Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tyre'd of this bluntness

Always proof that huge media spend, big budgets and amazing celebrity endorsements don't buy you good creative; Gillette have sunk to a new low with what I can only describe as an appalling piece of work.

Not content with being the only brand able to make Thierry Henry lose his natural suave, they feel like forcing a blunt message down our throat (oh the irony) is the only way that we will absorb anything.

For fucks sake.
The latest compares using a blunt blade with using a worn tire. Makes sense in a way, though whether people actually don't know this or they are just trying to sell more blades I'm not sure.
Either way the ad is cheesy, dull, looks weird, and is so so damn annoying. So bad that I can't find it online to show you.

I don't want to point blame at the creatives or agency because the brand has suffered from this crap for years... But Proctor and Gamble didn't pay billions of dollars in brand value for the company in order to see it systematically damaged and knocked by work that would shame a two graduate startup agency let alone a multi national group.

At least the 80's stuff was full of pride and boldness in its quest to bombast us with positive male imagery. It's was overblown and American, but at least it felt like a real statement of the brands desire to keep us looking good.

The new stuff almost apologetically trips over itself in trying to mix a bit of creative with a blunt sales message. It fails to do either and makes the brand look half hearted, loud and old fashioned, like an 80 year old crazy man rambling at volume about something incoherent before falling over his shoelaces.

The agency does much better work, P+G do better work, the brand deserves better, why does it just not happen? Surely someone must see this and think 'my god this is awful'?

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I am sick of people declaring that "everything should be free on the web" or "everything should be paid for on the web".

Free is such a relative term, and the relationship we have with free depends entirely on what the product or service is as well as who provides it.

Apparently free services aren't free because we pay through advertising or sponsors. Well duh. I thought all this time that those TV ad things were part of the programme, and my TV licence was really a licence.

People aren't stupid. They understand that free normally means advertising (google), or limited features (Open Office), or allowing for bias (Wikipedia). When people say things online should be free, they understand that means advertising.

When Rupert Murdoch said about charging for his services, it showed a classic lack of understanding of the online world. Free with ads means no loss to us, as soon as you have to pay for content you have something to lose if it isn't right. The only way this will work for those of us with more sense than cash is if every provider goes paid-for, but then someone will create something for free and we will all flock there. Or is it? If the brand and the content is good enough will people trust in the value inherent and accept the financial hit? After all, it is relative...

I can't wait to see.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Northern Meet Ups - VOTE NOW!

On the right is a poll, please vote for what you think is the best name for our Northern Ad/Design/Creative/Digital/etc Meetings!

It's like voting in the general election except without the bitter aftertaste of having voted for someone you can't stand.

Love Rob

Friday, February 12, 2010

Spinning The View

As much as I creatively like the new anti alcohol ad by Wieden and Kennedy, it feels like it suffers from the same major flaw of all of these campaigns. It only speaks to one of the two audiences.

It tries to speak to kids and parents, but just ends up talking to the parents. Kids already know about the dangers of alcohol, maybe not in full detail but they know they might do silly things and end up having a crazy night; that's half the reason they do it.

All these anti-alcohol campaigns ever do is alarm the parents, which in some senses is worse because will just encourage the kids to rebel even more.

What really seems to be needed is something that make taking stupid drunken decisions seem a really uncool thing. This ad gets closer than most, but why not show old hideously unfashionable adults doing the same thing? Why not make kids think that being drunk and stupid is their parents idea of a damn good crusties night out?

Kids are kids. You can't say 'you musn't do that' and expect them not to be interested!


I don't normally post student or spec ads but I like this one from Gevorg Karapetyan and Francis Pollara.

It's effects heavy but it gets the Adidas atmosphere spot on, and the idea of challenging yourself not an opponent is nice.

Adidas Commercial from Gevorg Karapetyan on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

An apple a day keeps the wages away

I just bought a new phone, and unlike three quarters of adland I decided against the iPhone.

Partly because I hate owning the same thing as everyone else, partly because the spec isn't actually that great, partly because everyone says I should buy one, but mostly because it is so unbelievably expensive.

Don't get me wrong, I love apple's products. They are smart, well thought out and look great. It's just that the price premiums involved are so great as to make it pretty damn obvious that I am paying for a name, and for the rapidly diminishing 'cool' of owning one.

Let's take the iPad. A gigantic iPhone with no phone.

Steve Jobs said things are meant to do 'something' better, that web books do nothing better!! (cue hysterical laughter). So a laptop with no keyboard, no flash support (web books have that); or a phone with no phone or camera is better?

A colleague described it today as the ultimate pron viewing device. Maybe that is a USP to kill for, I doubt it...
Essentially I am frustrated with apple treating the mass market like the apple hardcore. Traditionally apple products have always been better than the alternative, but as they keep stretching it is starting to feel a bit like they are running on brand alone. Just beware you don't pop your own bubble apple.