Monday, June 30, 2008

The Ad Blog Charts For Q2 2008

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

/tr>
Top 25 Ad Blogs   (world
   ranking)
1     (new) Ads Of The World 6,059
2     (1)AdRants28,158
3     (2)Duncan's TV Ad Land41,589
4     (4)Adland51,536
5     (7)Coloribus51,771
6     (9)Adverbox60,028
7     (3)Advertising/Design Goodness   64,203
8     (6)AdFreak68,066
9     (8)Adverblog72,059
10   (5)Bannerblog82,162
11   (10)Copyranter96,527
12   (11)Logic + Emotion123,935
13   (12)AdPulp125,452
14   (14)ViralBlog160,561
15   (15)Jaffe Juice197,126
16   (17)Agency Spy222,696
17   (18)AdScam245,264
18   (25)Crackunit271,857
19   (re-) Beyond Madison Avenue327,353
20   (22)Scamp330,952
21   (re-) Make The Logo Bigger     338,957
22   (21)BrandFlakes for Breakfast339,083
23   (19)Experience Curve339,779
24   (23)Behind The Buzz352,886
25   (new)Only Dead Fish384,334


I thought long and hard before including Ads Of The World for the first time. You could argue it's more a commercial website than a blog. Then again, they do have a blog on there. The line between a blog and a website is getting blurry, since most commercial websites now host bloggers, and many blogs are now also commercial enterprises.

A simpler (because purely mathematical) decision was the well-deserved first appearance on the chart for Britain’s own Neil Perkin, whose sparky Only Dead Fish (swim with the water) blog has grown rapidly of late.


Top 10 UK Ad Blogs (world
  ranking)
1   (4)Crackunit271,857
2   (2)Scamp330,952
3   (3)Behind The Buzz352,886
4   (6)Only Dead Fish384,334
5   (1)Adliterate425,549
6   (9)Spinning Around474,124
7   (5)Welcome To Optimism    521,737
8   (new) Interactive Marketing Trends641,815
9   (8)David Reviews659,956
10 (7)TV's Worst Adverts722,608


For those new to the chart, I might just re-cap how it’s calculated. The chart is based on rankings published by web metrics company Alexa, which solely measure visits by users who have the Alexa toolbar installed. As it’s mostly bloggers and techies who have that, the chart is somewhat biased towards blogs which are popular with other bloggers, or tech-heads.

Some people find the chart boring, others say it helps them discover new things. I tend towards the latter view, but there isn’t enough movement to justify doing it monthly so I am now doing the chart quarterly.

An ↑ means a blog's traffic has gone up by 25% or more in the last quarter, and a ↓ means it's gone down 25%.

UK means UK-based. Ad blog means ad blogs not marketing or PR blogs. Paul Colman is now a planner at W&K and doesn’t blog though he occasionally blog-sits. Russell Davies no longer blogs about advertising but is still unmissable reading. I'm only counting English language blogs.

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

Thursday, June 26, 2008

24 Hours With Scamp



I probably shouldn't put this up, but what the hell, I'm proud of it.

No post tomorrow, I'll be at Scowling A.D.'s wedding.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

This Really Is The Last Cannes Post, I Promise.

Yes, I know Cannes is over. But sometimes the fall-out takes a few days to settle.

First of all, I got in touch with the team from DDB South Africa who won the Press Grand Prix (for Energizer batteries), which later proved to be based on the same idea as a Nickelodeon campaign.

Here is what their ECD Gareth Lessing had to say (best read in a South African accent):

Shit ya we ripped it off completely!!!

Not!!

It's always shit when there is something else out there and it's only brought to your attention after it has won anything. We are not the first guys it's happened to, and trust me we won't be the last.

Are there really those out there that rip work off? If so, sad, but there are probably more who acuse people of ripping than there are who actually do rip work off.

I would never enter a piece of work into Cannes if I knew it had been done. I'm always the one to say the shit words...."Hey that's been done" but I am not psychic and would never assume or accuse the team of ripping it off.

Yip i have seen the Nickelodeon stuff "NOW" because it's been shoved in my face.

