Sunday, December 03, 2006

Eulogy for Advertising

What a great way to say goodbye to the world of the traditional advertising models. We mourn the loss, and welcome the new.

Party hosted by naked ny - Via Diablogue

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Super Biggs at the Canada Bay Go Local Launch

Last night was the launch of the Canada Bay Go Local Guide which will be distributed to all residents soon. As a participant Super Biggs was invited, only it wasn't until a few shandy's had been consumed that the Budgie Smuggling, Big 'B' wearing, Caped Hero emerged.

What a night, I really think the cartoonist captured my inner super idiot without my having to show it at all, unfortunately, I would have loved the opportunity.

On a serious note:

Canada Bay Council are doing a great job of developing local business, the Go Local Guide is but a small part of their commitment.

Not sure what Go Local is, take a look online, you can even search for a local business.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Red Symons on Jaycar Products

Product endorsements can come in many shapes and sizes, but I wonder if this one is an exception to the rules. Red Symons has started to put up some You Tube videos, one of which he points out the ultimate uselessness of a number of USB gadgets that all happen to be stocked by Jaycar Electronics.

The saying goes that any PR is good PR, so in this case I wonder whether the crack team over at Jaycar HQ are sophisticated enough to realize this possibility. Red certainly doesn't hold back in giving it to the products, he even shows the Jaycar catalogue a number of times. My guess is that in Red's typical sarcastic view he has found himself a target that happens to be farily deserving of the abuse directed at them. However, I suspect there could be a bit of interest in USB Gadgets stirred thanks to Red's video.


Bravia Final Edit

This is the final of the much anticipated second execution for the Sony Bravia TV.

I am less excited now since I have seen it. It's not as impressive as the handy cam cut that was released during production, plus it looks too digitally modified considering they actually splattered the building with real paint.

Give me the bouncy balls any day.

And here's the first video that we saw months ago. Better in my book.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A brand is successful when it stops gathering and is gathered.

Brands start by associating themselves with symbols, experiences, emotions and other brands. The process of packaging specifically what values the brand stands for is realized through borrowing from others. How do we know when the brand is successful enough and can stop borrowing? A fundamental shift happens that illustrates and answers this question. Brands know their own success when individuals begin to borrow from them in order to create their own personal brand. In the same way as the virgining brand, an individual borrows form successful companies and iconic imagery in order to tightly package who they are in the eyes of others. At what point does a brand stop borrowing and start lending? Is there any overlap or do they never stop borrowing?

Stay tuned for what I think are the answers....

Passionate Presentations

I am not specifically a Microsoft supporter, but the clip below shows a level of passion and energy that anyone should envy. If you ever make a presentation, lecture, or pitch there is definitely something to be learned from the insane Steve Ballmer. Take a look, and save up your gusto for your next presentation.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Biggs the Australian Fast Bowler

At an Agency I worked for we developed an idea to sell cricket bats. We didn't steal any runs of the client but the idea still hit them for 6.

The idea is funny, but the real joke is me as the 'Australian Fast Bowler'. If I don't make it in advertising, there's always an acting career.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Dr. G. Clotaire Rapaille Continued

In a continued dedication to understanding how we think I have found another very high quality resource offering manifesto's on a range of business topics that you can download.

Most relevant to one of my recent blogs is the manifesto by Dr. G. Clotaire Rapaille. The manifesto talks about what he calls 'codes' that all of us have programmed into us as children. If we can then tap into these codes we can more effectively understand and therefore sell to people across a particular culture.

The manifesto PDF

Site with full list of manifestos

My previous entry on this subject

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

New Sony Bravia Execution

In a continuation of the previous Bravia campaign that I so passionately when on about, here is a short of the new execution which is in production in Glassgow.

This time the colour idea is taken a little further, I am still impressed with this idea as simple as it may be.

Sony are hosting their own site with info and images covering the shoot.

My previous posts about the Bravia Coloured Balls Ad:

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Biggs & Bigger Advertising Newsletter Launch

We are proud to announce that we are launching the Biggs & Bigger Newsletter. A digital broadcast is no new thing these days, but we are happy to be reaching out to our clients and fans.

Our goals for the newsletter:
  • To offer tips on improving your marketing capabilities both internally and through a better relationship with your agency.
  • Offer actual thinking tools that can aid the process of thinking and creativity.
  • Make regular commentary on current advertising campaigns and issues that affect the industry.
Interested? Signup Here

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

My brain made me do it.

