November 30, 2006

Find Jesus with your holy M&Ms

"M&Ms aren’t just for snacking anymore; they are part of an arsenal of prayer that is being wielded with ever increasing accuracy by the youngest among us. Following are a few ideas to help you and yours pray through a bag of M&Ms. Go ahead, shape the world with your prayer!"

Nothing I say could possibly express my feelings about this madness.

Spotted on b3ta

Push and pull, guaranteed

Chaps: need a quick energy rush? Left home without that important mutual pleasuring device? Forgot to resupply your post-coital nicotine injection system?
For those annoying times when opportunity knocks unexpectedly, those canny Swiss have thoughtfully provided The Guy In A Hurry's complete pulling kit in one easy location.
Take a closer look at this Swiss vending machine from Planning for Fun.

November 29, 2006

Fight! Fight! But not on Friday night

There's a big problem with this FCUK ad. It's not that it recollects the titillating TV ad that was a direct rip-off of a music video. Neither is it that the pugillistic females have too many clothes on. Nor is it the absence of sticky mud or cold water (wake up art director!).
No, the problem here is that this outdoor work can be seen plastered on the side of London's red double-decker buses.
As any regular traveller in London knows (or so I'm told, as I prefer to travel by private helicopter or chauffered Bentley) there are fewer more threatening places than our buses late on a Friday or Saturday night, especially when they're bound for the more dangerous outlying boroughs.
Some hot lesbian nookie would be just about acceptable to my conservative sensibilities, but I wouldn't want to be stuck on the night bus with a girl fight on the outside.
Not without my bodyguard. Especially in Peckham.

November 28, 2006

Coca-Cola, the elixir of life

I love the fact that this Flickr photo is titled "This Ad actually made me a bit angry!". I'd say this was a well-spotted faux pas from Boots whose look & feel better for less promotion is freely scattered throughout its shelves.
Of course, we all know what a marvellous healthy drink Coke is. It's good for your teeth, stomach, blood-sugar levels, dirty pennies and cleaning roads.
It's good enough to drink in large quantities, which is why I am baffled how some sad Russian woman managed to sue Coca-Cola after 5,000 litres of the stuff had passed through her kidneys over 5 years. Heartburn and insomnia? Surely not.

November 27, 2006

Anticipated Durex TV ad leaves one...

Chimp Messiah rule #43 for guys on the pull: avoid nicking other men's chat-up lines.
Chimp Messiah rule #11 for making ads about sex aids: unimaginative promotion of penis rings can make you look like a prick.
It started with a promise... excitement... anticipation... then the revelation and.... pffffft. This is the much-hyped ad from Durex that has just aired on British TV.

The gag (always a good response at the end of a first date - boom boom!) is quaint but the effort falls limp because it's been done before.
My feeling of deja vu when seeing this for the first time was confirmed by Brand Republic's revelation that Durex's vibrating penis ring is buzzing to the same tune as a similar product by rival Mates, whose viral ad has been flopping around the internet for months:

Stick this on your carrot, you sexy thing

Religion, when it's not the rightful worship of your Chimp Messiah, really bugs me. Or more specifically, organised religion really bugs me. Let people believe what they like, so long as it doesn't frighten the horses. My problem comes when religion promotes destruction and encourages ignorance. I therefore chuckled at the Flying Spaghetti Monster's challenge to the Creationists, and cheered when I first heard of its precursor, Russell's Teapot.
This week I cried an ironic "Hallelujah" at The Vatican's decision to review its viciously destructive doctrine against the use of condoms, which has so far condemned millions of people, especially in Africa, to death by AIDS (of the 2.8 million worldwide deaths by the disease in 2005, 2 million occurred in Africa).
I experienced mixed emotions when I saw these two viral (no pun intended) ads from a South African condom maker. If they are new, then their timing is uncanny.
Taken at face value they are sharp, funny and to the point. But also terribly, terribly sad.

November 24, 2006


So, nafness finds a new champion in James Bond as he's seen driving the distinctly middle class Ford Mondeo in Casino Royale. Daniel Craig may have revitalised the 007 franchise but its association with the least glamorous models in Ford's garage somewhat diminishes the Bond aura.
Here's one of several press ads and posters for Ford's Fiesta Zetec with the ubiquitous Bond imagery. As Campaign magazine has pointed out, the ads include an elementary spelling mistake ("Licenced") which agency Ogilvy sheepishly claims is deliberate.
Ford occupies the middle ground in the UK car market, by virtue of being the most popular manufacturer, and its consumers having the most average demographic profiles.
The world of Bond is special. It's a fantasy of dangerous luxury, occupied by eccentric tycoons and glamorous women. James Bond himself is supposed to have been educated at Fettes College, a place where a solid grounding in the basics of the English language would be expected.
Ford and Ogilvy have just made Bond a little less special and a bit more average.

