Friday 30 April 2010

Devaluing creativity

Here's yet another idea aimed at devaluing the creative services offered by agencies.

And as is often the case with these crowdsourcing things a lot of people could end up working very hard and not getting paid for it.

Which just plain sucks if you ask me.

Long before I got my first job as a copywriter I offered to work on a creative brief for free.

The Creative Director told me not to do this as I would have been selling myself short.

Which is exactly what these crowdsourcing services do to very talented people.

Of course that won't stop heaps of people giving Slogan Slingers a go.

Which concerns me greatly to be honest.

Because if every individual in our industry doesn't work to create a product that clients value then our industry surely has no future.

Thursday 29 April 2010

Left & right feels right

Wednesday 28 April 2010

Start thinking digital kids

I've been asked to be one of the CDs at the upcoming Portfolio Night in Melbourne.

After agreeing to help I was asked a handful of questions to help people get an idea of my creative philosophy.

One of the things I mentioned was my concern that way too many young people are hawking around folios that consist mainly of print ads.

Of course some CDs like to see folios like this. But I don't.

Research just released by Zenith-Optimedia backs up my opinion I think.


Because it reveals that spending on digital advertising overtook spend on print last year.

12.6% of adspend went onto the internet versus 10.3% on print.

If that statistic isn't enough to make kids shift their focus from print I don't know what is.

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Who writes this stuff?

Sir Mix-a-Lot. Erik Estrada from Chips. An ageing Hulk. And a bunch of kids who probably weren't even born in the 80's dressed in 80's style.


Who on earth writes/approves this sort of stuff?

I'm sure that the cost of buying the song would be more than enough to cover the cost of doing just about anything.

But throw in the cost of engaging the services of two Hollywood has-beens and just imagine what might have been possible.

Wisdom of Bernbach

Monday 26 April 2010

Let's ban Facebook at work!

New research by managed security services company Network Box says that employees visit Facebook twice as often as Google at work.

That’s the kind of damning statistic to really get employers calling for a workplace ban on social media sites.

The research analysed around 13 billion URLs that had been visited by a sample of workplaces during the first quarter of this year.

So they must be accurate right?

Of course they’re accurate but how ‘bout we take a closer look at those Facebook related numbers.

According to Network Box 6.8% off all network traffic went to Facebook and 3.4% went to Google.

So yes Facebook is visited twice as often as Google at work. But it only accounts for 6.8% of all web traffic at work.

Which really isn’t very much at all. Is it?

Friday 23 April 2010

Out of excuses

Love this!

Ads trumpeting how little something costs are usually boring.

And obvious. Not to mention uninspiring.

This however is just lovely.

Click to enlarge the pic and you'll see there's a really nice sign-off too.

Hand scrawled across the bottom it declares "Your'e out of excuses" beside the url.

Bet this ad got a bunch of excuse makers out of their armchairs and into dealerships.

No idea who did it. If you do please let me know via the comments.

Junk mail of the week

There's nothing like wasting a few moments on Lamebook. It's a great source of dumb stuff including this - surely the bestest piece of junk mail ever!

Thursday 22 April 2010

Fresh from Uniqlo

Whenever I work on a website project I always refer to my collection of Uniqlo bookmarks for some inspiration.

They really are in a class of their own I think.

Weird thing is there is often nothing new or innovative in Uniqlo's websites.

Yet they are so fresh. So fun. And completely engaging.

In fact I'll go out on a limb and say they're genuinely loveable.

The new Uniqlo site for jeanswear is a beauty.

It borrows heavily from Gap and Clavin Klein but gives stereotypical denim imagery a serious twist.

Don't believe me? Click here and go take a look.

Wednesday 21 April 2010

Self importance

During my career I have worked in what used to be called mainstream advertising, direct marketing and digital agencies.

Believe it or not all three of these agency types have one thing in common - they all think that what they do is a specialist area and of more importance than the other two.

I'm going to go out on a limb now and say that they are all wrong. None of them are as important as they think.


Because any agency that puts itself or its reputation before the consumer is using the wrong approach.

Customer centric communications might sound like a buzzword but that is what we should be doing.

If the work we produce doesn't have the consumer at its core then why oh why would a consumer be interested in it?

Of course I'm only an under-educated over-opiniated copywriter. So I could be completely wrong.

But I doubt it!

Tuesday 20 April 2010

Note to self...

Monday 19 April 2010

Email in safety

If you're anything like me I'm sure that you protective of your email address.

So if you've ever used AT and DOT in a Twitter message than you should click here and get yourself a Scrim.

It's an easy to use service that creates a short safe link for your email that you can share with ease.

Sunday 18 April 2010

Time to blow out some candles

This is post number 1,780 for Brand DNA which turns four today.

No idea where those four years have gone nor where I found the time to make so many posts.

Love and thanx to everyone who has ever stopped by, left a comment or linked to me.

Thursday 15 April 2010

No limits

With the right kind of budget just about anything is possible.

But the kind of briefs I like are the ones with restrictions.


The quote above by designer Craig Oldham says it all.

Every wall you come up against when creating or developing an idea should be treated as just another chance to use your creativity.

Anyone can have an idea. Although not always easy to have they are generally free.

But it takes real creativity to make an idea happen.

And if you can make great ideas happen when limits of time or budget or media are placed upon you then you should have a successful and fulfilling career.

Wednesday 14 April 2010

The ethics of Tiger advertising

There's been a lot of talk about the recent Tiger Woods tvc for Nike.

