Sunday, December 24, 2006
I will resume posting just after new year, and will be checking for comment regularly.
Andrew - The Band a Week WILL be up and running again once my new house has the internet.
But until then:
Also, the great Battant I mentioned on that blog are playing Sheffield on Feb 6th, if you are about hope you (and some other MBH folk) can make it. They are well worth seeing.
I planned a Xmas ad review, but campaign (where I was recently mentioned, thanks Russell!) did a good one, so there isnt much more I can say there.
Except. One ad must be commented upon:
Gillette Fusion - "Dad" Present ad.
Oh dear god. Bad dubbing, cheesy acting, dull present theme, etc etc etc. Its an ad that is so poorly made that Just For Men would reject it for being too tacky. Come on Gillette, you make good products; why not try some decent ads for once?!
Friday, December 22, 2006
I therefore have to write 5 things that you probably don't know about me:
1. The two things i've always wanted to do in life are music and advertising. In fact, when I was about 7, I wrote that I wanted to be a Rock Star on a piece of work we did in class. The teacher (Mr Hughes, who was the coolest teacher ever) went and got an electric guitar, amp, and set it up for me to play in class. Unfortunately I didnt actually know how to play (I was 7!) and strummed what must have been one HELL of a racket. Sorry everyone else who heard it.
2. I'm not actually that bad at cooking, despite having been a student. I can rustle up some tasty dishes. Though I did burn my hands aged 9 because I went to take something out of the oven and pulled my hand away as it was so hot... and as i pulled away my hand came out the glove... ow.
3. Once my mate and I were messing about before a gcse exam and for some reason i got sprayed in the head with deep heat... the whole exam i smelt (nay stank)like an injured athlete. Im sure people wondered what on earth it was.
4. Im quite an Otaku. I like a lot of geeky things, particulary computers/consoles. I generally like anything creative (design, architecture, typography, art) , and the mix of creativity, interaction and fun is something that captures my imagination. Hence me lining up on day one to get a Nintendo Wii (which is amazing if you havent got one.).
5. I am also an extreme muso, I love music, I write/play/perform/record it. My ipod has music of all types, from death metal to synth pop to punk to hip hop. My taste seems almost random, i'll find songs I love from bands hate. For example: Whilst I am in no way an abba fan, I think Super Trooper is a fantastic song, the harmonies are clever, the bass line is amazing, and the words are deceptively dark. Also, I can't stand Oasis, even though their debut album was so full of potential which they went on to blow.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Possibly the most striking building in the world is the Bank of China tower in Hong Kong. Its bold, iconic, and contentious. Hong Kong architecture is a battleground of positive and negative Feng Shui. The BoC tower has sharp angles that give out negative energy and push it out of the points (one of which faces the old British governors mansion, to which they build a pond in the way to deflect said energy after a death was blamed on the negative energy from the building).
The BoC tower:
The HSBC Building, with real working guns (I am reliably imformed by a HK resident) on the top left aimed directly at the Bank of China tower. Note those guns are NOT on the HSBC building image on HSBC bank notes:
Now see just how close they are. Try coming up with a convincing (hehe) argument that these buildings do not represent a HUGE piece of brand communication in the region, more so than most advertising ever does...:
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
As guest editors of creative review, they have decided to offer one page of the magazine to anyone (barring advertisers/companies) to do anything they like.
Brilliant idea. Can't wait for the results.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Having a strong brand was only the 4th contributing factor to high growth businesses, price was 10th, and a genuine USP was only 12th. Does this not appear to go slightly out of sync with what we hear about unique selling points being so important?
Alysoun Stewart, Director, Commercial and Strategic Solutions at Grant Thornton.
“Our observations suggest that the Fast Growth Businesses know that customers buy the ‘experience’, even though the product or service may not be hugely different from what they can get more cheaply down the road. This is a key factor in creating differentiation and
enticing customers to buy-in emotionally to their brand.”
It seems unusual that this survey clearly shows flexible businesses grow faster, yet most of what I hear about clients from agencies is that they are completely unflexible. Maybe if they treated their advertising in the same way as their customers (after all, thats who it is for) they might end up with better ads.
Also unusual. Businesses that said their branding was the main thing that made them better than their competition were static. Is that due to static businesses being more established brands who have run out of growth? Or is it managers who think they understand their brand when it actually is failing to speak to people? But then... those same static business say that weak marketing and communications is the second biggest factor holding them back. Sounds like bad management and failure to understand branding and marketing to me.
A big point was: "It is the value proposition behind the brand, rather than the brand itself that high growth businesses focus on."
Another thing, there was almost no difference in the importance of "creative marketing" between the growth ranges.
The big tips they gave for businesses was to understand the customer and what they want. I couldnt agree more. If only more brands did.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Whenever you visit a (decent) hotel they have a conference board with details of all the executive meetings and conferences going on that day/week.
The idea is to have a single website where people can post pictures of hotel listings, and by looking at them all we can find out the important issues of the day to businesses around the world.
Its a great idea, and I hope people will help get it off the ground.
Visit the (work in progress) of the site here, and get snapping!
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Nice to know that they appear to be back on the right track in Asia at least.
Lovely idea, wonderful message, and nicely produced.
The idea of electronics not being seperate pieces of metal, but actually being devices through which we capture and find our own humanity is quite profound but entirely accurate.
As I can profess from the amount of time my walkman/minidiscs/ipods caused impromptu and embarassing dancing on the bus, and from my love of photography and film. Electronics do make us human. Its a wonderful insight, and I hope the ads continue as good as this.
