesting ways to get people to buy a car.

Maybe I should just follow the example of Max Motors and throw in a nice hand gun* with purchase.

So much more tempting than a free set of car mats. Don't you think?

*Offer expires June 1st.

Saturday 24 May 2008

Where do stories come from?

Dave Birrs spotted this Economist ad on his way to work.

Like me he's no fan of the new Economist campaign.

The headline on this ad, for those with eyesight as poor as mine, reads:

“Stories can come from Thailand, Greenland and Swaziland. But never cloud-cuckoo-land.”


I suspect that may be where the creative team got the idea from.

Very sound advice

Another pearl of wisdom from Hugh.

Friday 23 May 2008

One we prepared earlier

This backflipping into jeans video was the talk of the Blogosphere last week. It's had around 3.5 million views on YouTube.

Turns out it's a viral for Levis by an agency called Cutwater. It was directed by Benzo Theodore.

Nice work guys, but....

The viral below for Rayban was also created by Cutwater and directed by Benzo Theodore. And it's the same bloody idea!

Thursday 22 May 2008

When men were men, apparently

I know that times have changed, but try to imagine the creative team showing this ad as a concept to their Creative Director.

Then try thinking about the client presentation.

Oh to have been a fly on the wall in the adland of yesteryear.

Now hold that thought...

Wednesday 21 May 2008

Best thing since

Every once in a while, and it seems to happen less and less these days, I see an ad that just makes me smile.

This is one of those ads. At least I think it is.

Sweet. Charming. And so obvious you wonder why it hasn't been done before.

Nice one McCann's London.

A whole new galaxy

Tag Galaxy.

A three dimensional galaxy of Flickr photo tags.

Now this is what a diploma thesis should look like in the age of the internet.

It was developed by Steven Wood from Germany for his thesis.

Click here to go and play with it.

Japan and the iPod

Given their dominance of the electronics market, I've often wondered why the Japanese missed the MP3 market that is now pretty much owned by the iPod.

Here's a link to a terrific article on that very subject. It's called why the Japanese didn't create the iPod.

It's well worth a look.

Tuesday 20 May 2008

Prophet and loss

I wonder how long it will be before this piece of London street art ends up being reworked by a lazy agency creative into a poster for The Economist?

Monday 19 May 2008

Nice gutters

Found this ad today and it got me thinking.

I wonder if a paint company has considered Google Earth as a marketing tool?

It's a bit far fetched I know, but surely we want our houses to look good from every angle. Including from above.

Thought for the day


Sunday 18 May 2008

NYT Vs Guardian

I came across this ad for the New York Times on their website.

At first glance I thought it was an ad for British newspaper The Guardian.

That's a clever media buy I thought to myself.

Then I took a closer look and saw it was in fact an ad for the New York Times.

The similarities are uncanny.

Here's a screen grab of two Guardian ads if you're not familiar with their campaign.

Saturday 17 May 2008

Quality control

Click pic to enlarge before reading on.

Bill Bernbach would never have let this ad out of the building.

Can't say Helmut Krone would have given it his blessing either.

What on earth is it trying to say?

And what is it trying to sell?

Could it be this ad is too clever for a humble working class lad like myself?

Somehow I doubt it.

Time for the creatives at DDB Barcelona to go to the library and find themselves a copy of this book or this one me thinks.

Friday 16 May 2008

What is an ordinary thief?

If you squint long enough you'll see that the headline on this ad reads; You're an ordinary thief if you listen to illegally downloaded music.

An ordinary thief?

Since when do kids use words like that?

This ad was created by the in-house team at MTV and shows, I think, a complete lack of understanding of both the target market and the issue.

Nobody ever called me an 'ordinary thief' when I was a teenager taping songs off the radio. Nor did this activity make me not want to buy records.

Records were cool. I always felt a couple of inches taller walking down the high street with 12" of vinyl in a paper bag under arm.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Strolling Bones became friends after they struck up a conversation about the albums they were carrying.

All this surely changed with the introduction of the CD.

