Thursday, October 29, 2009

Northern Ad Meet

The next Northern Ad Meet has been arranged (at last!):

Thursday November 12th
Common Bar in Manchester
6.30pm start

We welcome planning, suits, creatives, marketing folk, pr folk, digital folk, grads, etc etc.
Reply here or email me at rob ( at ) ad-pit ( dot co dot uk ) for more info or if you have any questions.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A New Breed of Apple

Dear Apple.

So smug. So bloody smug.
I love apple products but the latest Mac vs PC ad just starts to creep into desperation, a step into the gleeful little bubble world that too many iphone owners are going to.

Are you saying you have never broken any promises apple? That everything you make has worked 100% perfectly? That every feature you ever suggested appeared on time and completely unbreakable?

Don't make assertions that even you can't live up to.



Apple - Mac vs PC - Broken Promises - (2009) :30 (USA)


Great post on HHCL and the curse of being "Campaign Agency of the Decade" by the second H.

Steve Henry on Campaign's blogs

We Wish You a Merry October

Argos have broken the Christmas hustle. Ok, so the ad isn't bad. Actually it's pretty nice for a Christmas retail ad. The problem is that it's October.

I know every brand wants to be the first in the Christmas rush, but this is getting stupid. Why can't we wait until after Guy Fawkes Night at least before we get the sleigh bells and one hit wonders out?
You don't start advertising your new year sale in November. You don't advertise Halloween in August. You don't promote your summer deals in April. Why do we think it's acceptable to shove Christmas in people's faces so damned early.

Is it any wonder people get irritated?

Now let's watch this ad again on the 6th November, when it is appropriate!
On the other hand. One ad that most certainly is not nice is the return of the spawn of musical Satan's fire laden bowels. Mariah Carey and DFS. All I want for Christmas is for them to FUCK OFF.

Friday, October 16, 2009

This is Disgusting.

A shocking and dispicable slur on gay lifestyles from the Daily Mail. How can they get away with this in 2009?

Daily Mail Homophobia


Am I alone in adland at liking both the new McDonalds ads.

They have shifted themselves slightly upmarket in their image gradually over a long period of time; and the result of this is two very different but equally pleasing ads.

The first is the breakfast ad, with people groggily starting the day. This is amusing, and whilst not too far removed from previous McD ads it has a new positivity and lacks the artificial glare of their older stuff.

The second is the frankly brilliant poem ad talking about the various types that come into the restaurant during the day. A little cheesy maybe, but it is done so well, with a visible love and attention that makes it probably the best thing they have done in a very very long time. Instilling variety and personality back into a brand that has been sterile and one dimensional (at least in image) for so long.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How Sacred Is The Brief?

Here is a thought or two on a topic that I have thought about a lot since becoming a planner. Just how important is the creative brief?

Now this is more a debate than an argument, so I would love to hear people's thoughts on the subject.

The creative brief seems in some circles to be seen as this all powerful master document for the creative work that should follow. An unquestionable piece of Moses esque tabletry that defies all who doubt it. But this makes no sense, we know the point of a brief is to inspire the creatives and lead then down the right direction. Yet as is often quoted, there is rarely a right answer... simply more/less right ones.

If we do our job right then being on brief is good of course. But what if slightly off brief gives a better creative territory? What if there is an idea so good that only works with a tweaked brief. What if we discover something new part way through the process?

I had this argument in the pub with a creative who was discussing a brief where the favoured work was actually slightly off brief. My viewpoint there was (and still is) that we should always be confidence our brief work is spot on, but if creatives are to believe that we have creativity at the heart of what we do, we have to be man enough to admit when an idea (whether from creative or planning) is good enough to skip brief anality. Otherwise why should they believe us when we say the next idea is better because it's on brief.

A 8-10am analogy for this was this:

A hard punch that's 90% on target is better than a weak punch that's 100% on target.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Great video (via Charles Frith) showing how engagement can change people's behaviour.

Monday, October 05, 2009


Edit: Just seen the US version which has a couple of extra scenes that improve it a fair bit. Still don't like the faux-lib air of it though (is beating men really the height of female freedom?); it just doesn't feel as genuine as the classic DC ads.

Haven't women had enough of being treated like one dimensional zombies, cosmopolitaning (it's a word dammit...) their way through Sex and the City boxsets of life?

The new ad from Diet Coke just feels badly forced, which is surprising given the idea of playfulness at its core. The Hello You line has a lot of possibility in character and observant reality, but just isn't being used in the right way yet.

Sure it's better than the Duffy ad, but that's not saying much.

A brand and an agency that have done and can do so much better. Please do.