Friday, February 29, 2008

Our Flag Was Still There...

Great idea from Charles, that an online voting system should be set up; where every country votes on US election day to see what results come out the world over.

If you can help please speak to Charles.

(My vote is for Obama, and has been since the start of the nominations; in case anyone cares to have a debate on US politics...)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

La Deutsche

Thanks to Chimp for pointing this ad out for the Citroen C5.

What impresses me is that Euro RSCG and Citroen have gone for quite a brave position with this ad, one that could leave them open to criticism, but might also create a positive shift.

"Unmistakably German (Made in France)"

To openly acknowledge the qualities of your competitors, and in a sense be critical of your heritage within your message seems like a very bold move. I look forward to seeing the reaction this ad gets, but full marks to the agency and client for trying something new; especially in an age with plenty of dull car ads.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ideas That Sounded Good at the Time...

...but two celebrity changes later and some script alterations, and we have cringeworthy material.

To be fair, the ad does a good job of selling the comfort and cleanliness of the brand; but Lenny Henry really doesn't suit it, and the 'punchline' is just enough to make you shrivel up like a hedgehog watching The Office.

Everything is premier but the price... a nice if unoriginal idea. A case of "how can we differentiate ourselves from the 5 other 'nice but cheap' hotel brands out there.

Better casting and it may have worked a lot better...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

*Tumbleweeds blow across blogosphere*

Hmm... I have noticed a lack of comments recently; I hope this is due to people being busy rather than rubbish posts on my behalf! If not please give me a kick up the blogside...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Saving Face (book)

I have said it before, and will no doubt say it again; but Facebook suffers from the horrible problem that its main features are also its main flaws.

Applications allow you to do plenty of interesting and unusual things, but they are getting out of control. 12 invites in a day? All from people who were tricked into sending them instead of finding a hidden skip button!

It simply will not work.

This month saw Facebook's first ever drop in users; and while it is still number one, it won't be much longer unless they sort out the glut of annoyances that the site is creating.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Movin On Up

I cannot stand M People, but it makes a nice header...

Northern Planning Summit Number Something or Other went very well, a nice turn out despite acouple of last minute cancellations. (That's people not trains...)

We welcomed three newcomers, Andrea, Jenny and Rebecca; the most new people we have had at one event for quite a while.

The events now break up into groups as its difficult for seven people to talk in one group in a noisy venue; so we all discussed various topics.

One choice topic was about designers and whether universities are preparing them enough for work; providing enough briefs and helping them to understand the business side of design.

Overall a good night, I look forward to seeing everyone again for the next one!

Image from Northern Rail

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Big Fight LIVE!

Scamp (and others) recently posted about the often tetchy relationships between planners and creatives. How they often dislike or even fail to respect each other and the work that they do.

I know of several love-hate relationships between successful planner/creatives who work together.

Now as I start in planning in a couple of months I would like to ask the following questions and see if I get some useful responses to learn from as regards to being a better planner and maintaining good relationships...

1. Why do some creatives dislike all planners? (and visa-versa)
2. What do planners do that endear them to creatives?
3. What do creatives that feel issues with planners want from them?

All responses appreciated!

Image from.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Manchester Here We Come

The first Northern Planning meeting of 2008 will be taking place tomorrow at Common in Manchester.

It technically starts about 7/7.30, but some people may be early!

I will be there, as will Northern, Gemma, Simon, Ian, and possibly Andrea, Graham, and David.

If anyone wants directions or isn;t sure just email me (, remove the hashes!)

Build Me Up...

Thanks to Rob Campbell for reminding me of this wonderful ad for Lego.
Even now it's still brilliant, still inventive and inspiring; the sort of thing you would expect W+K on their best form to produce.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Tick follows tock follows tick follows tock follow tick (I wonder how long Blogger will let titles be before it starts to cut them off) Quite long....

I'm not sure whether I am acting as a metaphor for the supposed decline of tv advertising as a whole here... but I am finding a dearth of ads at the moment on tv that are good enough to make me want to post about them.

Even the latest Honda ad I have only seen online.

But am I just watching less tv? Am I skipping more ads on Sky Plus? Or are the ads on tv just not very inspiring right now?

Looks like I am going to have to start reading more magazines...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Pull it Out!

I think the new fire safety ad is pretty good. It has a slightly different way of getting the message across; not just fear about harm coming to your loved ones, but a not so subtle accusation that not checking is really just laziness.

The choice of actor is spot on, someone with the right authority to make the message engaging yet forceful.

It made me check ours...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Phoney Calls

"Hi, I'm calling from Google with regards to your adwords account."

'I don't have your name on our contacts list, are you calling from Google?'


Lying little bastard. He was actually cold calling from a bunch of ropey looking lead merchants called Net Leader Ltd. With their stock shots of a skyscraper and flash template animations with badly added individual typography.

My favourite bit was when he said "You spend a lot of money with us on our website w w w . google . co . uk..." Do we?!! Only tens of thousands mate, thanks for reminding me of how to find google, I would be stuck otherwise.

Honestly, and people think advertisers bullshit...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Northern Planning 2008

At last, the first Northern Planning Meetup of 2008.

It will be taking place in my soon to be home of Manchester, on the Thursday 21st February, from about 7/7-30pm til whenever the last of us goes home.

Venue not yet confirmed, but likely to be a pub/nice bar in the city centre.

Usually we discuss advertising and marketing over a drink or two (snacks optional), always good fun though!

Anyone who would like to go let me know and I will add you to our email loop!

Edgar Watson Howe (1894-1956)

"Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you're doing, but nobody else does."

Monday, February 11, 2008

and the dubbing is GONE!

Welcome back Cillit Bang adverts. Well, I say welcome; what I mean is more: "Oh, hello again.....nice a tea?"

The initial idea of the ad anti-hero was good. The prince of pointless, the soldier of shoutiness, the infinite imbecile of infomercials (etc) ranting in an over the top way lent itself to a cult hit.

Now they appear to be going for the dubular. Mimicking those ads with really obvious foreign language dubs, but not even cutting the camera or hiding their lips with obscure angles.

Problem is. I can't tell if it's a parody anymore.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

It's Oh So Quiet


With the Kaiser, Charles Frith and Rob Campbell away the blogosphere seems pretty quiet right now.

I suggest in the meantime you visit Scamp who has some fascinating debates going on.

Kung hei fat choi!

Happy New Year!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Random Cliche

As someone who is pretty fed up of hearing endless cliche's over and over again; I enjoyed 'the new black' random generator from Noisy Decent Graphics.

What is the new black?