Tuesday 31 August 2010

Stones gathering moss

Years ago I became a member of the Rolling Stones fan club.

Not because I'm a mad fan but because it gave me early access to concert tickets.

And having seen them live a couple of times I'd say it was worth joining.


Everytime I get an email from The Stones they seem to be hawking another piece of brand damaging merchandise.

I know they're getting old. But surely they have more than enough money to fund their retirement?

The kind of stuff I'm talking about includes merchandise that The Stones would have laughed at back in their late 60's/early 70's prime.

With the just announced Stones' Monopoly the absolute worst example of all.

Honestly! One minute you're hoovering up half of Bolivia and making a film called Cocksucker Blues and the next you're getting rich off people putting hotels on Park Lane.

Obviously in our brand obsessed times this sort of stuff appeals to many people.

But as far as I'm concerned it's as damaging to authenticity of The Stones brand as the family friendly 4WD Cayenne is to the Porsche brand.

Monday 30 August 2010

Bye Bye Blockbuster

I won my first advertising award around fifteen years ago.

It was for Blockbuster.

Actually it was for Blockbuster Music. Their short lived musical megastore.

Today I was reading about the imminent closure of Blockbuster.

I haven’t been in a Blockbuster store for ages so I doubt I’ll miss them.

But it got me thinking about the impact of digital on their business.

Back in 1995 Blockbuster music sold CDs and lots of them.

And Blockbuster Video rented videos by the bucketload. So much so that it looked like cinemas were in trouble.

Fast forward to 2010 and cinemas seem to be doing okay.

But videos are long gone and CDs will join them very soon.

Not to mention Blockbuster stores.

That is an astonishing amount of change in just fifteen years.

And it makes my award winning work for Blockbuster Music look like something from the Don Draper era.

Friday 27 August 2010

The future is here

Back in the mid-nineties Ben Stiller created The Cable Guy.

I'm sure you're familiar with the film which starred Jim Carey.

In one key scene Carey's character rambles on about the way things will be in the future.

Turns out it was quite a visionary rant.

Which may explain why Ben Stiller was invited to talk at Cannes this year.

Anyway here's Carey's rant:

"Soon every American home will integrate their television, phone and computer.

You'll be able to visit the Louvre on one channel, or watch female wrestling on another.

You can do your shopping at home, or play Mortal Kombat with a friend from Vietnam.

There's no end to the possibilities

Thursday 26 August 2010

Cut it out

Somewhere out there in the blogosphere a hardcore direct marketer just saw this wall sticker and came over all goose bumpy.

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Music & Money

It's hard to believe that the much hyped launch of Microsoft's Windows-95 was fifteen years ago.

The campaign was much talked about at the time mostly because of its use of the Rolling Stones song Start me up.

They paid a squillion dollars to secure the rights. And it was the first time The Stones had ever licensed one of their songs for advertising.

Today my friend Mona put me onto an interesting yet little known story about the ad.

According to head of Windows Brad Silverberg, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (the writers of the song) delivered a live version of the track rather than the expected studio version.

The reason why?

Well apart from Jagger and Richards many of the band members playing on the live version were hired hands.

So the bulk of the money from Microsoft would have gone to Jagger and Richards.

Sneaky bastards!

Luckily for the other Stones members Microsoft stuck to their guns and demanded the original track.

Tuesday 24 August 2010

Bag a building

Is there anything uglier than scaffolding in front of a beautiful old building?


But whether there is or there isn't I really love the way that Christian Dior have camouflaged their building update with a huge handbag.

Really nice don't you think?

Although they're not the first fashion house to do such a thing.

She's a cutter!

I love Japan and Japanese culture. But some of the things they dream up are often kinda perlexing. This ad for a Japanese stanley knife is one of those things. What the!?

Monday 23 August 2010

Death by committee

I spent a fair bit of time this weekend driving on the Nepean Highway and Punt Rd.

These are two of the busiest arterial roads in Melbourne and as such there are lots of billboards on display.

Most of them are 48 sheeters or supersites. Massive canvases for creativity.

Yet I did not see one single billboard that made me wish I’d created it.

Not one.

This is an appalling situation I think. But who is to blame?

I know a lot of creative people. And in my experience no creative sets out to produce boring advertising.

So why are billboards so boring?

I suspect the blame lies with the client. Not a single person though. A committee.


Because way too many people are reluctant to go out on a limb these days.

And the easiest way to avoid doing this is to ask somebody else’s opinion.

So much so that the ad ends up turning into something created by committee.

And we all know that committees never produce anything original/unexpected or interesting.

Friday 20 August 2010

Made from beer

Before you watch this make sure you that turn up your speakers so you can fully appreciate this slow motion insight to Aussie blokes down the pub.

Thursday 19 August 2010

Nice shot Roger

Is it real? Who knows.
It certainly looks real enough to me.