All I can say is - hey, that website that shows duplicate work [Coloribus, Joe La Pompe] now has a new entry. Than again, maybe it's already there with a piece that was done even before it...

Out.


Props to Gareth, for having the cojones to come on here and make what I think is a pretty convincing defence.

Second of all, it seems this almost completely unbranded Thai 48-sheet for Alka-Seltzer, which was originally awarded a Silver, has been withdrawn from the competition.



Philip Thomas, the Cannes Lions CEO, told Campaign journalist Suzanne Bidlake that some entries are withdrawn at a late stage and that “it’s not for us to question why.” That's right. Don't bother policing your rules, or sanctioning those who break them.

Thirdly of all, and worstly of all, is a scandal surrounding this lovely ad, which won a Bronze in the film category. (It's been taken down from YouTube, if that last link doesn't work, try searching under 'speed dressing').



The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. retailer J.C.Penney knew absolutely nothing about the ad, and is pissed off because its racey message is out of line with their values.

To me, this is a new low. There used to at least be some honour amongst scammers. You could pay to make an ad yourself, and you could pay for it to run (once) yourself, but you had to at least get the client's permission.

If that rule is gone, I might as well shoot someone with a cellphone up their a***, say "Is your mobile network screwing you?" stick a T-Mobile logo on it, and send it in for a Lion. Good chance, do you think?

UPDATE - AdRants hears that the J.C. Penney ad has been withdrawn from Cannes.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday Tip No.53 - How To Turn A Placement Into A Job, by Ed Morris


Ed Morris, ECD at Lowe, has written this excellent guide, which apparently is handed out to all teams starting on placement at his agency, and that I hope he won't mind me re-printing:

“If you are a placement team at Lowe you should do this…

Show me an idea at least every 12 hours (1 working day) without fail.

Make your presence felt. Out of sight out of mind. Out of mind, no job.

Fuck the system. No one in the agency should come between you and your future. Walk straight in. It doesn’t matter how good you are if I don’t get to find out how good you are.

Focus on the work. Don’t try and be my friend.

Work on briefs that you haven’t been given. Run your own show, don’t wait for someone to walk in and “take care of you”. Respect the traffic department, but remember thy work for you, you don’t work for them. Ask them for the briefs you want; tell me if you don’t get them.

Get under the skin of a product and a brief. Don’t show me work that the rest of the department might do. I don’t need people to do what we already can.

Don’t show it to me unless you like it or you think it’s good. That’s how I find out if you’re good.

You’re not here to solve a brief. You’re here to be brilliant.

If you don’t feel you can demonstrate your capabilities with the briefs we have, do it another way. Show me any idea for any brand on any problem.

Don’t join the club, there isn’t one. You’re not here to make a load of friends and get to know the local pubs. You’re unemployed, remember that. And, if you are any good you should be trying to make the rest of us look stupid.

If you put the effort into the work I’ll put the effort into you and helping you.
But it works that way around. It’s got to start with you.

Be confident, have faith in yourselves, work hard. Look after the work and the work will look after you. A placement is a moment in time. Seize it.

…or leave.”

via Dave Trott's Blog and creative in london.


Previous Tips:

How To Get The Best Out Of Directors; Don't Write Ads, Write Strategies; How To Choose Where To Work; Working Outside London; What Would John Webster Do?; What Would Paul & Nigel Do?; The Hidden Flaw; How To Write Copy; Be Funny All The Way Through; How To Do Virals; How To Get A Pay Rise; Be Wary Of Punding; Challenge The Brief; Tell The Truth; Playing To Lose; How To Write Headlines; How To Do Direct; How To Do Radio; How To Do Press; How To Do TV; How To Do Digital; How To Do Posters; Look At Weird Shit; Presenting To The Client; Presenting To The Team; Presenting To The Creative Director; How To Deal With Rejection; Look Creative; Don't Be Afraid To Ask; Your Idea Has To Be 120%; Read Iain's Tips; Don't Behave; How To Discuss Ideas; Read Hugh's Tips; How To Get A Job In Advertising Part IV - How To Turn A Placement Into A Job; How To Get A Job In Advertising Part III - How To Approach Agencies (re-print of Tip No. 7); How To Get A Job In Advertising Part II - How To Put A Book Together; How To Get A Job In Advertising Part I - FAQ; Make Friends With Traffic; Get Reference; Don't Stop Too Soon; Be Very; Breaking Up; Working Well With Your Partner; Finding The Right Partner; How To Approach Agencies; Never-Seen-Before Footage; Dicketts' Finger; Two Blokes In The Pub; Play Family Fortunes; Should You Take A Bad Job?; Don't Overpolish

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cannes 2008. The Last Post.

