June 30, 2006

Advertising needs a real male role model

Most of today’s papers carry Campaign’s story about the rise of male wimpdom in British advertising. To summarise, men in advertising are emasculated wimps and there’s far too much oestrogen in the admosphere. The Times’ article is as good as any other, and all the arguments are in there, which I see no point in repeating.
There is something I’d like to add to the debate, the principal issue being: how can advertisers create masculine role models that the average male consumer can aspire to?
Marlboro man may be macho, but he’s outdated (and dead), as would be any imagery involving men chomping on something meaty or chocolatey. Men can’t swig beer or drive manfully (it’s against the ad rules), and they certainly can’t show their knobs, even in rear profile despite full front and back nudity being de rigeur with the female form.
So what’s the answer? I rule out myself as role model for the simple reason that I am an impossible standard for men to aspire to. Women adore my hairy back, ability to fling poo and cross a room without touching the floor, as well as my mostly vegetarian diet (sometimes I eat cats). I can even pick my nose with my toes. And yet for some reason, the average urk ad watcher will laugh whenever chimps appear in ads.
Well, there is a human equivalent, and it’s the inspiring fellow in the title pic. My secretary ensures that my board meetings do not clash when he’s on the telly. LazyTown is the best programme on the box and advertisers should take note of the manly Sportacus, who has nothing but good points:

  • Sportacus is not afraid to wear a sock on his head.
  • Sportacus is not obsessed with cleanliness (he even wears the same clothes he’s had on all day when he goes to bed).
  • Sportacus can make rubbish disappear (watch him take one bite out of an apple and fling it over his shoulder into hyperspace).
  • Sportacus eats lots of fruit and is as acrobatic as a monkey.
  • Sportacus is adored by all the females in town.
OK, the last one is a bit dodgy because the main female character is pubescent, so maybe there ought to be a grown-up version where Sportacus paints the town red, knock’s up the mayor’s wife, and vomits over Robbie Rotten. Now that really would be worth seeing.

Footnote: Dave informs me that LazyTown is made in Iceland. This may go some way towards explaining yesterday’s survey

Tags: Advertising industry, Human behaviour, Surveys

Not everyone loves the little fishy

I gave the new Orange TV ad a bit of a pasting earlier this month and was then mortified to see it praised to the skies in Campaign magazine. Still, there's no accounting for taste. Now up pops this anti-ad viral. There's a bit too much vitriol on display for my liking, but I think the critic makes his sentiment very clear.

Tags: Spoof, TV ads, Viral

June 29, 2006

Happy as a Viking on a rampage

I’d like to know why Icelanders are so bleedin’ happy. You’d have thought constant exposure to poor sunlight, awful weather, Bjork and an exploding landscape would be fatally depressing. But no, Iceland is the happiest nation in the world, according to a new survey, surprisingly beating Australia into second place.
I suppose it’s the dearth of Icelanders around town that has caused my surprise. Maybe they really are a happy bunch.
Certainly every office and pub in England appears to have its own collection of mendicant Aussies, with their clear complexions, loud voices and a smirk like they’ve farted in a crowded lift and someone else got the blame.
It was funny seeing them upset about their World Cup exit though. And they call the English whingeing Poms!
Maybe this is why they’re so happy, if it’s a true reflection of an ordinary working man’s day:

June 28, 2006

Six letters spell obsession

Keeping a blog going can become an obsession (Who's reading it? Who's linking to it? Which postings are popular? What's my Technorati ranking?). However, I find that my number one concern is, rather oddly: What's my cloud (that collection of seemingly random words down the right, extracted from recent posts).
At the time of writing, this appears:
And I can't help but try to think of a coherent sentence that would use these six words.
I really, really need a holiday.

Obey the suit - again

Lutwyche, a relatively unknown London tailor, released a notorious viral a few years ago. Made by St. Luke's, there is now a sequel.
The odd thing is that I can't help thinking that the man in the suit is this chappie.

Tags: Viral

Evil wears a fur coat

All cuddly or benign-looking animals hide a sinister streak. Hamsters? Evil, bad-tempered little bastards. Remember The Rabbit of Caerbannog? Based on fact.
Watch the new Midnight Spank spots to better understand the dark forces that are gathering against you. This one is my favourite. Be warned.

