Friday, September 28, 2007

The Ad Blog Charts For September 2007

Here are the world's most popular ad blogs, as measured by traffic rankings from Alexa.

Top 25 Ad Blogs (world
   ranking)
1     (1)AdRants30,171
2     (2)Advertising/Design Goodness  53,828
3     (6)Duncan's TV Ad Land62,958
4     (4)Adverblog69,591
5     (5)AdFreak75,466
6     (3)Adverbox83,833
7   (10)Copyranter126,746
8     (7)Ad Punch129,038
9     (9)Adland132,908
10   (8)Logic + Emotion138,399
11   (11)AdPulp149,156
12   (12)Coloribus171,437
13   (17)Experience Curve248,130
14   (13)Jaffe Juice270,084
15   (14)Twenty Four285,642
16   (new)Agency Spy360,055
17   (16)AdScam385,524
18   (19)BrandFlakes for Breakfast426,704
19   (18)Make The Logo Bigger450,425
20   (22)Advertising For Peanuts466,269
21   (21)Hee-Haw Marketing466,418
22   (20)AdArena492,901
23   (23)American Copywriter515,733
24   (15)How Advertising Spoiled Me526,330
25   (24)Beyond Madison Avenue588,231

The rise of the 'ranter continues. Copyranter is now up to No.7. Done a shit ad? Find your flak jacket.

There are no UK blogs in the Top 25 at the moment. Sniff.

An ↑ means a blog's traffic has gone up by 15% or more in the past month, and a ↓ means it's gone down 15%.


Top 10 UK Ad Blogs (world
  ranking)
1   (5)Crackunit591,486
2   (2)Adliterate630,419
3   (1)Welcome To Optimism  637,916
4   (3)Scamp685,128
5   (6)Faris955,125
6   (7)Northern Planner1.0m
7   (4)FishNChimps1.2m
8   (9)TV's Worst Adverts1.4m
9   (10)Living Brands1.5m
10   (8)Serendipity Book1.6m

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new Number 1. After a 3-month reign at the top, the W&K London blog Welcome To Optimism has been unseated by Iain Tait's Crackunit. Where does Iain find all the amazing stuff he features? I don't know, but I'm glad that he does.

In other chart news, Daniel Mejia over at AdStructure has put together a useful ranking of the Top 27 ad bloggers aged 27 and under. Nice work, Daniel.

UK means UK-based. Ad blog means ad blogs not marketing blogs, so that excludes Gapingvoid. Although Paul Colman is now a planner at W&K, he doesn't class the wildly popular Life In The Middle as an ad blog and Russell Davies no longer blogs about advertising. He just writes about it in Campaign. Also, I'm only counting English language blogs.

If I've missed anyone out, please tell me and I'll put them in next month.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Lesbians Of Arizona - Bite Me

Internet dude Faris reports he is now top of the Google search results for the word 'Faris'.

Well, a year ago, I wasn't even on the first page of the Google results for 'Scamp'. In fact there were eleven other Scamp-themed websites ahead of me, including one for lesbians in Arizona.


Anyway, Faris inspired me to check again, and I was delighted to see I have now moved ahead of the sunbelt lady-lovers, and am up to fifth place.

The top-ranked Scamp is a site offering "A new frontier in communication for people with disabilities." I like to think mine does much the same.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Stereotypical Creative



Make The Logo Bigger found this hilarious spot.

It mercilessly rips into a stereotypical Spanish ad creative, whose biggest nightmare is the cleaning lady wearing his trainers.

He also journeys to a mythical forest where adland's stereotypical characters live, including 'Smooth Shave Guy' and 'Three Mates On A Sofa'.

If you can stay the course to the end (it is in Spanish) you will even see an appearance from adland's most famous butler...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tuesday Tip No.26 - Reject Rejection

Chumbawamba. They sang: "I get knocked down, but I get up again."


A Creative Director was asked to train some Account Handlers. He had them spend the morning making a model airplane. Then at lunchtime he reviewed their work. He took each plane in his hand and crushed it to pieces. "That," he said, "is what it feels like to be a Creative."

This story probably isn't true, but it does illustrate one of the harder aspects of our job - daily rejection of our work.

There is no way around this problem, only better ways of dealing with it.

Here are 10 tips you might try. If one of them works for you, great. None of them work for me. I still get pissed as hell.

1. Our work is often autobiographical, so we take rejection of our work as rejection of ourselves. But this is bullshit. The team/client have no clue of your autobiographical inspiration, they're purely rejecting the pieces of paper they see in front of them. You're a valid person! It's just the work they have a problem with.

2. After each negative meeting or review, ensure you have some time alone with your partner to curse the account team/ client/ creative director to high heaven. Don't feel bad about doing this. It's essential.

3. After the slagging-off session, do not be tempted to begin a sulking session. Slagging-off clears your head. Like a sorbet. But sulking is bad, because you can get sucked down into a negative spiral. So don't sulk. Rant, clear your head, then get back to work. If you sulk, the terrorists win.

4. Okay, so they've said no to your idea. Bring it back later, when they're desperate...

5. Okay, so they've said no to your idea. But did they reject the whole thing, or is there one bit of it you can salvage?

