Wednesday, 31 March 2010

How Advertising Works - Part 2

CLIENT: This apple we asked you for. It's great. But now we want a top hat instead.


CLIENT: If I email it to you, can you swap it?

AGENCY: Email an apple?

CLIENT: (Suddenly angry)Look, I don't have time for this. I'll speak to [someone you've never heard of] and see how we can sort this shit out.


CLIENT: Hi. This top hat. We don't need it. Think we should have an apple instead.


CLIENT: Can you email me a copy of the apple?


CLIENT: I need a new version of the apple. Don't worry. There's no changes. We just need a copy of it for our records. If I give you the apple, can you write "No. 1" on it and give it me back?

AGENCY: Can't you do it yourself?

CLIENT: I could. But it's easier if we do it by email.

AGENCY: But - you can't email... apples...

CLIENT: I know. But we need it doing. [Someone you've never heard of] insists.

AGENCY: Can't you just pretend it says "No. 1" on it?

CLIENT: I could. But [Someone you've never heard of] just won't get it. They won't see it's meant to be the "No. 1 Apple".

AGENCY: What the fuck is the No. 1 Apple?

CLIENT: That's the campaign we're running. Isn't it?

AGENCY: Er... I think you've got us mixed up with something else all together.

CLIENT: No. No. You showed me a script about half price sausages and I said yeah - can I have an apple? and you said, yeah, whatever. So where's my fucking apple then?

Friday, 26 March 2010

10 Ads that would make shit tattoos

1. Visit Scotland

2. Tesco Mobile

3. Toy Story 3 trailer

4. Any perfume ad

5. Adam Hart-Davies "Tax doesn't have to be taxing"

6. Injurylawyers4U

7. John West

8. CashMyGold

9. Whiskas cat food

10. DFS

Stu-do n'ts

Did you see what I did there - with my shitty little pun? Well, I can do that sort of thing you see, because I already have the privelege of working in advertising as a copywriter. Unlike the throng of poor young turks at the MPA Student Roses Creativity Awards last night, who all queued, hoped, and prayed for a real life (half-cut and knackered) advertising person like me to shake them firmly by the kitten-soft, immature paw and tell them that yes - that really is the most creative, inspiring and astonishing response to an unlikely, recondite, and wide open brief I have ever seen. How did you achieve such a startlingly original leap of the imagination? You simply must meet my (half-cut and knackered)advertising colleagues and friends. I so hope the (half-cut and knackered) man from The Drum mutters your name into a microphone in a hurried, off-hand kind of way, so that we can all get on with crawling around on our hands and fucking knees trying to peer at the majority of the work which they've displayed at foot-height on those flimsy, awkward looking pinboards teetering against the walls over there. It's just so great to see that it means as much to the organisers as it does to the students involved. I mean - imagine- having a big chance like this, to stand out infront of all these people, and seeing the work you slaved over and grappled with for weeks, (maybe even months) stuck up somewhere dreary, haphazard and obscure.

Just like being a real advertising creative, eh.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

10 Reasons Your Advert Is Shit

1. Product is shit anyway

2. Not enough tits

3. Art direction grown over concept like mossy tentacles

4. Blogpost about making ad seemed more interesting than ad itself

5. Existential fear realised very early on in briefing process

6. Client into Jesus - thinks selling is like lying

7. Cursed skull turned up during pitch presentation

8. Did we mention the product was shit..?

9. And you're in a shit agency anyway

10. Cunts, cunts, cunts, cunts, cunts, cunts, cunts

Thursday, 18 March 2010

News from The Drum: MDs blog beginning to resemble Mein Kampf

Ptolomy Godmanchester is managing director of Cafuffle Advertising in Leeds and one of The Drum's star guest bloggers. But as his posts become inceasingly paranoid, delusional, and lengthy we thought we'd bring you some of the edited highlights of Ptolomy's hilarious descent into madness.

March 14th 2010
"One who dares lay a hand upon the highest image of the Brand sins against the benevolent Creator of this miracle and helps in the expulsion from Agency Paradise. When this religious view of agency life corresponds to the innermost will of the Brand, the Brand restores the forces which bind and lead the best of mankind to acquire the earth's possessions. For the conquest of the entire globe, only the highest race, as the master agency, will be called upon to pitch!"