Agency: BBDO New York. More spots here

Tags: TV ads

June 27, 2006

“I love a bit of cake me... cut it in half, that's half the calories! And as its half the calories you can have twice as much!”

The great Marjorie Dawes probably eats Maltesers, the light biscuity balls of chocolate marketed at women. Recent advertising has emphasised this lightness.
A look at the packet reveals that there are 22.9 grams of fat per 100g, or 485 calories. Doesn’t sound much? Wouldn’t eat a Mars bar then, eh? Well, a Mars bar weighs in at 17.7g per 100, or 455 calories. In other words, gram for gram, Maltesers are more fattening. You’re buying a bag of air with about a dozen Maltesers in it (in very much the same way that a bag of crisps is full of salty air and 20 slivers of fried potato), which is a very expensive way of counting calories.
It’s probably cheaper and more satisfying to eat half a Mars bar – it’s a more satisfying chew and has the added benefit of looking vaguely phallic (ref: Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull), although it is possible to have some rude fun with these little balls.
Why is it that most ads which try to push sugar-filled low-fat products, or anything with questionable health benefits, are aimed at women? Incidentally, it is socially acceptable for men to eat Maltesers, but only when they come in 2-litre cinema buckets.
Nice ad, though.

Agency: AMV BBDO. You may recognise Katherine Parkinson, from “The IT Crowd”.

Tags: FMCG, TV ads

10,10,10,10,10 and 10

I’m amazed at the fanfare that announces these surveys. The latest health & beauty blabber from the BBC informs us that “more than one in three women think the way women are portrayed in the media makes them feel overweight”.
Under the assumption that firstly, women want to look good to please themselves and secondly, to look good in the eyes of other men and women, then women truly are their own worst enemy. If women consider that those in beauty ads are so perfect, then isn’t their idea of feminine beauty so dreadfully boring?
To the watching male, the marble-skinned beanpole look is not necessarily the ideal beauty. For every man who ogles a Callista Flockhart there’ll be ten who prefer a Liz Hurley. Diana Dors was still a beauty when the scales tipped to the right.
The hetero male psyche is programmed to react to very simple stimuli, making it hard to separate an appreciation of feminine beauty from sexual preference. These preferences vary according to size and whether the male falls into one of the three broad groups (i.e. men whose preference is for legs, boobs or bum). The average male wouldn’t fret about freckles, doesn’t notice when his female colleague changes her hair (do you have dry, blowaway hair? He doesn’t care – he’s staring at your ladybumps), and would easily forgive the odd zit.
Each of the starlets showcased in beauty ads will have their fair share of male admirers, but pit Keira, Naomi, Kate et al against the Dove girls and I bet there are more men who’d prefer a crack at the jolly ones in white underwear.

Tags: Advertising industry, FMCG, Human behaviour, Press/outdoor ads, Sex, Surveys

Old ladies’ stuff - part 4

Dave's getting on in bear years - I'm always tripping over the rubbish he's ordering from the Sunday supplements. He'll be after the rotary nasal clippers next. Here's a little World Cup special that's caught his eye.
Click image to enlarge
More beautiful works of art can be seen here.

June 26, 2006

Czech your sheets before you get up

A yucky PSA from the burghers of Bratislava, where there must be a particularly bad dog turd problem.

Tags: Poo, vomit & wee-wee, TV ads, Viral

Poo to Yahoo

The Scampi viral I posted last week originally came to me in WMV format which, for some reason, couldn't be uploaded onto YouTube. After scrabbling around I found that Yahoo Video could host WMVs, but within a few hours of AdRants linking to the viral (embedded in Yahoo's format), the darn thing appeared to have crashed.
Fortunately, someone else YouTubed the viral and it's this version you see on CMM News now. Has anyone else had problems with Yahoo Video? Do you know of a hosting service that'll take WMV-format films?

This is advertising

Another Flickr gem.

Tags: Press/outdoor ads

Would you buy insurance off this man?

I read a few days ago that some deluded Scottish ladies had taken out insurance to cover the cost of raising baby Jesus should any of them conceive in a second immaculate conception. I wonder if it’s also possible to insure yourself against going to Hell after seeing underground posters for a campaign by Direct Line insurance. I’m sure this chap (image from a web banner) is Douglas Bradley, aka Pinhead from the Hellraiser movies. Click here to see Pinhead in action.

