Friday, 31 July 2009

I Am a Monster

A brief report on W+K's Platform event is now up on their blog.

Regular readers will recall how I was unable to apply for Platform after being ensnared in an existential feedback-loop.

Nevertheless, Elena Negrescu from Romania (who did apply and attend) had this to say about it:

"This was my first international experience in advertising with a really involving process and I can say now, when I have time to look back and draw some conclusions, that this kind of experiences is really the answer to how to keep a balance between personal development and team work. Because I think this kind of multicultural team effort has a lot to do with my personal development and it is often the missing part of what I call creative education. I wish there was an open day every single week :)Thanks again and looking forward to seeing how the Platform grows, step by step."

Assuming that they do have sarcasm in Romania, may I just take this opportunity to say - ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, mum and dad - I AM SORRY! Sorry, that I will never, ever be able to say anything so arse-stranglingly, mind-fuckingly diplomatic, sycophantic, poe-faced and weird ever in all my life. Ever! I am a beast. A wretched, honest, animal who should be destroyed forthwith.

(Or at least never be allowed to go to London again).

10 Females I Fancied Between the Age of 12-15

1. Juliana Hatfield (still cute but at greater distances)

2. Marijne van der Vlugt (remember her off MTV Europe? - foreign girls always made me feel "funny" back then)

3. Amanda de Cadenet (a chunky mum-pig now though)

4. Dani Behr (she was blonde and on televsion. That was the only criteria)

5. Winona Ryder (I think just because everyone else did)

6. The original blonde one off Baywatch before they invented Pamela Anderson

7. Michelle Pfeiffer (I was classy me)

8. Lara Flynn Boyle in Twin Peaks (she looked mucky)

9. Jenny McCarthy (who was mucky)

10. Betty Boothroyd (not actually true, but at that age I'd've shagged a slow puncture)

Geek Porn

Oh, sweet Grandmother of Christ help me. The digital people are turning me into a geek.

We all huddled round the big flatsceen Mac this morning and watched this filthy piece of motion graphics pornography (What!? You're not into motion graphics!? Duh!)

I have to admit, it does look fucking spectacular. The teaser embedded here's the little YouTube one but you can find the proper, full HD version via a cursory Googling (and make sure you turn up the sub-woofers - blimey!)

Oh, and before anyone mentions it - no this isn't bloody nostalgia. I can barely remember the original thank you very much. I much preferred Disney's Jungle Book at the time.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Oldham's Got Talent

Ahh, yes. John Stapleton. Oldham's most famous son. From Lancastrian obscurity to...erm, GMTV. We're all real proud of him up here. Or as we "Norr Then" people (or "folk")say, we're all "chuffed" for him (which also means "farted" in Newcastle). And which is quite confusing actually. So, for that reason, the whole business of Oldham having any talent at all remains unclear.

Until now, that is!

Ladies and gentlemen, there's a new Oldham in town. An Oldham that has nothing to do with the old Oldham, and isn't even a town. No, the new Oldham is in fact a human being called "Craig Oldham", who's a designer at the award-winning design agency, Music, in Manchester (which is near Oldham, yes).

But is this Oldham talented? YES! Cos not only does Craig's work look amazing (even after he's let me write on it), our Craig's on the shortlist for this year's D&AD Executive. But to get to the top, and perform for Her Majesty Queen at this year's Royal Variety Performance (or the D&AD Executive equivalent at least) Craig needs plebs like us to vote for him!

So to get someone talented, young, and (ahem) Northern on to the D&AD Executive for a change, just follow these simple intructions.

First, you have to be a member so, please go to to view the cvs, manifestos and to vote. You'll need to log in to the Members Area using your membership number and password. If you don't have a password, you can create one at

Finally, in Craig's own immortal words, "Blah, blah, blah. The deadline for voting is 5.30pm on 21 August."

So vote NOW! NOW dammit! Go on! It's not like an ITV phone-in thing that's rigged. This is serious guys. Like proper democracy.

Surely, you rememember democracy in this country, don't you? Don't you..!?