Even more so with the arrival of the iPod.

Both my kids have iPods.

Do they covet CDs or records? Not really.

However they do love having the album covers in their iTunes cover flow.

It's only one man's opinion, but kids don't see downloading as stealing.

For them it's the same as me taping songs off the radio.

The difference is they'll never go on to become record buyers like I did.

So perhaps rather than persecuting kids for downloading, the record companies and their friends at MTV should be thinking about how to get the kids to hand over their cash.

Click on the ad to enlarge if you wish.

Thursday 15 May 2008

Sounds right to me?

Very interested to see name of the new WPP agency set up to handle the Dell Computer account.

I reckon the chattering classes out there in the blogosphere are going to have a field day with it.

Synarchy Worldwide.

Sounds to me like some kind of mutant cross between everyone’s favourite advertising buzzword, synergy, and anarchy.

According to AdAge however it’s a reference to a utopian political system from the 18th century.

Perhaps the naming gurus should have checked the not always but generally reliable Wikipedia, where you can find information on a variety of synarchy related terms.

The one that caught my eye was Mexican synarchy, which was a political movement from the 1930s.

Not just any old political movement mind you, but an extreme right wing organisation, in some ways akin to fascism.


That’s not really the type of thing you’d want associated with a brand.

What do you think?

Wednesday 14 May 2008

More cool pics on Flickr

I love it when I stumble on an interesting Flickr photo set.

Have to admit I'm fascinated by the sort of people who put these sort of things together.

A great case in point is the Hindu Love Gods collection.

It's absolutely brilliant.

Thanx to Vitesh for the pic of Ganesh.

Vintage Motoring Maps

Apologies in advance, but it seems my inner nerd has hijacked my computer and will be writing this post.

Google Maps. Boring!

Nokia phones with some kind of mapping application. Whatever!!

Sat Nav in the car. Who needs it!?

You cannot beat the pleasure of unfolding a dog-eared map and pouring over it to find your destination.

It really is one of life's most satisfying pleasures.

I suspect I'm not alone in feeling like this.

Jon Hicks from Hicks design has set up a lovely Flickr page of old motoring maps.

Click here to take a look.

It's well worth a few moments of your time. Honest!

Tuesday 13 May 2008

The cost of texting

As if we needed another reason to hate mobile phone companies, Nigel Bannister, from the University of Leicester, has worked out that it costs four times as much to send a text message from a mobile phone as it does to transmit scientific data into outer space from the Hubble Telescope.

Four times as much!

Here's how Nigel worked it out:

“The maximum size for a text message is 160 characters, which takes 140 bytes because there are only 7 bits per character in the text messaging system, and we assume the average price for a text message is about 10 cents.

There are 1,048,576 bytes in a megabyte, so that’s 1 million/140 = 7490 text messages to transmit one megabyte.

At around 10 cents each, that’s [$734] per MB - or about 4.4 times more expensive than the ‘most pessimistic’ estimate for Hubble Space Telescope transmission costs [of $166 per megabyte].”

Does Gaudi do renovations?

I remember the first time I went to Rome.

So many of the great landmarks were either being repaired or renovated.

Which meant they were covered in an ugly green guaze.

In more recent times, the ad industry has seen fit to use these building covers as advertising opportunities.

Sometimes they're clever. Sometimes not.

This idea I spotted on Wooster is much more interesting I think.

The sort of thing I imagine Gaudi would have used if he ever undertook a renovation.

Monday 12 May 2008

Excellent advice

Now here's a good idea

Saturday 10 May 2008

New look James Bond

I'm really loving these new cover designs for the James Bond books.

Just as Daniel Craig gave Bond a new lease of life in film, so Michael Gillette has given a fresh new look to Bond in print.

The books will be on sale at the end of this month.

Friday 9 May 2008

Bookshelf creatures

A fun way to brighten up any bookshelf.

They're from Japan. Obviously.

Click here to buy yours for a mere $15.