Tags: Press/outdoor ads

Russian vodka fantasy rips off Kill Bill

I have no idea whether this is real or a spoof, a TV ad or viral only. Whatever it is, it’s awful and sexist, and I see it as my duty to warn you about watching or making ads like this. Not safe for work.

Tags: FMCG, Sex, Viral

June 23, 2006

José, give us a kiss

An interesting coincidence occurs between two of my favourite blogs. Northern Planner and Hidden Persuader showcase different ads that feature Chelsea’s manager, José Mourinho.
The glum-looking fellow is one of the most entertaining football managers in the Premiership. He is arrogant, hyper-sensitive and quick to criticise other managers, which makes his press conferences such terrific fun. That his team virtually bought the Premiership championship by virtue of an open chequebook from its dodgy Russian billionaire owner has not endeared Chelsea to other fans. We are in the unique position of having an English team that is more hated than Manchester United. But that’s just my neutral opinion, ho hum.It’s no surprise then that a Mourinho endorsement should be criticised; a brand using him in the UK may risk a backlash from the fans of the 91 other clubs. This is why the ad from Marmite is so perfect - the Mourinho like/dislike factor fits the brand so well, and will further endear it to English consumers.However, Mourinho endorsements occur in international campaigns. This American Express ad ran in several countries, where he is more likely to represent success, sophistication and sexiness.

Tags: Advertising industry, Press/outdoor ads, TV ads

June 22, 2006

One in the neck for Simba

This new viral for Hyundai rings a loud bell. I haven’t seen this ad before, but it’s not the first that features rampaging African wildlife. There was this distinctive (and funnier) one from Canal+, and I remember something more recently with a rampaging hippo but for the life of me can’t remember what that one was for.

Tags: TV ads, Viral

Fish fingers

There is room for grossness in the viral world, and this grubby little video gets the tone about right. Clearly aimed at the sniggering party demographic (i.e. males aged 15-25), it works because it’s utterly plausible. Even the tagline, for a Scampi-flavoured snack, is perfect.

How to pick up women, 1970s style

Man drenches himself with pharmaceutical concoction. Women go wild. Sex probably occurs.
Sound familiar? This often-used plotline in the advertising for Lynx and Axe is nothing new. See how it was done three decades ago with this quaint TV ad for Hai Karate. It's not quite as explicit as its modern imitators although the obvious reference to oral sex and hand jobs might not get past the censor today.

June 21, 2006

Evil guerrilla trick

Here's a gross idea that's also simple and effective. You wouldn’t want to see one of these critters as you tuck into your breakfast. But they’re not real… They're little bug brochures slipped under your door while you weren’t looking. Yuk. More of these on Flickr.

Tags: Gorilla

International relations all ale and hearty - part 3

Spitfire Ale’s little World Cup cartoons continue, although some of the recent ones have slipped in quality. Here’s another good one (click to enlarge), playing on English distrust of the ubiquitous Franco-German stitch-up.
(Earlier examples from this campaign can be seen here and here).
The mood of these ads is nothing new. Witness this Dambusters-inspired TV ad from 1993 from Carling Black Label.

I wonder if advertising legislation forbidding advertisers from relating beer drinking to being cool or sexy will mean more of these brands associating themselves with mild xenophobia.

June 20, 2006


Easy things to criticise about this new ad for Nike, appearing in the press on the day of England’s final group B match in the World Cup tournament: mindful of the threat of hooliganism, it’s too aggressive; Wayne Rooney looks like a blood-soaked thug; the pose is possibly blasphemous…
But on the other hand, I’m surprised at myself for liking it. Rooney is an ugly little runt, but he’s more interesting than the pretty Beckham. He is more like the ordinary young bloke in the street.
Such a pose with the Cross of St. George would have been too provocative a few years ago, but Englishness is becoming aggressively fashionable. Saint George’s Day is starting to get noticed.
There’s a strong opinion that the mood is a backlash against the Scots, who will support any team except England (which is fair enough – football at club and national level has always been tribal).
It’s an interesting coincidence that the ad appears on the day that English unhappiness about Scottish political domination is reported. It may be hard to believe for anyone not connected with the UK, but the English feel hard done by; this Braveheart-style pic by agency Wieden & Kennedy just about catches the mood.
The curious bit is the familiar slogan: Just do… what? The answer might not appear on the football pitch.