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Creative Directors of Your Nightmares # 1

NAME: Sir Cliff Richard


BAD POINTS: Too nice. Attracts hags. Doesn't understand digital.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Fantastic Fiction!

Pynchon's new one out 6th August. Arguably one of the greatest living authors, I've had my copy on pre-order for months now. Must be three years since his last book by my reckoning - which is as long as it takes some people to finish his work.

If you're one of the other 5 geeks on Earth who love Thomas Pynchon, please raise your hand now (if you're not too busy assembling Pynchon's references on wikipedia from your preview copy).

What's My Next Move?

Are you a talented and award-winning creative? Does your agency bandie your name and your work around the press to raise their own profile? Then the chances are... you've just been inexplicably laid off!

So whilst the career progress you were promised and worked fucking hard for gets drowned in a sack, what exciting new creative opportunities await you on the streets and in the gutters?

1. Sleeping in the doorway of WCRS

2. Photographing tourists

3. Shouting art direction at window displays

4. Shouting art direction at billboards

5. Making "nests" out of your old Creative Reviews

6. Advertising The Big Issue

7. Teaming up with someone just as talented as you!

Monday, 27 July 2009

How To Make A Conference Call

1. Call the 1st person

2. Put them on hold by pressing red "HOLD" button

3. Call 2nd person and then be placed on hold

4. Call them (2nd person) back on the separate line and ask them to dial-in

5. You'll need to call the 1st person back now

6. Shout "Hello," over each other several times

7. Shout "Hello" over 2nd person who'll probably dial-in at around this point

8. Go round each person in turn saying "Can you hear me?"

9. Fuck the whole thing off and just email 'em

News From The Drum

Nationwide car supermarket chain Motorpoint has unveiled its new TV spot directed by maverick Canadian film maker, David Cronenberg.

Shot at Motorpoint's flagship Peterborough store, Cronenberg explained the appeal of the project: "With over 500 new and used vehicles under one roof, this was the perfect opportunity for me to further explore the often complex relationships between men and machines."

Post-production was handled by blue, whilst an FX sequence in which a woman's flesh is transfigured into a 2005 Citroen Picasso during orgasm was rendered by Manchester's 4:22.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Katie Puckrick

Just read this guff on Brand Republic - some branding related clusterfuck rendered in miniature via Twitter.

My favourite bit was the list of brands involved:

"This include the likes of JetBlue, Teusner Wines, Tasti D Lite, NakedPizza, Pepsi, American Apparel and Dell --"

Where'nt these all early 90s, late-night Channel 4 TV shows? Surely "NakedPizza" was hosted by Amanda De Cadenet at some point? And "Pepsi" must've been an imported US sitcom - halfway between Roseanne and Fresh Prince...

Urrgh god, I used to fancy Amanda De Cadenet...

10 Bands/Groups That Sound Like Euphemisms For Farting

1. Earth, Wind & Fire

2. Creedence Clearwater Revival

3. Bachman Turner Overdrive

4. Fugazi

5. Chas & Dave

6. The Troggs

7. Duran Duran

8. Hot Chocolate

9. Aerosmith

10. Desmond Dekker

Fuelling The Dream

Boom shackalack!

A big fat bleary thank you to the nice people at The Mob Films for shitting a load of their money up the wall last night so that selfish advertising wankers like me can get pissed for free. Hic.

It was an exciting night as you can imagine - a heady mix of some of the North West's finest dreamers, liars, failures and homosexuals, all under one low ceiling for a fuzzy evening of spilt drinks and crumpled business cards. Some played pool, some wore funny hats. Others flirted bleakly, and some were very sick. But, like the death of a cool friend, there was also a touch of sadness in air (as well as some Latin grooves via Talking Heads and the Eurythmics).

For me though, it was very much a night of lager and Guinness. Filling myself quickly and greedily at first, then settling slowly into a creamy smooth lilt. I saw old friends, ignored making new ones, and spoke to a hippie. Then, as as the sun went down, it was all off to the Purple Pussycat off Deansgate for the after-party wank and Lemsip. Sadly however, I had to decline, as I'd rather have been fucked in the face by a horse.

