Friday, 17 September 2010

Pleasing colours

via I Believe in Advertising.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Ikea Cats: Happy Inside

This doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense, but I like anyway.
I guess if you film anything as well as this and put a solo piano track to it it can seem meaningful.
Nice end line too.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Copywriter No.2

New weetabix ad it quite good. Very similar to the ad below though...

Monday, 28 June 2010

Two nice visual ads

Lovely stuff.

(This one is for a gay magazine).

Have you got a pen handy?

Saturday, 19 June 2010

When the Americans do American ads...

The perfect amount of voiceover.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

When the French do McDonald's ads...

Did someone forget we're talking about burgers here? What the hell?
They even manage to fit a subdued version of the jingle in at the end.

The line, 'come as you are' stinks of branding. It's one of those multi-purpose, means very little tag lines.
If anything it suggests, 'we won't judge you'. And why is that relevant? What other places judge me? Classy restaurants? They'd judge me for going to McDonalds, yes, but not for being gay.

I think someone, somewhere, lost the thread here.

Would anyone like to explain it for me?

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Holy shit

So I was trawling Coloribus and found this. Scared the shit out of me:

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Why visual doesn't always mean good

At first glance these ads by Young & Rubicam (New York) look quite good. After all, they're visual, simple and pretty eye-catching. But after a little thought, I realized they're pretty bad.

1. They tell you nothing about the product and do nothing to suggest why Protex is better than any other hand wash out there.
2. The copy tells you something you pretty much already know, 'The things you touch stay with you'. Sounds like the fear-mongering strap-line of a crap horror movie.
3. It's not very clear what's under/on the fingers, unless you look pretty closely. And no one spends too much time looking closely at ads (apart from people in advertising).
4. There's no element of mystery to the visual - there's no knowledge gap - if I look at the visual I pretty much know it's an ad for a hand wash, so I've got no reason to look what brand of hand wash it is or even read the copy. And because nothing happens in my mind - no moment of realization, or inner smile, no 'getting it' - it means that it doesn't stay in my mind. (If something occurs in the mind, it tends to stay there; you've got a reason to remember it, it's not just a passive act).

Here's a good example of a 'knowledge gap' in action:

Well that's my rant over. Maybe these ads aren't terrible, but they're not great either.
That said, the typeface is quite nice!

I'm planning on going to see some student work at Lincoln Uni in the coming few weeks. The kind Miss Ruby Rosamund (fellow member of the advertising blogosphere) has invited me to the Creative Advertising final year show. Should be a good chance to see some fresh ideas (and weigh up the competition of course).

Monday, 3 May 2010

Radical Common Sense: an evening with Dave Trott

An evening with Dave Trott - Part 1 from MIN on Vimeo. (The sound does get better)

A great discussion with the main man Trott (CST). Great to see Dave bring some examples and analogies alive with some great doodles... and all in the flesh (well - pixel flesh)! He also chats about his blogs (which everyone should read) and the loyal folk like gotnoteef, Kevin Gordon, John W and the gang. He's got a great view on the industry at present and how it could benefit from change. If ever the barrage of marketing speak, building brands and focus groups puts you off advertising a little, watch this. His outlook is like the advertising equivalent of Occam's razor.

Friday, 16 April 2010


You've probably already seen it, but here's a spot for Warburtons by RKCR/Y&R I find pretty neat.
Simple, well executed and most importantly funny.
Can't help feel that the bloke who cries on the other guy's shoulder has a comedic face which makes it work.

Sorry about the boring post title - I'm off sick and not feeling to puntastic...

In other news, I got through to the last 50 of Saatchi & Saatchi's recruitment scheme they're running via facebook. First round I had to make a facebook group and get as many members as possible, second round was a quiz on the industry, then in the third round you had to re-create an ad and explain why you think it's a goodun.

Looking forward to the next brief.
Also I got offered a new job. More money. More engaging.
Good news indeed.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Ground Rules

I can't remember where I found this, but it's bloody good.
The ground rules laid down between DDB and Avis.
Certainly worth taking note of.