How do you do, New York?

I don’t buy into the opinion that New York is especially rude (impatient and snappy possibly), a view which is supported by a Reader’s Digest survey of the world’s rudest cities. Paris, yes, but then again the French generally have been cultivating a certain strain of exquisitely artful incivility for centuries. But spare us from surveys bemoaning the rudeness of London. It’s always been that way.

June 19, 2006

Back to reality

This advertising lark is not rocket science, despite the techno jargon I hear being thrown around (mainly by strategic planners, bless 'em). Yes, a monkey could do it and I have it on good authority that the IPA has been suppressing a census that shows just how many agencies are run by chimpanzees.
I know of at least two media agencies with a hairy orang utan in charge, and the creative director of a rival ad agency does have a very red bottom, although whether this is a species characteristic or a symptom of his nocturnal behaviour remains open to question.
If you think I'm arseing around then spit out that banana in disbelief when you see the Spaniards advocating apes being given legal rights on a parity with humans (although I hope this doesn't mean you'll be seeing chimps being jailed for lobbing poo at policemen). Bloody hell, you'll be paying us next.
Thanks to the only website that really matters, Monkeywatch, for the story.

Tags: Ad industry, Bigging-up, Chimps, Human behaviour

More jolly logo japes in London

In an earlier post I mentioned how the cash-strapped London Borough of Hackney was understandably irate at Nike using exact copies of Hackney’s logo on Nike sports clothing.
There’s another nice little argument developing, but this time it’s not Nike being accused of a logo rip-off, but Hackney Council itself. Hackney’s new logo for the 2012 Olympics is being fiercely criticised by one of its residents, John Thornton, who is chairman of Disability Sport Hackney. The new logo bears a very close resemblance to the one used by the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (a registered charity).It’s not my place to comment on local politics (Thornton has much to say on Hackney’s apparently superficial support of sport and leisure for its proletariat), but judge for yourself on whether the logos look similar.
If the NRAS doesn’t have the cash to challenge Hackney in court, then my suggestion is that it should fire with fire and colour in its grey logo, trim it a bit, and try and jump onto Hackney’s Olympic bandwagon.

Ga rukken Budweiser

The PR disaster that is Budweiser’s sponsorship of the World Cup gets worse. As any fool knows, the Germans are serious about their beer, and being forced to drink the fermented rice concoction that is the US Budweiser (not to be confused with the real beer of the same name brewed by the Czechs) wouldn’t endear the brand to quaffing Teutons. The story is well covered elsewhere, but AdHurl has had the best slant on this story that I’ve seen so far.
If annoying the host nation weren’t enough, Budweiser’s reputation fell a couple more notches with the Dutch, the nation with the oddest dress sense in Western Europe (not helped by the garish orange which is their national football colour). Sympathy must therefore go to the poor Ivory Coast fans and neutrals having to witness 1,000 Dutch people standing in their skiddies, having been forced by Fifa officials to remove their trousers because they were branded with the logo of a Dutch beer. Poor old Bavaria beer is not an official sponsor, whereas Budweiser is.
One thing that many people in continental Europe will agree on: Budweiser is pants.

June 16, 2006

Fanny magnetism and an excuse to mention pussies

The Lynx / Axe ads have always been fun to watch. The ads work because there is an element of mockery in them. This South African spot (one of three – the others can be seen on Boards ) is faithful to the genre and takes a fresh approach.
No man could seriously believe that spraying himself with cheap deodorant will make him irresistible to women, and yet many seem to buy into it. The numbers back it up. Having recently dispatched my team of propeller-heads to look into this market, I found that nearly 70% of 15-19 year-old boys use Lynx. Just over half of all single men use it. It’s a pity the survey doesn’t ask if these fellas consider themselves successful with the opposite sex, because I reckon that any guy insecure enough to believe that you can buy fanny magnetism in a can is probably not confident enough to be successful with the girls.
The enemy of the single man appears to be the cat: pussies are owned by less than a quarter of single men. Face it, cats are not a macho pet.
Here is the ultimate nightmare of the single man (slightly NSFW).


I must be seriously deranged because the obvious often escapes me. Seeing this image on Flickr I thought this chap had spilled his Ribena.

