September 29, 2006

These Chinese bra ads are just so darned cryptic

What is it about lifts (or elevators if you aren't English) and bras? Here's another ad that joins boobage with efficient vertical building travel. Maybe there's something Freudian about lifts: the up-and-down movement, the opening and closing of the doors...

Client: H2O
Agency: TBWA

See also:
These Japanese bra ads are just so darned cryptic and
These Taiwanese bra ads are just so darned cryptic

Bugs Bunny wouldn't like it

A fairly innocent image from a poster... or is it?

See also: Extra anchovies please

Tags: Press / outdoor ads

September 28, 2006

Cotton wool publishing

There's a puzzling picture roll on MSNBC's Newsweek site, where the news magazine's current regional covers are on display. The Afghanistan carnage is the focus of the magazine in Europe, Asia and Latin America, whereas the USA gets the biog of celeb photographer Annie Leibovitz.
I don't know whether international events are covered as comprehensively in the US edition (I find the European version a reasonably good read), but the curious choice of cover makes me wonder whether the editorial desk considers that Americans aren't as interested in the Afghanistan carnage, or whether they must simply be shielded from unpleasant subjects.
I also wonder how media manipulation is perceived in the US, especially in the week where Bill Clinton's incredible Fox interview hit the news over here.
Maybe I'm just reading too much into this.

Tags: Media; Politics

September 27, 2006

Auntie likes a tune

The BBC's TV ads for its radio stations are often good viewing. This recent one is perfectly pitched for BBC Radio 2, which is exactly where you'd find middle of the road music, AOR, and old rock tunes. I'm not so sure about the Sugababes appearing on the same platform as Elvis, though.

Historically, there is one BBC video that'll be hard to beat: this trail from 1997 with a multitude of celebs singing along to Lou Reed's Perfect Day (including the terrible irony of Michael Hutchence's line "You keep me hanging on"); it spawned a single that was used to support the BBC's annual telethon.

To those of you unfamiliar with the BBC, the text at the end refers to the compulsory fee that everyone in the UK with a TV (i.e. 99.9% of households) has to pay the corporation each year. The amount is set by the government, and the BBC also runs campaigns threatening Biblical woe upon anyone failing to pay up.

See also: BBC floating head fails to declare that the penis is evil

September 26, 2006


Nice work from Publicis Mojo, New Zealand, for Greenpeace, which gets its point across with simplicity. It’s an improvement on the aggressive UK viral released in early summer.

Via Shots

More cigar smut

Oh Lordy, it’s another Independence Cigars ad. Why don’t they just go for the obvious brand extension and start selling a vibrating range via Ann Summers?
I disapprove of this type of advertising, but feel it is my duty to bring it to your attention so that you can share my outrage.
The brand is owned by Arnold Andre, a major German manufacturer, which may explain the campaign’s lack of inhibition.

See also: All you willy need is a cigar

September 25, 2006

A girl’s No.7 trip

In the mid '80s, good old Auntie Beeb had the jolly wheeze of letting its resident creatives and production people loose with its resources so they could make their own videos to accompany old hits that predated the pop video era. Whether through typical BBC reticence, management interference, or being naturally shite, the end result was a risible series (hosted by Dave Lee Travis, which would have been a sufficient indicator of its inherent crapness) called the Golden Oldie Picture Show. A variety of pop and rock numbers were illustrated by videos which literally interpreted every damn song.
Kung Fu Fighting? Let’s do a film of people kung fu fighting.
Waterloo Sunset? Let’s have the sun setting over Waterloo Bridge.
Sunny Afternoon?... you get the picture.
High street retailer Boots’ classy No.7 cosmetics range gets the Golden Oldie treatment from agency Mother. Here, a young woman scrambles from one ill-fitting boudoir to the next, until she happens upon the No.7 room, which fits perfectly, ending with the tagline Find Your Perfect Match (boom boom!).
The imagery is Alice In Wonderland, the young woman being of an age when the words “Eat Me” would indicate a successful conclusion to her night out. What’s the soundtrack? It’s White Rabbit, which was written and composed when Jefferson Airplane’s lead singer Grace Slick was on an LSD trip and listening to Miles Davis.
I didn’t much like the ad at first (I’m hardly its target audience, after all), thinking the soundtrack too obvious. But maybe Mother are being mischievous – maybe they’re hinting that, sod it, a woman can enjoy herself even if it means knocking back a few happy pills. It beats the “wear this and have a sophisticated slow motion shag” euphemisms of your typical classy fragrance ad.

