April 30, 2007

Old ladies’ stuff - part 9

Mods were around in the 1950s, followed by a minor revival in the 1970s. So there's no value in buying this bear on a scooter for a kid, because the ungrateful little rugrat won't know what the hell it's supposed to be.
Perhaps Granny lost all the memorabilia of her teen years when her grasping kids packed her off to a home and flogged her Who records and brass ornaments on eBay, in which case this little bear is specifically targeted at those whose distant memories include that romantic shag in an alleyway by a hairy parka-wearing scrote from the council estate. In those days, being Picked Up By The Fuzz meant a naughty policeman would cop a feel before letting you go, eh Ethel?, but now, in unkinder times, it's a euphemism for the questionable level of care you receive at the hands of the underpaid male nurses who want to shift you out of your morning bed.
And just what did your evil kids buy with that ill-gotten money? Why, the next generation of heirlooms for your grandchildren, of course. Knowing the price of everything but the value of nothing, their eyes are drawn to the latest bargain on eBay. Yes, they'll pay over £100 for a genuine stuffed squirrel on a Dune Runner, because it's damn cool. And I want one too.

See also:
Old ladies’ stuff - part 8
Old ladies’ stuff - part 7
Old ladies’ stuff - part 6
Old ladies’ stuff - part 5
Old ladies’ stuff - part 4
Old ladies’ stuff - part 3
Old ladies’ stuff - part 2
Old ladies’ stuff - part 1

Squirrel picture found on my favourite website. Mod bear picture found in a shitty Sunday tabloid.

"You can't see my crossed fingers"

"...cos I'm a lying bitch."

April 27, 2007

Way to party, big fella!

Cheap beer, plate of chips, fag, dodgy personal hygiene... seems like the perfect boy's night in, you cheeky sods! Dear Beech Finance, next time you send a personalised email "because you completed a Consumer Lifestyles survey through DLG", make sure your misog-looking model doesn't look like the recipient! The only thing missing from the pic is the dodgy tart performing a personal service. Mind you, she's probably under the table, hence the distracted look on Fatty's face.

April 26, 2007

Off my noodle

The CMM media centre is quiet after a hard day's poo-flinging, mainly at deadhead suppliers who don't realise how bloody grateful they should be. Your names are in my little black book. In black pen. On black paper.
So, no time to reflect on what's going on in the world which is why I've gone for the lazy option and picked something from my YouTube folder. It took my fancy a couple of weeks back because it's Asian and a touch vindictive. That'll do me.

April 25, 2007

Woo! We went to WWE

This is the view we had at last night's wrestling experience at Earls Court. To those of you not in the know, the world of wrestling is dominated by the huge US-based WWE organisation, which was apparently once called WWF (to the confusion of animal lovers around the world). Despite bearing with my eldest son's obsession with this odd pastime for several years, I haven't quite got my head around the various leagues within the WWE, but I have got to know most of the characters from the strain called Smackdown.
Yesterday was his big day - his first chance to see his heroes live.
Some observations...

- Whenever the stadium lights go out, the arena is lit by the glow of thousands of mobile phone cameras

- The "no video cameras" rule is superfluous in this age of mobile media

- All bottle tops are confiscated (for "Health & Safety"... yeah, right)

- Despite being a Tuesday evening, this was a Friday Night Rumble

- US TV idents on the big screen for brands I've never heard of

- Stop - Start - Stop - Start - between the bouts, idents and ads. I imagine this is what watching live American football and baseball is like (very peculiar to someone who goes to real football and rugby matches)

- Despite being the reluctant chauffeur and portable wallet, I did find it fun

- Bitch fight! A couple of athletic blondes getting it on in the ring (well worth the £90)

- The Boogie Man really does eat worms

- Superb athleticism and choreography of the combatants

My camera is very low-res, so the quality of the pics isn't great, yet looking at "event" photos taken by myself always provokes conflicting feelings of disappointment (that the pics don't do the experience justice) and satisfaction (remembering the event).
You will think the view was crap, looking at these photos, yet it was probably the best view you could buy, other than being at the very front, ringside.
I've been to one FA Cup Final, plus several Rugby League Cup Finals and, despite knowing that TV provides a far superior view, it doesn't beat being there. I have often wondered why this is - I don't buy the "it's the atmosphere" argument. Maybe it's the thought that nothing other than air separates you from the sportsmen and seeing it with the naked eye provides the spectator with a feeling of ownership of the event. Maybe that's why we waste so much time taking poor-quality photos and videos instead of just watching the event.