Daddy, how do you spell “patronising”?

Further proof that society is dumbing down comes in the form of the Dad Pack, a government-funded scheme where A5-size cards containing advice on taking children to the playground and coping with a lack of sex after their baby's birth are handed out to new dads.
It strikes me that any man who needs this pack must lack an extended family, didn’t attend ante-natal classes, and clearly isn’t communicating with the mum-to-be. It’s a patronising piece of rubbish possibly born of the idea that there are too many deadbeat dads out there, who wouldn’t be inclined to read this in the first place.

June 15, 2006

Put a bell on it

There’s a new reality TV show planned in the US, and the stars are going to be cats. It’s said that the Devil has the best tunes and it’s true that evil can be very entertaining, so I can see some of the reasoning behind the idea. But what if you hate the little pests? If I were to watch cats willingly, it would be in the hope of witnessing some anti-feline action, courtesy of Mother Nature. When I hear the screeching tones of a cat fight after midnight I always leap to the nearest window in hope of seeing one of them being consumed by a fox.
Why Advertising Sucks recently had a long anti-cat rant, which is understandable if these creatures blight your life. Here’s my turn.
For seven years my substantial private estate has been free of cats until my nearest neighbours, a lazy bunch of workshy misfits (the only characteristics they share with felines) acquired a female cat which must have divided like a bacterium because seemingly within weeks there were at least a half-dozen of them murdering the wildlife and shitting under my bushes.
The unofficial agency cat, Mister Ajax, senses my hostility and likes to pretend he’s my pal. I’ve even found him quietly astride Dave, kneading holes and purring like a demon motorbike, like I’d be happy at this abuse of my best mate.
I can’t be horrid to him, because the girls here love him. I mean… for heaven’s sake, can’t they see these animals are evil? No, of course they can’t, and so many people are seduced by their big-eyed fluffiness and alpha tendencies.
Just look at these ads:

“You’d better not get in his way”. When he’s lapping up his expensive dinner, just remember, it’s the food he loves and not you.

And then there’s this sorry bunch. You’d think this were people food, it’s so darned nutricious and delicious. Mind you, that Sheba looks quite tempting (which is weird when you think about it: you’re supposed to find this food mouthwatering, yet you’re going to give it to your cat. It would probably be cheaper to go to the deli and buy some offcuts).

Gourmet… check out the sprig of garnish!

Go Cat, a good cock joke

Here’s Purdy, a wicked-looking bastard. I love the inherent threat here: feed me or the birds get it.

Go to Flickr and enter “cat” and “bird” and one thing you’ll notice about the photos is the “aaah, look how cute” tone of them, with the moggies murdering indigenous wildlife under titles like “Lunch” and “Pride”. Ha bloody ha. And their owners probably call themselves animal lovers.
Put bells on their collars, you eejits!

June 14, 2006

Taking a subtle approach to sex

One can imagine the temptation for the agency, when faced with the prospect of making an ad for a Durex sex lubricant, to go down the obvious, smutty path. So bravo to McCann Erickson Italia for choosing subtlety and humour, and for encouraging the viewers to engage their brains.

June 13, 2006

Mornings just got scary

Ye gads, when I saw this on Ad Critic I nearly ran and hid behind the sofa. This is the scariest ad I’ve seen for months. If the Brady Bunch mixed it with the Munchkins in an abandoned nuclear reactor, then this bunch of evil misfits would be the result. I’ve watched it a few times now and must admit it’s kind of growing on me, although if I behaved like these happy devils after drinking a cup of coffee (the brand’s Folgers, which we don’t get in the UK), I’d probably end up with a tranquiliser dart in my backside.
Non-subscribers to Ad Critic can watch the ad on Folgers' Tolerate Mornings site.
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

**Update** Thanks to Mike for finding another blogger who has some nice hi-res versions of this ad. Link to No Fat Clips

June 12, 2006

Club 18-30: a firm goodbye to all that hot & creamy innuendo

There are lots of better ad blogs than this. They are very good at keeping you up-to-date with latest campaigns (see my Ad Pr0n blogroll). Don't expect that from CMM News, which is pure self-indulgence and biased opinion. Hence my occasional feature of stuff that amuses me, even if it's old.
Here's something that has been cluttering up my drive for a long time. It's from a Club 18-30 outdoor campaign which won a hatful of awards and complaints for Saatchi & Saatchi in 2002 , in the days when the holiday company was all about smut and getting pissed and blow jobs while outraged locals shook their heads in disgust.
Club 18-30 has changed tack since then, selling sophistication instead of syphillis. Between you, me and the very erect gatepost, most holidaymakers booking with this firm will be very well aware of its heritage, and will expect the usual.
Click to engorge; more ads from this campaign here.

