January 31, 2007
This pic from the always brilliant Shake Well Before Use caused me to eject an embarrassing snot rocket at my desk, such was the failed attempt to avoid a snigger while a client team was being escorted around my media centre.
I’ve been meaning to mention Ariel’s blog for a while, so her recent example of this Chinglish disaster has provided me with the dubious opportunity to be salacious by supplementing her post with one of my favourite b3ta photoshopped pics, below.
“Art, advertising, sex + technology” nicely sums up the content of her blog. She attacks her subjects from unexpected angles and often delivers a sting in a manner that makes me acutely envious.
January 30, 2007
This little ad from Publicis Johannesburg for the Renault Clio is remarkable, especially if one were to compare it with the brand’s UK advertising (with its classy French vibe). The stand-out line in this spot has to be “I once learned how to play ze piano with my cock”.
I’m trying to work out whether this morose hermit has been stuck out in the wilderness too long and is hallucinating, or whether he just happens to be tired of swimming in hot totty. I’d plump for the latter, as excessive boobage is a pretty standard convention in Eastern European spirits advertising, especially for vodka.
The sad old git is complaining, for heaven’s sake, but (assuming that Romanian macho culture is similar to that of Russia) one thing that probably didn’t occur to the agency or the client is that Grizzly Adams here just might be gay.
Ha! I’d just love to have seen those smiling little red Romanian faces if this guy had been surrounded by naked men. There’d be thousands of enraged cabbage farmers charging towards the spires of Bucharest in their tractors, brandishing their pitchforks.
Mind you, I’d certainly be very happy if stuck in a wintery hut with these ice maidens, along with a large crate of Kreskova Vodka, lots of straw, some bananas, my crayons and giraffe porn. Blimey, it’d be like working at Channel Four.
I suppose it is an achievement for an ad to be simultaneously downbeat and smutty, something for which Romanian agency Papaya Advertising was awarded a Silver Drum at last year’s Europe-friendly Golden Drum Awards.
More vodka smut:
Spunky Russian vodka advertising
Vodka drinkers experience gay sex, tummy wipes and horses' heads
Russian vodka fantasy rips off Kill Bill
January 29, 2007
All the supermarkets seemed to be shooting their loads over Christmas - one food porn ad after another. Some, like those for pikey supermarket Asda, didn't ring true because if my local branch is anything to go by, its customers primarily regard the store as the ideal place to take their kids to shout at them. Must be the acoustics. As for the food, Asda shoppers are more interested in stuffing their fat faces with the cheapest possible scran.
No, food porn in advertising only works if the grocer is known for its quality. This is why I believe Marks & Spencer is the master of grub lust.
The genre has unsurprisingly spawned some terrific spoofs on YouTube, and I reckon this new one is the best ever example. It has just emerged on b3ta and has the filthiest voiceover you're ever likely to encounter.
Not safe for work
See also: M&S dish up drool-worthy dinners
January 26, 2007
There’s a firm in the USA, probably in California, that manufactures realistic sex dolls. They are so convincing that if a man owned one of these in the UK, he would be two years into his life sentence before the police realised that he wasn’t shagging a corpse.
The inevitable next step is to make these frightening bodies move and emit noises (other than squelching). So when logo meister Bill Green sent me this link I thought Ho Ho, I can see where this technology is going.
It would be fun to have a talking robotic chimp’s head scaring small children, cats and junior account executives, but after a while the novelty, from my point of view, would wear off.
I am convinced that this fake chimp is going to evolve into a dizzy blonde bimbo who will offer and provide blow jobs (funnily enough, my five year old daughter has an inert Barbie make-up head which is put to more innocent use, and doesn’t look half as sinister).
In fact, the fools who programmed the advertised toy obviously don’t realise that the screeches emitted from it are clearly Eastern Bonobo Chimp Dialect for "Hey Soldier Love You Long Time Ten Dollar".
January 25, 2007
There’s always one miserable git at every wedding and, metaphorically speaking, it’s usually me. I have contradictory tastes, which probably explains why I seem to be only one who found CHI’s BigSmall campaign for Toyota’s Yaris inane. Shoving two words with opposing meanings together must have seemed clever (Marketing magazine was gushing over this point last year), but I thought it was dull and I’m sure it’s not the first time the word-collision idea has surfaced.
