Tuesday 30 June 2009

Great idea bad ad

What makes a good banner ad?

Ask a variety of people that question and you'll get a variety of answers.

If the ad above was sitting on a website you would it get your attention?

I doubt it.

Would it be able to cut through all the news or info that surrounds it on a webpage?

Again I think not.

That headline is so insipid it's not funny.

As an ad it is, I believe, a failure.

And yet it is one of the best banners I've seen in ages!

To see what I mean go and see the actual ad on Bannerblog.

Click here to go there and be sure to click on the 'click' speech bubble.

Once you're done why not pop back here and let me know what you think?

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Straight in the bin

I wrote last week about the launch of a new kind of agency.

Although I am not a fan of their corporate writing style I am interested in what they have to say. So I subscribed to their e-newsletter.

The first issue arrived in my inbox today. I deleted it without even opening it.

Not because I didn't want to read it. But because I thought it was spam.

Take a look at the pic above. Would you have opened an email from someone called FRANk?

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Monday 29 June 2009

Tweet it!

Those who know me know I'm no fan of Michael Jackson. But I have to admit that I am a fan of Billie Tweets. Click here to go check it out.

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Sunday 28 June 2009

Another format dies

I remember when the iMac was first launched there was a lot made of the fact that it didn't have a drive for a floppy disk.

Industry pundits all proclaimed this a massive mistake. Of course it wasn't as the floppy is now long gone.

Same sort of fuss surrounded the launch of the Macbook Air which had no disc drive.

At the time Apple said it was to help keep the weight down and the profile slim.

Of course critics argued it was a major oversight.

Today comes news that Windows 7 may be sold on a USB stick.

This is apparently in response to the fact that most netbooks don't have a disc drive.

Which obviously means that once again where Apple go others follow.

And that the disk as a format may already be on its last legs.

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Friday 26 June 2009

Noxema with Farah

Very sad to hear about the passing of Farah Fawcett today. I still remember the poster of her that used to hang on my bedroom wall as a kid. Sadly this ad is not some of her best work. But you have to love the campaign tagline!

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Car for animals?

Hot on the heels of yesterday's Subaru ad comes this campaign for the Fiat 500.

It's by an agency called Marcel in Paris.

Click on the pics to enlarge and I'm sure you'll agree that the ads have been beautifully photographed.

But is this really the best way to promote the car with the lowest CO2 emission in Europe?

I don't think so.

But then again they really are kinda random. Which I like.

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Thursday 25 June 2009

Tasteful advertising

They don't write headlines like that anymore. I wonder why?

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Wednesday 24 June 2009

Keep looking



The Barrel Monster

Every now and again the mythical figure of Crateman appears to brighten the day of Melbourne's rail commuters.

Although having said that, I can't remember seeing or hearing about him for ages.

Over on Wooster today I discovered an American cousin of Crateman - The Barrel Monster.

He's made from the orange barrels used to fence off construction areas.
Pretty cool don't you think?

Sadly the authorities in North Carolina didn't think so. As they have arrested the artist responsible.

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Tuesday 23 June 2009

Music you can wear

Now here's a fresh idea. An idea so obvious you wonder why it hasn't been done before.

As we all know CD sales are in decline. Downloads are the way to go for the kids of today.

To capitalise on this Mos Def has just released his new album as a t-shirt.

Yes a t-shirt.

It features a print of the cover art on the front and the tracklisting on the back.

Attached to the t-shirt is a swingtag with a download code. How clever is that!

I suspect we'll be seeing a lot more of this kind of marketing idea in the future.

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Monday 22 June 2009

Emperor's New Clothes?

Does Australia really need another agency?

Yes. If they're going to be doing something new, amazing and never been done before.

No. If they use cliches like this:

“We are a new type of agency that goes beyond the world of advertising’s traditional media planning and buying dictate which is too often stuck in the old paradigm."

And how does a "new type of agency" announce their arrival down under?

