I'm gonna eat 'till I'm sick, drink too much, waste loads of money and make a general nuisance of myself, all for baby Jesus. Yes, it really makes sense having a December birthday celebration for someone who was actually born in September.
I'll be back sometime in the New Year.
And have a Merry Christmas. I'm having none of this Happy Holidays bollocks.
December 23, 2006
I'm gonna eat 'till I'm sick, drink too much, waste loads of money and make a general nuisance of myself, all for baby Jesus. Yes, it really makes sense having a December birthday celebration for someone who was actually born in September.
December 22, 2006
Let the big bananas of the advertising world dream up their own awards for the greatest, most effective, best art-directed and best tiddlyompompom watsit ad thingies. This is my own ill-considered list of 2006’s ad achievements, in no particular order.
1. The Crispy Tummy-Wipe Award
For the most gratuitous use of sex in advertising. Made for no other reason than to prop up the sales figures of paper tissue manufacturers.
These exercise vids had a certain charm about them, and at least the girls built up a decent sweat. So an honourable mention goes to Stuff4Dudes. But the prize must go to Independence Cigars whose first viral featured a naked woman playing with her boobs, and whose latest has progressed to a naked lesbian romp. There’s something about cigars which encourages advertisers to treat them as a phallic object, more so than cigarettes (which are a bit effeminate, after all).
2. The Limp Dick Award
We should have expected better from Virgin, whose reputation for making reasonably good virals is let down by this mank. I had intended to rail against Lutwyche, whose original 2003 viral was dark, sinister and brilliant. The sequel was so crap that it's url has been withdrawn, so I can't feature it here. Don't worry, you're not missing anything. St. Luke's is evidently trying to deal with the trauma.
3. Happy Slappy Award
I reckon that there's an ad trend that sees the camera moving away from the upper part of the body to the much more accommodating lower regions. Bums are funnier than tits, and you can smack them too. Hence Old Khaki’s fish spank, and this odd chap being accosted for Doc Martens. The prize must go to the utterly pointless slap happy girls from Bennetts insurance in a post that generated the largest number of hits for this blog. You perverts.
4. Le Grand Fromage Award
For big brands trying something risky. A special mention to Marmite, for a quite disgusting viral which generated the second-highest number of posts in CMM News. But Marmite has been making hay with its love it or hate it campaign for a long time, and the progression to baby vomit was still in keeping with the slightly irreverent style of its recent TV work.
What was surprising was the sight of the previously viral-shy Procter & Gamble stick its neck out with this piece of work for Charmin which, although relatively safe, was bold for being the first toilet paper ad that properly refers to poo. Toilet paper may be nice for drying naughty puppies, but that's not what the stuff is made for.
In 2007 I’d like to see a toilet paper brand use the tagline “great for wiping the shit from your arse”
Yes, it has a certain ring to it.
5. Provincial Potty Mouth Award
Internationally accepted swear words are sometimes OK, but they lack a certain something. Hollywood has a lot to answer for. The word Fuck, for instance, has been McDonald-ised, and is almost safe. Yeah, Fuck is now the Big Mac of the world of the potty mouth. You wouldn’t bat an eyelid if grandma uttered it.
I therefore hope that the lighter Wanker (Greenpeace) and Tosser (Tories) retain their British flavour. Both words popped up in virals this year, but didn’t hit the same high as Bollocks (VW) did a few years back.
The mean-spirited Greenpeace viral wins it by default because a win for the Tories would undermine my credibility.
6. Swimming in the Gutter Award
Whereas Charmin tackled the poo issue whilst keeping its hands clean, a distinctly yucky viral for a very small retailer was responsible for the biggest gross-out of 2006. I suppose extreme toilet humour is fine when targeting spotty adolescents, but it runs the risk of alienating older consumers who might have been interested in the product.
Dog poo is slightly less revolting.
7. Best Surprise Appearance of a Knob
The Oatso Simple plasticine uncle of Windy Miller provided the newspapers with hours of fun in their hunt for the man-made willy. This Computer sign is a bit random (but amused me enough to post it), but neither comes close to the cheeky priapic charm of the mutt whose todger became an embarrassment for Ikea.