I have recently been exposed to some new tools for understanding how the brain works. This is the whole reason that I got into advertising in the first place: wanting to understand how creativity reacts with a human brain and why people do stuff. To give a quick history, my interest and research into this line of thinking started with reading much of the works of Edward De Bono, the self proclaimed pioneer and leader of Lateral Thinking. De Bono is famous for the 'Six thinking hats', 'Serious Creativity', 'Lateral Thinking' and many others. All of which have added much value to my thinking ability. Just do a Google search, this guy has alot to offer.

My recent search for more resources and more understanding led me to Dr. G. Clotaire Rapaille, an internationally known expert in Archetype Discoveries and Creativity. I went in search of him after catching TV program that if I recall correctly was called the Persuaders, in it a group of FMCG companies visit his French mansion, pay a large sum and leave with a couple of carefully uncovered truths he calls Codes. These secrets to connecting with your target on the emotional level are then the basis of brand and communication activity for the brand or company in question.

I found these resources helpful, and have inspired me to integrate these kinds of operations into any and all projects I take on.

The Persuaders - Frontline Interview with Dr Rapaille.

How he sells coffee - there maybe something in here for Starbucks and Gloria Jeans

Great Report via CQM online Journal, about Dr Rapaille's work specifically applied to management and leadership. PDF- right click and 'save target as'.

Most recently I was lucky enough to see a presentation that included even more information and techniques to understand the human brain. An expert who works with Herrmann, in particular the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI).

The concepts covered in the Herrmann session are primarily for use in one-on-one situations and for effective leadership and management. That doesn't mean they are not of any value in futher understanding people that form communities and groups aswell.

Here are some snapshots of the concept.

The 4 sectors of the brain work in different ways, and usually an individual will have a noticable preference to one sector.

Here are some fantastic products you can purchase to assist with understanding the 4 part- whole brain concept.

The below should raise your interest but they are certainly not self explanatory, but give an overview of the 4 main character preferences.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

1984 will be like 1984

Apple are a powerful brand, and in one of my recent posts I proclaimed that their 1984 superbowl ad was the best ad ever created. I still think this, and there is much evidence to back it up, however, one of their claims in the ad, seem to be un-ravelling.

The sales of Ipods are bordering on monsterous in size, and since the Ipod system will only work with it's own proprietary software it is certainly difficult to avoid doing what Apple wants. Everyone has an Ipod, they all look the same, work the same, and won't let you 'think different' which was a 1990's tag line Apple used.

Here is a parody which even though I love the original, I also like, since it gets at the core contradiction that Apple have embarked upon.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Blogs Explained in Immense Detail

You need to know what a blog really is. They are revolutionising the media/ business world.... today.

A blog is an easily created website, that you, me, or the moron down the street can create in 10 minutes. More importantly blogs are giving media control to the people, allowing instant publication, and it is free. If this doesn't scare the pants of the Rupert Murdoch's of the world I don't know what would.

Apparently 40,000 new blogs are created every day, granted most are rubbish but the few that are relevant to your business could be doing great work to help or hinder you. You need to be aware and interacting with it.

It's a great thing, that we don't have to listen to the same voice and can choose who, and from where we take our news and opinions. Equally true is the freedom that our own publishing voice provides. Tell the world, tell your customers, tell your peergroup what you think, on mass scale, and have them converse with you by leaving comments. What could be more valuable for a business to do this in real time?

In my travels I recently come across this article on the US newsweek site. I was amazed at both the length and detail this thing goes into on the subject of Blogs in the context of business.
The article finishes with a plug for their own blog blog, called

Read it, then create a Blog.


P and O Cruise Line sell Sex Orgies

This is what the lawyers are saying in attack on the Cruise Line during the current inquest into a death on the Cruise ship Sky in 2003.

A line of copy on a postcard is what has prompted the hoo-haa. It reads "Seamen Wanted." Not sure where the licence to rape is, but hey I am just an Ad guy, not a sharp witted lawyer.

What is happening around us where an innocent line of copy that basically says you can meet girls and have lots of fun can be taken to extreme levels of responsibility. Who knows what kind of fun you like, maybe playing shuffleboard on the top deck with girls in bikini's is your idea of a hot time, I know it's mine.

The postcard certainly does not say, bring your mates, your GHB and drug the female passengers because thats what they are here for. It doesn't even come close.

The case is sound, but the postcard is not a piece of evidence.


Sesame Street memories are powerful for brands

I saw this clip on a TV show the other day and was transported to the time that I originally saw it.

It comes from Sesame Street and I must admit that the emotion evoked when seeing what was a big part of growing up, was quite strong. And it's not just nostaglia, it's more than that.

