Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

How Research Works

Of all the weapons in the marketeers gun cabinet, research is amongst the most comforting, second only to the one we may one day, inevitably, turn on ourselves.

For many years advertisers relied on little more than the well-informed opinions of experts to gauge the reception of their marketing activities; a process which led to almost universally successful advertising. However, as thicker, less dynamic people took over the marketing departments of businesses they had had no part in building, and therefore had no long-term commercial interest in sustaining anyway, marketers struggled to accept or (in most cases) understand the advice the advertising experts were giving them.

And so, research was born: the process of fool-proofing a decision by consulting as many fools as possible.

Here's how it works.

RESEARCHER: What do you think of this product?

HAPLESS FOOL: What product?

RESEARCHER: This new product.

HAPLESS FOOL: Never heard of it.

RESEARCHER: I know. It's new.

HAPLESS FOOL: Oh. Can I try it then?

RESEARCHER: Ok... What do you think of it now?

HAPLESS FOOL: Meh.

RESEARCHER: That a yes or no then?

HAPLESS FOOL: No opinion.

RESEARCHER: I need to put yes or no though.

HAPLESS FOOL: Oh.

RESEARCHER: Would you say you were nearer a yes..?

HAPLESS FOOL: I have no opinion.

RESEARCHER: I'll put you down as a yes then, ok.

HAPLESS FOOL: Whatever.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Brand Spanking

You don't have to be an art director or a client to understand that tone of voice matters about as much to a brand as a jockey to a spooked racehorse. When you're trying to appeal to as many faceless, brainless plebs as possible, copywriters can't afford to play fast and loose with the emotions of their drooling audiences. As any brand manager will tell you, a successful campaign is a combination of brightly coloured celebrities and money off vouchers. The only time one should speak to the audience is either to mention the price, or to remind them not to choke on the product.

So. Imagine how horrified I was to discover this particularly witty, playful, and (God forbid) intelligent piece of copy on the back of a beer label this weekend.



(In case you can't read the pic:"Yet another bummed-out holiday? Lump of Coal Dark Holiday Stout is liquid consolation. It's a deep, rich, sweetly rewarding stout to take the edge of that grim family gathering, that cheerless annual festival of alienation. This brew is as dark as it gets, as black as the lump of coal you'll be getting for Christmas. Because, let's face it, you've been pretty bad this year.")

It reminded me of Simon Darwell-Taylor's idea for a brand that was shitty, and pissed off you with, rather than bland, obsequious, and mealy-mouthed. Which is, of course, how ALL copy should be in these days of austerity, panic and dickheads.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Friday Infographic

Fig.1 Levels of freelance job satisfaction throughout the week

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Famous Last Briefs #1

CLIENT: Look, I've never heard of 'em either.

BACKGROUND: Just drop it.

BUDGET: Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

WHAT IS REQUIRED: Fuck about on iStock for a day scratching your head and muttering expletives. Client likes idea of owls but can't be more specific.

DELIVERY: End of play Friday to 20 different email recipients at their end.

Friday, 19 November 2010

The Friday Infographic

Fig 1. Manchester's Creative Scene

Friday, 12 November 2010

Did anyone see this?



Story is a junior at DDB Harare or somewhere won a "highly coveted" D&AD tutorial scholarship thingy off the back of it.

I like it.

Or do I?

No, I DO like it.

But I don't believe it's real.

Then again...

Oh, I dunno. It's very well done, but having pulled a few stunts like this myself, none of them to any avail. What. So. Ever. I'm just struggling to see how it worked.

Maybe it's because I is not black.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Finally. A campaign for a videogame that isn't either CGI or shit



Don't get me started on this right, but games are like - the future. Seriously. For lots of reasons. And at some point I'm going to need to post a very lengthy piece about the writing in games and how the "old" skills of writers are needed more than ever in the "new" world of interactive and all that. But like I say, don't get me started because I'm just hitting my stride in Fallout: New Vegas this week and I'm capable of talking the jowls off a despot about how ruddy marvelous it is.

Suffice to say I fucking LOVE games almost as much as ads, but really that Black Ops "Soldier In Everyone" effort from last week was just a big fat lazy wank, as was the Halo: Reach HD prick-tease from the other month. In fact, pretty much every ad for a game I can think of tends to be nothing more than a kind of pornography, where the most superficial aspects of the gameplay (i.e blasting the shit out of stuff) is presented in an exaggerated form. Which is SO dumb, and also weird. Because the best games aren't dumb at all. They're massively complicated, and surprising.

So hats (or HUDs) off to the people behind this slice of loveliness ( http://rebuildbrotherhood.us.ubi.com/site.php ) in anticipation of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood this month. A smart, enjoyable campaign for a smart, enjoyable game.

Some great writing too.

Then again, maybe it's just the shit HTML graphics that are doing it for me.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Advertising Feature


Dear Customer,

As a valued member of our coven, it is time for you to awaken from your slumber, and to join me, The Great Beast, in the shadow of this solstice moon as I lift the veil upon my infernal Winter Sale.

Behold! The altar of The Ancients - Quallthy, and Vhalyew. For unto them we offer this ritual sacrifice - the slashing of our prices (throughout the store) with the sacred dagger of Bargayne.

See now, whilst our prices drop, the madness descends... Into your unconscious mind, as I and my buyers establish psychic connection between you and your desires. Instore and online. Our minds are intertwined.

So place yourself at the mercy of the Aleister Crowley Winter Sale.

With 50% off selected items, you are but powerless to resist.

Starts Midnight.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

No time even for a title, let alone a proper blog post.

Er, so watch this instead. Pretend you're ill or something.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Behind Our Studio...

A body
Cold and grey
Prone in the shadow of an old oak tree
Above blackened boughs
Crows encircle
As mist descends
First in wisps
Through knotted hair, and tangled limbs
Then in creeping, grasping tendrils
Upwards
Toward his face-
Oh, god! That face
That is shrunken and sallow
Hideous, hollow
The life torn out
In silent screams
Through empty sockets
And crinkling flesh
Now rotting upon the gutter’s edge
And yet-
These horrors are pale
Dim and fleeting
For lurking deep
Down and dark
In the dead man’s pocket
An abomination lies
Monstrous
Unspeakable
And gnawing
Gnawing at my sanity
Like rats!
Malnourished
On fetid bones
In blackened rooms
And dancing
Ghastly on the surface
Of the ivory cards
That bore his name
In black
Comic
Sans

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Welcome to Optimism (twinned with Salford)


It's the Campaign Big Awards tonight. And I for one will not be attending. In fact, I won't even be looking at the results tomorrow morning. Because you know what? We don't do ruddy trophies and baubles in the North. We do all our work for our clients. Something you southern shandies just wouldn't understand...

