Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Duffy Man Likes H2Oooooh Yeah

Two piss takes in one video. One works better than the other, but it worth it for the altered song lyrics.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Blog of the Week - CST / Dave Trott

Hi folks. This is a new feature that will aim to be weekly!

I thought it was worth taking time to talk about the blogs that really interest me and provide good content or debate. Some will be big, some not so big; but hopefully this will be useful for those new to the blogosphere, and those who don't have time to browse everything...

BOTW No1 - CST - Dave Trott

I've started with Dave Trott's blog because over the past few weeks its been the place that has provided the most interesting stories on adland.

Content: The content is usually stories from Dave related to things he's learnt, or relevant stories on new topics. There is very much a feel of someone who has been there and done it, and is enjoying sharing his wisdom.

Debate: People quite often enjoy disagreeing with Dave, he sometimes says controversial things or makes deliberately harsh comments that he usually explains pretty well. It's not like Scamp with 80million anonymous replies, there are a number of people who contribute regularly.

Response: Dave responds regularly to the comments, getting involved in the after debate as well. Its not often you get to talk to people of this experience, nor people who have been at the top of major agencies; and usually those you can talk to are scare and selective. To be able to constructively disagree with them (and have them reply) is rare.

Some good recent posts:

Monday, March 23, 2009

1966 Was a Good Year for English Football, Eric was Born

One of my favourite Nike ads from W+K there, but I am perhaps even more pleased about the Frenchman's latest ad-venture.

After a year or two of terrible ads (this week's Campaign Turkey for one, last years 'Ad Pit Winner of Worst Ad of 2008 for another) Renault finally look to be heading in the right direction again.

If I ask you to name great Renault ads you will almost certainly say one of two:

1. Papa & Nicole
2. Theirry Henry - Va Va Voom

Both great campaigns that really demonstrated what we love about the French, whilst avoiding the things we hate! Yet, since then the brands work has been missing something, a certain style, flair, passion. Which for a French car brand is terrible. They had lost... well, their Va Va Voom.

But Cantona is back tonight, and this time its in a Renault; and for one I am really really hoping that this campaign makes the endorsement work. Because if there is one ex-player of recent times who exhibits French flair at its very best, its Cantona.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

5 Rules of Blogging PR - Aka: How Not to Go Viral

1. Don't read my blog. When you get in touch, make sure it feels like you have never visited my site before. For example, I love it when you send me a link to a new ad in a campaign I've already slagged off saying "I think you'll really like this".

2. Ignore my location. The world is flat and although I mainly cover UK stuff, what I really want is 20 average campaigns from Canada and Mexico.

3. Timing doesn't matter. Sure you could encourage me to post by giving me something early, before it is released. But to be honest I'm happy to post about ads that everyone has seen, sites that everyone has been to, and content thats already been passed around. The more people have discussed it, the more likely I am to extend that conversation further.

4. Quality is irrelevant. I might be interested in the best work you have to put out there, but I am even more interested in churned out dross. Please send me at least 5 campaigns a week, all of which are shite.

5. I don't care if it works. Some people might say that sending an active, critical blogger a dead link, or a link to a site that doesn't work properly is foolish. Not me. I am happy to spend time going back and forth to your link to see if technical support has fixed it.

Just to Prove How Disgusting They Are

The Sun buys adwords for term Natasha Richardson after her death.
This is how low sections of our media goes every single day. It makes working in advertising look like working for Amnesty.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

And they say advertising needs more regulation

Yet our media is currently revelling in supposed sympathy for Jade Goody, a woman whom they spent several years ripping to shreds as it suited them.

Frankly its disgusting. I can understand her wanting to give interviews to help other cancer sufferers and get money for her kids future. But every other magazine is plastering her everywhere.

Jade is the new Princess Di.

Its sad that this happens to people (a friend of mine is the same age and has cancer), but our media circus is full of absolute hypocrites.

Oh and for the benefit of a certain paper, there is a reason people like Jade were so ignorant. It's that vile hatred, bile and half facts like yours are allowed to be called news.

It's About The Work Stupid!

The Ad Contrarian recently posted on being a Happy Creative Director, and slightly pissed me off in the process. Here follows a hopefully coherent rant... more focused I should say, at people who aren't doing their job properly than the ad contrarians comments himself.

The main problem I have is that it seems to imply that planners (or commitees... strategy by commitee, god help us) are essentially creating useless stratgies that good creatives can ignore or do better than. It also suggests that many planners are simply creating strategy and staying happy with that, as if it doesn't matter what follows.

It bloody well does.

It doesnt matter how amazing your strategic insight is. If the ad is rubbish/not effective (delete as appropriate), and the client doesn't get some actionable (jargon apology) ideas, then it's useless. Not just ineffective or weak, totally fucking useless. It doesn't matter how brilliant your car's engine is, how good the handling is, how good the interior is, if it looks like a hideous box of tin then all that good stuff is wasted.

We are in advertising, not Business consultancy. A strategy serves two main purposes, to improve the clients business, and to help creatives make good work that is right for the brand. Why would we bother finding insights, looking at data, doing research, understanding the client, the market, the customers, the non-customers; if we can't a: Give the client something that helps their business and b: Give the creatives something accurate but inspiring to start the creative process. What state are some planning departments in when a CD says to effectively treat all strategy and insight with scepticism?

But when the creatives do come up with a better idea and insight; why does it appear that they struggle to get heard? A good planner should know good insight whether it comes from them, a creative, the CD, the exec or the receptionist. Yes it will be hard to change the strategy, but our job is to create the best strategy, the best work; and in the long term aren't we better to say (at reasonable points in the creation process) 'actually we've found something better'.

