Saturday, 23 August 2008

A Good Book

I'm about to go on holiday, so here's a quick, poe-faced post about holiday reading.

Last time I was away I read Cosmos and Pornographia by Witold Gombrowicz. What can I say about them/him? Well, when I grow up I want to be as good as Gombrowicz. Not many writers make me go all serious and wanky, but Gombrowicz is one of 'em. This is serious, startling literature. Not heavyweight and hard-going, but intellectually rigorous and sooooooo rewarding as a result.

Go and read proper books you plebs. Be challenged and changed and edified. As a certain ad campaign recently "Come back interesting."

So read Gombrowicz. Now please.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Give The Future A Hug: 10 Groundbreaking Strategies

Working in advertising I worry all the time about the future of our precious industry. Thus, in order to sleep soundly at night and to stave off the kind of existential-meltdown everyone in advertising has roughly every 3 fucking minutes, I've drawn up a list of 10 groundbreaking strategies that'll ensure the future of our hallowed endeavours.

1. TV commericals you can actually punch
2. Swearing in sales letters (eg. "Fuck a duck Mrs. X, there's 50% off!" just to
make it more earthy)
3. No images of people. People are surrounded by people all day. People see
people in adverts and just think "Oh, fuck off."
4. Smaller type-faces. I had a headmaster who used to speak very quietly in
assemblies. The result was that everyone sat forward and listened. The same
rule applies to fonts.
5. "Helvetica Week" For one week of the year, all graphics and branding are
stripped away to just plain helvetica text on a white background.
6. Even more pretentious car adverts. The first agency to get a car ad on The
South Bank Show wins a team-building fun-day at the Sorbonne with Umberto Eco and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
7. Replace logos and brand guidelines with signature dishes and smells. What
does Hyundai's logo look like? I can't fuckin' remember. On the othter hand,
the smell of freshly baked bread is unforgettable. Or Natwest? The bank with
black and purple headers and footers on it's press or the bank that serves
wild mushroom risotto with rocket and permesan?
8. Children are really gullible and education is underfunded, so pay to advertise in schools.
9. Invent a secret advertising language to exclude people and create a "brand
10. Send a brand-cyborg from the future back in time and get them to seed our
destiny via Facebook.

PLEASE NOTE: The future is bright. The future is Orange. This does not affect your statutory rights.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Mongs of Praise

Ha-ho, it is I Sir Harry Seacombe, sent down by God to go blogging on a Sunday -ha-ho!- and to spread the joyful word of our lord Jesus Christ Almighty. So lift up your voice and sing as we march hand in hand along the (information-super)Highway. Ha-ho.

Sunday is the traditonal day of roast. According to the Bible "on the seventh day He roasted" whilst at Easter time He roasted from the dead, don't you know. Ha-ho!

This weeks edition of (information-super)Highway comes from the beautiful town of Chichester, famous of course for it's magnificent cathedral and also it's annual arts and theatre festival. I first came here in 1964, with Thora Hird. We were appearing in Pygmalion together. I have fond memories of us meeting Michael Aspel after the show and us all taking poppers in the cloister over by the arch. Thora was still continent in those days, but we all pissed ourselves that night. Ha-ha-ho.

And from the spire you can see the rolling hills of the South Downs - truly England's green and pleasant land... That reminds me of a song...

"I'm walking backwards for Christmas..."

Friday, 15 August 2008


A Cannibal Giving a White Man a Blowjob

Vanity, eh. It's knackering. All that preening, and primping, glancing in mirrors and sucking in your gut. Not to mention the early mornings to put all your botox on and shit or whatever... erm, yeah..? Well, anyway, I'm not vain in that way at all. But I am sickeningly vain in other ways.

I was speaking to the esteemed Creative Director of an esteemed agency yesterday (hello, Paul!) and we got talking about vanity projects - all those little creative sidelines that people have that inspire and inform their work. Whether it's a blog, or a band, or making t-shirts or anything, it's important to keep all that going, even though it's often hard to maintain the energy required to do them justice.

When I look back over the hard-drive of my PC, it's terrifying to see the number of half-baked, unfinished projects I've undertaken. Look:

This is the profile picture I made for a blog I was gonna write - a satire of a fundamentalist, jihad-preaching Imam. Somewhere, there'll be a Word document with the name I made-up for him on it as well as some sketches for posts. And that's just one idea out of 100's on the computer, not to mention the drawers full of notebooks and screwed-up bits of paper. You know how some women have cupboards full of shoes they'll probably never wear? Well, I have notebooks full of ideas I'll probably never use. Shocking.*

And on that note, I'll leave you with the most famous vanity project of all: the 1983 Bullseye Christmas tape.

