Friday 29 July 2011

Oh dear...

Show me the money!

Google adwords.

They seem so innocuous.

Especially compared to big budget 60 second TV spots.

But believe it or not those little classified style ads account for a seriously huge chunk of Google's income.

So what are the top 5 words that brands and people want to buy for their adwords campaigns?

* Insurance

* Loans

* Mortgage

* Attorney

* Credit

Weird thing is I can't recall ever searching for any of those five words.

What about you?

Thursday 28 July 2011

Wisdom of Hegarty

This quote and hundreds more pearls of wisdom can be found in John Hegarty's recently published book.

I've read it and it's a damn good read.

Click here to get yourself a copy.

Wednesday 27 July 2011

Google is broken

I was searching a retailing article on Google for my wife last night when it returned this charming error message.

Love the hand drawn broken robot.

But most of all I love the honest statement "That's all we know."


Although I never did find that article!

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Bacon Ipsum

Regular visitors to BrandDNA will know of my fondness for the random and silly.

And it doesn't get much sillier than Bacon Ipsum.

It's like Lorem Ipsum but with added meat.

Here's a sample:

Bacon ipsum dolor sit amet flank biltong meatloaf, pork belly meatball boudin bacon.

Much taster than Lorem Ipsum don't you think?

Click here for the Bacon Ipsum generator.

Monday 25 July 2011


News broke late last week that Brazilian agency Moma Propaganda had had their Lions taken away from them by Cannes officials.

Turns out the ads in question for auto brand Kia were scams.

Surprise surprise!

I reckon even a work experience kid could tell that an auto client would never run "raunchy" ads like these.

So why didn't anyone on the jury pick it up?

Similar thing happened last year with yet another Brazilian agency having to hand back the Grand Prix for a Scrabble campaign.

Given how expensive it is to enter work into Cannes surely there should be far more stringent entry criteria?

According to the chief executive of the festival Philip Thomas, "Rules state clearly that if requested, proof must be provided that campaigns ran and were legitimately created for a fee-paying client."

Perhaps proof should be provided with the entry. Along with the signature of the client.

Friday 22 July 2011

I'm Comic Sans, Asshole

From an original monologue by Mike Lacher which first appeared at McSweeney's.

Thursday 21 July 2011


My former art director and good friend Lee Callister is mad about poker and typography.

So I reckon he'd love Helveticards.

A pack of traditional playing cards that are anything but traditional.

Cool. Clean. Crisp.

Get yours here for only $10 a pack.

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Hustling via Twitter

Bas van de Poel and Daan van Dam are two young creatives from Holland.

They were looking for a foot in the door at a hot agency.

So they used Twtter. Yes Twitter.

And very cleverly too.

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Cover to cover

I've always had an interest in book cover design.

And of course like many people I also have a soft spot for good old orange Penguin Classics.

To celebrate the late Hunter Thompson's birthday here are four different covers for his book Hell's Angels.

It's quite fascinating how different each of the covers is.

Yet they are for exactly the same book.

Which surely means each of the designers was given the same brief.

And the more I think about this the more I wonder whether book publishers ever do that thing that agency clients like to do.

Combine two or more ideas into one.


But I certainly hope not!

Monday 18 July 2011

Happy accident

Unlucky or badly placed adverts can be found all over the internet.

Nobody ever sets out to create them.

Not the creatives. Nor the media agency.

It's just bad luck.

The makers of GreyAway however hit the jackpot with their ad on the website of Norwegian news site Dagbladet.

Look at the pic closely and it's almost impossible to imagine the juxtaposition of the ad and the news story is anything but intentional.

But it isn't.

Bit of a shame really...

Friday 15 July 2011

Social and success

In the late 90's I set up a Geocities site.

One of the things I loved about Geocities (apart from its DIY ethic) was the strong sense of community.

Which I suspect is why I've always felt that commuty and bringing like minded people together was the key to success on the internet.

Of course this sort of thinking is commonplace now. It even has a name - social media.

So as you can imagine that Clay Shirky quote really got me nodding in agreement.

And it goes a long way to explaining why getting into social media is so important for Google.

Whether or not Google+ is a Facebook killer remains to be seen. But I'll definitely be watching it closely.

Thursday 14 July 2011

Words fail me

Wednesday 13 July 2011

Great work Gaga

I am totally in awe of this ad.

Although having said that I really don't think it is a particularly good ad for Chrome.

In fact now I think about it I really don't know what it has got to do with Chrome at all.

Still a great ad though.

Albeit a great ad for the power of the internet to connect people.

And ultimately a great ad for the power of Gaga to take the old hippie catchcry of "let your freak flag fly" and run with it like no-one has ever run before.

She's a genius. And I say that having never heard any of her music.

Apart from the track in the ad. Obviously.

Tuesday 12 July 2011

July - Around the Blogosphere

Just posted my Around the Blogosphere column for Marketing magazine.

This month I follow and think about a blog post by Ned from Melbourne agency Native Digital.

Click here to go take a look.

Love to hear your thoughts so feel free to leave a comment.

Monday 11 July 2011


Next time you're mumbling and grumbling about privacy on the web take a moment to think about this quote.

Somehow or other pretty much everything's a trade-off when it comes to "free" stuff on the web.

Whether you choose to do anything about it is entirely up to you.

Afro cookie surprise

One of the things I love about going on holiday is seeing brands and products that I am not familiar with.

Obviously you don't see as many in Queensland as you do in Japan or the US but there's still plenty of unexpected surprises lurking on local store shelves.

However nothing I saw on holiday was as silly or clever as this Japanese cookie packaging which landed in my inbox while I was away.

Pretty neat don't you think?

Monday 4 July 2011

Has anyone seen Stan?

If you look closely, very closely, and perhaps squint ever so slightly, you may be able to spot me lazing on the beach in this photo.

And that tropical paradise is where I'll be for the next week. So if BrandDNA seems a little quite you know why.

Friday 1 July 2011

Staying creative