Hotel lays on the cheese

Two things I like reading are good quality giraffe porn, and romantic novels (especially if they have giraffes in them). Yes, I’m an old romantic at heart. And so you see me gently wiping a tear away from my hairy cheek whenever I see this superb hotel ad… it just makes me feel so slushy.
Dave should be handing me a tissue about now but he’s disappeared with my plastic bucket. Oh, it sounds like he’s being sick.

Client: Ibis Hotels; Agency: Fox Kalomaski

Call that a giraffe?

I was all a-flutter when I heard about the new “giraffe-like animal spotted”. Woah, a new object for my affections. But oh what a disappointment. Ugly little bugger. Looks like a horse wearing a tiger’s trousers. Call that a neck?

Survey collision: the oldies are taking over

I’ve been saying for ages that Generation X-ers will continue to be a powerful demographic even unto their dotage, despite old age being a decade or two away. Not only will they represent a powerful voting bloc, which will have major implications for future governments when they continue to fudge pensions, but they will be a major part of the workforce (especially in the UK, where literacy is falling). A report on BBC is already showing how today’s wrinklies are already in demand by employers.
But what about the youngsters? The proportion of young people in England who are not in education, training or work appears to have gone up. What are these whippersnappers doing with their time? They’re playing conkers.

June 09, 2006

Old ladies’ stuff - part 3

Bloody hell, just look at the crap they sell in the Sunday supplements these days.
The world's first official Christian was Emperor Constantine the Great. He held off baptism until it was time for his topless sex nuns to start warming up his deathbed. The principle was sound: the Lord loveth a sinner, so why not sin your life away and save repentance until the end?
Which is why I find this figurine so macabre. If you were long-term religious then your taste in iconography should be somewhat more refined. This looks like some old coffin-dodger's attempt to get friendly with The Man while waiting for the Grim Reaper to call.

For your own brush with divinity, email your credit card details to FishNChimps@Yahoo.co.uk and I'll send you a deluxe celebration paper chimp mask, signed by myself. Only £749.99

June 08, 2006

Nothing whatever to do with advertising

OK, this is I, the great chimp king and simian messiah, getting rather peeved. I have been flooded with a massive two emails from people suggesting I am, generally speaking, a Not Nice Person. Evidence against me included my admission that I pulled the arms off my teddy bear and that I have delusions of divinity.
I was going to prepare a long rant and prove, point-by-point, that this opinion is wrong. I decided against it, knowing that there was really only one way to prove how nice I am.
Here is a video of a kitten.

Odd little fella goes missing

The Play Monday lottery ads have disappeared from the telly. I, for one, haven’t seen one for nearly a week, but then that’s not surprising as the fledgling operation is in trouble. I guess too many people were distracted by the money-making potential of my superchimp pyramid scheme. You stand more chance of hitting big money with that than with some naff lottery.
There was the hope that success for Play Monday would provide a kick in the teeth for Camelot’s National Lottery, widely derided for becoming a government tart and withholder of cash to deserving causes.
It is a pity, ‘cos those ads were quaintly amusing. I featured the launch ad last month; here’s another one. Enjoy, as there may not be any more.

Nemo, you're gonna die

Shots showcases the new spot for Orange, the first ad by its new agency Marcel. It’s all lovely and floaty and mystical and metaphorical, but somehow lacking in soul. You don’t need special effects to be dreamy and clever (e.g. Sony Bravia’s bouncing balls), but when you’re an awkward old git like me, logic sometimes gets in the way of just enjoying the view: Is that a freshwater fish? You can’t put a marine fish in a glass bowl, can you? Is that the ocean? Won’t the fish die? Aren’t those lights just like the ones the aliens used in The Abyss? Is this an O2 ad?

