December 23, 2008
December 22, 2008
December 21, 2008
December 19, 2008
December 17, 2008
This video has a desperately tenuous connection to the purpose of this blog, but I could stretch it by roping in the marketing machine behind Nigella and the fact that she's married to one of the giants of the British advertising industry.
That's the boring stuff out of the way - now enjoy England's poshest rose talking filthy like a fallen fishwife.
Sweet and creamy;
500th post: agency anecdote
December 15, 2008
So the landlord had just poured me another pint to help me celebrate my 18th birthday when I felt a tap on my elbow. Here was this stunning woman with mischief in her eyes. "Hello," she said, "my friends call me Carmen. That's because I like cars and men."
I shook her hand and replied "Pleased to meet you. My name's Charlie Beercunt".
December 13, 2008
December 12, 2008
For some reason I had the urge to watch a YouTube video I'd first seen over a year ago. The utterly astounding thing is that this innocuous event in two children's lives has now been viewed over 67 million - yes MILLION - times. That's equal to the population of the UK. Question: just how do you bottle this and get a client to pay for it?
The guy who made this is selling T-shirts based on the video, for heaven's sake!
See also: Politics and children don't mix
Blimey, you don’t see many of these any more.
This ad has been haunting the Sky channels for several weeks reminding me just how good Sky News really is. It’s for Russia Today, a satellite news channel which I checked out this morning to find 15 minutes of features about tractors and wood, all delivered in somebody’s idea of an American accent.
The astounding thing about this video is that it’s even bothering with the Butterfly Effect as a means of differentiating the channel from the mass of others available on satellite TV.
I mean, when do these rolling news channels ever have the inclination or the resources to pursue the origins of a topic to its convoluted and largely irrelevant source? Mind you, their wood story this morning was pretty detailed, and there was a peasant in it wearing some smart shoes, which was nice.
You wouldn’t see that on the BBC.
December 11, 2008
With high salaries, we have cordially invited for an extended series of matinées
KK and Jiamei as directors, who will personally lead jade-like girls in the spring of youth,
Beauties from the north who have a distinguished air of elegance and allure,
Young housewives having figures that will turn you on;
Their enchanting and coquettish performance will begin within the next few days.
Even so, that's kind of classy.
December 10, 2008
In advertising there’s smut and there’s smut, the difference being that when the message is delivered skilfully the fleshploitation becomes excusable. And then there’s the smut that you feel is just thrown in there because some sad old fart wants to justify sitting in a cloud of oestrogen.
There’s bound to be some kind of psychological description of that thing that happens when you’ve been caught doing something that’s slightly embarrassing and you try to mask it by exaggerating the infraction. A bit like a Tory MP caught with his trousers down on Clapham Common “Oh sorry officer, this knob? I was just examining it for ticks.”
And so to this questionable Danish (?) ad. Just why is there so much boobage? Why the awfully unimaginative soundtrack? Why does it have to run for nearly 3 minutes? And why does it remind me of that Boogie Pimps video?
Danish smut found on Illegal Advertising
December 09, 2008
I can’t help but laugh at the daftness of last week’s revelation that the frickin’ awful DFS ad – the one that kills any future enjoyment of Nickelback’s Rock Star – has CG’d oversized images of its furniture behind the Please Slap Me Now idiots miming before the camera.
Exactly what is it about furniture TV advertising that requires the genre to be the last word in naffness? With rival MFI Sale Now On finally closing down, maybe it’s time for DFS to corner the market. They could even make inroads into, say, plasma TVs, to give away as compensation for all those viewers driven so insane by its advertising that they’ve flung heavy objects at the screen.
See also: Bob Dylan will be spinning on his sofa
December 07, 2008
Wikipedia explains that the origin of the oath "Gordon Bennett" lies in the behaviour of a 19th century playboy of that name.
It therefore came as a pleasant surprise to read on the CV of a certain insurance website that in 1930 this company was "Founded by Gordon Bennett in Coventry and provided general insurance for customers". This is a prime example of life imitating art for Bennetts Insurance is the firm whose advertising gimmick is guaranteed to encourage the utterance of several oaths. Yes, this is the specialist in motorbike cover who generate videos of semi-undressed logo-clad girls spanking each other, jumping on bouncy castles and fighting it out with water pistols.
Maybe it says something about Britain's motorbiking demographic that they are targeted using Bennetts' cunning boob-rich marketing strategy, but it must work - the company claims over 200,000 UK customers.