8. The Snurge Award
Snurge was the term we used at school for the teacher who used to hang around the bike sheds sniffing the girls' bicycle seats. The gold-painted saddle is earned by this Scampi snack in memory of those dodgy teenage years.
9. The Glass Cock (GC) Zombie Award
For an ad-related story that is continuously resurrected. I have nicked the GC concept from b3ta.
My vanity will not allow me to contemplate the possibility that I wasn’t the first blogger to add Bentley to this sequence of car ads. Either way, it keeps popping up again and again in a variety of blogs. Other bloggers: stop!
10. Best appearance by a chimp in an ad
Never mind Careerbuilder and the Trunk Monkey, the star turn of the year was the cheeky fella in the Sure ad with a finger up his bottom (46 seconds in).
Give that monkey a banana, but don’t shake his hand.
December 21, 2006
Having just finished a fine yet tiring piece of newbiz prospecting work, I was grateful to find an immensely satisfying and de-stressing little viral game from Churchill Insurance, they of the Vic Reeves-voiced bulldog.
Become Santa and lob snowballs at annoying little elves in Elf Attack.
I’ve been roped into a meme which really is me me me (see what I did there?). This one’s a form of playground kiss-chase where you get tagged by another blogger. The idea is you then divulge five facts about yourself, and then tag five others.
Because I have been tagged twice (by Doug and OneWomanRunning), and I am vain, I proffer ten FishNChimps factoids.
1. I am allergic to avocado and lobster.
2. Although I have never seen him, I believe that Professor Richard Dawkins exists.
3. My children believe that I am a retired Jedi Knight and that I control Big Terry, the friendly robot who defends London from flying saucers.
4. As a teenager I was diagnosed as being moderately dyscalculaic.
5. I lost control when skiing and knocked a line of fellow students off a (low) cliff.
6. A hamster put me in hospital.
7. A school trip to a museum ended abruptly when I foiled one of the interactive exhibits, and broke it. The party was thrown out and the school was banned from visiting ever again.
8. Steve Ovett told me to fuck off.
9. I am descended from a pirate who eventually rose to command a fleet in the Greek War of Independence.
10. A television fell on my head
(One of the above is a lie)
I’m tagging the following bloggers, although I’m aware that some of you may be uncomfortable with the pyramid/chainletter vibe going on here. One reason I went along with this is that I see blogging as a community thing and sometimes it's good to spread some love around.
As I am a self-deified atheist, I will happily take on any bad mojo that you feel might come your way if you don’t want to join in.
Jetpacks – apart from having the best title for an ad blog, I’d like to see if this quirky commentator is as rednecked as his geographic location might suggest.
Scamp – will the most prolific creative currently blogging in the UK stoop so low as to play this game?
Bill Green – because the Make The Logo Bigger guru occasionally voyages into off-topic weirdness, which is good.
The MonkeyWatch blogger because I need to know more about the person spying on my monkey troops, and for writing gems like "The habits of various animals disposing of their dung is considered."
And finally greencan – because of the fine argument we had during one of copyranter’s posts, and for having a blog post that begins with the words “All I could think about was wrapping my lips around his cock”.
Tags: Online; Viral
December 20, 2006
Checkout the Scandinavian Advertising Awards 2007 and be reassured that the Northern European casual attitude towards sex in advertising remains unchanged. It's a tidy site with representatives from above and below the line.
The above link is for the awards shortlist, but you can see all the nominees here.
December 19, 2006
As if to prove that Jesus wasn’t born in Australia because the angels couldn’t find a virgin or three wise men, a group of numpties calling themselves the Federal Court have effectively outlawed the internet.
To quote BoingBoing:
Bloggers, MySpacers, and anyone else who links to copyrighted material without permission is fair game for legal action, a court in Australia has ruled. Not "hosts," not "uploads," not "downloads," but "links to."
The emphasis is currently on music but it’s the thin end of the wedge when a nation of Australia’s calibre takes aim at one major medium.