I’m muchly taken by the Yaris’ new TV ad which I hope heralds the death of BigSmall. It’s not going to win many awards but January, being the dullest month of the year for decent ads, is slightly improved by this simple expression of spite. It was also the first ad this year to make the kids laugh.
January 24, 2007
I am so excited I want to wee: Life on Mars is returning! To the uninitiated, this is a BBC cop show where a streetwise policeman is hospitalised and, while in his coma, becomes trapped in the 1970s, long before the Thin Blue Line was transformed into today’s multi-coloured, twisted, politically-correct fluffy ribbon.
The Beeb announces the imminent arrival of series 2 with this sweet viral, made in the style of Camberwick Green.
I need to lie down.
Warning: this video contains extreme violence.
January 23, 2007
I can just about manage two foreign languages, which is pretty poor. French is OK if not spoken too fast and Greek works with me if I can see the accompanying windmilling hand gestures. After eight years, I'm just about getting to grips with Planning, but only when supplemented by otherwise incomprehensible charts on Powerpoint.
So it was with a sense of amused irony that I received this very funny filmlet from a planner at BBH. It's a breathless charge into the realms of gobbledygook using charts and graphs. And it's also completely meaningless.
Bravo to Clemens Kogler, the creator of this piece. His website biog describes him as "a student the University of industrial art and design in Linz, in the class of Ursula Hübner". Ursula, give this fellow a gold star.
Carlton Draught's wildly popular Big Ad was a piss-take of over ambitious production. It was also an inspiration, it appears. The noisy horde flirted and hit it off with Kylie Minogue's eye candy crowd from her Slow video.
From this Antipodean union did spring the following bastard children, which are currently on air.
Midwifed by BBH, and showing on UK telly we have the naked Vaseline crowd.
Nipping at its heels is Sanex's orgy-in-waiting from AMV UK.
Finally, because there's a joker in every family, is Publicis Mojo's big Drumstick crowd.
Doesn't she have her mother's eyes?
January 22, 2007
Holy shit, I've lost two stones in three weeks. Aaaah fuck, but if I stand like this on the scales, I've put on a stone. Poxy scales. How do I know where I stand with this weight loss malarkey? Yes, my coat is a little looser and the jeans a little baggier but I still feel like a fat bastard.
I don't mind admitting it, although I reserve the right to twat you one on the nose if you said it to my face. Nowadays, such behaviour would be acceptable.
You can tell I'm a bit annoyed this weekend. Last week one the neighbours' 20-odd cats pissed on my sons' football boots, which were left out overnight after both boys completed a weekend of training and matches. The younger of the two spent ten minutes running away from a basset hound that invaded the training pitch yesterday, unaware that the half-blind mutt thought that it was chasing a fucking moggie.
I've never hidden my utter detestation for people who adopt hordes of these feline parasites as pets.
In my grandfather's day I'd have gotten away with lynching the little buggers, but that's now bloody taboo. Too cruel. Yet it's OK to mass produce farm animals, pump them full of drugs and obesity enhancers so we can feed like fucking pigs and raise a generation of kids who'll die before their parents.
So, with the country going to the dogs, what has obsessed the nation this week?
Answer: three chav girls bullying an Indian housemate on Celebrity Big Brother.
To non-Brits, a brief explanation. Assuming you know the BB format, you may be aware that there is a celebrity version. This year, the house included Germaine Jackson and Dirk Benedict. But the talking point was Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty and three young women who proceeded to bully her.
The loudmouth is Jade Goody, famous for forging a career based on the stupidity displayed in her performance in a (non-celeb) Big Brother four years ago. Her two disciples are brunette Danielle Nobody (famous for being sacked from a beauty competition and for being the girlfriend of footballer Teddy Sheringham) and "blonde" Jo Uglyfuck (who used to be in a band).
Consider these two snippets:
After a week's worth of having the media gorge on the bullying and racism displayed by the gang of three, Jade was evicted on Friday to face the music:
(This one's 16 minutes long)
That clip'll give you a flavour of the media baying we've had to put up with. The noise got so loud that Carphone Warehouse pulled out of its BB sponsorship. So far, at least nine other companies have joined the queue to replace Carphone Warehouse.