In the interests of research, I dispatched a brace of scantily clad monkeygirls to find a typical ad numpty, and ask her opinion:

"It’s for cosmetics you say? Think of all the White Rabbits they tortured! And then they sing about it! I’m going to complain."

September 22, 2006

Extra anchovies please

Spotted in New Zealand.

Tags: Press / outdoor advertising

Channel 4's moment of sweary glory

I was surprised to find this, a very popular viral ad from around four years ago which was rapidly withdrawn from its host site at the height of its glory.
British TV’s Channel 4 has been running this series of celebity idents for several years. The idea of having talking heads responding to an unheard question has provided some entertaining moments, but none so utterly gleeful as this parade of British and American celebs letting rip in finest Anglo Saxon.
The ident went viral for a few weeks, but was only broadcast on Channel 4's satellite movie channels (and was therefore missed by the ad monitoring companies, hence its rarity).
Possibly not safe for work

Tags: Poo, vomit & weewee; Media; Viral

September 21, 2006

Pot Noodle takes on the sheep

You've got to hand it to Mother, the agency behind this Pot Noodle campaign. They set the bar high with the first ad in the Noodle Miners saga, which was so good that it encouraged the usual backlash from ad numpties claiming anti-Welsh xenophobia.
Well, they're going to have a field day with the latest one, which throws a sheep into the mix (an essential ingredient in any piss-take of Wales, bless 'em). The ad's utter nonsense of course, and superb.

In the interests of research, I dispatched a brace of scantily clad monkeygirls to find a typical ad numpty, and ask his opinion:

"It's a disgrace. People will take this as an excuse to drag sheep down mines. I'm going to complain."

September 20, 2006

Warning: unsophisticated ad numpties at large

Last month I declared a grudging respect for this bling-glorifying ad from Dolce & Gabbana and Motorola. At the time, I didn’t consider the possibility that some people would take offence at the ad.
Once again I have underestimated the stupidity of the great British public because, yes, 160 numpties have wailed that the ad “condoned knife-related violence and glamorised sexual violence.”
Brand Republic reports that As well as being condemned for condoning knife-related violence, and particularly glamorising sexual violence, the ad was also accused of being "offensive and irresponsible".
The ASA rejected the complaints.
Without going too deep into the psychological frailties of unsophisticated ad numpties, one would assume that they are making several intellectual (in the loosest definition of the word) leaps between the imagery in the ad, and a trigger for mentally challenged individuals to aquire a sharp object and slash the face of the nearest stylish camp-looking middle-aged male passerby.
I have therefore recruited a passing ad numpty to provide an opinion on the following selection of press ads that have recently featured on CMM News:

Harvey Nichols
Will encourage small boys to mutilate moths and staple them to Action Man bodies. Possibility of electrocution of little sisters when same naughty boys plug Barbie into the mains.

Toyota RAV4
Dogs will be inspired to drive off in cars; may result in ram-raids on toy shops.

Don’t these people know there’s a drought on?

Tags: Morons; Press / outdoor ads; Violence

September 19, 2006

Form an orderly queue, gentlemen

This is the sort of ad that works for me. It speaks directly to the old git side of my ageing mojo.
Lager is a boys’ drink, alcopops taste like liquid snot, and the big American beer brands are insipid cat piss. Bitters and ales are the thing – nearly every brand has a distinctive taste, they don’t bloat (meaning you can drink more) and you’re more likely to find unusual guest brands in pubs. Yes, the urge to go out and buy those carpet slippers is getting stronger.
But if you see me with a pack of Werther’s Originals, then please shoot me.

Click to enlarge

Client: Greene King - Abbot Ale
Agency: WFCA Integrated

Tags: FMCG; Press / outdoor ads

All you willy need is a cigar

Boing Boing points to a Flickr set of vintage tobacco ads, but neglects to point out the subset of naughtier images used to sell cigarettes and cigars. The difference between the two types of product is noticeable: the cigarette women are generally dressed and invite the male smoker to attempt a seduction; the cigar girls are generally naked and are up for a no-nonsense shag.
As if to prove my rather shaky point (that cigars are sexier, being of more plausible dimensions), here’s a classic German ad for Independence Cigars.
Not safe for work

September 18, 2006

The monkey invasion is going to be easy

My move into advertising coincided with my rapid reappraisal of the intelligence of the great British public. I mean… do people really fall for this?
I’m not haranguing people in the ad business – there are as many bright sparks here as in other sectors – but the sheep-like trance of the unwashed hoi polloi, bedazzled and numbed by the sensory harrassment of marketing and media overload. But maybe I’m being too generous. Maybe people are simply stupid.
For example, Polkadotholes spotted a story from The Register about a guy stuck down a manhole, yelling for help, while people simply walked by as if this was nothing out of the ordinary. Mind you, this happened in Dorset which, despite having spectacular, beautiful scenery, has the most insular and unfriendliest population of numpties I’ve ever encountered in England. It’s even worse than Norfolk.
But what has set me off today is this ad from Sainsbury’s:

Supposedly, a man in a gorilla suit wasn’t spotted by shoppers. They were too intent upon their grocery rush to notice a 6-foot simian lurking amongst the shelves.
Sainsbury’s were being rather cheeky because the ad is a direct rip-off of a well-known academic experiment (by Dr Daniel Simons of the University of Illinois and Dr Daniel Levin of Vanderbilt University, seeing as you were about to ask), which apparently proves that it is possible to see something without actually observing it. In other words, something happens right in front of your eyes but you don’t notice it.
There’s an amusing video by Dr Simons. In it, students throw basketballs to each other. The tape was played to people who were asked to count the passes, many of whom fail to notice someone in a gorilla suit wandering across the scene.
My reading of the experiment, and of Sainsbury’s ad, is that if we’re too preoccupied with a task in hand, that we won’t notice the even the most ridiculous stimuli around us (including advertising, most of which we blank out anyway). This is very feasible, but it doesn’t account for sheer dumbness, and I wonder if there’s a correlation with low intelligence.
If there is, then the monkey invasion will be a breeze.

A good description of the study can be found in the Daily Telegraph but you may need to register first before the site will let you in.

September 15, 2006


As if to prove that it's not just Google who demonstrate moronic placements, scandal-hunters Holy Moly have unearthed a simply awful example of a radio show also getting it soooo wrong.
The news item relates to a well-covered story about a man who attempted suicide by jumping off a hotel balcony, taking his two children with him. Listen out for what follows.

Tags: Media; Morons; Violence

Women: men are only interested in your mind

To those of you fortunate enough not to be in the UK, the big political news story of the week is the fading power of our god-like Prime Minister who is (allegedly) being undermined by his Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Britain’s bestselling family newspaper, The Sun, continues with its tradition of featuring topless women on page 3.
The best bit is the little quote (“News in briefs”), supposedly by the model, that appears alongside. Yesterday’s gem:

Zoe was relieved that Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have finally ended their rift. She said “Hopefully they can get on with running the country and ending the bad blood. I think the whole bust up didn’t do them – or Labour – any favours.”
Over to a striking new press campaign for upmarket department store Harvey Nichols by agency DDB London.
What amuses me about these two items is that The Sun cheekily assumes that its unsophisticated male readers would bother to read model Zoe’s opinion when her assets are presented so prominently. On the other hand, any two blokes sophisticated enough to be fluttering in the same circles as a Harvey Nicks chick would obviously be so attracted to the shining light that is her mind. They must be Sun readers too.
And I didn’t even mention the word Tits once.

Two more Harvey Nichols ads from this campaign here and here.

Tags: Media; Naughty bits; Outdoor / press ads; Sex

September 14, 2006

Let's all laugh at the fat bloke

I’m in a shitty mood today, having finished two big pre-pitch projects which would normally have me happy. It’s my pissy deputy Dave who kicked things off. He declared that people like me who don’t refill the kettle after using it are demonstrating that they have fascist tendencies, whereas he always fills it to the brim after using it, the sanctimonious little socialist. As I pointed out, his altruistic habit is wasting energy and every time he brews up his tea he’s killing another cute Japanese water monkey, the butterfly effect probably making it boil in its own piss.
In the wake of this argument, one of my underlings played this ad on one of my command centre screens, causing much merriment to all except me.
This is the follow-up to Carlton Draught’s Big Ad. I can see how someone in a happy frame of mind might chuckle at this: fat blokes dancing are straight out of the old comedy rule book. If the protagonist were a fat woman you’d have the squeaky-buttocked PC police swooping down faster than the school bully on a ginger child. It ain’t as innovative as its predecessor though, and Flashdance is ancient history.

Agency: George Patterson Y&R

Tags: Dave, FMCG, Spoof, TV ads

September 13, 2006

Torn from the pages of the Book of Life!

She's on her fifth Smirnoff Ice and is shagging the taxi driver behind the local chippie, since you ask. I call it Life Experience.
A few minutes Googling and skimming through imdb reveals that these unlikely film posters are the real deal, advertising social dramas that are meant to terrify audiences into locking up their daughters and padlocking their own genitalia. It's amazing the human race managed to procreate at all.

