Tuesday 30 September 2008

Headline of the week

Monday 29 September 2008

Lateral thinking

The term emerging markets was coined in 1981 by Antoine van Agtmael.

He was trying to start a Third-World Equity Fund to invest in shares from developing countries.

However his efforts to attract money were being constantly rebuffed.

“Racking my brain, at last I came up with a term that sounded more positive and invigorating: emerging markets.

‘Third world’ suggested stagnation; ‘emerging markets’ suggested progress, uplift and dynamism.”

Great example of lateral thinking via The Economist.

Sunday 28 September 2008

Krispy Kreme Lite

Laugh out loud funny student ad spotted by Scamp at a recent folio night in London.

Saturday 27 September 2008

Social media just happens

Technorati have just released their annual state of the blogosphere survey.

As usual it makes for a very interesting read.

There are close to 190 million blogs out there. If the blogosphere was a country it would be the 6th biggest in the world.

What I found particularly interesting is that social media can and will happen of its own accord.

Take a look at this table:

As you can see brands are a major discussion point on blogs.

In the words of Technorati "Brands permeate the blogosphere".

It's always difficult working with generalisations, but some of these stats are eye openers. At least they should be for agencies and marketers.

According to Technorati, "Four out of five bloggers post brand or product reviews, with 37% posting them frequently."

Click here to check out the report in full.

I'd also recommend you forward the link to any social media sceptics in your organisation.

Friday 26 September 2008

Let's stop moving forward

I've heard more than my fair share of buzzwords and bullshit during my career in adland.

Acronyms. In jokes. Tech terms. Cliches.

I've heard them all.

The phrase that's getting me down the most at the moment though is moving forward.

This week I heard used it in a briefing. More than once!

I heard it at a client presentation yesterday.

I also heard it used in the car on the way back from the presentation.

Moving forward I no longer want hear anyone use the words moving forward.


Thursday 25 September 2008

Wilco rocks the US election

In Australia voting is compulsory.

Even though a lot of people sometimes can't be bothered they still make their way to a polling booth on election day.

Not so in the USA.

Yesterday I got a email from the band Wilco plugging a free MP3 download if I pledged to vote in the upcoming US election.

Of course I took the pledge and downloaded my free MP3.

I'm listening to it as I type.

I think this is a very interesting approach. Although I am surprised it's actually necessary given the hype around Obama, Palin, Hilary etc.

It's great to see a band using their influence to get people thinking about an important day in American history.

Hopefully their fans will remember to actually go out and vote on the day.

Wednesday 24 September 2008

Take note Bill 'n Jerry

Note to Microsoft:

This is how you do celebrity ads.

Love the Scorcese line "Actually make it out to cash!"

Tuesday 23 September 2008

A plate that's credible

Great work for Four 'n Twenty pies by Clemenger BBDO here in Melbourne.

This has to be one of my favourite campaigns of the year.

I love the bit where the girls are so impressed by the guys having salad that they give them their phone numbers.


If you like the idea of a Salad Plate click here and check out the site.

Postage is a bit pricey but well worth it if it gets you a couple of phone numbers.

Tax needn't be boring

Who says the taxman is boring?

Actually I'm pretty sure most people do.

Well the Dutch tax office has decided to put on a bright face. At least for the young folk anyway.

Believe it or not the pic above is a screen grab from a microsite developed for the Dutch tax office.

It's to publicise how young people can actually get money back by doing their tax return.

Definitely a long way from your typical faceless goverment site.

What do you think?

Monday 22 September 2008

School bus advertising

Every now and again a story comes across my desk that has me puzzled.

Today's example comes from the state of Michigan in the USA.

Ad Age reports that it is illegal for school buses in Michigan to carry advertising.

Fair enough me thinks.

However the ban only applies to the outside of the school bus.

So ads on the bus that the general public can see are a no no.

But ads inside a school bus that are targeted at a captive audience of kids are ok.


Sunday 21 September 2008

Season's Greetings

I dropped into a Coles supermarket this morning to buy some jam for the breakfast bagels.

Hanging off of each and every gondola end in the store were Christmas items.

Is it just me or do the stores start stocking Christmas things earlier and earlier every year?

It's only 21st September.

Guess that means I can get in really early this year with my very first Bah Humbug of the season.

Friday 19 September 2008

More video than a video store

I don't know how many videos there are on YouTube but there must be a hell of a lot.


Because 14 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute.

That's over 20,000 hours every day.

Not every week. Every day!

The people have spoken

Just because I've poked a bit of fun at social media this week doesn't mean I don't recognise its value or power.