Every Tom, Dickhead and Harry is condemning the bullying, racism etc.
At times like this, I seriously despise the numpty fuckwits around me. I'm talking about the fuckers who ring radio talkshows, the wankers who write letters to the papers, the columnists and media commentators. There were questions in Parliament, and even Gordon Brown (watch out America, here's the guy who'll be tickling Dubya's bollocks in the summer when Blair resigns) weighed in despite never watching the show.
Behind the words of every one of them, you can hear their breathlessness at having claimed the high moral ground and the telltale squeak as their buttocks tighten in liberal sanctimony.
So what's my problem? Am I sticking up for racism?
The answer's no.
My problem's with the way the public are scapegoating Jade Goody in what looks increasingly like a big media set-up. She's almost certainly ruined her "career". Jo is a has-been and has had her day anyway. Danielle is thick pramface Scouser who's going to lose the most. Apparently her boyfriend has already dumped her (Sheringham fronts an anti-racism campaign in football, and a third of his team-mates are black), and she'll never work again unless it's in porn flicks or serving fries.
As for their victim Shilpa, she's got it made. Her Bollywood career was waning, and last month nobody outside the Indian community knew of her. Now she's a household name. As well as being gorgeous, she took the abuse with the sort of dignity that's becoming difficult to find in Britain, and declared she held no grudges against Jade or the others.
Just watch. Jo and Danielle will be ripped apart when they're evicted. When it's Shilpa's turn, everyone will be gushing over their new darling.
The contestants will get what they deserve, but the hot-headed mob that watch this shit will be diminished. Meanwhile, Channel Four and Endemol (BB's makers) will be counting their stacks.
Incidentally, there's still a war on in Iraq.
January 19, 2007
January 18, 2007
Scamp asks whether ads should be happy, and reveals that he and his creative partner are servants of the dark side. They prefer their ads to be dark, weird, and melancholy
In keeping with this mood, the first ad (if you can classify it as one) that sprang to mind when reading Scamp's post is this public information film that haunted British telly in the early 1970's.
Imagine being small and enjoying Rainbow, and then this video plays during the break.
My reaction upon seeing this for the first time remains etched upon my memory.
I cried and shat my pants.
I have just learned how to spell it properly. The British spelling of diarrhoeia is illogical. I had to look the damned spelling up.
Thus I have derived a little more knowledge thanks to some vintage US advertising.
I'm going to need a good few hours to plough through some other examples of Giant magazine's "50 Greatest Commercials of the ’80s", but at some point I will, because there is something fascinating about the naked commercialism of US ads from this era.
January 17, 2007
From the Airfix box marked “Ads that make themselves, #34 – Bread” you get the following standard ingredients: Plinky plonk piano soundtrack. Soft female voiceover. Combine harvester. Wheat field.
Yep, very nice. And the wheatfield that just happens, from the air, to look like a slice of bread… cute. Even the munching kid’s head is shaped like a loaf, but maybe that’s not deliberate.
Half way through the ad, the honeyed female voice informs you that “Children often leave their crusts. But with Hovis Invisible Crust there’s nothing to leave. So none of the wholegrain goodness is wasted. Invisible Crust, from Hovis.”
Now just hang on a minute there… Being a dab hand in the kitchen (yes, sometimes I like to give my chef the day off) I’ve yet to crack the conundrum of baking bread without creating a crust. So I’m assuming that these Hovis loaves have their crusts removed at the factory. Unless of course the crusts are really invisible, but I think it unlikely that a bakery would be privy to the alien technology secrets of Area 51.
And if the crusts are removed at the factory, what happens to them?
None of the wholegrain goodness is wasted, claims Hovis.
Even though I have weightier matters on my mind, such as planning the monkey invasion, it’s the mystery of the wasted crusts that’s keeping me awake at night.
We must be told.
Agency: DDB London
January 16, 2007
In an ideal world, the dodgy viral video ought to be the desperate medium for smaller brands. You could forgive them their little bit of fun which, if the brand fits, would be willingly passed around the Bored At Work Network. The video two posts below is a good example.