Tags: Evil; Press / outdoor advertising; Sex

When your car is wankered

Imagine how you’d feel if you returned to your car to discover that someone had spray-painted this onto its gleaming white surface... and then found it was simply a peel-off guerrilla campaign.
Personally, I’d be inclined to fire my chauffeur for letting some scally get close to my wheels. I also expect that most plebs would be too pissed off to pay attention to the marketing or, at worst, would make a mental note to avoid the service being sold.
But it is eye-catching; more examples of unwanted motor decoration can be seen on Invisible Red, a Portuguese-language (with some English translation) guerrilla marketing blog.

Tags: Ambient gorilla; Bigging-up; Online

September 12, 2006

Disney gets Banksied

I nearly emitted a tiny splurt of laughter-induced weewee when I read this story this morning. Our national treasure, Banksy, has been up to his tricks again, this time leaving a life-size replica of a Guantanamo Bay detainee at one of the Disneyland rides. That this happened in California is curious: do the red-hot US immigration authorites not know the identity of this art terrorist? I dearly hope he attempts to leave one of his subversive stencils on the walls of the White House.

Tags: Culture; Politics, Spoof

September 11, 2006

Nike did it. Lost it.

Back in May CMM News reported the ire of a tiddly London council which was mightily pissed off at Nike for ripping off Hackney council’s logo. Nike copied the original logo, including the name of Hackney, for a range of its sportswear. This was probably Nike’s attempt to associate itself with the salt o’ the earth working class types who like to kick a ball (and each other) around the mudflats of Hackney Marshes every Sunday.
Well gawd blimey, shake a leg me ol’ guvnor ‘cos it’s a fair cop (cue rolling London fog and policemen chasing cloaked villains over slippery cobbled roads): the plucky little flat-capped socialist republic of Hackney have won £300,000 in an out of court settlement with the mighty beast of globalisation. This sum won’t be a big deal to Nike, but to the poverty-stricken borough, this sum will be manna from heaven, buying lots of Cuban holidays for any sporty kids who can sing The Red Flag before kick-off.

Tags: Politics; Sponsorship / PR

These Taiwanese bra ads are just so darned cryptic

I couldn’t think of anything worth posting today, so I’m reaching for the folder marked Lowest Common Denominator. In Taiwan, there is a pert tit epidemic which is causing buttons to ping.

See also: These Japanese bra ads are just so darned cryptic

Tags: Naughty bits; TV ads

September 08, 2006

Still spurting up the charts

Beyond all expectations, CMM News has lolloped home at number 21 in BMA’s ranking of ad blogs, up from 22 in the previous chart. I really expected a slide out of the top 25 because let’s face it, if you want high-brow intelligent adspeak then you won’t get it here.
It’s with some humility (but not too much) that I rub shoulders with people such as the great and infinitely more cerebral Advergirl and Russell Davies.
So here’s a virtual tip of the glass to those of you who are addicted to your short daily squirt of simian advertising diarrhoea, and to the pervs who regularly type in naughty words in Google and land here (especially the anonymous person who typed in HUGE GIRTH WILLY and landed on my story about the Ikea dog).
Keep it up.

Tags: Ad industry; Online

September 07, 2006

Argos hit my cat!

Here's a bit of call centre fun... this audio file is currently doing the rounds. The scenario is rich with comic potential: Argos (huge British catalogue retailer) customer services, irate Northern chappie, and a cat.

Tags: Morons, Spoof, Violence

Just in case four blades weren’t enough

Pity the poor sods at AMV BBDO who have to deal with their client while maintaining straight faces. Here’s the new Gillette Fusion razor, with five blades. I can’t say that I’ve noticed any great difference between the shaves I have with 1, 2, 3 or even 4 blades.

Click image to enlarge

Gentlemen, do the Pepsi challenge: rub your shaved chin along your good lady’s inner thigh. If you are too stubbly then she rips your ears off. If you’re smooth, you get to sip from the furry cup. Now that would make a good ad.
You even get a choice between manual and battery-powered (dildo or vibrator, ma’am?). Next year’s model: The Gillette Priapicus, with six blades and built-in anal probe, for gullible arseholes everywhere.
See also: To run the world you’ll need one of these

Tags: FMCG, Press/outdoor ads

September 06, 2006

Cool? It’s a question of timing

I always thought that the Mercury music awards were supposed to be cutting-edge – a celebration of new, raw, breaking musical talent, but they have missed a trick and last night’s winner, The Arctic Monkeys, made a big mistake by turning up.
The Sheffield band’s rise to fame is well documented: a steady surge of interest amongst the teens fuelled by MySpace word of mouse and a healthy collection of mirror sites hosting mp3s of their live gigs.
The music is real shit on your shoes and punch in your face stuff – they have a passing resemblance to The Clash, but that’s not the point.
The Arctic Monkeys were a byword for cool in 2005. If you were over 25 and liked them last year, you too could be cool, so long as you didn’t talk about them. It was too late earlier this year when their first album was released: you had to be familiar with their tunes before the CD hit your player. And to get into the band now they’re Mercury winners well, you’re just too late.
This just shows up the Mercury judges for being past-it has-beens. They should have torn up the rule book and given the Monkeys the prize in 2005 before they had released their first album. Now that would have been cool.