So, what have we learned?

1. The UK is shit at press, apparently.

2. All the people who accuse me of giving Juan/ Fallon undue praise are wrong. Gorilla won the Film Grand Prix. Fact. That's Juan's second GP after his Tate posters. You can criticise the man's hairstyle, perhaps, but you can't fault his creative ability.

3. It isn't a good idea to look through all the winners, as I did. You just get depressed. Overall, there's a lot of good stuff around. Great dialogue in the American TV ads is particularly noticeable, and clever strategy from all over the world. Still, if it encourages one to work harder, in a 'Boxer from Animal Farm' kind of way, then maybe it's no bad thing.

For what it's worth, here's my 'Should Have Been More Than A Bronze Surely' award -



Love this ad. Yes it's portentous, but it's so damn visceral also. Always loved Michael Mann (he directed this) and that music from The Last Of The Mohicans gets me every time.

And here's my 'Crikey How The Hell Did They Get To That Idea?' award -



Click here for a version with English subtitles.

It's an Argentinian ad for the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival, and it took Gold. Awesomely surreal. In fact, combined with the wonderful Skittles ad, it seems surrealism could be the next trend. Lobster.

What did you make of the results?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Cannes Grand Prix For A Colour Photocopier

Here's a bit of fun, while we're waiting for the TV results.

This year's press Grand Prix...

(other executions here)


... is the exact same idea as this -

(other executions here)


Should the jury have known about the Nickelodeon campaign? Probably. It did feature in Archive magazine. And it's not as if it was made in Turkmenistan in 1974 - it's Singapore 2005.

Hmmm, Singapore...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

News From Cannes: Angleterre, Nul Points. And The Cheating Continues

So the Press Lions are out.

The UK didn't win any. Not one. Is our whole nation completely useless? Must be, I guess.

I actually like the Grand Prix.



And this one.



But there's soooooooooo much scam in there.

Gratifying to see, for example, that the Matchbox marketing budget is not limited to Outdoor - their multi-execution poster campaign (all 3 ads the same of course) took Gold - but they can afford press campaigns too, for which they won a Silver Lion. Congratulations to that noted bastion of creativity, Ogilvy Frankfurt.



And I hope Heinz Hot Ketchup is benefiting from their big push in Belgium. Last year they ran not only a poster campaign with three different executions (which took Silver) but also the same executions as a press campaign, which won a Bronze.



Of course they did.

Simple solution: set a 25-site minimum for Outdoor (excepting special builds) just like they did for Campaign Poster. And press winners must supply a signed-off media schedule.

Cannes may suffer a serious drop in entries. But it will gain a healthy rise in integrity.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cannes: Mostly Gutted, But Also Quite Angry

The Outdoor results are in. Of course, I'm rather bitter because our Levi's work didn't even get shortlisted.

Not so bitter that I can't acknowledge a couple of gems in there:

Bronze, for a camera with image stabilisation


Silver for McDonalds - fresh salad


But I'm plenty angry enough to pass on to you what a London-based ECD texted me from the Riviera: "Cannes is FULL of scam - especially in press and outdoor. It makes me so angry to walk round and look at all the ads for dog neutering, penis enlargements and join the priesthood."

Nothing new there, I suppose. But it's even more depressing, I think, to see ads which are probably for real clients... but which clearly never ran as posters.

Bronze. But do we believe that a brand of highlighter pen buys posters?

You see virtually unbranded 48-sheets in Thailand all the time. Of course you do. Silver.

And in Singapore, photo-libraries consider Outdoor an essential component of their media mix. Yeah right.

