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.