It’s a short leap to the banning of links to movie clips, TV clips and ads which would mean that I and virtually every other blogger would be up for prosecution. Time to check out your country’s extradition treaties, fellow bloggers.
But fuck ‘em. Here’s an Aussie underwear ad (again).
I spent most of my school holidays in my grandparents’ house in a small industrial town in the North West of England. The town wasn’t pretty, but most of my happiest childhood memories are of that place. The simple reason is that everyone there was friendly. It was easy to strike up conversation with strangers because it was common to greet people with a question (usually something to do with the weather).
It’s not quite as nice now, but it is still a lot easier to get on with people there than it is in the South East. Our towns are so crowded that we try to ignore the people around us and never get involved with them. mp3 players make it even easier for us to shut out the world around us.
And yet, curiously, we see consumer technology that encourages to interact with strangers. There’s social networking and playing online games. What ever became of Freever, whose gadget (maybe it was an add-on for mobile phones) would alert you to another nearby Freever user whose profile complimented your own? And the Zune gives you access to another user’s playlist if they are nearby. It’s technology taking the effort out of approaching others.
It’s odd how we are supposed to be social creatures and yet we don’t speak to people, especially those strangers who we see every day. I was struck by this whimsical article from the BBC about a photographer who decided to break down the invisible barriers that separated her from these intimate strangers. After the initial effort, the exercise wasn’t as painful as you’d expect.
Maybe we are a little too precious about our barriers. Life’s so fast we don’t have time or the inclination to physically interact with others. We filter our emails, background noise, advertising and other people.
I guess that’s what we call progress.
December 18, 2006
Look at the body language.
The distance between the pair suggests that they kind of know each other, or at very least have only recently met.
Her head is tilted, she is leaning slightly forwards, her left hand flat on the cushion. Her legs are pointing towards him. She is looking into his eyes, challenging him to look at her boobage.
His knee casually points towards her, his stance open. A furtive glance at her rack isn't going to satisfy him.
He's in charge - this is his pad (note the minimalist alpha male decor) and he has drunk a little less wine than his prey.They support their heads in a way that could easily suggest boredom, but there is no uncomfortable moment. Not now. Not here. The small talk is over.
If there was any doubt that this pair are about to launch themselves at each other, then check out this image from the advertiser's homepage:
OK, so what the fuck does this have to do with selling wine?
Note the copy.
Eh? As meaningless sentences go, that takes some beating. But it doesn't matter, because with the words Bordeaux, Chateau, combined with the image of pre-copulating strangers in a posh pad, the idea is sold.
What other alcoholic drink - no... what other country's wines - would even dare to connect drinking with sex in this manner, even covertly? If this ad were flogging wines from the New World or any other European country, the effect would be as cheesy as the canapes served at a librarian's party.
But Bordeaux is as French as white flags, onions and seduction, the randy fuckers, so they can get away with this.
Sometimes I wish I was French.
December 15, 2006
This is the cheerful chappy who helped me spend my last 50p last night at the Tesco on Bishopsgate. He is the resident whipmaster for the self-service checkout that now greets shoppers at the newly hi-tech store.
I only wanted to buy a newspaper so, being something of an old fart, chose to queue at the tobacco counter because there happened to be a human being behind it.
Unfortunately she was dealing with one of those city oiks (probably one of those £2m Xmas bonus recipients) who was trying to buy a box of matches with his American Express card. It would have been quicker to buy a house.
In the olden days, I would have waved my paper at the human(s), plonked the correct change on the counter, and scarpered. Bear in mind I was eager to move quickly to catch the last Vomit Comet train from Liverpool Street Station, so speed was of the essence.
Waving my 50p extravagantly at the tobacconist earned me a tap on the shoulder from the whipmaster, who directed me to the till. Too impatient to work out how to use the wretched device (this was straight after the agency Xmas party), I uttered a phrase in Greek in order to pretend I was not of this nation and couldn't read English. The whipmaster efficiently passed my Evening Standard through the brains of the machine and, three minutes later, I was on my way.