Happy to be proved wrong, but I don't believe that 50% of the winners in the outdoor category ever ran as posters. If indeed they ran at all.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday Tip No.52 - How To Get The Best Out Of Directors

I'm delighted to have Mark Denton guest-writing this one.

Mark is one of Britain’s most successful and best-loved commercials directors; who can forget Bad Barnet? He also runs Creative Circle, his own production company (Coy! communications) and is basically just an all-round top chap.


HOW TO GET THE BEST OUT OF DIRECTORS, by Mark Denton

It really comes down to getting the right person at the beginning. When I was a Creative (Scamp note – Mark’s partner was Chris Palmer) we did 11 jobs with Vaughan & Anthea. We just worked well together, and there was a mutual respect.

When you’re looking at treatments, make your decision based on what the Director says, and your gut feel, not what they write. Treatments are often just a string of clich├ęs anyway. Have you noticed how every single one of them begins “I love the script”?

If you are able to snag a top director, just let them do what they want to do. I had Ridley Scott agree to do a job for me once, but I let him go because I didn’t like his treatment. Looking back on it, his idea was pretty good and I was an idiot.

Beat out all the questions before shooting starts, so you’re never sitting there on set wondering “what the hell are they doing now?”

During the process of making a commercial, there is no one single way to deal with Directors, because every Director is different. But there will always be some way that gets a result. Sometimes it’s putting your arm around someone, sometimes it’s giving them a kick up the arse.

Creatives don’t seem quite as bolshie as they used to. Chris & I used to do our own storyboards, then turn up on set with stopwatches, and tell directors “that shot’s taking too long.” We were a nightmare.

Maybe that’s going too far - make it too hard for them and they might mentally give up and just start going through the motions. And if you’ve chosen someone because you like their work, you’ve got to respect their way of working. You want to get out of them whatever they can give. So for example if they want their space, and prefer comments to be filtered through a Producer, then do that.

Personally, I’m the opposite. I believe the Director and Creatives should be a team of three. I like Creatives to be standing right next to me, by the camera. It really aggravates me when the Creatives are off reading a book or playing with their mobiles. Not involved means not excited. But don’t go and tell the actors what to do – that’s what I’m being paid a lot of money to do. And actors like to hear one voice.

Creatives also need to shield their Director, to some extent. Clients are getting more and more difficult. They are getting more involved. Nowadays, they can pick a typeface on their home computer. Creatives need to have the bollocks to stand up to Clients and Account Handlers. Especially when it comes to the edit, the post, and everything that goes into finishing-up a commercial. Be champions of your own idea. Don’t let the forces of darkness water it down.


Previous Tips:

Don't Write Ads, Write Strategies; How To Choose Where To Work; Working Outside London; What Would John Webster Do?; What Would Paul & Nigel Do?; The Hidden Flaw; How To Write Copy; Be Funny All The Way Through; How To Do Virals; How To Get A Pay Rise; Be Wary Of Punding; Challenge The Brief; Tell The Truth; Playing To Lose; How To Write Headlines; How To Do Direct; How To Do Radio; How To Do Press; How To Do TV; How To Do Digital; How To Do Posters; Look At Weird Shit; Presenting To The Client; Presenting To The Team; Presenting To The Creative Director; How To Deal With Rejection; Look Creative; Don't Be Afraid To Ask; Your Idea Has To Be 120%; Read Iain's Tips; Don't Behave; How To Discuss Ideas; Read Hugh's Tips; How To Get A Job In Advertising Part IV - How To Turn A Placement Into A Job; How To Get A Job In Advertising Part III - How To Approach Agencies (re-print of Tip No. 7); How To Get A Job In Advertising Part II - How To Put A Book Together; How To Get A Job In Advertising Part I - FAQ; Make Friends With Traffic; Get Reference; Don't Stop Too Soon; Be Very; Breaking Up; Working Well With Your Partner; Finding The Right Partner; How To Approach Agencies; Never-Seen-Before Footage; Dicketts' Finger; Two Blokes In The Pub; Play Family Fortunes; Should You Take A Bad Job?; Don't Overpolish

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Asbestos Of The Noughties


Image courtesy of the first photo that came up in Google Images


Today's post is about workplace stress. And the title relates to the theory that companies could face massive lawsuits in the future for exposing their staff to unsafe levels of it.

