Viva Espana!

At Sell! Sell! towers we adopted the Spanish team for the European championships, so it was great to see them win it last night. Although, as a replacement for following the England team it didn't really deliver. Where was the under achievement? Where was the rubbish football? Where was the getting knocked-out by a much less good team followed by national self-loathing and much beer-soaked introspection? Well thankfully nowhere to be seen. Just great football and a trophy. Nice.
Here's a last little slice of fantastic Spanish culture to celebrate.

Fifty Designers' Current Favourite Typefaces

This is a neat little book created to raise money for UNICEF's Myanmar (Burma) Cyclone Children's Appeal in the wake of Cyclone Nargis that hit Myanmar on 2nd May 2008.
It includes contributions from people like Farrow, Stefan Sagmeister, The Chase, North, Pentagram and The Designers Republic. And it's only three quid. So why not buy one instead of your bucket of milk & coffee tomorrow?
You can buy it from Koenig Books in Charing Cross Road, Artwords Bookshop in Shoreditch or here.

Seven Songs For Spring

We've been tagged by our good friends at Delicious Industries to come up with our 'Seven Songs For Spring'. It's now sort of 'Seven Songs For Spring/Summer', although that sounds a bit like a catalogue. Anyhow enough! Here are our seven songs, as nominated by the Sell! Sell! crew (in no particular order)...

1. La Bamba - Los Lobos

2. All I Want Is You - Barry Louis Polisar

3. Wagon Wheel - Old Crow Medicine Show

4. Sunshine - Sparklehorse

5. Shut Up And Let Me Go - The Ting Tings

6. California Soul - Marlena Shaw

7. Springtime For Hitler - The Producers Original Soundtrack

In turn we are tagging Rubbishcorp, Lunar, and I Rate Everything.

Are You Being Served? (not by Tom Hunter)

How many times can you make the 'My Pussy' joke and it still be funny?
A lot. Classic.
"Ground floor perfumery, stationery and leather goods, going up..."

'Are You Being Served' by Tom Hunter

Also at the Museum of Childhood is an excellent project by photographer Tom Hunter. Called 'Are You Being Served' it "explores the changing face of east end trade...situational portraits of local businesses on the main road between Bethnal Green and central Hackney provide us with a fascinating record of the diverse proprietors, their premises and their wares". They are fantastic shots that really capture their subjects incredibly well, like frozen moments in time. These are the kinds of images that will be hungrily studied in the future to see what life was like now. Definitely worth seeing for real, rather than tiny pics on the interwbnet, to see all of the detail and nuances that Hunter has captured. See the series, and more of his work here.

Olympic Posters at The Museum of Childhood

The Museum of Childhood is an excellent museum in Bethnal Green, housed in a fantastic building - read more about it here.

They are currently holding an exhibition of Olympic posters from the past 100 years. It's a really interesting group of work, because the thing they are celebrating is consistent, but obviously the different locations and the different eras have vastly different styles. The classic Olympic poster for me is the Mexico 68 one - it was great to see it in the flesh. There is some fantastic design there, including posters designed by Lichtenstein and David Hockney. You walk round it in chronological order, which is really interesting, the only down side of which is that you are left with the design for the London (iondon?) 2012 games. Which looks a little sad after its iconic predecessors. Still, for anyone interested in design, it's great collection to see. Find out more here.

Max's Joke Of The Week Part Deux

Me, but cunningly disguised.

After franticly surfing the web desperately trying to find an amusing joke that would make the two fearsome and ferocious advertisers, that are Andy and Vic laugh it occurred to me that one, almost all joke website’s are rubbish and that 50% of jokes are about dumb blonds. So when I stumbled across this little bomb shell I thought it was the first joke that had gone in the opposite direction to the usual blonds are stupid. In reality most people are aware that you should never underestimate the blond as this poor man did, cause otherwise you will end up looking like the plum.


A woman and a man driver are involved in a horrific collision, but amazingly both escape completely unhurt - though their cars are written off.
As they crawl out of the wreckage, the man sees the woman is blonde and strikingly beautiful. Then the woman turns to the man and gushes breathily: 'That's incredible - both our cars are demolished but we're fine. It must be a sign from God that we are meant to be together!'
Sensing a promise, the man stammers back, 'Oh yes, I agree with you completely!'
The woman goes on, 'And look, though my car was destroyed, this bottle of wine survived intact, too! It must be another sign. Let's drink to our love!'
'Well, OK!' says the man, going with the moment. She offers him the bottle, so he downs half of it and hands it back.
'Your turn,' says the man.
'No, thanks,' says the woman, 'I think I'll just wait for the police.'

(Old) News

Pinky at the Old Shoreditch Station

Artist/Illustrator Pinky has a new exhibition at the Old Shoreditch Station called The Crunch. It runs until July 13th. We really like the bold graphics and colours - particularly the colourful graphic versions of candy skulls. See more of Pinky's work at PinkyVision.