(sorry can't embed this so you'll have to use the link)

*Hasn't this post gone all wanky and "plannery"? I'll make sure there's more swearing in the next post, and stop sounding like a fucking adult-learning lecturer or something.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Calm down dear. It's only a commercial.

Shit. I've just remembered this blog's meant to be about advertising.

Eh. No. -Hang on. No it's not. This blog's about me. Duh!

Oh, thank Christ for that. For a minute there I thought I was one of those ludicrous, poe-faced planning blogs that say things like "Just bought some shoes. Such a simple idea. If only more brands were as simple as shoes" or one of those tedious industry/agency blogs that has more comments than content (ie. fawning undergraduates asking for jobs).

No, this blog's just about me saying exactly what I want, when I want. I said "nigger" the other day. And in the past I've even said "cunt" (although I say that a lot in real life too). I can say whatever the fucking flip I like. Cos I'm God here, right, yeah. Look. Here's a picture of some "Clown Porn".

What'dya make of that, eh? Eh? Eh!? Apparently LOADS of clients read my blog so they're gonna be really shocked to know that the people who make their advertising swear and have access to rude pictures. In fact, they're almost guaranteeed to take their business elsewhere. Because god forbid anything as conservative and demure as advertising should be tainted by something as radical and freethinking as the internet.

Oh my god. I've just shit my pants. Like, there's poo all over the place. Good job I'm not in the office. Or am I? As a reader you'll never know. As we speak I could be smearing my own shit all over the face of my creative director and weeing on your brief, laughing. Or I might just be working quietly at home, spinning you yarn to make you smile. Or think.

Sadly, our own industry is killing industry blogs due to a perceived conflict of interest. If you happen to run an advertising agency and feel that blogging poses a risk to your business, I suggest you go and work in an industry you actually understand. Or better still go and be a housewife, where you can while away your days being as hopeless and neurotic as you like. Clients no more read blogs like this than agencies turn work down because they don't fancy the job.

See, the brilliant thing about a blog is that anyone can set one up. It's easy. You don't have to get people to say things for you - you can say them yourself. It's about you speaking directly to your audience.

Don't agree? Then go get your own fucking audience instead of stealing mine, dickhead.

And the moral of the story? Well, calm down dear. It's only a blog. My penchant for queer-bashing and cattle mutilation is far, far worse than anything I could possibly say here about the industry.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Equal Opportunities

Apparently everyone reads my blog. Even clients. So in the interests of equality and inclusion, and in the hypocritical group-hug spirit of the Olympic Games, here's my little tribute to social diversity.

So. Sit back, forgive your enemies and put prejudice aside (but not so far aside as to exclude it altogether) and enjoy The Nigger Of Dibley.


LORD SHUFTY: Who the blazes could this be? It's gorn 8 oclock.


BRAIN: Lord Shufty? I'm Eleanor - your new nigger.

LORD SHUFTY: What! The new nigger you say? We weren't expecting you until Thursday. Well, you'd better come in. I'll have someone help you with your luggage. (HE RINGS A LITTLE BELL. A NEGRO FOOTMAN APPEARS). Ah, there you are Paddy. Would you be good enough to take this nigger's bag over to the ghetto.

PADDY: Certainly m'lud.


LORD SHUFTY: Good workers the Irish, eh? Anyway, do come through. I'll get you a drink.

BRAIN: Thank you m'lud.

LORD SHUFTY: So, how long have you been a nigger then? I must say I was a little disappointed to learn you were also a woman. Still, its the modern way I suppose.

BRAIN: I'm just flattered you chose me, m'lud. Being a giant brain and a woman can be a bit of a setback. But to get a job as a nigger in a place like Dibley is just a dream come true.

LORD SHUFTY: Good. Well, its nice to see a nigger with a positive attitude. Come on. I'll introduce you to my wife, Lady Andrew. I'm a bender and she's a pikey. You'll get on like a house on fire!

Friday, 8 August 2008

-Something for the weekend, sir?

-Oh, yes please.
-Might I suggest a sinister photograph, sir?
-Oh. Lovely. Thank you.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

ffwgjdbcwgogrsgo on touch it!!!! Ooo

this is the hundredth blog post what I have done. Typing it on 21st. Century paper on my iPod touch gubbins. Sound like a right spas don't I. Impossible not to mistype stuff. Now I know how Stephen Hawkins feels.

Mobile technology = immobile sounding literature

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

A Child's Story

I was speaking to my old chum Pieman yesterday. We were chewing over the industry fat, and it was exactly like the tramps in The Two Ronnies at one point. Except we were in a bar in Manchester, and not under a hedge...

Anyway. I was delighted to hear about his new kid's book. After penning a tale for his daughter, he called in a few favours, got the thing illustrated and now it's all poised for the publishers! So, nice one mate. He was beaming with excitement -bless him- and it does sound dead good. In fact, it made me wonder if I could write a child's story..? But the answer to that is no. Because I'm a fucking miserable arse and hate children.