I just did a Google search for Seinfeld & Microsoft.

It returned over 4 million page refs.

I suspect many of them may have been negative comments about the Seinfeld fronted ad campaign, because it's been axed.

Actually it's Jerry Seinfeld that's been axed. Not the campaign.

According to Gizmodo, Crispin Porter & Bogusky already has another Jerry ad in the can, but Microsoft has decided not to air it.

I guess that means the people have spoken.

And Microsoft has decided to listen.

Thursday 18 September 2008

Social media goes legit

Hot on the heels of the Jetpack's social media cartoon I posted the other day comes the announcement of social media's very own industry body in the USA.

The Social Media Advertising Council.

Whether or not this is good news for Twitterers and Facebook Pokers remains to be seen.

What I do know is the SMAC home page has awful banner ads all over it.

Which surely goes against the spirit of social media.

So much so that I'm thinking of registering a complaint with the SMAC.

Wednesday 17 September 2008

BigPond or big dud?

Spring arrived with a vengeance in Melbourne this morning so I dusted off the Vespa and rode into work.

I'm so glad I did.

Not because it was a great ride. But because I missed out on those guys in suits with TV sets on their heads at the Flinders St station.

Believe it or not they're spruiking the wares of Australia's biggest ISP and wannabe mobile music retailer BigPond.

According to BigPond spokesman Peter Habib, "The idea behind the TV sets was partly to highlight the fact that the telco's entertainment stores could be accessed on the move from Telstra Next G mobile phones."

The TV heads also "Replicate the diverse entertainment that is available at BigPond", said Habib.

I'm all for PR stunts and ambient ideas. But not when they involve blokes in suits with TVs on their head at my railway station.

Are video games violent?

A couple of years ago this X-Box ad was banned by the company that approved and paid for it.


"Over my dead body," is apparently what the Microsoft marketing exec responsible said.

After gathering dust for some time it's just been posted to YouTube.

Perhaps Microsoft should have put a call in to the folks at Sony.

I'm sure Playstation would run it.

Which begs the question - Is this an X-Box ad or a category ad?

I say category. What about you?

Tuesday 16 September 2008

Extra large passengers

Can't believe this hasn't been done before.

Well now it has.

Nice one Lowe Amsterdam.

Monday 15 September 2008

Social snake oil

Very funny and incredibly insightful observation by my blogging brother Mr Jetpacks.

Quite timely too given the recent launch of Australia's first (or is that 5th) social media agency by the Photon Group.

Those with glasses can click the pic for a better look.

Sunday 14 September 2008

Not getting any better

This runs 4.30 mins. Consider yourself warned.

Saturday 13 September 2008

Return of the Bernbach

Look who's popped up on Twitter.

Mr Bill Bernbach.

The man beloved by RMIT students, ad geeks and creative directors everywhere.

My favourite tweet thus far;

"My pen hasn't been working of late, I think it was a Lemon."


Friday 12 September 2008

Yada yada yada

The Advertising Standards Authority in the UK has banned a Vodafone radio ad because the 'fine print' at the end of the ad was read too quickly.

A spokesman for the ASA said the legal mandatories in the ad were too difficult for listeners to understand.

In their response Vodafone stated that the female V/O had not been speeded up and was no faster than the 'fine print' in other similar ads.

Apparently there is no specified speed for the reading of legals in the UK radio advertising standard code.

Even more interesting is the fact that the ad was banned because of a complaint by just one person!

Click here to listen for yourself.

Thursday 11 September 2008

The fat trap

Bloody BBH London have gone and put me off my lunchtime cheese and tomato sandwich with this excellent new print ad for the World Heart Foundation.

Wednesday 10 September 2008

Good but not that good

Talk about over promise and under deliver.

As those who work with me know, I am very fond of a David Jones seafood pack at lunchtime.

The pack generally includes half a dozen oysters, a couple of prawns, a handful of shrimps and a yummy seafood cocktail.

Now as much as I enjoy it, I never ever feel anything like the girl in the ad above.

In fact, as most of my colleagues will testify, I'm just as grumpy after seafood as I am before it.

Pic via

Tuesday 9 September 2008

Seinfeld Microsoft update

In an internal all-staff email Microsoft SVP Bill Veghte explains the new Seinfeld ads to employees:

“This first set of ads features Bill Gates and comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Think of these ads as an icebreaker to re-introduce Microsoft to viewers in a consumer context.

Later this month, as the campaign moves into its next phase, we’ll go much deeper in telling the Windows story and celebrating what it can do for consumers at work, at play and on-the-go.”