A thing of rare and great beauty... yes it really is a genuine red Routemaster bus

April 24, 2007

Just plain nuts (again)

I can't believe I've been dragged into this. I'm taking my Lynx-wearing 13 year-old to see this wholesome chap tonight. The Undertaker, Boogie Man, Finlay... I've fessed up on the world of Wrestlemania. Oh Lordy.

Just plain nuts

A straw poll of passers-by at the agency swimming pool revealed that the perfect TV ad must include the following ingredients:
- Football
- Chocolate
- Mr T in a tank
And by a remarkable coincidence, the latest Snickers ad includes all three vital elements. There's an added bonus: gratuitous use of the word "nuts".
Full marks to AMV.

April 23, 2007

Minor country attached

Here’s a fine little English brand making the most of Saint George’s Day, something that will get bigger over the coming years. With the inevitable dissolution of the United Kingdom – Scottish and Welsh independence is a certainty, in my opinion – the England brand will become increasingly important.
The myth of Saint George was imported by the Norman conquerors, supplanting the old Anglo-Saxon patron saint, Edmund. The dragon could equally represent the conquered race, or the muslim foe faced by the crusaders. Either way, Saint George’s dragon-slaying antics are about as real as the concept of an English race (bits of Celt, Briton, Roman, Saxon, Dane, Norman, Dutch and so on) which will no doubt be promoted by the low-brow tabloids currently obsessing over Diana and immigration.
God knows we get enough national branding on St Patrick’s and Australia Day – but it will be fascinating to see which international brands take up the red cross every April when we eventually end up with a new bank holiday.
My own view is that, freed from the Union, England will not be as important as it thinks, because there’s a far more glamorous geographic entity to consider.
It’s the world’s greatest city – with a minor country attached.
If Englishness is a hard enough concept to define, marketers are on firmer ground with its capital. According to Oxford Economic Forecasting, London generates 30% of the UK’s (that’s England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland roped together) GDP. Consultants PWC have just elevated London to the world’s 4th-largest economy among world cities. That’s two places above Paris, the only other European city in the top 10.
Anyone who lives here knows it’s a multi-cultural melting pot. There’s a streak of evil that runs through London’s 2,000 year history that gives it a lively edge. London’s squalid and glamorous, ugly and sexy, refined and barbarous.
Maybe London should have its own patron saint's day. Imagine the fun that advertisers could have with that.

Bosch won't waste scarce resources on good advertising

Ladies! Pop your camel toe on the spanking new Bosch dishwasher for an altogether eco-friendly buzz!
...or "How to make a shit ad without an agency by using Photoshop and throwing perspective down the drain". Note the dildo-compatible tagline.
Apologies for appalling quality scan but... oh what the fuck.

Mrs Morrey, you are harbouring a potential mass-murdering parasite

I hate cats. Or rather, I hate people whose affections are blinded by the little furry bastards. People who think it’s cute when their wee psycho furball deposits a dead bird on their doorstep. Aaaah, that’s just sooooo cute.
I’ve seen our garden visitors – sparrows, blackbirds, tits (the only non-salacious use of that word you’ll ever see in this blog) and doves (i.e. proper pigeons, not the dusty flying rats that populate London) – virtually disappear since our pikey neighbours decided to join the cat crowd. They have made their contribution to the growing population of 8 million domesticated cats in Britain that are responsible for killing 300 million wild birds and mammals each year.
I exempt the agency cat, Mister Ajax, who is a grumpy fat old bastard, because he is too lazy and overfed with chocolate by the monkeygirls to bother hunting. In fact, he is so full of contempt for exercise that he just waits for the nearest rat to stroll past and die laughing at his paws. Now that’s my sort of cat.
I haven’t got a bone to pick with this ad or the several others that push the latest in pet nutrition because they are simply taking up the trend for complicating something that used to be relatively straightforward. Buy pet. Feed pet. And after a few years, Bury pet. Aah the good old days.
Now, with complicated pet insurance plans, complex pet nutrition options including lifestyle foods aimed at particular pet demographics, the bewildered old ladies and sad old numpties who don’t have anyone else to talk to can spend an infinity of time and money pretending that their pet deserves as complex an upbringing as a real person. And when Miggins dies, you can have him buried in a cemetery.