Pavement stencils!

Kinda interesting me thinks. But not when they are supported by a rationale like this:

"Our targeted stencils go some way to support this point by challenging the accepted norms of targeting broad audiences “P25-54″ (all people aged 25-54) and the obsession of accountability by percentages such as 48.76% 2+ reach etc."

Far be it from little old me to tell a global media agency how to go about their business, but perhaps they might want to get a copywriter to look at their PR releases.

After all you can't be a "new type of agency" when you're peddling the same old corporate speak as everyone else.

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Saturday 20 June 2009

Thought for the day

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Friday 19 June 2009

What's wrong with adland?

Speaking recently to Contagious renowned creative Patrick Collister, the man behind The Won Report, gave his thoughts on the current state of the advertising industry:

‘There are too many clients....Every meeting is attended by at least six people all of whom have the power to kill an idea and only one (if you're lucky) has the power to buy."

He also had this to say on the global holding companies:

"It is not in shareholder's interests to be 'risky' - i.e. have ideas which no-one can predict will work or not. Thus multi-nationals, run by managers who report in to shareholders, will always be conservative organisations."

Pretty sobering thoughts don't you think?

And yet just days ago the D&AD awarded four of their hen's teeth like Black Pencils. Two of them to Droga5 NY!

Which surely goes to prove that in times of adversity true creativity really is the only way to succeed.

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Thursday 18 June 2009

Show me the money!

If you're trying to kickstart your career as a creative please set aside 3 minutes of your time to watch this video.

It may well be the best career move you make.


Because it may make you think twice about working on something on spec.

And why is that important to a person at the beginning of their career?

Because once you start giving away your intellectual property it will get harder and harder for you to demand that people pay you what you and your ideas are worth.

Free may be the most popular word in the English language but it isn't the smartest.

After all why would anyone want to pay you when they know that you're happy to do it for nothing?

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Wednesday 17 June 2009

Ads that over promise

There was an article in the Sunday Age on the weekend about the imagery used by American Apparel in their advertising.

Here is a selection of quotes from the article:

"soft-porn imagery"

"semi-naked female models"

"provocative poses"

"blatant use of sex"

Believe it or not all of those quotes were taken from the first paragraph of the Sunday Age article.

Personally I'm not that bothered by the American Apparel imagery. Sex has been used to sell for years. Especially in the world of fashion.

My issue is one of over promise and under deliver.

Have you ever been in an American Apparel store? It's like going to the Bonds warehouse. But with a bigger range and better colours.

Maybe I'm missing something but the stores and the clothes they sell are nowhere near as sexy as the ads portray them to be.

Same goes for Calvin Klein.

Old Calvin has been causing controversy for years with his sexualised imagery. Again the clothes and instore experience are anything but sexy in my eyes.

His latest billboard in NY however is a whole 'nother story.

Click the pic to enlarge. Go on - you know you want to.

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Tuesday 16 June 2009

Future thinking

Clicked on a link on Twitter that took me to the Manifesto of Futurism.

It was written 100 years ago. Yet many of its points are as inspirational today as they were a century ago.

Here's two of my faves:

* We intend to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and fearlessness.

* Courage, audacity, and revolt will be essential elements of our poetry.

Definitely words to live by. Don't you think?

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Monday 15 June 2009

Twitter commerce

Who says you can't make money from Twitter? Certainly not Dell.

They've netted around $2million in revenue from offers broadcast exclusively over Twitter.

That's a pretty impressive figure, I'm sure you'd agree.

But not when you consider that Dell's revenue for 2008 was in the region of $61billion!

Still it's only early days for Dell on Twitter. So I'd imagine they'd see these results as very encouraging.

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Saturday 13 June 2009

The epitome of style

How beautiful is this packaging? I think it's absolutely stunning. These two are from a fabulous Flickr set of mid 20th century illustrative packaging, advertising and more. I recommend you click here to go take a look - you're sure to be inspired.

