Friday 30 September 2011

Cool - Are you serious?

I have to admit I was surprised when the headline "Aston Martin is UK's coolest brand" appeared in my RSS feed.

Of course Aston Martin is cool.

James Bond saw to that when he made them cool about 45 years ago.

But in 2011?

Come on!

I reckon that if you took the badge off the bonnet and put an Aston in an expensive car line up 9 out of 10 people would fail to recognise it.

In fact the story in my RSS feed used a pic of the famous 60's James Bond Aston. Not a new one.

So how come it's been chosen as the coolest UK brand?

According to Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the CoolBrands Expert Council;

"Cool is subjective and personal. But being identified as a Cool Brand by the British public and a panel of influential opinion formers implies it is a brand that most Brits wish to own."

Now I don't know about you but I reckon the Aston most Brits want to own isn't the current model. Cool as it may be.

I firmly believe the car they covet (and I do too) is the 1964 DB5 as featured in the Bond film Goldfinger.

Thursday 29 September 2011

Hypnotic thinking

Have no idea who did this very clever little ad for logistics company Allied Pickfords.

Yet I could stare at it for ages.

Not sure if it's a truly campaignable idea.

But it sure is lovely don't you think?

Twitter stats

I think those stats speak for themselves.

So why oh why do so many ad agency suits baulk at the idea of presenting ideas using twitter?

"It's just not mainstream" is the standard response.

Well maybe it's not. And maybe that's a good thing.

Call me naive but surely those numbers must count for something?

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Ad man or mad man?

Way too many clients love blokes like this.

Don't know why.

They just do.


Pic via

Tuesday 27 September 2011

The product sucks

My wife (and kids for that matter) have been on at me to get a dog for as long as I can remember.

After all those years of nagging I suspect I may be coming around.


How else can I explain how much I love this ad?

Although it is a wonderful product demonstration.

Monday 26 September 2011

Rules of rugby

If rugby actually looked as good as it does in this helpful "how to" video Channel Nine might actually broadcast it in prime time here in Melbourne.

Sadly it doesn't. So they don't.

Friday 23 September 2011

Agency minimalism

That pic above is a screen grab of a new website for New York agency Darling.

Yep. A name and a search field.

That's it.

That type of minimalism has worked for Google for years.

But they're a search engine. Not an agency.

Having said that I kinda like it.

I typed in folio and it took me straight to a selection of their work.

Click here to go take a look.

Love to hear what you think of this very brave website.

Thursday 22 September 2011

Ogilvy could write

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Sweet signage

Signage in most public buildings generally consists of numbers and arrows stencilled clumsily onto the wall.

So you can imagine how impressed I was when I came across this stuff.

It's in an aged people's home in Zurich.

Really sweet don't you think?

Design is by a group known as Information Architects.

Judging by this work I'd say they definitely live up to their name.

Monday 19 September 2011

Bowie & water

Hot on the heels of the George Costanza Google ad I posted on the weekend comes this one for Vittel featuring the many personas of David Bowie.

What is it with creative people and their love of all things retro?

Briefing via Twitter

Love this cute 'n concise idea by Amsterdam agency THEY.

In their hunt for an intern they posted three 140 character briefs on Twitter.

Best idea wins - pitched via Twitter of course.

Here's the briefs:

Saturday 17 September 2011

George meets Google

I often refer to George Costanza and his bulging wallet in conversation.

So you can imagine how much I love this ad.

To find out more about Google Wallet click here.

Friday 16 September 2011

Cover art by artists

I watched The September Issue on the telly the other day.

Great film. Can't believe I hadn't seen it before.

What disappointed me about the Vogue magazine in the film was the cover.

Not exactly a Vogue classic if you ask me. Unlike the one above by Salvador Dali.

Given the importance of the cover in getting you to buy the mag I'm surprised more mags don't commission artists and well known image makers to do their covers.

Here are some great examples:

Time Out by Banksy

Pop by Damien Hirst

NY Times Style mag by Jeff Koons

Thursday 15 September 2011

Around the Blogosphere

The tobacco industry's fight against plain packaging of cigarettes inspired my most recent Around the Blogosphere column for Marketing magazine.

Click here to go take a look - I'd love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to join the conversation via the comments.

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Book of memories

While browsing in the Metropolis bookstore today I came across a new book called Characters.

It a loving look at typography and signage in Melbourne by Stephen Banham of local design studio Letterbox.

Flipping through the pages brought back so many evocative memories.

Like this one of the signage at legendary eatery Pellegrini's.

I'll never forget going there for a hearty minestrone with a girl I'd met at a party.

That girl is now my wife by the way.

If you're a Melburnian I think you'll find plenty of memories within the pages of this wonderful book.

I know I did!

Tuesday 13 September 2011

Shade Parade

I love walking past the seriously stylish window displays of the Chanel store in the city.

Of course style is something we expect from Chanel.

But these days they always seem to add a touch of humour or irony to their style.

Like this tap dancing finger puppet ad with set design by Amélie creator Jean Pierre Jeunet.

Utterly charming. Don't you think?

Monday 12 September 2011

Making a spectacle

This has to be the nicest ambient/guerrilla stunt idea I've seen in ages.

For a spectacle brand of all things!

Warby Parker looks to me to be a pretty hip brand. So this idea suits them to a tee.

During NY Fashion Week a group of hot young Warby Parker wearing models made themselves comfortable at the reading tables in the NY Public Library.

Then they all pulled out a book and sat reading for a while.

As you can see in the pic all the book dust jackets were a pale blue colour.

And each one carried the style name of the glasses the model was wearing as the title of the book.

Pretty cute huh?

Spot the guru

Friday 9 September 2011

Just because

Well it is Friday after all.

Thursday 8 September 2011

Full of shit

Nothing like a bit of Hugh MacLeod to put life into perspective sometimes.

Wednesday 7 September 2011


I remember getting very frustrated over an ad I wrote for a building society when I was working in the UK.

Not over the ad itself. The disclaimers.

It was a 1/4 page press ad with 2/3 of the ad taken up by disclaimer fine print.

Utterly ridiculous.

Which is why when I came across this pisstake on the Campaign Bitch site I had to share it with you.

Click the pic for a bigger view.

Tuesday 6 September 2011

33 things about art direction

Excellent preso by Dave Bell the CD of MercerBell in Sydney.

Pretty much every point he makes I knew already.

But he made them so nicely that it was like learning them all over again.

Nice one Dave!

Monday 5 September 2011

Speed to market

One of the frustrations of working with big clients is that they always want you to turn things around faster.

Yet so much of the time burned up on a project can be down to going backwards and forwards over seemingly inconsequential details.

I think it's one of the reasons creative people get involved with doing scam ads.

This exquisite video of an empty New York last weekend was filmed edited and posted to the web within a week.

Which is astonishing.

It was created by Buffalo Picture House.

I bet if they were tasked with doing the same project for a client it would have taken them at least a month. Possibly three.

But hey. What would I know?

Friday 2 September 2011

Red Light Signal System

As anyone who has ever worked with me will tell you, when shit goes down at the agency I always lighten the mood by saying "Still beats having a real job. Trust me - I've had one."

When I came across the above pic on Russell's blog it took me back to my days as a teenage apprentice.

Hard work. Dirty work. And scheduled tea and smoko breaks.

When I get to the office in the morning I think I'll print it out and stick it up in our kitchen.

The kids won't give a shit. But what would they know!

Thursday 1 September 2011

Making ads 'n stuff