Yeah, you heard. I did say "Southern Shandies". Because it's you London lot who mostly read this blog. Not my homies in Manchester. Because they're all busy working for their clients see, not dicking around on the internet, being all curious and forward-thinking like you lot. Oh no. We've got our noses to the grindstone, creating amazing work, for our amazing clients120% of the time. Day in. Day out, as Ian Curtis might say shortly before hanging himself.

Yo usee, what never fails to impress me about Manchester is that in a town where so many clients insist on writing their own ads, and most of the agencies allow them to do so, the fact that I make any money at all is a living, breathing testament to the city's steadfast commitment to creativity. The same creativity, lest we forget, that brought us Joy Division, The Smiths, Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses,er... Joy Division, The Smiths, Happy Mondays, and Morrissey! - as I'm sure Jon Robb, Terry Christian, and Peter Hook will be more than happy to remind you.

Day in. Day out.

And it's important we keep banging on about the legacy of ruddy Factory and Joy Division every time we come to celebrate or even mention Manchester's creative industries. Because currently, our advertising's just as fucking bleak and desperate as all the music we once listened to. And like Ian Curtis, there isn't a single solitary one of us who wouldn't work ourselves towards a horribly pointless death in the name of it.

So like I say. We don't need awards for what we do. We just trudge on till the bitter end. And every 5 years or so, we put all of our old work in a Peter Saville-designed coffee-book-boxset, and look back in a half-morbid, half self-congratulatory way at how, despite all the opportunities we were given, they all managed to end somewhat tragically.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Fucking Love This!



Apart from stakeholders and busybodies, who in the neon name of Christ ever reads a business' Corporate and Social Responsibility Report? No one. They're shit. Even the one's with nice covers barely stifle a yawn these days, let alone enourage you to read past the contents page.

But this new one by the muckers over at Music is awesome.

Having harped on for long enough about the formal limitations of the corporate liturgy- I mean, publication - this interactive route is frankly (in the grey, grey world of the boardroom) avant garde by comparison. But what better way to engage people than letting them discover stuff for themselves.

This is the goddam future people! Just think: no more facsimiles of the gout-faced chairman's signature. And no more awkward photography of your hideous employees. Result.

Well done guys.

The Drum Interviews Alex Bogusky

by The Drum's very own scoop-finder general, Swinton Malteser


The Drum convinced advertising legend Alex Bogusky, creative executive mastermind of the giant global advertising leviathan Crispy Bogusky Proctor & Gamble, to give us a rare telephone interview over his privately owned American telephone line.

[Phone ringing out for 10 to 15 minutes]

AB: Hello, yes?

THE DRUM: Hello?

AB: Hello!

THE DRUM: Oh, er, is that Mr. Er... Mr. Bogus-Sky?

AB: Bogusky. Speaking. Who is this?

THE DRUM: Eh? Oh, my name's Andy. I work at The Drum.

AB: Who?

THE DRUM: The Drum magazine. In the... England.

AB: Right. I don't -

THE DRUM: We're a trade title. For the creative industries.

AB: Ok.

THE DRUM: Outside the M25.

AB: The what?

THE DRUM: The - er, road around, the motorway really, around the - London...

AB: Sorry. What is this about?

THE DRUM: Right. We were just after a few quotes, Mr. Bogusky. For a piece we're writing. We all value your opinion Mr. Bogusky and thought er -

AB: Listen. Thanks, but I don't normally do... (Sigh)Look just make it quick, ok.

THE DRUM: Brilliant! Thank you so much, Alex, er, Bogusky. Really appreciate this.

AB: Sure.

THE DRUM: Right, we're putting together a kind of survey of the various regions' creative outputs...

AB: Why?

THE DRUM: So that erm... I don't know. It's just what we do.

AB: Compare regions creativity?

THE DRUM: Yes. No. I mean, it's meant to be a showcase.

AB: Like D&AD?

THE DRUM: Kind of. Yes.

AB: You pay to be in the magazine - showcase?

THE DRUM: Exactly!

AB: Hmmmm...

THE DRUM: So, we just want to know who's your favourite agency in and around Staffordshire?

AB: Where?

THE DRUM: Well, the Midlands really. But we're trying to boost circulation around North Staffs.

AB: But I - I don't know where any of these places are.

THE DRUM: Oh. Ok. Well, have you heard of an agency called McCann Erickson?

AB: Of course I have.

THE DRUM: Ok, well just say McCann Erickson Birmingham then.

AB: Hang on. I don't even -

THE DRUM: That's great Mr. Bogusky. Brilliant. Cheers. And if you ever need a month's free membership to the Marketing Industry Network, just give us a call and we'll see what we can do, eh. Thanks again, mate. Cheers now.

Friday, 22 October 2010

The Copywriter's Charter: Demand No. 2

2. More and better jobs
Existing jobs must be protected. Public and private investment must create new jobs yadda yadda yadda. But in particular in the digital sector, where the opportunities for writing play second fiddle to technology and design. We don’t want to write headlines, puns, and emotive product descriptions anymore. Not even smart-arsed ones like Innocent. We want to create stories! With characters, points of view, plots, sub-plot sand everything in between. Oh, but we’re not doing SEO though –ok? That’s like asking an architect to mix concrete.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The Copywriter's Charter: Demand No. 1

1. A fairer studio for a fairer creative

The right to work in a balanced creative department. One where our work will be valued and -above all- recognized. Where the substance and resonance of writing is not needlessly forsaken for wanky art direction, or subjugated by those who have to look up the word “subjugate”. Nor should we be told never to begin a sentence with “because.” Because to denude and demote writing in the communication business is frankly cheating, not to mention lazy. And that is unfair to us, and unfair to our clients. Especially the ones who don't understand irony.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

For Christ's Sake

Religion. It's a lot like pornography isn't it.

It appeals to our basest instincts, offers little or no lasting satisfaction, and has a nasty habit of raising awkward questions. It also makes lots of shit, horrible films. Like this (pwew-weee!) stinker.

On the upside though, they do seem to have knicked one of my piss-take retail straplines.

Do It Like Dad



A family eating their tea infront of the TV. They have just seen the new "Do It Like Dolmio" ad.

MUM: Win a holiday to Italy, eh? That sounds nice.

