Thursday, 29 May 2008

Did You Watch It Then?

(Tony Danbury? BBC News, actually).

Did you watch then? Well - did you? 'Course you bloody did.

So, was Difficult Worth Doing? Was the history of advertising changed by the world's first live commercial?

Erm... for me? Nah. Not especially. The best bit of was actually the direction - brilliantly mixed and "staged". The little shot of the "Jump when light turns green" sign was nice touch. All the shots of inside, outside, alongside - it was a proper little film in that sense. And then - oh shit! - that's where the whole concept breaks down. Doh! It was just too damn slick. A YouTube event/moment rendered using studio technique - whathefuck!? Christ, as if the adverts to advertise the advert weren't postmodern enough for you, the serpent doesn't just swallow its tail, it sucks its own cock too.

Live TV has its own vernacular. If something's "live" and meant to be "difficult", convention dictates that we need a Mike Smith anchorman awaiting the helicoptor crash. "Live" commericals already exist: The National Lottery, X Factor, that fucking Lloyd-Webber thing on BBC1. Why don't Honda just sponsor Record Breakers or something? Well, you know what Mr. Creative Director - I'm a pleb right? and I might be a bit thick and that, but I've seen skydiving loads of times. I've seen it in films and telly and all sorts. That Honda thing weren't anywhere near as good as Point Break. I don't see what all the fuss is about. I'm turing back over to watch Britain's Got Talent with that Piers Morgan fella...

...[Actually I fucking despise Piers Morgan. He looks like his face is made of necks, with proper little arse-kissers lips. "I think you've got REAL talent" he says to some peasant juggler, nose in the air, as though he's trying to sniff caviar over their shoulder. Cunt].

What Are Friends For?

Mates, eh. They come in handy sometimes.

They lend you tools, or buy you drinks. They offer you advice and keep you company. They tell you jokes and share things with you.

But sometimes they excel themselves. Sometimes they do stuff for you, you just don't deserve.

Like when your mate gets you a TICKET TO SEE TOM WAITS in Edinburgh in July!!!!!

Fucking. Yes. Nice one son.

(What am I talking about? - 'course I bloody deserve it...)

Friday, 23 May 2008


I'm full of nostalgia today, and I've just suddenly remembered something that really made me laugh.

I once had a "wacky" idea for a sitcom based on the lives of the Beat writers/poets living in Tangiers in the 50's/60's. Any shit biography of Ginsberg, Kerouac, Burroughs (especially) will wax lyrical about the escapades of the Beats in North Africa. Very exotic, very liberal and very, very cheap, Morocco was the No.1 destination for any self-respecting artist with a penchant for cheap weed and sodomy. Burroughs famously produced the manuscript of Naked Lunch in Tangiers, whilst the rest of his mates spent a lot of their time conducting either elaborate experiments with tape recorders or attempting to harness the power of ozone (don't ask). For the most part they were all completely fucking pissed.

Anyway, my sitcom idea revovled around all these boozey bohemian exploits. I seem to remember a storyline where Jack Kerouac drunkly falls asleep naked on his latest novel. The manuscript is ruined, however the ink has been transferred on to his arse and has to ask Burroughs to help him transcribe it. In walks sage old Paul Bowles*, shocked and appalled to find Bill peering up Jack's arsehole with a pen in his hand, and so unfolds a "hilarious" comedy of errors. I even had Thomas Pynchon in there as a recurring character. He'd be in the corner of a bar behind a newspaper - we never see his face, just the collar and cuffs of his navy uniform- a bit like Wilson in Home Improvement.
[Actually, if me old mate Lisa is reading this, can you remember any more details about this? Ha ha - remember our Holy Grail-themed nightclub, The Chapel Perilous? Genius.]

So, do I get my own series or what?

* I bloody love Paul Bowles. Go and read his short stories. They're fucking incredible.

Forgotten (?) Classics

The sun is shining and I've finished early for the bank holiday. There's a whiff of "don't give a shit" in the air.