Here we witness a brand that should know better. The Panasonic Viera should be taking on the Sony Bravia in the LCD vs plasma TV wars but instead you get a low-production, badly acted pair of men behaving badly. It's as if Panasonic bypassed their agency and threw a few hundred quid and a camera at the monkeys working in the mail room.
And the joke... let's just say you can see it coming a mile off.
This viral is supported by a website.
January 15, 2007
Microsoft must have been confused about the mental age of the retailers expected to sell its brand spanking new Windows 386. This circa 1988 promo video is a whacking 12 minutes long - far too much for the attention span of the 8 year-olds you'd think it was aimed at.
Maybe the production team gave up half-way through because, as the blurb accompanying this video on Google says, at the seven minute mark, "the production is taken over by crack-smoking monkeys".
I couldn't have put it better myself.
My Statcounter data suggests that about 30% of my regulars visit CMM News looking for smut. I've been a bit remiss of late, so here's a typically low-budget viral ad with pointless nudity. On second thoughts, maybe not so pointless, because you wouldn't expect a woman to have a bath with her clothes on.
Of course, the bathroom is an obvious setting for an ad from a chain of German diving stores.
January 12, 2007
Two weeks into the GI diet and I’m down six pounds.
Maybe I’m particularly sensitive (this being my first diet in about five years), but why do there appear to be more food porn ads around now than there were a month ago? It seems like the food advertisers are desperate to cause the failure of millions of new year resolutions.
Take this beauty from McDonald’s. It’s a full page spread in most of the papers.
I veer between diet-induced disgust at the image of all that sugar and saturated fat, and a hankering to pig out and forget the boredom and chill of January. That’s why the term Comfort Food is so loaded with temptation and remorse.
The invisible copy screams “Oi fattie – fuck the diet. Eat me!”. When I’m a stone down, maybe I will.
Just the once.
January 11, 2007
Unrelated projects in my mighty media centre brought me into contact with two almost-forgotten classics from the same director. Hell, with the hundreds of ads I see every week, it’s easy to forget the jewels that were once plucked from long-decayed dung heaps.
It’s not unknown for agencies to get carried away to the point where an outstanding piece of work overwhelms the advertised brand. I’ll probably get slaughtered for saying this, but I think Sony Bravia "Balls" and Honda’s "Hate Something" are such examples.
My carefully-selected panel of ad numpties thought the former ad was for Hewlett-Packard and the latter for cleaner engines (but couldn’t remember the brand or association with diesel).
Here are two examples where the mix is just right, being creative and effective.
Michel Gondry’s 1997 inspirational cinema ad for Smirnoff. This ultra-cool ad pioneered the bullet-time technique seen in The Matrix.
(“Smarienberg”; Agency: Lowe)
One of several gems made by Gondry for Levi’s, this one’s from 1995.
(“Drugstore”; Agency: BBH)
I've stolen the reference to this website from the b3ta bulletin boards.
I simply can't beat the description from the guy who posted it: "Clothing for people who really hate their kids - And hope that the other kids at school beat the shit out of them."
January 10, 2007
Apparently, the NHS’s current anti-smoking campaign has drawn so many complaints that the ads are at risk of being banned. The ASA have received over 70 complaints since the first TV ad broke on New Year’s Day.
Complaints range from accusations that the campaign is "violent" and "distasteful" to claims that the images may be "harmful to young children" (source: Brand Republic).
I reckon that agency Miles Calraft Briginshaw Duffy’s campaign does a superb job of hammering home the point that cigarettes are addictive, which is a clever diversion from the usual “cigarettes kill” strategy.
The numpty fuckwits are more worried about the imagery in the ads than they are about people dying from smoking-related diseases.
Here's another of Adam Buxton's classy TV spoofs. This time, he's edited and voiced-over Richard & Judy's inane You Say We Pay game. To those unfamiliar with Richard & Judy, they are a married media couple much loved by the granny brigade. Somehow, Richard Madeley is perceived as a sex symbol. God knows why, because he is one of TV's most moronic presenters.
The future of British TV and the legendary A New Pope
Parents, you know you can just about coax your kids to go down the supermarket with you because they know they can pester some goodies into the trolley. But what about the furniture shop?
