Friday, May 29, 2009

Next Generation Talent

This kid is a fucking star.

A great video here for the Next Generation Talent contest from YCN and Panasonic. A great competition for up and coming creatives, with a well sponsored brief. Spolied only by calling a video a "viral video". It's only viral if it spreads folks...

This video is over the top but definitely rooted in reality (or at least the perception of reality)...
The lines "Netballs for fucks sake, does it really matter?" and "It's so now it's next Wednesday" are pure genius.

Watch the vid and go to the site, they deserve it for a good idea backed by something this funny.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

And Finally (for today)

If you haven't yet sponsored me for my charity cycle day on Saturday, I would love it if you could! Everything counts, and its for a great cause.

I have only been on a bike once in 12 years, so I will be working hard for my sponsors!

Planning in a box

Check out the brilliance of Two Planners In a Room.
Graeme and Paul from W+K battle to write an APG paper in 24 hours, and stream it live...

500 - Five Hundred - Wow

Hard to believe it but this is my 500th post.
Yes I have been talking about advertising and marketing for half a k.

Thanks for following! Hope you continue until at least my next arbitrary number based celebration!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Not In Defence of Traditional Advertising

Don't get me wrong, I think the calls that TV is dead are completely and utterly rubbish made up by people with headlines to generate and space to sell. But I did read a comment this week that I felt needed putting right.

It started with a comment in Edge that (summised) said "Sony and Microsoft have gone after being cool and infiltrating under the surface, yet the Nintendo Wii has been amazingly successful using traditional ads."

Well not really, the ads have simply helped bolster success that happened for two very good reasons. And it is these things that are entirely responsible for the Wii being where it is now.

1. R&D that truly considered the audience, not just what to sell. A controller shaped like a remote so non-gamers would be encouraged to pick it up. Small design to stop mums disliking it being in the living room, backwards compatibility so mums could get rid of the kid's Gamecube and reduce clutter.

Nintendo went against ALL convential product wisdom with Wii. They didn't increase the graphical power, they scrapped standard controls, and gave it a name that invoked months of ridicule.

2. The brilliant R&D meant people wanted to try it, people who owned it wanted to show it off. Which brings to absolutely the success story:

Word of mouth.

I know for an absolute fact that at least 3 people bought a Wii because they tried mine. Times this by thousands of early buyers, and then keep that chain going. Everyone I know who bought a Wii in the first year spent months constantly introducing people to it.

Great R&D x Customer Insight x Effective Communication with Core Customers = Phenomenal Word of Mouth Success

The ads worked because effectively they were videos showing what this crazy machine could do. Identical to the promo materal Nintendo used to show everyone could enjoy the Wii. But you could have had a media budget of practically zero and the machine would still be market leader; and if that isn't reason enough to improve your R&D...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sigh School Musical

Aka - Just because you acknowledge being terrible doesn't make it good Part 2

Pot in the name of all that HHCL ever made is this piece of shit? Taking the piss out of High School Musical isn't hard; it's just waiting to be dragged down the streets by its ears and given a good kicking. Which frankly is just what I'd like to do to the Pot Noodle guys.

How on earth do you sign off a one minute long parody without a single decent gag? Well, I'll be fair, I bet a couple of those lines sounded good on paper... but they just do not work AT ALL here.

Pot Noodle is a licence to make exciting ads, but what we have right now feels like an agency struggling too hard to match the past instead of looking forward. We know they can do better (indeed they have recently).

I think frankly it's largely down to casting, those guys just do not seem funny; like you could give them the best scripts in the world and it would still be bad.

The old Pot Noodle ads worked because yes, they were cheap and tacky, and yes they were stupid and silly, but they were witty, and had a dark edge that kept everything in check.

This is Disaster Movie to Airplane. I hate it. More than I hate High School Musical, and that is one hell of a lot.