I was recently told of a London ad agency where paid time-off for stress is so common they've even coined their own phrase - they call it "going for a lie down."

Apparently the Shell tanker drivers who are going on strike for more pay have turned down an offer of £38,000 a year. That's 38 grand for driving a truck. Do we earn enough to compensate for our rather higher stress levels?

Do people shout at you where you work, even though it's 'only advertising'?

Have you ever cried at work? Or made someone else cry?

Do you drink more than you should, to 'de-stress'?

Have you done other jobs - if so, how do the stress levels compare?

Friday, June 13, 2008

PR Beats Advertising

Today's Sport magazine carries the funniest interview/PR piece I have seen in a long time, with ex-boxer Chris Eubank.


Here's the most relevant bit (or click on page to read it for yourself).

We said we'd talk about the game you're promoting, so let's get the plug out the way. What can you tell us about Don King Presents Prizefighter?
"Nothing."

Nothing at all?
"No."

Have you not played it?
"No. I don't play games and I never have."

So you're just putting your name to it?
"Yes."

In return for some nice cash?
[Silence]

Are you still there, Chris?
"Yes."

Are you not going to answer that question?
"Did you say something?"

Yes, I asked if you're being paid to promote the game?
"What's your name?"

Brazen, crazy, but effective. I now most certainly know about the game's release, and I actually feel quite warmly towards it.

Later on in the mag, an advert for the same product. Would you even notice it?

Dave Trott Still Relevant - Official



Previous poll results:
Friday Poll No.24 - Which Brand Would You Most LikeTo Work On?
Friday Poll No.23 - What Do Scamp Readers Do For A Living?
Friday Poll No.22 - What Time Do You Leave Work?
Friday Poll No.21 - Does Juan Earn One Million Pounds A Year?
Friday Poll No.20 - How Much Do You Earn?
Friday Poll No.19 - What Do You Think Of Our Trade Rag?
Friday Poll No.18 - Should A Creative Look Creative?
Friday Poll No.17 - Ad Of The Year 2007
Friday Poll No.16 - Do Difficult People Do The Best Work?
Friday Poll No.15 - Who Is Responsible For Ineffectiveness?
Friday Poll No.14 - Your Personal Success Record
Friday Poll No.13 - Which Department Is The Most Insane?
Friday Poll No.12 - What Music Do You Listen To While Working?
Friday Poll No.11 - What Time Do You Get In?
Friday Poll No.10 - Who Drinks The Most?
Friday Poll No.9 - Press v Online
Friday Poll No.8 - Success Or Glory?
Friday Poll No.7 - Is Reading Blogs A Waste Of Time?
Friday Poll No.6 - Job Satisfaction
Friday Poll No.5 - Festive Greetings
Friday Poll No.4 - Ad Of The Year 2006
Friday Poll No.3 - What's Your Favourite Medium To Work In?
Friday Poll No.2 - Agency Of The Year
Friday Poll No.1 - Which Department Is The Most Overpaid?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

We Like It. We Like It A Lot.



This viral is so damn good, when it ended I had to immediately visit the web address. Did you?

Their regular TV ads are pretty neat too.



by Droga5

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Graeme Needs A Partner

Wow, yesterday was fun. But today, it's back to business.


Graeme Hall, a middleweighty copywriter at DDB London, creator of many fine ads including 'Toy Story' and 'Enjoy The Everyday' for Volkswagen, needs a partner.

He describes himself as a copywriter/art director and is looking for same, or a straight-out art director (but not a pure copywriter). Here's a link to his portfolio, where you can also find his contact details.

Last time round we found a partner for Miles... let's hope we can do the same for our Graeme.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dave Trott - Live Chat All Day

Following last week's mini-furore, Dave Trott has agreed to do a live webchat here.

The subject under discussion - along with whatever else you want to ask him, I suppose - will be "Is Dave Trott's classic text 'How To Get Your First Job In Advertising' still relevant?"

