Friday, October 28, 2011


This anti drink driving ad from New Zealand is brilliant.

Unlike most ads that tackle drink driving, it feels like there is a true understanding of how the problem actually works in real life; that they see the difficulty involved in telling someone who has had a few not to do it. They don't patronise, they don't come at you from a higher moral ground or use shock value to create impact. Instead, they created something surprising. An ad for drink driving that might actually have an effect.

To rework it so that the core message is about the positive outcome of not drink driving, but still referencing what could happen in a different and entertaining way is brilliant. Telling a sober person not to drive when they get drunk is never going to be easy to do, but turning you into a hero (even in your own head) for doing the right thing is a great way to try and reframe the problem in a way that might actually change the overall behaviour, even if it doesnt stop someone wanting to drive drunk initially. This ad fully deserves the praise it is getting.

Good government advertisers... legends.

Monday, October 10, 2011

If We Churn Churn ... Churn Churn Churn

The new Yeo Valley ad is just brilliant. Who would have thought they could top comedy farmers rapping? Well they have.

Everyone knows the boyband cliche's, but they are done superbly here; mocking in a loving way the poses and styles (even harmonies) of these kind of groups.

The idea of singing farmers is strong, and the branding is nicely either underplayed or part of the humour so it doesn't feel like you are being shouted at.

When we talk about better engagement, being bold and building emotional connections, this is the kind of thing we mean.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Do Different

(Aka - Why Steve Jobs would have made a brilliant planner)

I am well known as someone who stays away from the hype around apple products. I have never owned an iPhone, Mac nor iPad. Yet it is impossible even still not to be saddened by the death of Steve Jobs at just 56.

When google and Microsoft link to a competitor's homepage, when people are genuinely sad at the passing of someone they never met, when millions of people learnt about it on devices he created; you realise this was someone of the like we will probably never see again.

Whatever your personal view on their products, it is hard to get away from the simple fact that Steve Jobs changed the world. His personal desire and intelligence brought the world products that simply stood out a mile from the competition. His confidence in his beliefs meant he never backed into launching products for market gaps, he acted like a great planner and took insight and used it to see the gaps no one else could see.

Not only that, he allowed the creative people around him to use their creativity. He respected their work, and as long as it met with the vision he trusted them to do their job. You only have to look at the work Pixar do to see the effect. He may have been tough to work for, but how many geniuses were easy bosses?

The use of intuition and his innate understanding of how people work were characteristics that any planner would be proud of; it's great to have the data, great to have the facts and figures, but the ability to take a leap from there is what seperates the great from the good.

We need more brave planners, more leap planning. To show the world (and especially our creative departments) that what we do isn't all about charts and numbers, it's about insight and pushing the industry forward. What better role model? Instantly any creative will understand what that means and how you want to work; that you want to help creatives and make people respond better to your campaigns and ideas.

It's easy to be the same, to do what everyone else does. Being different takes bravery, strength and belief. It's not just about thinking different, it's about doing different. Just like Bernbach, just like Webster.

So let's be insightful, intuitive, bold and determined. Let's progress our industry, and in a small way take inspiration from the man who took the computer from a scientific machine to what we use every day in our homes and our pockets; and who gave us the best film studio of the last 50 years.

Let's plan like Steve Jobs.

Monday, October 03, 2011

The Art of Subtlety

According to a page on their website, create all their ads in house.
One line made me laugh though: "But if you thought the commercials were the product of some trendy Soho ad agency you’d be wrong."

Oh dear. No folks, not for one second did I think that the latest monstrosity was conceived by an agency. If it was they were either juniors on a total off day, or terrible.

I am rapidly getting to the stage where i prefer GoCompare's ads to these. At least GoCompare has an idea, this feels like a brief given a visual and sonic treatment. You can practically see the brief in the script:







Oh and!




ARGH! All this does is make remember that I never want to visit a site that is producing this kind of ad.

Seriously, the people making these need to study the work of Dave Trott. The guy is an expert at creating memorable and enjoyable ads that made you remember the brand, but in a positive way. Ariston, Toshiba, Access, all strongly brand name focused but with creativity, a strategy, and an actual idea.

If there is a better demonstration of why we need planners and creative directors I am yet to see it.