In other news, I just won £60 off the back of a £6 bet on Phil Mickleson at the Masters. I also bet £3 on Anthony Kim at 35/1 which woulda made me pretty well off - but he came in third. Still, a good day all round.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

The Scent of Justice

I did an illustration for a magazine. Isn't it just a little creepy? I used an image I found on google for inspiration. The article was about the use of sniffer dogs in law enforcement. Here's an extract:

"That the use of detection dogs has removed some of the inadequacies of human judgment in the fight against crime has not ensured the eradication of any error at all. In August of last year, the drugs awareness body Release began legal proceedings against the British Transport Police, claiming that the use of dogs to detect drugs constitutes a fundamental human rights breach. Australian research has shown that 74% of searches carried out on the back of a positive indication by a sniffer dog yield no results; the consequence, according to Release, is that 3/4 of suspects are left with their privacy rights and freedom of movement infringed upon. The case is expected to go to the high court later this year, and victory for Release would mean the permanent cessation of drug detector dogs in public."

Here's a link to the magazine's website,
There's been talk of collaboration with Ian Anderson (of The Designer's Republic fame) in the future.
So watch this space!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Steve Henry on Anti-consumerism

Steve Henry (HHCL founder and ad legend) starts to embark upon an ideological analysis of advertising, particularly in post-recession (are we out yet?) Britain. I found this interesting because I too sense the anti-consumerist sentiment which is on the up, and often just try to repress it when I start to think about why I'm trying to get into this industry...

Instead of repressing more, I've starting reading some more political philosophy, namely F.A. Hayek - The Constitution of Liberty. It's basically the defining exposition of classical liberalism. Thatcher reportedly brought this book into an early meeting, slammed it on the desk and said "This is what we believe", getting everyone who hadn't already read it to do so. Essentially, I'm trying to fill myself in on where this country has previously been ideologically and where it's headed. I know that Hayek isn't so fashionable anymore; his work was born out of cold-war suspicion and built on a highly self-interested model of human beings, but (like in advertising) you have to know your history in order to understand your present. (If you haven't seen Adam Curtis' documentary series 'The Trap: What happened to our freedom?' I highly recommend it - its on Youtube in 18 parts. It retells the process by which the Western concept of negative freedom developed here and in the US, and discusses on an ideological level, our govenments' attempts to export an ideology - we ourselves have qualms with - to other countries and cultures).

In other news, after my second interview (I don't think I could have bared one more) I got offered a place at Watford. Score!!!

I decided to defer till next year, though, due to financial reasons mainly. Today, for the first time in about 3 years, my bank balance went back into the black. I'm now on double digits! Still got the £18,000 student loan of course, but no one needs think about that yet.

Right, I'm off to play in a Texas Scramble... google it.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

The last thing you want to do is write 'ads'.

Tony gave me some great advice on Tuesday. And it hit me like some sort of revelation.

First of all, he gave me some simple tips which I took on board.
My book was too robotic; Brand - Proposition - Executions.
I was simply writing the strategy as a visual ad.
There was no 'vehicle' - no intermediary idea to carry the message.
It needed to be Brand - Proposition - Idea - Executions.

Then, crucially, he said that with it was clear that I was sitting down and trying to write 'ads'.
He said "The last thing you want to do is write ads"
And it hit me... I've been trying to imitate that which I admire, rather than originate.
I've been mimicking the kind of ads that find their way into Luerzer's Archive, the kind of ads you see on I Believe in Adv.

I've been doing things how I think they're done.
Big visual - logo - tag. Or some combination of the three. Product demos. Too formulaic.
At first I thought to myself: didn't VW get the strategy It's small, but it's also tough - and just write visual ads which dramatized it?
Adding the tag 'Small but tough'.
Wasn't the copy simply restating the strategy?
But then I realised: that kind of ad is not what Tony is looking for.
He wants to see something more.

Something that can take on a life of it's own.
Something that looks no ad he's seen before.
Something that looks like nothing he's seen before.

Take pretty much every idea that Droga5 have come up with. Each one looks like no idea they, or anyone else, has ever come up with before.
That's exactly why they picked up 2 black pencils last year.
That's what I need to be aiming for.
Like Vik Kayno, a current student at Watford, told me - I need to push my thinking, get it to the next level. I need to stop writing ads, and start having ideas.
What a revelation to have!