Put your points to Dave in the comments on this post, and he will reply in the comments. Dave will be around from 9am until going-home time, though there may be a slight outage between 12.30 and 3.30 as he has a meeting.

If you want to have another look at Dave's booklet or haven't seen it yet, you can download it here.

You can also vote on this subject, in a poll just over there to your right.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Dave Trott Live - Tomorrow

Should be a lot of fun.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Advertising Is Number 1

Britain's new No.1 music track is Mint Royale's remix of Singin' In The Rain, which first appeared on a VW Golf advert.

We are number 1!

Well, I say 'we'. I mean 'our industry'. It's the last advertising number 1 since Lynx 'Pulse' in 2003, if I recall correctly. There was a time when a lot more ad tunes used to become hits - usually from Levi's ads. But it seems rarer now. That's a shame. A little more glamour drips down the drain.

Still, let's enjoy the moment. It's a great track, from a great ad.

(In case you don't know, the reason why a track from a 3 year-old ad has got to Number 1 now is that a kid called George Sampson won top-rated TV talent show Britain's Got Talent last week with a performance based on the advert. Dance starts at 1'25")



And here's the advert.

Friday, June 06, 2008

47% Of You Are Insane


I'm mystified. Totally mystified.

The result of this week's poll (which was reader-generated, thanks to Anonymous for the suggestion) shows that 47% of you would rather work on a brand that isn't known for good advertising.

Basically, you are displaying a completely irrational preference for an unknown quantity, compared to the excellent chance you would have of doing great work and winning awards that there is on a VW or a Sony.

Unbelievably, only 3 people voted for Cadbury's. (One of them was me). Let me just spell out the full extent of my disbelief here. Less than a month ago this brand's advertising won a black pencil at D&AD.

A BLACK PENCIL.

If you were a striker, you would want to receive the ball six yards out, with only the keeper to beat, wouldn't you? And you'd definitely prefer that to receiving the ball in a position no one has previously scored from, wouldn't you?

I'm just at a loss as to what's going on here. Please explain.

Previous poll results:
Friday Poll No.23 - What Do Scamp Readers Do For A Living?
Friday Poll No.22 - What Time Do You Leave Work?
Friday Poll No.21 - Does Juan Earn One Million Pounds A Year?
Friday Poll No.20 - How Much Do You Earn?
Friday Poll No.19 - What Do You Think Of Our Trade Rag?
Friday Poll No.18 - Should A Creative Look Creative?
Friday Poll No.17 - Ad Of The Year 2007
Friday Poll No.16 - Do Difficult People Do The Best Work?
Friday Poll No.15 - Who Is Responsible For Ineffectiveness?
Friday Poll No.14 - Your Personal Success Record
Friday Poll No.13 - Which Department Is The Most Insane?
Friday Poll No.12 - What Music Do You Listen To While Working?
Friday Poll No.11 - What Time Do You Get In?
Friday Poll No.10 - Who Drinks The Most?
Friday Poll No.9 - Press v Online
Friday Poll No.8 - Success Or Glory?
Friday Poll No.7 - Is Reading Blogs A Waste Of Time?
Friday Poll No.6 - Job Satisfaction
Friday Poll No.5 - Festive Greetings
Friday Poll No.4 - Ad Of The Year 2006
Friday Poll No.3 - What's Your Favourite Medium To Work In?
Friday Poll No.2 - Agency Of The Year
Friday Poll No.1 - Which Department Is The Most Overpaid?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

This Man Is Dangerous And Must Be Stopped


I am very disappointed with Campaign, who have published Dave Trott's classic text "How to get your first job in advertising" as a pamphlet which they are giving away free with today's issue, because I fear Young Creatives may read it and be influenced by it.

I do have enormous respect for Dave Trott. He has written a lot of great adverts, founded two or three influential agencies, and most of all, is legendary for the generosity of his advice to young teams.

And the way he puts that advice across is completely brilliant. His arguments are masterfully put-together, always thought-provoking, and often compelling.

But is his advice correct?

Sadly, a lot of it is not. It is often wildly wrong.

Peter Souter of AMV says Dave Trott has "Nazi eyes." That's harsh. But in a way, wrong thinking that is expressed with unflinching dedication and awesome power is the most dangerous kind of thinking there is.