Here are the company's icons in action once again in their latest viral. In the interests of road safety research, four of them compete to stay on a bucking bike. The bikinis and buckets of water add to the realism but damn it, why aren't they wearing helmets?
December 05, 2008
December 04, 2008
I’m still trying to figure how a serious RSS feed I’ve set up to include only stories about monkeys in advertising has managed to churn out this story from Australia: More than 130,000 inflatable breasts have been lost at sea. It’s something to do with free gifts for Ralph, an Aussie men’s magazine. If you see any news stories about rises in ocean oestrogen levels caused by untreated sewage, then be sceptical when you see dolphins wearing comedy tits.
December 03, 2008
This Nikon work from Euro RSCG Singapore is weirdly disturbing and shows a breathtaking lack of imagination.
The snapshot from Paedophile Towers gives me the willies, but not in a good way. OK to stare at if you are a teenager who should be revising for exams, but otherwise just too darn creepy. Why is there a boy hiding behind the curtains? Why aren’t these girls at school? If only Sony would come along and blow this place up with paint bombs. Now THAT would challenge Nikon’s facial recognition widget.
As if our own racial stereotyping of Indians dancing for industrially produced emetic sauces wasn’t bad enough, here’s something straight out of Tintin’s Guide To Spotting Dangerous Natives Of Indeterminate Race.
I’m surprised the hidden chaps from Indiana Jones’ central casting don’t have bones through their noses.
Pics from Coloribus
December 02, 2008
Muchee likee these smutty Bishops Finger ads by JWT (via AdsOfTheWorld), which are cleverer than the country wench work previously pimping the brand (Here's my finger; Pull my finger). It's a nice play on the brand name even if it does conjure disturbing images of priapic clergymen.
The connection between beer and slobbering over women will no doubt garner the usual gaggle of numptyist complaints. As recent big media stories have shown, the great British public, emasculated by a shitty economy and a genetic inability to protest properly (unlike the French, who aren't afraid to burn the odd sheep to get their point across), enjoy nothing more than writing angry letters or leaving irate voicemail messages. Christ, we're a scary bunch when we're riled.
December 01, 2008
Upon opening said container, colourfully-clad ethnic stereotypes will detect the interaction of liquid and air, even when on the other side of the planetary body. Said ethnics can usually be found dancing in front of a recognisable landmark. Observe here that ethnics facing left are in safe mode.
A typical accessory of the Standard White Housewife is the Useless Husband. His sole purpose is to stand beside spouse and annoy.
To some, this sight is appealing.
Some ethnic stereotypes are heavily associated with overcrowded trains. Do not allow this to deceive you. Our spies inform us of the existence of a stable matter transference unit that allows ethnic stereotypes to travel several thousand miles in an instant. These people are not to be trifled with.
Useless Husband can be utilised if in Carry Object Mode.
This is not a bowl of vomit.
Late detection of incursion is possible by observing the environment. Note red letterbox and black taxi.
Other clues might include taxi driver saying “cor blimey guvna”, red buses and cheerful chimney sweeps. The invasion force is near.
Useless Husband hears a noise. The Proximity Alert at the breeding unit’s domestic access point has been activated. This is the critical moment.
MAJOR FAILURE OF THE USELESS HUSBAND!
Ethnic Stereotypes have infiltrated the breeding unit’s territory!
Unprepared, the domestic breeding unit is surrounded by forces outnumbering them three to one!
Decency prevents the depiction of the resulting carnage.
The circle is complete. The four elements of the domestic breeding unit have been recycled.
More: First draft: Visa “Running Man”
Taking a cue from last week’s Charlie Brooker rant against advertising, here’s a prime example of an agency surfing the internet to use someone else’s ideas. Was artist Keith Loutit credited by RKCR/Y&R for their Landrover Discovery work? Whatever the answer, you can’t look at the ad and say “ooh that’s clever” and give the agency all the creative kudos.
Here’s an example of Loutit’s work.
Originally spotted on Boing Boing.
November 27, 2008
There was some research published recently that claimed 40% of young adults do not know how to cook a jacket potato. Considering that all you do is wash it and shove it in an oven, one’s Daily Mail Reflex is to assume that youngsters are just too stupid. I think it’s more plausible that nobody’s actually bothered to show them.
