Monday, September 29, 2008

A theory...

(please note the sarcasm before complaining)

The credit crunch, its a horrible state of affairs.With banks and financial institutions that couldn't give a shit about their customers or the government a year ago now out begging hand in cap for the sake of their customers.

Frankly I think the whole thing has been coming for years, and is really a response from nature to those who make shit ads.


Halifax - Shit ads, need rescuing
HSBC - Decent ads, merely job losses
Bradford and Bingley - Rubbish ads - bank rescue
Nationwide - Decent ads - buying out two failing competitors

Even outside banking, MFi has had to be rescued. A payback surely for years of rubbish ads that change every month. PC World are also on hard times.

Watch out for DFS going under...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ford Better or Worse

The new Ford Fiesta ad from Ogilvy appears to make no sense whatsoever. It's screens moving around a city, its slightly abstract, well shot and engaging, but I just have no idea what it's trying to say apart from a vague technology/its flashy and stylish type message.

Happily its looks in this case are enough to make a good ad. Just not a great one.

Catch the Train Fever

Honestly, you'd think East Midlands trains had an active vendetta against my brother and I. First the trains are two carriages instead of the supposed four, so they are always packed by time we get near work. Secondly, they close the station outside my house for three months to fix a small bridge, so we have to travel 3 miles each morning to catch it from a later station, meaning that we never get a seat in the two stupid carriages. Then they put up the prices (my brother has been charged a different amount every day despite getting the same train from and to the same place.

My brother emailed them three weeks ago, no reply.

East Midlands Trains sure know how to improve their brand perceptions.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tea Time

The new APSOTW (Account planning school of the web) task is upon us. It's a cracker put together by Northern based on the best tea in the world wide world.

This task is all about inspiring creatives rather than finding insight, and I can't wait to see how people tackle it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Born and Bread

The new Hovis ad is a staggering 122 seconds long, once for every year they have been around. But you know what, it fills every one of those 122 seconds whithout losing its way or feeling like it is buying for time.

It is essentially a run through the recent history of Britain, but done in such a way that it never feels contrived, cheap or sappy.

The kid playing the lead role is excellent, he gives it the northern charm that we all sort of associate with Hovis. The ad is well shot, the music is good and it really gets across the reliable and timeless nature the brand aims for.

And as Scamp rightly points out, the ad is all the better for showing sombre moments of our history, and the client deserves credit for letting an ad like this get through as it is.

122 seconds well filled. If only other agencies could get the same quality into their 1min ads.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

John Mugabe

As someone who works in advertising I am more than aware of the power we sometimes have to put fear into people. Fear that you might smell, be ugly, have no friends, be uncool. I hate it when ads play on those fears, but quite frankly it seems we have nothing on the ads of American politics.

John Mccain's campaign ads so far have been shocking, doing the Republican thing of playing on peoples fear of the unknown. America is a divided country, and the Republicans are masters of manipulating people that are not (as much as we like to believe) totally stupid, but in most cases just very badly misled.

Frankly with ads like these (below, ads with explanations) , pushing fear, outright lying, manipulating facts, its no wonder that people who don't know any better vote for these selfish cheating scumbags.

Please explain to me John Mccain how you are any better than Robert Mugabe? A tyrant you say, fake democracy you say. Is he not just doing the same as you, using fear to make people vote one way? Scaring people and lying to them in order to win an election that everyone else around the world knows should be won by the only candidate with real ideas for a better country?

Fuck you Mccain. Fuck you Republican party. Frankly America has no hope when the world lets a country be dominated by this type of campaigning. We should have acted on Mugabe, we should have acted on Darfur, we should act on this. The most powerful country in the world should not be run by people who are happy to cheat and lie and manipulate the people they are supposed to be helping.

Image from Stu's Views

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bonnie Wee Ad

Ah the user generated mash up. Party to a million you tube views, promoter of good ads and rubbish manga with MOR rock mixes.

Fallon have seen fit to air a user remix of the Gorilla ad, featuring Bonnie Tyler's total eclipse of the heart. Nice idea, except it doesn't work anywhere near as well. The build up is weaker, the payoff is weaker, the drumming is weaker.

Also, if (like me) you hadn't seen that remix before seeing it on tv; you watch it thinking its a spoof, or they have tried to change it, or make another ad on the cheap by using a different song.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

100 Channels and there is nothing on

I have been wondering for a while about my lack of desire on some days to 'surf' the web in that 1999 style of old. Googling random topics to see where I go. Spending hours looking at random sites in fascination.

All that has gone, and I think I have worked out why.

You remember having 4/5 tv channels, you always found something to watch. Then multi channel tv came along, and it was a realm of choice, every possible subject and whim catered for through the wonders of satellite technology.

Then we got settled, then we chose favourites, then we flicked... we flicked some more... then we never stopped flicking. Our standards became so high that suddenly that half interesting documentary or obscure Indian film became wastage instead of the only thing on. We said 'there's nothing on!' even though there clearly was lots of things on.

Well that's what is happening to the net. Facebook, twitter, blip, blogger, your news site... thats it. You are done. No time left to random surf, and even then you do it on wikipedia.

iGoogle makes it worse, you don't even need to go looking for stuff. It's all right there.

Web 2.0 has become multi channel tv. Suffering from our RSS favourite comfort zones.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Crazy Crazy Nights

No I am not a Kiss fan...
I am merely referring to the comedic mayhem of work's annual outing to Glaramara in Cumbria.

I arrived at 10pm (straight from a meeting via a long train/taxi combo) to be greeted by 30 colleagues with 'Rob pulling a silly face' masks on!

There followed a night of general silliness including a rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody by myself and three creatives; which set standards for comedy... probably.

It was really nice though to feel like part of the group after less than 6 months here, indeed the boss commented that he couldn't remember anyone getting this kind of reception. After the hard work it took to get here, that's a nice pay-off for me.

Trains... bloody trains

Good news for me and my bro (planning brothers on two enemy sides), the train that gets us to work everyday will not be stopping at our station for three months...

I am so glad I am getting a lift in a month or so, as frankly it looks like our house ain't gonna sell until hell gets frosty; and using public transport is just soul destroying!