Is this progress? Tesco is the UK's biggest retailer. For every £7 spent in the high street, Tesco takes £1, such is its power. It has been blamed for the demise of the small independent retailers that used to be present on every high street and, not content with that, is now targeting the very people who work for it by replacing them with these machines.
If there were a rival, human-operated supermarket alongside this Tesco, I would have gone there instead.
December 14, 2006
H&M are beginning to scare me. Its Christmas press advertising gets more bizarre as the clothing chain shifts from psycho babies to flesh-eating dead-eyed zombie women in grey jumpers.
Remember the scene from Lord of the Rings where Frodo falls into the dead marshes and is accosted by watery phantoms?
One of them escaped.
Don’t mess with these babies
Mummy, the Christmas bunny isn't moving
I'm sorry, but seeing these fellas glaring at me as I open the eggbox on a dreary Monday morning would simply freak me out. It would give the kiddies nightmares too ("Eeeuuur - look at his yellow brains!").
The faces are stuck-on, courtesy of in-pack advertising by razor maker Wilkinson.
December 13, 2006
Rob Manuel, the ginger genius behind my web addiction, is unhappy. His b3ta site (read its Wikipedia description here) is required lunchtime reading for anyone tickled by creative piss-taking, mash-ups, and extreme toilet humour. According to Campaign, the site has a hit rate of 30 million per month. Some contributions to the site are breathtakingly creative; many are often politically incorrect. A lot of the satirical work that appears in its bulletin boards finds its way into newspapers and magazines, usually unacknowledged.
Mr Manuel has posted this video explaining how one of his associates' web videos has spawned a remarkably similar clone on Coke's Argentinian website without permission or reference to its origin.
Joel Veitch, a computer animator and commercials director contributed the Quiznos spongmonkeys, the Crusha kittens, and the Switch/Maestro penguins to the world of advertising. Veitch's work can be seen at Rathergood.com.
This could so easily be yet another story of how advertising has stolen ideas, unacknowledged, for its own ends (obvious refs: Honda Cog, Sony Bravia Balls). The fuss that b3ta are kicking up may indeed peter out and be quickly forgotten. There is, however, just a chance that this one could really turn around and kick Coke in the teeth. The b3ta community is web savvy, protective, imaginative, subversive and ready to cause mischief when roused.
This is the Coke link, and this is the original Veitch video with its similar animation, music and dancing.
See also: The stolen ninja - update
A quiet word to my loyal followers: ignore the Baboon King. He is a lesser being. There is only one true simian deity and it is I, the Chimp Messiah.
He will beguile you with images of hot chicks with their cute arses in the air. Take this example, from Amazon, where his disciples seek to sell unholy exercise machines. Roll your cursor over the image but do not fall for his false prophecies. The monkey invasion begins, and ends, with me.
December 12, 2006
At first glance, you see some posh totty, her expensive dress spattered with mud, and the Land Rover logo at the bottom. The presence of mud might imply some kind of upper-class rumpy pumpy in the hay with the threat of an irate lord horsewhipping the bounder who's squiring his daughter.
I liked this ad on Sunday morning, and liked it even more come the evening. The model is one Zara Phillips, aged 25 and an accomplished equestrian. She’s a damn fine looking woman who is naturally rather posh. On Sunday night she became the BBC Sports Personality of The Year.
Her grandmother also happens to be the Queen of England.
The Land Rover brand represents unattainability for most of the hoi polloi. There are few people who could afford a new Land Rover, and even fewer who’d get within sniffing distance of Zara Phillips, an outdoorsy girl who most certainly uses the full 4x4 function when riding over the peasants on her mum’s estates.
The ad projects just the kind of image Land Rover has been trying to cast – rugged and classy.
For me, the real pay-off came with Sunday’s BBC award to Phillips. The award is decided by viewers, so I was somewhat surprised by the pragmatism that saw them avoid the class envy that afflicts so many Britons.
Of course, it could be that they are too thick to realise that Phillips is royalty, but I doubt it. I prefer to believe that it’s the same young generation of text voters who participate in the reality TV polls who voted on Sunday. My view is strenghtened by my observation of the wonderful numptyism displayed by those who then moaned on the radio about the result (most of them sounded middle-aged).
