Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Do you see what I see?

Okay, so I heard down the grapevine that my welsh uncle, Tim, knows someone in advertising. Turns out this 'someone' is Creative Director at Fox Kalomaski, an agency down in London with clients including M&S and Thompson Holidays. My uncle called in a favour and asked if this fellow, Steve, would take a look at my CV. He agreed, so I sent him it accompanied by a covering letter and this:
It's an ad I made for myself as part of the Watford creative test. This was the only piece of writing I sent - since I don't have a portfolio yet - but the good news is it was good enough! My uncle also buttered him up a bit and got some drinks down him, but I'd like to think it was my ad that did the trick. So, it's probable that I'll be able to go do a 2 week internship there during October. My friend Phil has said that he'll let me sleep on his floor, since he is down south studying fine art at Goldsmiths. I just hope that if I have a job by then, they'll give me the 2 weeks off.

Joblessness is getting me down a bit, but I've got a sandwich ready for me here, so it's not so bad. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Sticky Business

If you're asked to advertise super glue, you know what your selling point is straight from the off: stickiness (obviously). But how do you say your glue is strong, without saying "our glue is dead strong." Well, here for you today are several of the funniest/most interesting attempts I've encountered recently (click images to enlarge):

This has to be my favourite. It's by DDB (Milan) and works without any copy at all.

Then there's this one which, again, works well with virtually no copy.

This one is more of an outdoor/ambient campaign. The ad uses the 'use value' of the bridge (ie. carrying heavy loads) to it's advantage, as well as creating a bit of a spectacle in a high 'traffic' area. 

Here's the last one for now. Again no copy, just a witty visual idea.
It seems like a fun product to sell. It reminds me of something I read about 'reductionism' in 'Hey Whipple, Squeeze This' by Luke Sullivan. Take every element and ask 'does it add anything?' If not, you may as well get rid of it - it's just another thing vying for attention; cluttering the place up. Here's the diagram his friend drew for him to get the point across:

It's like the Occam's Razor of advertising (for the more philosophical amongst you), and it's a maxim I'll always keep in mind when doing my own writing.

On the topic of my own writing, I've finished the Cliff ads, and started on the task of coming up with as many posters as I can to sell myself. I've already done one, but won't post it till I've sent everything off. Today I also went down to 'Shelter' (the homelessness charity) to ask about volunteering in admin. That's right, working for no money at all. Good job I'm so noble. They said they'd get back to me start of next week. Stay tuned pals.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Hanging With Cliff

So today I took on the task of creating a campaign strategy for Cliff Richard as the next UK prime minister. I think it went quite well. I came up with an angle at least, and I feel it is an original one ie. a route that others might not think to go down. I also wrote up my flooding headlines and t-shirt designs into neat PDF and finished off the poem about death. 

Here's one of the jokey t-shirt designs I came up with - there are some slogan based ones too, but I thought this visual one was worth posting. It's for global flooding remember. Ho ho ho...

That post on the new VW ad will have to wait till next time when I can be bothered to say something substantial about it. For now though, content yourself with this I found today (on I Asked For A Car). It's another of those absurd japanese ads. From the school of what I have come to call 'bad-vertising'... great...

There is also a hideous remix version HERE combining a terrifying onion man and tomato man.

Sleep tight.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Campaign's Top 10 Surreal Ads

Campaign recently listed their top ten surreal ads online. While most of us will have noted a bit of a surrealist renaissance of late (Rubberduckzilla and the like), the style goes way back - back to the Halcyon days of HHCL (a big agency in the 90's). Here's my favourite of the bunch, it's by TBWA/Chiat/Day (New York) for Skittles...see it HERE in HD!

In other news - I'm making progress on the creative test, my "funny" poem on death is nearly done. I don't think I'll be posting it on here, but some of my answers I might. Also, my first installment (and 2 weeks back payment) of jobseekers allowance went in to my account today which is good. I'm so desperate that I've started applying for voluntary admin work and internships. One PR company already got back to me, but I'm not sure my CV will interest them too much - plus I may have accidentally offended them in an email, 'cos I said their blog had 'gone cold'. It hadn't been updated since January. Oh well.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

What Twits!

I've just read this article over at BrandRepublic. It's about a 15-year-old kid's report on the teenage demographic - one that happened to cause a bit of a shake up. It sums up some of my intuitions about Twittering and how some marketing/ad folk have kids down in general. Read the article before you read on!

Here's a link to full report which caused all the shock. He's like the Anti-Christ of Web 2.0. The key paragraph for me is this:

"Teenagers do not use twitter. Most have signed up to the service, but then just leave it as they realise that they are not going to update it (mostly because texting twitter uses up credit, and they would rather text friends with that credit). In addition, they realise that no one is viewing their profile, so their 'tweets' are pointless."