The original feeling of being highly impressed, captivated and amazed by the clip were all re-activated. Even though I am much older, I was unable to look at it as an adult, the only way I could see it was as I used to when I was a little boy.

How is this of any use?

Brands should strive to do the same thing. The job of highly effective and engaging brand communications is to install the same kind of higly evocative emotions. Brands, and Ads, can borrow these emotions from wherever they like in order to attach the emotions desired.

This article talks about the role of creative advertising, and the way in which brands borrow value from relevant souces that we can relate to.

Briefly it tells us:

"The role of the creative idea in advertisements is very simple. It is to transfer meaning from something we understand well to something that we understand less well or need reminding about." from the Adliterate blog.

Need I say any more?


via Russelldavies

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Greatest Ad of all time

Apple have an engaging, likable, and extremely powerful brand. Some of their recent advertising is a little tired although very effective, even if it does rely on the brand rather than the strength of the idea.

I can't say it all started with a single great ad. But what I will say is that the ad below was a pioneer. It ran only once during the superbowl of 1984. It was voted the best ad of the last 50 years by some hot shots in 1995. Plus I think it's a great ad.

The challenge for you is to see if your brand can let lose an ad that will be talked about with such gusto for the next 22 years. Or is the real challenge to maintain a brand that not only lasts the 22 years but evokes such interest and even carries it's own nostalgic value, as illustrated here.

I'd like it to be as easy as creating a good ad and automatically having a great brand, but today, it is not so. Apple have worked very hard to bring their brand to where it is today. You too will have to work hard to keep all of your brand stakeholders engaged.

So here it is, 1984 the ad.

Copywriters can't write

Sorry, but hear me out.

Incorrect English is a pet hate of mine, even if I am one of the biggest offenders. I endeavour to read as many articles, and books if I have the time, on the subject. Recently I have been reading a book by Lynne Truss. Called Eats, Shoots & Leaves, it's the catalyst for this article.

The title can be misconstrewed and misunderstood which is the point of the book.
I.E. He eats two things; bamboo shoots and leaves. It could also be taken as a record of events; He eats then shoots then leaves.

Getting to the point, so many times in advertising do we see comma's, apostrophe's, and ampersand's in the wrong places. The reason: either Writer's can't write, or in an attempt to create the precise idea that the rules of our language come out second best. Which just means our Writer's can't write.

I'm not saying Copywriters are poor at developing fantastic campaigns through beautiful storytelling. This is something they do well. But does it need to be at the cost of proper language?

The answer is NO it certainly does not.

Further adding to the problem are those individuals like myself who have a creative and a business function in the company. In my quest for creative freedom in writing ads, I find myself bending the rules when writing in a business sense. The less than perfect English in this article is a prime example.

I am also disgusted by the abuse of our language displayed in the modern world of SMS and email. Maybe it's my age, or my desire to be more conservative than I really am, but I just don't' relate to the whole 'C U L8R' crap.

Tell us what you think?


Dob In Your Boss for Charity

Everyone needs to dob in their boss, or dob yourself in and help raise some money for the less fortunate around us.

I will be attending the Dob in Your Boss Eveneing. We'll be out in the cold in the name of charty. I understand this is not advertising related but it is an important event.

Wednesday 21 June 2006
7pm to 7am

Winter Solstice - The longest night of the year

To be held at:

Cost: Donation
Your boss might like to donate the cost of a nights accommodation at a hotel.

This event would not be happening if it were not thanks to the pure hearted genius Richard Evans of Redd Media

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Sex Fashion Retail

Retail catalogues boring you? Not enough 'appeal'?

Well, french fahion brand Shai have come up with a solution and indeed a viral campaign that any company would love to have working for them.

Its a downloadable movie with clickable interactive components. Each clothing item on the stars of the film is clickable, and you get the low down on the product. What adds wheels to it is the fact that the participants are actually undressing and essentially getting it on in explicit detail. Thats right, the catalogue is a porno that their clothes just happen to be in. Oh and I presume you can buy them or something.

I must say it's a nice peice of porn, the clothes aren't really for me, but I have watched it about 10 times already...

This is a prime example of a campaign that costs virtually nothing to produce and implement, but will get passed on and downloaded over and over again. This blog is testament to that. I am interestd enough to talk about it while you are interested enough to keep reading to find out how to get a look 'at this spectacle.

