Because it’s easier to open the valve on Twitter
Because I’ve been so damned busy
Because the anonymity thing is feeling just a tad jaded
The blog started by accident. I was playing around with different blog platforms, experimenting for the sake of the agency planning department, which wanted its own blog (still going strong on Typepad). I have no idea why I picked FishNChimps as a name. Maybe I had a takeaway the previous evening. I thought it would be fun to demo the blog with a few articles about the harmless subject of chimps in advertising. And then my spleen took over.
A big problem is finding something to say. It was easy enough most of the time. My job means that I regularly come across some interesting stuff, almost by accident. But then the middle ground of satirising stuff got stretched to, on one side regurgitating amusing links, and on the other pontificating on things that annoy (what the great George Parker would call piss ‘n vinegar).
I must say, it did damn well for a long time, even becoming for a very brief period the UK’s #1 advertising blog. This was partly thanks to some timely links from those huge, Star Wars Episode 6 Death Star-sized blog beasts AdRants, Copyranter and AdScam.
So, I’m killing this blog and starting afresh with a rebooted Blogger version of my shitty Wordpress blog. Wordpress is supposedly a good platform if you’re an html freak but not even I, with a passing competence in it, could tolerate its stupid restrictions. Blogger’s a bit simplistic, but very easy to customise. I do, after all, have other things to do with my time.
My brief for the newish blog is, very loosely, advertising (my industry) + science/scepticism (my interest) + researchy stuff (my job). There may occasionally be monkeys.
Let’s see how it goes.
August 24, 2009
June 29, 2009
Somebody's getting rich in this recession, and they probably look like this guy, smiling happily as a certain class of person flogs off the family gold. I say "a certain type", because if the following extraordinary ad is anything to go by, the target market is the plasma poor. This is the British tribe that thinks having a wad of cash and talking posh makes you posh, but as any fule kno, they are betrayed by the gold-standard of lower class chavdom: having a telly that's bigger than their front room.
Just watch this ad and weep, cos you'll be needing to cash in your gold to pay for the new screen that you've just smashed in exasperation. Christ, are these actors on acid?
June 26, 2009
June 25, 2009
June 21, 2009
This really is awful - surely the worst example of automated web advertising to date. The story is already in most of the newspaper websites - a young woman fatally shot by Iranian police. I'm not going to link to LiveLeak because they should be ashamed of hosting the video in this way.
June 19, 2009
Remember how Wispa fans got Cadbury to relaunch the nostalgic chocolate bar? It seems like this behaviour now has an added dimension as some consumers demanded a product that doesn't actually exist.
A Star Wars-themed blanket was knocked up as a one-off for a joke, promoted as a spoof, and created enough credulous demand to make the jokers consider selling it for real. Total capitalist nerdgasm.
June 18, 2009
Yeah, and I know I'm a genius too, so why do I need these space cadets to tell me I'm special? It's a tweely sinister ad from that business masquerading as a religion, but with severe mafia tendencies: Scientology.
June 17, 2009
"Today there are over 10,000 species of fish, which is far more diversity that all other land vertebrates. This diversity pattern can be explain by the notion that fish, being aquatic, survived the Great Flood, while many land vertebrates went extinct during this catastrophic event."
For more examples of stupidification, check out Fuckwitapedia
FACT! Religious War!
FACT! Chuck Norris!
FACT! The 19th Century!
June 14, 2009
June 12, 2009
June 11, 2009
June 08, 2009
On the day we learn that the BNP wins two seats in the Euro Parliament, a lovely quote (about American racism) from the Guardian's Gary Younge:
"We are all a product of our time and place. Born in the midst of a random variety of narratives over which we have no control, most of us spend our lives trying to write the best story we can with the material we have been given."
Tweet #fathitler and speed this disillusioned chump up the disapproval rankings.
June 05, 2009
June 04, 2009
June 02, 2009
May 25, 2009
May 22, 2009
My bonny fido working class sensibilities (lower class aristocracy, born in a barn etc), worn invisibly on my Primark-clad sleeve are being metaphorically burned Chinesely by a week of observations from the class war front line. We have the assorted oiks in the House of Commons caught red-handed with their hairy fists deep in the pockets of Joe Public in a shameless reach-around that coincides with the long-term effects of the eye-watering rear end shafting from the bankers. Less metaphorically, Irish Catholic priests have been exposed after decades perverting a US Marine motto by ensuring that No Boy’s Behind Is Left.
Yes, a bad week for the ruling and privileged classes.
To further offend your eyes with painfully poor metaphors, a couple of loosely-marketing-related class war stories have also thoroughly pissed me off. This time, the culprits are the squeaky-bottomed middle classes (thus described by the observation that those who are most sanctimonious are identifiable by the sucked-in lower lip and clenched buttock look – you really can’t swipe a credit card through the crack when they’re in full flow) who have been thrusting their angst-driven ethics down our throats in a manner that would have choked Linda Lovelace to death.
