Friday, 28 August 2009

Poll Results

Aww, I love you guys. But how did you all guess?

10 Letters to The Drum

1. Dear Drum, Please do another one of your thrilling, and revealing surveys at the bottom of your website that no-one ever notices or bothers to participate in - like "Is advertising standing up or sitting down?" or "Is Edinburgh more suggestible than Hull?"

2. Dear Drum, That Agency Agony Uncle bloke seems a bit of a dick. Is it meant to be a joke? Surely. It's a joke, right. I mean, he's a knob isn't he. And what he says is dead obvious. But you know that, don't you. Don't you?

3. Dear Drum, Stop taking everything SO fucking seriously.

4. Dear Drum, Is there a reason your website doesn't work a lot of the time?

5. Dear Drum, I saw a cracking advert on Sky last night and thought you might like to hear about it.

6. Dear Drum, On behalf of all the obscure regional PR agencies in the country, we're feeling particularly under-represented by your magazine of late. Did you know that obscure regional PR agencies are responible for some of the most subtle, and invisible work in the world.

7. Dear Drum, You've never heard of me but I've just got a job somewhere you might have heard of, and wondered if you'd like to do a double-page spread on me?

8. Dear Drum, What the fuck is "social networking"? I work at Amaze and no-one here can tell me without going red in the face and getting an erection.

9. Dear Drum, I'm the boss of DFS. What a great help your publication has been in helping me to choose which shit and unstable Yorkshire agency to destroy next.

10. Hi Drum, McCanns here. I've got another bollocks theory about Twitter and that. The usual fee?

What's the Story Billy Fury?

Here's some proper music. Dedicated to all the people who have to listen to Oasis at work.

UPDATE: I thought the erstwhile MR. VLS would help explain.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

I Heart Excel

As a writer I get enormous pleasure from using Excel.

I especially like the columns which can be used for writing in the organising information writer's use, like "Title".

And the way you can use the rows to write in any writing you may plan to do under those headings is especially helpful.

Once you've mapped out the two variables of your writing - for example, the "Title" and the "Subject" you can then use further columns to explore your work in more detail. Planning really is of the essence in writing. So being able to say how many words you intend to use, when you intend to complete a piece of writing, what themes one piece of writing may contain and how they might relate to any other pieces of writing you're planning in your Excel document, is something I find extremely beneficial to my work. To the extent that I don't know how I'd previously managed to do any writing before I was introduced to Excel. It's very easy for writers to think they have a clear understanding of a project - how many pages something is, what it's about. But having Excel there to keep you on target is a godsend.

So before you ever write anything ever again, however simple, obvious, tedious, or self-explanatory, take apart every single element of what you're GOING to do and map it out using my friend Excel. Even if the deadline is looming and you haven't even started writing anything yet, GO BACK TO EXCEL AND MAP IT OUT. It may take precious time. And it may feel like a futile, number-crunching displacement activity. But it gets results. Results that can be measured, scrutinsed, and regurgitated by other human beings who you may wish to gawp listlessly over your working process like a bored voyeur.

Just imagine if -for example- James Joyce- had had Excel when he wrote Ulysses. We'd be able see (in hindsight) how his masterpiece was actually a total fucking failure of planning and process. And who wouldn't want to pop that particular bubble?

By mediating and reducing everything in our lives through Excel, we can vividly see the sprawling insect horror of our pitiful lives day by day.

So the only question left is: Shall I save it on the network?

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

XXX Hardcore Surface Porn

Urgh. I've been trying to get my hands on this filth for a while.

Here's Microsoft's full-on post-iPhone XXX surface-frotting clusterfuck in all it's sweaty-palmed glory. And I can tell you it is absolutely disgusting.

Don't just expect to be able to smear profanities all over your boss' desk by 2019, also expect the sales of Handy Wipes and anti-bacterial surfactants to go through the fucking roof.

Now's the time to invest in bleach, people. You heard it here first.

Monday, 24 August 2009


Before CGI, motion graphics and green screens, films only had lasers to make them exciting. After that (1986ish) we had the two Michaels, Douglas and J Fox.

But lasers did some great work back in the 1980's, from light sabres to proton packs to swirling vortices of supernatural evil like the spooks in Poltergeist and Raiders of the Lost Ark, not to mention a decade's worth of dodgy VHS sci-fi/horror movies. 'Cos lasers were pretty nasty back then. Lasers meant unearthly power, cataclysmic terror and your soul being sucked out your skull by a monster. Like this.

