Wednesday 30 November 2011

Learning to love a good suit

Over the last couple of days I've had to estimate and cost up elements of a large and very exciting project I am working on.

Problem is I'm not used to doing it.

Sure I have a rough idea how long I think a job will take.

But actually typing it up and putting it in an official document?

No way!

Yes folks I'll admit it - I have taken suits for granted.

I really have.

But not anymore.


Tuesday 29 November 2011

As seen on TV

Love love love this ad by Saatchi's Sydney.

It's a bit hard to see the logo and tagline so please click on the pic to enlarge.

If you can't be bothered to click the tagline says; Toyota Prius with Rear View Camera.

Pretty sweet huh?

Monday 28 November 2011

Dishonesty in advertising

Steve Henry is one of my advertising heroes. Top bloke too from what I hear.

Anyway here he is discussing dishonesty in advertising on BBC Radio-4 with Evan Davis.

Well worth 15 mins of your time.

Hat tip to Mr Birss for the audio.

Friday 25 November 2011

Please Mr Postman

One of the hardest things about doing great direct mail is the cost of postage.

As long as you stick to a standard envelope size it's not a problem.

But go a millimetre or two over and postage costs increase dramitically.

It appears the people at Sunglass Hut learnt this the hard way when they sent the invite above to Mumbrella.

Excess postage and lots of it.

Hardly the best way to get people to your event.

Especially people from a marketing industry website.

Thursday 24 November 2011

Aaron Draplin ain't happy!

This is Aaron Draplin from Draplin Design.

He's passionate about graphic design as you would imagine.

And he ain't happy at the way it's being treated.

I know exactly how he feels as I've seen many great old bits of Melbourne get wiped off the map in the name of progress.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Content vs SEO

Do a Google search for Qantas and this blog appears on the first page of results.


Actually I don't know why. But I suspect it's because the stuff I put on this blog is worth wasting your time on.

Good content if you will.

And good content is what people want.

Perhaps if brands spent more time on content they'd spend less time worrying about SEO.

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Inane conversations

Is there anything more annoying than an overly loud and inane mobile phone conversation?

Possibly. But probably not.

So why not prepare yourself for your next public transport trip with a set of Shhh! cards.

They're just one of the many fun (and useful) creations from Coudal & Co.

Best of all they're free.

Click here and go print off a pdf.

Trust me. They'll come in handy sooner than you think!

Monday 21 November 2011

Got a problem call Stan

As of today I am officially no longer a Wunderkid.

For those of you not familiar with the term it’s the name I gave to all the wonderful people I’ve shared the best part of 4 ½ years with at Wunderman in Melbourne.

Feels a bit weird to be honest.

Which is surprising really as I’ve been waiting for my notice period to end for weeks.

Anyway today is the first day of the rest of my life.

Sorry to come over all new-age but it really is.

No more complaining about briefs.

No more bitching about ridiculous copy changes.

No more wondering why what seems obvious to me is not obvious to others.

No more… Well you get the picture.

Over the course of the summer I’m going to be working on my personal brand.

Polishing it. Finessing it. And packaging it up ready to market.

Stay tuned for news on that in the new year.

In the mean time if you or anybody else you know needs a wise head to work on a project or help with a problem you know where to find me.

And if you don’t click here and visit my About Me page.


Friday 18 November 2011

Do ideas really take too long?

There's an article in today's AdAge arguing, as many people do today, that agencies take too long to produce ideas.

It's an interesting read. And makes some valid points.

But in my experience it's not the creation of ideas that eats up time it's the sheer number of people circling around the process.

Whether that's internal meetings and review sessions. Client presentations. Debriefings. Legals. Etc etc.

Regardless of all that the key to success when having an idea, and also understanding how ideas happen, was put into words by the legendary James Webb Young a long long time ago.

His book "A Technique for Producing Ideas" is as relevant today as it was when it was first published.

I put it on the reading list of the Advertising Degree at RMIT.

For those who are not familiar with it. And for those who think the clever people who have ideas take too long doing it. Here is James Webb Young's book reduced to a short list. I found it in the comments to the AdAge article.

1. Gather your raw materials

2. Work over these materials in your mind

3. Stop thinking about it and let the unconscious mind take over.

4. Give birth to the idea

5. Shape and develop the idea

It's not the creating that takes time—it's the incubating.

Hat tip to Steven Stark for the comment.

12 days of Bonds Christmas

Cute Christmas ad for Bonds by their new agency Banjo.

Honestly. What's not to love!?

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Idea engineers - the aftermath

Yesterday I shared a link on Twitter to an hysterical agency promo video for Sapient.

Actually hysterical really doesn't do justice to how bad it was.

As I'm sure you know the video went viral in a big way.

Today Sapient addressed the video and the laughter in the twittersphere via their blog.

They opened with this lovely little statement;

We’re guessing you’ve seen 'the video.'

Rather than try and cover up what had happened they took it on the chin and had a good laugh at themselves.

Hell they even shared some of the best tweets.

They also made this promise about those tweets;

So for all you “creative carpenters” out there, check out the best reactions below.

And feel free to comment at will. We’ll never delete them (that would be very very silly).

Which is all good and well.

But they also went and deleted the video.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Am I seeing things?