In one case, death is really on the cards as the effects of the anti-MMR vaccine campaign manifest themselves with a measles outbreak. Lest we forget, the UK experience is a mirror of a yummy-mummy campaign in the US led by Jenny McCarthy (see the body count on the right), always cheer-led by those with an innate distrust of science.
I’ve just looked on the TGI survey and observe that distrust of regular medicine, appreciation of alternative medicine (better described as alternative to medicine), and anti-GM sentiments are heavily correlated with the B and C1 sociodemographic. Yup, that just shows you what an education does when combined with an empty head.
So, what has four legs and a cunt halfway up its back? A Greenpeace campaigner on his high horse. Yes, it’s the Plant More Trees But Kill The Pesky Foreign Peasants group back again, this time railing against genetically modified rice.
Christ, just to shut these fuckers up, let’s kill GM right now. That way, we can ensure the Malthusian Economic Model is verified in the deaths of millions of Third World peasants. Shit, you wouldn’t want all that barren, pest-riddled land used to grow food that’ll make them darn foreigners have more babies, would you? And let’s waste more arable land to grow the less-reliable organic lentils that the Greenpissers sprinkle on their Bran Flakes.
Admittedly, this single ad does touch on the one weak point in the pro-GM argument, which is the control of the technology by the biotech firms. After all, you don’t want those friendly food brand logos replaced with biotech ones, eh? But, and it’s head-slap time here, isn’t the obvious solution to allow foreign governments (I’m speaking of those governments in developing world countries that get it in the neck from the Western anti-GM campaigners again) to introduce farmer-friendly legislation that’ll feed their own people with nutrient-rich GM? But no, that’s taboo, and the High Priests of Greenpeace would rather you give them your donations while you bend over and pray.
May 19, 2009
The cat's owner unearthed an old film of Fatso playing a keyboard - something that YouTube users have incorporated into hundreds of videos each of which appeal to our schadenfreude.
May 15, 2009
May 13, 2009
May 12, 2009
May 10, 2009
May 09, 2009
May 08, 2009
Well fuck off then
The Evening Standard hasn’t done anything wrong, so why apologise? Its campaign of "Sorry for being out of touch" "Sorry for being predictable" etc comes across as a smug attempt at fishing for complements at a time when the London newspaper is trying to decide its place in the world after being bought by a Russian spy.
It’s made worse by a new campaign from Marks & Spencer, who did do something wrong. M&S wanted to charge women more if they bought larger sized bras. There is a certain logic in covering the extra costs of applying more gravity-beating engineering and fabric to prevent those crowded balconies from toppling onto the pavement. But it still didn’t seem fair. There were protests. M&S relented and did the right thing. And it sounds right too.
**Edit** With brilliant comic timing the Evening Standard lands this apt headline story. Just goes to show: brands are happy enough to apologise, even when they've done nothing wrong. As for greedy money-grabbing venal politicians...
May 07, 2009
May 05, 2009
May 01, 2009
Oh no, here’s another case of oversensitive religious nuts squitting about some harmless advertising. You’d think.
Actually, rather bizarrely, I’m siding with the religious space cadets on this one (but only just).
The fuss is rather amusing: A complaint was made to the ASA about the above ad for Antonio Federici Gelato Italiano ice cream on the grounds that it was demeaning to people who have chosen a religious vocation. I don’t see why this grants anyone special dispensation from mockery when the advertising comedy dustbin is crammed with occupational stereotypes. Why does belief in a desert sky fairy make someone more prone to offence?
Naughty nuns and priests are part of the cultural landscape because, let’s face it, real nuns and real priests are as prone to real-life guilty arse-fuckery as are Welsh sheep farmers. It’s the church that calls its followers a flock, after all, which is possibly the most sinisterly subliminal message in choirboy history.
The Committee of Advertising Practice rules on religious offence state "…linking sex or sexualised images with religion may cause particular offence; for example, despite the tolerance towards the depiction of men and women of the church, portraying nuns in a sexual manner is inappropriate".
I love this quote from Antonio Federici's creative director which earns a mental head-slap:
"Neither the nun or priest are touching or kissing and we don't accept that this beautiful piece of photography could cause offence to anyone except possibly to a tiny minority who might have an acute sensitivity to such matters."
The quote is swiftly busted when you go to the brand’s website. Look at their gallery and find this piece of creative work which I suppose is still waiting to be published in a jizz mag. It’s hardly breaking any taboos as a quick glance at my, er, best friend’s cousin’s neighbour’s private DVD collection will tell you.
What would really be dangerously provocative would be the hint that the jolly priest is wearing a condom.