Find out more about the praise this ad (his brand work) is rightly getting at Rob Campbells blog
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Not sure whether there is much clever planning going on there, it doesnt feel like it; but they are some very nice executions:
"As much beef as is mathmatically possible"
"Beef, the whole beef, nothing but the beef"
"99.99999999999999999999999999999999999% is just not good enough"
Nice copywriting there.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Topics for discussion included:
Doctor Who vs Torchwood (The former is good, the latter is not)
Magners vs Bulmers (The genius of ice)
Russell Davies (Who has met him, who hasnt, isnt he great, isnt the breakfast club tiny?!)
Second Life (Its the new "I hear these new fangled blog things are doing well, maybe we should get one)
New Songs (For Your Info Andrew they were: Enter Shikari - Sorry You;re Not a Winner, Deftones - Hole in the Earth, and Sebastian - Ross Ross Ross)
Hats (Flat and otherwise)
The bar served my favourite beer ever as well, so that just made it even better! (Asahi Super Dry)
Roll on number V!
Friday, November 17, 2006
I also wonder how this could affect agencies, specifically when budgeting for "junk food" or otherwise less than healthy food aimed at kids. Could this mean the end of Coco Pops ads (yay!) or Frosties ads(boo!), or will it just make them less common?
The BIG issue for me is just what difference this will actually make. Its not like kids buy the weekly shop. Ok, its designed to minimise 'pester power'; but I suspect it wont actually have that much of an effect if the parents still see the ads. (Its not like kids dont watch programmes for older people either!)
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Watching a tv show the other day about the environment, I was struck by the message that the human race is killing itself by wrecking the world around us. This was further impacted by a rather rash statement from an MP saving the world by not having kids.
But what if...
What if not having kids was a way of saving the world, and by definition the human race.
What if homosexuality is actually a natural evolutionary way of slowing the growth of the population. (Please please note: I'm not saying there is anything wrong with it. Its a chemical reaction the same as hetrosexual love).
What if god/nature created homosexuality as a way to save the planet (and by condemning it, religions were actually helping destroy what they believe god created).
Difficult questions. But ones worth thinkng about.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Now known officially as "My Brain Hurts".
Currently planned for Tuesday 21st November in Sheffield. Any current or budding planners or creative folk from up north should head over and join in the discussion and drinking. (Normally more of the former)
My Brain Hurts IV is coming...
Monday, November 06, 2006
I suspect that for all the hype, the end results won't be as impressive as they maybe expected.
Updating is still being hampered by a terrible wireless connection, my sincere apologies. New router in place later this week I hope!
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Virgin Money were forced to remove a competition on B3TA which asked creative responses to their current ad positioning. Example results included a mock up of Richard Branson relieving himself over a man dressed as a baby.
Apparently B3TA warned them that the results would be crazy, but they decided to go for it anyway.
Now either this normally media savvy brand has got caught up in bandwagon fever, or was simply after the publicity... answers on a credit card please.
Virgin on the Ridiculous
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Its just ridiculous, a new brand director comes in and tries to make a mark by changing the advertising.
The thing here is that WCRS completely turned the brand around from a totally ignored non-entity into a seriously considered service. There ads have been unusual, and set the brand apart from any other mobile provider with a clear and bold brand message.
Why on earth would any sensible brand director change such a successful campaign whilst it is still working?! Its change for changes sake. Its risking the brand for the sake of perceived improvement of new ads.
Its like Honda telling Wieden and Kennedy "We would like to try something else now". Madness.
Its no wonder some agencies are happy to churn out crap, when they produce original, creative, effective work it just gets ignored by a new board member who wants to stamp out his/her authority.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Sony Bravia mkII, but the big debate raging is ...was it worth the wait?
Its a great ad in its own right, its bold, engaging and very visual. It gets across the colour message well. But after that amount of hype and the length of time we were made to wait to see it, its frankly a little disappointing.
Where the first ad was beautiful and implied natural movement, this ad is all man made objects and extravagence.
Where the first ad had wonderfully emulsional (sorry) music, where as this is unsutble and predictable. I dont think Fallon grasped just how much the music made the 'balls' ad work. It was an inspired song choice that probably quadrupled the effect of the ad.
The other problem for me is that much of the paint ends up looking fake because of the colour saturation. It looks like much of the explosions are CGI, even though I dont think any of them are, the less informed will probably think it is.
However. The saving grace of this ad is the final scene. The coloured rain pouring down and creating a rainbow of colours on the ground captures a chunk of that magic the first ad had. Its a beautiful ending to a flawed ad.
I hope the lessons are learnt and the next ad can be beautiful, engaging, and have better music. 7/10 says the school teacher part of me.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Northern Planning Summit Number three took place tonight, updates to follow tomorrow. Andrew and James are apparently planning to mock my choice of drink and ideas for reducing table noise in bars...but good intelligent fun was had by all :) Now im off to bed!
Monday, October 16, 2006
So guess what, now Pepsi Max is being advertised again, suddenly Coke Zero is back on our screens. It just typifies the difference between the two brands even more so than the quality and message of their ads.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Why is it that advertising is tightly regulated as to what you can and cannot say; you arent allowed to suggest certain things that may even be true for fear of misleading the public.
Yet we have a government that fed us dodgy facts leading to a war, and that's fine.
We have a media reporting about a confidential case involving a Muslim soldier who's family were at risk because he was asked to guard the Israeli embassy. The Sun and other similar papers (as well as disgusting report from Fox News) reported it as if it were some conspiracy to enforce Islam on the UK. No. It was a simple case of someone being excused duty for the protection of their family. (as was done during the Northern Irish conflict with Catholic/Protestant soldiers) Yet the paper reported in its usual way, exchanging any facts that don't suit it's agenda for sensationalist bullshit. Apparently this is also fine.
