Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Twistlemoe & Brine



Seasonal greetings.

It's been a while hasn't it blah blah blah. How's your mother? We must get together for a drink soon.

Anyway, I've just done this for the lovely people over at Music.

I hope you enjoy it. With a mince pie, or a glass of sherry.

Meantime, may Santa block all your chimneys with joy.

xx

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The Future of Advertising


(That bitter enough for you all?)

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Direct Marketing for Pheasants

Tapping into new markets is a ball ache for any brand. But with Britain's pheasant population on the increase, more and more businesses are seeing these beautiful, playful wild birds, not only as a target for their rifles, but also for their offline marketing activities.

PHEASANT FACTS:

-Pheasants have 60% more disposable income than grouse, partridge and ducks... put together!
-Pheasants are key influencers in many areas including flapping, fighting and flying into greenhouses
-High response (100% conversion rate on seeds, plums and grit)
-High response to seasonal promotion/activity (e.g driven mad by colours in Spring)

Brands already targeting pheasants include:

Unilever
Pets at Home
Argos
William Hill
Littlewoods
Heineken
Umbro

Once converted pheasants are loyal brand advocates, displaying repeat behaviour until death (usually Autumn). Next, chop 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic and pre-heat your oven to 180C. Season the bird and place in a large casserole along with the onion, garlic and bouquet garni. Add the juice and zest of an orange, and top up with enough red wine to cover the bird. Finally, cook slowly for 2 and 1/2 hours or until the liquid has reduced by half. Serve warm with roast vegetables and a full-bodied claret.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

First Draft Classic Ads No. 1: Yellow Pages

FIRST ATTEMPT

[AN ELDERLY, TWEEDY SORT OF GENTLEMEN ON THE PHONE]

MAN: Hello? Yes, I wondered if you could help me. I’m looking for a book called "Hartley's Illustrated Dictionary of Sexual Perversion"



You do! Oh, wonderful. Could you save it for me?


My name? Yes, it’s J.R [COUGHS NAME] .

SECOND ATTEMPT

MAN: Hello? Yes, I wondered if you could help me. I’m looking for a book called “Fist Fucking, by J. R Hartley”


You do! Oh, wonderful darling! Could you save it for me?

My name? Why, it’s J.R Hartley of course! [SQUIRMS WITH DELIGHT]

THIRD ATTEMPT

MAN: Hello? Yes, I wondered if you could help me. I’m looking for a book called "Fly Fishing, by J. R Hartley"


You do! Oh, wonderful. Could you save it for me?


My name? Yes, it’s J.R Hartley [WINKS AT CAMERA] .

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The 10 kinds of owl Rupert Murdoch would be

1. Cunty owl

2. Sneaky owl

3. Mother fucking owl

4. Crimin-owl

5. Definitely not the sort of owl to have round kids or do a Disney film. More like those 3D armoured owls in what was that called again? film you know last year

6. An owl married to a graceful young ostrich from Hong Kong

7. The kind of owl that, I suspect, would get short shrift from Chris Packham and the BBC wildlife crew

8. The kind of owl that makes politicians shit their nests

9. An unwise owl! And whoever heard of one of those, hmm?

10. Wapping great bastard owl

Thursday, 23 June 2011

It's Been a While

Finally, finally finally, after being SO busy these last few weeks, months, years, I've just popped down to the canine rescue centre to visit my favourite golden retriever and advertising enthusiast, Goldie.

Here's what she had to say for herself.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

How to get a job in Advertising: Part 3

Where were we?

Ah, yes. Lesson 3: There is Truth in Advertising.

So you should maybe think about doing something like this. That is, if you aren't already doing it. Unwittingly, I mean. Which you probably are. And if you're not, you soon will be. Ripping it off for your grad show I mean.

That's how good it is.

Enjoy.



You can read Part 2 here., and here's Part 1 look.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Advertising Feature

Hullo. I'm the Burger King's wife.

If you stare into my eyes for 5 minutes, I'll give you a free Whopper.

Stare at my buns for 5 minutes and I'll give you extra sauce.

Stare at my meaty flaps for 10minutes and I'll give you a dip in my boneless bucket.

Push my button handsome!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Happy Hour

So I'm really, really busy.

What do you think about that then?

Nothing, John. Nothing at all. We're not here to listen to you bragging.