April 29, 2009
I need to excrete some piss 'n vinegar on the subject of this wretched flu thing that's getting the Daily Mail all excited. I wish someone would invent a flu that targeted those nazi bastards, but we've got to make do with some rather loose animal-themed branding. Which is why I want to direct a loud FUCK OFF to some twat in Israel who objects to the naming of Swine Flu. I knew someone was going to complain. By his book, offending a religion is unacceptable if the alternative is some casual racism. And never mind the poor fuckers who are dying from the illness. Fucking idiot.
April 27, 2009
This is the most unusual example of TV advertising I’ve seen in a long time. The wretched new YouTube headlining feature spoils the pleasant surprise caused by the convention-breaking characterisation within this Argentinian creation. Cynical and exploitative, possibly, but I can’t help liking it. Daily Mail readers would hate it.
April 18, 2009
Being 75% Greek, there aren't many current events that I get to crow about while wearing my ethnic bobbly shoes. 2004 was a good year (winning the UEFA European Football Championship and the Olympic Games coming home), but since then, nothing... until now, a third of the way through 2009, when something appeared on British telly that really made me proud.
(Skip forward one minute to avoid the preamble)
Clip from last week's Britain's Got Talent
April 17, 2009
As a child, I first saw Clement Freud on the telly selling dog food. That’s what I always identified him with until I heard him on Radio 4’s Just A Minute. RIP #1 Grumpy Old Man and owner of the most morose voice in Britain. He was also incredibly funny.
A Clement Freud joke:
A woman told her husband that if he ever came home drunk again then she would leave him. That night he went out to a pub, drank a lot and threw up all over himself.
“What am I going to do?” he asked his friend “If I turn up like this my wife’s going to leave me.”
“This is what you do”, said his friend, “Put a £20 note in your pocket and tell your wife that someone else threw up on you and gave you the money to dry clean your jacket.”
That night, as he came through the door he stopped his wife in mid-exclamation and said “No, no, somebody threw up over me and gave me £20 for the cleaning bill.”
She said “But why have you got two £20 notes in your hand?”
“Oh,” said the man, “The other one is from the man who shat in my pants.”
April 16, 2009
It's a type of advertising that should be labelled "take them out, put them on the table, and measure" - the car ad version of a pissing up the wall contest. Famously emulating that famous sequence of press ads from several years ago are Audi and BMW, once again.
Spotted on Ffffound
April 15, 2009
I love the daft ingenuity behind what can justifiably be called a word of mouth campaign. The BBC reports that Saudi citizens have fallen for a hoax that has seen old fashioned Singer sewing machines fly off the shelves.
These ancient machines are supposedly coated in a non-existent substance that has several unique properties, including one that would enable it to be used to make nuclear bombs.
If I ruled the world I’d put most of the bankers up against a wall and shoot them. Then I’d deal with world poverty, the AIDS epidemic, and global warming. You, Miss, I will give unlimited access to daytime TV, Facebook, chocolate, and the time to waste with your pointless friends.
April 13, 2009
Despite being responsible for one of the worst ads of 2008 (which still sometimes crops up on the telly), some of Specsavers' more recent ones have been weirdly good. 30-second TV ads are a good format for cheap visual gags if married to the right product. This one earned a belly laugh from that most critical viewer, Mrs Chimps.
April 09, 2009
If one were to be uncharitable, one would remind oneself that Halifax’s group HBOS incurred an £11 billion debt before being rescued by the government. If one were to be uncharitable, one would remind oneself of the job cuts incurred across the barely-functioning banking sector. If one were to be uncharitable, one would wonder why Halifax’s current batch of ads show an unfeasibly large crowd of Halifax employees focused on delivering a solitary five pound note into the sweaty hands of a bewildered customer.
April 07, 2009
Thoughtful chaps ought to be pleased that the perennial problem of picking pubic hairs out of their teeth is on the wane now that it’s socially acceptable for women to have their front gardens openly referred to in, of all places, TV advertising.
Wilkinson Sword Quattro for Women by JWT
April 05, 2009
Thankfully we in the UK have woken up to the evidence-free scaremongering of the MMR vaccine, despite the occasional air-brained hiccup from mouthy celebs playing the Mummy Card. Our media now realises that the vaccine is safe. We see the inevitable rise in the illnesses that MMR was meant to prevent as herd immunity is lost.
In the USA, Jenny McCarthy plays the Mummy, sorry, Mommy Card to the hilt. As she does so, children go unvaccinated and whatever emotive language she uses, nature resolutely ignores her and people die.
Life’s a bummer like that.
In Cloud Cuckoo Land, the baddies wear black hats and are always vanquished, fluffy bunnies frolic on green fields and children are never sick. This is where McCarthy spends her spare time.