Thursday 8 May 2008

Pens, pencils and pixels

A couple of years ago, whilst judging at an award show, I was really taken by a website that appeared to have been created with some note-paper and a ballpoint pen.

it just seemed so fresh, organic and for want of a better term, unweblike.

These days hand drawn websites seem to be everywhere.

Not exactly commonplace, but definitely becoming quite common.

Inspiredology has recently showcased a selection of gorgeous hand drawn websites.

26 to be exact. Although I'm sure there are literally thousands of them out here

Click here to go and check them out.

There's plenty of fresh thinking on offer.

Much more interesting and engaging than the typical 2008 style website, where every thing is ever so neatly compartmentalised into grids and boxes.

Wednesday 7 May 2008

Happy Birthday iMac

The iMac was launched ten years ago today.

It started off blue.

Bondi blue to be precise.

Next it became a selection of favours.

My favourite was blueberry.

Then it went white.

Now it's silver.

You've come a long way baby.

Happy 10th birthday.

Inhaling the web

Big thanx to Mike for tipping me off to AdictoMatic.

It's an extremely clever aggregater come search engine type thingamy.

Could well prove to be a very useful new tool me thinks.

Why not click here and give it a try.

Tuesday 6 May 2008

Confessions of a Copywriter

There's something I need to get off my chest;

I wrote a pun today.

A bad one. Really bad actually.

I also added an exclamation mark to a headline.

That's two copywriting sins in one day.

Both of them in the same job.

Thing is, each time I committed a copywriting sin I prefaced it with;

"I can't believe I'm gonna say this, but..."

As a result, a good idea has now become a great idea.

I think there's a lesson for all of us in my work today.

Don't be afraid to say dumb things or have dumb ideas.

The more you open yourself up, the more chance you have of something brilliant coming out.

Monday 5 May 2008

The new Economist

I've just been looking at a fun new website for Absolut by Tequila Sydney.

Thing is, I think it's off brand.
Well in my eyes anyway.
You see I found the site to be fun, but it just doesn't have the class and style I expect from Absolut.
Same goes for the new Economist campaign.
Sure the ads look nice, but they're not in the same league as the original campaign.
What do you think?

Sunday 4 May 2008

John West Pelican

This is definitely one of those I can't believe it hasn't been done before ideas.

Great work from Grey here in Melbourne.

Saturday 3 May 2008

Poked anyone lately?

Very funny video by Idiots of Ants looking at what life would be like if people acted in real life the way they do in Facebook. Well worth two minutes of your time.

Friday 2 May 2008

Faceless waffle

I saw a full page ad in The Age this morning.

It was for a company I'd never heard of called Veolia.

Couldn't miss the ad to be honest. Huge picture of a city streetscape, shot from above.

So the ad caught my eye. Job done?

I think not.

On closer inspection I saw that the cars in the picture were driving on the right hand side of the road.

So the photo was obviously not taken in Australia.

Then I spotted the Veolia tagline - Preserving the environment is our universal challenge.

What the!?

So Veolia must be some kind of green company?


They're the holding company of Connex who operate the always late and generally overcrowded train network in Melbourne.

So what did Veolia have to say in their full page full colour ad?

At first glance quite a lot. But on closer inspection very little.

Here's a snippet from the copy:

"Veolia Transport, as a world leader, manages almost 2.5 billion journeys a year thereby decreasing traffic congestion and combating climate change."

Honestly, who writes this sort of corporate waffle. And who do they expect to read it?

It costs a lot of money to run a full page full colour ad in The Age.

Why oh why would Veolia not put that money to good use?

Here's an idea:

Rather than running expensive ads, how about ploughing the money into the public transport system instead?

Thursday 1 May 2008

Paris 1968

I'm a big fan of both graphic design and street art.

Especially when they're combined with radical politics.

And nobody did this better, in my opinion, than the students of Paris in 1968.

The Hayward Gallery in London is currently running an exhibition of Paris '68 posters.

Obviously I'm on the other side of the world, so I can't get to see it.

But luckily the Keep Calm Gallery has a limited run of prints from the exhibition available on their website.

I'll be placing an order over the weekend.