..'does exactly what it says on the tin'...

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Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Top Twitter Trends of 2009

The news as 'we' saw it in 2009.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

I'm Sorry From The Future

Greenpeace has created a campaign featuring images of world leaders, including Barack Obama and Nicholas Sarkozy saying 'sorry' from the future, for failing to prevent climate change today. The ads will run around Copenhagen airport up to and during the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference, being held at the Copenhagen Summit.

I think we like them, I think we like them a lot.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Where's Rob?

This is a great example of how things can so easily, and so simply spread. Bringing people together, and helping you to connect.

Monday, 23 November 2009

IKEA: Facebook Showroom

Social Media is a powerful and engaging device, connecting in so many different ways, and accessible to anyone, at anytime. Or atleast that's what we're getting told all the time. It's very easy to suggest something is the future, or a valuable asset to an industry. Social Media is almost like a revolution, the new age, the anticipated and well documented evolution of Marketing. But very rarely have we seen it's true value and potential in a real time situation or campaign. There has been the odd campaign that has worked the benefits of Social Media very successfully, but not enough to show it's true colors and capability. That is until now.

Forsman & Bodenfors are known for some great creative work, and they've recently devised a Facebook campaign for a new Ikea store in Malmo, Sweden. Simplicity of an idea is sometimes it's biggest strength. Some of the best campaign strategies are simple, and none more so than using the simple default “tagging” tool on Facebook to help create a buzz for an online competition.

The agency used the basic tools that were available to them along with a limited budget, combining them effectively into the social space that is Facebook. By merging these features they were able to reach, or in this case, attract thousands and thousands of people to their profile and engage with them in a fun, simple and interactive manner. Even the ad itself of the original idea is now demanded and doing the rounds on the Interweb.

This clearly shows the ability of Social Media and it's uses in a connecting and integrated manner. Facebook was the platform, however with the videos, blogs and countless 'tweets', Social Media became the 'medium'.

A campaign very precisely executed and simply escalated.

Friday, 13 November 2009

When is it NOT OK to Tweet?

When visiting the bathroom

Do I have to explain this one? And for god’s sake, NEVER twitpic!
While driving
Just Never!  Never!  Never!  Never!  Never!  Never!
Spending time with family
Full Disclosure; I’ve been guilty of this. However, after realizing that tweeting while you’re supposed to be spending quality time with family is like wearing a huge neon sign that says “I’d rather be doing almost anything else then be here with you,” I am working hard to break the habit (no one’s perfect).
When teaching children, or doing just about anything with children, unless you are tweeting with them.
Children deserve your full attention. For more info, see “Spending time with family.”
Before sex
Nothing turns off a partner more. See, “I’d rather be doing almost anything else than be here with you.”
During sex
Really? You tweeted during sex? I think you’ve got other issues to worry about.
After sex
Congratulations, you had sex. I’m so impressed (not!).
During a meal
Only if you’re dining alone.
While preparing a meal
Only if you’re not working near an open flame or with sharp utensils. Otherwise, it’s okay, but only if your followers are “foodies.”
During religious ceremonies
Really? Do you want to take that chance?
Actually, it might be okay if it’s for educational purposes or you’re sharing the event with members of the congregation.
During Funerals
You did read the opening paragraphs, right? However, if you’re commemorating the event for those who could not make it to the funeral, then it might be okay, but only if you are not part of the actual funeral procession. I’d also advise not to let anyone see you.
During a Presidential Address to Congress
  • If you’re a Congressmen: Your Head of State is speaking to you. Show some respect and pay attention or you may find yourself looking for another job.
  • If you’re the General Public: In this case, you are almost certainly not in the Capitol Building, so tweeting would be perfectly acceptable and would be a great educational use for Twitter.
During Surgery
  • If you’re the surgeon or an active participant: No.
  • If you’re a student or observer: Only if you have received written permission from the patient, doctors, hospital, etc. If so, then it’s OK, especially for educational purposes.
While Working
Please consult your company’s Human Resources Department or Employee Handbook, and use your head. You’re there to work, so work. Also, if tweeting could compromise your own or someone else’s safety, then DON’T Tweet! Finally, if you’re involved in sales, marketing, recruiting or similar tasks, then Twitter can be a helpful tool, but get your boss’s permission anyway.
During a Business Meeting
Unless specifically asked to do so, or unless tweeting is required, your job requires you to pay close attention during any meeting. Otherwise, you may miss the part of the conversation where you are being replaced.
When meeting with people (or clients) whom you don’t like or respect
Just remember what your Mom said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything.”