You'll need to squint to see it but check out the ad layered over the top of this Stevie Wonder YouTube clip.

Alternatively click the pic to enlarge it and see what is surely a strong contender for ad placement of the year.

Monday 14 November 2011

The space available

I've always loved billboards and outdoor advertising.

As a kid from the sticks it's something I always associate with the big smoke.

For me it's what makes places like Tokyo and Shanghai look so exciting.

Watching this trailer for the film This Space Available has got me rethinking my love.

And although I really cannot imagine a big city without outdoor ads. I think it would be great to rid our suburbs, villages and highways of them.

After all isn't peace and quiet the reason most people move away from the urban environment?

Friday 11 November 2011

Buns turn pink

I know the Pink cause is important.

Of course I do.

But I reckon some of the brand associations are a bit of stretch.

And some of them, like this bread brand, are just plain odd.

Thursday 10 November 2011

Fantastic mobile design resource

Although it took forever to take off mobile is now a big part of the advertising world.

And if you're dreaming up or developing mobile ideas have I got a great site for you.

Mobile UI Patterns.

Yeah I know it's the dullest name ever.

But it's a brilliant and ever growing resource of mobile design and user interface stuff.

Click here to go check it out.

Endless possibilities apparently

I know it's easy to take pot shots at logos but sometimes it's just too hard not to.

The 2012 London Olympics is a great case in point.

Still possibly the worst logo I've ever seen.

Now the USA (or Brand USA as I believe they like to be known) has a new logo.

It was created by The Brand Union.

Obviously it's not in the same league of silliness as the London Olympics logo but it still leaves a lot to be desired.

In fact when you put it up against the iconic star spangled banner it just looks sad and wishy washy.

According to their press release Brand Union reckon this logo “captures the spirit of the United States: Authentic. Optimistic. Unexpected. Inclusive. Endless Possibilities."

I reckon they're kidding themselves.

What about you?

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Bag or brand?

Whenever we've had to organise leaving presents for female staff members at work I often joke about buying a cheap necklace and putting it in a turquoise Tiffany's bag.

Every woman loves the Tiffany's bag is always my argument.

Plus most of their affordable stuff is essentially trinkets anyway.

The girls never seem to agree.

In fact they scoff. Loudly.

Yesterday I went to pick up a box of bags for my wife's boutique.

The bag shop's shopfront was literally stacked from floor to ceiling with bags for high-end stores.

Or brands as we like to call them.

I just had to sneak a photo or two.

And these pics are I believe one of the best arguments for the powers of brands that I've seen in ages.

Just look at them. A wall of anonymous shopping bags.

But take one off the shelf. Say a turquoise one. And suddenly you're walking down the street with a piece of Tiffany's.

Not a shopping bag.

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Ogilvy builds an army

Love this clever QR code recruitment ad for Ogilvy Asia.

As I've written here before nobody in Oz is doing anything interesting with QR codes.

Although given how many QR ideas I've got sitting in my bottom drawer I'm not surprised.

Love to know how big the Ogilvy poster actually was because the detail in the illustrations is something to behold.

Monday 7 November 2011

Just plain weird

There have been more than enough scout leader/little boy stories doing the rounds for years on end.

So why oh would would the scouts in America feel this ad wouldn't get looked at in the same light?

I know the idea's all about getting the molly coddled youth of today to experience and learn from "wild men" but this is ridiculous.

A good idea gone incredibly wrong.

Well I think so anyway.

You of course may see it differently.

Either way it's a seriously creepy ad.

And definitely not the sort of image I'd associate with the wholesome outdoorsy boy scout movement.

Friday 4 November 2011

A life in film & design

Love this behind the scenes look at the production of what should be a terrific book about the legendary Saul Bass.

Given Bass's iconic work with the likes of AT&T, United and Quaker, as well as films like Man with the golden arm, I'm surprised nobody's done a book like this before.

Get your order in now at Amazon and other major booksellers.

Art direction vs design

There's a great discussion going on in a Linkedin group at the moment about what is and isn't an art director.

It's gotten quite heated at times.

For me this quote sums up what it's all about in one sentence.


Thursday 3 November 2011

Angry Birds and agencies

I read a great piece a few months ago that posed the question of whether or not an idea like Instagram or Angry Birds could have come out of an agency.

For the first couple of paragraphs I was shaking my head in disagreement. But by the end my mind was kicking into overdrive.

So I used the piece as the starting point for my most recent column for Marketing Magazine.

Click here to go take a look. I'd love to here your opinion so feel free to leave a comment.

More make up please!

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Status update gloves

It's almost summer here in Mebourne.

Although I can't help thinking maybe I should put the word almost in quote marks.

Suffice to say however we have no need for gloves here for at least the next six months.

Which is a shame.

Not because I want it to be cold. But because I want to try out these great new gloves from Muji.

They have a special conductive material woven through the forefinger and thumb which enables you to operate a touchscreen phone while wearing them.

Yeah I know these are a solution to a first world problem.

But you have to admit they're pretty cool.

Click here to order your pair before the cold weather comes back.

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Google gets fashionable

Love this Japanese ad for Google.

It's by W&K I think.

No idea what it's about to be honest.

But apparently it has something to do with the Image Search functions ‘sort by color’ and ‘similar images’.

Yeah. Right. OK then.

Still a cute ad though!