Why would people be so outraged at a beer ad implying alcohol makes you sexy; and yet sit still and do nothing when the government and the journalistic media seem free to say whatever the hell they like whatever the accuracy. Maybe if they get caught lying they have a two line apology on page 35 three months later.
If only there was the same monitoring of government and journalists as there was of advertising, maybe we'd all be a lot more informed.
Friday, October 06, 2006
The ad makes out like there is some kind of revolutionary new technology breakthrough available here. Nope, just another blade. Although at least they explain why that is a good development (less irritation).
Terrible ads really. They just try to make the product feel like something else.
Although they do at least get one key thing right, and that is selling the benefits to the consumer. You may think the ad is terrible, but you remember why its 'better than your old razor'.
Its also nice that this ad doesnt feature 700 language overdubbing. Honestly, some healthcare companies would use the same ad in every country in the world if it meant saving money. Overdubbing never ever ever ever ever ever looks good. It just makes the whole brand look cheap, tacky and uncaring.
Im sure I had more of a point here, but its very late and ive bought more items today for my new house than I care to recall...so goodnight!
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Anyway, i've been wondering what to make of the new John Smiths 'barred' campaign. Inititally it's neither as funny nor appealing as the previous campaigns; but starting with the latest ad I think it is starting to show some potential.
The basic premise is a blokes pub where the landlord keeps barring people who watch girly tv / bring in noisy gadgets etc. Initially I found it to be very disappointing, amusing; but it has had none of the mass appeal or style of the Peter Kay (or even Jack Dee) ads. The old pub stereotype feels dated, although I suppose that is part of the idea.
The gadget one however is slightly more adventurous, and is all the better for it. A lot of the ad's humour is in the way the barman appears, and in this ad they got it spot on; making it a surprise that's funny as well. If they make more of this campaign, they should use this one as the model.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Was it a coincidence that a press report claiming the death of Osama Bin Laden was released at the same time as US intelligence claim the war in Iraq has been responsible for increasing extremist support in Asia? I doubt it.
Why not do the Labour party thing and use timing to neutralize negatives statements and events?
Yet at the same time, Pepsi have been very patient in responding to Coke Zero. They have waited for the promotion and public fuss to die down, and now are reminding people about the "real deal". Instead of trying to paste all over the CZ threat, they simply ignored it, as if it didnt really matter, as if they werent bothered...truly enacting the brand image they put across (and CZ has so badly failed to match).
I think they have timed it well, and with enough of a media spend or great tv creative to go with the interesting print creative; they could suddenly gain back a lot of the market share CZ took away from them.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
I can't get online for more than about 10 minutes a day without another connection interfering... and we have tried everything!
Hence the lack of updates, I apologise profusely...
I can't get online for more than about 10 minutes a day without another connection interfering... and we have tried everything!
Hence the lack of updates, I apologise profusely...
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
As much as it annoys me, and as much as i'm sure most viewers want to throw bricks at their screen every time it's on; death threats are too far. Surely this kid is already being picked on in whatever school or college he goes to, like most child actors; anything more is just cruel. No actor deserves that, no matter how bad the part.
But it opens up the old question:
Could / Should we hold creatives or agencies responsible for all of the results of their ads? If someone threatens this poor kid, isnt that indirectly the fault of the (in this case) rubbish ad which used irritation to get attention? Likewise, when kids started slapping each other after watching the Tango ads, was that then the fault or responsibility of the creative?
I think the answer is slightly different for both those cases, but id love to hear your thoughts...
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006
Another in their series of unusual Japanese/story themed ads; it uses the idea of people throwing messages in a lecture theatre to symbolise text messaging and msn on your phone.
The ad is nicely done, it's light hearted and colourful as per the other 3 ads; and the underlying comparison is so absolutely spot on. Who couldnt fail to grasp the idea of your phone as a modern paper message in a classroom?!
A simple idea, a simple message, demonstrated in an involving and creative fashion. Isn't that what we all want from these kinds of ads?
Rob. We like 3.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Although the song fits in many ways, I do find it an extremely odd choice. Particularly considering the original is about Heroin addiction...
Sunday, September 03, 2006
"The Best of Both Worlds"
Riiiight, ok. They could talk about the best quality at decent prices, or maybe service and pricing, or choice and convenience.
No wait, they don't mention anything. At NO point do they ever signify what either of these two worlds are, or even hint at what it means. Yet because it is so vague, you can't work it out for yourself; and the only things I can think of it really meaning aren't things that apply to PC World anyway!
So we have a boring, unengaging ad with a dull, common phrase tagline that is left completely unexplained in both tv and print media. How in the world did this ad and agency strategy EVER win this business?! Either there was some serious sucking up or the people at PC World need to completely re-evaluate how they choose and deal with their advertising agencies. They have gone a step back from "Where in the world", and even that wasn't great...
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Such great people as:
Peter at Crispin Porter + Bogusky
Faris Yakob of Naked
The Legend (Russell Davies)
Scott, Dave and Woolford of Publicity Bureau
The Organic Frog
Patrick and John at Attik
Have already signed it!
Im flattered and amused by it all really, but if you think I deserve a planning job id really appreciate it if you would sign/post on it!
Give Rob a Job
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
The magnificent Tango ads of the early 90s were one of those that completely changed the way I (as a 8/9 year old kid) thought about the product; and in many ways, completely changed what I thought about advertising. It felt like an ad and product that belonged to us, it was fun and silly and weird.
Now you all know the ad, but to show you how good it was; here is an example of the previous campaign from 1989 (second ad in)...oh dear.