6. Tell a trusted friend the idea. If the friend doesn't think it's much cop, then you realise you haven't lost much anyway. If the friend thinks it was brilliant, then you will get a lot of sympathy from him.

7. Focus on what you've learned from the rejection. So your CD was once bitten by an orang-utang and will not countenance any primate-based TV ads. That's a good learning.

8. It was a shit brief anyway. Now your work has been rejected they'll put another team on it. Great news! You're off the hook.

9. Remember, you can only be happy if the world recognises your genius. An ad that doesn't get bought, can never be recognised as genius. You need an ad that DOES get bought. Only that can make you happy. Or a little less unhappy, at least. So stop snivelling and get back to the layout pad.

10. Put your rejected work in the bottom drawer. A good idea never dies. It just sits there in limbo, like a soul waiting for the right body.


Tip No.25 - Look Creative
Tip No.24 - Don't Be Afraid To Ask
Tip No.23 - Your Idea Has To Be 120%
Tip No.22 - Read Iain's Tips
Tip No.21 - Don't Behave
Tip No.20 - How To Discuss Ideas
Tip No.19 - Read Hugh's Tips
Tip No.18 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part IV - How To Turn A Placement Into A Job
Tip No.17 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part III - How To Approach Agencies (re-print of Tip No. 7)
Tip No.16 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part II - How To Put A Book Together
Tip No. 15 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part I - FAQ
Tip No. 14 - Make Friends With Traffic
Tip No. 13 - Get Reference
Tip No. 12 - Don't Stop Too Soon
Tip No.11 - Be Very
Tip No.10 - Breaking Up
Tip No.9 - Working Well With Your Partner
Tip No.8 - Finding The Right Partner
Tip No.7 - How To Approach Agencies
Tip No.6 - Never-Seen-Before Footage
Tip No.5 - Dicketts' Finger
Tip No.4 - Two Blokes In The Pub
Tip No.3 - Play Family Fortunes
Tip No.2 - Should You Take A Bad Job?
Tip No.1 - Don't Overpolish

Monday, September 24, 2007

Clip-Art Ad Men


Where's My Jetpack? has started a clip-art cartoon strip about agency life. This one made me laugh, in a self-pitying kind of way... (click on the image if you need to make it bigger)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Dude. What’s With The Girl Sitting On Your Lap?



This clip was posted on a wonderfully scrabulous site I've just discovered (thanks Paul) called Agency Spy.

It's an interview with one Harry Bernstein - aka Harry B - a Senior Art Director at Berlin Cameron United in New York. Watch it and find out why it elicited comments including: "What a douche", "Punkassbitch... way too old to be wearing his hat like dat", and "This guy is a triple douche."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Women Take It In The Face For A Brand


This web film for Polaroid Glasses is maybe over-long and familiar (objects getting whacked in slo-mo) but there's an integrity to the cod science that I like. It's a bit cheeky too.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Hidden Gems Of D&AD

So the Annual's been out a few days now, I've had a sift through.

Not too painful this time. There's an unbelievable amount of non-UK work in there, which doesn't have the power to upset me like a great ad by someone I know does.

Anyway, here's my hidden gems - ads that were not multi-award winners at all the big shows, but which nevertheless are, in my opinion, great.

(You may need to click on some of the images to make them bigger)

Topical, hilarious. Love it. And I'm a vegetarian.



A profound thought, about peace being fragile. And very poignant images. Plus I love the contrast of making a hand grenade out of something as gentle and staid as Wedgewood.



I've always loved really detailed, complex images. The autistic side of the male brain, I suppose.



Death is always funny.



I think this is my favourite one of all. It's unbelievably cheeky, and yet unarguable. In case you can't read the small type, the idea is this: the South African anti-piracy organisation made their own pirate DVD's, and sold them at markets. But their videos stopped after five minutes. And then displayed an anti-piracy message, and a 'thank you for your donation to the anti-piracy cause' tag. What a gotcha.




Finally, this one's from my good friends at Lunar BBDO. Surprising, and appropriately shocking. 'Nuff rispeck, guys.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Nike Judge The Mood Just Right


It's England v South Africa in the Rugby World Cup tonight, our most important match for 4 years.

I love this Nike tactical ad, scanned from today's Sport magazine.

A manly yet honest thought - "Yes, we're going to lose, but we can at least go down fighting" and an awesomely bombastic 'they shall not pass' -type image.

One thing though. Lawrence Dallaglio is gurning something rotten, like he's just dropped a couple of E's. I do hope he hasn't.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tuesday Tip No.25 - Look Creative

Whenever I raise this topic, I seem to get a defensive reaction.

Along the lines of "no one gives a shit what you wear" or "that's a silly thing to care about."

But is it?

Dude, the name's Thor, I'm lead singer in this like totally retarded rock band


Hello, I'm an accountant. Need any help with your tax return?


In any job, what you wear is vital - it helps establish your credentials.

We of all people should know that, because we're experts at presenting brands in the best possible light. So why do we never think about how we're presenting ourselves?

