Archive for the ‘advertising’ Category

it’s only April — but we have a contender…

April 15, 2009

What better way to ease my way back into blogging after a mini-hiatus than with a really lazy post highlighting an *ahem* interesting spot from BBH for broadcasting *ahem* powerhouse ITV (an organisation who we know are awash with funds at the moment).

After getting over the crushing disappointment of realising this wasn’t a spot announcing Kes II (which would, clearly, be awesome) I set about analysing the spot in detail, poring over each frame to ensure I had squeezed every possible brand learning from the two-minute opus.

Or, I retweeted something my mate Simon said: struggling to find words for the TWO MINUTE brand ad BBH have made for ITV

As am I.

Instead, I’ll leave you with a tweet from Katy, who so astutely put it this morning: I’m thinking making decent programming, instead of an ad saying what great programming they have, would be more believable!

Enjoy. Don’t have nightmares.


this is football

February 24, 2009

I’ve never really posted much about the stuff that I’ve worked on. That’s not to say I’ve haven’t done any interesting stuff, or indeed any stuff that I’m proud of, but I’ve never really felt much of an urge to do so.

This, however, feels different.

I’m not going to bang on about the strategy or how we’ve deployed this campaign (if you’re interested you can buy me a beer sometime and we’ll chat – but you’ll need to buy Colman one too as he’s far more responsible for this than I am). I simply want to share some of the content with you.

The first piece is a clip that was captured during the shoot. Completely spontaneous, unprompted and, well, real, this shows that even England centre-forwards are human.

Next up, the full, final spot in all its 90″ glory.

Lovely, lovely stuff.

are friends electric (shavers)?

February 23, 2009

I suspect as we sail further into the heart of recessionary darkness we’ll see quite a bit of co-brand work from advertisers keen to maintain a market presence whilst pinching pennies. A ad shared is a cost halved. Or something.


So it wasn’t with too much surprise that I saw this unlikely tag-team on the tube this morning. And after I’d looked up what an epilator was it made even more sense. A nice, simple little piece of association, albeit a little feeble in it’s execution, but significantly more thought-through than the usual dross that passes for hair-removal communication (I’m looking at you, barry nine blades). They could do (and maybe they are) a lot more with this partnership. Although I’ve not seen it.

Having said that I’m hardly target market.


Spotted at Bank tube station today.

welcome to optimism

February 10, 2009


Pic credit David Stevens, w+k planner and photoman

Well. It’s all a bit different here.

Maybe it’s just me, or perhaps it’s simply the sweet sweet air of Spitalfields, but everyone here seems to have a bit more of a spring in their step. Sure, there are the occasional finishes at stupid o’clock (the most stupid being 3am), the odd weekend in the office, and the fact that we have one toilet per fifty people (roughly), but when you’re enjoying what you’re doing these trivialities don’t really matter that much (as long as the loos remain clean, of course – a dirty bathroom frankly ruins everything). Everyone seems to be passionate, motivated – and, well, very good.

I’m loving being closer to ‘the work’. Working in a media agency, no matter where or on what, you always feel one step removed from where the action really is. Rightly or wrongly, but it’s true. It’s a great feeling being able to go to the client with an idea, have it approved in hours then work closely with the creative teams to bring it to life. That is, really bring it to life – not commit it to powerpoint and farm it out somewhere for someone else to realise. And I’m pretty sure this is why I got into the industry in the first place.

I left a great job, in a good agency, with a team that I loved. Luckily it appears the new role is even more awesome, the agency is as exactly as it’s brand would have you believe, and the people equally great. We’ve even started a soup club, which as I write seems awfully twee. But it’s not. Honest. And as if to ensure it didn’t become so, ‘blog lord’ Paul Colman complained that the inaugural soup – a wonderful tomato and basil effort crafted by Ms. Sophie Piper – was too ‘tomatoey’. He was wrong, but everyone’s entitled to their opinion.

I’m only six weeks in. There’s plenty of time for everything to change. But at a time when we’re all grateful to simply have a job, to have one that’s so dynamic, stimulating and motivating in such an amazing environment makes me feel very fortunate indeed.