Another ad which will forever be in the heads and stomachs of people my age was probably the best milky way ad ever. Considering I hadnt seen it in about 8 years when I first saw it online, it was a testament to it that I knew all the words perfectly.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
We know you want to promote your offers (Some of which are very good).
We know you want people to go look at them.
We know you want the hard sell.
But there are far better ways of hard selling than having your staff and pretend customers wearing tshirts saying "This is a hard sell" going over the product spec, stock levels and pricing in a completely uninteresting way.
If you want to have this kind of ad, make it a bit more knowing, or at least make the conversation more realistic and engaging. The only one which seems close to real life is the student one, but then the acting isnt good enough to make it work.
Oh and. Why do Intel and similar companies insist on ads reading the entiiiiire spiel. "This PC comes with an Intel Celeron 520 processor with core technology for easy multitasking and wireless ne....ARGH!" If we know what it is, we already know; if not...that doesnt help.
Come on. You can do better.
Monday, August 21, 2006
It may be for the US only (as far as I can see) but this ad (from W+K Portland I believe) for Coca Cola is actually good. Not only that, it gets across the usual Coke message of happy times and positive sides of life without resorting to the sickly, cliche'd and patronising executions so common in the brand work over here.
Actually, a more appropriate title would be Coke high on Wieden and Kennedy... well, they do have an office in Amsterdam after all. Well done.
Monday, August 14, 2006
I'll take it from the man himself:
"I swear to God that the following is absolutely true … and it will stay with me for the rest of my life.
So I was in Shanghai on Friday running a workshop. All went really well and by the end of the meeting, lots of people came up and said thank you for what I had taught them.
Anyway, this one lady walked up to me at the end, with a USB ‘Thumbdrive’ in her hand and asked if it would be at all possible to have a copy of the preso. Naturally I agreed and I plugged in her device into my laptop and waited for my computer to recognise it so I could move the file over.
Now my laptop has a program that automatically opens any photos or videos held on a thumbdrive or CD so while I was doing some other work on my computer, I noticed in the background, a bunch of photos had been uploaded. For some reason, my eyes couldn’t stop staring at them, mainly because  everyone likes the idea of ’snooping’ on someone’s photos and  my brain just couldn’t work out what the hell they were.
Then … like being hit by a truck … my brain finally worked out exactly what I was seeing.
HOME-TAKEN PORNO PHOTOGRAPHS!!!
I kid you not … they were very, very, very, very full on!!! I mean sooooooooooooooo full on!!!! I mean …. BLOOOOOOOOODY HELL full on!!!!!
For a few seconds, time stood still … maybe I froze, maybe I held my breath, maybe I just gasped … but whatever it was, she noticed something was wrong because within a nano-second, she had lunged for my computer mouse and closed the ‘offending’ program shouting, “THAT’S NOT IMPORTANT”.
I was soooooo shocked I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or just sit down and ask for a cup of tea then a cold shower - but one thing I did know was that there was no way I could look her in the face … there was no way I would have maintained control if I’d done that.
Weird thing is, this woman was one of the sweetest people in the conference - she was more likely to be Mother Teresa than Jenna Jameson … but she proved it’s the ‘quiet ones you have to be careful of’! Seriously, I saw parts of her that only a gynaecologist, waxer or boyfriend, should see but I have to admit, I did wish I could have had a longer gawp at the pictures but it was so out of context, my brain just took too long to register what it was seeing.
What made it even funnier was that my laptop was still connected to the projector … so her ‘front bottom’ was on display to the whole room - but luckily [for her] everyone was chatting after a long day so they missed the most amazing 7 seconds of any presentation, EVER!
So how did it end?
Well I copied the file and without either person looking at eachother, we sort of mumbled that it was ‘good to meet eachother’ and she ran out of the room while I had to sit down and try and work out if I’d just seen what I thought I had seen!
So to this poor lady who is the subject of my dedication, I thank you … you made a long flight back to Singapore, literally fly by and I have been laughing out loud at random moments throughout the weekend as I remember the weirdest few seconds of any meeting I’ve ever attended.
Oh and to people who think we rule technology rather than the other way round … don’t get too cocky … if it can screw over the nice lady I met on Friday, it won’t think twice to bugger up your lives when it so chooses! "
Sunday, August 13, 2006
(though I hope that the future work from W+K will help that...)
Please hammer don't hurt em...
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
It featured an athlete competing against little toddlers at things like climbing, running, etc. I vaguely recall it, but have no idea what it was for or when it aired.
Any information you can pass on would be greatly appreciated! Thanks :)
Thursday, August 03, 2006
However, I was very scared today to notice that when you put in "famous rob" in google, im number 1! Should I be proud or scared? Answers on a postcard please...
Sony Bravia Part II
The anticipation levels for the new Sony Bravia ad are getting ridiculous; we are talking Honda territory here...
I've been waiting for actual video footage before making a post, but just LOOK at that image. If you read the stats for the ad, they talk about:
70,000 litres of paint
358 single bottle bombs
33 sextuple air cluster bombs
22 Triple hung cluster bombs
33 Triple Mortars
22 Double mortars
358 meters of weld
330 meters of steel pipe
57 km of copper wire
I mean, thats mental. Again, it's going for the huge Honda approach, and it appears to be working. I just hope that the end result is as good as the amazing images suggest. The official Sony Bravia site is here.
And a final point. Notice how they are very very clear on using the word Bravia all the time. Its very well done, its driving the brand name into people's heads brilliantly.
The new ad is here on Pauls blog:
I like it. No overtly new thinking involved, but it does convey its message well.
The animation styles used convey each era brilliantly, and the voiceover is simple but effective, and without being dull or patronising.