June 07, 2006

“If you talk to God you’re religious. If God talks to you, you’re psychotic”

Put Bono and Messiah together in the same sentence and most would naturally picture a self-important leather-clad Irish rock god with a hotline to the Pope and an exclusive following of smug squeaky-bottomed Notting Hill-dwelling media types as disciples. This time, you’d be wrong, because his infinitely more talented namesake, Edward de Bono, father of lateral thinking and corporate guru, now adds Messiah to his CV.
I was astounded to hear him on the BBC promoting, of all things, his new religion, "H+". In a tone that somehow combined quiet conviction with amused embarrassment, he explained that he has developed a new faith which, he believed, was the first one that had a place for humour.
De Bono’s creation doesn’t sound like a religion – it’s more a set of codes that you could, I suppose, treat as a supplement to your own religion, if you have one. There’s no sin, just “poms”, which may sound odd to Anglophobe Australians. These are four small positive achievements that followers should aim for every day. The best bit is that if you fail to perform, then you pay a fine. To Mr. de Bono.
Quotation by Gregory House (Hugh Laurie)

Auto hell

Car dealership advertising in the USA appears to have some kind of cult status. We don’t see the type of advertising showcased by Copyranter (see Car Dealer Advertising Is A Gift From Satan) here in the UK, although Private Eye and Viz frequently take the piss out of what I’d call kitten-on-a-plate ads that frequent the Sunday papers.
There’s this old viral that I remember chuckling at years ago. I assumed it was a spoof, but after a 2-minute Google it appears that there really is a Big Bill’s car showroom in Maryland… could this really be genuine?

June 06, 2006

Old ladies’ stuff - part 2

One of the most viciously competitive environments known to mankind is the public library on the day a new romantic fiction title hits the shelves. It's an addiction that can hit women at any age, the younger of whom would be astonished at the aggressive determination of even the sweetest-looking octogenarian with Catherine Cookson in her sights.
We're familiar with the dirty old man stereotype, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Recent surveys have revealed how active the elderly are between the sheets. For those sadly without a partner, well, they have their fantasies.

Sell your family

This isn’t a new idea, but it’s simplicity and mischief is appealing. Sell Your Family is a site promoting a new book – Fat, Forty and Fired - by Nigel Marsh, CEO of Leo Burnett, Sydney, who found himself jobless. “Marsh makes a bold decision - to take a year off, embrace life outside the office and reconnect with his family”.
The site is a collaboration by Arc and Leo Burnett

Smell like Beckham

England striker Wayne Rooney, still recovering from his foot injury, was told he'd play in the World Cup if he had a cortisone injection. David Beckham wasn't pleased. "If that fat little bugger's gonna get a new car then I want one as well", he said.

Agency: JWT

June 05, 2006

Some light braincrunching

Bill Green has unearthed an infuriating 10-question nostalgia quiz based on showbiz fonts on his Make The Logo Bigger blog. It brought to mind this cute little 60-second TV spot from 2004 for the Observer magazine. Can you name the pixellated musicians and bands, from A-Z?
These minipops are the creation of Craig Robinson. You can catch more of his tiddly people on his Flip Flop Flyin' website.

Old ladies’ stuff - part 1

The mind of the cardigan-wearing old biddie is tough to fathom. Did you enjoy those plain Brazil nuts old Elsie offered you? Good – they were probably easier to chew since she sucked the chocolate off them. You look around her room, trying not to think about that slight chocolate taste in your mouth and see something. What, in the name of all that is holy, is THAT?!?

[Click image to enlarge]

Still no f*cking sex please, we’re British

There's one of those lovely Men vs Women debates going on at Why Advertising Sucks, which at least shows some passion, lucky old them. Meanwhile, things clearly aren't hot enough for most people in Britain, where nearly half of women have a lower sex drive than they would like, and 60% of whom think they are fat. I’m surprised that this figure is so low as I’ve yet to meet a woman who was happy with her body shape. Maybe having so many depressed women around is having an adverse effect on British men, 30% of whom have not had sex in the last 12 months. Maybe there’s another study somewhere showing that 30% of British men are ugly, but I haven’t found it (maybe they’re all in McDonald’s gorging on those extra large Big Macs).
What makes it worse is that most men in the US and Australia are sexually active, with Canadians being the most randy.
Trust the Aussies to come up with a solution. Research by the unfeasibly attractive (especially for a boffin) Dr Pearl Martin, pictured, has found that drinking caffeine makes people more open to persuasion. Here’s proof that inviting someone back for a coffee is more than just a cliché.