The selfish little rugrats will find that boring, won't they? Well, you can always pop out while they're at school and buy some of these. That'll teach the evil little sods.
January 09, 2007
Seldom do I experience shivers of cuteness (I’m immune to kittens and cuddly animals), but, darn it, I have just felt a wee tremor up my hairy back. The unlikely source is US behemoth General Electric, who commissioned BBDO to create a series of limited-release filmlets gradually breaking across the pond.
According to the New York Times, there are four shorts which were produced from 159 scripts submitted by 100 BBDO staff members, and not just those who work on the GE account.
I’ve just watched this one on AdCritic and, thankfully, some kind soul has already posted it on YouTube.
Enjoy this twee fable of a cunning samurai warrior and a dastardly emperor.
A few years ago I wanted to see how much of the internet can be reached by search engines. I researched this knowing that many people think they can find everything they need by googling on the web – in my opinion a mortal sin for anyone doing a competitor review or pre-pitch background research.
This is what I came up with.
Of the internet pie, the googleverse – the internet reachable via the most popular search engines – is represented by the yellow area.
One of the terms used to described the red area is the Dark Web (woooooo). These are websites which the search engines can’t penetrate. Most of them will be subscription only sites. The web resources I buy for the agency account for roughly half of the red area. I’m not interested in the other half because they are way off-topic (e.g. porn).
In fact, only a sliver of the yellow area will really be relevant. Think of all the crap that’s on the internet and the bit of the googleverse that might ever be useful to you will probably add up to less than 1% of the entire web.
Anything relating to the internet’s structure gets dated very quickly, so late last year I briefly looked at this again, but realised it would take weeks to revise it. At a best guess, I’d say that the yellow area has increased slightly. Blogs and social networks have taken off big time. However, there’s a lot of duplication and redundancy (people giving up with their blogs, for example), and there’s been a huge increase in subscription-only online data.
I’m speaking in the most general of terms, but my point is that no matter who you are, if you’re meeting a third party upon whom you depend (or aim to) for revenues, be it on a one-on-one or in a pitch situation, it pays to have the right information. Google alone won’t deliver it.
January 08, 2007
There are only a small number of things that make me feel clammy, spine-chilling horror: clowns, assembly instructions from IKEA, evil kittens, the sky falling on my head, and lifelike baby dolls.
You never know when you’re going to encounter the first four in the newspapers, but on Sundays, the latter terror is a near-certainty.
These things are the granny equivalent of the pickled Ripleys in Alien Resurrection. She may wear fluffy slippers and a housecoat, but if that old dear invites you in, watch what she puts in your cup of tea. And never, ever, accept a piece of Battenberg cake.
Looks like David Jason.
(See also Old ladies’ stuff - part 5)
The Hannah doll is particularly popular with paedophiles.
(See also: Old ladies’ stuff - part 5)
And evil kittens too!
January 05, 2007
Oooh they tell me that this is a visual puzzle. Yes, it's a floral black & white designer sofa. What do you mean: "Can you spot anything?" Is that a joke?
Fuck me, I can't see anything unusual there. No, just the sofa. It's a kinda cool design. Clean, even. Matches the minimalist surroundings.
Let's say that there was a risk of this expensive piece of furniture being ruined. Well, it would be stupid of me if, for example, I had a large animal in the room wouldn't it? A creature that might want to take a dump, release worms from its mangy arse, or tread dirt into the cushions.
Yeah, I'd be a moron to do that.
Get off my bleedin' chair
Are you sitting comfortably?
January 04, 2007
Having a teenage son means that I’ve watched his body language template change from Clumsy Puppy to Eminem. As soon as he hit 13 he suddenly acquired the Manchester monkey walk, hoodies and an over-developed texting thumb. One other thing I have become used to is the slang. A real cracker is the phrase “Butterface”, when applied to girls, i.e. “She’s got nice legs, but ‘er face…!” (accompanied by a disapproving look).
That’s the thing about teenagers and beauty. Their views of what make people attractive are usually uncompromising, even amongst those who deep down know that they themselves hit some of the branches of the Ugly Tree when the stork dropped them (not a problem with those carrying my mighty genes, I hasten to add).