Anyway, I've got more work to do than ever.
Tony said there was such a thing as a third shot (even a fourth and fifth), but he'd let us know how we did next week.

In other news, Uber Agency got back to me. They said I could come in for a crit session with the CD and/or go on a one week placement sometime in April. So that's nice news. Also, the Saatchi & Saatchi facebook recruitment scheme is well under way and after two rounds I'm in the last 250 or so. Excited for the next brief.

There's light at the end of the tunnel.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Chat, Fcuk, Poke

Here's a fresh little digital sizzler. Adverblog (source) puts it better than I can:

"As always happens when a new "platform" is being so frequently used, somebody gives it a twist and bring the dynamic into ad world, as the smart guys from
Poke London did for French Connection (a so-called high street fashion brand) and its blog called Manifesto. Seduce a woman at Chatroulette! and send the proof of that to win a 250 pounds voucher."

Good idea.
That said, it's near impossible to find to stumble across a female on chat roulette.
And meeting Aston Kutcher on there is the holy grail!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Get Fresh Kicks

With one week to go before heading back to Watford I've made a few new ads to go in my book.
They're pretty much all visual.
An image, with a logo, and a tag line if needs be. Like the one above!
What's more, I've displayed each set along side a simple Luke Sullivan style 'Brand = Adjective' explanation. It expresses in words, quite literally, the benefit or selling point I've chosen to dramatize. Hopefully this will make my book much easier to present in the two minutes they give you at Watford.

In other news, I recently discovered that the top billing agency outside London is actually based here in Sheffield! Uber Agency have done work for Netto, DFS, Morphy Richards and some Xbox and Wii games. I dropped them a line, asking if they'd look at my book. They said yes, so I sent it over. Any feedback from them would be just greaaat as I've never sent my book out anywhere. Some respectable criticism is just what it needs. I might get in touch with an agency called digforfire too... they were ranked 5th and are also Sheffield based.

Finally, I did my first ever graffiti session today in my back garden on some wood stolen from a skip. It's slightly illegal to do graffiti, so I'll let you know now... I'm certainly not practicing so I can get up early one morning this week and let loose on this old building they're knocking down in town. Certainly not.

Heg out.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Viagra, Watford and Keeping on going

(Above: a lovely simple ad for viagra - visual, logo - nothing to do with the post below!)

Hey lovely followers! How are you? As some of you may have heard, Watford have given me another go at the interview on March 2nd. This is great news. Apparently it isn't uncommon to have two goes. The two Watford students whose blogs I've followed had to try twice before getting on, so I'm not the only one.

As of yesterday I'm on a mission to do a million times better this time round. I now know what is expected of me.

Here's my regime for the next month:

1. Watch Luke Sullivan's lecture on simplicity
I did this yesterday, and every time I watch it I'm inspired to write ads. It's like the bible of ad writing condensed into one sermon.

2. Rewrite my portfolio
This means pretty much replacing every campaign if possible. If I write one ad/campaign per night I should have around 25. I'll take the best 12 and put them in my folio.

3. Learn all the agencies/clients/creative directors
As you may know, I really tried this last time, but only got 4/10 on the test. It's hard recalling so much in only one minute. If I record all the info onto an audio file and listen to it on my MP3 I'll be able to memorise it in my lunch breaks.

Which brings me to my next thing to tell you. I got a job.
Its a boring admin job, but it's what you gotta do in a recession.
This makes it very hard not to come home at 5:30pm and just veg out with a beer till bed time.
It's all about self-discipline.
Wish me luck.

Monday, 25 January 2010


(Source: Osocio)

What do Haiti and phones have in common? Vibrations. (That's not meant to be a tasteless joke - its the idea behind the ad). A lot of good ads take two worlds/ideas, find the overlap, then exploit it's potential. Just like this one.
The other day orange texted me and asked if i wanted to give £2.50 to the cause, so I did... whilst on the toilet.

Charity begins at home!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Anything but mild

This ad makes me want to never use a mouse trap again... but doesn't make me want to buy cheese. In fact, food was the last thing on my mind after witnessing the first 30 seconds.

(Source: I believe in advertising)