Thursday, 21 August 2008

Comment: How not to place an ad.

Todays London free-sheet like every other day...untill you see the front page article and start to draw associations with the ad right next to it....

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Comment: Oh-limb-Pix

After seeing the Bejing opening ceremony last night I must say I was impressed, China have really outdone themselves (despite all the hoohar I'm sure you're all aware of prior). "We've got a lot to live up to" I heard my mother in law say which got me thinking....what would the 2012 ceremony be like? I thought about something that symbolises British culture (seeing as the logo 2012 clearly does not).

One good way to represent the country could be creating an Olympic flame cauldron from a pint glass, or turning the Olympic torch into a bladed weapon. For the ceremony we could choreograph 2012 intoxicated dancers to assault the stewards and swear at the crowd...

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Sex me up baby.....

Sexysexysexy names.......

We all know that sex sells (so does fear and feeling), but how far can you go before it just gets silly? I'm not talking about sexually explicit material (you can stick all the women you want in an ad till the cows come home but it might not drive ROI), I'm talking about the sexing up of terms, names and so on.

When you're faced with a product that has little or no rational USP, what can you do? CokePepsi dilemma...Some go for the emotional purse-strings, others sell a lifestyle/image, whilst others try and expand the market via brand extensions etc. But don't fall into the trap of changing something into what's already there (don't get me wrong, rebrands and relaunches have worked wonders for some). But when all that's changed is the name, then I wouldn't expect much from the product. Take a dog poo for example, if I were to call it a 'canine pavement present' it wouldn't change the fact that it's still a dog sh*t. The same goes for brands and art (calling a object art, unmade beds aside, doesn't necessarily MAKE it art, this is just suggestive perception however).

I remember walking into a Topshop in London and seeing the staff labelled 'retail advisers' they're not just shop assistants? It gets better, McDonalds staff are labelled as 'sales ambassadors', not merely cashiers or kitchen staff.

When you get sexy sounding products it starts to make me cringe because it's telling me that there is nothing beneficial about this item, (even though there may be), almost like a desperate sell, a cop out. Unfortunately this is what agencies may have to work with from a clients brief.

After all this banter I'm going to nip down to Homebase and get me some Forest Lake coloured paint...whatever the hell that colour is......
(I'm not bashing AMV of course, who I think did the Dulux ads, just the names Dulux chose for their product).

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

What over twelve hundred pounds of rail tickets look like.

Or when calculated, £1268.93 in total over a period of just under two years. With a young persons railcard you divide this by two then add it so that's £634.46 (I saved) and totalled up is what you might pay without the discount...£1903.39!! There's a project in here somewhere so watch this space... And I wonder WHY I'm skint sometimes, (Network Rail, you owe me some shares....)

Monday, 4 August 2008

Something humbling about having an old book in your hands...

After one of my many trips to London I discovered a tiny bookshop near Hampstead Heath, just off the corner of the Hampstead tube stop (near Paul's bakery on the left of the street exit). You wouldn't even know it WAS a bookshop if you didn't see the shelving through the window.

When walking in the first thing you notice (apart from the musty smell of knowledge), is the fact that the shelves are can't see any wall! There are classic novels, scientific journals, art periodicals, history textbooks and a billion other subjects all crammed into this tiny shop (run by two little old ladies), it'll make your head spin, even the walkways were jammed with books! A definite visit if you want some inspiration or just a good read, especially when there are some pretty decent and rare finds in there. My (very affordable) purchases were a book on Friedrich Nietzsche by J.P. Stern and 'Thinking to some Purpose' by L. Susan Stebbing (from an oldschool series by Pelican books).

There's something humbling about holding a well-thumbed, tatty and worn browned book, (which tells you that it's a useful object, and as we know, useful objects attain more value to them) with an interesting past. You can almost picture in your head the 30yr journey this book has been on.
It could be said that a book is like an analogue USB stick of knowledge and data, easy to share and store. Unlike computers, a book feels more real (aside from the literal interpretation), and bears the marks of age. A book can have a story behind it...who read it prior to me? what impact did this thing have on society? etc etc Cuddling up with a good book and a coffee after a hard days work (or in my case recently a 67 hour day) is in my view a fitting and satisfying finish.