Monday 31 October 2011

Banksy on Qantas

Luckily I ain't going nowhere this week so the grounding of the Qantas fleet has no impact on my life.

In fact I reckon the Banksy pic above pretty much sums up the whole situation.

It has of course been all over Twitter since the news broke.

As you'd expect in the social media age.

There were laughs aplenty in the tweets of a fake account for Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.

And a few awkward moments for Stanford uni student Alan Joyce who had nothing to do with Qantas but did share his name with the airline's CEO.

I really loved this opportunity spotting tweet from a lady of the night offering her services to passengers stranded at Heathrow.

Best thing about the grounding of Qantas though (at least for me) is it keeps John Travolta at home for a couple of days.

And you've gotta be thankful for that!

Friday 28 October 2011

When is a story a non-story?

A headline in today's AdAge newsletter caught my eye:

"Hey, Advertisers: New York Has a Bridge to Sell You".

It's a tad misleading if truth be told.

In essence it's an article about the selling of ad space on the boom gates of a couple of bridges in New York state.

No not New York. New York state.

See what I mean about misleading.

I seriously doubt anyone gives a shit about ads on toll gates on bridges in the countryside.

But hey what would I know?

I'm just an over opinionated copywriter with a blog not an esteemed industry publication.

Anyway what really cracked me up about the article was the amount of hyperbole in it.

Here's a couple of choice quotes:

"This is so 'in your face' advertising we couldn't pass it up. It's brilliant."

"Using every resource to be innovative and work with the business community just makes sense."

"I just think it's terrific advertising to have an ad come down right in front of you, even if it's just for three to five seconds."

Seriously even a crappy hard up for a story current affair show wouldn't run a story like this.

And with all the change our industry has been going through of late why oh why would AdAge?

Impossibly good

Thursday 27 October 2011

Look and learn kids

Every once in a while I come across an ad that I just have to share.

This is one of those ads.

From the double exclamation marks to the "30 close up photos" claim this is an absolute classic.

Big thumbs up from yours truly.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Signwriting lives!

Last week I posted a short film about the beautiful yet sadly dying art of sign

Today I discovered the work of 95 year old sign writing legend Rey Giese.

You can see a stack of photos of Rey and his work on Flickr.

Unbelieveably Rey's still practising his craft.

Has been since 1935.

Which means he was signwriting two years before my 74 year old father was born!

I wonder if he has a son or grandson to take over his family business when he dies?

Certainly hope so!

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Bad Apple

A German friend of mine alerted me to a recent Apple logo infringement story.

This one involves a tiny German cafe in the city of Bonn called Apfelkind.

The name roughly translates as Apple Baby.

According to the owner of the cafe Christin Römer Apple have claimed that the logo could cause confusion with Apple’s global brand.

Now I don't know about you but I reckon the legal people at Apple must surely have better things to do with their time.

Seriously. Claiming that those two logos are similar is just ridiculous.

Mind you Apple do have form in this area having already taken on Aussie supermarket chain Woolworths over their new logo.

Monday 24 October 2011

Where's the eleven?

For a couple of weeks now I've been walking past this poster in the window of my local 7/11.

And every time I see it it bugs me.

No idea why. It just does.

Then this afternoon I realised what it was that was bugging me.

The missed opportunity.

Look at the headline - 11 flavours in 11 weeks.

Now why oh why didn't somebody think about using 2 slurpees in the ad to create a visual representation of the number 11?

Kind of obvious once you think about it.

Don't you think?

Friday 21 October 2011

Art works doesn't

As I've written on this blog many times before I am not a fan of crowd sourced creativity.

Most of the time people put in a lot of work for no reward.

And generally those who do get rewarded are not exactly paid a great deal.

So you can imagine how annoyed I was when I heard about the President of America calling for idea submissions for a poster.

Surely the US govt can spare a few grand to commission and pay a bloody designer?

Of course I'm probably a lone voice on this. As I suspect there will be no shortage of poster ideas submitted.

All of them done for free.

Worst of all (in my eyes anyway) all ideas submitted are the property of Obama for America.

So after working for free with no guarantees you then have to sign over your IP to the US govt.

Maybe it's time us creative folk got ourselves a union. Don't you think?

Of course if you disagree and want to enter the competition click here for details.

Noise annoys

It's been quite a while since I last profiled a print campaign.

But this is a particularly striking one.

It's for a noise insulation brand called Shera.

Great to see the much maligned exclamation mark getting a thoroughly good work out.

The campaign's by Ogilvy in Thailand I think.

Thursday 20 October 2011

Which path to follow?

I currently find myself sitting at the intersecting points of the axes of this graph.

It's an exciting place to be.

But also bloody scary.

I know full well which quadrant I want to occupy.

But can I get there?

And will I be happy if I do?

Only time will tell I guess.

Wednesday 19 October 2011

T shirt sketchbook

Not the most practical of sketchbooks.

But I kinda like it.

Get yours here.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Yet another dying art

When I went to see the apprenticeship commission as a teenager Signwriter was one of the trades I considered.