DAD: Wha?

MUM: Says you can win a holiday. On the telly.

DAUGHTER: Duh. Not on the telly, mum. On You Tube.

DAD: Wha?

MUM: Eh?

DAUGHTER: You need to go on You Tube to win the holiday.

DAD: On wha?

MUM: You What?

DAUGHTER: On the internet. You film a video and upload it.

MUM: To the internet?

DAUGHTER: Yeah.

MUM: But it's full of.... perverts, the internet. (shudders) I'm not doing that.

DAD: Don't be daft, woman. They would'nt put it on telly if it wasn't safe, would they. (To daughter) Would they?

[Daughter shrugs - "How the hell should I know?"]

DAD: Come on, then! I'll do it. I'll win us a holiday.

MUM: But you don't know what you're doing, Steve. You're 45 years old. You'll look ridiculous.

[NOTE: Is it me or this turning into an episode of My Family?]

DAD: All right, all right. Less of the old, thank you. Now do you want a holiday or not?

MUM: Not if I have to live with the shame of -

DAD: I said that's enough, thank you Cath. Now come on Becky, go get your laptop and let's make a video.

[NOTE: It is isn't it! I'm not doing it on purpose though. Honest. My Family is obviously just what you get when you throw something down in 5 minutes]

DAUGHTER: You're not using my laptop.

DAD: But -

DAUGHTER: Seriously dad, you fucking embarrass me I swear I will never speak to you again.

MUM: Come on Steve, leave it. Forget about the holiday.

(He tries to appeal to them by pulling an Italian face and waving his arms)

MUM: It's not going to work, love. Your impression is shit.

DAD: But someone might like it! The voters..? On the internet..?

(Mum and daughter shake their heads plaintively)

DAD: (Defeated) Oh, I suppose your right. My impression is shit. And I can't work the computer on my own... But - hang on! Becky, you're brilliant at impressions. And you can work the computer. Why don't you win us a holiday?

DAUGHTER: Do I look like the face of fucking Dolmio?

DAD: Come on. It'll be cool.

DAUGHTER: Is that what you think of me? I look like a fucking puppet? Is that what you're saying!?

DAD: No, I -

(Daughter storms out, slamming the door)

MUM: Just leave her. Come on. Finish your meatballs.

(They continue to eat)

DAD: This sauce is nice. What is it?

MUM: Lloyd Grossman.

Experience the futility for yourself at: www.doitlikedolmio.com

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Future Prefect

All of you please just stop it, stop it, stop it, now.

About 10 people have just tweeted me this in the last 5 minutes, and it's arsewash.

I'm referring of course to the trapped-in-the-90s dinner party nihilist Douglas Coupland's (recent) smugger-than-thou article about things we might expect to see in the future.

Now, I know he's half-joking, and I know you lot probably think you're half-joking as well when you re-tweet it, but listen - the only reason it's rocketed round the internet so quickly is because you all obviously suffer the same anxieties he's (smugly, satirically) describing, and which you all desperately want to see vindicated, not least so you can slap yourselves on the back, tweet "I told you so!" and get a job as a digital planner, scuffling for a peek down the future's top for the rest of your days.

But.

Surely the only thing any of these kinds of predictions or "insights" can ever describe accurately are the current flavour of nuroses amongst the urban population.

Why do I say this? Well, because I live in the country. So when I go home tonight I won't be worrying, writing or tweeting about the potential impact of cloud-computing, or any of the other unknowable bullshit certain segments of the advertising industry thrive on. No, I'll be concerned with whether or not I'll need lights to go cycling this evening.

And I find this kind persepective stops me sounding like a smug, pretentious, dinner party bell-end.

Well, when I'm not at work at least.

10 Rude Foods

1. Lemon in a gimp mask

2. Prune sucking off a turnip

3. Tarts

4. A good spread

5. Tariyaki bukakake

6. Cuny Lingus Crispy Pancakes (vegetarian option: Felafellatio)

7. Frottage cheese

8. Gay bagels

9. Strap-on salad

10. Spuds deep in gravy

Monday, 27 September 2010

Studio Playlist

Something old
Something new
Something borrowed
Something on blue limited edition vinyl.

Something you wouldn't buy
Something you'd never lend
Something you'd never actually own up to
And something you'd never really got into.

Something a bit jazzy
Something a bit brassy
Something a bit funky
Something just a teeny tiny bit folksy.

Something re-mixed
Something half-inched
Something on 9inch
And definitely something on 12inch

That one that she likes
This one that he doesn't
The one that goes like thingy
And the one sounds like whathisface

Something choral
Something classic
Something la, la, la
Something, something, something

Something different
Something obvious
Something weird
Something wonderful

A litle bit of Beefheart
A little bit of Bowie
A lttle bit of classical
But please. No fucking reggae.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Holiday Snap

I'm back. Back from hols, back in one piece, and straight back into doing what I do best: writing ads that will never get made, and blogging about the futility of it all in an irreverent/burlesque sort of way in the vain hope of entertaining someone enough for them to think - hey! now there's a clever, funny, thoughtful kinda guy. Just the kinda of clever, funny, thoughtful writer our massively successful creative agency should be using all the time. I wonder if he'd like to come and work for us in fact. Because we'd really, genuinely value his input on our projects since we really, genuinely value good writing unlike a lot of agencies who just say they do. In the North.

It's pathetic. But what do I care? I've got a sun tan, and a fortnight's worth of perspective on the whole sorry state of affairs.

I've been to beaches, bars, cafes, and one disgustingly fucking expensive restaurant. And I've returned -I'm glad to say- having put a fair bit of distance between me and this here (stagnating) media career of mine. I even managed to resist the temptation to tweet pics of funny foreign advertisements on my travels, which I'd somehow almost planned to do, and which again is utterly pathetic in hindsight.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that having a (currently) crap, marginal media career like mine is actually just massively exhausting. The whole business of advertising operates on a kind of "last one to the future's a bender" mentality anyway. So between blogging, tweeting, marketing oneself, one's opinions, and keeping up with shit there's virtually no time left for the more gentlemanly pursuits (women, wine, fine art, big game hunting - that kind of thing) we creatives need to temper our fearsome egos.

Unsurprisingly then, I didn't entirely switch off whilst I was away. I had an entertaining idea about re-theming my portfolio (more soon), and spent the first week worrying that I really should stop all this larking about and try and be more "commercial" in my ambitions. But then. Then I read Stewart Lee's book which (if nothing else) reminded me that that comedy is one of the purist and noblest of creative endeavours. It's ok to lark about. Trying to make people laugh is a good thing. And what's more, as I've said here many times before, the mechanics of comedy really do belong in advertising.