How much you dislike your job, boss, friends, family, etc.
Don’t do it. Once it’s out there, it’s public and you may find that you can’t apologize.
While stuck on an airplane that has not taken off for several hours
I personally support some form of a Passenger’s Bill of Rights, so if you find yourself in such a situation, it may actually help airline personnel learn of your predicament and motivate them to take action, or not.

When it IS OK to tweet.

When planning a crime
Go ahead. The police don’t even know what Twitter is, anyway.
When committing a crime (even if it’s just bananas
Stealing is Stealing. Didn’t your Mom teach you that either?
Witnessing a crime
Actually, you should report crimes to the appropriate authorities first. Surely you can wait to tweet about it until after you report it. Just don’t mention that you reported it. The perpetrator may be savvy enough to use Twitter’s new geo-location features to find you and thank you.
Contemplating or committing suicide
Please, please, please reach out and speak to someone, anyone. I want you to be around to thank me later.
Traffic updates
We know that no one ever tweets while driving; it’s their passengers. Either way, you can get reports of traffic conditions faster than any other service. Just be sure to check before you start the car (see, item two in “When is it NOT OK to Tweet” above)
Job opportunities
Twitter is filled with people announcing job opportunities. Check out TwitterJobSearch. It’s probably the best tool to search for tweets mentioning jobs based on your search criteria.
Local/National Emergencies
See “Witnessing a crime” above.
During a Commute
Only if you are NOT the person operating the vehicle.
While trapped in an elevator for 41 hours
Be sure to try the emergency phone first. However, if both that phone and your cell phone can’t get a signal; you may be close enough to the Starbucks in the lobby to get their WiFi.
Surely there are many other times when it’s OK, or not OK to tweet, so please leave your ideas in the Comments. I’d love to tweet about them.
(Via twitip.com)

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Typography: Visual Communication

Typography: The design and use of typefaces as a means of visual communication from calligraphy to the ever-developing use of digital type.

More than just words.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Apple Tribute

Every so often you come across a genuinely sublime piece of marketing. It does everything it's set out to do, and it does it effectively, precisely, and in a way that the consumer see's more than just an advert.  Very rarely though do you come across a piece of work which is simply not an advert, not a marketing piece, not a brand engagement exercise, but through it's execution, and sheer brilliance it works so effectively, so subliminally, so intelligently.

Michael Jackson was a pioneer in his industry, an idol, a brand with immense value and a brand with love. Michael Jackson was music, he made generation after generation dance, move with him, take his journey from child to an adult, he was more than just a musician, he was revolutionary and a leader. So it's only right for him to be given tributes, personal tributes, private tributes, public tributes and sharing tributes. The latest of these tributes was at the MTV EMA's. A tribute I feel even MJ himself would have loved and enjoyed thoroughly. A tribute to everything he was, everything he gave, everything he believed in, everything he wanted.

Random individuals in the street, breaking out into their favorite MJ tracks, singing along and smiling, enjoying the music and sharing it with friends. Singing without care, singing proud, regardless of their ability or technique. Karaoke like, singing with the assistance of earphones so you can flow with the tune. A very appropriate tribute I feel. Real people, with real lives, loving the music and enjoying it freely.

Just one thing I'd like to bring your attention to, the earphones. Participant after participant, singing, smiling, dancing, all different, and all varied, apart from one thing. All accessorized with earphones, white earphones, leading to a discreet Apple Shuffle. Was it a coincidence? Was it merely random? Was it simply an accessory?