November 23, 2006

Did he just say “Tosser”?

This is unusual. It’s what amounts to a public service announcement about the dangers of youngsters falling into debt. Very zzzzzz you might think but this has some curiousity value, not just because of the free use of one of my favourite terms of abuse, or because of the noble attempt to increase awareness of one of Britain’s fastest growing social and financial problems.

What makes this noteworthy is that this is a viral by the UK’s Conservative Party. There’s no Tory branding within, unless you visit the viral’s supporting site, where there’s a tiny copyright label.
I am puzzled as to how this viral campaign could succeed. The fact that it’s made by a political party would be regarded a turn-off, and yet it’s that association that gives it its premium curiosity value.
I’m no great admirer of the Tories (or of any of the major parties – it is I who should be in charge), but it would make a refreshing change if David Cameron’s new brand of fluffified capitalists managed to reach out to our disengaged and disinterested youth with this and forthcoming virals covering homelessness and racism.
As long as the kids don’t vote Tory, of course.
(Or maybe that’s too mean)

Click here for Guardian article and link to Quicktime version (may require registration).

Offensive terms OK on C4

Monday's Metro website carried this story about Channel 4's popular puzzle show Countdown. With the letters available on the board, both contestants spelled out this word (pictured).
That the contestants were told the word was offensive seemed to be enough to placate any sense of outrage that may have been felt by viewers, none of whom bothered to complain.
I'm the first to accuse this nation's plebs of numptyism whenever they take offence at seemingly innocuous advertising, but just for once it would have been good to see someone do the decent thing when complaining is really justified.
As for the gameshow, the terms were allowed because they're in the dictionary and the contestants picked up 7 points each. You can bet if the board had revealed the more robust Anglo Saxon words, then there would have been an almighty fuss. But if the words are racist, who cares? It says a lot about the demographic makeup of Countdown's audience.

via b3ta

November 22, 2006

Chop Chop

Yes, very lame, but this juxtaposition from today's Sun tickled me for about 2 seconds.

Dangerous and contagious

Holy rabid baboons - how times change. This gloomy public service announcement comes from a time when the USA was obsessed with alien invasion, communists and a terrible sickness of the mind called homosexuality.

November 21, 2006

Why British Airways is once, twice, three times wrong

A British Airways employee lost her fight to openly wear a cross necklace at work at Heathrow Airport. I am puzzled because there is a dichotomy between BA’s branding and its decision to stop this woman from openly wearing her crucifix.
BA’s argument was that the wearing of visible jewellery violated its uniform policy, yet it makes an exception for Sikh turbans and Muslim hijabs because they cannot be covered up.
Consider the logo on BA’s aircraft. The image heading this post is taken straight from the company’s front webpage, where you can see the stylised flutter of the Union Jack, aka the national flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
There are three Christian symbols on the flag: the crosses of Saint George, Saint Andrew and Saint Patrick.
BA is not a evangelical, crusading hyper-Christian organisation, but a business. Any business that uses the UK’s national symbol is referring to the Christian traditions of the country, and should have some sensitivity towards them. The BA flag is not just a logo – it is a national symbol. If it doesn’t like the flag, then pick a teapot, the V-sign, a plate of fish & chips, a raincloud or a pint of warm beer to represent its British origins.
If BA wants to stop this woman from covering up her cross, then it should cover up its logo too.

Tags: Culture; Politics

A whiff of conspiracy

The Metro, London's morning freesheet, carried an astonishing article about what might be a conspiracy by Big Tobacco to push smoking via YouTube. Here's a longer version of the story, which originates from Australia.

"Thousands of videos of sexy, smoking teens are appearing on the internet phenomenon YouTube, possibly being posted by tobacco manufacturers to recruit the next generation of smokers."

The phrase "dark marketing", as used within the article, elicits a shiver of intrigue at the possibility of such techniques being employed by the evil lords of the weed.
I was sceptical, until I YouTubed "smoking" and saw some of the videos emerging on the first page. Here is an example which, before I read the story, might have dismissed as a drab fetish film, but in the context of the claims from Sydney University it acquires a more disturbing quality. Note the unusual clarity of the film, and the pearl necklace.

It's worth pointing out that this is just one video amongst many. There may be nothing especially sinister about this particular video, but the existence of so many similar ones is certainly noteworthy.
There's an ironic footnote to the linked story:
Philip Morris, the maker of Marlboro, will ask the film industry to refrain from showing its brands in any future films, in ads to run in the industry magazines Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.