So, yes. Existential crisis averted, and I'm back. Back to the noblest of creative endeavours.

Wish you were here
x

Saturday, 11 September 2010

One for the road...

Here's a quick bit of homespun wisdom before I piss off for a week or so.

Always ask yourself does the script pass "The Blue Peter" test?

I'll explain.

If you wrote down an outline of Blue Peter in order to pitch it to someone it might go something like this:

"Three people, 2 blokes, 1 lass, in the studio. Maybe there's a dog. Or a tortoise. Each week one of them makes something or does a bit of baking. Another of them might interview a zookeeper. That kind of thing."

Sounds shit doesn't it. But we all know Blue Peter's been going for 40years and is still massively successful. Because the magic of Blue Peter is irreducible. It works because of the people involved; the presenters and producers.

So the next time you look at your script and think "They just won't see it," tell 'em about Blue Peter.

Not really a "test" I know. More of a device. But I've got a taxi coming in half an hour so I'm not really in the mood for pedants, ok.

Friday, 10 September 2010

How to write a TV script

Writing brilliant commercials for televisions, cinemas, and internets is easy. Christ, any Womble can do that! But writing a script you can actually sell - or at the very least explain- to your client is a very different kettle of fists.

However, very luckily, the following followings will help you create the kind of bland, unambiguous scripts that the unsophisticated young men who now run their father's business can understand first time. Which is to say, without having to blink or move their lips when they read it to themselves.

So. First of all, always start your script with "Picture of the product." Never say "shot" or "close-up" or anything faintly jargonistic. This isn't Hollywood. Just say "picture", since you never know where the client's comfort zone may lie. As there's a real chance he/she may never even have seen an advert before, you
really don't want to be running before they can crawl.

Secondly, never include anything other than the product itself and how much it costs. If you're the type of pretentious creative who feels the need to introduce the price separately (ie. after the picture of the product has been on screen) have the client's carer put them to bed significantly earlier the night before. Nervous exhaustion can easily kill a cosseted simpleton like the client. And if they die, so does the account.

Finally, as the client will never ever invest any significant time, effort or money in producing a television script, neither should you. Just show them a piece of paper with a description of their product and the correct price written on it and leave them be.

Always remember: this kind of rehabilitation takes time.

NEXT WEEK: Explaining a website through physiotherapy

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The REAL reason this ad that's been around for about a fortnight now I know but hey - is a load of ploppy plops



Brain says "Oh, look! Uma Thurman, look."

Ad says "I am Giulietta."

Brain says "No you're not. You're Uma Thurman."

Ad shakes head. Says "Urgh urgh. I am Giulietta."

Brain says "But you're not. You're Uma Thurman. The actress."

Ad says "I am not. Look. I am Giulietta. See?"

Brain rolls eyes, says "Ok fine. You're Giulietta. Whatever..." and looks at next ad, making a little "mental" gesture behind her back.

10 things to put on your blog to make up for not blogging for a bit

1. A pretty damn good excuse I hope for your sake young man

2. Something really zietgeisty like a penetrating article about that Tippex digital thing everyone's wah wah wah wah-ing over

3. £20 Argos voucher for every reader

4. A few dark secrets

5. Range of mugs to commemorate the hiatus like

6. Sneak preview of "Russ Abbott's Nut Allergy Balloon Diary"

7. Some other crap I've been working on

8. A sexy ghost story

9. Exclusive extracts from my shocking new album

10. The ability to vote for one of the above in the Comments section

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Why I Hate Wieden + Kennedy



You'll be glad to know it's not a complicated argument this. As simple as a hiccuping infant in fact. But the reason I absolutely HATE Wieden's, with a pair of tiny, impotent fists and gnashing jaws, is because they are SO fucking good, and I, frankly, am not.

At one stage I loved them. Respected them. I'd get all nervous and shy just commenting on their blog, blushing like an awkward teenager walking past the sixth form girls changing room. Not because I was a pervert or anything (honestly sir) I just didn't want them to laugh at me. Because their work was so much better than any of the shit, nasty, cynical, ugly, childish advertising I was used to. Their's was how advertising should be and what I aspired to. Not just in terms of the creative, but in the strategy, and businessy bits too. The bits creatives aren't meant to be interested in. Those killer propositions, hammered-out, worked up, re-worked and refined into elegant, ruthlessly simple strategies, backed-up by perfectly pitched, lovingly crafted creative. You just can't bloody argue with Wieden's. Look, even their rabbits have got cool fucking headphones on!

Of course, you might put some of their success down to the hippie, "optimist" ethics they seduce their clients with, or maybe all of their clients are already hippie optimists in the first place. Even so, it takes a damn sight more than optimism and a shared interest in vegan food or fixed gear bicylces to produce work as (apparently) effortless and uncompromised as theirs. Because whilst Wieden's have always had a very clear fucking idea of what they're about, the only people they seem to know even better than themselves, are their clients.

And that, Mr & Mrs Reader, is why I am shit. Or at least, by comparison. Because as Wieden's are enjoying fruitful, loving, long-term relationships with their clients, the agencies I (tend to) work for are all drunk and abusive, having dirty, unfulfilling sex with their clients behind the Biffa bins at end of the night.

So as much as I do hate Wieden's nowadays, it's possible I don't quite hate them as much as I hate myself.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to embrace my failure even further... Reckon if I spike her drink she'll let me squeeze her tits too.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

10 Things To Include in Your Retail Ad

1. The cheapest, nastiest stock photography you can muster. That way eveything "must be seen to be believed!"

2. A massive number in the middle of the page

3. Exclamation marks after everything! Everything! Cos when we say everyhing! we mean holy fucking shit EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!! Like we're insane.

4. Literally anything that could be contrued as a benefit. For example, "4 recently re-pointed walls full of bargains", or "Come and see our photocopier!"

5. A sun, snowflake, leaf, or chicken depending on the time of year...

6. ...And a headline relating to it. For example, "Nailing down prices this Easter", "The Christmassive Sale!" etc.

7. Mention the time. "NOW ON!", "Starts Friday", "Please God, Must End Soon"

8. A weird/pretentious positioning line that doesn't really work - "Sentimental about prices", "Good things come to those who save", "Valuing your life".