See also:
Pointless critter products
Put a bell on it

April 20, 2007

500th post: agency anecdote

To celebrate this milestone, here's my first decent post in 12 months. It's the perfect excuse to feature a picture of the utterly gorgeous Nigella Lawson - TV cook, wife of British advertising icon Charles Saatchi, and also the daughter of one of Britain's most powerful men during the 1980s. However, that has nothing to do with this anecdote.
This happened several years ago. I am being deliberately vague to protect the innocent.
The occasion: A day-long event attended by The Great And The Good, to celebrate a significant episode in the life of one of the world's most important international organisations (sorry, but I did say it had to be vague).
The setting: The interior of an historic academic institution. It's a soiree which is also attended by hand-picked members of the agency sponsoring the event.
As the guests line up to enter the hallowed halls, a female account executive is ticking off the names.
One guest approaches.
- Account Exec: "Good evening sir."
- Guest: "Good evening."
- Account Exec: "What is your name please?"
- Guest: "Lawson."
- Account Exec: "First name?"
- Guest: "Lord."


Wuff lovin'

Just look at this happy little feller's face. This mutt is part of the new canine Internet generation, a beneficiary of the infinite marketplace.
This odd duck-like doll is manufactured for the priapic pleasure of your overcharged dog. My only regret is that this superb invention won't ever be seen in the Innovations catalogue.
More product shots here, but the url is not safe for work. Contains peculiar orifice imagery.

Alerted to this depravity by the weekly Popbitch email

April 19, 2007

FACT! Fornication!

"This page has been deleted and protected to prevent re-creation"

More wisdom in Fuckwitapedia.

See also:
FACT! Pens!
FACT! Kangaroos!
FACT! The 19th Century!
FACT! Dinosaurs!

Golden shower

"Drinking American beer is like making love in a canoe... it's fucking close to water"
- Monty Python.

Apologies to my American friends. I'm sure you do brew some decent stuff, but why do you export this to us?

April 18, 2007

Putting the bang into Bangkok

There’s a danger that Thailand just might become my favourite ad nation. I’ve seen some cracking stuff from there – really risky to Western eyes but probably just mildly amusing over there.
Recently there was a gecko love story with a splattery ending (for ceiling tiles, of all things), and YouTube has hosted a couple of imaginative ads for Bangkok Insurance which won awards at Cannes, CLIO and the Asia Pacific AdFest.
It’s the gratuitous violence in this spot, again for Bangkok Insurance, which surprises and delights me. Slapstick has a happy home.

Agency: Creative Juice

I'm sorry, but this just ain't news

"Chimps are ahead of humans in the great evolutionary race" chortles The Times.
You won't be chuckling when your front page screams "Chimp army marches down Whitehall", will you, eh?
My monkey brothers are in training, you see:

Thanks to Official Chimp Chum (Membership #2201), Bill, for the secret film.

April 17, 2007


picknicked from

The devil has the best tunes

Blimey, talk about life imitating art. It took a prick to bring me back to the present day, a bit like Sleeping Beauty in reverse. There was an episode of Life on Mars where Sam, still stuck in 1973, contemplates taking his wannabe girlfriend to see Roxy Music, the up-and-coming band of the time. Ee gads, I even remember going to see kiddy fiddler Gary Glitter before the revelations about his unsavoury urges.
I wonder if the BBC scriptwriters would have been so content to plug Bryan Ferry's band if they knew a bit more about his uniquely personal style.
It's obvious from today's news about Bryan Ferry's love of Nazi showbiz methods that he should have asked to model for Hugo Boss (onetime tailor to the SS), instead of poor old M&S. I always thought there was something peculiar about his bearing, but it's clear that he's not that camp - more like Mein Kampf.

April 16, 2007

I could learn to like this

So, it seems that instead of the high-tech media centre with all the geegaws that I'm normally used to, I have instead a crowded room with filing cabinets, telephones and seventeen scantily clad monkeygirls with big hair. Yes, seventeen, and not even a computer or a whiff of PC in sight.
They call me "Sir", which is weird because I'm used to being addressed in sentences beginning "O", as in "O Mighty Chimp Deity", but all is not lost because every one of my unusually large staff quota offers me a cup of tea.
That's more like it. None of this poncey coffee rubbish made from machines that sound like a Welshman with a cold. There's a big telly in the corner attached to a piss-off huge Umatic tape machine. Bloody hell, we're still using these in 2007.
There's a brilliant ad playing on the telly. "Turn it up please."
"Yes Sir! chorus six of the monkeygirls.
This'll make good watching while I'm waiting for my brew.