Nowadays though, poor old lasers just mean a load of old bollocks.

Talk Talk for Brighter Phone & Broadband

Back in my day you'd've only seen this kind of shit shooting out of a demon's cock in a John Carpenter film.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Bland Values

Whenever we talk about Content Flavoured Trousers, it is important we establish a consistent use of language that delivers our brand messages and values across the various channels. We call this our "tone of voice."

So whenever we talk to our audiences, the tone of voice for Content Flavoured Trousers will be:

Authoratarian (as opposed to authoritative)

Friday, 21 August 2009

10 Myths About Advertising

1. Actually, it's all true. ALL OF IT. Even the bits you don't believe.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Blogs Of Your Nightmares #1

NAME: Content Flavoured Trousers

GOOD POINTS: Is self-deprecating.

BAD POINTS: Jokes getting thin.

(Sorry everyone. It's not my fault. I've been working with a bloke who is THE spitting image of H.P Lovecraft - seriously! It's uncanny. And absurd. Which is what started all this nightmares stuff.)

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Art Directors Of Your Nightmares #1

NAME: Shelley Long

GOOD POINTS: Warm, affable, understanding.

BAD POINTS: Never remember her name. Hasn't done good work since 1985. Is an actress.

Friday, 14 August 2009

How Can I Make A Claim That Bold And Specific?

I have seen the greatest website in the entire world.

But how can I say that?

Well, read on and find out.

Because we all want to see the best website in the world.

But finding it can be an uphill struggle.

Clicking through links and reading through lists puts people off.

Unless they think they're getting somewhere.

Which is why my blog-post will tell you exactly where the best website in the world is.

It's not a secret.

The best website in the world is available to everybody.

Through my blogpost you and your friends, family, even your pets can benefit from the knowledge of the best website in the world.

You see, years of using the internet has left me jaded and unsatisfied.

But after following my own specially formulated link-clicking techniques, I discovered that the best website in the entire world, was right at my finger tips after all.

So are you ready to experience the best website in the world?

Are you ready to learn the ways of my specially-formulated link-clicking techniques?

Then prepare to be amazed. Your life will never be the same again.

Since discovering my own specially formulating link-clicking techniques, I've enjoyed the best website in the world time after time after time.

After reading this blogpost you too can enjoy the incredible, astonishing, BEST website in the world in your own home and at your leisure.

My technique is simple.

It isn't a myth.

Other link-clicking techniques do not work.

Stumble-Upon doesn't work.

You Tube doesn't work.

Following blind links and pop-up ads are part of the world wide web conspiracy to keep you away from the best website in the world.

Only with my specially formulated link-clicking technique can you unlock the path to the ultimate website in the world, and be the envy of your peers.

To learn all about my specially formulated link-clicking technique, and to get an get an introduction to the best website in the entire world, just follow this specially formulated link.

Don't Shit Where You Eat

Looking for a new Twitter feed to follow? Of course you are!

Then why not check out Ewan Veitch, the managing director of TBWA G1 Paris. Because it's intelligent, insightful, open-minded men like Ewan that have made TBWA the network it is today. So look out clients of TBWA/Manchester... because heeerre comes Ewan!

I reckon after everything TBWA/Manc's been through recently, a bit of support from a preening, xenephobic gobshite, pouting into his profile-picture like a teenage girl is just what they need to rally the troops and get 'em through the worst of it.

Can't wait for them to send him to TBWA/Johannesburg.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Please Vote For Me

Everybody's favourite and most morbidly fascinating trade-mag The Drum are compiling their "Power 100" of the most influential (and morbidly fascinating) people in marketing. London doesn't count (theirs is called The Saxophone or something gay) which means ANY of us are in with a chance of getting in.


Go on. It'll be a laugh. Reasons for nominating me could be (for example) "John writes an obscure blog which very occasionally makes me smile thinly, which is as near to fun as I get in my obscure marketing career which I'm compelled to take absurdly seriously by reading The Drum."

Or heck, why not invent your own reasons!? Some of you might even have obscure creative careers in marketing, so I'm sure you lot can all go fucking mental with this kind of shit.

See you at The Hilton or somewhere no doubt (it's usually there). Cheers guys.

Vote your tits off for me here please.

Anti-Social Networking

Ok, not a very original title for a post BUT...

I've just seen a gang of lads having a bit of banter with a particularly attractive young lady touting for the RSPCA in the middle of town.