My 10 year-old didn’t know how to drive a car, but, after seeing a particularly harrowing episode of Dora the Explorer, he was so worried about how he’d survive a zombie apocalypse that I let him loose in our Hummer in Sainsbury’s carpark, as well as revealing that a brain shot is the only way to kill the undead. He also knows how to cook a potato. You see? Showing and doing is the only way to teach.
Presumably the same 40% of potatophobes won’t be buying anything from McCain’s spud range because they’d have the added burden of opening the bag. Health & Safety rules would forbid the formal teaching of scissor-use but, again, one’s Daily Mail Reflex leads one to assume that the aforementioned youths would just use a flick knife.
But seriously, I’ve long been intrigued by this brand. It really is a case of great advertising, shame about the product. Agency BMB have fun with the food porn genre in a way that trumps M&S. The recent Media Guardian piece about the campaign sums up my thoughts too: the ads work because, dammit, you know they’re bad for you but the copy makes you really want it.
The problem is that having tried the product, it’s fucking awful. The whole goose fat thing (no doubt inspired by Nigella) leaves one’s teeth coated in a residue that’s ickier than a waitress’s forehead at a bukkake party. Still, it’s the ingredient that would draw the shopper away from the infinitely cheaper raw loose spuds and onto the dinnerplate equivalent of a deep fried Mars bar.
It’ll be interesting to see how brands like McCain survive the recession. After all, lighter purses are the greatest spur to changing consumer behaviour. That 40% who can’t bake a spud? They’ll learn, because they have to.
M&S dish up drool-worthy dinners
At last, REAL food porn
Sweet and creamy
November 26, 2008
November 25, 2008
November 24, 2008
And while you are asleep we will send in tiny robot elephants to inject custard into your brains. You will be filled with a desire to spend your holidays sitting beside motorways, smiling happily at the thought of kittens. You will engage lorry drivers in pointlessly inane conversations before quietly murdering them to placate the purple fairies. In the evenings you will complain to the BBC.
Oatibix is served by WCRS. Bless.
November 22, 2008
It was one of those twelfth-pint quests for wisdom that, without warning, hit you before deciding to continue with the next drink. I wondered out loud why it is that the part of a woman between her hips and her breasts is called the waist. My muslim drinking pal informed me that it's because God could have easily fitted in another pair of tits there.
Speaking of which, here's an even worse joke about chest puppies: a naturapathic website charging clown money ($100+ a pop) for tit cream. I really can't understand why they'd need so many gratuitous demo videos (**Not Safe For Work**) which I've studied carefully and concluded that there's no difference between Before and After, other than with the viewer for whom it's probably quite difficult to remain sitting still.
November 20, 2008
Major Media Event Alert: Monty Python has launched its own YouTube channel. That's my excuse for posting my favourite Python movie clip here. It's one that the chimplets enjoy, sympathising with the agony of the Roman soldiers as they strain to hold back laughter. To them, it's just like those occasions when someone farts in school assembly.
November 19, 2008
November 18, 2008
Two current ads from British telly that are worrying.
We like to think that regulations keep our advertising clean from bunk and woo. I believe that consumers should be left in no doubt about what they’re being sold.
This first ad at least has the honesty to be open about the organisation behind it. Brits in general have a healthy scepticism about religious messages, so hopefully the vast majority will ignore it.
But it can’t be right to sell a scientifically unproven concept such as God in a TV ad.
You can hold a Mars bar. You can see the AA man fix your car. You can get that cheque from the insurance company. But what proof do you get that you’ve received divine service? And yes, it could be argued that it’s the church they’re selling, not the deity, but what would be the point in signing up unless you believed in a divine being? It’s like selling the sizzle without there being a sausage.
Take a really close look at this second ad.
At first, I thought it was a peculiarly-skewed tourist promotion. I can see the message being enticing to almost anyone (although I’m gratified that my teenager, upon seeing it on Sky News, scoffed and judged it “weird”). But when you visit the website, there’s the feeling that this is some kind of humanist, all-inclusive, officially-endorsed peace-promoting charity.
Dig around, and it turns out the the way to happiness follows an unexpected path.
Dishonest, or what?
November 16, 2008
November 12, 2008
Can you take the fear? Can you, really? Then prepare the brain bleach and don't blame me if this forces you to scoop out your eyes with a spoon. This... thing... it will haunt your dreams. For ever.
November 11, 2008
Regulars will know how much I enjoy Adam Buxton’s TV and radio work. He has carved himself out a niche online too, and has just posted this Obama-inspired masterpiece.