But I'm not bragging.

You know what we mean. You smug fucking tittins.

What's a tittins? And who's we?

You know. We, we, we. Us lot. The three fucking people who bother to read all this shit.

Oh. The ones who never ever comment. Ever.

That's us.

How come?

How come what?

How come you never comment?

[.....]

I'm shy too you know...

Bollocks.

Seriously...

Well, we're not shy at all actually. We're just...er...busy...

Like me?

No. I mean, we - All of us, we're...um... Oh, let's talk about something else.

All right. Like what?

Like your usual...bloody.... things. Taking the piss out of the ads...

And the agencies!

Oh, hello. Who are you?

I was just behind him. Reading what was going on.

Who? Me?

Yeah. Sorry I didn't mean to startle you.

That's all right. I just wasn't expecting anybody else to be here. Least of all you.

Eh? But I'm always here. When I'm not busy.

Not you, tittins. Him! Him behind us. In the bold font.

Hello.

Yeah, hi. So, um... Listen, I was just saying how busy I've been.

So I believe.

Which is why I haven't been blogging as regularly. But I've been working with some really fine folks...

How many times!? We're not FUCKING INTERESTED!!

There's all sorts of exciting things in the pipeline...

Whoa, whoa whoa there, hang on a minute mate. Erm... I'm not all that interested in hearing this either actually. Not at all in fact.

You see? Now get back to your swearing. Go on.

But -

But no! Tittins. You be irreverent, lad. It's what we expect. We can get all this mealy-mouthed "Oooh, it's an interesting time for me and the industry" stuff on Ben Kay.

Faggots.

Precisely. And the last thing you want is people thinking you might actually be good at this stuff. Let alone fucking care about it.

Oh... Right. Ok. So I'll just draw Bertrum Thumbcat then... giving himself a handjob or something?

Perfect!

Friday, 10 June 2011

10 Things You Can't Do Without the Internet

1. Trigger political unrest at the flick of a Facebook.

2. Poke your own father

3. Email a man in Portsmouth

4. Stream footage of illegal fox hunt

5. Work at the BBC

6. Digitise a horse

7. Chat with online genitals

8. Enjoy your latest crazes

9. Go viral!

10. Write a blog post any longer than this

Friday, 3 June 2011

Advertising Feature

Whoa, whoa, whoa what the fuck is all this shit?

Putting old Maxie up on the internet?

I'm fucking Max Bygraves, I am.

Do I look like I'm for fucking sale?

Put *me* on the internet and I'll put you in a fucking hole, sunshine.

I'll fuck you a new hole, in fact.

Where I can fuck right into your soul.

Fuck it right up.

Cos I'm Max fucking Bygraves, yeah.

Good night!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

The Official BrandMaster Flash "Legends of Advertising" Play Mask No.2

NAME: Robert "Junior" Senior

SPECIAL POWER: Intense stare, A-Level General Studies

FAVOURITE FOOD: Little bananas

FAVOURITE COLOUR: Mercy

FAVOURITE THING: "There's nothing like the smell of Ralgex in the morning."

BRAND MASTER RATING: Somewhere between Colgate and Pedigree Chum

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The Official BrandMaster Flash "Legends of Advertising" Play Mask No.1


NAME: David "Rodney" Trott

SPECIAL POWER: Double-line spacing

FAVOURITE FOOD: Sheaves of delicious wheat

FAVOURITE COLOUR: Hove

FAVOURITE THING: Paul Arden

BRANDMASTER RATING: Asda/WalMart

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Emergency Blog Post

DIRECTIONS FOR USE:

APPLY ONCE DURING BUSY PERIODS.

FOR BEST RESULTS, PLEASE COMPLETE AND POST IN COMMENTS SECTION.

Hello ________________________ . I hope you are __________________ .

Gosh/wow/bollocks. Things have been really ____________________ recently, what with all the _____________ and the _______________ making us all feel/look/taste _________________ .

But in ____ news, I've discovered this brand new _____________ which I'd love to share with you all.

[insert you tube link]

I really ________ the _______________ , not to mention _____________________ .

Which reminds me. Thanks for all the offers of _________________ by the way. Me and _____________ absolutely _____________ .

Sorry this is a short blog post, only I've _____________________________ .

But check back soon for more ________________________________ .