Further up the road I spotted a delightfully freakish performance at the baked potato van off Market St. when one of the women behind the counter opened her gob and had a really fucking silly voice that made the whole scene feel like some weird man-size Punch & Judy show.

Is there anybody out there using Twitter to organise ogling (or gang rape?) yet? ("@Psutlciffe: big tits outside Boots 2mins ago"). Or to be no less voyeuristic but slightly more philanthropic, to divert the public away from lunatics? ("@Whitecoat: God botherer gone fucking schizo in Ox. Rd. MaccyD's 10 mins ago").

I'm surprised Heat Magazine or papparazzi don't use it to stalk soap stars.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Creative Directors Of Your Nightmares #5

NAME: David Copperfield

GOOD POINTS: Really good at experiential stuff

BAD POINTS: Is a sneaky prick

The Dream Life Of Me and Dre

What do you do when you work at a donkey sanctuary and need those little cultural pick-me-ups throughout the day, just to get you to 5pm and away from the crack-pipe?

Well firstly, you can re-read the novels of your favourite, most inspiring authors. I've been hammering Nathanael West again (hence the title of this post).

Secondly, you can watch Michael Mann's forgotten, not-available-on-DVD horror film The Keep, which some helpful scallaywag has uploaded on to You Tube in tasty 10minute portions. Evidently there's been some re-emerging interest in this film lately so I was intrigued to see what the fuss was about. When I say it's been "forgotten" though, I mean like an abuse memory. Sections of this ring some particularly nasty VHS bells for me, and they're all in the key of 1985.

So you'll all be glad to know that between West and You Tube I'm still keeping up my daily intake of satire and Nazis (and that's just for breakfast).

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

For Fucking Fuscksake

Fuck off!! I'm just bored now. And very tired.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Things you never knew about me

Did I ever tell you about my days as a model?

I was at university and was spotted by an agent in Leeds city centre.

"You've got the right posture, bone structure - everything! Your a natural," she said.

"Really?" I smirked, disbelievingly.

"Seriously. Young men like you can make a lot of money in modelling".

"Yeah, right," I said naively. (Which was why I was at university).

I took some convincing, but eventually I took the woman seriously. Deadly seriously.

For this was no ordinary modelling job. There were no shoes or pouting or edgy hairstyles in this kind of modelling, oh no. For this was a job modelling spiders - wild, rare, exotic, dangerous kinds of spiders. The kind that can kill you with a blink of their 8 poisonous eye-lids, or but a shifty squeeze of their bulbous palpy fang sacs (which they have 2 of).

And so there I was, between the years 1998 and 1999, touring the zoos and veterinary colleges of Russia, standing before delegates and experts with a black widow on my chin, or a brown fiddleback on my hair, whilst they took photographs and pointed and nodded and generally seemed to agree on things.

The motivation for this (since I know you're dying to ask) was a piece of government funded research they were compiling entitled The Encyclopedia of Suffering . It was hoped to be the Russian Kinsey Report, but sadly the money fell through. They wanted to have mobile phones instead and spent it all on satellites and transmitters.

I still reminisce about those days.

Funny isn't it how - even back then- it was obvious to someone that I seemed to know all about suffering.

If only they could see me know, eh.

10 Things You See In The City Before Breakfast

1. A man putting his tie on in a car-park

2. Three work-men sleeping in a van

3. A man in sportswear, limping up the street

4. A woman at a cashpoint with four bags of shopping and a coffee

5. Pigeons!

6. Business women (it's always women) dashing along with a wheelie suitcase

7. Wild people (various)

8. Security guard having a fag

9. Young man in office attire wearing Aviators (irrespective of weather)

10. Some blood or sick (depending on your way in)

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Dear Mojo Magazine...

Isn't it about time you featured The Beatles on your front cover again?

As you well know, "popular music" serves 3 distinct markets:

1. Girls at college/university
2. Men who'd like to fuck girls at college/university
3. Men crippled by longing (for their past fucking girls at college/university)

Since your publication falls clearly into category number 3, is it not your duty to constantly re-visit, re-appraise, re-assess the same material endlessly, listlessly, constantly, regularly?

Chronic nostalgia is a debilitating condition that needs round the clock care. Captain. Beefheart, Nick Drake, Neil Young, even Pink Floyd are all marginal figures compared to The Beatles. Young and Floyd are still going for fucksake! They are therefore unsuitable subjects for your magazine.

As future reference for your editor I provide the followig guide:

Just ask yourself "Did (eg.) Robert Wyatt ever get anybody laid?" If the answer is no, please don't include them in your magazine.