A concept such as this can work for so many brands or products, and it doesn't need to be a porno which is really quite a lazy idea. The core value in the model is to give something of value for free ie something that people will seek out if given the opportunity and have your brand host that thing. The important thing is not to be seen as a tack on. Credibility is of the utmost importance and the brand needs to be the foundation that the value sprouts from. It's also a waste of time if you attemt to provide a product/service/space that is not characteristic of your brand. It will confuse consumers and you will also lose credibility. For example if Microsoft were to use the porn catalogue to promote a new peice of software, it would certainly create a stir, but would be utterly confusing in relation to understanding the brand, plus Microsoft have no credibility in the 'sexy' department. It would be a total mismatch and a waste of time.

I recommend you do something like this for your brand/company/service. I doesn't have to be porn unless it is inline with your brand.

Here's the link be advised that this is explicit and for 18+ adults only.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

You Tube - All your base are belong to us

from adrants
If you tried to log into the You Tube site recently you would have come across this message which on the surface looks like someone may have hacked the site. I'm sure there would have been much commotion had there not been a clue in the line itself.

If you have been on the internet since around 2000 you may have come across the phenomenom that was... All Your Base Are Belong To Us. Which started as a poor Japanese - English translation in a 1989 release of the game Zero Wing and resulted in a mass cult following across the globe.

I commend the You Tube guys for bringing back an oldie but a goodie. It highlights the raw power of a viral idea to spread without any commercial endorsement. If only we could rid our campaigns of the stink of capitalism, imagine the possibilities...

Old Values

Todays advertising, as we strive to engage our audience more and more, seems to be getting more and more tricky even for the viewer. What is more, much of the audience (excluding gen-y) are fully aware of marketing maneuvers. Is there a time to return to simple advertising that speaks to you clearly? Ads that simply say, here is a great sauce, you need sauce, come and buy it. It started with puns, but modern advertising has become far more complicated than a nicely executed double entendre. Is it any better? In most cases I would say no, in a small percentage, yes.

Back to the question. Is there a time to get back to the simple stuff? As much as I would like to see a return of the old advertising, I will have to say the time has not yet come. So the focus needs to be on the engaging quality of the ads being produced, which defines the task for the 90% of rubbish out there, calling itslelf advertising.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

This could be YOU

If you've just landed a job in marketing or advertising the guy in this film will probably be you for a while.

Enjoy an honest look at the advertising industry.

And if you have just come into the industry then you may like to read this advice from a US AdSchool Lecturer. This article was found via the high quality planning blog diablogue.

Guinness World Record - Shortest Radio AD

BBDO Onslo have created the shortest ever radio ad, which once you listen to it you will agree that it couln't have taken much 'creating' although it is built on a sound idea. 'tee hee, I made a pun.

You may also notice the client that the ad is for. Strage coincidence.

Click for English Version

From Adrants

Semantics Pose Great Conceptual Challengers

Consider the idea of an engaging campaign. What does it do to the consumer? What is one way we would like them to react? We want them to be 'Drawn In'.
In thinking this, I thought whad 'Drawn In' could literally mean in the context of advertising. With much of the advertising out there, the desired effect is much like the image below. This is the lesser of the two potential meanings attached to the phrase which I hope is obvious.

A great campaign WILL draw you in, but not because it fills your head with stuff. The power to draw you in comes from how involved you feel. How much opportunity the communication creates for you. Where it inspires you to go. What you are inspired to do, and how much value you can take from it without even purchasing the product.

That is truly Drawn In.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Shane Warne - the Advanced Man

Advanced Hair is a company that specialize in hair regrowth, if that's even possible. They are therefore mainly targeting men so it's ok if their ads are a little blokey...right.

As you will surely know, Shane Warne is their current personality endorsing the product in their TV advertising, they even have an SMS joke in one of the executions.

I'm not here to talk about the executions rather, whether it's a smart thing for any brand to take on such a loose cannon as the face of the brand.

Many sportstars, popstars and the famous in general are paid to endorse products. All too many times are they caught acting in a way that is not in line with the brand, or worse, using the competior product eg. Britney Spears drinking Coke when she is the face of Pepsi.

I suppose any company or brand runs the risk of their star mascot going off the rails and its a gamble worth taking if they have the potential to add value to the brand if they don't end up being naughty.

Back to Shane Warne, and maybe his antics are what the guys at Advanced Hair are looking for in a brand ambassador. Maybe their target market are all bogans who like to sleep around with as many english slappers as they can. I could have it all wrong.

If they are in fact trying to align themselves with this kind of rowdy, laddish, slapper- sex, then I am positive they will be happy about the latest images circulating via email.

Get in there Warnie, dickhead.

