February 28, 2007


Lynx advertising veers between the predictable and the bizarre. Thankfully, the latest spot from BBH is the latter.
Some of the more recent work for this brand has started to display a touch more maturity while keeping the joyful adolescent spirit alive. I just love this one.

See also: Fanny magnetism and an excuse to mention pussies

February 27, 2007

Methodology of a taurean stool analysis: Nokia

Made-up statistics show that 83% of all British women own an art gallery, the majority of whom display attitudes consistent with artistic and hedonistic inclinations. A cluster analysis also reveals a strong prevalence of delusional schizophrenia in two out of five of the groups that form the base.
Separate study of focus groups, their memberships based on the above findings, was carried out.
Strategic planners concluded that Nokia should pretend that they were selling perfume to idiots.

This is cool. No, really.

With Valentine's Day long gone, I can reveal my disappointment at not receiving any of the albums on my Amazon wishlist. I claim no responsibility for any ill effects you may experience should you decide to click on the link.

February 26, 2007

Greeks take on evil icons

These posters for a radio station are terrific. Subverting the images of tyrannical icons is nothing new, but amusement comes from the lampooning of these targets in the interests of capitalism.
My rusty Greek translates the tagline as "Music that isn't propaganda".



Pic spotted in Bristol (via Flickr)

February 23, 2007

Boisson! Boisson!

Easy to miss because of the touristy pic, but here's a nice juxtaposition of a drinking story from today's Metro against an ad extolling the virtues of one of Bruges' oldest drinking dens.

All hail The Scamp

Scamp's blog is pretty much compulsory reading for anyone following the UK ad scene - his Tuesday Tips are a terrific insight into what makes Creatives tick.
Seemingly a glutton for punishment, he's now picking up the baton originally held by the Beyond Madison Avenue blog: the compilation of the Ad Blog charts.
His first chart reveals that Scamp is the UK's no.1 blog by an ad Creative, which isn't really surprising.
Just in case you were worrying that this post was being a little too altruistic, my purpose is revealed when I point out that CMM News remains the world's 20th most popular ad blog. My glorious stagnation is partly due to a hard-core 200 regular readers, and several thousand ad hoc perverts who continue to visit my months-old spanking insurance ad story.
Several other ad bloggers have commented on how their hit rates increase whenever they include sex-related terms in their posts. For example, if I were to mention breasts, blow-jobs, cunnilingus or nuns, then I'll have earned this post a couple of thousand hits.
Terrible, isn't it.

Love story

Oh this is simply lovely. What one culture allows, others find taboo. This example from Publicis Thailand is perverse and unusual with a twist of evil. Some comically bad acting is thrown in as a bonus. Fantastic.

February 22, 2007

Tummy-wipe TV is bad for advertisers

Sweaty psychologists from University College London have determined that ads shown during programmes with high sexual content suffer from poor recall.
An ad break during a particular arousing dramatic point is as bad as coitus interruptus. You wouldn't want some salesman phoning you mid-stroke now, would you?
The study needn’t worry champions of smutty advertising. A secondary finding was that men were more likely to recall sexy ads. “Sex is only a useful advertising tool when selling to men”, said one of the researchers.
The story reminds me of a prank that almost went badly wrong on British TV many years ago. One of Noel Edmonds’ TV stunts involved hiding secret cameras in a victim’s house and then rigging their TV so that Noel would appear mid-programme, delivering a message tailored to that unsuspecting viewer. Yes, it really was as crap as it sounds.
One day he picked on ginger DJ Chris Evans who was sitting on his sofa, in his dressing gown. Evans looked suitably shocked, which is understandable seeing as he was watching Baywatch at the time. While wanking.

All Black Men Play The Trumpet

Stereotypes abound. Still, those catfish nuggets look damn nice.

First entrant for 2007’s Most Annoying Ad compo

I’ve become something of a discrete gum muncher during the course of my diet, and have really taken to the new-to-the-UK chewing gum Trident. The product is yummy, but it’s such a shame that its TV ad is so bloody irritating.