April 13, 2007

Oh shit where am I

My name is FishNChimps. I had an accident with a tea trolley and woke up in a 1973 ad agency. Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time? Whatever's happened, it's like I've landed on a different planet. Now, maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home.
But there’s a big man wearing flares, poking me in the chest. “Where the fuck have you been? I need those numbers for my copy.”
It’s a mock-up for a press ad for breath mints. There’s a laughing girl in a bikini. “What numbers are those?” I enquire, confused.
“Stats, you fucking numpty. I need to know whether girls who like breath mints have big tits.”
“Er, haven’t you asked the planner?”
“What’s a fucking planner? Just fuck off and ask one of your girls.” Ah, I see a Newton’s cradle before a wall-full of posters for cigarettes, vermouth, pharmaceuticals and large cars. They all have girls in bikinis. He must be the creative director. “And don’t bother looking for an account man, they’re still on Friday’s lunch break.”
The Pirelli calendar shows it’s Wednesday.

April 12, 2007

FACT! Pens!

"A writing implement. It uses ink, as opposed to graphite or blood."

...er...that's it.

For more wisdom, check out Fuckwitapedia.

See also:
FACT! Kangaroos!
FACT! The 19th Century!
FACT! Dinosaurs!

The crew appear to be brain-fucked, Lieutenant Data

A security guard sits on a small, elevated platform near the exit of my local PC World store. He has a workstation, a uniform, and a slightly embarrassed look as curious shoppers crane their necks to look up at him as they pass.
Being something of a git, I occasionally offer a “Beam me to the surface, Number One”, or “Charge up the photon torpedoes”, as I breeze past, imagining the scowls.
God knows you need a sense of the absurd when entering one of these stores. I visit roughly once a month, looking for the latest gadget to breathe life into my clunking PC. Naturally, I can never find what I’m looking for.
The acne-faced assistants only have two coherent sentences in their vocabulary, before they lapse into urk-speak. It goes something like this.
A: “Can I help you sir?”
FNC: “Yes. You only seem to have PCI video cards. What are the other sort called?”
A: “I’ll ask the manager.”
Manager is summoned. Manager appears. Manager appears to be younger than Assistant.
M: “Can I help you sir?”
FNC: “Yes. You only seem to have PCI video cards. What are the other sort called?”
M: “Hmm? Urrr. Ngg.” (shrugs, turns to assistant) “Rurrr hnggg wurrr.”
A: “Rrr ug ug grrrrn?”
M: “Hurrrrn. Urrr.”
FNC: “Don’t worry. I’ll go and look online.”
How these bastards ever sell anything I don’t know. I head for the exit, annoyed.
FNC: “Send a security team to the engine room, Lieutenant Worf.”
I’m flabbergasted every time I watch M&C Saatchi’s attempt to convince us that PC World is not staffed by cavemen from Planet Acne. Instead, they would have us believe that the store urks can string more than four words together. Just take a look at the ad currently on air and tell me you wouldn’t want to shoot this over-opinionated immigrant from Planet Fucking Annoying.
Notice how this staff numpty recites the already-bought PC specs back to the customer, inferring that she's either stupid, or just a typical woman (his assumption, not mine), and wouldn't have checked it out before spending £399 on it.

April 11, 2007

"He's dead. That's quite serious."

Do you ever get that feeling of mild depression after reading a particularly engrossing book? That sense of discovery can’t be repeated by reading the same book again. It doesn’t happen too often with films or TV programmes, but I felt it last night – probably for the first time in years whilst sat in front of the box.
I’m still on a downer, the day after the very last episode of Life On Mars.
Here’s one of my favourite bits, a segment of which appeared as a viral trailer in January. The puppet sequence is copied from the 1970s children’s programme, Camberwick Green.

Never liked the stuff anyway

(Click to enlarge)

April 10, 2007

Rich pickings

A link received by email a few years ago first alerted me to the b3ta website. The link led to a collection of extremely offensive ads reworked by b3ta's readers. They included mashups of ads, some of which were originally created by my own agency. It was fun seeing these scamps rip the piss out of our own, serious work.
It was one of the site's image challenges. Every week b3ta sets a theme for its Photoshopping readers (some of my favourites - Join The Army, Corporate Disasters and If Tom Cruise Was God).
I frequently big up b3ta - its images are often poached by the media without acknowledging their origin - because its creator Rob Manuel deserves kudos as one of the web's most influential characters. And yet, despite its subversive influence, b3ta still remains a somewhat obscure backwater.
Thankfully, b3ta has revisited the challenge that first took me to the site. Prepare to be mortally offended by new work for "If Ads Told The Truth".

April 05, 2007

Madanarchy in the UK

I know it's bad form to write two different stories in a single post, but I'm feeling lazy. Besides, they are both linked - both appeared in last night's Evening Standard (London's evening newspaper).
This one explains itself - it's a beauty. More's the pity that I can't find a decent pic of the Weeping Madonna of Shoreditch, but from this poor image it appears that the vandals did a cracking job.
Madonna's getting rather tiresome. I lost interest in her when she murdered the last James Bond soundtrack (Pierce Brosnan's final outing) and "acted" in the movie.

