Friday, November 30, 2007

I always wanted you to go into Space man...

Sometimes ads find that executional sweet spot that hits humour, emotion, friendship, and combines it all with a brand warmth.

Sometimes ad strategies take out of date, faltering ideas and spruce them up into a piece of brilliance.

It won't change the world, but for my money the new Carling space ad is better than the Cadburys Gorilla, Sony Rabbit, Orange Rainbow and Guinness Domino combined.

It's not perfect but it absolutely hits the executional bullseye. From the setting, to the writing, to the actors (that mix between the old Carling 'everylad' and the new Carling 'bestmates', which, whilst being similar to the entourage that appears in every Carlsberg ad; actually offer something far more appealing from both strategic and executional viewpoints).

Carling ads used to be good pieces of work for a brand that felt like it was being taken downmarket. This on the other hand is an entirely different keg of beer. The Belong idea takes all that was good about the old ads, their universal appeal, the community spirit; and makes it that little bit more classy without going too far as to limit the brand.


More important than any ad, people are dying in Bangladesh after the cyclone.
If you are able to please donate some money or pass the message on.

DEC Bangladesh Cyclone appeal

If you don't know who DEC are, they are the Disasters Emergency Commitee, one of the most important organisations in helping out after the Tsunami in Asia a few years ago.

Sheer Loonacy

Some products deserve to be successful purely because of the genius of their name.
This is one.

A service in central London that you can text and using GPS it will tell you where the nearest public toilet is.

It's known as: Sat Lav.

Image from

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Strange Things...

There are so many ads that everyone remembers. I wanted to update my "inspiration" section; but realised that I would probably just post 5 ads by John Webster and a couple by HHCL, so instead I thought about ads that you wouldn't expect to have had an impact on me but did.

As pretty much the head of the school magazine (aged about 11/12), the motley crew of 4/5 decided that as part of our stream of consciousness randomness we would write an entire article/sketch based upon the character from this ad.

The second verse of this ad is possibly the greatest piece of alliteration ever seen on a tv ad.

This ad alone made me buy a Minidisc, and Chinese Burn by Curve was the first CD I ever copied to it. *sigh* I still love my MD.

For pure brilliance in getting the point across without complication.

And finally (for now). Watch Out They Taste Curly...brilliant.

Actually, I do recall when I went on a uni trip to DDB in London; they told us how the previous agency had lost the account after the creatives or producers (I forget which) put themselves in a completely self indulgent piece of rubbish after previously making reasonable ads! Sadly I can't find it anywhere...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Favourite Limerick

"What?" You may ask, "..on earth does that have to do with advertising?"
Well, read the last line and then look at a few print ads; see how many do it :)

There once was a man from Sudan
Who limericks never did scan
When asked why this was
He said "it's because"
"I always like to fit as many words into the last line of the limerick as I possibly can."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Request for Campaign Readers

I know, I really need to subscribe as it's impossible to find here... but apparently I was in the best of the blogs section again last week.

If anybody saw it can you please do me a favour and let me know what post it was?

Thank you!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Is it true?

Wish me Luck!

Interview tomorrow...

Thought for the day

" 'Tried and Trusted' without adaptation is simply 'Out of Date' "

Seasons' Bleatings.

So, it's that time of year again. Christmas is creeping up on us like a stalker with Hush Puppies; shopping centres have already decorated themselves to the point of destroying the planet with lights and plastic decor, and the tv and radio are full of Christmas deals and offers. Yes. It's mid November.

The big question for me is this:

When is the 'right' time to start promoting Christmas? I mean, late November and you risk missing the boat. Late October (like DFS this year) and you risk being the brand that everyone screams "It's not bloody Christmas yet!!!" at.

Perhaps we need to see brands embrace progressive Christmasisation (now theres a word); in other words, start in early November with only a small hint of the season. Then gradually add tinsel, santa images and jingly music over the course of 4/5 weeks. That way you get in early whilst respecting those who aren't obsessed with all things red.

..what do you think?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wrap Music

I love this ad from Oxfam for their unwrapped gifts service.
It's half parody, half serious message, with a completely engaging and un-gratuitous use of celebrity.

Who ate all the pies?

For all the talk of brand relationships and the places that brands hold in our hearts and minds; I had completely forgotten about one of my longest running and strongest brand relationships.