Take _____________ and speak soon.

Lots of __________________

Mr/Mrs ______________________

Thursday, 28 April 2011

On the Royal Wedding

Blah balh blah balh balh blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah OLD FASHIONED blah blah blah blah blahBlah balh blah balh balh blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blah Blah balh blah balh balh blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah CREEPY blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blahBlah balh blah balh balh blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blah Blah balh blah balh balh blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah WEIRD blah blah blah Blah balh blah balh balh blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah MORBID blah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blahALWAYS THINK OF THIS WHEN I SEE THEM

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Monday, 18 April 2011

10 Reasons LOVE Should Post This on Their Blog

1. (Being the main reason) There hasn't been anything proper to read on there for nearly two full moons now.

2. That post about Ste's bag doesn't count. It's a bag. Not a blog. And we want blogs, not bags. Or at least some kind of happy medium where the bags and the blogs can put aside their differences and work together.

3. PLUS, didn't Saul Bass say good design was all about compromise or something anyway? No? Well he should've done.

4. I am massively nosey. So posting this on your blog would mean I could read it back to myself and pretend it was a genuine news piece from inside your agency, like "10 Incredible Things We've Been Too Busy To Tell You About", or "10 Reasons Why Ste Owen Uses the Park & Ride." Imagine that! And then I could tell everyone what I'd just pretended to read, and they'd all be like, whoa that sounds amazing, or who the hell is Ste anyway - that guy who smells of crisps? And I'd be like, dude just go and read it for yourselves, which they would, and your web traffic would be like, boooom, through the roof, metaphorically speaking, although a skylight would be cool wouldn't it. Especially if you're nosey.

5. Erm, I am the most powerful copywriter in Britain, and hugely influential. So an endorsement from a headline act like me could lend serious kudos to a "modest concern" like yours. There is no irony in my eyes when I say that, by the way. Only a feral, bloodthirsty stare.

6. It's got a helpful picture of a wasp in it.

(You're welcome).

7. I can be your first ever uninvited guest blogger.

8. Every time you don't update your blog, Death updates his (and gets 100 new followers in heaven).

9. We're old friends and it's a nice day. It'd be a nice thing to do (group hug guys).

10. I will remain a werewolf until then.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Women Aren't Funny

Tis a fact.

Girl's just aren't that funny.

Why? Well, Germaine Greer reckons it's because women don't have to be funny. Whereas blokes are expected to be funny. They'll compete with each other to be wittiest, cleverest, and most charming bastard at the bar. In fact, that's pretty much all males do for a social life: they sit at a bar with other men, and practise taking the piss out of each other. On the other hand, women are simply expected to stick their tits out when the men come in, and not talk about their womb too much. Right?

Wrong. Because blokes aren't really that funny at all in real life, are they. Get a gang of lads together and they'll turn into a pack of smarmy boorish bastards quicker than you can put your Audi A3 keys on the bar, and order 4 bottles of Peroni. Whilst the girls, far from exuding the demure supernatural charm of a goddess, tend to be quite plain, have big arses and leave shit all over the bedroom.

Which is why the new Ikea ad by Mother is absolutely 100%, bang on the bullseye's bloody nose when it comes to portraying the foibles of the sexes. Look.



And that's not the only brilliant thing about it.

Granted, there's a few clunky bits in there (the canned laughter, the staged audience, the fucking awful ninja joke) but these are simply the residual costs of capturing the excrutiating naffness of these men and women in such a hauntingly realistic way.

No, the real (if flawed) genius of these ads is the thinking behind them. Not necessarily the thinking that there's a conversation worth having about people being messy in the context of the kinds of storage they might use, because there isn't. That's an inherently boring, and circular conversation, even to a halfwit on Facebook who in all likelihood won't be buying storage solutions any time soon. However, the thinking that a TV ad can throw you into the middle of a narrative and leave you to figure it out for yourself without patronising you or squeezing your hand hysterically for 30 seconds is a pretty powerful idea we could all do to be reminded of.

So well done Mother for reminding us that an advert can be anything at all - even a fake TV show about some twats - and that a woman will never EVER be funny.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Geeks!





I don't live in New York, or have access to Sloan Fine Art. But thanks to Mrs. Internet I can enjoy these beautiful paintings of the kind of 70s computer geeks that probably created her in the geeky comfort of my own home, many thousands of miles away.