Wednesday 18 August 2010

The Beatles' Principles

An unexpected surprise landed in my inbox this morning.

I think it's been taken from a business magazine. But I'm not completely sure.

It is however definitely worth sharing with you. Enjoy!

The Beatles' Principles

Principle #1: Invest in and build face time between team members long before they are required to appear together.

Principle #2: Evolve your “songs” and bring the same level of ideas, new perspectives, excitement, and enthusiasm to your hundredth meeting with a client that you brought to the first.

Principle #3: Help team members become brands-within-a-brand by giving them a song — an idea or proposal — that will help them to shine.

Principle #4: Put exceedingly diverse professionals on the same team, mix specialists with generalists, and foster friendly competition to produce the best ideas.

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Hot stuff

Sometimes you come across an idea so damn obvious you can't believe that nobody has thought of it before.

This is surely one of those ideas.

It's hardly setting the world of creative thinking on fire.

But it definitely made me smile. A lot.

Thanx to Brian for his pic.

Monday 16 August 2010

Latest from Blogosphere

I get so busy these days I often forget to post my column from Marketing Magazine. So here it is. A few weeks late but now online for non Aussie residents to read, share and comment on.

Friday 13 August 2010

Pure refreshment

I know it's stating the beedin' obvious but they really don't make 'em like this anymore. Absolute classic!

Moshi Moshi!

Annoyingly I'm still waiting for my new iPhone to come into stock.

When it arrives I very much doubt I'll be rushing out to get me a bluetooth enabled Moshi Moshi headset.

But I have to admit they're pretty gorgeous.

Thursday 12 August 2010

Bright idea

This is one of the best ideas I've seen in ages. Makes me wonder why someone hasn't developed a paint that does the same thing so you can buy Bright Bikes rather than make them.

Wednesday 11 August 2010

Bitchin' brew

Over the years Jazz has always had an association with drugs of one sort or another.

So I guess it should come as no surprise that a US craft brewery has created a beer to tie in with the 40th anniversary of Miles Davis' groundbreaking Bitches Brew album.

I love this kind of brand extension.

Although I'm not sure whose brand benefits the most. The brewerey or Miles?

I also love that like many craft beers Bitches Brew is definitely an aquired taste.

Although it's a taste I absolutely love.

Click here for more info. Thanx to Mona.

Tuesday 10 August 2010

Please look away

As anyone who has ever worked with me will tell you I hate borrowed interest in advertising.

And I'm sorry but surely this poster for a new Reebok shoe is totally borrowed interest.

I don't care what the product benefit is I just can't see why the brand needs to stoop to bloody great posters of a naked Kelly Brook.

Of course Britain's Daily Mail doesn't have a problem with borrowed interest but they do have a big problem with Kelly baring her bits.

They claimed that "Kelly's 'killer curves' are certain to cause serious or possibly even fatal accidents as excited male drivers crane their necks for a close look."

Which is probably true to be honest. But I'd much rather they called for a ban on the ad because of borrowed interest rather than public safety.

Monday 9 August 2010

Everything new is eventually old

This utterly charming campaign of vintage ads for social media sites was developed by Brazilian advertising agency Moma for a seminar on the topic everything new today will be old tomorrow. Kinda cute don't you think?

Friday 6 August 2010

Up or down size?

Print ad by TBWA/Yehosua in Israel to promote the healthier options to the McDonalds menu.

Interesting idea.

But for McDonalds? Come on!

Call me a cynic but I'd have thought they should've included an XXL tag too.

Thursday 5 August 2010

Dan Wieden honoured

After being honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by CLIO last year Dan Wieden is now going to be inducted into the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame. Never has there been a more deserving recipient.

Wednesday 4 August 2010


The Old Spice campaign has had much coverage in the trade press and blogosphere of late.

As it should because it is a sensational campaign.

What I love about it though is the fact that it is driven by writing.

Yes writing.

So many award winning ads today feature little or no dialog. Just music and perhaps a voice over at the end.

The Old Spice work however is the result of some top notch wordsmithing.

If you’re an aspiring copywriter I suggest you watch as many of the Old Spice ads and videos as you possibly can.

Actually don’t watch them as much as listen to them. Closely.

Get a feel for the rythym. The way the words tumble effortlessly.

Don’t attempt to mimmick them or write like them.

Just listen to the way the words fit together.

Because I very much doubt you’ll hear better writing for advertising this year.

Tuesday 3 August 2010

To achieve greatness


I don't know what the budget would've been for this ad but the opportunity to have Wim Wenders direct your work can't come cheap.

To be honest I'm not sure how big an idea this is but Wim definitely endows it with a great deal of class.

Monday 2 August 2010


Fuck I hate election ads.

Nagging whingy voiceovers.

Clumsy headlines.

Ridiculous statistics.

Mean spirited putdowns.

Piss weak taglines.

The overly dramatic music.

Enough already!

Wake me up when the election is over.