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Friday 12 June 2009

Post it to video

I am a major user of Post-it Notes.

I have them stuck on my computers at work and home. I have them stuck on my desk and office window. And I even have one currently stuck on my wallet.

So as you can imagine I love this quirky little video by Savannah College of Art and Design student Bang-yao Liu.

Apparently it took him 3 months to plan and 4 days to shoot. And he used an incredible 6,000 Post-its!

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Thursday 11 June 2009

Opportunity knocked

The collapse of a road in Sydney last week due to a water pipe leakage was a major news story.

A perfect opportunity for a topical ad.

Congrats to the agency behind this one for insurance company AAMI.

I think it may have been Ogilvy. But I'm not sure.

Suffice to say it appeared within 48 hours of the story breaking.

The 'Lucky you're with AAMI' tagline has been around for ages. Never has it been more appropriate.

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Wednesday 10 June 2009

Kids of today

Tuesday 9 June 2009

Looks familiar

There was much talk in adland a year or two ago about the use of Flickr images in a campaign for Virgin Mobile.

The people behind the ads defended what they had done by arguing that the Flickr pics were available to be used under Creative Commons.

This year's 'borrowed photo' story comes from Czech company Grazie.

Forget Creative Commons. They simply took this hi-res pic which they found on the internet and used it for their ad campaign!

The lady who owns the original pic posted it onto her Facebook as well as a couple of other social media sites. Nothing unusual about that.

By coincidence she has a Facebook friend who lives in the Czech Republic. And it was this friend who spotted the billboard.

Quite how Grazie got hold of the pic is anyone's guess. Stealing it then using it uncredited is pretty poor form though. Don't you think?

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Monday 8 June 2009

Around the Blogosphere

This month's issue of Marketing magazine is out now. Packed as always with great reading.

In my regular Around the Blogosphere column I take a look at the importance of getting connected in these times of recession and headcount reductions etc.

Click here to go take a look. If you know of any other helpful ways for people to get connected be sure to leave a comment.

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Friday 5 June 2009

Seriously smooth

Totally inspired 'only in Japan' style advertising from O&M Tokyo.
Love it!

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Thursday 4 June 2009

Less = More

Good to see this excellent idea by Saatchis in Sydney recognised at the Outdoor Awards tonight.

In fact it took out Best of Show.

The campaign for the Toyota Yaris saw Toyota donate 2/3 of its billboards to selected charities.

A very clever way to bring to life the tag line Uses less, gives more.

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Audrey has had a makeover

One of Melbourne's most loved advertising icons returns to her rightful place on the skyline today.

Audrey the Skipping Girl has been away for restoration for several months.

But now she's back. Perched as always above the streets of Richmond.

Hopefully even cuter than ever after her makeover.

Non Melbournians may want to click here to find out more about our beloved Audrey.

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Wednesday 3 June 2009

Not your average website

North Carolina agency Boone Oakley have done something seriously different for their website.

It's a YouTube video!

You're probably wondering, as I did, but what about links to work or clients etc?

Well they're all clickable from within the video.

Click them and they launch another video.

A very innovative and offbeat approach to the agency website.

If I was a client I'd definitely be interested in talking to them.

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Tuesday 2 June 2009

What happened to Lester?

In my early days on Twitter I interacted a lot with Lester Wunderman.

He's the man with his name above the door of the agency where I work.

At least I think it was Lester Wunderman.

I recently wrote about Lester on Twitter for the ADMA Update magazine.

There's a scan of the article over on the Wunderman Australia blog.

Click here to go take a look. When you get there be sure to click the pic to enlarge for reading.

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Monday 1 June 2009

Starting to sag

Is it just me or are Wonderbra ads in need of a bit of a lift?

This one's by Publicis Conseil in France.

Sure it's funny. Well kinda.

But it's a hell of a long way from the standard set by the original Eva Herzigova poster all those years ago.

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