And so can you.

By the very talented Mr. Jonathan Viner.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

News from The Drum: Shit agency's self-aggrandising wankpiece backfires

By The Drum's usual correspondent, Possibility Throat

In a predictable yet oddly unsatisfying twist of events yestermorn, attempts by absolutely bloody awful regional agency, Corporaserve Catalogues, to make a public stand about something nobody gave a shit about were met with widespread derision by Drum readers.

The article, which bleated on about some shit like the amount of time that shit agencies waste chasing quotes from shit printers to serve shit, low budget clients, made some really obvious points about how Corporaserve might solve the trifling hardships of their shit agency.

Meanwhile, this was all done in lengthy, rather pretentious fashion in an attempt to appear dynamic and forward thinking on the off-chance that a potential client would be reading their shit article about a shit agency in a shit regional trade mag. But they weren't. The only people who did read it were the financial directors of other shit, regional agencies who had their own fucking problems anyway, and about a thousand frustrated creatives who have to work for shit agencies like Corporaserve and are sick to death of these cunts speaking on their behalf, like some embarrassing parent doing a comedy fart in front of their girlfriend.

Needless to say, a predictable backlash ensued within the comments section of The Drum. As anonymous creatives spewed hilarious and deserved insults toward Corporaserve's lazy publicity attempt, pious do-gooders came forward under their own names to say the same old mealy-mouthed bullshit about the state of the industry and saying how cowardly the creatives were for not putting their names to anything even though that would so obviously be a fucking stupid thing to do, since it's only the ever the bosses who name themselves on The Drum is n't it. Indeed, some of the bosses even went as far as publicly disagreeing with Corporaserve, but "totally respected their opinion" which was just a veiled way of admitting that they'd also said some pretty stupid shit in The Drum in the past, and were reserving the right to do so again.

Unfortunately, The Drum has received no reports of any sackings or suicides resulting from the backlash so far.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Look on the bright side...

Dear Advertising,

I know I've been hard on you recently, mocking your incessant chatter and sagging breasts, telling you that you're slowly, sadly, turning into your shrieking fucking mother after all, or even worse - your fat passive aggressive sister with the mad bovine stare. But I only said those things because I love you, and I want us to be happy together.

So let's put those last few blog posts behind us. It's sunny outside. Don't think about those bad things anymore... Not even the embarrassing state of The Roses nominations. Think about the good things in life. Like A Hawk & Hacksaw. They're playing Islington Mill next month. Would you like me to take you..? You would! Great.

Oh, I love you Advertising! Just don't bring your mother.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

How to get a job in advertising: Part 2 - Appendix


Remember what I was saying about agencies developing "cultures" yesterday?

Well watch this and tell me that that is a good thing. Go on. Tell me. I'd say culture aint just ordinary at IAS. It's positively fucking banal.

How could they possibly think this was a good idea!? You want us to think your work is comparable to that of the Romans, an empire famously NOT BUILT IN A DAY, yet you only seem capable of spending -what?- 2 minutes preparing a "KnowHow" video about your expertise!?

Well, thanks for that guys. Thanks for driving yet another six inch nail into the gaudy, thoughtless, and weirdly pretentious coffin of what was advertising. You stupid, stupid, sad, horrible I don't know whats.

(Thanks You Know Who You Are for bringing this to my attention btw. Don't worry, they won't think for a moment it was one of their own employees ;-) )

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

How to get a job in advertising: Part 2

So a couple of weeks back I did How to Get a Job in Advertising: Part 1 (you can read it here). The idea (as always) was hopefully to make people snigger a bit, but also to question not just of why people want to work in the industry, but also how they want work in the industry. Which is to say, how juniors/grads/creatives go about landing themselves a job. Do you blog, tweet, buy a checked shirt, join D&AD, make up scam ads, pull a stunt to get your book in somewhere, network, tweet, re-tweet your blog, blog about your mate's tweet, pull another stunt...? Because getting a job anywhere nowadays (even somewhere crap) seems to have become an almost endless juggling act of self-promotion; of appearing permanently connected and invaluable, whilst seeming potentially capable of the most unlikely, game-changing creativity at any given moment.