More Buxton brilliance:
Driven by dicks
Praise the toad
The future of British TV
Before BB turned nasty
Star Wars: A New Pope
Funny, but you’d think with the subject matter in hand that ads for lube and condoms would be a bit better than this. Maybe the Trojan Games were the high water mark and since then, all the fun has evaporated.
Or perhaps it’s a British thing, and we’d expect ads about sex to be funny. Instead, swap the products advertised herein for something more mundane, like shaving cream or a chocolate bar, and suddenly they would be quite amusing.
November 10, 2008
I have a white coat and have spent the last 15 minutes designing a certificate on Powerpoint. I am now a scientist so, yeah, fuck you Richard Dawkins. And, guess what? Just before I entered Giraffe Towers this morning, I happened to notice a red car with the first three registration letters RYX. Afterwards, I thought: what were the odds of me seeing a red car with the registration letters RYX at precisely 8:20 this morning? Fucking astronomic, that’s what. This proves I am psychic.
And now, to complete my day of awesome, I have seen proof that there is a god, and here it is.
Dear chimp worshippers: because a giraffe’s head doesn’t explode, there must be a god.
(Curious to see how long this video stays up until it dies of embarrassment…)
Part of the fun of being a parent is the joy of the many opportunities where one can confuse the shit out of the rugrats, knowing full well that they’ll grow up and find you out. For instance, Chimplet #1 believed for years that I was a retired Jedi and my spaceship was buried under my house. Other deliberate misconceptions enjoyed by the tribe are that my exercise bike could be easily transformed into a jet pack, that the Cretaceous extinction really came about because of the Fourth Awesome Dinosaur War (e.g. Velociraptors with plasma guns, Pterosaurs with miasma bombs, etc.), and my personal favourite because it is still believed by Chimplet #3, that little girls have to decide on their 10th birthday whether they want to remain humans or turn into a horse.
I reckon this Toyota ad by Publicis Mojo must have been made when the creatives were completely shit-faced, or they are still very young and under the influence of a Dad With An Overactive Imagination cos the scenario here, that cats go to clubs and have huge fuck-off kung-fu fights with weapons, is one that’s right out of my book.
November 07, 2008
November 06, 2008
I can’t be arsed to find the film clip that this ad is based on, because I want as little to do with wee Tom Cruise and his crazy space monkey friends as possible. Instead, I’d like you to appreciate the athleticism and convincing air guitarism displayed by this ugly skinny bird. And just look at that jolly nice furniture.
November 05, 2008
With 300 British and over 100,000 Iraqi deaths, don’t tell me that American politics doesn’t matter to us. The election result is the USA finding its halo again. Once on the side of the angels, many of its countrymen and women working on this side of the pond were aware that affection for their nation by the pesky people of Yurp was virtually non-existent. Obama’s win is like Darth Vader’s mask coming off. The end of the evil empire, I hope.
pic from b3ta
November 04, 2008
So we broke in through my own bedroom window and decided to strip on the way out of the room. Don’t ask about the logic, or my fucking huge Y-fronts, but wonder instead about the strange spell that my new carpet exerted on Mistress #14.
Just what is it about women and home furnishings? There must be something in the Shake ‘n Vac that turns their brains to custard. I mean, thirty quid a square foot and the daft cow dumps her bird-murdering beast on my brand new carpet.
Be a love and give it a good scrub and hoover. I'm off to the footie.
More proof that women and animals shouldn’t be allowed indoors:
Worship your furry overlords
Harveys' big offer
My furniture takes another caning
Those worms didn't come out of my arse, madam
Get off my bleedin' chair
Are you sitting comfortably?
November 03, 2008
There’s a vicious, petty streak that runs through the DNA of a certain type of Brit, and never was this more apparent than over the last week. Considering the state of the world, the media became strangely obsessed over an obscene phone call. Stupid? Kind of.
What I saw was a superb example of a brand completely understanding its consumers and manipulating them with masterful dexterity. I speak, of course, about the Daily Mail (and its Sunday sister). The Mail is at its best when fostering outrage, in this example seizing the moment a week after the actual event.
The Mail knows its readers aren’t interested in the strife that afflicts the world. Instead it bypassed the immediate financial worries that dog its readership and went straight for the heaviest hit: scapegoats.
Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand aren’t murderers, terrorists, US Republicans, paedophiles, or even worse, bankers. And yet over 10,000 complainants, none of whom listened to the show (which earned two complaints for swearing, not for the prank), stood up from their comfy sofas and, still in their glass houses, elected to throw stones.