I would love to go through what he says and demolish it line-by-line. But that would look petty. (Scowling A.D. already thinks I am cross because Dave Trott is "a competitor in the advice to Young Creatives market").

So all I will say is that Dave Trott wrote this think-piece in the 1970s. Now, I'm not saying that any how-to guide written 30 years ago must automatically be out-of-date. But... if you were a car designer, would you be reading car-design pamphlets that were 30 years old? The world has changed. The internet has changed things. 30 years of advertising in the last 30 years has changed things.

I don't know if Dave himself would stand by what he wrote 30 years ago. I suspect he would. He's that kind of guy. Fair play to him.

Anyway, he's now sharing his advice for a whole new generation on his blog. It's fascinating stuff as ever. I disagree with most of it, and have left the odd comment.

But have a look for yourself. And then tell me - should we be listening to this man? Or should he be locked up?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The BACC And A Question Of Double Standards


This is the trailer (can't find the ad); ice pick scene is at 1'23"


Angus Wardlaw, a senior creative at CHI, has been having a fun correspondence with the BACC, which he has passed on to me.

Angus questions why the body has approved an ad for the film 'Doomsday':

Open on lots of space soldiers entering a futuristic city. One of the men gets an ice pick in the eye. Blood squirts everywhere before we cut to a stadium full of tattooed zombies etc... and this is okay to broadcast on national TV? I'm eager to know whether I can start including this sort of thing into my scripts (previously, I couldn't even include a car driving over 30mph!)

Here comes the reply:

In terms of film clips, viewers will tolerate, with appropriate timing, levels of violence and sexual content that would provoke outrage if they were in an ad to sell an ordinary product.

Put simply, a film clip of the shower scene from Psycho would probably be approved post 2100. A scenario for a bathroom company utilising the same image would almost certainly be unacceptable as likely to cause widespread general offence.

Angus finishes strongly:

Please help me to understand (as a professional copywriter and an ex-soldier) how a script of such sickening gore and depravity can be approved and aired? But in the case of say, a KFC ad where a lad is talking with his mouth full, you take a dim view of this and ban it?

It's a fun debate.

Personally, I think Angus is right (there's clearly a double standard here) but the BACC is also right - they are simply following their remit not to allow images which the British public find offensive.

So the true guilty party is the British public. We're all a bunch of hypocrites, aren't we?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

What's The Very Worst Thing A Brand Spokesperson Could Do?


Probably this.

Fern Britton, presenter of TV's 'This Morning', was collecting £200,000 a year to be the face of slimming aid product Ryvita. Pleasingly for the Ryvita people, she lost weight. However, she failed to mention she had had a gastric band operation. Full story here.

I love this quote from the Client:

"The facts as we see it are simple, Fern has lost weight through a regime of healthy eating and exercise," said Nigel Nelms, the marketing director at Ryvita.

"The gastric band... may or may not have helped her in the early days but we respect her rights to privacy on this personal matter."

I love stories like this. The glittering mask that is advertising, just sliding off the face of reality for a second.

We've seen Adidas spokesperson David Beckham snapped in Nike shoes before, and Sainsbury's frontman Jamie Oliver's wife with Waitrose shopping bags. But this beats those.

I think we'd have to make some up to do any better. Here's my Starter for 10:

"Kris Marshall arrested for keeping stepdaughter in cellar."

Add your own in the Comments below.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Underwhelmed And A Little Sad



Maybe it's because I knew the skydivers in the live ad were doing it for real, whereas in this one I'm not sure if they are (it could be for real, it could have been done in post, I just don't know. Either way, it doesn't feel real, so it doesn't feel as exciting).

Maybe it's because of a similarity to Audi's recent 'Gymnasts' ad.

Or maybe it's because they just showed me the skydiving concept and now they are showing it to me again.

Whatever the reason, I'm not overwhelmed. Perhaps underwhelmed is too harsh. Midwhelmed might be more accurate.

The news that the plane used in the live ad crashed yesterday, killing two people, also puts a major downer on the whole project. Not W&K or Honda's fault, of course, but very sad nonetheless.