Whether it will win over many new Yakulties I don't know, but it certainly reminds me why I like the brand.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
The campaign is probably the most "to parents" one that Smarties have ever done. Its pretty much full on "no artificials mean better for your kids" talk.
A brand that has had such vibrant and colourful advertising over the years could surely manage something more inspiring than this. The message is one parents want to hear, but otherwise... its just weak.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
My cheap hotel room was the hottest place on earth, I almost bought a desk fan just for the second night; and central London wasnt much cooler!
Had a great 2.5 hour discussion on Friday about advertising, blogs and the like with the brilliant Richard Huntingdon, though I worried him when I said that I expected him to be about 10 years older than he was! General discussion points of interest were: Isn't Russell great, isn't the new Coke Zero work rubbish, doesn't all good music have synthesizers?
Later on Friday I joined the legendary Russell and other intelligent people for yet more talk on advertising and other marketing topics. Well worth travelling down from Sheffield for. Though I was a little amused when Russell kept introducing me as the "famous Rob"..!
Apart from the heat and the power cuts, a fantastic trip; I hope to make another set of Coffee events very soon. Normal Service Resumes Shortly.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Sunday, July 23, 2006
This new tv ad captures more of their wonderful brand personality (though even caling them a brand seems too business like!), and puts across a good sense of their ethics and responsibility.
Best of all, it does what the previous ad failed to do, and that is capture a little of the great sense of humour/light-heartedness that fills the air whenever you read the label an innocent product.
Yep, this ad feels like an Innocent ad should; and thats a pretty good compliment in my book.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Although Northern Planner beat me to it while I was at work; I felt I had to post about the new ads for Coke Zero.
The "good things with none of the diisadvantages" idea is good if not entirely original; but the execution of it just leaves more questions than answers...
Who thought that the writing didnt need editing?
Who watched this during production and didnt think it sounded bad?
Why did they approve an ad which is pretty close to sounding contrived when they are trying to create an image of exactly the opposite?
Yet another example of a good idea being overdone and spoilt. When will some people realize that understatement can say so much more, so much better. If ever there was a clear style difference between Pepsi and Coke, its here; the style that Pepsi max has seems effortless and genuine; whereas this effort just seems forced and smacks of trying to hard to be something.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
I know they have been on for a little while, but I felt it was worth adding a post about.
The basic premise is brilliant. Instead of trying to pretend that insurance is great, that every insurer is a nice company there to help you out... they show an honest picture. That people do not like insurers, and that they feel mistreated or ripped off by them; and then demonstrate how Direct Line aren't quite as bad.
Its something that everyone who uses insurance feels at sometime, and it catches it perfectly. Its so refreshingly honest, and that honesty then reflects on the whole company.
A good insurance ad?! Thats better.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Are Citroen the new Levi's?
The ads for the C4 are fast about to create their second chart hit. With the song from the new ad being played on every radio station that plays dance or chart music.
If they keep this up it could become like Levis, creating hit after hit with each new campaign. Others have had a hit or two (Budweiser, Pepe, Lynx etc), but Levi's have been one of the few to keep doing it. (FLat Eric, Boombastic, Spaceman, etc, etc)
Is this something Euro RSCG (at last check they did Peugeot/Citroen in the UK) have tried to do I wonder, or is it just good luck?
Answers on a postcard please...
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
The vauxhall adverts featuring the 'adult kids' weren't bad, they were fairly amusing and provided recornisable snippets of real family life.
The problem I have now is that they have really got irritating very quickly. Especially as they keep repeating the same ads over and over again.
Please make some different ads or change them altogether, as im sure I cant be the only one...
Sunday, July 09, 2006
They are somewhat interesting and unusual for DFS, but still pretty derivative.
DFS New Ad
On the radio it reminded instantly of the well loved old nationwide ads; with the constant stream of words. Very very similar in some ways, but thats not necessarily a bad thing.
On watching the tv version above, it is apparent that they have used the old Bob Dylan words on boards idea (as also seen below on the classic Maxell ad). Though to be fair it is done pretty well, and a type of DFS brand imprint is certainly stamped on the ideas.
DFS are certainly taking small steps into better ads, even if they do strongly resemble past ads. But then again, anything without Linda Barker is a big plus.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Some great work, some of my favourites:
"The Power of Press" print ads - Great great copy.
Sony Bravia - Balls - Even better once you see just how insane and manic the real-time dropping of the balls is; and compare it to the chilled vibe of the ad.
Budweiser Men of Genius - 80SPF Suntan lotion wearer - Not really a radical idea, but brilliantly funny and involving.
Nintendogs - I love this game, and its good to see it recognised for it's creative progression.
Carlton Draught - Big Ad - An ad that manages to parody advertising whilst still functioning as a good ad in its own right! Oh and, it features probably the best food/drink tagline of the 20th Century: "Made From Beer".
Sunday, July 02, 2006
What id like to do is show you a few of the ads that inspired me to want to follow and eventually be in advertising.
They aren't necessarily good ads from a creative or effectiveness point of view, but they are ones that made me think, were relevant to me at the time, made me go and try a product, or just made me interested in advertising as a medium.
Maxell - Israelites
This (and the version using Into the Valley) were great ads. They got the message across but were witty and absorbing.
Milton - Lines
I've never seen this since about the age of 4-5. It was for milton sterile fluid, and involved a red line covering the surfaces to imply cleanliness. It creeped me out as a kid, and i've never been able to find it again to disprove it creepiness. If any recalls it in better detail id love to know!
It was probably the first ad I can remember seeing, yet I still understood the message!