Perhaps it's naievity from being in adland less than a year. But it just feels that comments like this indicate a huge huge waste of planning talent. If this is the case is it any wonder that many creatives dislike us, and treat us with trepidation. I love my job, and no matter how much I like finding interesting and useful chunks of information; its the final ad, and the clients' results that are the purpose of it all. We have to work with creatives to make the best fucking work we can, as efficiently and insightfully, as a team, standing and falling, winning and losing together, otherwise why are we here at all?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

United States of Britain?

If there's one thing that really pisses me of (and there isn't, there are far more than that) it's ads that are transferred from country to country with no real thought about whether it is appropriate.

Be it Gillette bringing Team America style bravado to shaving for 20 years, chupachups or Johnson and Johnson (among many others) with some hideous dubbing instead of re-shooting.

Microsoft are guilty of this with their new business aimed ads.

Nice ads, with a nice enough message; but somehow it just feels absolutely 100% American. At no point watching this do I feel like its aimed at this country. Method are a great company, but I don't know anyone outside adland who has heard of them. Quiksilver are better, but still too American for the average UK business owner. And I like to think I know a fair bit about them having written for them for several years prior to being in adland.

Sure you save on production, but why is saving £50k on production seen as a waste when not doing so wastes all however many hundreds of thousands you spend on media?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A face for the radio

Rubber Republic have created a nice video for the BBC's Today radio show. A nice behind the scenes of the wardrobe department.

It's sensibly silly and funny; and well worth a watch.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

So Easy a Man Can Do It

I'm not sure why I hate this ad.

It could be the complete patronising tone.
It could be that the implied sarcasm doesn't give the ad the ironic excuse it is clearly looking for.
It could be the shite (beyond so bad its good, and into so bad its a stain on our industry) acting, that also fails to give the ad the ironic excuse it is clearly looking for.
It could be that its implied relationship is so outdated and insulting to both men and women. God forbid an agency try to do this the other way round.

Or it could just be that I don't get it.

Creating purposefully shit ads to get attention is all very well a few times. But when 20% of our industry's output is trying to be Barry Scott it just falls flat.

I see what they were aiming for but even if they'd have achieved it, it would have been pointless.
The product looks useful, why not find a better way to show that...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hubbl;e Bubble Toil and Trouble

The new Aero ad is pretty good actually. Like most things these days it's inspired by a video found on You Tube; but the end result is original, fun, and backed by great music. And any ads featuring Bob Burnquist start a mark up with me.

Just two things though:

1. The Fallon Principle: Just because someone has given you budget for a 1min ad, doesn't mean you have to use it. The 30 cut is far better.

2. The Coke Principle: What in the name of Ogilvy, Bernbach, Webster and Draper is that bite shot about. It's awful, truly awful. I hope that it was client insistence that kept it in. Give us product shot, give us neon AERO logo, but please please don't ever give us that again.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Competition Time - Killed Ideas

Hello folks, not ran a competition before so this is pretty much an experiment...

We all know that there are hundreds of great creative ideas that never see the light of day. Killed by clients, killed by budget, killed by creative directors, killed by decency laws etc etc.

Now Steve Hall of Adrants is working with a online book publishing company called Blurb.com (and Ammo Marketing) to publish a book of the 50 best Killed Ideas.

Frankly I love the idea anyway, and when they suggested running a killed ideas competition on here; I thought why not.

SO. Let's find the best ideas out there that didn't or wouldn't make it.


1. (In the spirit of the Chip Shop awards) Find/recall/create an ad that didn't run, or wouldn't run, or that you just think would be good.
If it is an idea that is owned by your agency etc please remove the branding or get permission first. I/Adpit/Blurb will not be held responsible for ads shown here that you should not have supplied.

2. Send it to me, marked KilledIdeas to: rob [at] ad-pit [dot] com

3. Myself and another TBC judge will pick our 10 favourites, which will then go to public vote

4. Deadline is Fri 27th March

5. Prizes:

Winner - 2 x £20 vouchers for Blurb.com, where you could print a photo book, an ad book, or whatever you feel like. Plus some bonus random geeky knick knacks from myself.

4 x Runners Up - £20 voucher for Blurb.com

Monday, March 02, 2009

Terms of Endearment

As an industry, advertising and marketing is far too full of bullshit terms. Whilst I understand the need to simplify things for ease of use, often we end up screwing around with what these terms actually mean, which in turn affects how clients and others see these things.

What marketing terms are you fed up of? What do you think we should replace them with?

Here are some of my hated ones, plus a few I've heard being discussed:

Brand/s - This is one of those where it makes sense to have a word that describes that essence of what a company/product stands for and does. At uni brand was the buzz word thrown everywhere, and that I believe is why people hate it. Indeed there was a conscious movement by many bloggers not long ago to stop using it for a month.

Consumers - No. People in all their diversity and difference are not simply a category of mindless purchasing zombies. Again, its a useful word in describing people, but really we can do better. It sounds like a big evil corporate mantra that anti-brand (heh) types would have a field day picking apart. We have to engage people, and if we treat them like sheep we are never going to do that except by luck. Why not just say: People.

Social Media - Not one of mine. I think it's a reasonable description. It could be improved sure, and it is getting overused... but it does its job.

Viral - Viral is not a thing. Viral is what it does. You cannot make a viral, you can make some content for your brand (heh), put it up on social media (heh heh) and hope. But if it doesn't work, it's not a viral. If no one likes it, it's not a viral. If all 30,000 views come from agency and client staff, it's not a viral. Why not just say: Content. If you must... Content that we want to go viral.

Regional Agency - Been over this one before. A patronising term that insults the work and staff of every decent agency outside the M25. And there are plenty thank you very much. Why not just say: Agency, UK Agency. If you must: Agencies outside London.