Friday, August 31, 2007

Closed for Holidays!

Just to let you all know that I get married tomorrow, and will be away until 17th September.

Please dont forget about me!! ;)

In the meantime please leave your nominations here for the August Post of the Month voting. Any post on advertising, marketing, or design can be included.

See you all soon. Oh and, best of luck to Beeker who is also getting married tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mr Agency and the Extravagent Comparison

Apparently this following question is the closest to "A Campaign headline" i've got in a while. After reading a post from Rob Campbell about the lethargy of so many agencies, and the often apparant void between the creativity they claim and produce. So here goes:

Are Big Agencies the New British Leyland?

Lets look at that comparison is a logical way... this is a generic overview of some big agencies, rather than a critique of one.

1. Mix and Matched Brands

Made up of numerous brands with differing strategies, positioning, qualities, and purpose.
Leyland had Rover, Austin, Morris. What about HHCL/United being part of a group with Grey?
This meant that all the high class targeted Rover products got trapped in the same bracket as the Austin Princess or Allegro.

2. Always looking back not forwards.

Rover started to feel totally dated in the 70s. They were always looking back at the chrome and wood trimmed glory days, despite that market being long gone. Even under BMW ownership, they made the 75 totally historical, even though the brand no longer had any appeal for that shrinking market.

Even when they looked forward (E.g.: The SD1), they completely failed on quality.

Is that reminicent of the attitudes of some agencies towards their founding styles and messages? Relying on what worked when street medicine salesmen were still widely in business??

As for the SD1. How many millions of agencies claim to be creatively led? Yet if that were true why are 90% of ads awful and appear to have no creative thought at all?

Which meant that with the...

3. Market Under Threat

From the Japanese (aka the internet, mobile phones etc); they were completely outclassed and too slow to respond. Even when they did it was panic with no real planning or foresight.

4. Bad Management

Strikes. Not to mention the other faults above. How they could have been fixed without poor management and a company ethos that failed to ever address the issues. A company with huge potential died a slow death through a lack of strategy and a failure to provide what customers wanted.

Ring any bells?

Image from

Friday, August 24, 2007

Question for Ad Pit Readers

Would you be interested in asking questions about mobile advertising and mobile ad opportunities (etc) to the CEO of 'one of the fastest growing online and mobile chatting/flirting/dating networks' ? (I will mention their name if the consensus is you would like to hear their answers)

If so please post your questions here and I will get back to them with what you would like to know.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Post of the Month Winner

By a country mile, the winner of the first Ad Pit post of the month competition was Rob Campbell and his Charity Begins at Home post.

The results were:

Charity Begins at Home - Rob Campbell - 91.9% (34)
In defence of Brand Monologues - Adliterate - 5.4% (2)
Who Dunnit - Raymond - 2.7% (1)
Agency ecosystems - Logic and Emotion 0% (0)

Normally id be pretty angry to see Richard Huntingdon get such a low vote; but this month that was more down to the thoughtfulness and drive to help of the winning post.

Well done everyone who was nominated, and thanks to everyone who voted.

I get married in less than two weeks, so the nominations for August will start (hopefully) just before 1st Sept! After which the voting will start to settle into a regular date pattern!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Rational Irrationality

This may turn out rather rambled as im writing as I think (in hurry at end of lunch break!):

Brands are rational. Even the idea of desire is rationalised.
People are not rational.

Is this not a fundamental problem with how many ads are planned. Ok, maybe you buy your insurance based on a rational basis "which is cheapest with xxx cover"; but what about your drinks, your clothes, your car? Almost certainly not.

Only the most battle scarred parent chooses their car based on what is most rational for their needs. Most people have a half rational "I need to fit five people in and have a budget of £13k", half irrational choice "I liked this one when I tested it...why? I just did."

Its one of the reasons I am always sceptical about relying on research, because research is almost totally rational... but that moment when the customer goes to purchase the product they scored 5/5 for "I would like to buy" is likely to feature at least bout of irrational thought.

Maybe irrational is the wrong word. But I hope you get my point. When I walk into a shop and choose a drink, half the time I couldnt really tell you why I picked brand a/b/c. So you really shouldnt put too much faith into the reply I give when your brand survey asks me why I just bought it.

Friday, August 17, 2007

So Very Totally True

"What you stand for in the 21st Century will be every bit as important as what you sell."

Simon Woodroffe (Yo Sushi / Dragons Den)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I am aware...

That the result / award of the Post of The Month vote is a little late; my apologies, I have hardly had any time over the past week to do anything, let alone create an award image!

It will be here very shortly I promise!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

It starts here...

Although the last Sony Bravia ad didnt live up to the hype, it was good enough for me to await the next ad with keen interest... and so here is the first batch of information, and some pictures of the build up:

The next ad is built around the idea of play-doh! Which to me opens quite a few interesting possibilities.

Apparently it's being directed by Frank Budgen, who previously directed 'Gorgeous'; and shot in New York.

I have been sent a couple of pictures if people are interested:

Just please be better than the last one... oh, and I am keeping my fingers crossed for a cameo by Morph.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Break a Leg

Well, surprise of surprises... I just heard an injury solicitors ad that I like!

For BGR Bloomers, instead of being patronising its humourous (not laugh out loud funny, but smile funny).

It starts with a person likely to cause an accident:

"I can drive this forklift faster than anyone here, even backwards without spilling my tea. In other words, im an accident waiting to happen."

Focusing on the people who cause problems rather than showing people tripping over a paving slab with chewing gum on it makes it all the better; and puts the company way out in front in my view of this industry.

Its not mind blowing, but compared to other injury claims ads this is very good stuff.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Still they get worse

Ive not watched much tv recently (thank Guitar Hero 2 and Paper Mario!), but I do hear the radio at work.

And oh dear.

Debt management/iva ads havent got much better have they.

A new low is W3 Debt Solutions, who compare putting a plaster on a cut to getting debt help. Except in that patronising, nagging, know it all tone that seems to swamp these ads.

Are there no debt companies that understand how to make a decent ad? Just because you are talking to people with money problems doesnt make them stupid or ignorant.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


Just to let you know, I have finally started a music blog like i've been threatening to.
If you think I get angry at ads, you should see me with music...

I hope at least a few of you will want to join in the debate! (It will feature the "A band a week" topic I meant to keep doing for NP).


FireFlower music blog.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

There May be Trouble Ahead...

But for now, lets be thankful that so far Gordon Brown has done very little wrong.

He handled the car bomb threat well; he has shown George Bush he wont be a Tony Blairalike lapdop; he has pushed to FINALLY get some proper action taken in Dafur, he has taken a few sensible policy decision as well.

I know like all politicians it will turn bad, but lets look on the bright side; if he keeps this up we wont ever have to put up with that smug two faced wanker David Cameron.

More ad related thoughts soon!