The Mastication For The Nation campaign is a confusing attempt at rustling up revolutionary fervour with some kind of reggae poetry. The idea sounds reasonable enough, but it’s such a pity that this gentle TV watcher feels compelled to visit extreme violence upon the over-spliffed character rather than work out what the ad is trying to say.
But maybe that's the point. Perhaps I'm supposed to hate the ad. Stroll along any British high street and you'll see teenagers masticating furiously. Assuming they're the target market, some bloke talking shit will appeal to teens who know full well that anything that annoys old farts like me must be cool. And "Mastication" easily transmogrifies into "Masturbation" in playground speak.
But that reggae feller... what a wanker.
Agency: JWT

February 21, 2007

Bandwagon emissions

If today’s Daily Telegraph is a typical example, then it’s possible to tell what the big issue of the year is by its ads alone.
From today’s paper, spot the theme:

February 20, 2007

There was an old lady who swallowed a duck. WTF?

If it looks like a duck, walks like duck, and sounds like a duck, then it must be a duck. And never was a quack more profoundly obvious when nutritionist to the numpties, "Doctor" Gillian McKeith waddled by.
To the uninitiated, DrGMcKwack is a diminutive Scots-American best known for bullying fatties on the TV. Her method of attack in her TV show You Are What You Eat is extremely distasteful. It involves the ritualised humiliation of obese people - first by confronting them with a table-load of their favourite food and demanding repentance, and then by examining the product of their bowel movements. The message is simple: you look like shit, you eat like shit and even your shit's shit. One notable episode saw her make a fat woman cry by presenting her with a tombstone made out of chocolate.
Her gurning visage looms from sales promo cutouts at Holland & Barrett health food shops and from dubious-looking food supplements.
Any justification for her aggressive manner may be excusable if she were a blunt but benign doctor, except a doctor she most certainly isn't.
The ASA has at last said she must stop referring to herself as a doctor in her advertising (although at time of writing her website continues to plaster the undeserved title across the page) and, last week, Guardian reporter Ben Goldacre, who has long targeted this fraudulent woman, wrote his most devastating expose of McKeith. Goldacre managed to get his cat the same PhD qualification as McKeith, from the same "University".
For fuck's sake people, stop watching her wretched programme, stop buying her books and products. Let's all pray she disappears up her own arse, never to return.
Some quotes:
"I think it is obvious she hasn't a clue about nutrition" - Amanda Wynne, senior dietician of the British Dietetics Association.
"In my view Dr Gillian McKeith is a charlatan" - John Garrow, professor emeritus in human nutrition at London University
"McKeith is a menace to the public understanding of science. She seems to misunderstand not nuances, but the most basic aspects of biology" - Ben Goldacre, author of The Guardian's Bad Science column.
The great b3ta site has run a Gillian McKeith image challenge.

Good taste

One of the first things that hit me when I first exploded into the advertising world (I was suffering from food poisoning at the time), was the fruity language. I seldom swore but now, nearly a decade later, the real effort comes in trying not to let rip.
At company meetings in the banking and consulting trades I had become accustomed to chief executives declaiming like Caesar, or firing off the latest business jargon before the most complex presentation slides imaginable.
Upon arriving here at Giraffe Towers, the MD at the time asked me to help him with a speech, using Derek and Clive as a template. A key quote involved picking lobsters out of Jayne Mansfield's arse. I knew I was going to enjoy this place.
I'm still enjoying the characters, including some of those I come across on ad blogs. One of the best is my pin-up, George Parker, whose sweary blog has long been a guilty joy (unlike my low-brow rants against individual ads and numpties, Mr Parker is a player in the ad game and knows the big people he targets). This awfully nice chap also has displayed the good taste of giving this blog a hefty mention on AdScam.