Ariston - And on and on
Again, I cannot find this anywhere, sorry. It was from the mid-late 80s, and had lots of moving appliances or house items, and has the song "On and on and Ariston" behind it. This ad was probably not on for long, but I still remembered Ariston as a washing machine brand name for 10 years without EVER seeing an Ariston branded product. Thats some effective recall!
I plan to update this later, but id love to hear what ads inspired you to get involved with advertising...
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Personality. W+K have given Yakult personality, in a market full of "health benefits" advertising. It stands out a mile, and gives the product so much more voice against the typical Benecol/Activia types.
People are sick of being told "you need to eat well" "you need to excerise" etc. So to have a healthy product that doesnt try to bombard you with health messages is so so refreshing.
Its similar to Innocent (who have probably the best (and most reliably executed) brand personality in existence) in many ways, but not in the rip off vain that many brands are going for now.
As someone who drinks Yakult most mornings, its nice to feel that odd sense of attachment to the values and attitude of a brand. "What on earth is that tiny bottle?" I get asked, and it's quite unusual to smile and reply to that kind of question... "Yakult!"
Why are the UK bottles smaller, more expensive and not quiiiite as nice as in Hong Kong?!
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Sunday, June 25, 2006
I ran out of blades on my Quattro, and decided to use a Mach3 I had lying around.
I was surprised to find that the Mach3 is hugely better than the Quattro. Its less irritating, it shaves closer, and it seems to last for longer per disposable blade.
("The point?", you may be forgiven for asking...)
Well. What about the numbers?
We put so much faith in numbers, we presume that four blades must be better than three without ever finding out. Because a number is a fact, we assume that it carries more weight than a belief or claim like "closer shaving blades". Even though one makes a lot of difference and one could mean very little, we still presume the number to be all important.
It used to happen with computers, because a processor was 64bit, everyone automatically assumes it is better. But that number doesnt tell you what speed it runs at, it doesnt tell you what supporting processors are there, or the efficiency of the computer. There is no proof that 64 means better than 32, but we just take it to be so. Everyone does it at some point, even cynical and suspicious consumers will at some point take a number and give it too much weight.
It starts to explain why the razor companies are putting so much effort into adding new numbers of blades, it won me over when I could have four instead of two or three. It adds a perceived advantage in the eyes of the consumer, even without there being any actual difference.
Though it also shows the importance for these companies of getting their product into homes; the only reason I tried the Mach3 was because I was sent a free test one in the post! But by spending money and disproving the numbers game, they've got a new customer... shame they both have crap ads though!
I've definitely been won over to the Mach3 side now, but in doing so; I think I may just have to start questioning numbers a bit more.
Friday, June 23, 2006
(I may revise/add to this over the coming few days)
The environment is one of the biggest challenges facing the earth and it's entire population. Many people speak of the need to act, but very few do. How can we persuade them to act using digital communication.
I think there is a strong question of balancing benefits and effect of lifestyle. People would like to give, but they cannot afford to keep giving away til they lose their disposable income. The environment is one worthy cause alongside charities for people, animals, education, food, etc; the environment suffers as a cause because there is very little direct impact. Its hard to quantify "You helped save the earth from 2 cubic foot of Carbon Dioxide pollution" etc.
There is a strong need to communicate what difference is made by a contribution. I think the way to go about this is to relate in bulk numbers. "If just 1000 people donated we could ..." This helps quantify a very asbstract result.
The lack of urgency many people have about environment issues is surprising considering just how vital it is to act now. People assume because they can't see anything that everything is ok. The effects of not acting need to be made clearly visible, and in a way that relates to people. This could be a type of shock tactic "There is a 50% chance your grandchildren will die of cancer caused by failure to help the environment now." or the positive spin "If we act now, then we could help save the lives of over 100 people a day" etc.
By having a quantifiable result and direct message of urgency we should be able to increase the response.
I think this is probably the single most important aspect of this campaign in terms of bringing results.
If we want people to donate, give them a text number. Make it quick, simple and minimize the disruption it will cause to their lives. If we want people to act, tell them easy and quick ways to act that (again) minimize the disruption to their lifestyle.
The traditional "We need to change everything we do to save the world" approach will create impact but is unlikely to create results. Ten simple tips, ten one minute actions for a better world, how you can act without spending any extra money; this will create interest and spark moments of persuation and inspiration to act.
The human race is guilty of inflicting pollution on every species in existence (or not as the case may now be). However, people hate feeling guilty (as you'd expect). We don't need to make peope feel bad anymore, we need to inspire them to act. Constructive, positively looking guilt or none at all: "This is happening but we can make it better".
Inpiration doesn't come from punishment, it comes from ideas, from sparks, from tiny things that start a chain reaction.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
In case you havent heard it, here it is thanks to the wonders of you tube:
I like this version a lot, but at the same time the cover seems even better now I know where it came from.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Whilst there are many critics of the company from an ethical viewpoint, there can be no denying that this is a very worthy cause. Lets hope this is the way of Nike's future, as it would certainly convince a lot of people to start buying their goods again; as well as raise money for good causes. (Agency: W+K Portland)
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Just got back from a couple of days in London, during which I made a quick stop in Westminster on the Tube.
On the way out of the station, one of the boxed/framed posters had a mostly grey background, with a small picture and a note that switching the bluetooth on your phone on would reveal "a secret".
Most people would probably never bother, myself on the other hand... I switched on my bluetooth, connected to the 'secret', and it came up with "enter password". Well that's a rubbish start.
I entered the usual default code of 0000 - - - - - - wrong password.
Tried again, but used the other default of 1234 - - - right password (it appears) - - - - - - failed.
And again - - - - - - failed.
So. What was an intriguing idea, which got me to stand there like a loon in a tube walkway; has ended with complete disaster. No ad received, no message, and it wasted several minutes of my time; not a way to make me buy something or feel positive about a brand.