June 02, 2006

Traffic warden virals really hit the spot

Always bury traffic wardens in holes at least 50 feet deep because deep down they are really very nice people. Traffic wardens are the number one bugbear of anti-parking ticket website AppealNow whose latest batch of anti-parking-ticket virals are as good as last year’s brace (they won gold at Cannes Lions Live 2005 Awards).
The first two are chuckle-worthy (“Roll” and “Blindfold”) but the third spot has turned out to be true:
The London Evening Standard recently revealed how a motorist’s legally parked car (in a bay, with a permit on display) had been lifted off the road by a crane so that yellow lines could be painted beneath it. When the driver returned she found that she had been issued with two parking tickets.
This came a day after another incident where a man returned from holiday to find yellow lines had been painted around his car.
If AppealNow is really going to be this prescient, I await to hear the first case of traffic wardens kicking the crap out of drivers with amused trepidation.

And lo he doth poke her

These two clips are sent by the Viral Chart for Pokerroom.com. It seems that naff sex viral videos are par for the course for gambling websites, and this ad is no exception. The second one is a more welcome departure, featuring a Pythonesque duel with what appears to be a willy joke at the end, although the definition is rather poor.
I hope these ads do well; they are clearly aimed at the young male section of the Bored At Work Network, who are suckers at poker (especially when they logon after midnight having been on the sauce all evening). Oh yes, my darlings, come into my lair and bring your money with you. This cigar-chomping simian is waiting.

Beck's: the coolest ad on the telly

I doubt anyone ordering a bottle of Beck's will think "Hmmm... I fancy something young and cheeky made with barley, water, hops and yeast", but that's what this, probably the coolest ad on British telly at the moment, is trying to communicate. The next best thing about this spot? It's a beer ad that doesn't mention football. Music is by The Flaming Lips.

Agency: Leo Burnett

June 01, 2006

Music news

Filming has begun on the new Aphex Twin video.

I'm sorry. I know it's off topic, but those Glazer geezers... Unreal and scary. The MIBs must have a file on these guys.

Bigging up Twenty Four

Thanks to a post on the always fresh-looking Advergirl blog, I've just discovered Twenty-Four; it has the most comprehensive, and regularly updated, collection of new creative work that I've seen. Needless to say, it's going straight onto my prime AdPr0n links.

Icons of England's curious compromise

Branding England is not something that should be left to the government, especially as the country is run by Scotsmen. And yet a government department has tried, with its curious Icons of England site and is failing miserably. Naturally enough, opening the issue to the public has left the project vulnerable to hijacking, as is the case with the pro-foxhunting Countryside Alliance which successfully bombarded the poll with votes for this peculiar past-time, itself a long-time target of animal welfare protestors.
What’s even odder is the attempt by the Icons project at a messy compromise: it has decided to include foxhunting and the foxhunting ban as a joint icon.
Why so much time and effort is being expended upon these manky creatures totally escapes me, when English toffs could be more productive by taking out the real mass murderers of the countryside: moggies and squirrels. At least you can eat squirrels.

Google AdInSensitive

The subversive b3ta site carries the sad tale of a family death. The blog announcing this unfortunate event was blessed with a visit from Google’s AdSense, in the most insensitive way

KitKat captures linesman's moment

KitKat has enjoyed some brilliant advertising over the years, and its current campaign is no exception. This faultless TV mashup of the 1966 World Cup Final’s most controversial moment is hysterical.
Compare the ad to the original footage (Russian linesman incident occurs about 90 seconds into the film).
Agency: JWT

KitKat ad:

Original film:

Vlad the Impaler linked to Toys R Us scandal

Adjab carries the curious tale of Geoffrey the Giraffe, the Toys R Us mascot. The assumption that the creator of the store’s US ads was also the genius behind the mascot has been challenged; someone else created a giraffe puppet with the same name, but then again how many names can you think of beginning with a soft G?
It’s hardly likely that this issue will kick off a dispute similar to the Who Created Mr Blobby wrangle, although Dave has pointed out that this could get serious because Geoffrey has strong filial links with Winnie the Pooh: they share the same middle name.