Is that all too sickly?

’tis the season for lame ad puns

December 17, 2008

Why take two bottles into the shower? Take one terrible tenuous pun instead.


(I know I’m mixing my brand lines there but there you go. It’s late December and I’m tired)

Spotted on the London Underground this week.

Mail matters… honest

December 9, 2008

Alas, the package that arrived for me yesterday wasn’t a new book or PS3 game as my wife had suggested in the car on the way home. It was the first (post pilot) edition of Matter instead. After the initial disappointment had subsided (Mirror’s Edge has just been completed you see) I set about having a little look.


Matter, if you’ve not heard of it, is a Royal Mail product designed to make direct mail a bit more appealing. Essentially it’s a collection of advertiser freebies sent together to a user-registered mailing list.

Says the Royal Mail:

“Matter is a collection of interesting/amusing/unusual/useful objects created by a handful of companies. The objects are gathered together in a distinctive box and delivered to your home on a Saturday morning. Uniquely, Matter controls what goes in the box, working with the companies to make sure the items are worth paying attention for. They aren’t allowed to stick any old rubbish in the box”

Hmmm. We’ll see about that.

Aside from two minor fails – it’s absolutely positively supposed to arrive on a Saturday  morning to coincide with our fabled ‘leisure time’ (it arrived on a less than leisure-driven Monday) and you’re supposed to get an email heralding its arrival (I didn’t) – it’s actually not as terrible as it could be. We got a DVD from Diageo, a chocolate bar  from Cadbury, a sim pack from O2, an excerpt of a book that looks a bit rubbish (in fairness that opinion’s based entirely on the title and the cover), some Source shower gel and a few other odds and sods. Douglas Jnr seemed quite interested in it all at least.


It’s all OK I suppose. It’s nice getting fun stuff through the post. It reduces the capital cost of sampling physical products/samples through the post for advertisers. It contemporises Royal Mail (a little bit). And the idea of ‘physical in a digital world’ is, if I do say so myself, quite a nice positioning (disclaimer: I worked very closely on the origination of this idea a couple of years ago). I guess the whole thing ultimately rests on the quality of the stuff that’s included. I’d rate this little lot at about 6/10. Alright, but could be better…

I’d also be interested to see how they plan to measure its success. I suspect Royal Mail are pitching this largely as a combo brand/response vehicle and, depending on the sample, it probably fits somewhere between the two. Let’s see what happens.

Dubious ads of the past #2

December 8, 2008

In 1967, the Rice Council of America (still going, apparently) chose to promote their wares by asking the public this extremely thought-provoking question:


Cripes. Better switch to rice.

See also: Dubious ads of the past #1

Dubious ads of the past #1

November 29, 2008

I was watching the always excellent Charlie Brooker on BBC4 last night (behold the cultured nature of my televisual habits) and amongst his usual vitriolic commentary and dissection of objectionable advertising there was one spot from the past that left even him lost for words, momentarily at least, mouth open with shock.

One of the most overtly racist ads ever aired in the UK? Possibly. Would he be a fan? Probably.

Is this really what we were like?

UK readers can watch the entire episode of Screenwipe until the second of December here on the iplayer.

should have gone to specsavers

November 17, 2008

Quick, dirty and actually mildly amusing.

No, not a night with Russell Brand (ho ho) but a new spoof spot from Specsavers. And in the great tradition of parody spots, it’s just a little bit risqué too (from a mainstream advertising point of view at least). Make sure the volume’s up on the last cut.

Produced in-house too apparently. Nice work.

The original Barclaycard spot by BBH can be found here for reference

Don’t be so mean to your hair

November 3, 2008

Remember this?

Ah, brings back memories.

I recently did a bit of work for a UK haircare brand and of course used it as an excuse to trawl youtube for hilarious old ads. This was probably my favourite (which has also now morphed into a bit of an office meme much to the annoyance of some).

It did make me wonder what happened to that old stalwart of advertising, the jingle. Bring them back I say. You can never have enough jingles in your life.