February 19, 2007

Communicating with the client

Apologies for this very late posting. It’s been a hectic, elongated weekend which involved one small, work-related episode where I happened upon a client’s representative in a London pub.
This fellow, in all probability named Rupert, was being a bit of an arse. In circumstances too tedious to account here, I found myself the victim of a class attack.
I may have provoked him by disparaging the current Tory leader (an acquaintance of this chap).
The argument progressed to discourse over the value of natural intelligence versus a well-developed network of contacts. Rupert was proud to admit being mentally-challenged but, despite this, was a millionaire with posh women beating down his door; measures of success that he attributed to the place he went to school: Eton.
“I am Eton through and through,” he said. “My old school tie will gain me admission anywhere. I play for the Eton Old Boys rugger club and even have the name of the school tattooed on my cock.”
Gads, his crowd were an ugly mob of upper-class twits. They were murmuring contentedly at Rupert’s smug put-down of this chimpish bitter-drinking oik.
“That’s a coincidence,” I replied, looking at the horse-like faces of his rowdy retinue, “I have the name of my old school tattooed on my cock too.” In reply to his greasy, quizzical look I revealed: “Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham Boys’ School. Including apostrophes.”
I was about to add that I had the phone number down there too, but it's not polite to brag.

February 16, 2007

Excuse me while I go screw myself

Out of curiosity I tried the facial comparison site that Rob@Cynic had toyed with. There was I expecting some character like John Merrick or Tony Soprano to pop up with a 90% match to my own uploaded features.
But no. As I have long suspected, I am a lesbian trapped in a male body and, dammit, a hot one at that. Not that I've ever heard of Emmy Rossum but after Googling her name I will henceforth shout "That's me!" next time The Day After Tomorrow is shown on the telly.
If there are any cute rug munchers out there who'd like to see my giraffe porn collection, then email FishNChimps@Yahoo.co.uk. Bring your own rubber tyre.

February 15, 2007

Tits on the Underground

For those of you without the services of a chauffeur, commuting is shit. And the London Underground is bloody awful. On the rare occasions I use this mode of travel, I never sit. Of course, I am a gentleman and am happy to let those in need (oldies, women, children, Independent readers) have whatever seat I might have occupied but my reasoning is not based on chivalry. I don't sit on Underground trains because they are covered in dried piss.
Rubbing shoulders with the hoi polloi is not something I do lightly, so if I were standing bleary-eyed one morning on some shitstain of an Underground train station, I would feel somewhat compensated if I could stare at a poster showing a massive pair of tits.
It's not necessarily sexy. It's more like comfort for tired eyes, and a natural place for male eyes to rest. It's a reflex, a bit like the pointless readjustment of testicles by teenage boys and pikeys in tracksuits.
The great Rupert Murdoch, having long ago turned The Times, one of Britain's greatest broadsheet newspapers, into a weak-kneed version of The Sun but with longer words, can be thanked for the above work of art, which has fallen foul of some passing numpty who complained to the ASA.
According the The Guardian "the complainant said the poster ad, which is part of a campaign to promote last week's launch of the new-look Times Online, was irresponsible and should not be shown where it can be seen by children.
"The ad is accompanied by a quote from Top Gear presenter and Sunday Times columnist Jeremy Clarkson: 'Money and rumpy-pumpy are the twin engines powering everything we do'."
I'd like to perform a self-patented lobotomy technique on that fuckwit (the numpty, not Jeremy Clarkson) to determine whether it thought that Mr. Clarkson's view on human motivation would compel some sad child into adopting a questionable lifestyle, or whether the sight of surging boobage would corrupt a minor. Frankly, the quotation on the poster does require further study, but there's nothing wrong with the picture of the tits, which I have already studied enough.
Children need to be exposed to more breasts. A Bristol University study (I kid you not), has found that babies who are breastfed are more likely to move up the social ladder as adults.
Maybe that's what motivated the complainant, who was probably John Prescott. The fucked-up government we're living under is run by capitalist ex-commies and commie ex-capitalists. The thought of a generation of kids experiencing social mobility through their mothers' breast milk is just the sort of thing they'd like to legislate against. Tits against tits, if you like.