Sainsbury's heaven

There must be a story behind this image from The Marketing Blog. Sainsbury's or Milton Keynes hell? If you ever stumble into MK, then be sure to check out its sole attraction: concrete cows.

November 20, 2006

Clucking hell

This is about as off-topic as you can get, and I've desperately been trying to find an excuse or a suitable analogy to justify linking to this very short clip. Unfortunately, I can't, other than saying it's a prime example of the sort of fabulous nonsense that can be found on my favourite waste of time, the b3ta bulletin boards.
The clip is on a loop, and is best watched several times over to understand my warped sense of humour.

A cerebral interest in exercise vids

Eeegads my back is killing me. I know I have to lose weight, but there's not much point in trying until after Christmas. Swinging on my tyre and flinging poo doesn't really burn calories. So, with my 2007 health plan in mind, I decided to do a bit of research and have hit upon some good exercise videos.
I think you will find these promotional films as interesting as I did. I think I can just about see the benefit of being at peace with the world by taking up yoga. If that doesn't prove adequate, then these exercises as demonstrated by colourful athletes are another option.
These trailers relate to what are euphemistically called "Party Videos" and are from the Stuff4Dudes site.
Warning: these videos just happen to contain semi-naked babes and gratuitous close-up shots, but that's not why they are interesting. No, honestly.

Tags: Naughty bits; Viral

Don't drop the soap, sweetheart

Sweden is not a country normally associated with humour. She's given us ABBA, IKEA and Sven Goran Eriksson, all things that sensible Englishmen will regard with varying degrees of horror. Only once did a Swede make me laugh, and that was out of sympathy because it was one of the worst jokes I've ever heard (Why did the baker have smelly hands? Because he kneaded a poo).
Equally disassociated from humour is insurance, but there have been a steady supply of genuinely funny insurance ads from around the world. Here's a nice example, from Swedish insurer Länsförsäkringar, a name which just rolls of the tongue.

November 17, 2006

What every little girl needs at Christmas

It's unbelievable what they're selling to kids these days. This is either very subliminal or I suffer from a very warped mind.

Spotted on b3ta

Tags: Online

More Japanese weirdness

When a YouTube film is marked with the warning "This video may contain content that is inappropriate for some users, as flagged by YouTube's user community", one is led to think Wahey! Pr0n!
This mightily peculiar Japanese ad has nothing remotely rude (unless the strange raccoon-like creature is really sporting a pair of gigantic gonads), but there is something inexplicably disturbing about it. Perhaps those viewers who have flagged this video are sensitive to the allegories that have been attached to the Little Red Riding Hood myth.

Tags: TV ads

November 16, 2006

More than one Elvis connection

Over to the Hammersmith Palais last night for the annual pop quiz run by NABS, the ad industry’s charity. One of the more cryptic rounds was based on this astounding video from the late ‘80s, worth watching for the fun of celeb-spotting and the outside chance that you’d be confronted with it should you ever attend a pop quiz.

Try and identify all the members of the band. Answers here.

Tags: Ad industry; Celebrities

November 15, 2006

Brand 9/11

Hate this… no, it’s clever… sick… effective… My Anglo-Saxon conditioning is behind my confused reaction to this ad by Leo Burnett Paris for France’s VSD news magazine.
Our sensitivity to exploitation of 9/11 can’t be as great as it is in the US, but even here any media discussion of the event is still treated with sensitivity and deference.
A fortnight ago, we were scoffing at complaints that Sony’s paint explosions were offensive – the new Bravia TV ad supposedly recollected the terrorist attacks. We’ve heard the same nonsense with anything that might depict dual monolithic structures (some people said this of the design of the Coke Zero cans).
VSD magazine uses unmistakable 9/11 imagery to sell itself. I was tempted to consider whether VSD were suggesting that the smouldering towers are now an icon, maybe even a New York brand, just like the Big Apple and the Statue of Liberty. That would make a good argument. However, the banality of the other two ads in the “Live the News” campaign (the other two ads show a lively football stadium, and a street riot) tells me that this isn’t the case.
Media groups in the UK - I recall campaigns by the BBC and Channel 4 in particular - have used images of Middle Eastern war to promote their programming (not trailers, but ads); the tens of thousands of deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan have been like experiencing the death of a thousand cuts - there’s no single clear image that sums up the horror of what is happening there.
Unlike 9/11.