However, once upon a time I did -indirectly- write a child's story for a job I was doing. I also happen to know two very talented and very, very frustrated designers who'll be reading this at work (hello ladies!) Maybe if they get a mo, they could illustrate my story?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the infamous... Tale Of The Virgin Sow

Once upon a time, there was a farmer called Mr.Neddy. Every morning he would set out early from his cottage to visit all the animals he kept on his farm. Mr. Neddy’s animals were his friends.

There was Anthony the horse, Stuart the bull, Julie the sheep, the two hens, Helen and Jane and Matthew the cockerel. But of all his animals, Mr.Neddy’s best friends were his two pigs, Wendy and Karl.

It was Spring time on the farm and all was well. The sun shone high in the sky and all the animals seemed happy. This was Mr.Neddy’s favourite time of year. After feeding and talking to his animals, he spent the day digging a hole. Then, after watching the sun go down he returned to his cottage for some well earned rest.

That night, he had a hearty meal and was just settling into his favourite armchair when there was a knock at the door. Grumbling to his feet, Mr. Neddy opened it, and to his surprise found Karl the pig standing nervously on his doorstep.

“Why, Karl,” he said. “It’s so late. What can I do for you?”
“I need to speak to you,” said Karl. “I don’t know what to do.”
“You’d better come in, my friend. You look awful.”

Inside the cottage, Karl sat down by the fireplace anxiously wringing his trotters.

“Can I get you drink?” asked Mr. Neddy.
“Thank you,” said the pig.
Mr. Neddy poured two large whiskies. “What’s all this about then, Karl?” he asked, handing his guest a generous tumbler of Scotch.
Karl lit a cigarette. “It’s Wendy. She won’t let me near her.”
“What do you mean?” said Mr. Neddy, puzzled.
“I mean, she won’t put out.”
“I see.” He paused. “Is this because of the miscarriage?”
“That’s just it, Mr. Neddy. There was no miscarriage. We made it up.”
“But... -Why?”
Karl stood up, turning his back as he spoke. His pride was shattered. “We knew you’d be disappointed. We had to be seen to be trying. ‘Truth is, we’ve never tried. She won’t let me. She’s closed up. Like a clam. I can’t go on like this, all the excuses, the lies. I need to know she loves me.”
Mr. Neddy sat back in his chair and took a thoughtful sip of his whisky. He stood up. “Karl,” he said, placing a hand on the pig’s shoulder, “I’m not disappointed in you. I understand. Don’t worry. I have an idea. Go back to bed and leave it to me.”
“But the sty! Wendy – she’s so cold,” he blubbed.
“I know, I know. But trust me. You go and sleep on it, and I’ll see you in the morning.”
Their eyes met in an exchange of trust. Karl bowed his head as if to say thank you and quietly, reluctantly trotted back to the sty.

That morning, Karl and Wendy awoke as usual. When Mr. Neddy came around with their feed, he had a knowing look in his eye.
“Good morning. And how are you this morning Karl?”
“As well as can be expected.”
“Jolly good. And you Wendy, how are you today? May I say look as radiant as ever?”
Wendy blushed. “Oh, thank you Mr. Neddy. I’m very well, thank you.”
“Splendid,” said the farmer. “You must excuse me for a moment, only I have some urgent business to attend to. I shall see you both later.”
And with that, Mr. Neddy disappeared behind the barn.

Karl looked at his feed but didn’t feel hungry. Trotting across the sty, he lay down in the sunshine and sighed, watching Wendy demurely crunching her breakfast. A few moments past, then, suddenly there was a sound; a noise that neither of the pigs had heard before. It was music, a wiry but infectious electric guitar. It had a groove. Then, a voice: “Very superstitious,” it sang, “Writing on the wall…” Karl lay confused. It continued, but Wendy was powerless. Her ears pricked up and she began to sway. She looked at Karl, now rising up on her hind legs, sashaying towards him she danced, her hips in time to the music. He was transfixed, hypnotised by this strange new ritual. Wendy jiggled around him smiling and slowly began to dance towards the sty, her eyes fixed on his. Karl followed her instinctively until the pair had vanished inside…

Later that day, Mr. Neddy walked past the pigsty to find Karl leaning over the fence, wistfully smoking a cigarette.
“Well?” asked the farmer.
“It worked.”
The farmer nodded with a hint of conceit and silently walked away.
“Wait!” said Karl. The farmer turned. “What was that music?”
“Stevie Wonder. The Talking Book L.P, 1972.”
"Well, it worked for Mrs. Neddy."

Monday, 4 August 2008

(Carly) Simon says...

You're so vain, I bet you think this blog is about you... don't you, DON'T YOU..!?