Undoubtedly a powerful and unique tribute to the King of Pop, but I just couldn't help but think that that piece could have as easily been an Apple advert. All it needed was a fade to black with the Apple logo. A highly effective Apple advert too. Although, having done that would have made it exactly that, an advert. However, now it is a tribute, a tribute to someone loving and revolutionary in music, someone valued and followed. And the earphones, well the earphones are merely just an accessory, an association, but maybe the best kind of association they could ask for.

An association with love, a revolutionary, people and music.

Thursday, 5 November 2009


This particular insect adverting video has been doing the rounds on the Interweb over the last few days. Adverts attached to flies = flying messages. Why didn't anyone think of this amazingly brilliant idea earlier I hear you ask.

The ads attached to some string (or leash) are light enough for the insects to carry around and are virtually impossible to ignore. This guerrilla tactic could open up a whole new way for marketers to spread their messages, and incorporate a whole new medium into their ever expanding armory.

However, while everyone's been amazed, in awe and pleasantly surprised by these happenings, I couldn't help but stop to think, would I want my 'brand' name on the end of a fly? Using these flies as living commercial space, restricting them, containing them, preventing them from being able to fly, limiting them. Is that something I would want my brand associated with, or moreover, is that something you would like your brand associated with?

The first they may well be, unique and fresh, but sometimes, in certain situations there's reasons why no one else has gone down such a path, why no one has tried that particular approach. If anything I wouldn't be too surprised if it did more damage to a brand than good.

In all honesty I'm not an animal or insect activist, but nor am I willing to accept such ludicrous and utterly sh*t (pardon my French) techniques that can  pass as advertising.

The ad industry is built upon creativity, this is not it.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009


We have a tendency of storing things based on text, but text is a slow tool for recollection and remembrance. It is far too complex yet static for us to take in and absorb effectively, and then relocate as and when required. Text is flat and monotonous, it has no layers, or dynamic approach to stimulate various parts of our minds.

It is therefore my theory, or a theory, or an adapted past theory, that a visual of thoughts and information would prove a much more effective and valuable resource for understanding and absorbing information, as well as relocating and scanning. Visuals are far more powerful than any body of text; they speak louder, say more and engage deeper. Visuals help break information down into consumable chunks, easily understood and effectively portrayed.

The future of information is visuals, whether that's data infused, complexed, or simply basic. A respected fellow, David McCandless, once said the future is 'a small line and a visual', and thats becoming more and more apparent today. A visual can tell a story, a story which sticks.

Here's a few interesting visuals from David McCandless himself...

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Don't Tell The Boss

The next time you think your having a bad day at work just think of this guy...

Monday, 2 November 2009

Are you happy..?

Read Between The Lines..Part2

Another form of 'reading between the lines'....Soulwax: Nite Versions, Any Minute Now...

Read Between The Lines

A notion, an idea, an ability.

Is it so bemusing to suggest that everything we consume is edited, restricted, moulded, curbed, manipulated or limited? Are 140 characters really enough for us to make a valid, well documented and fair point? Or is the 'stuff' between the lines no longer important or relevant due to the level of information available to us and the diversity of it's source's?

There is often a subtext to Digital media and information, even though that subtext may not be very well hidden, or difficult to identify. Not all that matters is glimmering and apparent on the surface. But is it so bizarre to suggest that that in itself is the draw and character of Digital media. Not only is it dynamic and layered in it's meaning and interactions, but it promotes you to think harder, search wider, explore further, connect deeper, and interact across mediums. And is that where it moves from merely being connecting and interactive, to something with more meaning and depth, something to follow, something broader, something propelling and powerful; something almost cult like.

If ever there was a time to 'read between the lines' it is now. However what you learn, or find between the lines is what could change advertising and interaction into something far deeper and more powerful.