Tags: Media; Press / outdoor ads; Politics; Violence

November 14, 2006

Officially Britain's scariest ever ad

You've got to be careful at weekends if you're watching British telly. If you stray onto one of Channel 4's incessant "100 greatest..." programmes, you can find yourself beguiled into losing a good three hours of your life. Such is the allure of list TV, something that rival channel Five has recently got into as well.
The beguiling of the innocent was the theme of this, one of my most favourite ads, for Bacardi Martini's Metz alcopop. It's a perfect 50-second horror story that (supposedly) frightened the bejesus out of many a numpty, prompting complaints.
This video is Channel 4's extended piece on the making of the ad.
Such a shame the drink itself tasted awful.

Click here to see the uninterrupted ad.

Agency: HHCL

Tags: TV ads

Digging Australia

I know, I know. Very bad taste. But to me Outback = local nutters in pickup trucks knocking off foreign backpackers.

November 13, 2006

Old Khaki's kinky tricks

We much likey these naughty ads for South African clothing label Old Khaki. Using sex to sell otherwise unremarkable clothing is hardly news, but what's particularly alluring about these ads is the amusing kinkiness on display.
It includes another example of referencing man-milk (see Making a splash), as well as (ironically for South Africa) black-on-white police brutality, Ostrich humping (a new one on me; what's wrong with giraffes?, unless this is a local allegory for strangling the bishop), and a baffling fish-spanking.
Whatever floats your boat, I suppose.

Agency: Fox P2 Advertising

picnicked from Scary Ideas

A bunch of bankers

The difference between God and Bono is that God doesn't wander around Dublin thinking he's Bono. Somehow the holy spirit of the leather Irishman has infected a couple of Bank of America employees who... well, the result is too cringeworthy to describe. Ugh.

Tags: Online

November 10, 2006

Are you sitting comfortably?

Whilst watching the excellent second series of Planet Earth I happened to glance at my old aunt when I thought, dammit, there’s a rip in the sofa. Thankfully I realised she was wearing crotchless panties, so at least I won’t have to fork out a few grand on a new suite, like this very posh Natuzzi number. This range costs over £2,000, but the question I have is: if I paid that much for a new leather sofa, would I let a freakin’ dog sit on it?

November 09, 2006

A simple introduction to Web 2.0

Although I occasionally find some of its political opinions infuriating, I have a lot of respect for The Guardian, the quality newspaper favoured by the UK’s upper-middle, skinny latte and pancetta class.
It has an enlightened attitude to online availability. At a recent conference, a speaker from the Guardian’s website explained that they are a favourite of bloggers because they keep their articles permanently online and (crucially) free.
In my opinion, the Guardian Unlimited is the best of all the the UK newspaper websites. It sometimes includes some fascinating video, like this 5-minute overview of Web 2.0 from its technology section.
In this film, founders of some of the big sites of the moment such as Wikipedia, Flickr and del.ici.ous (all sites I regularly use) discuss the second-generation internet. If you’re already familiar with the subject, then you probably won’t find any revelations here, but the film is a good intro to those who are confused by the plethora of new big web players and how they are changing the online world.

November 08, 2006

The copyright naughty step

Oh blast, blip.TV have sent me an email saying “Dear Mr. Chimps, your playlist has been deleted because it contains material that violates copyright, you thieving shyster.”
Something like that, anyway.
That’s a wretched inconvenience because blip provides much higher quality playback than YouTube and I’d stuck a dozen or so ads on there (some of them virals).
The question is, should TV/viral video ads be treated the same way as TV clips and copied music? Arguably, the latter examples are a commodity and have an inherent value.
On the other hand, ads that are being watched (even outside a media planner’s control) are still doing the advertisers’ and the agencies’ work for them. Am I undermining either party?
And if you’re going to stop video embedding, shouldn’t the same rules apply to all adverts (especially scanned press ads) that are reproduced in blogs?

Tags: Evil; TV ads

Bend over, big boy

This cracking blog post from China had me chortling over my lunch. A health-related outdoor ad in an un-named Chinese city was hastily pulled down when someone realised the model on the photo was a Japanese porn star.
Linked article includes (sadly pixellated) original photo.

Make the logo greyer

Click to enlarge
Inscrutable logic from the Daily Telegraph's City banker.

November 07, 2006

I have seen the face of evil and it is a Hungarian sausage

Holy Brezhnev's teeth! There are still some gems left on YouTube, despite Google's apocalyptic scything of lawyer-unfriendly content. Here's something that's vaguely reminiscent of the bizarre Soviet-era Estonian ads that were so popular on the web a year or so ago.
This remarkable video is promoting Hungarian sausages which appear to be a Satanic-looking mix of pigs' lips and diesel oil. Even more disturbing than the food are the maniacs (including mutant children who look like they didn't get onto Santa's list) munching along to a truly evil soundtrack.
Amazing. Frightening.