Death warmed up

Here's Kate Moss, Britain's least sexy sex icon, rambling on about something or other for Agent Provocateur, whilst looking like a zombie. What a Babyshambles.
The first of four movies are available here.

Tags: Celebrities, Naughty bits, Viral

September 05, 2006

Let’s hound this evil mass-murdering satanist out of town

What the hell is wrong with people. No, what I mean is what the FUCK is wrong with people? Harken to this video with the most effective of ear-worm tunes to have appeared in an advert in recent memory.

There are worse ads out there. In fact, I don’t mind it at all and my weary troop of small-size chimplets back at the treehouse quite like it, and the cereal it promotes. But for some reason the most incredible hate campaign has been waged against the ad, or more specifically the rubbery lad who bounces his way through the song. There have been death threats, for heaven’s sake, and claims that there is an anti-semitic message hidden within.
Today’s Sun news rag takes up the story:
We tracked Sven to his Johannesburg hideaway after spoof clips of him became a big hit online. There were even rumours he killed himself because of abuse about the ad.
Surfers issued death threats against him after it first aired four months ago. One poster ranted: “He’s a revolting, despicable child, he deserves to die.” A lads’ magazine even printed a picture of the youngster with rifle-sight crosshairs on his forehead.
Some of the anti-“Frosties Kid” videos online are quite funny (this one I laughed at, guiltily) but taken together, make for a sinister whole.

Tags: Evil, FMCG, Morons, TV ads

September 04, 2006

Rape? You're having a laugh

We've laughed along to Saudi Arabia's jolly treatment of threatened domestic violence. Now it's the turn of those chuckle-worthy Thais who throw in false rape allegations in this piece of high comedy.

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi Bangkok
Advertiser: Syn Mun Kong Insurance

Goodbye you beauty

And so it's farewell forever to Steve Irwin, hero to daredevil kiddies and croc lovers, killed in a manner befitting his nature and lifestyle. His greatest moment came when he carried his baby into a croc enclosure during a wildlife demonstration, attracting the ire of safety freaks everywhere. I loved his "fuck off, I know what I'm doing" attitude. He was, after all, an expert on these creatures and I'm sure both his kids will be better rounded individuals than the majority of children whose risk-averse parents would rather keep their nippers safely indoors watching shit TV and murdering virtual opponents on their Playstations.

Image from b3ta (where else?)

Tags: Celebrities

September 01, 2006

A dog called Big Willy

Actually, that's not true, but how I hope this cheeky chappie has a name that reflects his mighty girth. This picture of an unfeasibly well-endowed hound was spotted in an Ikea catalogue, prompting speculation that there has been some tampering.
If you ask me, the pooch looks uncomfortable and is probably wishing he was hangin' with the bitches.

Tags: Naughty bits

Enjoy this spanking, then go to jail

Here's a risky ad for Dr Martens, supposedly made for MTV. To jaded eyes like mine, there's nothing particularly shocking about this. A man is strapped down to a table and various things involving feathers, spanking and a dominatrix, occurs. It's amusing to me, but maybe I'm a stinking pervert who needs locking up.

If you experienced an adverse reaction to this short film, then put yourself on the side of the perv-bashers behind the latest piece of badly-considered legislation in the UK, which could earn people up to 3 years in jail for "possessing violent internet porn".
The person behind this is the mother of a murder victim. The perpetrator was obsessed with the most extreme type of porn which would probably be beyond the pale for 99% of us.
The problem I have with this is that the two words "violent" and "porn" are extremely subjective and it is harmful to apply this to law. Supporters would argue that the law simply applies existing law to the internet. But the pervasive nature of censorship, when it carries the threat of lengthy jail terms, is such that it causes otherwise innocent people to modify behaviour when there is no need. It brings the invisible nanny into your home.
If you dabble in paedo porn then you deserve everything the law can throw at you, but if your tastes are restricted to anything that involves consenting adults, then this law means it would be dependent upon the whim of a jury whether you are a criminal or not.