The most powerful and connecting of words are always spoken between the lines, the question is not whether you can read those lines, but more importantly, how can you put them there in the first place.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

A True Gem

There are adverts that are funny, intriguing, connecting, engaging, powerful or dynamic. They simply work in what they are trying to put across, whether that be through humour, visuals, emotion or engagement. But sometimes, there comes an advert which combines all of these facets, all of these qualities, all of these dimensions, and it just simply works, so perfectly.

Maybe I'm being bias, or maybe I can relate to the advert more than others, or maybe I'm being perplexed by what's there, or maybe it just is a sublime piece of 'marketing art'. The new Vodafone advert from Argentina, in my view is truly and deeply epic; perfect in every way I can possibly imagine. It makes me smile, and it makes my day, a true gem. Enjoy.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Size Matters

A brand exists entirely in peoples minds. Therefore a brand is whatever they say or think it is. Words can only go so far in emphasizing meaning or substance. However visual aide and simple imagery can help decifer the most complex, or ubiquitous of data.

So here's a few brands to see how well you know your brands...and yes, the most obvious of words have been excluded, but I'm sure it won't be too difficult...

From looking at some of the 'tags', surely certain brands need to look a whole lot closer at their brand image and consumer perception.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Internet Speeds and Costs Around the World

I couldn't help but look at this information and feel a little irritated, peeved, annoyed and rather jealous.  So I thought I should only rightly share it with you.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Kanye West - "See You in My Nightmares"

The week wouldn't be complete without a mention of this short film slash music video directed by Spike Jonze starring Kanye West, "See You in My Nightmares".

Kanye, again pushing the boundaries, walks the fine line between self-aggrandizement and self-mockery that runs through all of Kanye’s endeavors. But the filmmaking is on point, with cinematography and sound design that authentically portrays that feeling of being really disoriented in a nightclub. One doesn’t need to love Kanye to love the film, but the Jonze short takes what people love and hate about Kanye’s persona and then pushes it into a new, trippy realm.

Kanye West: A true entertainment superstar or a rather bizarre and random child..? Judge for yourself...

Via Adland

Friday, 23 October 2009


I couldn't resist...


In Complete Harmony

1000 mobile phones, 53 different ringtone alerts, and a whole load of synchronization to reconstruct this amazing classical music piece.

A Digital spin on Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture.

Watch the making of it here

'Spoilt blonde bimbo wannabe pop/porn star'

Last night saw a rare insight into the life of a truly global brand.  A brand with so many different dimensions and characteristics, so many different personalities and 'faces', a brand so exposed and so public. Or is it actually a brand so aware and so ingenues; a brand in control.

Some call her a blonde bimbo, a wannabe pop-star with no talent, an amateur porn-star, and in some cases even stupid. With a net worth reaching the 100's of millions, you may even have heard her being called a spoilt rich kid, with no value for money and no desire or need to have her own income. However, this 'spoilt blonde bimbo wannabe pop/porn star' has more going for her than what first meets the eye.

Take a few moments to digest the following. Paris Hilton is a astute, intelligent, decisive, confident and very aware young lady. With her own personal net worth of approximately $100 million she's shown her ability as a successful and powerful business women. She's used her perception and public image in ways most wouldn't even dream of. Her imagination and ability to grasp the moment and use it to her advantage is like that of a shrewd business head. She has clothing lines, perfumes, movies, albums, toys, make-up, jewellery and more. Her vision to differentiate, counter and expand her brand is not that of a 'spoilt blonde bimbo', but that of a wise and powerful intellect.

She knows her brand very well, but she knows her audience even better. She knows what they want to consume, and has the ability to play upon it. She has the ability to utilise her nature, and character in growing and pushing her brand forward, while constantly remaining in complete control.

So is it so ludicrous to suggest, she's not misunderstood, she's just very clever.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Brand Barbour Branch Out

The latest must-have fashion item is the Barbour jacket. They used to be the preserve of outdoor loving aristocrats and rugged farmers but now Barbour jackets have started to pop up in the most unlikely of places; and on the most unlikely of people.