I've often wondered what would have become of me if I'd chosen to pursue it.

Would I have transitioned into graphic design or typography?

Doubt it. I'd probably have ended up painting houses.

Either way with the art of signwriting in decline I wonder what has become of all those those talented craftsmen.

Monday 17 October 2011

Missed opportunity

Spotted this banner ad on The Age homepage yesterday.

Bit of a missed opportunity don't you think?

It can't be cheap to sponsor the Rugby World Cup.

But surely they must have had some money left over to pay for a decent ad.

I mean really. A pic of the car on the pitch with a rugby ball in front of it.

Is that the best they could do?

Saturday 15 October 2011

Dumb direct mail

Click pic and it'll grow so you can read it.

Hat tip to Matt B.

Thursday 13 October 2011

Ideas worth spreading

Had lunch with some young creative people today.

I was telling them how I'd been to TEDx Melb the previous week and was surprised to find that they weren't familiar with TED.

Given its mission statement is Ideas worth spreading I'd have thought anyone who dreamed up ideas for a living would be a TED fan.

Well kids if you're reading this, this video's for you.

It's my favourite TED talk ever. Enjoy.

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Too cute

I'm not a fan of iPhone covers.

For me the phone is too beautiful to go and stick an ugly old cover on it.

I am however prepared to make an exception for this one.

Pretty cute don't you think?

What the!?

No it's not a joke.

This is a real book.

Honestly. What will they think of next?

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Learn to kern

If you've watched the speech Steve Jobs gave at Stanford University you're sure to remember how he spoke about taking a calligraphy class.

His love for perfectly executed type has permeated everything Apple has done over the years.

Like Steve I'm big on typography too.

Which is why I find the internet so frustrating.

With a handful of exceptions type on the web leaves a hell of a lot to be desired.

And when you try and do something about it the designers and developers always have a reason why it can't be done.

Which infuriates me to be honest.

Over the weekend somebody sent me a link to Kern Type.

It's brilliant.

A fun interactive experience where you can put your typesetting skills to the test.

Mine weren't that great to be honest. But I'm a copywriter so that's ok.

But if you're a designer or art director I recommend you click here and go check it out.

Trust me. It's worth it!

Monday 10 October 2011

Now this is marketing

I've never worked in marketing. It all seems a bit too theoretical for me.

My thing is brands and communication.

Apparently they're related to marketing.

Although given much of the advertising I see around me I'd debate that.

What I would not debate is that the late Steve Jobs got it better than anyone. As this video clearly shows.

Well maybe not too clearly. As it's from a dodgy old vhs tape of an audience recording.

But he definitely knows what marketing and branding are all about.

Watch and learn people.

Friday 7 October 2011

Classic photos in Lego

This has to be the biggest smile maker to arrive in my inbox this week.

Classic photos restaged in Lego.


They're the work of Mike Stimpson who brands himself as a photographer of plastic.

Now that's a usp if ever I heard one.

What really made me smile about Mike's work was the shot below.

Maradona's infamous "Hand of God" moment.

Like I said. Brilliant.

Click here to visit Mike's website.

Thursday 6 October 2011

Latest Blogosphere rant

There has been much written and spoken about anonymous blog comments and not so nice behaviour on the web.

So I thought I'd stick my two cents worth in via my Around the Blogosphere column for Marketing magazine.

I've just posted the column to the dedicated Blogosphere blog. Click here to go take a look.

Love to hear your opinion so feel free to leave a comment. Even an anonymous one!

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Intensive labour required

I really want to like this ad for Kiwi beer brand MOA but the quality of the copywriting just irks me.

Is it grammatically correct?


I just find its attempt to be clever is coming across a little clumsily.

Nice idea.

But if I was the CD on the job I'd have told the writer to keep polishing.

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Anything but self discovery

And you thought those dodgy little ads on Facebook were bad.

How 'bout this gem from the New York Times?

Totally bizarre.

A personality quiz that's not really a quiz at all.

If Facebook ran an ad like this I reckon it would be much talked about.

Just look at the opening line. It's unbelievable.

"Self discovery starts with an insightful quiz that understands who you are..."

Sounds fair enough. Especially given the pic of the Buddhist monk.

But then it goes on to say:

"...allowing the NYT marketing department to make personalised product recommendations."


Like I said. If Facebook ran ads like this we'd be up in arms.

Monday 3 October 2011

Packaging or artwork?

I was catching up with a friend for coffee yesterday and arrived a lot earlier than I needed to.

So I killed a bit of time in the shop next door. A collectors' DVD store.

To be honest I could while away hours in places like this.

What really took caught my eye this time round was an entire bookcase dedicated to Criterion DVDs.

If you're not familiar with them Criterion DVDs are the work of people who know and love film.

Seriously love it.

And every disc they release is beautifully packaged. Generally in a box with cover art unavailable elsewhere.

These are three of my favourites.

There are tons more out them if you want to hunt them down.