Thursday, July 31, 2008

Advertising Awards are a Joke

I love controversial titles, but really they are. I know this topic was about a few weeks ago but I just got reminded of it and had to mention it.

Award ceremonies are supposed to be about things that get made. Oscars are not awarded to actors who did well in rehearsal, or to films that never got released.

So why do adland's big awards all seem to consist largely of concept ads that ran in one local newspaper on page 47, or in one case this year, was produced by for a client by a competing agency!

It's all well and good if you seperate concept ads from ads that actually had to get through the client; but frankly its time the adland awards folk sat themselves down and admitted this is wrong. Why should work that has never had go through critique, relevance testing from client, or any of the other procedures of everyday advertising be judged above those that have.

And to agencies that submit concept work or unapproved work to awards shows: shame on you. Really big fucking shame on you.

In the words of Graham at Words and Pictures: Celebrating your ghost ad's triumph over ads that actually had to go through client is like beating the shit out of a Down syndrome kid and calling yourself a Special Olympian boxer. You didn't play by the rules, it wasn't a fair fight and your victory is worthless. Worse, you've devalued the award of every legitimate winner.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Oh nuts...

The new Snickers ad has been banned for being offensive (supposedly) to gay people. Sure I understand where its coming from, the dialogue has a couple of lines that might be construed as dodgy. Yet at no point is there an actual reference to sexuality, people are just reading far too much into things.

But there are countless other ads that have the exact same 'real man' message, McCoys crisps for just one example; and no one seems to care about them. So what is it that makes ad worse?

Well it isn't the production, the over the top destruction and comic gun firing are as good as the first ad; and the concept of trying to speedwalk away from danger is funny.

And the best irony of all, this ad is by the same agency that did the Heinz ad that was banned featuring two guys kissing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


The new VW Passat CC ad is pretty nifty. A simple ad showing the water from hosepipe travelling over the car like air in a wind tunnel. It nicely demonstrates the cars shape in a simple and fun way.

Except, the ad is identical to one for the Pontiac G6 in the US in 2005. I hope they didn't know...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

When people fail to think things through...

Morrisons have started putting special offers in the middle of their aisles.

"What a good idea!" someone probably said, we can show them our special offers while we put up our other prices.

Except... noone looked and realised that with these offers you can no longer get two trolleys down one side. Creating confusion and distraction as people try to avoid rsmming each other!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A to Z

For some reason this posted yesterday instead of saving... here it is finished!

A is for : Aquafresh (3 in one protection)
B is for : Bear (Hoffmeister)
C is for : Cog (Honda)
D is for : Dee, Jack (John Smiths Penguins)
E is for : Esso Tiger
F is for : Fat Chris (Gamestation)
G is for : Grr (Honda)
H is for : Hello Tosh, Gotta Toshiba?
I is for : It's frothy man (Cresta)
J is for : Jif Micro liquid where are you?
K is for : Kia Ora (We all adora)
L is for : Lemonade drinker (Secret) (R Whites)
M is for : Martians (Smash)
N is for : Need to hear it on a Maxell
O is for : On and on and Ariston
P is for : (Bill) Poster Wins Lott... (Red Bull)
Q is for : Quite smart (I thought they were) (Carling
R is for : Row (John West)
S is for : Slap - You've been Tango'ed (Tango)
T is for : Thunderbirds, Brains (Drench)
U is for : Um Bongo (They drink it in the Congo)
V is for : Vimto (Purple Ronnie)
W is for : Watch out there's a Humphrey about
X is for : Xtra (Who gives you?)
Y is for : Yes (The bank that likes to say, Del Monte say ... to the best)
Z is for : Zzzz ... erm... rats

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Aka: A lesson in hard sell.

I am coming to the end of my mobile contract, and had my heart set on one of two phones. I decided to start looking at them in advance of my contract expiring.

I went into Vodafone, who were helpful.
I went into Orange, who were helpful.
I went into Carphone Warehouse, who frankly appeared to not notice my existence.

Then I went into Phones4U.

Having been a customer of theirs for several years whilst at university I was well aware of their hard sell tactics. I asked if I could take a look at the phone, and explained that I was looking for when my contract ran out.

So not only did they get the phone and give me as much time as I wanted playing with it, whilst I was doing this they checked with Orange to see if there was any way they could get me the phone before my contract finished. Guess what.

Orange would cut the last 3 months off my contract if I signed a new one, on the same money as I pay now but with better minutes and texts.

Orange could have done the same thing but didn't. Vodafone probably could have, Carphone Warehouse probably could have, but neither did.

So instead of waiting 3 months, I get a new phone now for free, and no longer have to pay the last three months of my old one.

Hard sell? I call that bloody good customer service frankly. They want my custom, they went to a lot of effort to demonstrate that to me; and thats why they have it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Going up?

Woo! Up to 304 in the Ad Age power blogs list.
That's about 30 up from last time I checked :D

Don't Stop Me Now!

Hurrah! Today I officially pass my three month probation period in my new job. It's been three months of crazy busyness and learning, but with the bonuses of meeting some fantastic people and helping out in two great (and winning) pitches.

To add to that, last week I got the first 180 on our agency dart board...

I really like being in Manchester, I look forward to being able to live here as well. 6am alarm clock and 8pm hometime really leaves no free time! Good thing the job is worth it.

Oh and my brother David starts a week placement at another Manchester agency today, if they have any sense they will keep him there!


"Hey Rob

We know you enjoy blogging about , so we thought you’d enjoy being the first to see Snickers and Mr T’s brand new Get Some Nuts TV ad."

You had me til the html insert tag...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Advertising that should burn in agency hell for all eternity Part 1

Combine a brand famous for terrible tv ads with the band most hated (and by hated I mean violently disgusted by the sheer awfulness of) by the rock community.

What do you have?

DFS and Nickleback. Singlehandedly lowering the bar for ad music, creative relevance and cliche handling. I understand the idea of being influenced by a video, and it works in that respect, but dear god get a better band to utilise.

Hell, if you get some Machinehead into your next ad I will singlehandedly start the campaign to get it into Cannes next year.

DFS ads were improving... were.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Yo Yo Yo Yo!

Best PR event ever. The opening of Yo Sushi in Spinningfields Manchester.
Free sushi and drinks, my idea of food perfection.

In the battle for online commentary, unlimited free salmon nigri is my price...

In defence of Orange...

The print ads for the new Orange campaign are much much much better than the tv ad. They get the sentiment right without the patronising and contrived feel.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Future is Shite

I am bored.
I am too long.
I am pretentious.
I am mind-numbingly dull.
I am obvious.
I am still too long.
I am blatantly obvious.
I am still far too long.
I am so obvious you have already got the message and have changed the channel, unless of course:
I am about to reveal a witty and delightful end line.
I am still going on and on and on.
I am fucking annoying.
I am trying so hard to be meaningful
I am completely failing
I am sounding very contrived
I am taking my audience for idiots
I am STILL going on
I am not going to give you that impressive end line, despite the expectation of one being the only thing keeping you watching
I am finally fucking finished

If you must...
Come back Kronenberg ad, all is forgiven.
Fallon, come on now. We know you can do better.

via Scamp

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

New Links

Came across this blog the other day, like me a few months ago Anjali wants to get into planning; she was formerly on clientside.

Her blog looks interesting, its certainly worth checking out:

One Size Fits One