But can a creative ever really be everything to all men, and to all agencies? Especially as a graduate. 

Well, lets start at the start.  With a wee history lesson.

The initial idea of a magic bullet-type, all-singing, all-dancing, all-rounder creative first appeared about 5 years ago - around the same time Web 2.0 caused everyone to become a "New Model Agency" overnight. "Digital convergence" suddenly meant that art directors who had spent years honing their eye for detail, crafting images, accentuating lighting and gesture, now had to widen their remit to plug a perceived skills gap in things like viral film making, and understanding how teenagers used MyBooks and Faceblogs. Because from now on our ideas would be crowd-sourced, and our creativity democratised. What's more, the roles within the new model were no longer going to be clearly defined. Since we'd all be collaborating with clients, the public, and each other, we needed to be flexible and nimble, ready to react to new challenges, and new audiences... But then, that was all just seeming and self-promotion too. Wasn't it? Because all the "new model" talk was just a big fat arse-covering exercise for an industry suddenly unsure of how a lot of new technology might pan-out.

So, in an uncertain market exactly who do you employ when you're not entirely sure of what it is you're meant to be good at anymore?

Cue the hybrid creative: a nebulous, jack-of-all-trades with a (nevertheless) hugely effective finger on the mysterious pulse of a fickle public. Part copywriter, part planner, part suit, web-designer, tattoo artist, film-maker, water colourist, pastry chef, and (usually) snowboarder, the idea of the hybrid creative doesn't just represent value for money, able to turn their hand to any new brief in any new media, they represent the ideological apotheosis of the new model: the ad agency no longer as a business, but as a culture, populated by the great creative minds of their respective Renaissance. And as agencies hedged their bets trying to recruit these Renaissance men and women to get them through the uncertainty, they simultaneously propagated the myth that these rounded, worldly individuals, with diverse interests (er, like snowboarding) where already within their ranks, as the very cornerstones of their new cultures.

But as the great sociologist Raymond Williams will tell you, "Culture is ordinary".

To be continued...


Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Cat Fucker


Yeah, yeah, yeah everyone loves this. But they were bound to. It's W+K innit, the Man United of advertising. They do everything right don't they. Show you a good time. Make you smile, make you laugh, make you fee-al goooood. Not like those other ads. Singing their URL at you, making you feel dirty. Making you feel stupid. These guys treat you right, show you respect. You wanna hang out with them. Be like them...

Ooh, you love all this. Especially in ad land. Makes you all hot. Gets you all horny, looking at that Facebook page... Of a cat. What will you do it? Tweet it? Or poke it!? Yeah - go on! Poke that cat uhh! Prove how much you fucking love it, and poke that goddamn cat! Right on it's beautiful fucking whiskers...

(Gasp).

(Whimper).

(Sigh).

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Friday, 4 March 2011

Something for the weekend

Friday off?
Lucky you.
A long weekend and a day to yourself...

Bit of housework
Bit of toast
Bit of Facebook
Catch up with a friend
Or (that reminds me) family
Must phone your brother
Not seen him since... god, was it Christmas?
Mum's birthday soon
What you getting her?
Go for a meal?
She liked that place
Whatsitcalled
The one last year
I'll speak to dad
Or you can first
If I see him before you...

Anyway, got to dash
Nipping out shortly
Some bits and pieces
Bit of shopping
Bite to eat
Won't be long
Just nice to be out
Not stuck in work
Do your own thing
Nice big wank
Maybe a Lemsip

Monday, 28 February 2011

Wheel O'Muses

Stuck for ideas? Got a grumpy creative director? Well fear not fair lackeys of the studio. For pure inspiration is but at hand with the Content Flavoured Trousers Wheel O'Muses!

Spin Dame Fortuna's glittering disc of chance and lay your creativity in the hands of whomever she lands...


YOUR MUSE FOR TODAY IS: Jackie Chan.

THEIR WORDS OF WISDOM TO YOU ARE: "Herro blave warrier."

HOW MIGHT THEY INFLUENCE YOUR WORK: Doesn't/won't read english. Is small enough to fit inside a logo.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

National Hold a Child Aloft Day (2011)

Just a few hours in, but here're some of my favourites so far.







Monday, 21 February 2011

Number Brunching

This is doing the rounds today.



