Monday 28 February 2011

Cool credit

There is money to be made in niche markets. Especially in the internet age.

And nowhere does niche better than Japan.

It's a place where even sub-culture groups have sub-cultures.

Anime however is anything but. It's totally mainstream. As anyone who's been to Japan will tell you.

Which is why it should not come as a surprise to see the introduction of anime related credit cards.

The one in the picture is from the popular game Love Plus.

Best of all the card also comes with a student ID card from the Towano Private School featured in the game.

Can you imagine a bank in Australia doing something like this?

I certainly can't.

Friday 25 February 2011

Books and shelves

When I was a kid most people I knew had collections of books and records.

These were proudly and openly displayed in lounge rooms and hallways.

When CDs arrived nothing really changed.

Only real difference was CDs required a lot less shelf space than records.

Fast forward just a few brief years and my teenage children both have quite extensive music collections.

Except you can only hear their music not see it. As their music exists only as digital files.

With the uptake of the Kindle and iPad who's to say that book laden shelves won't one day fall from favour.

And even more hard to fathom - libraries may soon exist only as websites from which you download books.

I'll all for change and progress. But a world without books sounds like a very different world to me.

Thursday 24 February 2011

Nuff said

Wednesday 23 February 2011

Uniqlooks from Uniqlo

The clever digital ideas keep on coming from Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo.

They've done dancing girls. Clocks and calenders. And all sorts of Twitter related promotions.

Now they've launched their own street style website starring you the consumer.


Best described as a place for people to upload and share photos of themselves in Uniqlo clobber.

Which when you think about it is really not that interesting.

Yet somehow when Uniqlo does it you can't help loving it.

Click here to go take a look.

Tuesday 22 February 2011

Chanel makes me smile

The cosmetics category is responsible for more crap ads than any other I think.

Of course there are always a few exceptions to the rule but generally cosmetics ads are just plain bad.

This lovely little film for Channel really made me smile.

It's kind of unusual in that it plays with the product rather than showing the benefits of it.

Wich means in theory it shouldn't work. But it does.

I'd love to know who did it.

Monday 21 February 2011

Facebook at work

According to a recent US survey access to Facebook is blocked by more workplaces than any other site.

Which for me says one of two things:

Either people are wasting way to much time on Facebook or businesses think that people are wasting too much time on Facebook.

So what did those workplace timewasters do at work before Facebook came along?

I reckon they chatted with friends on the phone.

And more recently probably spent a lot of time chating on MSN Messenger.

Facebook just takes the plce of those two chat devices.

So it stands to reason that in workplaces where Facebook is blocked more people spend more time gasbagging on the phone.

Obviously I have no hard evidence of this. But I have an inkling that it is probably the case.

What I also miagine is happening is people are beating the system by accessing Facebook on their mobile phones instead.

Which kinda makes me smile to be honest.

Love to hear what you think.

Sunday 20 February 2011

Bill and Wall St

This ad ran in 1984. The same year that Apple launched the Macintosh. Obviously '84 was a big year for computers.

Friday 18 February 2011

Writer or creative?

Back in 2000 when I was working in London I met with a headhunter about a couple of job opportunities.

The women in question dealt mainly with digital roles.

Anyway the meeting was going well until the women posed the following rather odd question:

"How can you be a creative director if you're a copywriter?'

I'm sure you can imagine my response.

Fast forward to quite recently when I was approached by a large digital agency who were looking for a creative director.

I had three meetings with key people, all of them over beers, before someone asked me the same question:

"How can you be a creative director if you're a copywriter?'

I decided there and then the role was not for me.


Because ours is an ideas business.

Not a design business.

What I wanna know is when all those people still clinging to the terms like 'pure play digital' are going to come to terms with this.

Thursday 17 February 2011

Wild side too wild?

If there's one thing that really shits me it's ads taking well known songs and using them out of context.

Case in point - this new HP ad which uses a bastardisation of Lou Reed's Walk on the wild side.

Here's some snippets from the song's original lyrics.

"Shaved her legs and then he was a she"

"But she never lost her head, even when she was giving head"

"Then I guess she had to crash, Valium would have helped that bash"

Don't get me wrong. I'm not criticising the song. In fact I've loved it since I was a kid.

But why oh why would Hewlett Packard want to associate their family friendly brand with the kind of imagery that Walk on the wild side brings so vividly to life?

Wednesday 16 February 2011

Product placement

The UK has just introduced a product placement law.

That's the logo above.

Yeah I know - it looks like a driver's probationary plate!

Given pretty much every TV show and film features some sort of product placement I'm wondering if the introduction of this legislation has actually missed the boat.