A gang of anarchists have been replacing the street benches uprooted by a London council, and have been sneakily planting trees and flowers in neglected public places. In my day, anarchists wore red scarves over their faces, didn't wash, and threw babies at policemen.
It's good to see they've become more benign - but they're not imaginative enough. I wonder if there are any anarchist-friendly brands out there who could sponsor these guys?


I tend to do most of my blogging late at night. Monday evening was a particularly late one for me. I had finished the day by zipping through some of my favourite blogs, but for some reason one post had an unexpectedly profound effect upon me, although I didn't appreciate it at the time.
While I was asleep I had an odd dream about being in a railway station in some unidentified country.
I had to get home, somehow. A friendly chap approached me while I was queueing for a coffee and we engaged in a conversation about global warming and Tibetan nose flutes.
Other ad blog readers will recognise the fellow in my dream. He's becoming something of a cult figure. I find his blog strangely enervating, and know I'll have to invest some effort to read his back-posts to truly understand his philosophy.
That'll teach me to watch YouTube before going to bed.
(I can't remember if I made it home)


Good observation from this Flickr user: "An advert for a clothes shop with no clothes on it."

April 04, 2007

That's my girl

"Daddy, I drew a picture!"
"That's nice. Why are our arms out like that? Are we jumping?"
"No. I'm waving my arms because I'm getting lots of Easter eggs, and the rest of you are being crucified like Jesus. Happy Easter!"

(Baby Chimplet is Catholic)

April 03, 2007


Fifteen British sailors arrested for straying into Iranian waters. 14 blokes and 1 woman. It doesn't take a genius to work out who was reading the bloody map.

Two posters that NEED to go together

First pic from Flickr, the second from the always excellent Mediawasp.

Fitness First, but only after the depression

This magnificent slice of buttocky goodness assails my easily distracted eye on at least four separate occasions between train station and office. This unimaginative poster ad could easily be pushing holidays, breakfast cereals or haemorrhoid cream. There happen to be some words blighting the image - I only noticed these after about a fortnight of glancing at the smiling polka-dots as I passed by.
Ah, it’s for a fitness club.
An earlier ad for this brand, which ran just after the New Year, was clearly aimed at men. It had an image of a guy desperately trying to button his trousers. The slightly humorous message was simple: get yourself down the gym, Lardarse.
I didn’t head for the gym, but I did wheel out my exercise bike. The ad half-worked on me and, besides, swinging on my rubber tyre all day doesn’t really burn calories (and there’s no way I’m paying London prices for gym membership).
I don’t “get” the other types of gym ads. Male models showing off their pecs beneath the latest incentives looks poncey. That’s fine if you're training for a film about Greeks in bondage trunks massacring effeminate Persians in their zillions.
Then there are the super-fit female and male models laughing as they labour, sweatless, on the latest piece of equipment. Well, bollocks to them. The last thing I want when on the running machine is to listen to a couple of airheaded fuckwits who see these places as a social club. You want to talk? Go to the fucking pub.
As for Miss Polka Dot Pants here, who is she talking to? Not me – staring at a real arse in a gym will just get me arrested.
Women? Does it say that you COULD have a backside like this? This is assuming that you DON’T and that you ought to feel guilty for being such a fat fanny, so do something about it so that you can be stared at.
I’m all for fit bodies in ads, but please, don’t try and depress me. Let’s have more buttocks promoting chocolate, beer and crisps because, dammit, they are the good things in life.

April 02, 2007

FACT! Kangaroos!

“modern kangaroos are the descendants of the two founding members of the modern kangaroo baramin that were taken aboard Noah's Ark prior to the Great Flood...
After the Flood, these kangaroos bred from the Ark passengers migrated to Australia. There is debate whether ... they rafted on mats of vegetation torn up by the receding flood waters.”

For more wisdom, check out Fuckwitapedia

April 01, 2007

Stringing us along

Here's one of my most favourite bits of TV history. Exactly 50 years ago today, respected BBC current affairs programme Panorama broadcast this short agricultural piece.
The video quality is poor, but the real pleasure comes from Richard Dimbleby’s serious narration.

It was one of the UK’s most famous April Fools jokes, sprung at a time when Britons’ experience of food was restricted by rationing. The Beeb was heavily criticised, but many were taken in by it and asked the BBC where they could get their own spaghetti trees. The BBC drily suggested that one ought to place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.