Mwah mwah xx

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Celebrity Eggs # 2

Joan Armatrading

Hello. Computer?

I've read lots of interesting things this morning. So many that I can't be arsed linking to all of them, so you'll have to take my word for it.
In fact - "can't be arsed linking to them" is exactly what this post is about.

I'm working on a project where everyone keeps talking about "storytelling" in relation to digital. Yet no-one can give me a clear example of what this means, because digital "stories" aren't like proper narratives - there's no beginning, middle, or end to them. And I should know - I'm a fucking writer after all. People seem to say "narrative" but what they really mean is "users clicking on shit until they get bored". There's no "journey" (which is the other thing they keep saying) with Facebook for example- it's just stimulus and response; input/output. But the popularity of Facebook means that the world, his wife and their swedish bi-sexual au pair now think that by pulling a load of data off an RSS feed, sellotaping a login/forum facility and "populating" the whole thing with video! VIDEO!! MORE FUCKING VIDEO!!! constitutes some kind of rich, immersive user experience. Just cos we've got cheap broadband doesn't mean we're The Lawnmower Man. And just cos I use the internet to book my holiday, doesn't mean I want to spend my time there. The internet's a utility. Not a destination.

So, you want stories, guys? I'll tell you a story. It's called "Pygmalion", and it's about a man who falls in love with a statue he made.

End of story.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Communications Strategy

As sure as we shit, blink and die (in that order) people just love talking to one another. Wah wah wah wah wah they go, all day bloody long talking about the cricket or cheese, or diseases, or supply chains or the washing up. And as long as someone's got something boring, bleak, inappropriate or dumb to say, there's a billion and nine boring, bleak, inappropriate or dumb ways to say it. For as the great William Burroughs pointed out, "language is a virus" - a rich, diverse, potent, and insidious organism, breeding and mutating at an unstoppable pace. Which goes some way to explain how the following sentence came into existence:

"Creating journeys that encourage audiences to springboard across their own media landscapes, taking them from attention to conversion."

Apart from sounding like something my old mate Simian Gladtrees would say, and apart from my brain going into emergency shut-down at the sudden extra-contextual mis-use of the word "springboard", I have to admit I was both intrigued and appalled by this sentence, a bit like a doctor discovering a woman with a hand for a vagina. How did it come into being? What was the author actually trying to say? Why have they mixed jargon with multiple metaphors?

I've currently got my lab-coat and rubber gloves on, trying to dissect this specimen. So until the test-results come through, can everyone please handle their language with a bit more care, so I don't have to clean up all the fucking mess.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Bingo Gazingo

In recognition of my toilet quandry today here's NY street poet and all round lunatic, Bingo Gazingo - my thinking being one of his most famous songs is called "I Love You So Fucking Much I Can't Shit."

Um... This one's about Jennifer Lopez though.

The Best Ad Ever! No. Seriously.

Love this. Funny, engaging, smart, subversive and (not surprisingly) award-winning.

On a slightly different note, I'm working with new people today and wondered what the etiquette for using the agency bathroom was: Is it a bit presumptuous to have a shit on your first day? Or should you wait until you've put your invoice in?

I could do with knowing the answer fairly soon...

Friday, 17 July 2009

Friday Swear

Cock hamper!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Spotted this pair of Big Brother abortions waddling through town last night.

The sight of two fluorescent, mis-shapen monsters crawling towards me in daylight made me want reach for my proton-pack. Luckily, I didn't have to cross the streams. Or their path for that matter. I turned into a doorway and watched them shamble past like some nameless, Lovecraftian horror.

I have to tell you, they're even more fucking preposterous in real life. She looks like something a child'd fill with sweets and smash with a stick. He looks like... I dunno. Liberace's pet gay ape?

You expect weird shit on TV. But not after work.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

How Many Ways Can You Say The Same Thing?

