Monday, July 30, 2007


I don't like everything about it, but I love the idea of the exploding cars in the new Nissan note ad.

It shows people struggling to fit their holiday stuff into their cars, and the car door and roof flying off and all the stuff falling out. Its a wonderful way of showing a real truth of holiday driving, and puts across the idea of space in a realistic yet exagerratedly fun way.

Edit... apparently it came out in Janurary! I never saw it though, so please humour me!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Super Simplicity

Simplicity is a virtue that is too often ignored in advertising.

It is however, no coincidence that many of the great campaigns we treasure are those which are simple at heart. They may have big budgets and expensive filmography; but the concept is easy to understand.

Sony's Bravia ads. Big budget, elaborate visuals; but a clear as day message: Colour like no other.

Its so much easier for people to remember, and act upon simple ideas. Which is why I love the work of Julian Burton. A guy who goes into big companies and helps the workforce understand the strategy and direction of the company through painting.

Its wonderful stuff.

Maybe that should be an ad test. If you can't paint the idea, it shouldnt be made.

(thanks to the wonderful 33 Thoughts by BDO Stoy Hayward)

Dont forget to vote in post of the month - below!

Slightly Famous Rob!

If you haven't seen it, my review of Interesting 2007 was published in this months Creative Review :)

Hurrah! Now, if only my copy had arrived yet...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Important Product Lesson No 1: Sky Plus

I love Sky+. It's an essential part of my tv viewing, like an RGB lead or remote control.
But every so often it absolutely makes me want to throw it out of the window.

When events overrun, why is there NO system to extend the recording time?

Todays formula one race was the most amazing and exciting one I have seen in over 15 years of watching the sport... except I missed the last 8 crucial laps because it was delayed by a restart.

WHY?! For god sake Sky sort it out.

Video recorders could do it, Videoplus codes gave an extended recording time. So why not Sky Plus that already knows when the start and end of a programme is?

Its a remarkable flaw in a fantastic product, but it ALWAYS does this. I don't trust it to record sporting events anymore, I would NEVER recommend it to someone to record sport.

I cannot believe they havent fixed this, its not a new product. They have had years to do something about it. I frankly am not happy. I am furious.

So Sky, what do you plan to do for someone who has not only used and recommended Sky for 14 years; but who also signed up hundreds of people when I worked in a store?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Post of The Month! : Updated

As the original post of the month appears to have fizzled out somewhere in the blogosphere, I thought i'd start it up again.

Please post your nominations here, they can be any posts on advertising, branding, marketing, design or similar topics. Originally posted or majorly updated from 1st June to 15th July.

Once the nominations are in, voting will commence!
I shall try to dig out a small prize for the winner, as well as the honour (ahem) of being Ad Pit Post of the Month! ... and no voting for yourself!!

I really hope this will work, as I think its important to bring people together to see the best of what's going on in the land of blogging :)

Image from

Nominations so far:

Charity Begins With Home - Rob Campbell

Who Dunnit - Raymond

Agency Ecosystems - Logic + Emotion

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Romeo Romeo...Slow Down!

In that odd 'planner' style of thinking, finally getting to see my favourite car of the moment in real life (even if it was in Sainsbury's car park) made me think a lot about the way I see things.

The Alfa Romeo Brera... its bloody gorgeous. £32k of Italian style. Even in black it was distractingly wonderful.

Yet they (Alfa) are known for being unreliable, for having build issues...yet if you wrote me a cheque for £32k I wouldnt even look at any of its competitors. There is something in that passion that so clearly wraps itself around the car that makes it far more than the sum of its parts.

Which oddly is very much how I think. I can accept failure, and learn from it. I can accept flaws, even compromise. But the one thing I cannot and will not accept is a lack of passion. Maybe thats why I love Nintendo not Playstation, why I love Innocent and not PJ, why I love Ben and Jerry's more than Haagen Daaz.

When I pass my test I plan to get a Volkwagon Polo (ideal first car you see), and in a sense I admire the passion of VW in perfecting the quality and reliability of their cars in the same way Alfa perfect the looks and style. You wont see me driving anything without passion in its craft, and I sincerely hope you will never see me involved in anything else without passion running right the way through it.

Picture from

Monday, July 16, 2007

Tesc-oh no you dont...

Tesco have made a bold move recently by actually admitting in their ads that Asda are cheaper than them on a number of products; as they fight a well publicised supermarket price war.