To be honest I don't really care about Tiger Woods or the ad.

What troubles me is the voiceover.

Publicity surrounding the ad says it's Tiger's father asking him questions.

It's not. Well it is sorta. But it's not.

The voiceover is Tiger's dad. But it's from an interview a couple of years old and he is talking about his estranged wife.

I don't know about you but I find that kind of troubling.

Of course it's merely my opinion but the idea of taking something deeply personal out of context and using it to promote a brand is just plain wrong.

And as for trying to pass off that voice footage as a father questioning his son - surely that's misleading advertising?

If you haven't seen the ad click here to take a look.

Tuesday 13 April 2010

Yaba Daba Cough!!

Imagine running an ad like this these days!


Monday 12 April 2010

Ask any Facebook user what they think whenever the site undergoes a redesign and they're sure to have things to complain about.

So why do popular social media sites feel the need to constantly tinker with their layout?

Or more importantly mess with the brand experience of their so called valued customers?

I've never seen a user experience survey on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or even Foursquare. So why have all of them have changed recently?

Call me a grumpy old git if you want to but most of these changes seem to be nothing more than change for change sake.

And if a redesign requires a five minute video to explain the changes then surely something must be wrong.

Especially as YouTube was a pretty straightforward and easy to use site to begin with.

Yes I admit constant tinkering in the name of improvement is important. Especially in the digital world.

But why oh why do social media sites have to keep on messing with my brand experience?

Sunday 11 April 2010

Food for thought

Friday 9 April 2010

Malcolm McLaren RIP

You're probably wondering what a former punk rock svengali is doing on a blog primarily devoted to brands and communication.

Well guess what he kids - He deserves to be here!

Malcolm McLaren died yesterday aged just 64. Bloody cancer.

Whether you work in marketing, advertising or dabble in social media, you can learn a lot from Malcolm.

Learn how to start a movement.

Learn how to get noticed.

Learn how to market the unmarketable.

Learn how to create a band. I mean brand.

Malcolm McLaren. RIP.

Pic stolen from an ageing punk rocker!

Level headed fragrance

Forget the metrosexual market. Here's a fragrance for tradesmen.


I'm not completely sure if this is a real product or prototype but I reckon Aussie blokes would go for this in a big way.

Either way it's a very clever piece of creative thinking by the Art Lebedev Studio.

Thursday 8 April 2010

Your site on an iPad

Still a few weeks till the iPad goes on sale in Australia. To get a look at what your favourite websites will look like on it click here and give the iPad-Peek a try.

Wednesday 7 April 2010

The iPad - Will it blend?

Certainly didn't take long for Tom Dickson from Blendtec to get his hands on the hottest Apple product in town and try to blend it.

Obviously the iPad is too big to actually fit into a blender. But that didn't pose too much of a problem to Tom!

Around the Blogosphere

I've just posted last month's Around the Blogosphere column to its dedicated blog.

It's an interesting read. Although I would say that wouldn't I?

Click here to go take a look. Feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment.

Who writes this stuff?

Sir Mix-a-Lot. Erik Estrada from Chips. An ageing Hulk. And a bunch of kids who probably weren't even born in the 80's dressed up in 80's style.


I just can't see how getting old fat blokes to advertise your product is going to help sell it.

But then again it is a chocolate bar. And those things pretty much sell themselves. Don't they?

Tuesday 6 April 2010

Clients from Hell

Client: “I need a web banner to go on”

Agency: “OK, no problem. What are the specs?”

Client: “Specs?”

Agency: “Yeah, you know, width, height, files size limitations what you want on it. Basically all of the information so we don’t get it sent back to us.”

Client: “Jesus Christ you always complicate things, why can’t you ever just do it!”

For more gems like this visit Clients from Hell.

Monday 5 April 2010

Use Skype - Be Brave

UK agency Brave are looking for a junior creative team.

But rather than go about their search the traditional way they're looking at folios via Skype.

Think you've got what it takes to work at Brave? Then click here to find out more.

Better hurry up though. They've already had their first round of folio viewings

Sunday 4 April 2010

Apple's iPad goes old skool

This is one April Fools gag I'm happy to fall for. Or at least I would be if I could get my hands on one.

It's the iCade. This year's contribution to April Fools Day by ThinkGeek.

Pretty damn cute don't you think?

Friday 2 April 2010

Happy Easter

In the spirit of Easter a couple of fun press ads for Zaini chocolates.

Thursday 1 April 2010

Envelope or impact?

I went to a presentation last night by Dylan Taylor the Exec CD of BMF in Sydney.

He spoke about awards and judging award shows. An interesting talk by a very talented man.

Part of his preso focussed on mail as a medium and how he was seeing less and less dimensional mail being produced.

This is something that has troubled me for a while too.

Our inboxes are overloaded with work emails and spam. So email is becoming less and less effective as a direct marketing medium.

I'm hoping this will give rise to a growth in direct mail.

Only one problem - Australia Post.

They are big supporters of the direct marketing industry. As long as your definition of direct is letters or leaflets in standard sized envelopes.

But if you want to do anything out of the ordinary the postal charges are prohibitive to say the least.

Mail a standard DL envelope and it costs around 50c. Mail something the same size but 10mm thick and it could cost up to $5 to mail.

So unless Australia Post come to the party (or you can find a budget delivery company) doing three dimensional ideas through the mail will become a dying art.

Which I think is a damn shame.

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