9. If possible try and squash a coupon in there somewhere. Next to the map and the 6inches of T&Cs

10. A logo that's at least 25 years old

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

New Adventures in Wi-Fi

So, a shit headline after an average album by an over-rated band.

Indeed, welcome to the lazily connected, reference heavy world of the internet. A world the more observant and/or connected of you will have noticed me thrashing around in (like a deranged toddler in a therapy pool) quite a bit more than usual. Yep, I've taken the plunge -properly this time- into Twitter, so apologies upfront to anyone I might have inadvertantly splashed, sprayed or drenched in the process. I got a bit carried away at first. Though you'll be glad to know I'm over the intitial hysteria and can now appraise the whole experience like an adult. Without armbands.

Here's the 4 things I've found Twitter to be really, really good for then.

1) Fucking about
Saying random bollocks in the hope of amusing people as bored as you are is the Soup De Jour here at Content Flavoured Trousers, so being able to do it quickly and discreetly in an even less refined/attractive form is like the crack cocaine of blogging. You don't need a private corner, or bog cubicle to do it. Just an iPhone.

2) Bragging
If you're ambitious, egotistical, or just a humble sociopath then Twitter is right up your private self-named boulevard. "I'm doing this," "Just doing that," "Oh, it's amazing," "I'm here right now in fact," "Me, me, ruddy ME," you can go all day long, name dropping and ballooning. And the best thing is - you can say what the shitting hell you like: "Got my hand in the Queen's lap. What will Phillip say?", "Base Jumping with Rory Bremner this afternoon", "Accepted into Goldsmiths, La Sorbonne, AND the Freemasons IN THE SAME DAY. Clever me!" No one will EVER know the truth. Ever ever ever. At all. Twitter could make a tapeworm sound cool.

3) Sort of meeting people
Hell, I mean Twitter's just -like- this massive global party, yeah. One where no one really knows each other and they all OMG HAHAHAHAHAHA ROFL a bit too hard to make up for it, whilst absolutely hammering the white wine and being sick on each other before they even relax. Meanwhile, the ones who have been there the longest are all tired and hungover so don't really say a lot.

4) Whistling in the dark
Finally, being able to blurt things out to a silent, faceless crowd is a brilliant way to taunt Death. Spitting into the abyss every now and then with a little life-affirming "I'm still here" tweet really keeps those existential horrors at bay.
Almost as much as the cocaine, alcohol and lies.

I'm hooked.

Eat, Slay, and Die

Somewhere on my hard disk there's an abandoned project of mine called The Alphabet of Advertising. Maybe these will spur me on.

(From the particularly bloody ace Ptak Science Books)


















Monday, 16 August 2010

10 things I'd do to Fiona Bruce apropos of blokes always saying they'd "do" her

1. Fatten her up

2. Make her do Antiques Roadshow in a MASSIVE clanking suit of armour

3. Take a good foot or so off her

4. Use as voiceover for erectile disfunction clinic ad

5. Project silhouette on to blind as burglar deterrent

6. Make her and Nigella Lawson sprint round a cake

7. Airbrush face on to truck

8. Use face as Japanese opera mask

9. Dress up as Jill Dando

10. Make her and the BBC News team do a Comic Relief version of "Saw" with Huw Edwards wearing the skin of George Alagiah next to Fiona who's handcuffed to a radiator, whilst Bill Turnbull and the rest of 'em are systematically executed in "hilariously" apposite ways, for example stung to death by bees, or turned upon by an actual bull, you get the idea, and now for the weather etc.

Friday, 13 August 2010

10 Modern Rugby Songs

1. Tag the bitch

2. Mr. Banker Wanker Man

3. Groom Ye Fair Maiden

4. Sweet Cecelia Celiac

5. No Symptoms

6. ATM Machine (She's An...)

7. Bi-Curiosity Killed The Cat

8. Old Enough to Say No

9. Milf Is Murder

10. I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Pay That)

Some bile I don't have time to do justice to. By which I mean, shape, like a wax figurine, into a towering homunculus of satire

Hi.

I'm Tom. I'm an art director who loves skateboarding and great ideas.

And I'm Tim. I'm a copywriter who loves great ideas but not so much the skateboarding.

Together we make up the creative team, TimTom.

Cute, huh.

And no wonder. Because we recently graduated from Stirling Moss University with 1st Class Honours in Cute Communication and Conceptual Conceit.

And before all that we were lucky enough to be voted "Ones To Smirk At" at D&AD Cute Student Awards, as well as a bunch of other stuff we're too knowingly self-deprecating to mention here.

We'd rather just display our accolades in the top right corner of our website.

Which leads us, in a cute and so totally NOT contrived way, to our online portfolio.

Here you'll find some cute examples of the following:

- Some nicely scamped ads for a well known brand that hasn't needed to advertise for 20years or so, but which we've tried to re-invent with a cute concept and some knowing Dan Germain-style copy.

- A protracted concept for a well known, but slightly naff brand, (possibly Argos) that involves Facebook and to all the world looks like we've just stuck the logo on to an iPhone app.

- Multiple executions of a particularly smug idea for a public sector campaign, like we just didn't know when to stop.

- A totally unlikely ambient idea that isn't even cynical enough to inlcude in the Chip Shops, let alone have anything to do with the brand or what it might normally be saying.

Finally, here's some gushing, humble sounding bullshit about us wanting a placement and how awfully nice we are and don't mind making the tea which, if we're honest, is as close to real work either of us could bare.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

FREE in The Drum this month!



The 2010 marketing season is about to kick off. So pick up a copy of The Drum magazine this month and get your offical Drum 2010 sticker album, featuring all the latest fixtures, line-ups, and client rosters of all of your favourite premiership agencies outside of the M25!!

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GAWP at the management behind some of the most obscure and unremarkable marketing activity in the country.

GET STARTED with this FREE 3D Holo-card print of Nicky Unsworth of BJL.


In Next Months Issue: The 100 Tallest Account Handlers

Friday, 6 August 2010

Please, God. Something Other than Advertising

Please. Take off your checked shirt, stop talking about design and fashion shoots and your collaborative cenceptual art project for a fucking sports brand, and listen very carefully to me for just. One. Moment. Don't take this the wrong way or anything, but...

Working in the "creative industries" isn't really that interesting, exciting, or remarkable. It's certainly not creative ('clue's in the "inudstries" bit), and writing inevitably ugly, insincere garbage for shit, sanctimonious businesses all day just isn't a sufficiently stimulating endeavour for someone of my, not inconsiderable, intellect to waste even more of my time talking about it to a load of people with equally obscure, marginal and insignificant media careers as my own.

