Sunday 31 October 2010

Avoid the word content kids

Just saw this ad on my Facebook.

Love the idea of walking with Steve Waugh the man who never gave up.

But I positively abhor the lazy advertising person who thought it was ok to use the following twaddle in an ad:

"For exclusive, inspiring content, like us here."

Honestly is that the best they could do?

Friday 29 October 2010

Ego or quiet confidence?

I saw The Social Network at an industry screening last night.

Have to say I enjoyed it immensely.

One of the key figures in the film is Sean Parker the creator of Napster played by Justin Timberlake.

Parker is portrayed as a guy who takes great pleasure in thumbing his nose at authority.

Mark Zuckerberg succumbs to his charm and ends up creating his business card from a comment by Parker.

According to myth and legend Zuckerberg's card stated I'm the CEO, bitch.

Ya gotta love that kind of ego and attitude.

But I still think I'd settle for the simple straight talking card favoured by Steve Jobs way back in 1979.

Thursday 28 October 2010

Men's style at the movies

The lovely Karalee tipped me of to this great set of posters inspired by men's style. Love their cool clean simplicity.

The posters were created by Moxy Creative. Click here for more posters in the series as well as the chance to buy them for your bedroom wall..

Graphic is good

Have to say I love this new campaign for Jet Blue by US agency Mullen.

Although as a writer I'm not overly keen on headline driven ads.

In this campaign the headlines work because of the visual style.

Just imagine what these ads would look like if the visuals were replaced by photography.

Or even worse...cliched stock photos.

The campaign would end up as nothing more than a bunch of witty wordplay.

Of course those with an eye for this sort of thing may think that the Jet Blue campaign is strongly reminiscent of W&K London's work for The Guardian.

But who cares.

It's fresh. It's fun. And it's got tonnes of personality.

In fact if I lived in America I'd definitely fly with them.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Whatever happened to QR codes?

I remember pitching an idea using QR codes about two years ago.

I'd seem them used a lot in Tokyo where I'd recently been on holiday.

At the time it was felt that it was too soon as hardly anyone in Australia had a QR code reader.

Fast forward to today and nothing much has changed.

QR codes pop up from time to time but the number of people with readers is still very low.

Which has me wondering if they'll ever take off in Australia?

I suspect not. But then again you never know.

So what do you think?

Tuesday 26 October 2010

No so smart thinking

Advertising junk food to kids is a pretty hot topic these days.

And as you can imagine this kind of advertising results in plenty of complaints to the Advertising Standards Bureau.

One recent example was a kids colouring-in competition on the Smarties website.

Turns out this complaint was rejected as websites sit outside the Code of Conduct.

Obviously these people don't have children.

Because if they did they'd know that the internet is part of their life.

Even more so than television as they get older.

Time for the Standards Bureau to have a bit of a re-think me thinks.

Monday 25 October 2010

Doing it Draper style

As part of an article on today's adland in The Age yesterday, the writer Suzy Freeman Greene wrote a small spin-off column looking at the way Don Draper did it.

Of course Don's fictional so he didn't relly do it. But you know what I mean.

Anyway one of her points was the quaintness of the way Draper presented concepts on an easel.

Well I don't know about you but I don't find anything quaint in this at all.

It's standard business practice is pretty much every pitch I've ever worked on.

And just because the business itself has been transformed by digital doesn't mean everything has.

The A2 mounting board. The loosely drawn scamp. The telling of stories.

These are part and parcel of our business and have been since forever.

And hopefully they always will be.

Friday 22 October 2010

Kinda cute

Years ago when I was working in London we did some of the very first internet page take over ads.

We thought what we were doing was pretty amazing.

So did a lot of other people.

Not anymore.

These days page take overs are a total pain in the arse.

And they annoy me everytime one of them interupts my web experience.

I am however prepared to make an exception for the YouTube take over by the movie Despicable Me.

It's a lotta fun. And quite ingenius.

Click here to go check it out.

Thursday 21 October 2010

Saatchi says

Really fine fine print

This is the end frane from a banner ad I saw today.

It's for the QR share offer.

Obviously financial products require some sort of terms and conditions.

But that is a pathetic attempt by QR.

Plus it's only visible for about a second.

So why bother at all?

Wednesday 20 October 2010

What can I say?

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Very well read

I recently wrote a soon to be published piece for Marketing magazine about the impact of the iPad on bookshops.

Not big chains like Borders or Dymocks but local and specialist bookshops.

As part of my research I discovered that there's a movement in Japan dedicated to the love of well thumbed and worn books.

Known as Konsekihon these people hold get-togethers where people talk about their well loved books.

Rooted in a desire for authenticity the movement could easily be compared to the Japanese fetish for vintage and selvedge denim.

With the astonishing uptake of the iPad I'd be interested to see if the idea of the Konsekihon spreads outside of Japan.

I certainly hope so.

Monday 18 October 2010

Advice from Seth

I've quite literally lifted the wisdom below from Seth Godin's blog.

Hopefully he won't mind.