February 14, 2007

Sloppy seconds

(Unattributed source - found on anonymous link. My guess is this originated on b3ta)

Say "I love you" with a zombie doll attack

'Tis the day to be fluffy and cute to the significant other, and this romantic website seems to offer a heart-warming cornucopia of pre-shag activities like candle-lit dinners, serenades and teddy bears.
All very sweet, until you get to the horror dolls, a car-crash and a cyborg stalker...

February 13, 2007

Fashion labels

One of my little workplace pleasures is sipping coffee poured by a scantily clad monkey girl whilst perusing the fashion ads in GQ and wondering what the clothes say about the guys wearing them.

Diesel: cool sex beast

Prada: scruffy bohemian

Bally: German student and campus drug dealer

D&G: Don’t Fuck With Us Misogynists

Ben Sherman: Tough guy chav chic

Jil Sander: Twat

For more life through a GQ lens:
How to get beaten up in London
Sunglasses: best of three

Link tarting

A quick mention for a clutch of emerging ad blogs that merit further perusal.
I'm trying to think - the thoughts of Chris Baylis, a creative working in digital advertising. A mean and moody profile pic, but a friendly voice. Reads Richard Dawkins, which makes Chris a top banana in my book.
Meme Huffer - Jason Lonsdale, a Kiwi strategic planner in a London agency. He strikes a perfect Hunter S. Thompson pose in his blog snap. The post Characters For An Epic Tale and book profile for the Hero And The Outlaw suggest a penchant for dissecting fantasy.
Alice in Adland - From Brazil: "Ana and Hermeti, yet another creative team trying to make it big in London". Don't do yourself down, ladies *correction* guys (in a non-gender specific way). The Alice vibe hits the spot with me - along with Penelope Pitstop's bondage adventures with the Hooded Claw, I used to find all that disappearing down holes strangely moving. When I was five.
Advertising Pawn - geddit? Yep, it's an ad pr0n site. With opinions!

And finally, not an ad blog but the trials and tribulations of one of my old school mates who's part DJ, part teacher, part actor and full-time good-time boy. From just outside Barcelona, it's Goode Thing, reminding me that there's more to life than sitting on your arse in an office.

Pissing off rednecks and animal lovers: all in a day's work

BBC TV's new season is kicking off nicely. Life on Mars is back this week, and Top Gear is hitting its stride. You can tell the motoring series is doing well when that gauge of superior TV quality - complaints from viewers - sweeps majestically across the sanctimoniously puckered buttock faces of the politically correct.
Last week, presenter Richard Hammond's return from near brain-death following a horrific crash was met with boyish mockery from his fellow petrolheads, which is typical of Top Gear's irreverant character. Yes, there were complaints.
Following last nights Top Gear special, over 90 complaints were generated, and that number is rising. I'm not normally given to posting non-ad-related TV clips, but this was a classic. Two moments stand out.
Here's the premise: the three presenters are given $1,000 each to buy and car and drive it across four US states, beginning in Florida. Along the way, they are given challenges.
Clip one is the bit that's generating the complaints (about 3 minutes in). For this challenge, the guys have to camp out but are only allowed to eat what they've found dead at the side of the road.

Clip two is both damn scary and very funny. For this challenge, the boys have to decorate each other's cars in such a way as to get the driver lynched while travelling through redneck country.

Deliverance, for real...

February 12, 2007

Cuddle a Mac. It’s clean, for now

TBWA’s latest onslaught of Mac advertising in the UK includes this oddly-worded poster seen on the London Underground. It’s slightly misleading because it implies that there are no Mac viruses. In fact what it's really saying is that there were not 114,000 viruses for the Mac - a different claim altogether.
It’s true that the cuddly Mac is certainly more immune to such attack than is the PC, but it is still vulnerable.
Although I can’t imagine why anyone would want to do this, there have been cases recorded of Macs with Windows operating systems being hit. Macs have also been targeted by Trojan Horses (not technically viruses).
I find this focus on the Mac's better security slightly ironic. The main reason for its good security record is that virus writers can't be bothered. Were the Mac to increase its market share (it’s currently something like 5% compared to the various PC brands in the US), then virus creators just might regard Apple as a worthwhile target.