Desperate youngsters during my own teenage years would be assured of finding love by ads from shagfest 18-30 holidays and from dating agencies. The latter tended to feature couples in soft-focus, flouncing around flowery fields.
I was therefore muchly taken by these weird new UK TV spots for Match.com. If the agency’s brief included a clause on blasting through the social stigma attached to online dating, then they’ve succeeded in spades. It’s the implied perversity of their customers, and their varying ages and ugliness that tickles me.
My infrequent forays into Second Life has led me to conclude that most people are liars when it comes to representing themselves online. The proportion of beautiful/exotic avatars to uglies is about 1,000:1 (mine being the 1), so I wonder if Match.com has compensated for this tendency to fib online. If these new ads are saying “no matter how much of a munter you are, there’s someone out there for you”, then they’ve hit the nail on the head (a sexual kink which, incidentally, landed a bunch of gay men in jail in the UK because they enjoyed nailing each other’s bollocks to planks, but I digress).
The net result of a successful matchmaking is the loss of two customers, so I imagine that a business like Match.com’s would rely heavily on continuous advertising to replenish its lists. I therefore hope that this campaign continues, especially virally, because what the world really needs is for its pervy munters to be happy.
Agency: Hanft Raboy and Partners (USA)
January 03, 2007
Last month I posted a story about Coca-Cola Argentina's shameless stealing of a video from cheeky b3ta regular Joel Veitch. As predicted, this story wouldn't lie, but I was surprised to see it pop up on Sky News at 6:15 this morning. I nearly fell off my exercise bike.
In discussing past copyright battles, the original Sky report mentioned something I didn't know, which was that The Verve get no royalties whatsoever from Bittersweet Symphony, surely their best-known song, following a successful lawsuit by the Rolling Stones who accused them of ripping off one of their tracks.
One to remember for the next pop trivia quiz...
If it were not for YouTube, the world would be deprived of the wonders of antique Eastern European advertising. Who could forget the horror of the Hungarian sausage? Here's something even scarier, from the evil synth soundtrack to the sinister paedophiliac-looking sailor and the chef gobbing onto a plate. It's pest control, Polish style.
Spotted on b3ta
Blimey, it's taking the world of advertising a while to wake up, and the papers tell us that many Britons aren't returning to work until next week, the lazy shysters.
Here's something off-topic that amused me over the holidays - Silent Star Wars.
January 02, 2007
Wee Karl, being 40 inches in height, couldn't give his 6-foot tall wife the standing-up shag she really liked. He overcame the problem by adding two springs to each foot and perfected what later became known as the Four Sprung Dwarf Technique.
Yes yes yes, very lame, but my mind has been turned to jelly after being bombarded with the unsurprisingly awful and predictable festive TV ads. First the foodie ads with snow, regurgitated and cryptic fragrances, too-stylish car spots and then the sales and the holidays.
Before I kick-start the year with the usual high-quality, ad-related stuff, I'm making public my New Year Resolutions.
In 2007, the Chimp Messiah shall:
1. Be more tolerant of people, except for religious maniacs.
2. Continue to avoid being sucked in by brain dead reality TV, except for Celebrity Big Brother.
3. Pick up the cat shit in my front garden before it decays and messes up my lawnmower.
4. Place the aforementioned feline defecation in a more strategic setting i.e. right on the neighbours' doorstep, because it is they who decided to increase their cat quota to double figures in 2006, the fucking pikeys.
5. Stop to smell the roses, which are complex hybrid vegetation that have evolved over milliennia, and are not the result of divine Intelligent Design.
6. Attempt to get other bloggers to refer to CMM News as The Worst Ad Blog In The World.
7. Delegate more.
8. Begin the God Is Great Diet aka the GIg Diet (I'll eat what I please - if anyone tells me I'm fat then I'll tell them they're wrong before killing them).
9. Cease referring to the prima donna captain of my son's football team as The Fat Fucker.
10. Ignore 1-9 if they are not in a client's interest.
And to put the Bagged and tagged post to rest, the lie was #4. I do happen to be extremely poor with numbers, but have never had to see a doctor about it.