Someone in digital (who I actually really respect) said this was a great "commercial" for the iPhone, because it's had 4.5million hits on You Tube.


Personally, I couldn't even get through it once. But as our digital friends seem to think this is some seminal piece of advertsing, I thought I'd cue it up for a few repeat viewings/indepth study.

After all, 4.5million people can't be wrong can they.

















Friday, 18 February 2011

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Meet The Brief

Hello. I'm your creative brief. Please read me very carefully before we begin. That way I will get the blame when things go wrong, and not you. Because I need you on top form, see. Not sulking at the client, like a teenager.

Think of me as a guiding spirit if it helps. But I'm not your muse, ok. That would be weird. Most muses are beautiful women, and I'm just a piece of paper.

If that analogy doesn't help, then at the very least respect me. I want you to do your best, and I expect you to challenge me along the way. But I'll always be your superior, and you'll always need my help. Like a father. So never ever piss off your brief. Or your dad, for that matter.

Finally, if there's anything else you need or don't understand, then for godsake just ask me, or your mother. The account handler.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Famous Last Briefs #2



CLIENT: The British National Party

WHAT IS REQUIRED: Holograms!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Advertising Feature


The Working Class Sofa Company's sale status-light is currently flashing "On!", which means huge savings on all of our horrible looking sofas like this cream coloured thing here.

No one else offers a more extensive range of poorly made, oddly proporationed sofas.

We can dwarf or dominate any modest living room or conservatory.

Plus, all of our sofas are ideal for smoking on.

With 0% finance available to dog owners, there's never been a better time to buy a massive white leather corner unit to squeeze into your dingy, dusty front room.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

How to get a job in advertising: Part 1

People often say to me, John -or rather, Mr. John- how did you get your first break into the ka-razee old world of advertising-brandcomms (with increasing emphasis on digital activity)?

Well, the answer I always tell them is really (very, very really) simple indeed.

Simple as a buttercup, in fact.

First off, as many of you will know from your checked shirts and Macbook Pros, advertising is really an extraordinarily conformist industry to work in. So the less dynamic, original, or singular you are, the greater your chances of finding a job in one of the bigger, blander agencies. After all, you want to work with like-minded people, right?

So. Do your homework. Find out what work other people are doing... and copy it. But don't be precious about it. There's really nothing in this game that hasn't been said or seen before by far more talented people than you, so the sooner you get that our of your silly, aspirational little brain the better. Remember, you are not creative. You are derivative. Just like all the other people who had exactly the same idea of going for exactly the same career as you.

(TIP: If you don't feel comfortable stealing other people's work, then your university lecturer and D&AD can help you steal other people's briefs instead).

Next, whilst you're busy imitating other people's work for your portfolio, you'll need to start networking - imitating the views and opinions of the people you'd ideally like to work with, and telling people/agencies EXACTLY the sort of things they want to hear. And thanks to social media, sharing other people's views and opinions, and passing them off as your own, is even easier than ever...

So why not take a few minutes to set up one of the many blogs praising (for example)the new Nike ad, or admonishing Go Compare? Meanwhile, you can ping, quote and retweet a whole rainbow of recieved opinions through the hollow prism of your Twitter account. You never know - say something flattering about an agency's work, and it might even get retweeted by the agency themselves! And let's face it - once you're in that feedback loop, you're as good as in there.

Aren't you?

(To be continued...)

Monday, 7 February 2011

How did the presentation go?

[Boardroom. An ad exec and creative director are presenting their work.]

ECD: Hi, I'm Andrew Coldscreams, executive creative director at Cochlea & Ampersand Brand Communicatrices, and this is Kate Smells. Thanks for the oppotunity today.

So. Obviously when we were first approached by Hatland - Your Local Low Cost Land for No.1 Hats, to consider re-positioning the brand for a modern audience, two things immediately crossed our minds very quickly indeed. 1) Just exactly HOW do you reposition Hatland, Your Local Low Cost Land for No.1 Hats, as a credible high street retailer that resonates with all of our core target audiences, but without alienating our existing customers and stakeholders? And 2) How do we do that in the coolest and most lucrative way possible?

EXEC: To answer these thorny questions, Andrew and I spearheaded some intital market research, asking women with heads what kind of hats they most liked to buy...

ECD: These results were plotted on a huge board... However, we found that for the majority of women, hats just were'nt a significant part of their lives.