It's also not that big a deal to be honest as the logo only has to appear for 3 seconds at the start and end of a show.

And how will the logo look onscreen I hear you wondering.

Well it has to appear in a corner of the screen and be the same size as any network logo or watermark.

Hardly worth the effort if you ask me.

Tuesday 15 February 2011

Wash & care

Very cute (if a little long) video for Levis.

Yet another example of a brand using social awareness for brand association.

I'd love to see the strategy and insights that led to this initiative.

Not because I'm a sceptical but because I'm genuinely interested.

The TM on the word waterless is a bit of a worry.

Plus the modern denim industry is basically built upon treatments and washes.

So I'll be watching this campaign to see what eventuates.

Monday 14 February 2011

Mmm... Pantone cookies

Hat tip to Kirsty for putting me on to these delectable Pantone cookies by the very talented Kim Neill.

Friday 11 February 2011

The future is here

Still not convinced that the advertising industry is standing on the cusp of a new age?

Well news from the world of Y&R confirms that the old days are officially over.

This morning global chief of Y&R Hamish McLennan announced he was leaving due to family reasons.

That’s big news. Obviously.

But even bigger news and the reason for this post is the man who is set to replace him – David Sable.

In case you don’t know who he is David Sable is the CEO of Wunderman worldwide.

Over the last 10 years Sable has been a driving force behind Wunderman being named No.1 CRM network and No.4 digital network by Advertising Age.

So his appointment to the top job at Y&R signals, I believe, an acknowledgement of the importance of the things that have made Wunderman so successful – Data and Digital.

Under McLennan’s leadership Y&R was named No.2 creative network at Cannes.

Imagine what an industry powerhouse it could and should become if it applies Sable’s knowledge and passion for data and digital with that creative firepower.

Of course I could be completely wide of the mark with my thinking.

But somehow I don’t think I am.

Thursday 10 February 2011

Best fans ever

I posted the other day about how I'm not a big fan of all the hype surround the Superbowl.

But even an old curmudgeon like me can't help but love this ad.

It's almost as cool as The Fonz.


Wednesday 9 February 2011

Latest from the blogosphere

Better late than never, I finally got around to posting my most recent column for Marketing magazine to Around The Blogosphere. This month I reflect on a wonderful bookstore I discovered and what the arrival of devices like the iPad could mean for that shop. Love to hear your thoughts so please feel free to leave a comment. Click here to go take a look.

Tuesday 8 February 2011

Tarrantino does Superbowl

Those who know me know I'm a fan of many sports.

One sport I don't get though is gridiron.

I could go on forever about why but in essence it all seems to be about gaining a few metres of ground.

Which is a bit dull when compared to AFL or soccer.

What I would watch though is gridiron with Tarrantino behind the camera.

Or Wes Anderson or Godard for that matter.

Not sure how this would rate but I'd definitely watch it.

Monday 7 February 2011

Speaking my language

I was in Sydney over the weekend and as I usually do when I'm there I made a pilgrimage to Deus ex Machina in Camperdown.

In my opinion it's one of the best retail experiences going around.

Their attention to detail in everything they do is as finely tuned as the bikes they build and sell.

The pic above is the price tag on an old school Kawasaki WS 650.

Great copywriting don't you think?

I particularly like the way they rate their engine modificaton from mild to blustery.

Can't imagine a mainstream bike or car dealer doing that. Ever.

Friday 4 February 2011

Have you liked us yet?

Another dose of adland observation from my old friend Jetpacks.

Give it a click if you want a bigger and better look.

Thursday 3 February 2011

What the!?

An early but definite contender for headline of the year.

Wish I'd written it!

Seriously big bucks

As is often the case at this time of year there is much chatter on the blogosphere about Super Bowl advertising.

And every year the cost of running a 30 second spot seems to get higher and higher.

So the news that a 30 second spot costs around $3 million shouldn't come as a surprise.

Which of course it doesn't.

But honestly.... Three Million Dollars!?

Utterly ridiculous if you ask me.

Especially when you stop to consider that is merely the cost of the airtime.

Which makes me wonder:

a) What the annual marketing budget of a Super Bowl advertiser is.

b) What percentage of that budget is spent on that one Super Bowl spot.

c0 What the typical ROI on that ad would be.

If you know, please leave the answer in the comments.

Wednesday 2 February 2011

What year is it anyway?

I remember a time when Motorola was the must have mobile phone.

Sadly that was many years ago.

And I can't help thinking that this ad isn't going to worry anyone at Apple whatsoever.

That's if its target is Apple. Which I suspect it is.

Tuesday 1 February 2011

The social map

I don't use Gmail but substitute any other email service and I think you'd have to agree this map is pretty spot on.