March 15th 2010
"In creating Cafuffle, I saw my own task as extracting a general view of agency life and in molding it into a dogmatic form: the clear demarcation of Ideas suitable for bringing together those people who will pledge their allegiance to this.... And through the organizational integration of humans, to create the presumption for victorious fighting for this view of my agency!"

March 17th 2010
"Provincial agencies fall into a state of physical and moral leprosy as the Client wanders into London and establishes Soho missions while our higher culture turns primitive and northern agencies into a foul breed of bastards."

Bleedin' Nora

A pop-up ad for Bodyform Natural.

Positioning line (evocatively) reads: The confidence to do what comes naturally. [shudder]

What? You mean like - bleeding? Out of your vagina? Well why didn't you just say so then?

Not so confident now, are we girls.

Lovely Stuff

Advertising's horrible sometimes, isn't it. Like a shit, expensive butty bought from a service station, made without love, thought, or even butter sometimes. It's there to take advantage of a captive audience. Period. And sometimes ladies and gentlemen, as a writer, I have to make those shit sandwiches. Day in. Day out. In dirty kitchens, just to make ends meet.

But once in a while, you get to make lovely stuff. Stuff that looks great and tastes great. Something that's sweet and perfect. That people really like, want to use and come back to. Like a battenburg cake!

And that's the difference between a shit advertising job, and a delicious design or even a digital job. You're creating a treat. A little extra that brightens someone's day. They might not neccessarily want it or need it, but they'll always be grateful for it.

Shit agencies are like caterers. Great ones are like confectioners. It's about time we all stopped bombarding people with shit butties, and made 'em all little treats instead. People'd like us a lot more for a start.

I love a good battenburg, I do.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Surely the best pitch ever?

Calls of Duty

It's a fact. Designers have logos. Writers have calls to action. One is forever being made bigger. The other is forever being, well... made. Like a repeated blow to the skull, the Amateur Rules for Clients and Dicks stipulate that all copy must follow the formula "Call to action, call to action, call to action, call to action, call to action (underscore)!!!!!"

Here are some of my favourite calls to action.

"Buy it now."

"Click here."

"Call in today."


"Must end soon"

"Ask your stylist for details"

Please note however. As a general rule, the call to action should go at the END of the ad. Putting it at the beginning is a bit like a red setter that spunks all over your leg the moment you walk into a room. Yes, it's explicit. But it's also very, very unpleasant.

Monday, 15 March 2010

News from The Drum: Dove of peace appeases tetchy agency MD

The Drum's scandal correspondent: LL Cool J

A shimmering white dove has been released from the roof The Drum's head office as a mark of respect to the MD who got all arsey and self-righeous after hundreds of anonymous comments on The Drum's website told him exactly what people thought of his work last week.

Timothy Gedge of Cloud Kuckoo Creative, Stockport, proudly revealed his agency's horrible new ad for some dog food last week, only for it to be met with widespread hatred in The Drum's comments section. After dozens of anonymous creatives responded openly and honestly to both the awful creative and the pompous, posturing press release that accompanied it, Gedge felt compelled to write a futile and embarassing rebuttal of his critics, saying:

"Who are you all you faceless cowards? This is so unfair! Whatever happened to The Drum's core values of erm - quality and integrity!? If I knew who you all were, I'd have you all sacked for making me look like the fucking idiot I obviously am. You shouldn't be allowed to know that though. My clients should be judge of my work. Not you. Which is why I posted this in The Drum - for my client to see it. Obviously."

As a gesture of goodwill, and in the spirit of The Drum's core values of quality, integrity, and all that, a dove of peace was released at 2pm this afternoon as a mark of respect for all the tin-pot agencies naive enough to think we should give a fuck about them.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

How Advertising Works

ACCOUNT HANDLER: Here's a brief. It's for a massage parlour. They want to advertise cheap handjobs. The wanks are quite big apparently, and cost 10p. We just need a headline.

CREATIVE: How about "Big Wanks. 10p"?

AH: That's great. Run it past the Creative Director, and we'll see what the client thinks.


CREATIVE DIRECTOR: I've had a look at this wanking job, and I don't think we need to say the price. And the "big"isn't really relevant.

CREATIVE: Maybe we'll just say "Wanks" then.

CD: That's great. Plain, direct - to the point.

AH: I agree. Let's see what the client thinks.


AH: The client really likes the word "Wanks" but wonders if it should say "Handjobs" instead. Can you write "Handjobs" on a piece of paper for them and I'll send it over.