October 28, 2008
October 27, 2008
When I am in pain, you do not hear me cry.
When I am happy, you do not hear me laugh.
When I am confused, you do not hear me sigh.
But if I started wanking on the bus, you’d bloody well notice me.
(Poem by Drew Peacock, 13).
October 24, 2008
Here's the DVD cover of a film which had about the same cultural and box office impact as a mouse fart in a tempest. Expelled is, apparently, an anti-evolution argument - a concept which does not compute. It's a bit like being anti-gravitist or anti-cloudist: rail against a scientifically robust concept on the grounds that it contradicts the teachings of your made-up Bronze Age desert sky ghost. Still, if there's money in it...
Upholding the intellectual credibility of this enterprise is this wonderful promotional strategy: have the morose "star" of the film, Ben Stein, award it four, er, stars.
October 22, 2008
The intro to this love letter to David Ogilvy says "Caution: the following video clip is an amateur effort. It was produced and edited by the staff of Bold Ogilvy Athens", as if the "amateur" bit excuses the toe-curling embarrassment of even watching this.
My fave bit: "You said many and beautiful things, but this one is the Lord of your rings..."
**Edit: For some inexplicable reason (e.g. being laughed at by most of the advertising world), this video has been pulled.**
Picked up via comments on Scamp
October 21, 2008
My new routine: bike (1 mile) – train (40 minutes) – bike (4 miles).
I’ve been leaving home earlier to cycle through London as the city wakes up. At this point, you’d expect a cue for a romantic description of God's favourite town, maybe something like: making my way through the chill London fog, I pass through Smithfield meat market as the cockney butchers set up their stalls with a cheery whistle and an “Oi oi guvnor, apples an’ pears chim chimminy me old mucker!”.
The reality ain’t so quaint.
Apart from the fact that I ride the most uncomfortable bike ever created – a folding piece of scrap with baby-small clown wheels – the mental exhaustion trumps the physical every time. I've noticed cute young women smiling at me, which is either because of a) awesome bloke bettering himself and the environment without a hint of vain self-consciousness, or b) trying not to laugh. There's a punchline which goes "Tony Soprano on a diddy bike". The joke that precedes it... it's most probably me.
And then there's the maniac van drivers, buses, and trying to indicate without falling off – they all contribute towards a long panic that only ends with a hot shower at the office.
There’s one tiny, perverse fragment of excitement: the grumpy old bastard that I always seem to encounter around Bloomsbury.
It all started when I jumped the lights.
It’s that split second between one set of lights going red, and your red light turning green. That’s when, if you’re on a bike, you try and sprint off before the taxi behind you tries to make babies with your rear tyre.
Several yards ahead, I braked as a chap in his 60s, with one of those red faces that always looks angry, was crossing the road with his raggety white terrier thing.
“Nuisance those red lights, aren’t they?” he said, almost cheerfully as I politely gave way.
“Er… yes?” was all I could manage, rather pathetically. Setting off, I heard him turn round and shout: “Prat!”. Even more pathetically, I sped off, wondering what his problem was.
Two days later, almost exactly the same scenario. Aha.
Stopping to let him cross, his response: “Wanker!”
Oh for fuck’s sake. Here’s me stopping to let this old fucker and his manky terrier cross, and I’m getting the verbals.
Gentle reader, you are aware that ignoring such remarks and taking them on the chin is the mature, correct means of dealing with this.
Unfortunately, this is me.
“You know your dog’s limping,” I said.
He turned. Yes, actually turned to check.
“Probably cos you’ve just fucked him up the arse!” I shouted as, pedalling off, his distant “Fucking wanker!” made me chuckle.
A day later. I don’t fucking believe it. Old fucker with dog. This time I’m waiting at the lights as he sees me. “Oi, you, you fat wanker on the bike! Why don’t you just fuck off!” Beside me, the driver of a black cab laughs and says to me: “Not letting him get away with that, are you?”
I’m genuinely pissed off now. “Know why I’m so fat?” I shout to the old fucker. “It’s cos every time I fuck your granddaughter she gives me a doughnut!”
Oh shit. Even though taxi driver is cracking up, the old fucker is screaming. “You cunt! You fucker! I’m going to make you eat a shit sandwich!”.
Lights change, I sprint off, relieved.
That was this morning.
Christ knows what tomorrow will bring.