So. Today I'm not going to write about clients, art directors, suits, planners, or any of that bumwash. I'm not even going to namedrop my cool ex-girlfriend who runs a record label in New York in a crass attempt to look more creative than I really am.

No sirree.

Today I'm going to write about something else entirely for a change. Something I actually like:

Dmitri Shostakovich. Arguably the greatest composer of the 20th century.

This is him:


Like a knackered Harry Potter isn't he. But don't let that fool you. Old Four-Eyes there wrote 15 of the greatest symphonies the world has ever heard, the first when he was just 19 (and really did look like Harry Potter). If you like your music mean, complex, thrilling, playful and devasatatingly beautiful, then look no further than this man. Granted, it's not always easy listening, but then, that's kind of the point. When you work in an industry as solipsistic as advertising it's important to stretch yourself, ok.

So, why Shostakovich then Mr. John?

Well, for a start he was a child prodigy. After enrolling in Hogwart- I mean, the Petrograd Conservatory, he learned to smoke, and became a decadant young bastard along with a whole new generation of experimental Russian artists, writers, film makers and laa-dee-dahs. Life was great. Or at least, not bad until the stumpy-armed despotic ballet lover, Stalin, came to power in the 20s and buggered things up for a few million people.

As a trained practitioner of the "bourgeois" avant garde, Shostakovich spent the majority of his creative life embroiled in a deadly cat-and-mouse game with the higher echelons of the politburo. Loved by the public but denounced in Pravda as a kind of degenerate intellectual anarchist effectively for not writing anything Stalin could dance to, he had to whore himself writing film scores and ditties, suppressing his work and, ultimately, his personality at a time when less compliant artists were being executed for treachery. With Koba breathing down his neck, Shostakovich was forced to find a new kind of voice or perish.

Which is exactly what he did. With fiendish intelligence.

Firstly Shostakovich took the relatively unsophisticated, pan-nationalistic music of the Party to absurd, and at times hilarious, lengths. His rousing anthems become bloated caricatures under the weight of their own self-importance, while ferocious, posturing choruses splinter into sarcastic ballerina pastiche. Epic, volatile, and a wee bit jazzy just for good measure, Shostakovich became the undisputed master of what you might call The Art of the Straight Face. Like a sort of musical Derren Brown, he was able to convince the entire establishment that everything was above board while performing the ultimate transgression right under their noses.

He also lived in constant fear of being found out. A fear which almost killed him.

Now, as I live in constant fear of boring people to death talking about Shostakovich, I'm guessing anyone still reading this either shares my penchant for difficult Russian composers, or you're wondering what the fucking hell my point is.
Well, I kind of lied when I said I wasn't going to talk about advertising. (This is an advertising blog, after all). Or rather, I intended not to talk about it, but then realised there was something particularly germaine about Shostakovich's story us Advertising Party conformists could learn from. Which is: even if your client is as thick, nasty, unreasonable and tasteless a dwarf bastard as Stalin was, it's still just about possible to create something outstanding.

You just need to keep a straight face.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Advertising Feature

Love the internet? Love to chat? Then join me, Michael Parkinson, for the very best in online chat with my very own app from Facebook.



The Parky App from Facebook lets you and your friends wax lyrical about your life and times in a relaxed and informal atmosphere before a live audience of millions. Dispense your very own wit and wisdom in response to some of the most famous questions from my 40 odd year career. Questions like:

"What kind of a man was Muhammed Ali? - or Cassius Clay as he was known then."

"You've always been frank about your struggle with drink over the years, but is that something you now regret?"

"Tell us about your new book."

Ask friends to rate your raconteurmanship on a celebrity scale of 1-5:

1. Meg Ryan
2. Jamie Cullum
3. Sean Connery
4. Billy Connelly
5. Peter Ustinov

Create memorable line-ups and witty banter by inviting up to three other guests to you "in the studio". Choose friends from your social network or from a stock of charming A-List celebrities, including:

Roger Moore
Goldie Hawn
Tony Curtis
Kenneth Williams
Clive James

Why not take light-hearted detours into a range of my favourite subjects, including:

Yorkshire cricket
Jazz music
1960s Fleet Street

The humorous interjections, sparkling repostes, and bon homie just never ends with the new Parky App from Facebook.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

10 Social Networking Disasters

1. Putting your willy on the screen

2. Anything involving role play, hobbies, shared interests, that kind of thing is bound to end badly

3. Tagging victims

5. Updating status to "Fantasising about strangling boss with penis"

6. Seeding your castration self-help videos

7. Revealing location on Twitter amidst the excitement

8. Your "Ulcer Diary"

9. Poking relatives

10. Being Raoul Moat

The Agony and the Ecstacy


Thanks Pieman.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Cut-Up and Beg

WHO WE ARE
We are a copywriter struggling to provide innovative creative solutions to a wide range of clients because of a variety of arbitrary bloody conventions and assumptions about writing and design.

ABOUT US
Our cause began years ago when I was banging on about experimental writers like BS Johnson right here on this here blog in an effort to promote some sort of progressive thinking about writing for design. Meanwhile, this superficial but well meaning article appeared in "The Observian" newspaper only yesterday promoting the importance of avant garde literature and reminded me to bang on about the subject all over again, not least as I had a run in with a particularly illiterate designer only the other week which made me right grrrrr angry, ok? I said OK!?

OUR PHILOSOPHY
It was William Burroughs who once said that narrative writing is trapped within the "representational straightjacket of the novel". Similarly then, any kind of long form copy is just as bound and buggered by the awkward, insincere and stultifying formality of the corporate brochure. Therefore, we (I) believe it's high time we dragged long copy out of the doldrums and embraced the experimental techniques of Johnson, Cortazar - Christ, even Burroughs if we have to, to create innovative, immersive, and dynamic texts that are fit for the 21st century. Because let's face it, in 5 years time no one's gonna want a leather bound coffee table brand book to show they're customers, cos they'll all be watching interactive movies on their iFrot mediabungs and feeding the data back to you you tedious old shit.

So. Sorry to be the one to tell you Mr. Client, but frankly those six pages of quality assurance statements in your brochure aren't gonna lend themselves to an amusing internet mash-up.

Friday, 30 July 2010

SEO REALLY works!

It's true. I just typed in "Nazi deathcamp disco" and this is what I found. Honest.