You can get a flavour of it here, in the BBC article about the award. These are the same type of people who moan about 4x4s being driven in towns. I generally sympathise with those who say these cars are too big for our crowded roads, but I reckon the driving motive behind most of these complaints is envy.
The thought of Zara, resplendent in her muddy dress, neighing like a horse at the mighty vibrations as the Land Rover charges down Numpty High Street splattering the outraged unwashed plebs, is too joyous to bear.
Today’s offering from H&M is a quartet of miserable-looking rug rats. I’m going to make a few enemies by saying this, but many babies at this age are too androgynous for the flouncy look. Face it, the three on the left wouldn’t look out of place with a Churchillian cigar in each of their mouths while flicking the Vs, and the tall one is asking for a fight with the bastard who nicked her teddy bear.
See also: Mummy, the Christmas bunny isn't moving
December 11, 2006
British TV is awful. I don't bother arguing with the Domestic CEO in the evenings. Big Brother, I'm a Celebrity, Strictly Come Dancing, and a multitude of other brain-dead reality progs (from talent shows to celebrity hairdressing) have shooed me away from the telly. My meekness with the remote control comes from the certain knowledge that there's also bugger all else to watch, so there's no point in kicking up a fuss. Bloody hell, even the ads are shit (Scouse minger Kerry Katona flogging heart-attack fodder to fat families is #1 in my current ad recall chart).
In my jaded opinion, post-11pm is the best time to catch the occasional jewels. I desperately try to stay awake (often failing) during Bravo TV's Adult Swim, or [adult swim], should I say. It provides a regular supply of often blisteringly-funny adult-oriented animations. Anyone with an anarchic or a creative bent should check out the unshackled mayhem.
Here's one beauty that hits my spot. This filmlet is the FishNChimps equivalent of naked women mud-wrestling. Phwoooar.
Adult Swim's website might not be safe for work.
Three pairs of feet thundering up the stairs is the reaction to my sudden, gut-hurting guffaw. By the time the chimplets have charged through the door, I have tabbed to a different window because it would be wrong, so wrong, to show them why I was laughing.
While the Queen of the Chimp Mansion is watching B-list celebs sail around a dance floor (zzzz) I'm trawling through the bulletin boards of b3ta, where someone has noticed a terrible juxtaposition.
There's a theory that humour is good gauge of prejudice. You can control your reactions to anything upon which you have an opinion, to the point where, over time, you can change your own prejudice. But humour is different. Something can hit you from left-field, catching you unawares and, no matter what your views on the subject being lampooned, you will laugh. Even if you feel ashamed afterwards.
The BBC recently aired a TV programme about a very unfortunate teenager with an obvious and debilitating problem. To understand the mirth, see this screenshot of the rotating banners at the bottom of the page.
Bad. Bad. Bad.
Spotted on b3ta
Tags: Evil; Media; Online
December 08, 2006
Another one of my most favourite ads has just cropped up on YouTube. A surefire indication of a funny ad is one that makes all three of my brood laugh, and this one had them in near stitches when I showed it to them.
This classic from 2001 had a huge hairy belly chasing a guy around town. What makes it stand out is not just its humour, but the in-your-face way it communicates the idea of forcing fat bastards off the sofa.
Reebok stuck two fingers up at the Nike / Adidas approach of celebrating excellence, and spoke to the common man. Perfect.
Agency: Lowe Lintas
Two current yet unrelated media stories with unusual similarities.
Channel 4 chiefs try to manufacture outrage at the thought of a fully-veiled Muslim woman delivering the channel’s Christmas message. Frankly, I’d be quite interested to hear what she has to say.
ITV are to revive anarchic 1970s Saturday morning TV show Tiswas for a one-off special. Fantastic – another chance to see the Phantom Flan Flinger in action (see picture).
Who’s worse: the cynical Channel 4 chiefs with their quest to stir things up, or the smug, desperate-for-publicity Tiswas presenter Chris Tarrant (on his affair: "I love my wife to pieces but there's also room in my life for lust")?