I mean look, I was setting out intentionally to discover what the company and message was, and I cannot tell you either. I imagine it must work for some people, but any execution that can miss a large chunk of potential viewers just simply for not guessing the right password or having the right phone model... risky.
So the moral: The idea is great, but if the execution cannot match it, then it's simply a big waste.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
The idea is "You get world cup tickets, can't decide who to take so you watch it on your amazing tv". A simple idea, but it has scope for a good ad.
Except this isnt a good ad.
Things start off badly with them calling the tickets "Cup final", which loses any sense of passion gained by the tickets supposed value.
It then proceeds with an AWFUL voiceover. Its tacky, badly written, detracts hugely from the idea and worst of all, sounds so astonishly patronising that it doesnt just make you want to ignore the message, or ignore the ad, its downright insulting. This isnt advertising for 5 year old kids who can't understand an basic concept of storytelling, its for adults with jobs, brains, disposable income; what the hell were they thinking?!
Why do so many ads (Microsoft) feel the need to use a voiceover to describe what is going on. Its not like people cant figure it out for themselves if it was better produced and directed. And if you MUST use a rubbish voiceover, at least edit and trim the copy so that it doesnt sound like a 17 year old salesperson reading a bad script. Treat the consumer as intelligent and they will appreciate it... I forget who said it, but its very true.
People aren't stupid. When will some agencies learn? Hasnt W+K taught you ANYTHING yet?!
I saw one again today, and I was thinking about why so many people were leaving AOL over the past few years, and that made me realize one reason why these ads were so good..:
AOL has always been the "Ill hold your hand while you learn to connect" type of provider. It was unflexible, flawed and expensive; but in the infancy of the net it was just what people needed.
Now the net is much more accessible and less technogeek in nature, people no longer need the mummy provider, they want price, speed and flexibility; which completely went against AOL's image.
Now what these adverts did, as well as just provoke debate and comment; is to actively start changing AOLs image from being a push (Providing safety, child protection, easy to use for beginners), to being an up to date pulling image (what do YOU think, what do you want to do, etc). Its quite subtle if you have the old AOL Connie image of the brand, but to new PC owners and the like its a BIG difference. In one single ad, AOL went from looking old fashioned and conservative, to looking progessive and enlightened... thats quite a change, and worthy of credit.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Never mind a basic recall message, this one has an honest voice, is witty; and almost makes you forget you've bought an (unintentionally) lethal weapon waiting to happen.
Proof that the concept of gaining loyal customers by adequately dealing with complaints and problems is very much alive.
Monday, June 12, 2006
Was one of those conversations that should have been recorded and released as a podcast, maybe next time...
I suggest you check his blog out. And while you are at it: Adliterate , The legend, Russell Davies
Friday, June 09, 2006
Its that wonderful time of year where we get to make up another excuse for not winning...
It must be said though, that the number and quality of football / footballer related ads is shocking.
Heres a brief summary:
England Album (various) - Who on earth buys this rubbish, must be the same folk who buy an updated Christmas cd each year. Terrible ads, terrible product.
Asda - Michael Owen doing his best pocket tapping. Not bad for an Adsa ad, but thats like saying that a broken metatarsal is a not bad injury.
Domino's Pizza - Michael Owen again... not a particularly well written or performed ad, but the idea is pretty good.
Pepsi - Various - The Xbox 360 tie in is alright, nice to see the less used older stars in with the usual suspects. The radio ad is much better.
Pringles - Various - Typical football ad crossed with typical pringles ad. Not bad, but not good either.
Gillette - Beckham - Just the usual ad with a "World cup sponsor" bit added. Still rubbish.
BenQ / Siemens - Ronaldo - Interesting idea of doing skills on a small podium. Gets the idea across without appearing like a 'cash in' ad (although it is).
Mars - Believe - Not awful, but not exactly good. The whole "believe" idea is a bit lame, a half hearted attempt to be a 'proud British' company; although at least this one has an idea... I preferred the more subtle "Russian Linesmen" ad from Euro 2004
Carling - Same old kickabout ad, but I like the added "post match interview" section. Usual Carling stuff
Budweiser - Lots of good ads recently, and the Mexican wave picture idea is great and refreshingly (...!) simple. Possibly the best football ad this year: Note that it does NOT contain, star cameos, stars reading terrible lines badly, bad football stereotypes, out of place football jokes, or any of the crap that goes with the usual. Its just a good idea, done well. Simple and effective.
Adidas - At last a company with an actual connection to football! Nothing amazing, but the light hearted use of Franz Beckenbaur (I know thats a wrong spelling, I just dont know the right spelling!) is really good.
Apart from a few notable examples, world cup ads are generally a time for the cash in creative not the creative creative. This world cup appears to be exactly the same, save a last minute batch of genius.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Friday, May 26, 2006
Sony Playstation 3. Surely one of the most anticipated consumer products of all time. Yet so far, the reaction to it has been muted and Sony seem to keep insist on shooting themselves in the foot and irritating their customers.
An overview of issues so far:
Performance is nowhere near what was promised
The next gen Blu Ray (high definition) drive is mandatory. Meaning...
The Price is Huge (£425 was quoted by Sony, and the cheaper version is rubbish)
They are looking at banning re-sale/second hand game sales by saying that the (£50-60+) games you buy arent actually yours. No, you just buy the licence to play them!
I know TBWA have done some great work for PS and PS2, but if the consumer image of Playstation3 is affected by these issues (as it really should be); then they have some work on their hands to make a difference.
With a potentially negative brand image, will those interesting and obscure ads (Third Place, circle-square-triangle-cross etc) still work in the same way?