February 09, 2007

Terrifying warts ‘n all TV

When the good lady of the house declared that she would very much like us to have a new, swanky telly, it felt like Christmas had come early. So, late last summer, we outdid the Joneses and the pikey neighbours (who, despite being on benefits, seem to be materially better off than us, even with about 6 kids and 20 cats to support) by buying a 40-inch Sony Bravia High-Definition LCD flat screen TV.
It’s fucking awesome.
But last night, the Bravia showed me why Simon Hughes always sits on host David Dimbleby’s right-hand side on BBC1’s current affairs panel discussion, Question Time.
Camera close-ups on our TV double or even treble the natural size of faces, and High Definition reveals every blemish.
As if last week’s QT wasn’t bad enough, having disgraced shit-eating Liberal Democrat Mark Oaten’s pasty face projected double-size into our living room (last year it was revealed he liked to have rent boys poo in his mouth – I kid you not), this week we were treated to x3-size, super sharp close ups of Simon Hughes’ Rice Crispie colony snuggling beside his right nostril.
I like to think that I’m generally tolerant, but the sight of someone’s pus farm in such vivid detail made both of us feel quite nauseous. The memory of it certainly put me off my morning porridge.
It did occur to me that this new technology isn’t such a great thing for actors too. I didn’t realise that Anakin Skywalker has such bloody awful skin and – ahem – I am told that hard core porn actors are less than happy about critical viewers commenting on that dirty pore during the all-important money shot, or that their nicely coutured mimsy looks like a soggy balloon knot when presented in its large screen glory.
Upon hearing this, I did think that sentiment was somewhat ironic. Sony, you see, resisted licensing porn production companies whilst in the middle of the videotape format war, which meant that the pornographers took their business to VHS. And so Betamax died.
This may be urban myth, but it’s given extra credence now that we see Sony’s high-definition Blu-Ray DVD standard up against Toshiba’s. Yes, Sony has once again refused to work with the adult film industry, which will mean your one-handed home cinema experience will only come via HD-DVD. I’m certainly not going to predict which format is going to win in the long-term, but should I find myself perusing the top shelf of my sticky-floored video store, I certainly won’t be renting Mark Oaten’s Confessions of a Coprophiliac or Simon Hughes’s Potato Grower’s Guide.

February 08, 2007

Surfing with a bang

This viral for surf store Quiksilver raises a smile. Someone ought to try this in the Thames, somewhere near the Palace of Westminster. That'd wake them up.

Everyone bash the Brits

Someone in Philadelphia is up to mischief. This ad embedded on the website of organisation "International Coalition for British Reparations" attempts to add another nick to the bleeding hearts of those who expect Britain to cough up compensation for every perceived ill the country has inflicted on the world since...whenever (William the Conqueror? Elizabeth I? Victoria?).
I suspect that this campaign was put together by someone who failed geography at school because the list of Britain's victims includes the Scots and the Welsh who are - ahem - British. Yes, Philadelphian geography numpties, believe it or not, Britain is the collective name for Scotland, Wales and England.
And I'd like someone in Philadelphia to start the reparations ball rolling by finding someone to carry the can for using British troops for target practice.
Oh shit - I can see this turning into a rant already. Well, being baptised into the Greek Orthodox church I feel that if reparations are going to become a trend, then the Catholic Church should give me some cash for the stress caused by the Fourth Crusade, that the Turks should pay up for the sack of Constantinople and that Mount Olympus should be razed to the ground because Zeus once ravished a shepherdess whose DNA I carry.
There's a petition on this miserable site, and I've signed it. I feel abused by decades of mis-government by the likes of Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, and I want to get my money back before some Frenchman from Agincourt gets his garlicky mitts on it or, even worse, Mel Gibson gets wind of the campaign.
Fuck it, I didn't want to pay for the Iraq war and my pension's screwed.
Anyone else feel like a victim?