Pukka Pies.

The pie equivalent of Yorkshire Tea.

If I went into a chip shop that served non-Pukka Pies, I would almost certainly have fish or a sausage. My association of quality is that strong that I would usually change my eating plans just because my favoured brand isnt there.

I wouldnt do that for Coke/Pepsi, nor many other 'FMCG' type brands, yet I would for Pukka.

I think their slogan in the image above is a large part of that. You always feel the products are cared about, designed and made with care and passion. That comes through in the product itself, especially in the packaging for their supermarket sold pies for the home.

Whats unusual is how I didn't even think of how strong my associations were at any other time until I ate one today. It was like I didn't even realise how strong my feelings for the brand were.
All this thinking is making me hungry... ;)

Image from Wikipedia

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Green With Envy...

For some interesting thoughts on Green issues for marketers, try John Grant's new book:

The Green Marketing Manifesto

I hope to read it soon!

Fried Katamari

Someone at Saatchi and Saatchi has been playing Katamari Damacy; and no bad thing either.

I can't find a video for the T-Mobile ad I am referring to.. so here's the site with a picture on instead, followed by a video of Katamari Damacy.

T-Mobile Myfaves

Monday, November 12, 2007

O2 No!

After the most excruciatingly PR managed hype in recent years the iPhone launched to huge critical acclaim and well... reasonable sales.

I like Apple. I like their attitude and products, and their focus on customer first. But with iPhone they just haven't got it right. Yes its usable, yes its brilliantly functional, but it has no 3G, apparently can't send picture messages, and is only available on the 'hopeless outside of a major city'* O2 network.

Seriously, its a good move for O2 to have it first, but I know plenty of people for whom the ONLY reason they aren't getting an iPhone is because they don't want to be stuck on O2.

A big question for me though, is just how much was the PR directly influenced by Apple/O2? All the hyperbole being written in every publication around was SO positive and SO uncritical that it felt totally fake. Rather like when the Playstation 3 launched to a reception of "Its like the 360 only with an High definition DVD player no one wants yet at nearly double the cost?" after a period of stupidly inaccurate hype that suggested a new apocalypse for all before it.

Did any of you feel the hype was too stage managed? Or did it match what you thought of the product?

Source: The Register

Image from infoworld

*This is from the experience of my family and friends.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Adtional Security...

Watching part of Britz last night made me think about how the way you treat people can affect what they become. The drama implied strongly that if you treat minorities like terrorists you will actually force them away and give them more encouragement to do so.

I started to wonder whether that is the same in adland. One of the things that most irritates me about ads is how many of them appear to treat the public as if they are stupid; as if they need everything spelling out and repeated s-l-o-w-l-y to be able to understand it. I wonder if this attitude actually causes the public to see ads as dumb, and not to read them with any sense of intelligence.

Does dumbed down advertising damage advertising that treats people with respect?

Thats Interesting...

I dont believe I've posted it before, here is my presentation from Interesting 2007.
I had a strict time limit of 3 minutes, hence the quick talking.

Oh, and the Powerbook didnt seem to like working properly at the start... I think I coped fairly well ;)

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Joy of Parody

Peter Serafinowicz... patchy show, but ocassionally brilliant.
None more so than the Personal Injury Claim ad spoof, a parody of the most unintentionally comical ad of recent times, can you tell which is the real one of the top two? Additional sketch below that also, the music is typical cheap 80s ad stuff.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Something that puzzles me

Why it that so many companies seem to believe their product or service is the most important thing in the world to their 'consumers'? I keep noticing it in ads at the moment, and it's quite an irritating trend.

For example: Specsavers. Yes, we know that glasses are expensive and people want to pay a fair price for them. But acting (as their latest ad does) as if buying expensive glasses can cause a nervous breakdown is overstating their importance just a little it seems.

Ok, so it's played for comic effect; but it feels like they mean it.

I hope one day soon brands are going to realise that no matter how aspirational they are, they are still selling products and services. Maybe by better understanding that they are not important they can fit more appropriately into peoples' lives and actually increase their importance by understating it.

What do you think?

Image from

Where Have You Been?

I'm always slightly disappointed in the blogosphere that not many people seem to comment on the blog of one of the cleverest people I know. So I am making it my blog of the week!

Almost Always Thinking