Unfortunately Cloud Cuckoo Land rules do not apply to Planet Earth.
McCarthy is now peddling a new book and because she is An Angry Mom, she is soft-soaped by the media.
Here’s Time giving her the kid glove treatment.
Here’s a scientist’s view of the McCarthy campaign of destruction.
Here are the results of her handiwork.
April 03, 2009
April 02, 2009
March 31, 2009
An explanation for my huge international readership: David Cameron will most probably be our next Prime Minister. Think an even posher Tony Blair, but without the training.
"Who framed Roger Rabbit?"
"Who would win in a fight between a baboon and a badger?"
"In a hypothetical situation, if Gordon Brown was to average 90mph airborne when hit by a Morris Ital starting at junction 22 of the M6, and Nick Clegg was hit at 88mph from J2 of the M6 by a Austin Montego, at which junction of the M6 would:
a.) They meet, and --
b.) A chockie biscuit rise high over the Cadbury's factory?"
"Does he think there'll ever be a boy born that can swim as fast as a shark?"
"Could he deck a horse with one punch?"
"What does swan taste like?"
"What is the biggest leaf?"
Heard on the only funny bit of the Now Show
March 30, 2009
The mayor of Amity wanted to brush shark attacks under the carpet to protect the local tourist industry, whereas the mayor of Hakodate wants to highlight the impending invasion of alien squids who intend to bomb the shit out of the town. Throw in rampaging robots and you have the perfect tourism video. 'kin weird.
Found on Pharyngula
March 27, 2009
I’m not surprised by this new revelation from HR Magazine: 9 out of 10 CVs get binned in the first stage of the recruitment process.
It’s seriously annoying to see so many typos and poor grammar – mostly from twentysomethings with degrees. There really is no excuse: supposedly declining education standards is no reason to make no effort. Can mobile texting, LOL cats and user generated content be to blame? I really don’t care, so long as you can express yourself in writing without sounding like a moron.
I am now more inclined to employ someone who has English as a second language. These people often speak and write the language in a manner that puts my compatriots to shame. They are also more likely to understand the correct use of the word “like”.
If you have to recruit and are overwhelmed by CVs then I’d like to repeat some advice I gave a couple of years ago about the earliest stage of the process. It has never failed me:
Separate the CVs randomly into two roughly equal piles.
Shove pile #1 into the bin.
You wouldn’t want to hire anyone who’s unlucky, would you?
March 26, 2009
March 25, 2009
I found this gem of an article during some research into credit crunch behaviours. For some reason it amuses; I can't think why.
Hair cuts hit by the credit crisis
5 February 2009
Hairdressers have become the latest victims of the credit crunch - as more people cut their own locks.
Almost half of Liverpool men who were questioned admitted to cutting their own hair while 30% asked a friend to chop it for them.
The poll also revealed that 28% of Liverpudlians are letting their hair grow long to avoid pricey cuts.
Men aged between 35 and 44 were found most likely to cut their own hair, whereas men aged 16 to 24 prefer to grow their hair long.
Does this mean the return of the Keegan perm? Do gangs of Scouse geezer blokes congregate in each others' houses with their tinnies and scissors for a communal beer and grooming session? More research needed.
March 24, 2009
Look, I’m not going to apologise for not posting for a while because this is only a blog, and I’m not Stephen Fry. The trouble is that feeding this beast is a tough call when I don’t stumble across anything interesting (like this unexpected snap from Google Street View’s recent tour of London), or I’m just too damn busy to get riled up for a piss ‘n vinegar rant.
If you’re following my staggering progress on Twitter then you’ll know that today I am mostly amused by a chihuahua and a dwarf.
March 18, 2009
March 17, 2009
But this is published by the same high-quality stable that vomits out the Daily Star, Daily Express and various porno mags.
To those of you fortunate enough to avoid British tabloids, Jade Goody is a "reality TV star" dying from cancer.
**Edit: notice the issue number...**
March 16, 2009
Greenpeace piss me off. They’re as bad as a religion. Once a dogma is acquired, it is stuck to resolutely and evidence that contradicts that dogma is shouted down or ignored. These are the same luddites whose opposition to GM food would allow the world's poorest to starve because of evidence-free scaremongering.
No offence to Romania, but at least this shitty little campaign is restricted to that country.
What’s so bad about it?
How about saving the planet? The “radiation will mutate you” issue assumes that nuclear technology has remained stagnant for decades and, therefore, we daren’t use it.
There is a significant case to be made for reducing carbon emissions from fossil-fuelled power stations and switching to nuclear energy. These ads effectively kill that argument without even presenting minor details such as, for example, the facts.
The question of European Union intervention in the British economy has vexed me over recent days. I’m please that The Sun has seen fit to offer an expert opinion.