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...


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


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.