Friday, May 19, 2006

I just had to mention it

This article may not actually be real. However, it does highlight the power of suggestion, and indeed the vast power of the digital age. Where anything can be anything and anyone can be someone else.

Your brand or company image could be in need of some orchestrated PR, or maybe it's suffering from an overload of pomp. But it pays to be vitally aware of how you can use techniques such as this to subtlely or overtly guide your image.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Sony Bravia Ad Spoof for Tango (UK)

Recently in this blog I posted some comments about the beauty of the Sony Bravia ad (see below).

And in typical internet spoof style a rip of the ad is now running for Tango, a fruit drink in the UK.

I must say I like both versions !

And here is the original Sony Bravia Full 150 sec Brand Film. I can't tell you how much I love this execution.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Is buying media cheaper if you go direct?

Many small to medium clients beleive that Agencies 'Mark up" media when they place it. They therefore may opt to deal direct with the media organization thinking they are cutting out the middle man. This is for the majority of media channels is completely incorrect.

Above and beyond offering the 'same' costings as going direct, agencies generally have stronger buying power in that they are dealing with the media on a regular basis and in most cases be buying more than just your space at that time.

In fact, in addition to potential better costings the client also gains by having the agency select the most appropriate media for their particular communication objectives. When dealing direct it is impossible to get impartial advice from the publisher since they have their own business interests to meet, not yours. An agency on the other hand only has your interests in mind when they choose a media channel for you. Since success of the campaign will dictate whether you keep them on as an agency.

It simply comes down to the fundamentals of the business interests of each party. On which the media is not capable of being earnest, nor are they able to offer lower cost.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Blogging Trend Tracking

By virtue of you reading this I take for granted that you are farmiliar with Blogs and are aware that they are turning the internet into a peer publishing bonanza. They contain mostly rubbish about so-and-so's life that no one cares about, but they can also contain personal comment about current trends, products and brands.

Neilsen have released a new service that allows you to seach over 100 million blogs for a particular word of phrase. Thus dropping the dipstick into the populous sump and taking a reading of how things are doing for your particular interest.

There is a free version which works quite well although can only capture up to 6 moths of blog data. There are far more sophisticated versions with various analysis as a pay service.

Peer inspired media has never been so rampant and certainly never had the infinite reach that it enjoys via the internet. This tool allows marketers to gauge how well they are getting their messages out into a tradditionally hard to measure arena: unprovoked conversation.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Agency Launch

Readers of this blog will be pleased to hear that the authour has launched a full service Advertising Agency specialising in strategies for smaller brands.

Introducing Biggs & Bigger.

The Agency is operating as of May 2006 and is set to see the website very soon. The Philosophy is similar to the big small brands idea outlined in this blog. That is, there is much to be learned from powerful brands that can be used on the small scale to similar effect. Their work includes everything from design through to integrated campaign strategy.

Clients history of Mike Biggs
Subaru Australia
Allianz Insurance
Bellevale Homes
CPG Australia
Penrith Pilates Studio
Gadget Central
Jaycar Electronics
Merrylands RSL

You can however contact us at the agency on this email. We are happy to meet with you about any project you may have.

The Big Small Brands Book

Slow progress so far and I know I keep going on about it but the book is definetly on its way... no really it is!!

The good news is that the content being loaded into it is getting better and better with each revision. So I have no doubt it will be a favoured resource for all of you marketeers out there who want the advertising mumbo jumbo presented simply and clearly. Best of all it can be used as a 'how to' for developing campaigns when the expertese is not available or is too costly for your current budget.

I endeavour to keep you posted, but in the mean time, browse my articles and catch something of interest before the official release of chapter one.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Back from Agency Land

You will notice that this is the first post to the blog in quite a while. It is no excuse but I have spent a short time working on Subaru Australia Retail Advertising.

Retail advertising has a certain challenge to it. It requires high levels of diplomatic balance between a sales message that persuades viewers/customers to act, and the brand values that usually command clean, strong presentation of ideas.

Subaru engage with two agencies. One for brand, and one for the retail activities. This by virtue of there being two entities working on the brand throws open the door for significant damage to the brand.

While the brand agency spend time developing a refined image, the retail agency are instructed to SELL, SELL, SELL. And retail advertising at it's best can be so/so when compared to brand advertising. If coupled with the client themselves giving two separate sets of instructions for the brand, that verge on contradiction, a notable disconnect can exist in the consumers mind.

Clients need to be mindful that with two or three agencies operating for them, there can be gaps in the outgoing image. This will be magnified when the marketing managers don't co-ordinate internally.