"945 products are cheaper at Asda, but 1213 products are cheaper at Tesco" sort of thing.

Its quite interesting to see how this might play out, because (for example) Asda might come back and say that 'The products Tesco are cheaper on are those you don't buy often' or even 'That's mostly their economy brand stuff which is worse than our economy brand stuff". Etc.

I understand the idea, and in principle I think its a good one. But it's not without risk, and if Asda fight back things could get messy...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Post of the Week

I havent seen the Post of the week feature that used to be on Russell's blog for a while... so I may start one up on here. If people would be interested please let me know. :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Does Branding make you Branded?

One thing I've noticed (what with my fiancee's family being from Hong Kong) is that a huge number of products in/from Asia literally try to specify that they are a brand.

"Happy Boy Brand" "Lucky Star Brand"

Yet you wouldnt really get away with that here. You wouldnt see "Norwich Union Brand" or "Pepsi Brand Cola".

So I wonder what difference there is in the perception of brands that makes this the case, or whether it is in fact just a language thing.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Be Green to be Seen

Live Earth. An impressive showcase of acts highlighting a great cause. [Metallica. woooo!]
Two things I believe are worth saying about this: (>me. angry)

1. Shut. The. Hell. Up.

"Oh, but the lighting used a lot of electricity" "I bet they all flew there on private jets" "I dont want to change my lifestyle"

Stupid idiots. Its ok to be sceptical, but for goodness sake... surely you all see the BIGGER picture?

When your kids grow up in a world full of floods, extreme temperatures, and a lack of fuel; your self pitying laziness wont seem quite so impressive to your buddies.

Even if we have nothing to do with global warming (even the most sceptical of scientists would say that we have had some effect), its not like its costs you money to use energy saving lightbulbs. It saves you money. Oh pity you and the 10 seconds of effort it takes to switch of your tv instead of putting it on standby.

2. Brands have to be there first.

They rightly said that if people demand environmentally friendly goods businesses will provide them. Its true. But c'mon brands... you can see where the trends are going. You must see that being there early can only help your company in the long term.

Alright, you dont want to be seen as jumping on a bandwagon... but the only real bandwagon jumpers are the late movers. The quicker you act the more positive it can be for you.

Agencies should play their part too. You know that you can plant seeds in the brains of the brands you work with. You are helping them talk to the customer, and as soon as the customer is ready you must tell them.

"But my consumers arent asking for us to be environmentally active yet." Maybe. But do you close down your research and development departments just because no one has asked for your top secret new product yet? Of course not.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Its Grin up North...

The umpeenth My Brain Hurts/Northern Planning Summit happened yesterday; and despite several major absenses it was good fun as usual!

Myself, Simon and Jonathon from Love, and Lauren turned up for a couple of drinks in a proper pub, then on for a slightly disappointing chinese meal.

As well as advertising the topics covered included:

Why Yorkshire Tea is the best tea in the entire world

The move back from digital worlds to real tangible items

Giving up smoking

Having kids

Road signs and traffic systems of the world

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Almost Famous Rob!

Apparently the Ad-Pit has been featured in Campaign's 'Best of The Blogs' feature this week!
So thank you Campaign, and thanks to Doug for pointing it out to me :)

Now if only Campaign was available anywhere in Sheffield i'd go read it...!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Clean Design...

I've always loved design. Though i'm not a brilliant designer, its something i've always enjoyed looking at and studying. Having just bought one I feel obliged to write about my favourite piece of product design in quite a while:

The Indesit Moon Washing Machine
(image from Dixons)

What I love about it is that not only does it look unusual and modern; but that most of the more radical design features are based upon improving thefunctionality of the product. The door is solid as it houses the detergent dispenser, removing the need for a drawer (which is such a rubbish device I cant believe its been used for so long).

The controls are so simple, and light up so you can clearly see both what setting you are on and how long is left (it counts down like an old schools tv clock).

It looks fantastic, and has so many great little touches. If only more white goods had this design care lavished upon them...

Monday, July 02, 2007

Flat Pack Four

I really like the new MFI ad by M+C Saatchi. Featuring a family testing out furniture in an argument. Its nicely produced, not overbearing about the punch line, and has a nice realism to it that makes it connect rather than talk over. I especially love where she sends the paper flying at the end.

Uploaded by hydrabash

Shame though, that Chimp Media Monitoring has found a remarkable similarity between that ad and one produced for Ikea by Crispin Porter + Bogusky in the US.