Alex Taylor, lead singer of the Arctic Monkeys and described by the NME as “the coolest man on the planet", wore a Barbour Jacket when the band played at Old Trafford. Kate Moss and Sienna Miller donned the waterproof at the Glastonbury festival and Amy Winehouse, Alexa Chung, The Feeling, Editors and Kasabian, to name but a few have all been seen wearing them.

So why is the Queen’s favourite wax coat suddenly so rock ‘n’ roll?

Part of the appeal for fashion folk is the fact that it’s so functional, comfortable and durable. Made of premium quality materials and fabrics, and stitched to perfection. Barbour Customer Repair Service is always available to their consumers and using this service will ensure their jacket’s life be long and rewarding. And now, there's an added spice to that most traditional of noble brands.

Barbour have now woken up to the potential of their brand, not merely as an aristocrat throw on, but as a fashion essential rooted in values of quality and preserve.  A product valued for it's effective functionality, combined with a stringent customer service policy, and now on the shoulders of everything 'cool' and 'trendy'.  With a new more fitted, fashion conscious range, Barbour is now finally, slowly and gently, allowing it's wings to spread.

The only thing I sit and wonder is, can Barbour really serve both distinct set of markets successfully, without one behavioral change effecting another...

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Advertising: 1980's VS 2009

A great visualization of how Advertising has changed and developed over the last 20 to 30 years, of which much of that growth and development has only really come in the last 5 to 10 years. And the true potential of Advertising today..? Well we're still learning and exploring it...

Thursday, 15 October 2009


Is this simply the best site...ever...for all your research needs...


BMW's Joy

From the big screen and now on the box, defiantly a worthy piece for the wider public.  A joyous bit of ad art from BMW.  Whether their cars give this much pleasure and 'smiles' is up for debate, but their ad piece most definitely does.  Copious amounts of Joy.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Power of Storytelling

And who said story telling was a dying art form...

Saturday, 10 October 2009

VW gets Fun

Who said stairways can't be fun, or bins can't be intriguing..? Not Volkswagen that's for sure. In a latest campaign themed around the 'Fun Theory', VW has taken a step forward for not just a car manufacturer, but for any kind of brand in any kind of business. The core of their campaign is the notion of 'fun', and when walking up and down the stairs becomes fun, then you know your doing well.

Thefuntheory.com is dedicated to all things fun coming from the overall campaign:
'This site is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.'
The first of these 'ideas' is the 'Piano Staircase'. The piano installation was created to encourage people to make the healthier choice to take the stairs as appose to using an escalator. And the results in usage of the staircase verses the escalator clearly show that fun works.

The next video depicting 'The World's Deepest Bin,' an outdoor public bin that makes a cartoonish sound of something falling very very far, had the effect of getting park-goers and passers-by to not only throw away their own rubbish, but also to clean up the rest of the park just to hear the falling sound again.

This is great ingenuity and 'thinking outside the box' (that sounds like such a prehistoric term, any-who), to truly interact with the public on a mass scale. VW has looked beyond their reach to engage with a variety of audiences in a way that is simple, humorous, clever, unique and most importantly fun. Undoubtedly, with the use of the variety of channels and mediums available for us to share and distribute information and content, this is a campaign that will have 'wings' and spread both offline and online, in a truly viral manner.

Next, they're working on an arcade style recycle bank. And who said Volkswagen were boring...

..and the changing of behaviours has already begun it seems...

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Digital Definition by Me

If your expecting some sort of full blown explanation with deep rooted opinions and facts, then I'm sorry to disappoint, this is not it. This actually started with a paragraph, and now there are only two lines. Sometimes simplicity and directness is what we overlook when trying to be defining and accurate.

'Digital' is simply: 'Interactive Marketing' moving forward with the development of 'Digital Mediums', & not a subsidiary of 'Marketing' itself.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Social Media in a box

A super, amazing, brilliant, mesmerizing intriguing, provoking Social Media Count I came across. How Social Media has grown, developed and is evolving, at an almost remarkable pace.

The Social Media interspace as we use it, how we use it.