Actually, can we just do The Beatles every month from now on? You can review those Grateful Dead boxsets at the back if you like, but lets have some more stuff about the Fab Four. Come on! What EXACTLY was Yoko Ono's influence on The White Album? Tell us!

We need to know EXACTLY in case a woman ever asks us.

Creative Directors Of Your Nightmares # 4

NAME: Sexy Fetish Lady

GOOD POINTS: VERY firm but fair. Inspirational

BAD POINTS: Really into SEO. Squeaks when she moves

Damn Hippies

Here's a rather oddly titled article from Tsk Tsk Magazine or whatever it's called.

I'll summarise it here for you of you like (I'm nice that way), as it's not half as interesting as it thinks it is. Basically, it's the author paraphrasing an audio-book he listened to (which says it all really) about the concept of "free" in the modern gee fuck me kids! digi-global economy. It's essentially Americans trying to rationalise FREE! things like Google and Skype because superficially these things fly in the face of their beloved military industrial complex. The article ends with some mushy, vague allusions to changing business models and how capitalism is just sooooo yesterday!

There's quite a few (proper - not audio!) books been written about hippies and their infatuation with "freedom", including the spectacular novels of my friend Mr. Pynchon. Clever people (ie. academics, as opposed to journalists) will tell you how the tragedy of the 1960s cultural "revolution" was that it failed to achieve all of the things it set out to do. (Don't believe me? Then, listen to Paul McCartney's last album). Americans in particular have fetishised the idea of "freedom" since they're the ones who shit on all the time about changing the world and never actually do it. Americans talk about freedom like a maudlin drunk, slurring weepily at the end of the party when everyone else went home hours ago because they've got proper jobs to do in the morning. Which is precisely the tone of that article.

Duh! But of course business models have to bloody change! Not because we've been liberated, but because people prefer tits and pop-songs to hard work. Getting people to do anything these days means bribing them with a bit of free stuff. This new economy based around data and FaceWank applications just means we've harnessed all of our base, prurient instincts and found a way to turn them to our advantage. Sadly, the price of all this free, empowering data at our fingertips is the precious time I've lost checking my email every five fucking minutes, and blogging blogging blogging blogging blogging blogging blogging blogging blogging like a slave.

Yeah, I can't wait to be totally free when a robot wanks me off and feeds me a pie every time I download a Lady Ga Ga single directly to my brain.

Creative Directors of Your Nightmares # 3

NAME: Barry Norman

GOOD POINTS: Happy to offer autonomy. Makes you justify your work

BAD POINTS: Farts in client meetings

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Creative Directors of Your Nightmares #2

NAME: Kate Moss

GOOD POINTS: Loves booze and coke!

BAD POINTS: Loves booze and coke! Might have AIDS

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius?

By all accounts, our American friends are up in arms about this particular viral piece.

I'm not even sure I get it though. I mean, what's Al Jolson got to do with socialism?

Oh, hang on. Sorry, I get it now. It's President Obama(TM) isn't it. He wants to create a partly nationalised health service by offering free health care to poorer people.

What a fucking bastard.

Is It Just Me..?

Hatter's Summer Night Dream with Smirnoff

Wasn't this a video for the Cranberries in about 1992?

Monday, 3 August 2009

Please Mind The Goths

Every year, thousands of people lose their way on the London Underground. Thousands more simply lose the will to live.

But thanks to the ingenious Mr. Dan Zambonini, you can turn the baffling and de-humanising process of navigating the capitol into an exciting and rewarding, socio-cultural mystery tour! (Or maybe that's just for me?) Anyway, finally you can actually find Tate Modern without having to shatter the icey silence of nervous commuters, or locate decent food without dealing with moody bloody cabbies. All the places and people of interest are featured at their respective stations. And if you know of your own, just give Dan a heads up.

Isn't design helpful.

Ooh, get you!

Morning everyone.

Right, first question: Who were those two tetchy advertising men on Top Gear last night? I missed the first part. Was it the blokes behind that VW "holocaust denial" campaign? I know Clarkson can wind people up, but Christ, it was was like a sulking contest in a moody French film with grumpy subtitles and everything. What was their fucking problem, anyway? Let me guess. Was it because James and Jeremy weren't taking them seriously? Oh, boo bloody hoo. I can't believe they even signed the release form. What a pair of horrible, humourless fucking cunts.

So today's second question is: How many horrible, humourless fucking cunts are there in your agency this morning?

(At 8.07am, it's just me at the minute).