Asda prank call

I don't know what's more annoying: the sniggering Aussie DJ and his over-excited posse, or the dreary, bored voices of Asda.

February 07, 2007

Another wretched CG’d car ad?

I have a jaded view of a particular type of car commercial. You know the sort: studio-style CG’d rendering that would kid you into thinking that you’re being sold a spaceship or a submarine. There’s usually an awe-inspiring soundtrack that suggests this car will make your cock grow another eight inches.
The storyboard to the latest BMW spot must have looked damnably familiar and uninspiring, but somehow from this tired formula a real jewel has emerged. There’s little awe, minimal testosterone, and a well-understated geekiness. The visuals are fast and the reworking of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is curiously uplifting. Love it.

Agency: WCRS

I'm sure I've been here before

Spotted in Monkey Magazine.

February 06, 2007

Oh shit, not the Superbowl again

Ad twunts not living in the USA, like myself, have to avert our eyes from marketing events across the pond at this time of year. Yes, it's the fucking Superbowl with its fucking $90 billion per 5-second spot. Thank God the admirable Jetpack is rejecting the hype this year.
As a Brit, I appreciate the other big American celebration that is Independence Day. Yes, good king George handed over the lease in return for reruns of M*A*S*H and Friends in perpetuity, and the jolly Yanks could dress up as Red Indians and build Disneyland out of tea, or something like that.
But Superbowl is a cultural brick wall to me. I know that saying anything negative about the event to many Americans is like telling them that their mothers can't bake a decent pie and smell of weewee, but I simply don't get it. Not the sport, not the ads.
Is the Superbowl supposed to be a game or an ad festival?
Anyway, should I ever find myself locked in a hotel bedroom with just the Superbowl on the telly, I'd have to find something else to do to alleviate the boredom.

February 05, 2007

February 02, 2007

Look who likes Frosties

So, the Mozzer would never sell out, eh? Working class hero Morrissey sings the Frosties ad.

Yeah yeah I know. But the fantasy works for me.

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

When to play fowl

Bill Green, in his current post about bigger logos that work, says “Most clients need something to comment on in a layout”, which reminds me of a certain practice that I know is occasionally used here. It’s called the Blue Duck Solution. I’m sure it has a more profound name at other agencies.
The idea is very simple.
When you know the work is absolutely perfect and the client just has to find something wrong with it, then hide an obvious anomaly that is only just hard enough to miss at first glance.
The client spots it. The art director and account director slap their own foreheads in a revelatory manner and congratulate the clever client. The anomaly is removed and the client is pleased.
Job done.
Here is a crude example I have just cobbled together.

(Click image to enlarge)

February 01, 2007

The Sun preaches

Noting The Sun's newly acquired credentials as a crusader against bigotry, I can't help but wonder why this Independent-style presentation from Tuesday's edition leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
A week after the race ruckus on Celebrity Big Brother, I wonder if The Sun is waving its new multi-coloured flag to distract attention away from the ugly bullying of the bullies. The three Brit girls who bullied the one Indian girl are intellectually incapable of defending themselves against the media onslaught, whereas their considerably more talented victim is destined to make a mint.
Besides, this Sun campaign is utter bollocks. Speaking as someone of mixed race, I'd accept this from another paper but not from the same rag that's been happily taking the piss out of the French and the Germans for decades.
Two weeks ago its sports pages featured a story about a Chinese snooker player. The headline was "Pot Noodle".

No darling, size really doesn't matter

Found on Flickr.

Update: the real horror behind BBC's Zardoz ident

Waaaay back in July '06 I noted the terror that BBC's digital TV ident had inflicted upon impressionable numpties. The vast, multi-headed visage loomed Zardoz-like over a Teletubbie landscape. Sensitive to the needs of the stupid, Auntie Beeb withdrew the ident.
But it was not forgotten. As this short clip reveals, the BBC head hid a darker secret...

(Clip from the BBC's time-travel current affairs series, Time Trumpet)