I Will Survive Dancing Auschwitz full version
Uploaded by MsBeatguy. - Watch the latest news videos.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Advertising. Made Easy

Making adverts for your business, club, tennis association or cabal, doesn't have to be expensive, time consuming and fraught with modern, asymmetric hairstyles.

By following a few simple rules you can create your very own crowd-pleasing communications in-house, powerful enough to send even the most extrovert advertising paladin of Madison Boulevard and Whoreditch into a horribly shrieking, smoke-engulfed tailspin. Aaaiiieeeeee!!

Take this classic advertisement for Ford Cars for example.



It's a blinder, isn't it. And in some ways the perfect advertisement. But exactly how the fuck and why?

Well for one, it's got a nice big picture on it. Use a picture on your advert and you won't go far wrong. It can be of anything you like too - a horse, a foot, a beautiful actress, or even a worm. It doesn't matter. Because people will look at anything. As long as it's big and recognisable, stick it up there right in the middle of the ad, even if it looks quite foolish or ugly.

Secondly, get yourself some words. Don't worry too much about these though. As literacy levels in the UK plummet (fall quickly) to an all time low, the fewer words you use in your advert the better. Just be sure that at least one of the words you use is the name of your product, service, or factory outlet etc. By making a direct reference to the image above, and implying their products are desirable to families, the Ford ad tries to be a bit of smartarse in it's choice of words. But you needn't be so earnest. It's the number of words that matters in advertising, not what they say, and six is probably about your limit these days.

SUMMARY:
Making advertising is easy. Just put the name of your product next to a picture and let people make their own conclusions. If they like it, great. If they don't? Well, they're obviously not your target market.

Any questions?

Friday, 23 July 2010

10 imaginary fonts

1. Decorated Nazi

2. Bold All-in-one

3. Ariel Ultra

4. Mandelson's Gothic

5. Omar Serif

6. We'll always have Powys

7. Mega Pen 9

8. Planet of the Shapes

9. Imbecile (Light)

10. Illuminated Mong

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Housekeeping


I've been asked to sort my blog out and tag posts properly. People can't find stuff by all accounts.

So scroll down past all the crap on the the right till you get to my long abandoned "Tastes & Textures" sort list. I'm adding the Advertising Features as we speak and I've just found "24 Scripts for a Guinness Ad" which I completely forgot about writing and might have to pick up again. Check back over the next few days and I'll get all the "10..." lists and Drum stuff up there too.

As you were internet.

The worst writing you will ever come across

Alex Kapranos' Soundbites column from The Guardian circa 2006.

I used to read these just to see how far my mouth would gape open. Now you can too.

Things to look out for:

-His arse-clenchingly self conscious style. Like a precocious teenage girl writing a diary she hopes one day will be published.

-Writerly posturing. An over reliance on pretentious, and usually pretty hollow simile, descibing things in jarring, cod-poetic terms in an attempt to at least sound like a writer.

-The absolute failure to impart any kind of enthusiasm for his subject, as he's far too busy trying to sound like a laconic, effortless Beat writer. Which is isn't.

Ads in an ideal world

BERNARD CRIBBINS VOICEOVER: One day Tufty was playing in the garden when his friend Willie Weasel appeared.

WILLIE: Hello Tufty.

TUFTY: Hello Willie. What are you doing here? I thought you’d been in an accident.

WILLIE: I was. But the people at Claims Direct helped me get back on my paws again.

One call was all it took. And because the accident wasn’t my fault, they said I was entitled to 100% of my compensation.

They told me there and then how much I could expect...

[We see Willie with his arm bandaged up. He is on the phone in split-screen, talking to a badger with a barrister's wig on who nods agreeably. Surprised by what he hears on the other end, Willie falls backwards off his chair.]

And started helping me right away. Even with the special care I needed.

[We see Willie in a doctor’s surgery being attended to by a sexy squirrel nurse. Willie wears a neck brace. The nurse removes it, and replaces it with a special elongated neck brace for weasels. As the nurse leaves, Willie tries to look at her arse but hurts his neck trying to turn his head.]

They took care of everything. All I had to do was get on with getting better.

[We see Willie at home, propped up in his bed. Willie’s wife brings him a delicious looking acorn and an Auto Trader. She kisses him on the head]

And best of all, it didn’t cost me a penny.

[Willie takes some money out of his pocket]

Fancy a pint, Tufty?

[We see a pub across the road - The Otter's Pocket]

TUFTY: I thought you'd never ask.

WILLIE: Last one there's a [MASKED OVER SOUND OF CAR HORN]

[Willie dashes across the road and is hit by an ice-cream van. Tufty covers his face with his hands and shakes his head. A wide-shot reveals the back of the ice-cream van has the Claims Direct logo and phone number on it.]

BERNARD CRIBBINS VO: If you’ve had an accident that wasn’t your fault, Call Claims Direct on XXXXXXXXXXX.

Monday, 19 July 2010

I'm experimenting with new business cards





What dya think? Agree/disagree/discuss.

Uncle Dave



I was discussing Dave Trott's blog with another writer today.

We talked about different line break techniques.



Like triple line spacing!!



And.



Single.



Word.



Sentences.



IN.


CAPS.


Or.



Maybe not.



For added impact.

Either way, we both agreed on one thing about Dave's blog, and that was the overall effect of reading it. I described it something like this:

First of all, you need to imagine being on one of those Guardian reader's holidays or days out you might have somewhere in the English countryside. It's bright and it's pleasant, somewhere on a Sunday afternoon and you come across this picturesque little church out of nowhere, and you suddenly think oh how lovely let's take a look inside, so you gently lift the sneck of the door hoping not to disturb anybody, before you both fall completely silent out of a deep, instinctive respect for the place as you proceed to peer and poke around the little altar and the beams and the stained glass windows for oooh a good 10 minutes at least, by which time you notice one of you is already waiting outside in the sunshine for the other one of you to ask "Anyway, fancy a pint?" because actually you're both the kind of modern atheist who couldn't give a shit about churches if you're honest, because you just find them quaint but ultimately quite hollow.

And that's exactly how Dave Trott's blog makes me feel.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Oh to be young again

Call me old fashioned, but I like nothing more than a nice big wank and a Lemsip when I get home these days. But on the other hand (figuratively speaking), if I were a soupcon more progressive, I'd doubtless be grooving on down to the latest internet phenomenon known as "I-dosing".

Oh sod it. Here ya go grandad.

(WTF!?)

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Who's The Worst Agency in Manchester Then?