Elegantly put.. this kid could go far! Though, I think he could have replaced 'teenagers' with 'people' and he wouldn't have been far off. Discussing this with mates, it seems that other than the ability to follow famous people, there isn't much Twitter offers that facebook doesn't. I'm not saying it's without it's uses; it's ideal for individuals wishing to keep in touch with colleagues and do some industry networking. Some of you may know it worked a treat for Aston Kutcher ('cos people like to feel close to celebrities and following their Tweets lets them do that) - but I think some people may be living in a bubble if they think it is the future of advertising. No one wants to feel close the the manufacturer of their toothbrush for god's sake (see the Phillips Twitter campaign, which despite being a lovely idea, only averaged around 20 tweets a day - a bit of a flop).

Next up let's consider Delicious.com - the social bookmarking site (it lets you bookmark cool sites and the most bookmarked come up on the front page, accessible for others). You'll probably have seen the icon next to any blogs/newspaper articles you've read online, along with a plethora of others like so...
It's that little blue battenburg cake one (awful logo isn't it?). Well, when I went on there today - for what I admit was my first time -  out of the top ten most popular sites bookmarked, one was a porn site (the top one at that), one was something about landing on the moon, and the other EIGHT were about either Web Design or Social Networking itself - which, quite frankly, suggests that the only people using this thing are marketing execs and web developers themselves. Take a look:

How bloody ridiculous. It's got some way to go I think. (NB. these aren't just the most popular under the tag 'social media' these were the most popular full stop).

I'm sure this won't by my last say on the matter, and I may well be forced to eat my words, but I suppose untill I get past the doors of an advertising/marketing agency and into the office where the numbers are crunched, I won't know what kinda return clients get on social networking campaigns. And on that suitably hesitant caveat, I shall leave you.

My next post will hopefully be on that new 'positive thinking' VW spot which has been met with a fair bit of confusion! 

A bad VW ad by DDB? No way!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

A Little Something

Okay, today I started brainstorming headlines and t-shirts to be worn the day after global flooding happens (part of the Copywriting entry test below). I have a page full of scribblings - some dead end, some okay... but this is one of the questions you can keep adding to while you do the rest, so I'm optimistic I'll stumble on a gem or two soon. The next one I wanna tackle is the funny poem about death. The question reminded me of "The Dead", a poem by one of my favourite poets, Billy Collins. It's not laugh out loud funny, but it's light-hearted, thoughtful and human - like most of his work. Here is a lovely animated version I thought I'd share:

P.S. I take it everyone has seen the new Evian roller-babies viral? My 'Absurd Graphic vs. Dance Classic' prediction is further corroborated!

 Watch this space pals!

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Holy Mother of God!

Okay, news flash - the new creative test for Watford has gone on up the net! When I emailed Tony Cullingham he said it would go up in November, but here it is... bang in the middle of July. I don't want to know why I got given the wrong date - lets hope he doesn't hate me. Anyways, the self-set deadline for getting this thing sent off is December. Although there's no real deadline, the sooner I apply the better. I need to respond to all of the following tasks... 

Q1. Write a funny poem about death.

Q2. What would I find in the brightness at the light at the end of the tunnel?

Q3. Devise a campaign strategy with executions to promote Cliff Richard as the next UK Prime Minister.

Q4. Write headlines and designs for T shirts to be worn the day after Global Flooding.

Q5. Devise as many posters as you can to sell yourself.

Q6. Why should you never underestimate a handsome bear?

Q7. Sell Tarantulas as the next must have pet.

Q8. Devise a digital idea for a chocolate bar.

Q9. How would you get more folk to learn the Ukelele?

Q10. How would Michaelangelo,  (the Renaissance artist not the turtle),  sell Edam cheese?

Q11. Enclose an A4 copy, non-returnable, of your own portfolio.

The first one sounds my cuppa tea, but that last one is a toughie. I really need to get writing some top notch copy - I think around 8 campaigns constitutes a decent size portfolio. I've already made a start but I'm gonna need to work fast. Nothing like a bit of pressure to fuel me on!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

It's Been a While

Hello one and all. I realize it's been a while since I last blogged... and I'm afraid today's offering aint much more than 'scrapbooking' some ideas I've seen lately. That said, in a couple of days time I'll be summarizing and reviewing Tom Himpke's book 'Advertising is dead. Long live advertising!' which i managed to get from cancer research's Amazon shop for £11. Woo! So far its already got me thinking differently, my favourite quote has to be "Reality is nothing more than a first draft" ... but as I say, that's for the next post. For now, take a look at these lovely ideas, perfectly engineered and executed to get your Attention!  (click on the image for the big ones) :

By Fischer (Lisbon), Source: I believe in Adv blog

Courtesy of Tom Banham's random internet scouring!

By JWT (Melbourne), Source: Osocio blog

Lovely. In other news, today I went to the job centre. It went fine, and they even tried to offer me an interview for a job working for them, but the post was apparently filled a couple of days earlier. They gave me a few other leads in clerical/admin work which I'll chase up, but if all else fails I'll soon be on t'dole. Hurrah!