Tags: TV ads; Evil

Old ladies’ stuff part 7

Click to enlarge

This ad ran in most of last weekend's Sunday papers. What it isn't saying is:
  • It's getting close to Christmas.
  • Feeling guilty for not visiting your old ma?
  • Milkman not talking to her any more 'cos she smells of weewee and cabbage?
  • Want to assuage that guilt by enhancing her relationship with her moggie?
  • Be safe in the knowledge you can now get away with two visits a year!
  • She's not going anywhere anyway!
Mind you, while we're on the subject, there's a message I'd like to communicate to next door's cats: Stop shitting in my garden.

Click to enlarge

November 06, 2006

Farting and scratching is for blokes only

Both unpleasant and mildly amusing, this ad succeeds in fighting its way onto CMM News by virtue of its barely justifiable nudity.

JBS Underwear isn't a familiar name, so it will be interesting to see if the cheap smut viral approach will work for this brand. Considering that it's clearly aimed at young men, I'd imagine that the return on investment is just fine.

Tags: Naughty bits; Viral

Mr Snedker, hide your face in shame!

He's an IT superstar in Denmark, whatever that means, and probably a fast one-handed typist. Steven Snedker was interviewed by viking TV for a news piece about Russian download site allofmp3. It looks like an unremarkable bit of reportage, until you freeze the film at exactly 1 minute in and see what was on the reporter's download list.
Mr Snedker, you are a very naughty boy.

Spotted on Holy Moly

November 03, 2006

Uncle Guber’s knob

The Flintstones lighting up, Batman bumming Robin, and the Hooded Claw’s kinky S&M games with Penelope Pitstop. Even in the ‘60s and ‘70s childhood was a minefield of subtly corrupting influences and sexual innuendo.
Quaker (a symbol of sinless, earthy goodness), have put the Wick firmly in Camberwick Green and added another of my favourite children’s icons to the dustbin of iniquity. When this Oatso Simple porridge campaign was launched, we saw the cheeky Windy Miller at his rotary shag pad. Even then, I thought oh-oh, it won’t be long ‘til we see greater mischief.
And so it has come to pass. As reported in a few outraged British newspapers, the latest Oatso Simple TV ad gives us a little more than we expected. Windy’s “Uncle”, a Norwegian naturist, flashes his plasticine willy at the nation’s kids. As if we wouldn’t notice…
Children, give the milk a good stir.

November 02, 2006

The future of British TV

By 2012 Britain's analogue TV signal will be switched off. Everyone will supposedly be digital by then. This oppressive dictat by the government will be a slap in the face for the old and the poor. This being Britain, it's going to be a monumental cock-up because the apparently well-established reception of digital telly via roof aerials is very patchy, and will remain so.
I live in a well-populated area and can only receive half the available channels (nothing from the BBC gets through). I'm alright, Jack, because I have satellite TV, but there will still be tens of thousands who won't be able to afford this, or cable, but hey, that's not too many people and who gives a stuff for the wretched hoi-polloi?
Here's a cracking Public Service Announcement on the subject from one of my favourite YouTubers, Adam Buxton.
(Warning: use of fruity NSFW Anglo-Saxon)

Tags: Media; Spoof

Puckering up for (fake) TV ad

Blindfolded teenage chicks puckering up for hot kissing action, all in the name of advertising. What could possibly be wrong with that?

Via b3ta

November 01, 2006

Making a splash

Copyranter’s recent observation about the prevalence of ad babes seemingly splashed with man-milk prompts me to resurrect this gem from Australia.
Apparently model Sarah O’Hare is the focus of much lustful attention down under (maybe she meets the 4 vital criteria required to qualify for the Australian Ideal i.e. rich / gorgeous / sexual morals of an alley cat / owns a pub).
Her appearance in this ad for Bonds Underwear certainly wouldn’t have done her reputation any harm.

Aussie ad numpties’ complaints about the ad make amusing reading:
“My concern is with the word ‘bugger’ which I find offensive.” (This from an Australian?!?);
“I object to a woman wearing next to nothing prancing around the screen, then in a provocative manner removing her top to reveal her bra. She then drinks some milk, dribbles it down her chin and swears.” (As a feminist, I believe women have the right to undress provocatively, and to curse at minor domestic disasters); and
“It promotes the idea that women are sexual objects, and uses their bodies to sell a product.” (Er, this is an underwear ad…)
The Advertising Standards Bureau rejected the complaints.