Thursday, November 27, 2008


It's been a while since I last saw a great ad spoof. I have to say I am quite impressed with the latest one from Specsavers.

It's clearly been done quickly, but it does the job; and is well worth a view.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Discomfortingly Good

I received one of the many PR emails I get each week yesterday, and opened it expecting another disappointing piece of work (on the whole about 50% of what I get is average, and only 10% worth posting).

Instead what I got was something nice, interactive, clever and sweet.

Creature Discomforts - A new range of flash games animated by Aardman animation to spread the word on Leonard Chesire Disability; and promote the idea that we should see disabled people for what they can do, not what they can't.

Each game has a character with a disability, with my favourite being the Tortoise jumping game.

There are also some tv ads in the creature comforts style, working just as well as it always has in getting across gentle but powerful messages from disabled people on their lives. They are sweet without being saccarine, and you can't help but admire the people who have made these statements. My favourite being: "I have standard reply to people who say I can't do things... Watch me."

Great work.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Brilliant. I can't think of people more deserving.
Edit: Forgot the link... LolGriffin

Vote for Something

The battle over Manchester's congestion charge has become quite farcical really. I personally am undecided, but leaning towards yes; but were it based on the advertising and campaigning, the vote should be non-existent.

The no campaign has all the subtlety and balance of Jeremy Clarkson's Big Book of Speed Cameras. A jagged C logo, VOTE NO! NO MORE CHARGES! JUST DRIVING YOUR CAR! Jeez fucking get a grip. It feels like the sort of campaign put together by UKIP to save the pound, a reactionary agressive campaign which is based on opinion not fact; run by the sort of people who would vote to nuke Iran if it meant their car tax came down a few quid.

That said, the Yes campaign isn't much better. Clearly ripping off an NHS ad style, with mug shots of people with blatantly contrived "Quotes". It just looks embarassing. "80 more trams, then the charge comes in? Sound fair to me." Except it doesn't. Because there is no way on earth that these people have said these phrases, it is ad speak of the worst kind; attempting to sound like someone but failing miserably and ending up sounding like a council trying to sway people with fake opinion.

In fact the only people who have come up with anything reasonable are First, the local bus company. Their on-bus posters and booklets at least explain the benefits in a rational way, and are the only persuasive thing I have read in the 'battle' period.

Vote Yes? Vote No? Vote for better advertising!

Friday, November 14, 2008


Well, one shop certainly found a way to ensure I never ever buy from them ever again.
They fitted that Mosquito device designed to stop kids hanging about outside their shop.

As I walked past the shop, a gigantic bee decided to start drilling my ears with a rusty dentist's drill. Through a megaphone. Through another megaphone. Through a PA system.

That's the equivalent of the next PC World ad using the Voiceover: "Hey, you ignorant little bastards with no knowledge of computers. Why not buy from us so we can rip you off after waiting in line for three hours to speak to an advisor who hasn't yet learnt what RAM is."

Ouch. Stupid shop.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ello Tosh

The first few seconds of the latest Toshiba ad reminded me of the classic Trott branding opus of Hello Tosh Gotta Toshiba.

The rest of the ad was raised eyebrows and daft smile. It tries to fit an idea in there, but falls a little flat; but flatter squarer tube the execution works. There is so much going on you want to see it (or at least don't object to seeing it) again and again to make sense of it.

With enough post production to keep ILM moving in crunch Britain, it ain't half built well.

As a planner I suppose I should be complaining about the lack of strategy in there, but frankly this ad is a good argument that true planning also involves knowing when the execution is good enough to get a message across on its own merits. This is. That's good.

And its from Grey. Grey... Grey! Next you'll be showing me an M+C Saatchi ad with some subtlety.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Big Update Part 3: In the hands of the god fearing

Let's not underplay this. The fate of the whole world rests on today.

Today America decides whether to let intelligence or fear win, whether to let ignorance and racism beat truth and change.

Today we find out whether America is the intelligent, caring nation that we all believe is hiding underneath the layer of ignorance that we have seen for eight long long years. Or if it is actually as stupid as we fear in our worst imaginations.

This affects us all. Our jobs, our security, the welfare of humankind around the world. The survival of the human race as we know it.

Frankly if John Mccain wins today then the USA might as well be wiped off the face of the earth, for it will have no respect left, no credibility left, no rightful place in the world left, and no justification for ever ever declaring how they are free.

Barack Obama is no Nelson Mandela, but then Mandela is no Martin Luther King. But after the last eight years, the potential impact Obama could have on his country and the world is greater than either of those two great men. BBC News last night showed clips of southern American women declaring 'I know for a fact that Obama is a terrorist.'

Maybe, just maybe after 8 years of Obama, they might realise the terrorist was already there; and Obama kicked him out.

Big Update Part 2: The New Fella's

You know what will help us sell pizzas... the bastard lovechild of Barry White and Chuckie from Childs Play. That's who.

It feels like a blatant attempt at creating something that kids will latch onto and repeat in playgrounds. It might work too, but the scary looking puppet distracts from the charm it might have had.

There doesn't feel like any longevity in the idea. At least the best character based ads had creations with more rounded personalities, whereas although this has grown on me, it feels like it will get dull quickly as well.

Big Update Part 1: Nathan Barley

So apparently Carling is made from 100% British Barley.

*tumbleweeds blow across adland*

Really? After the brilliant Belong campaign, this is what follows it? Yes Carling has been in dire need of an improvement to its perception of quality. But Belong was doing that, it was moving it away from being the cheap beer of pissheads to feeling like the nation's lager place that it occupied in the 80s and early 90s.

The client may want to get the message out there, but I seriously doubt if anyone will actually care.