December 07, 2006
This is yesterday’s completely fucking weird offering from H&M. You know how you see something that you feel instinctively is wrong, but can’t quite put your finger on it? My eye kept straying back to the press version of this in the Metro freesheet, a series of question marks fugging my brain.
OK, cute kid and all that, but I resolved to solve the problem by waving the ad in front of our tea lady while my chicken soup was redecorating the inside of the company’s microwave oven.
“It’s ridiculous. Why would you dress a child in fuzzy mittens and stuff while leaving her in only her indoor clothes?”
Bang on the money, madam.
“Besides,” said the mistress of tea, darkening the mood, “if you owned a large dog, it would take one look at her and rip her to pieces if it mistook her for a rabbit.”
December 06, 2006
December 05, 2006
Oh sweet Mary, Mungo and Midge, here is a real gold-plated, A1 mash-up, demonstrating the occasional sheer brilliance of the YouTube medium. What the copyright nazis will make of this, I don’t know, but while it’s there enjoy the spectacle of Monty Python meets Star Trek. Genius. Genius. Genius.
See also: Silent Star Wars
Found on b3ta
Sometimes I browse through Digg to see what other people think is news. It’s a terrific source for technology news (once you figure out how to hone your searches), but there’s also some awfully lame stuff there, especially when you Digg for “advertising”. Most posts tout some exciting new creative work which, at a moment’s glance, reveals itself to be a good few years old.
I did however find this old gem, which I first saw several years ago when I was fresh to advertising (boy did I get a culture shock!).
Portland agency Elvis & Bonaparte submitted this controversial “bumper” for a local advertising awards fest. It’s the sort of task that I understand creatives love: the chance to let rip without the usual client constraints and gain kudos from their community.
The organisers banned it for being offensive, which is, as we all now know, just the sort of appraisal a piece of work needs for viral success.
Not safe for work (unless you work in an advertising creative department)
I lent the Secret Mistress the keys to one of my country retreats and said I'd join her later, but I didn't permit her to bring her dogs.
Tied by his leash to the radiator, the bored Moochie Murgatroyd thought Sod It, This Floor's Too Cold - It's The Swanky Chair For Me.
This is its What 'Yer Feckin' Lookin' At Jimme look (remember this breed is Scottish) as I arrived. Just look at the bugger. He has Feck Off written all over his evil face while he rubs his worm-infested arse on my £600 designer chair.
As you can imagine, the sight of a hairy mutt occupying my expensive furniture was as inviting as being offered a sweaty nudist's bicycle. Secret Mistress was so astounded at my furious visage that she failed to notice her chihuahua dangling by its neck from the window behind her.
Naturally the thought of my poor butler having to defur my Ligne Rosets resulted in one swiftly-kicked arse heading out of the window, followed by her dog.
Women these days. No class.
See also: Are you sitting comfortably?
Tags: Press / outdoor ads
December 04, 2006
This brilliant spoof of The Snowman for Irn Bru sets the bar high for any other brand wanting to raise a laugh with its Christmas advertising. The quintessentialy Scottish soft drink (whose sales are higher than Coca-Cola in Scotland) has enjoyed some superb advertising in the past. My favourites are the ramraiding granny and the transexual mum, although there are many more.
It's a pity the brand hasn't benefited from the kudos generated by its many years of top notch TV work; the drink has never really registered as a popular choice down south.
December 01, 2006
At last, an ad I truly, truly hate. It has a crap script, crap imagery, crap message, patronising tone, and a dubious morality.
Do people really fall for the old Plinking Piano And Soft Female Voiceover trick?
This, and a similar spot by The Competitive Enterprise Institute aired in the US in May.
"Is that a ladder in your tights or a stairway to heaven?" It's the lamest chat-up line I've heard of and I promise I've never used it, although Pretty Polly have unashamedly referenced it with this new campaign that unveiled what is apparently the largest ever outdoor ad in the UK.
This lively billboard on the busy Chiswick roundabout not only gives drivers an eyeful of slinky leg, but also the dubious thrill of an up-skirt view as the chill London wind ruffles the model's dress.
More here and here.