Thanks to Gary Hayes at personalizemedia. Accurate at time of posting.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

It's like an addictive disease..but the good kind

The Cadbury Eyebrows ad has been doing the rounds for a while now, yet it still seems to cause mass panic, humor, and admiration wherever it arises. Child, teenager, and adult alike try to make their eyes do those 'movements' to very little avail, yet it's still darn right funny and pleasing on the eye.

So here's another Cadbury addict at it...the effort has got to be admired...

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Make The Difference

'Fast is good, people take notice. But blistering pace is not enough. This isn't the 100 meters, but 90 minutes. Time to earn total respect, to add to your reputation and that of the shirt. To keep working, harder. To be feared, and loved.' Make The Difference, Nike.

Some truly deep, profound and touching words. A frightfully connecting and passionate script, combined with a powering and dramatic visual, make this new Nike advert a very, very enjoyable piece of 'marketing art'.

Definitely worthy of it's own post.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Apple loves big numbers

I couldn't help but be intrigued by a few numbers I recently came across in regards to the Superpower that is Apple. So here's a few for you to ponder and digest...

2 Billion Apps downloaded from the Apple App Store
50 Million iPhone and iTouch users
85,000 Apps and counting
125,000 developers creating for Apple
Approx. 3 in 4 Apps paid for

These may merely be a few large numbers with little relative meaning flying above and over our heads, but these behavioral stats have a far larger significance than merely intrigue. Just a minuet snippet of how behavior is changing, how communication is developing, how interaction is evolving, how media is diversifying, how digital is growing, and how Apple is..smiling.

And yes, I am a little Apple bias/loyal, but there you go.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Bye bye for now...

This blogging business has rather got under my skin. It's become enjoyable, relaxing, comforting and even fulfilling. My own views, my own thoughts, my own opinions and my own style, for me to share and for all to see. It's not forced upon anyone, and no-one is asked to agree. In fact, it's sometimes better when we don't agree, when we like to have our own opinions, our own views, and our own likes, ideas become rich that way.

Well now I must go, go away, a break, a trip, a holiday, a pilgrim, whatever you may wish to call it, but I shall miss this place, this space of mine, where I'm open and honest, and speak my mind.

I sense my riddle like tendencies creeping in, so I shall leave you for now, for a short while, two weeks or so to be exact, and return full, energised, ready, glowing and with a smile.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

It's 'our' information and we'll share if we want to

Social media is undoubtedly changing the shape of how we interact and behave on the internet. And now it seems that those changes are shaping the way we share information and content across the web.

The graph below shows how our behaviors have developed and changed in the way we share content. From traditional Email interaction it is now evident that social media in the way of Facebook and Twitter, is becoming a more prominent force in content and link sharing.

Facebook, which may be of a surprise to us, is used more for sharing information and content than Email. This shows the value of interaction and sharing, and the passing of information from content-sharers, which fulfills our need for 'realtime' information and news.

Twitter is about half as popular as Facebook in third position after Email, with only about one-tenth of users in comparison to Facebook. However, the way in which Twitter interacts with it's users and the ease of content and information sharing, combined with the ease of accessibility, it will most certainly become the number one realtime sharing force in the very near future.

Information we want, when we want it, how we want, where we want it.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

DDB Brazil go down a very dark path

A few blog posts ago I wrote of controversial advertising and it's differences, or similarities with creatively cunning pieces of work. They're put out to be shocking, controversial, boundary pushing and generate interest and attention. There is a definite difference between creatively cunning work, and out right controversial, attention grabbing, shocking work. However, it seems that there is an even more sensitive and far stretching boundary which has now come into contention.

The notion that someone, somewhere will always push that boundary and step over that imaginary line has never been more evident and shocking than a piece of work recently produced by DDB Brazil, for The WWF. The TV and print ad show a large number of planes heading down into lower Manhattan, in which the two tragedies of 9/11 and the Asian tsunami are compared in terms of their devastation. A truly distasteful piece of work, which should never have even passed as a creative idea, let alone approved for publication.