So, shambling round the house this morning I dug out my old copy of Telephone Free Landslide Victory by Camper Van Beethoven.

I'd say it's ten years since I last played it. I feel 17 all over again. The best fake Greek/jewish punk instrumental album ever... Crackin' stuff.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Ghost Brands

One for all you planners, this.

Just read this in the NY Times. Fascinating stuff. Especially all the false memory gubbins. Hmmm...

In fact, why not employ your false brand memories over at Brand Tags - kinda like the Hot or Not of marketing.

Another Shit Update

I'm pressed like an orange for time again (look at that freshly squeezed time-juice in your glass!)

So here's some random shit for you.

A long time ago -well, not that long ago, but a good while ago - I invented a football team called Crabscarfe Town FC, who came from the (also made up) borough of Crabscarfe and Shithouse in Yorkshire (they had a colliery band together).

Anyway, I imagined Crabscarfe Town FC had a manager called Ken Wide, and I decided he looked like this:

The chairman/owner of the club was called Bernard Elellersley, and had made a lot of money selling Volvos. He looked like this:

But when Bernard was younger, he looked like this:

Not long after making all this up, I met a woman and promptly stopped thinking about football altogether.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Trendspotting: Chandeliers Are Shit

Here's a draft of a piece I've just done for this Liverpool job.

Hey there all you tastemakers – check out the megasexy-superfunk style craze that’s taking the city by storm. Oooh, it’s simply to die for my darlings. (No, literally, I mean it – you simply have to die).

Yep, in every bar, in every shop, in every nook and cranny of Liverpool-cool there’s a calling-card of chic that is (again, quite literally) priceless…

…You mean you haven’t seen them? You haven’t spotted all those multi-coloured plastic chandeliers everywhere!? Jeez man, and I thought you were cool… Sigh. But take a look around you – they’re all over the place, from the Phil to the docks. Like a hydra, you ignore one and ten more spring into view. Black ones, pink ones, giant ones, dwarf ones – there’re chandeliers everywhere. Everywhere! It feels more like a regime than a trend… albeit a nice regime based on fun and quirkiness. ‘Cos that’s what plastic chandeliers are, aren’t they? -they’re fun and quirky… like garden gnomes.

See, when you mention design, you automatically think of the greats: Philippe Starck, Terence Conran, erm… Linda Barker. And great design is great because of its timelessness. Great design lasts. Like a DFS sofa, or a Burberry check baseball cap. And the coloured plastic chandelier is no different. A chandelier evokes scenes of decadence and grandeur – the execution of Louis XVI perhaps, or Nazis banqueting at the Berghof. The coloured plastic chandelier is pure unadulterated class, man.

You think they’re naff? Tasteless? Tacky!? No, no, no you philistine pig. They’re not a beguiling urban folk-art phenomenon, at all. We’re the Capital of Culture –duh! You don’t get any more cultured and refined than chandeliers, mate. That bar you’re in now, yeah, with a black plastic chandelier over head? It might look and feel like a particularly shit Christmas in limbo, but that’s bleeding-edge, 21st century, no-expense-spared ├╝ber-chic. That is S.T.Y.L.E, man. And if you’ve got a coloured plastic chandelier, you’re a paladin of taste. (Although most of you plebs won’t even know what a paladin is).

The Otherwise Excellent Taste of Liverpool exhibition is on across the city as we speak. Admission is free.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Alphabet of Advertising (Part 2/26)

B: A great big breasted bitch of a breif.

Mouse Tail

Remember when this blog was actually about copywriting? (Those were the days...)

Anyway, I was flicking though my old Lewis Carroll omnibus and found the "Mouse's Tail" from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Published in 1865, this has to be one of the earliest examples of concept led copy, ever.


Tuesday, 13 May 2008

The Flumps (re-visited)

Here's a bit of good old fashioned (is there any other kind?) nostalgia for you, inspired by the music from the latest Auto Trader ad no less.

Here's me doing my Flumps impression. Why not try it yourself, at home, at work or -like me - in the bedroom?