Wafer Thin

Aka - Just because you acknowledge being terrible doesn't make it good Part 1

Don't you just hate it when a product you love is sullied by bad advertising?
I do.
But I hate it more when a product I love makes an ad that is not only bad, but tries half heartedly to acknowledge its own badness.

Cue Tunnocks Caramel Wafers, with what looks like agency staff imitating cheesy bite shots. It just doesn't feel right. It's low budget, and that's fair enough; you can't magic money from thin air... but it doesn't take the imitation anywhere funny, so you end up with a typical bad chocolate ad, without the product!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Planning Questions No 1

Is it an insight to accept that an idea is perfect despite having no insight behind it?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Listen to Bonno and Sir Bob Geldolph

Love this video for the Cannes Young Lions award, done in 48hours to a Climate Change brief for Oxfam by a young creative team here. It's silly and funny but the message gets through nicely, and the ribbing of charity persuation as we know it is lovely.

Now, I'd love to help them get as many views as possible; so if you like it, I'd be very happy if you'd pass it on.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Birdy Song

Hmm. I find it slightly ironic, an ad with the line 'Stay on top of your game' is an example of not staying at the top of your game in terms of the ad.

Sure it's ok, nice silly line which fits the message. Problem is threefold really:

1. Brains was a masterstroke, a memorable character doing something funny. Random guy doesn't work anything like as well.
2. Ride on Time is a huge track, but it doesn't work here. The nostalgia is good but the track is too slow.
3. Using a jokeline as the basis for the ad just doesn't work here. The ad feels stretched out to lengthen the joke, whereas Brains could just stylish moves that were funny.

Back to the drawing board I'm afraid. More brains less birds please.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Little Birdy Told Me

The new Robinsons bird house ad is just adorable. Full of sweetness, character and witty details that make it an original way out of a brief that has been seen a hundred times before.

It seems to me to be one of those ads where the atmosphere of nature is enough to sell the idea over explicity demonstrating lack of artificiality and so on. One of those where thinking it through is to try too hard...

My wife pointed this out to me last week and I missed it until last night, thanks for the tip!

Monday, May 11, 2009


Wow. I am impressed by the response to my sponsorship post. £160 already, and its all going to a great cause. I better get in shape cause I'm gonna have to cycle a fair way to justify this kind of support!!

Donate here if you can, it's for a great cause - Soft Power Education in Uganda

Friday, May 08, 2009

A Much Better Cause - Please Help

I think the Las Vegas trip was maybe aiming a little too high given the circumstances! So I shall instead report from here in Blighty... Thank you to the peeps who offered help (and even one person who offered to lend me 200 Euros to help me get there).

However, I have found a better cause for everyone to put money into, I am taking part in the Go The Distance Cycling Challenge in aid of Soft Power Education charity, who do brilliant work helping to provide access to education for children in Uganda.

If you have a few quid/euros/dollars/Yuan that you can spare I would love it you could put them towards this great cause. The photos of me falling off my bike all day will make it worthwhile I promise! (Only cycled twice in 12 years, this is pretty hard a challenge for me!!)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Bring Out The Branson!

The new Virgin Trains ad is great because it knows exactly how much Branson to use. Whereas the Virgin Media ads have him revealed from a freaky doctor woman, and credit card ads have him revealed from a surgeon; this ad just slips him into the characters without a fanfare, and is all the better for it.

That tale of working on a train (impossible on Virgin Pendolino's in standard I might add, I've sat in bigger shoeboxes) to get something done before you arrive; mixed with some silly but humourous encouragement.

The soundtrack is just about spot on and the appearance of the keyboardist is a great twist.

I also think the line 'Where Do You Want to Be?' is simple but gives the feel of a big brand looking for the customer against random mixing of places (London Midland anyone?). It looks and feels like a Virgin brand, and for an industry like train travel there are few better things.

Nice reminder

I should post more... slipped into the 400's in the Ad Age Power 150!

More ad pit, more often, coming soon!!

Love 'Famous Rob' (with a hint of sarcasm)!