The ad industry is built upon creativity and flair, whether that be cunning or controversial. However, it should never be disrespecting or contemptuous on such a large and far reaching scale, or on issues of such tragedy, particularly in this context.

The WWF have condemned the pieces of work released and stated that they did not authorize the ad's production or publication. Suggestions were made in regards to it's authenticity, whether it's a fake or not, there is a TV version to go with it, and DDB Brazil claim the ad did run just once.

(Update) The WWF and DDB Brazil have both accepted responsibility for both pieces of work, and have apologized for their actions.

'White people stole my car'

From where I'm sitting, a very humorous prank on Google. And no, trying to get a similar result by searching that phrase will not work, I've already tried. Either Google has made a quick amendment, or it never actually 'existed'.

Whether this is true or not, I hope everyone can see the funny side of it and laugh it off, at the expense of Google.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009


Freeviews new TV campaign hit our screens earlier today, with Celebes aplenty, B-movie-like shooting, set to the theme tune from the 1970's cop show The Professionals. And in all honesty, I loved it! It actually worked rather well and whether I should admit this or not, it bought a genuine smile to my face.

Anyone would think having Katie Price, Alan Whicker, Ray Mears, Piers Morgan, Duncan Bannatyne, Miquita Oliver...(pause, breathe)...and Heston Blumenthal, Amanda Holden, Kirstie Allsopp, Phil Spencer and Postman Pat thrown in for good luck would be a little too much for the 60 second spot, but my it's worked out very well. It's a great use of talent from the various channels. Its no mean feat to get such a large cast on board, and them have no obligation to Freeview or fellow cast members. Just wonder whether Sky could manage such a conglomerate of professionals.

Well done Beattie McGuinness Bungay and Freeview.

It's Alive!

I just stumbled across this very interesting piece of work by EURO RSCG Buenos Aires for the Sony Bravia TV in Argentina. Color like no other? Well it's definitely an Ad print like no other. The colors jumping out at you and engaging you in a trance of interest and intrigue as it becomes alive and mesmerizing...

...but now my eyes hurt.

(Click on image for full effect)

Monday, 31 August 2009

'Brand Bashing'

Last night, on a dull and dreary evening I decided a good movie was what I needed after quite a hectic and tiring weekend. Having seen the Ad for Funny People, it seemed just right, easy going, relaxed and expectantly funny. However, what I got was brands aplenty and name dropping like it was some kind of competition amongst the cast! Product placement at it's wildest and most direct.

I am a firm advocate of product placement, subtle mentions, quick glimpses, clever infusions into the script, subconscious awakening and thought provoking. When done correctly. This was not done correctly to say the least. Brands forced into the screen, products mentioned, and mentioned again, the script blatantly written around the inclusion of brands, logo's appearing in every shot, and even advert style close-ups, to really see the product in all it's glory. Is the way forward for product placement in movies? I do hope not. It was embarrassing to watch as a 'marketer', and also as a loyal consumer of some of the affiliated brands. Apple, iPod, Myspace, Puma, Adidas, Nike, Sharp are just a few of the names that appeared, and appeared again throughout the movie, or should I say 'advert'. And I always thought product placement was supposed to be active on some kind of subliminal level.

Despite this, according to the Journal of Marketing, a study on product placement suggests it is more effective than ever before. Even when done so blatantly? Well no. The undercover aspect of the placement remains a key factor in it's success and validity. It states, 'when a product is successfully placed in feature films, the company that makes it enjoys a dramatic boost in it's stock prices.' In this case, I can't honestly see the stock prices of any of the brands mentioned above gaining in any manner from this horrific piece of work. In fact, as an avid Apple user and loyalist, I kind of feel embarrassed and ashamed, but whether I blame the 'movie' or the brand is still in doubt, maybe thats loyalty for you.

Product placement can be effective, worthwhile and more emotionally connecting when done right. But it can also be embarrassing, blatant, shameful and brazen when done wrong.

And the movie itself, well it's not too funny, not very good, rather unrooted, and 2 and a half hours for a somewhat funny 'advert' with no climatic ending is disappointing.