CREATIVE: Yep. Here ya go.


CD: Why aren't they going with "Wanks"?

AH: They weren't sure. So we're showing them another option.

CD: "Handjobs" isn't right for this. Write the word "Seagulls" on a piece of paper for them too, then they can see how wrong THAT is as well.


AH: Hi. This wanking job - the client really liked "Seagulls" but doesn't want to say "sea" in case someone takes it the wrong way. Do you think we can just say "Gulls"?

CREATIVE: What - "Wanking Gulls"?

AH: I don't know.


CD: They'd didn't go for "Seagulls" did they? Typical.

AH: Kind of. But they just want to say "Gulls" in case people misunderstand it.

CD: Ok. Well give em "Gulls" but make sure you bill them for the fucking paper we write it on.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Oh, by the way...

Avatar is shit. CGI paraplegia - what's all that about?

A great model for international diplomacy tough, don't you think. Maybe we should try it on the Irish. Send a leprachaun with the mind of Mo Mowlam to infiltrate their kingdom?

10 things you should see in the Chip Shop Awards but never will

1. Argos The Musical

2. A lot more sexual violence

3. A "Best Use of Madeline McCann" category

4. An annual theme that all entries must adhere to. For example, The letter "M", The Boer War, Tarts & Vicars

5. A "Most hastily mocked-up visual" category

6. Agencies and inhouse/clients going head to head on a set brief

7. A "Most unrealistic use of digital" category

8. Creative directors arm wrestling at the bar

9. Dave Trott dressed as a bran flake

10. A genuinely funny press ad

Monday, 8 March 2010

Coming Soon

From the producers of Transformers, The Dukes of Hazzard, and the forthcoming A-Team movie comes the small-screen adaptation you've all been waiting for.

They said it couldn't happen.

But this year, it's finally time to say "Good night from me..."

And it's a good night from... HIM!

This summer, Matt Damon and Russell Crowe are...


The Two Ronnies!

[CUT TO: Hardware store]

CROWE: Hey, could I get some -uh- fork handles?

DAMON: Sure thing, sir. No problem. Here ya go. 1...2... 3... 4 candles for you sir.

CROWE: Whoa whoa wait a goddamn minute. Now what the fuck is all this shit?

DAMON: These are the -uh- candles you asked for, sir.

CROWE: Candles? Candles!? I didn't ask for no freakin' candles. What!? Are you freakin' deaf or something? Watch my fucking lips motherfucker - I said fork. Handles, moron. You dig?


DAMON: Oh, jeez. Sorry man - I thought you meant - you -

CROWE: I know what you thought you piece o' shit. Now you gonna go get my handles, or you gonna stand here like a wise ass motherfucker.


Just what I've always wanted!

Friday, 5 March 2010

Word 2007 is shit. And weird.

Am I the only writer who finds Word 2007 fucking awful to use?

Can I just have a Mac please like everyone else? Or a typewriter.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Different Arse

If you're as knackered, bored or plain voyeuristic as I've tended to be the last two Wednesday nights, you'll have noticed the Ikea Kitchen Squad ads dominating the breaks between Phil & Kirstie's Mortgage Goosechase on Chanel No. 4.

Obviously, it's always nice to see a big client spending big bucks on a nice big bit of targeted creative. Good stuff.

But what I don't understand is the tweedy, beardy, Open University bloke - Leonard Sheppard- they've sneeringly, self-consciously put together to front it. Here he is in action.

A cursory look at the inevitable/obligatory Kitchen Squad wesbite reveals an option to befriend this imaginary tosser via your Facetweets and that. Which, should you be as sneery, knowing, and self-conscious as the creatives behind the ad to find some sort of ironic empathy for a naff regonial TV presenter who doesn't even exist, I'm sure you'll be doing in your sneery, studenty droves. On the other hand, if you happen to be a bemused housewife wondering where to be buy a new kitchen, you'll probably just find the whole thing a baffling and convoluted waste of your time.

Even as a devout post-modernist, I find the layers of irony here almost impossible to unravel. I get the part about Ikea having a team of experts to design my new kitchen. But why do I need Jarvis Cocker to oversee it?

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Suits Vs. Creatives

One has stick. One has the drum.

Both dress oddly.

The war rages on.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Modern Life is Rubbish

Meet Unhappy Hipsters. My new favourite blog.

Kind of like a cross between the Ikea catalogue and a Glen Baxter cartoon.