Just read that "Keep Britain Tidy" (formally ENCAMS, now "Keep Britain Tidy" once again) are putting together a new roster of agencies.

Thought I'd come up with a few lines for 'em...

Please Keep Britain Tidy

Please Keep Brian Tidy

Keep Britten Tiny!! (featuring Fern Britten)

Please Tidy Britain

Please Pick That Up

Please, Please Can You Pick That Up Please

Pick That Up Please

Oi, Pick That Up

Don't Leave That There (Please)

Please Don't Do That In Britain

Is Britain Tidy?

Britain: Leave It As You Found It

Clear Up or Clear Orf! (featuring Nick Griffin)

A Tidy Desk Is A Tidy Mind (featuring desk shaped like British Isles)

We Don't Like Foreign Muck (Nick Griffin again)

Muck A Do About Something
(featuring Shakespeare, who's British yeah)

The British Piles (of rubbish)

UK - The Untidied Kingdom (fucking genius!)

Shall I go on?

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Oblique Strategies

Presenting Eno and Schmidt's "Oblique Strategies (for one hundred worthwhile dilemmas)" (basically, a shit Creative Director in a box).

We made up our own (piss-take) oblique strategy cards at uni. But has anyone actually used them to make adverts?

Come on. Hands up.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Make The Logo Bitter

PSFK. It's called that because that's the sound people make when they read it - "psfk!"

Anyway, I bumped into this on it this morning, which made me go "ooah" for a change.

Some designer dude appears to share my appreciation for vernacular advertising. Though being a designer he's had to have his tuppence worth, re-interpreting flyers for local services, car boot sales and the like as professionally rendered communications.

It's a cute idea but I'm not sure as a purist I agree with his meddling. The beauty of "folk marketing" is that it's the crap fonts, badly chosen images, and rough edges that give them their charm. They're not just ads. They're glimpses into people's lives.

For example, there's a guy in our village who offers a "Football Troubleshooting" service to kids aged 11-19. The A4 handmade poster he displays in the local chip shop is an attempt to detail his coaching qualifications, but actually reads like a embittered eulogy to his failed career as a professional footballer.

There are some things multi-million pound marketing budgets just can't buy. For this, there is Comic Sans and ClipArt.

Happy Mondays

My Art Director's just gone home with suspected swine flu.

Funny how it's made everyone else feel ill all of a sudden.

I think Swine Flu has to be one the branding success stories of the year. The way people utilised social media, such as Facebook and NHS Direct to blah blah fucking blah [fill in bullshit as previous post]

Friday, 10 July 2009

Just read this in The Drum

I'm Barry Slunt, Executive Creative Chief of Chernobyl Cottom Sausages Communications Group.

The catastrophic news of Michael Jackson's sad and devastating transformation into a corpse last week, may've left the Earth confused and somewhat saddened, but the sudden departure of Jackson's soul from his flesh has undoubtedly turned the media landscape into an upside-down branding paradise of massive and obvious proportions.

As the logo of Jackson's spirit hovered online via the BBC News website, weeping media audiences cannibalised eachother via Twitter, clamouring to watch Ceefax on YouTube as they starved themselves to veryify the death of a rich, musical paedophile.

Unleasing the power of Jackson's brand via social media, civilisation collapsed as everyone in the world played Thriller and blogged AT THE SAME TIME.

On iPods across the universe, a digital Satan made of user generated content materialsed on desktops, announcing a new Jackson-shaped epoch in which everything we ever do on the internet from now on will be influenced by Michael Jackson's decision to die near a camera.

Thanks to the unique power of the Jackson brand, advertisers and marketers can look forward to a future where all brands will molest children and linger pathetically in the minds of shallow, sentimental audiences everywhere.

The Shittest Advert For Quite a Long Time

Cheap, unimaginative, and competely shit in every way. Can't work out if Peter Jones can't take direction, or director can't direct. Jones clearly can't even fucking speak since his voice has been dubbed to give it that authentic "inhuman" quality.

May as well have tied a scarecrow to a trolley and pushed it through a derelict prison. That would've been miles cheaper. And that's the point, right?