It's a damn good question. And one I suspect even The Drum can't answer. Not even in a 64page Worst of Manchester pull-out section special. So how will we, the creatives, ever know who is or isn't worth working with? Who's the wheat and who's the chaff? Or as they used to say around certain parts of Kirkby in the 80s, who would you "pop" and who would you "slash"?

My highly confidential, but not very discreet, confession box is now open. (Yes, that's me in my robes there, discussing some amends with a client). So sneak into the comments section and whisper your poison. No positives, no nice guys, and, no happy endings. I only want to hear about suffering and abuse. These people and organisations need to be named and shamed. If not to help the future generation, then to give me something to smirk about.

Friday, 9 July 2010

News from The Drum: Trott to sell off blog line-spacing to advertisers

The Drum's burnt fingers from hot-off-the-press stories correspondent: Kylie Dostoevsky

In a shit hot sharp shock-horror announcement, advertising legend David "Dave" Trott of legendary London advertising agency Chernobyl Stockhausen & Trott Creative Worldwide Advertising Plc. Limited, today revealed plans to sell off the trademark line-spacing on his blogposts to advertisers.

Trott, who's blog uses a double-line spacing device to frame every goddamn sentence in an attempt to lend weight to even the most banal remark, is read by literally billions of advertising types every second of the month. However, over recent weeks an intense bidding war has taken place as both CBS Outdoor and Google scrabbled for control of Trott's line breaks.

Whilst the exact terms of any deal have yet to be revealed, Trott did issue the following statement earlier today:

"Blogging's always been a huge part of my life.
Life Classes. Learn to draw. Click here

But now it's time to try something different.
Time Machine by H.G Wells. 50% off

I don't want to give away too much, but you're gonna see some big changes around here.

See the difference! Gain 4inches in just six weeks."


Experts predict that, based on the amount of space available, any sum of money Trott would make from the deal would be. Astro. Fucking. Nomical.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Sarah Beeny: Patron Saint of Advertising Creatives

For doth not a typical episode of the Venerable Beeny's "Property Ladder" program always go something thus:

PROPERTY DEVELOPER: Hello Sarah. Can you help me get a return on my investment? You know all about this sort of thing and whilst I have my own ideas/prejudices/presumptions about how I think it should be done, it really is best to get someone who knows what they're doing.

ST.SARAH: Cool. Well looking at it I'd say you really need to do XYZ to stand even the slightest chance of making a penny on this hair-brained investment of yours.

[SOME TIME LATER]

PROPERTY DEVELOPER: Hi Sarah. Well we've listened to your advice and whilst we appreciate all of your time and your expertise, we've decided to completely ignore you and replace the staircase with a helter-skelter slide because, well, I happen to like them.

ST.SARAH: Oh. Right. Well good luck with that one. Dickhead.

VOICEOVER: Since making the program the helter-skelter 9 bathroom bugalow is still on the market.

My fellow creatives, let us pray.



Friday, 2 July 2010

Who can I offend today?

If it's one thing I've learned from writing this blog, it's that most people only read it for the swearing, rude pictures, and half-arsed digs at that funny oh-ho-old industry we all know as "creative advermarketing design and digital". Erm, and I don't appear to have done much of that recently (swearing that is).

So, if nothing else but to boost the stats, here's a bit swearing, rude pics blah blah blah blah for your Friday.

Swearing

Fucky butty shit cats up your nanna's fucking party frock, cock eyes.

Rude Pictures

Here's a photoshoot from a 1970s French magazine depicting Adolf Hitler living in exile on a tropical paradise. Nice.



Work Bile
Oh, who am I kidding? I ruddy LOVE my job I do.

Especially on Friday!

10 Pet Names for my Blog

1. Bloggy chops

2. Bloggy Pie

3. Blogan's Run

4. Hootie and the Blogfish

5. Choc-o-Blog

6. Old Bloggers

7. Notorious B.L.O.G

8. Bloggernaut

9. Chip off the old blog

10. Blogodan Milosevic

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Advertising Feature

Looking for a new kind of creative agency? Then cut out the middleman, and work with a bluesman.



The BB King Agency is a 30 strong team of creatives who sound and play just like BB King. No suits. No prima donnas. And no uneccessary drum fills. By cutting out the middleman, you get faster decisions and more Blues for your budget.

Call the BB King Agency now and see how the Blues can influence your business.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

This is the sort of thing you should Twitter about really but...

Has anyone else noticed how W+K London seem to have quite a lot of blogposts about people in the agency who dress the same?

Here's the latest one.

Now, that's not very fucking creative or imaginative is it. I mean, surely they should all dress like George Melly or Wilf Lunn (Prof. Heinz Wolff for suits). Going to work would be like attending some kind of dadaist convention from the 30s, with people in diving suits and women dressed as fish. Instead, they all just look the sort of preening townie cocksquirts you can find anywhere.

Anyway, top-button done or undone today?

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Frank's Fantastic Funeral


Like all great artists, it seems Chris Seivey (aka Frank Sidebottom) died almost penniless. So doubley-sad news in some ways. However, Twitterers have already raised nearly £3K in just over an hour towards Chris's funeral costs. Anyone wishing to give Frank the send off he deserves should go hither. Now please.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

DEViOus

Pop-pickers might've already heard DEVO's new single playing on the wireless or in fashionable coffee houses full of supple young flesh. Er, but what you might not know is that the band rather deviously collaborated with, ahem, "Mother LA" to market the album.

At the centre of the campaign is this brilliantly subversive PowerPoint presentation which leads on to a series of ersatz "focus groups" about the new record. I won't get bogged down in the whole "death of the record industry" debate. Suffice to say, this is DEVO doing what they've always done - employing a method that pokes fun at it's means. The result? A hilarious parody of advertising methodologies old and new in which (arguably) one of the coolest ad agencies in the world is entirely complicit.

Anyway, check out the You Tube channel for the rest of it. It's a great piece of work, with or without Mother's "involvement." Kinda reminds me of Look Around You. Enjoy.

Monday, 21 June 2010

RIP Frank Sidebottom


This is terribly sad news. The word genius is over-used but for once I have to agree with Mark Radcliffe.

I'm rarely genuine on this blog but if I could observe a minute's silence without, er, simply not typing anything then I would. But what good would it do? Instead, I suggest you all go on You Tube and watch all of his old Queen tributes, betamax cassette-bobbings, sublime Granada Reports interludes, and entire back-catalogue of homespun provincial punk daftness. For there shall never be another like him.

God bless.