Can't wait. What about you?

WiFi sneakers

Not the best looking pair of sneakers I've ever seen.

But they are useful if you're looking to access a WiFi connection.

Designed by Stefan Dukaczewsk the shoes have a built in WiFi detector with LED indicators to alert you when you are in a WiFi hot spot.

The LEDs also indicate the strength of the signal.

Very clever. But the design needs a bit more work me thinks.

Monday 8 September 2008

Happy Birthday

Google turned 10 this weekend. It's difficult to remember life without it.

I remember the first time I came across it.

I was Creative Director at an agency called Circle in London. Way back in 2000.

Which means Google was almost two years old by the time I discovered it.

Be interesting to know how many people were using it then compared to now. Just a fraction of the number I'd imagine.

Sunday 7 September 2008

It's Fathers Day

I am lost for words. Literally.

Saturday 6 September 2008

It's just down there

Very clever directional signage for German 'adult' store Beate Uhse.

And yet it's also such an obvious idea.

Which makes it a big idea for me.

Friday 5 September 2008

Controlling your digital world

Back in 2001 I worked on a project for Hewlett Packard that positioned the home computer as the centre of your digital world.

It was a bit ahead of its time to be honest.

Things are pretty different today though. The computer is now an important device in most households.

Having said that the computer is about to be replaced at the centre of our digital lives by the mobile phone.

Nokia has long said that it is in the mobile computing market not the mobile phone market.

And since its arrival a year or so ago the iPhone has taken that mantra and run with it.

Thanks to the Remote app I can control my iTunes from anywhere in the house using my iPhone.

It doesn't stop there. Before we know it we'll be able to download apps to control most things in the house from the iPhone.

In fact this is already happening to a certain extent.

Companies like Creston, Lifeware and Control-4 all have downloadable apps that can control everything from the air-conditioning to household lighting.

I wonder if Alexander Graham Bell foresaw any of this when he invented the telephone all those years ago?

How many million?

A major disappointment. What more can I say?

Thursday 4 September 2008

Ghostbusters goes digital

In a strange and unexpected move, Sony has just released the first ever movie on a USB stick.

Quite why they chose the 25 year old Ghostbusters to do this is anyone's guess.

The Ghostbusters stick retails for around $70. Which ain't cheap.

In fact I could easily purchase a dvd of the movie and a USB stick and still have change from $50.

According to Sony the movie can also be downloaded from the stick to your PC or Mac.

However because it is encoded with some kind of copyright protection you need to have the USB stick inserted in your computer to actually watch the movie.

I love the idea of this thing but somehow I can't see them selling that many.

Not at that price with those DRM issues.

Wednesday 3 September 2008

Absolute zero idea

The new James Bond film Quantum of Solace opens in cinemas later this year.

As with all recent Bond films there are dozens of brand and product tie-ins.

The weirdest one, in my eyes anyway, is Coke Zero.

Actually Coke Zero isn't the problem. It's their Bond related idea.

Some clever clogs has decided to rebrand Coke Zero as Coke Zero Zero Seven.

Have these people never seen a Bond film?

It's double O seven. Not zero zero seven.

End of story.

Tuesday 2 September 2008

Heading over the hill

Asked by Adweek to comment on the$30million age-discrimination suit filed by 53 year old McCann's exec George Hayes, fellow too old for adland victim Dorothy Higgins had this to say:

"Baby boomers always say that 40 is the new 30 [and] 50 is the new 40.

In advertising, 50 is the new 65. As soon as you hit that barrier, you're considered old."

Sadly at 53 years of age, George Hayes is still 20 years too young to run as the Republican candidate in the upcoming US Presidential election.

Monday 1 September 2008

Banksy in New Orleans

Banksy was in New Orleans recently.

I thought his comment below quite timely, especially given the impending arrival of yet another fearsome hurricane.

"I looked out the window of the taxi on the drive into New Orleans and remarked, 'There's still so much devastation. I can't believe they haven't cleaned this mess up.'

The driver stared at me and said this part of the city wasn't affected by the hurricane - It's always looked like this."

Click here for more pics of Banksy's trip to New Orleans.

Hard to edit

That has to be one of the longest headlines I've ever seen.

And yet I wouldn't cut a word.


Blogosphere goes mobile

The latest Marketing magazine is out now featuring my regular Around The Blogosphere column.

This month I take a look at the arrival of the iPhone down under and how it is going to kick start mobile marketing in Australia.

Click here to take a look and be sure to join the Blogosphere conversation by leaving a comment.