10 Sweary Things

1. Bum crisps

2. Shit cheeks

3. Mud vicar

4. Cock snail

5. Arse frock

6. Twat harrier

7. Muddle cunt

8. Moon piss

9. Wanky plops

10. Fuck squad

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Just to Clarify

In case anyone's in any doubt, I'm in Wilmslow this week.

Hope this hasn't confused anybody.

The usual skate-boarding penises and swearing will return shortly.

Meantime, does anyone know if the parents of lookalikes look like the parents of the people their offspring resemble?

Many thanks


Christ Almighty

I'm thinking of buying a knackered Porche, getting some blonde streaks in my hair and moving to Wilmslow full time.

I mean, I look and act like a wanker most of the time anyway, so I reckon I'll fit right in.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Ignorance is Bliss

Whilst the donkey sanctuary people have me hawking clotted cream from the back of a mule round the champagne-stained gutters of Wilmslow, I often find myself daydreaming about advertising.

I had a really fucking odd daydream today. Only, I realised it wasn't a dream at all. It was this.

That's right, it was all about this singing prick in a German car, dee-da-da-da-da, denying reality, tra-la-la-la-li, talking to the Jews -I mean the SHEEP- in the butchers van... from inside his HAPPY GERMAN car...

(No, no, no, that's not a jackboot on my face. It's a lovely soft pillow...)


A man slowly and conspicuously driving a black Ferrari through the streets of Wilmslow this morning caused not a single person to bat an eye-lid. However, the secret wave of fear and anxiety subsequently unleashed by the driver has caused incalcuable damage to the souls of those in the immediate area.

A helpline has been set up to offer support to those affected by the Ferrari: 0898-BUY-VEUVE-CLIQUOT-FUCKING-HANDBAGS-AND-SHITE

Monday, 6 July 2009

Cheshire Life

Some more incredible facts about Wilmslow.

Did you know there are more wedding dress shops in Wilmslow than anywhere else in its right mind?

And did you know the average house price in Wilmslow is available upon application?

It really is beautiful here. Like the population of Monaco had been forced to terra-form Mars amongst the mutants. A tupenny millionaire's play-pen no less.

How do I get to Mornington Crescent?

This is bloody ace, this is.


Because it's both subversive and cute. Like me on Christmas day.

Seriously, the potential for this is massive...

Actually no, I just realised terrorists might use it.

Ignore it. Don't touch it. Don't even look at it.

(Would'nt last 5 minutes on the tube would he. Or would he? So many questions!!)

Something For Everyone

In Wilmslow the Cartier shop is opposite Greggs the bakers.

So careful not to get pastry/jam/shit on your diamonds.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

10 Imaginary Ad Campaigns I'm Really Enjoying and Subsequently Blogging About

1. The new teaser ads for Stigma biscuits (must be the best product launch ever)

2. Heinz "Werewolves" (blood and guts made from spaghetti/beans and sausages!? Why didn't I think of that!?)

3. Dulux "Watching paint dry" microsite

4. (that talking cartoon genital really keeps the brand feeling fresh)

5. The launch of Cynical Smoothies (Great use of copy: "Yeah, we're a rip-off. But so what, it's a free market. We're loads cheaper, mate. You wanna drink that hippy stuff, go ahead.")

6. 118-118 doing a variation of Paul Simon's "Call Me Al" video (actually, I'm not enjoying this at all cos I thought it was inevitable)

7. Lurpak "spreading themselves" around Facebook

8. Those invisible Optrex ads

9. That Coca-Cola ad that looks (unintentionally?) like a sexy, Mormon utopia

10. That Legoland/Lego men "flashmob"appearing overnight on the floor of the Turner Room at the National Gallery.

Fucking YES!

Just YES. That's all I say.

NOTE TO CREATIVE DIRECTORS: Next time a client says they want to aim something at a teenage market THIS is how you do it. For example, the new Vimto ad. Mischievous bits of fruit at fairground: Wrong. Robotic bits of fruit with guns in their tits: Kerrching!