And it's especially important in a business like advertising, because what we do is largely subjective. No one knows for sure if your idea is any good or not. The main thing that will convince them is you telling them it is great. And if you look creative - i.e. you just look like the kind of person who has good ideas - then that will make a difference.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting you go out and buy a 'uniform'. (Although if truth be told, there is one).

There's more than one way to look creative. Pick the one that's right for you.


'Writer' With A Capital W
Wear this kind of gear and no one will ever re-work your headlines. And they will automatically think the dialogue in your TV commercials is brilliant.


Trendy
This look says "I know what's hot right now." How can an account team question your choice of track for a commercial, when you look like this?


Arty
Become unassailable on all matters relating to typography.


Okay, these are extreme examples, but I hope I'm making my point. Please don't think I'm being tongue-in-cheek here, because I'm not.

How you look does make a difference. Make it make a difference in your favour.

P.S. Yes I know it's Wednesday today, I was very tired last night

Tip No.24 - Don't Be Afraid To Ask
Tip No.23 - Your Idea Has To Be 120%
Tip No.22 - Read Iain's Tips
Tip No.21 - Don't Behave
Tip No.20 - How To Discuss Ideas
Tip No.19 - Read Hugh's Tips
Tip No.18 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part IV - How To Turn A Placement Into A Job
Tip No.17 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part III - How To Approach Agencies (re-print of Tip No. 7)
Tip No.16 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part II - How To Put A Book Together
Tip No. 15 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part I - FAQ
Tip No. 14 - Make Friends With Traffic
Tip No. 13 - Get Reference
Tip No. 12 - Don't Stop Too Soon
Tip No.11 - Be Very
Tip No.10 - Breaking Up
Tip No.9 - Working Well With Your Partner
Tip No.8 - Finding The Right Partner
Tip No.7 - How To Approach Agencies
Tip No.6 - Never-Seen-Before Footage
Tip No.5 - Dicketts' Finger
Tip No.4 - Two Blokes In The Pub
Tip No.3 - Play Family Fortunes
Tip No.2 - Should You Take A Bad Job?
Tip No.1 - Don't Overpolish

Monday, September 10, 2007

Cadbury's Gorilla - How Viral Is He?


In today's Media Guardian, Naresh Ramchandani offers a smart write-up on the drummer du jour.

I particularly like the way he answers some of the ad's plannery critics by quoting the rather less highbrow language of the YouTube commenters - "Dis adverts funni." "Best ad ever." "Love this ad made me laugh proper bad hee hee."

However, his article is headlined "How a gorilla and chocolate bar went superviral."

Have they?

The most popular version of the ad on YouTube has only 10,101 views.

Admittedly, the score is fragmented because several people have posted the ad. But what's going on?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Second Cracker Already

Just a few days since the drumming gorilla, and already, another cracking TV ad.

Yes, it's from my agency so you could accuse me of favouritism if you want. I don't care, I think it's brilliant... even though it makes me look bad 'cos it's so much better than the last Vodafone ad, the one I did.

It's a clever idea (written by Nick Gill, who has more good ideas in a month than most of us do in a career), beautifully shot (great job by Frederic Planchon) and it's a long time since I've seen a commercial as genuinely romantic. The last example might be that animated French AIDS ad.

Anyway, here it is.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Okay, So There's Another Ad With A Drumming Gorilla


Did Juan nick the idea? And if yes, is that a problem?

In my opinion, he's probably never seen it, and it's definitely not a problem.

Why? Because an idea is not the same thing as a piece of film. An idea is the connection between the images and the product.

Example: take the footage for Guinness 'Surfer', and change the endframe to 'Visit Cornwall' (Note for non-Brits, Cornwall is a UK surfing destination). Now the ad is predictable and quite shit. Because what makes it great is (among other things) the unexpected connection between surfing and Guinness.

The connection between a drumming gorilla and a shop having a sale is quite unexpected, I grant you. Actually I quite like the ad, though the execution is v. shonky. But it's nowhere near as interesting - or dare I say it profound - as the link Juan creates between a drumming gorilla and a bar of chocolate.

Monday, September 03, 2007

This Is So Good I'm Not Even Angry


Here is the new Cadburys Dairy Milk ad, by Juan Cabral at Fallon London.

It is so obviously brilliant, I don't think there's any need to do a Private View-style description of what makes it brilliant.

But it does beg the question - "what does an agency have to be like, to produce work like this?"

Well, here's the Fallon model:

1. Great planning. Someone has to have the balls to say 'Cadburys Dairy Milk = Joy And That's It'. A big, simple, unitary, true, thought. It's that easy, Planners. And that difficult.

2. A culture that says "the creatives are always right." This ad would have been incredibly difficult to sell, let's not be under any illusions about that. At the vast majority of agencies, the account people would refuse to even present it to the client. So creatives end up not writing breakthrough ads in the first place; they know there's no point. But at Fallon, the culture dictates that the account handlers have to persuade the clients to do what the creatives want, rather than vice versa. The culture says "the creatives are always right".

3. The creatives actually have to be right, time after time. Seems at Fallon, they are.