Friday, 28 August 2009

8-Bit meets Digital

Is this the ultimate fusion of old fashioned 8-bit technology with the digital age? Something so simple and straightforward merged with the concepts of viral and new age ambience. Soothing to the eye, therapeutic on the ear, and oddly warming on the inside. Lego will be satisfyingly smug.

Just a thought for the poor little fingers, very sore and very chipped and very achy after 1500 hours of play...but worth it.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Is Microsoft really to blame?

With the recent revelations of Microsoft playing about with the colour preferences of their marketing photograph and now apologising for the 'mishap', surely the more significant issue is why they feel they needed to make such changes.

Marketing is after all only relevant and correct if aimed precisely at it's given target-market, and is culturally effective. Therefore adaptations of this kind are only a result of what a region or country is willing to accept, or morally adhere to. I would argue Microsoft were merely adapting their marketing photo for a specific region, in this case Poland, to make it more socially and culturally acceptable. Whether that be right or wrong is something we most definitely will discuss in the coming days, but what is evident and concerning, is the level of disintegration that still exists in some parts of the world.

Microsoft has apologized for the incident and taken the offending image down, as well as stating they would be looking further into the matter. A spokesman said: 'The image has been removed. Diversity and inclusion are core values and business imperatives of Microsoft and we apologise for any offence that might have been taken.'

From a marketing viewpoint Microsoft were both right and wrong in adapting their marketing photograph for a sensitive market, and allowing such minorities to manipulate their values and beliefs. What should be taken from this incident is to identify that differences and inequalities still exist in some parts of the world. It should be our aim to overcome these differences for a more unified and equal world, and if mishaps of this kind do nothing but remind us of the single minded minorities that are still among us, then let that be the drive for us to continue in our efforts.

However, one final note, whether Microsoft thought they would be able to integrate and merge the body of an Afro-Caribbean, with the head of a Caucasian and get away with it so easily is still both questionable, and stupid.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Creatively controversial or Creatively cunning

Creative, if you can call it that or 'boundary pushing' controversial work can help generate more than just an advert. Sometimes, a campaign can become very well known for all the wrong reasons. Publicity is a funny little thing. Is good publicity really good and bad publicity really bad? Or on the other hand, is good publicity really bad, and bad publicity really good? Or is any publicity good publicity, as long as it helps generate more awareness, more exposure and more conversation?

It's clearly evident from past experiences that controversial advertising will get you noticed, it will also help you get pages and pages of free, widespread publicity. Articles in newspapers, mentions on TV, links on websites, discussions in blogs, and tweets on Twitter, all a resulting factor of a 'bad' campaign. What we must ask ourselves though is, if we get that much exposure, that much interaction, and that much interest, then is it really a 'bad' campaign? In some cases you couldn't afford to buy the type of exposure some campaigns get for a controversial piece of advertising. So do agencies and clients alike, put such pieces of work out there for our scouring eyes, knowing full well that a reaction of some kind is very prominent and very likely, and is that reaction, in some cases, what they are looking for?

In all honesty, I don't feel it damages a brand, as long as the campaign is morally, and ethically correct, to an extent. Most recently, the banned Microsoft campaign has not had any positive effects on the brand. It's direct connection with race and colour is something Microsoft would have preferred to strayed well away from. This shows a distinct difference between 'cunningly creative' and boundary pushing work, as appose to discriminating, and socially sensitive work.

Creatively controversial work can have a big impact on a brand and it's presence in the industry, and within the media. However, only when it is executed correctly and precisely will it provide a beneficial outcome. It is also imperative to understand and take into consideration the target market of a brand, and how they may, or may not react or perceive to such 'cunning' creativity.

Whether acts of such 'controversial' or 'cunning' nature are ethically or morally correct for the industry is up for debate, but thats not to say we won't see many more boundary pushing campaigns in the near future. If there's a line, it's always going to get stepped over.

About Me

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...wannabe adland creative at play...or similar... Hungry.


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