Because the more people in adland that read it the better the industry will be me thinks.

Demonstrating strength


Defer to others

Avoid shortcuts

Tell the truth

Offer kindness

Seek alliances

Volunteer to take the short straw

Choose the long-term, sacrificing the short

Demonstrate respect to all, not just the obviously strong

Share credit and be public in your gratitude

Risking the appearance of weakness takes strength. And the market knows it.

Friday 15 October 2010

Bookmark a banner

Bookmarkable banner ads. Now there's an interesting idea.

Not sure how many people will use it.

But I definitely will. For 'research' purposes obviously!

Thursday 14 October 2010

Look at my blender

It had to happen. Two of the great virals have come together as one. Just a shame the Blendtec people didn't use the real Old Spice man.

Everybody's talkin'

The old adage that any publicity is good publicy is well and truly proven by the just released Media Value Report from General Sentiment

The report looks at the media coverage (positive and negative) generated by brands.

And top of the list is Apple with over a billion dollars worth of coverage in the media.

You can download the report here.

The Top Ten is as follows:

1. Apple

2. Google

3. Microsoft

4. Yahoo

5. Hewlett-Packard

6. Intel

7. eBay

8. Oracle

9. Nokia

10. Ford

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Old Spice Street

To quote my wife - that's when you know something has really taken off.

Tuesday 12 October 2010

Don't try to be cool

I'm fascinated by the Levis brand.

Have been for as long as I can remember.

As a teenager in South Africa during the final days of the apartheid years I longed for a pair of Levis.

But due to sanctions and political boycotts they were unatainable.

Not long after I came to Melbourne 501's were relaunched to much aclaim.

That red tab became ubiquitous.

Then along came Chevignon, Replay and Diesel.

And suddenly Levis fell out of favour.

At least in Australia.

Claims of the brand's desmise appear to be wishful thinking at best.

Yet here in Australia Levis has lost a large part of its cool.

Not so in Japan or Europe. Where selvedge and authenticity are key parts of the Levis dna.

Whilst in the USA there seems be be a tonne of money being spent on reclaiming the working heritage of Levis.

I suspect that Levis may end up like the big two auto makers Holden and Ford.

They make quality products at an affordable price for everyday people.

But they also have a specialised performance unit that produces hot cars for a niche market.

So too Levis.

All they need to do is stop trying to convince cool people that Levis are cool.

And start building niches.

Because there's plenty of money and brand value to be found in niches.

Monday 11 October 2010

Missing mail

Over the course of my career I have created quite a few direct mail packs.

Many of them have won awards.

When I show my folio to people they always remark on the direct stuff.

I have a lot of friends who have also created award winning direct mail pieces.

So why oh why do I never get any decent direct mail in my mail box?

I get plenty of brown envelopes.

Loads of self-sealing A4 flyers.

And of course way too many posh envelopes containing credit card offers.

But I have never ever looked in my letterbox and gone wow...I wish I'd thought of that!

So where does all the good direct mail go to?

Friday 8 October 2010

Charity goes lateral

Given the political leanings on show during Massive Attack's gig in Melbourne not too long ago I was somewhat surprised to hear they'd licensed one of their songs for a car commercial.

Nothing wrong with advertising cars. I work on them myself.

But the combination of Massive Attack and Lincoln just didn't seem right to me.

Turns out the band are actually donating their monies from the ad to the charitable initiative set up to help clean up the Gulf oil spill.

Meaning what looked suspiciously like a "sell out" was in fact a clever piece of fundraising as lateral thinking.

Thursday 7 October 2010

New from Google

We all know there's more to Google than search.

Now they've put all their fun new stuff in one place.

Although I suspect you won't find Google Wave there!

Wednesday 6 October 2010

Samurai Beer

The Japanese have taken niche marketing to niches I never even knew existed.

Where else but Japan would you find a samurai beer?

Although given their fondness for manga and comics I guess a samurai beer really shouldn't come as a surprise.

What makes this brand interesting to me is the fact that it's a niche product from a mainstream brand.

It's the Japanese equivalent of Fosters releasing a Ned Kelly beer or something similar.

Really can imagine that sort of thing happening here.

But then again given the number of teens drinking alcopops who knows what's possible?

Tuesday 5 October 2010

Good vs Bad

Ever wondered where good ideas come from?

I have. Quite often actually.

And I have to admit I still don't really know.

What I do know is where bad ideas come from.

Well my bad ideas anyway.

And that's the exact same place as the good ones.

Because having bad ideas is part of the process of having a good one.

Sure they may be embarrassing.

But you gotta get the bad ideas out to make way for the good ones.

Trust me on that.

Monday 4 October 2010

The game of type

Never thought I'd see the day someone thought a typographic parlour game was a good idea.

But it seems that day has actually arrived.

Might have to add this to my ever growing list for Santa.

Click here for more info or to buy me a set.

Friday 1 October 2010

Bernbach on creatives

Truly creative people aren't always easy to work with. They can be difficult. Obstinate. Argumentative. But trust me when I say they are worth their weight in gold.