Monday, 12 May 2008


As John, Paul, George, Ringo, Slanty, Wonky and Sad Eyes once said: Help!

Doing this Liverpool gubbins I was talking about last week. I'm in the process of putting together a piece about Liverpool's seemingly non-existent (or at least completely shit) creative industry. Any opinions, insights, contentions on the subject let me know.

And yes. I know Black and Ginger have opened a London office... (whatthefuck!!?)

Friday, 9 May 2008

Q: Can Advertising Save the Honeybee? A: No you cunts.

Just read this egregious load of rubbish in The Guardian.

To paraphrase, Haagen-Daaz amongst other people are running customer incentives based on the recent plight of honeybees around the world.

As a beekeeper myself (don't laugh) this is a subject very close to my heart. I was kinda in two minds when I read it, but in the end I have to say that this is sooo fucking shit and cynical -the work of an utter cunt no less- the kinda thing that gives the industry a bad name; what a solicitor would call "ambulance chasing."

So, no. Eating American fucking ice cream isn't going to save the honeybee. If however you do want to save the honeybee -and you should!*- then please go here for a start.

Right. That's my Geldof bit out the way.

* I'll bore you with the details when I've got more time.

A to Z of Advertising (first in a series)

A. An award for an ambitious art director at an agency of arseholes.

(If anyone wants to illustrate these for me then let me know. -I mean, I'd do it myself obviously, but I'm meant to be working...)

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Found A Job...

... sort of.

Believe it or not actual living people with eyes and heads and minds and everything do actually read this blog. And one of those actual living people has asked me to do some work for him as a direct result of the very same half-baked brain-poo you lot are reading riiiight... NOW!

So there you go. Blogging actually works. Good, eh.

So what's the gig? Well, ok - I admit, Fallon haven't just given me the Cadbury account. And in fact it isn't really anything to do with advertising. Or design. Erm, or branding either.

No. Yesterday I had a very lovely chat with a man I'll refer to as Dave X. (His name isn't a secret, it's just I want to spare him the torment of his Google/Blogger alerts going off each time I mention him). Anyway, Dave's taken over as the editor of this (presently awful) website and the (nowhere near as awful) magazine that accompanies it. Said magazine is the listings/lifestyle/gubbins/guide to Liverpool 08 etc. It's owned by TrinityMirror and part funded by the Culture Company-dudes. Under the previous editor the mag slid into a kind of ersatz Cheshire Life territory with lots of ads for hairdressers and wedding frocks, and didn't really have a great deal to do with...erm... culture. But now Dave X is in charge, it's his job (and now mine!) to sex it up. Dave's plan is to turn it into Time Out - slick, indispensible, whistles and bells you motherfuckers.

And where do I come in? Well, primarily, I'm gonna be covering one of my favourite subjects... comedy! (not least since I was -embarassingly- a stand-up in a previous life.) And beyond that... who knows? Maybe some feature articles about all kinds wacky Liverpool shit! Maybe I could write an article about that tramp(?) who smokes cigars outside Jackson Canton solicitors office... or "Chicken George" who used to drink in The Grapes... or 10 Things To Do With Your Old Kenny Dalgleish... or Jan Molby's Horoscope Crossword...

It'll be brilliant. Just you wait and see.

So today, I'm a journalist. Maybe tomorrow I can be a postman?

Friday, 2 May 2008

Hello. I'm drunk.

Yes. That's right. I am drunk. Drunky drinko woo-whaa, in fact. I've gone and been proper be-pisseded up by my flippin' old local. 'Tis the 13th Eagle and Child Beer Festival no less!


(So here's an illustration: a picture of me drunk on my birthday from a couple of weeks ago... as you'll observe it's still daylight then as well... it's not an especially embarrassing photo, I admit. But I am/was VERY drunk indeed at the time it was taken... maybe not as pissed as I am now though...

...Ever been sick on Nelson's leg? Ever thought about being sick on Nelson's leg? Then the Jeremy Kyle Show would like to hear from you...)