EXEC: In fact, women liked a lot of things other than hats. And lot of things a lot more than hats.

ECD: Some of the things we found that women liked seemed quite irrational. For example, whilst hats scored very well in the Positive Feelings category, so did things like Sellotape, camping, "nice drinks", thermostats, and chests.

Therefore, having taken this into account, and in order to distinguish Hatland from its competitors, our proposed new brand positioning is based on the following.

EXEC: Bascially, we reckon that every time someone says the name of your shop, the theme from Emmerdale Farm should play and a Red Setter should run round your legs.

ECD: Yep, fuck the logo. It's "old hat" anyway.

[And they all laughed happily ever after.]

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Upon the Language of Television

Look, I know it's been a while since I blogged. But, it's not you babe. It's me. Ok?

Anyhoooooo, I've been admiring Tim & Eric's stuff for a while:



There are just two things you need to know about Tim & Eric. One is that their comedy is born from that beautiful, almost supernatural place where men go solely to crack themselves up (a place most comics -including Peter Cook- wouldn't dare to actually map out, for fear of losing their way there all together). Secondly (and more to the point, Mr. Fucking Patience) is that they comprehensively understand the underlying, and inherent violence of television. Especially advertising.

For Tim & Eric, advertising is a particularly gruesome freak show. One in which ugly, obscure or unsavoury businesses claw, scream and puke their desperation at us from a delirious (and often hilarious) purgatory. In their world, advertising is little more than the futile plea of a lunatic; a madman shaking a geranium, as T.S Eliot cheerfully puts it. And as I'm particularly enjoying this extended metaphor, I'll go on to say that television itself, meanwhile, is their soiled, and rusting holding cage. In Tim & Eric we see TV advertising driven mad, not just by the crappy products and insincere endorsements of "Cinco", but by the actual form of television.

And that is very interesting. Because as anyone who as ever had to make a television commercial will tell you, just mention TV to a client and the agency walls will be smeared with eight shades of excrement before the brief's even been written.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

God, I've not posted in ages

Er, Happy New Year.

Sorry for not being here, but I've been doing wanky creative stuff you probably wouldn't be interested in.

Seems quite a bit going on generally, but ad-wise everyone's still trying to get their heads around Morethan Freeman, right?

Sigh.

Obviously there's a lot of confusion about this (I genuinely heard someone say "And he's not even black!" yesterday) so I thought I'd write a brief Wikipedia entry to help clear things up a little. Don't know how long it'll last up there, but I figured if we all muck in on it we might finally come to some kind of consensus on what is bloody obviously the first great ad of 2011.

Or maybe just the first great ad of January?

UPDATE: Within about 9 seconds of posting the Wiki aritcle I got a moderator notice telling me the content of the post was obviously a hoax and would be deleted if I didn't explain myself. My instinctive response was "Come one, you couldn't make this shit up!" Erm, but VCCP *did* make it up. Which I guess proves how unlikely an idea it is. So even if you hate Morethan Freeman, you've got to take your hats (and clothes, I'd say) off to the suits who sold it.

UPDATE UPDATE: Here's the now deleted Wikipedia entry I wrote:

The “Red Army returning to Moscow” is a quote from a British advertising campaign for the insurance company, More Than.

The campaign first appeared on television around Christmas 2010. The advertising campaign takes the form of a series of monologues delivered by a character called Morethan Freeman, a pun on the American film actor Morgan Freeman.

In 1994, Morgan Freeman played Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding in The Shawshank Redemption, a character whose wistful narration is marked by a sort of cute, homespun wisdom. This performance subsequently became synonymous with the actor.

Morethan Freeman’s monologues pay homage to this, both in their style and their execution (they are delivered by a Morgan Freeman impersonator).

The line “Red Army returning to Moscow” is one of a number similes coined by Morethan Freeman during the campaign, but which has no actual meaning.

The purpose of this line (and others like it) is to simply appear more profound than it actually is for the benefit of entertainment, and to poke fun at Morgan Freeman’s original dialogue.

Reception to the campaign so far has been mixed. Partly because of its somewhat esoteric nature, and partly because of lines, such as these, being misunderstood even by those who work in the advertising industry.

However, the fact that this entry now exists may be an early indicator of the impact this campaign is having.