Friday, May 19, 2006
Sure, the ad was poorly written, not very well spoken and a bit dull... but one of the points it makes it absolutely spot on, namely:
Men don't like shopping for sofas, theyd rather be at home sitting on the lovely new sofa they can't be bothered to shop for.
Its a great insight that reveals a lot about the attitude of customers buying sofas, but also opens up a range of ideas on how to target them: "We know its dull, but when you are watching tv with a beer it will be so much more relaxing than your current one" and so on.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Following in their quirky style (based on Japanese legends i believe), but it does very well to put across a real feeling and emotion that phones help you deal with.
In essence a man on a coach travelling away from his girlfriend. He speaks as a cloth like ribbon, that travels back to the girl and wraps around her.
The thing I love is that the ribbon acts like a hug, and it really (in one small detail) puts across how speaking to a loved one far away feels.
Its on a little too much now, but I still think it portrays its message and the feeling behind it very well.
I also love the tagline "Talk for hours not minutes". It perfectly cuts across the network idea of having xx minutes talktime, and really gives the impression that 3 offer more.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
I really like it.
A bubble is flying through a cityscape and various place, turning into lots of bubbles; with some music that sounds a little like Aphex Twin or Autechre.
Edit: Apparently its 'Utopia' by Jackson and his computer band. Thanks anonymous informant!
The bubbles bounce off things and cause ripples and other movement on the objects.
What I only noticed on the second viewing is that when flying over the city you see keyboard keys below, when the building ripples it looks like a film strip, and so on.
Whether it will connect with the customer is to be seen, but as a nicely understated and watchable ad its great.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
They had a well promoted ad on today at 9-30pm. It was advertised in lots of papers but I missed it. Was it anything worth seeing?
Friday, May 12, 2006
Odd zooming hover buttons... but the text is absolutely excellent; it makes you think about a complex Economic issue without making it seem difficult or boring (as economics often can to people not part of it).
The text is simply:
The gap between the rich and poor is growing. But if the poor are getting richer does that matter?
Wonderfully simple and engaging copy.
Monday, May 01, 2006
Now whilst the 50 cent range of clothing seems to sell fairly well, im talking about labels such as (and specifically) Atticus, started by a member of Blink 182. This label seems to keep growing and growing in terms of design, availability and popularity.
So what is the lesson here?
This brand is being happily bought by and worn by 16-30 year olds who (very often) are anti big brands or corporations. People who won't buy Nike and hate McDonalds, people who are very often Vegetarian or Vegan. They have strong views, yet these brands have something that appeals to them.
I believe its two things:
These labels are run by and often advertised by members of bands that have a lot of credibility with the target audience. The kids and young adults buying them respect those people, and very often the causes and ideals they stand for. This is translating into a lack of usual cynicism with these brands.
The ethics are very important for this set of people, and the backing of credible people, as well as a seemingly anti-corporate image is selling clothing at a very corporate rate.
Maybe the point is, ethics and credibility can pay off. Its been seen before, for every Walls there is a Ben and Jerry's. Being a responsible company doesn't have to mean losing money, and by being more responsible and appearing (at least) more trustworthy; maybe new markets will be opened up.
It was a tired thought at 11pm after 9 hours in Earls Court, but I think the point is there or thereabouts. Id love to know any thoughts on this...
Monday, March 13, 2006
Which is a shame as its an amusing twist on the lots of guns movie joke.
Its pretty amusing, but the key thing about it for me is that it really puts across a sense of fun and bonding that is exactly what Microsoft is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into Xbox Live to achieve.
Banned 360 Ad
I can understand why they dont show it... but the idea works very well.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Unfortunately, despite a good idea and end thought, someone kind of forgot to make the middle bit work. It ends up just feeling messy and clumsy, with none of the style or charm of the other ads.
Monday, February 13, 2006
Taking on the guise of a ficticious cause promoting the honest and beautiful way of playing the game, its interesting and entertaining. It also has a big message for those of us who love the game and are fed up of people diving and cheating.
Not only that, it features the legend himself, Eric Cantona.
This is the first in a series of 8, and apparently they hit TV very shortly.
And hopefully, thanks to their marketing agency considering this blog important enough to email me; I really would like to think that maybe, just maybe, you heard it here first!
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Walkers (the UK brand of Lays) is undergoing a logo change. Basically they are replacing the long running typeface with something that looks awful.
What purpose could this possibly serve? It doesnt make the brand feel any better. Its not more modern. Its just change for the sake of change, why pay good money for that?
All this after Intel, AT+T, UPS, Kodak, etc, all change their globally known brand logos for stuff that is nowhere near as good!
Has the world run short of good graphic designers or what?!
The best being an MTR (underground) ad for the discovery channel.
They basically created a flick book advert that was posted and lit up for a stretch coming into Causeway Bay station. You look out of any window on that side of the train and you can watch the ad as you move.
Fantastic creativity and placement. Seriously brilliant. Id love to see that concept on the Underground here!
Monday, January 16, 2006
The full version is 2 minutes!
Ive heard a few mixed thoughts on the ad, but there is little doubt that it leaves a lasting impression. Its so nice to see that original creativity still has an important place within advertising.
Watch it at WK London's site here
Monday, January 09, 2006
Nice piece of timing and awareness from JCB over Christmas:
As the JCB song hit number one (if you arent aware, its a song about a 5 year old riding on his dads JCB to get away from school bullies) JCB placed a nice reminder ad in the national papers.
Not only did the song get them lots and lots of brand awareness, this ad helped to absolutely cement the image of the song with the product itself.
Someone at their ad agency was totally on the ball that week. Kudos.
JCB song / video