South Park: Best Friends Forever

I've always been a fan of South Park. I followed it religiously when it first came out, but drifted away a bit after the first few seasons. However, since it appeared on iTunes, I have been watching loads of the episodes from seasons 8-11. And they are better than ever. South Park goes where others fear to tread. Take this episode, which I watched for the first time yesterday - 'Best Friends Forever' from Season 9. It touches on the controversial and extremely sad story of Terri Schiavo, but of course does so in a way that exposes the stupidity of a lot of the arguments, and obviously in a way that is extremely funny (the ultimate battle between heaven and hell, Sony PSP, and life support machine ethics - strong combination). It won an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Programme. Well deserved, I'd say. It's an excellent, excellent episode. But you probably wouldn't think so, goddam hippies.

Today's Sun headline...

Every so often The Sun headlines just make you laugh out loud. Nice one.

Life Is Beautiful

Life Is Beautiful is the first exhibition by 'eccentric French filmmaker' Mr. Brainwash. It's on in a former Hollywood Studio on 6121 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, which is quite a walk from Shoreditch. But if you're anywhere near it looks like a great set of images. I'm a big fan of taking well known images and twisting them in some way to create a new image or a new message. Good Stuff. Link here. Starts today, June 18th.

Max's Joke 'O' The Week #1

Meet Max, our most excellent summer intern. He will be furnishing us with a (very funny) joke that he has selected, each week. Here's number 1, which has a political theme:

Son: Dad, I have to do a special report for school. Can I ask you a question?
Father: Sure, son. What's the question?
Son: What is politics?
Father: Well, let's take our home for example. I am the wage earner, so let's call me “Tony Blair.” Your mother is the administrator of money, so we'll call her “Gordon Brown.” We take care of your needs, so we'll call you “the People.” We'll call the maid “the Working Class,” and your baby brother we can call “the Future.” Do you understand, son?
Son: I'm not really sure, Dad. I'll have to think about it.

That night, awakened by his baby brother's crying, the boy went to see what was wrong. Discovering that the baby had seriously soiled his nappy, the boy went to his parents' room and found his mother sound asleep. He went to the maid's room where, peeking through the keyhole, he saw his father in bed with the maid. The boy's knocking went totally unheeded by his father and the maid, so the boy returned to his room and went back to sleep. The next morning he reported to his father.
Son: Dad, now I think I understand what politics is.
Father: Good, son! Can you explain it to me in your own words?
Son: Well, dad, while Tony Blair is screwing the Working Class, Gordon Brown is sound asleep, the People are being completely ignored and the Future is full of shit.

All feedback, requests and submissions for Max's Joke 'O' The Week gratefully received.

More Sell! Sell! Work In Progress...

A couple of pics from last week's shoot. Not wanting to give anything away, so just a teaser. This will be hitting your screens in July. Thanks to Steve, Tim and everyone at Another Film Company for an excellent shoot and good times. Looking forward to seeing this one finished up.

Vector Portraits - 66 Drives

Photographer Andrew Bush has created a lovely series of photographs called 'Vector Portraits'. They are "Photographs made while travelling 50 to 70 mph in Los Angeles and other parts of the Southwestern United States."

Get Down. The Hamster Boogie.

What YouTube was invented for.

Sell! Sell! Salutes... Should've gone to Specsavers

'Should have gone to Specsavers' is something increasingly rare in the advertising business - an advertising idea that is allowed to build over time. Is it a strategy? Is it a creative idea? No, it's just a good advertising idea that is locked into the product and brand. Three years ago I don't think any particular high-street optician had an advantage over another, but thanks to the client (and the agency) having faith in this idea, Specsavers is becoming "the one you've heard of". The thing about building a campaign like this is that it's not about individual executions, it's about sticking with it over time. Often, the initial executions aren't 'knock-out' but do a good job setting up the idea for those who come later to bring it to life in different ways. It's not about making little pieces for the annual beauty parade of executions that are the creative awards - it's about building something valuable over time. So for that, for sticking with it, Specsavers - we salute thee!

Que Viva El Sell¡ El Sell! Part II

To celebrate Spain's excellent win over Russia, here's another slice of Spanish culture. Come on you rojo!

See also Que Viva El Sell¡ El Sell!

The New 3G iPhone

The 3G iPhone has been unveiled by Apple. As expected it's an iPhone - but 3G. But what is so exiting about it is the potential. It feels like the first device that really could be a user friendly portable home for all sorts of interesting stuff. I think the user friendly-ness of it is what makes it so exciting - couple that with the potential of 3G and applications that could exploit both and the possibilities seem amazing. The first few applications shown in the keynote speech give an idea of what's to come. 3G phones are nothing new, nor are mobile applications, but iPhone brings a genuinely user-friendly interface to that party - and that's what makes it feel like something that everyone and anyone can get to grips with. And making it feel like a 'useful thing' and not 'a piece of technology' is what will make the difference I think. . Find out more here.

Matchbook Images

This is a great flickr set of matchbook covers from Eastern Europe. They have a lovely feel, great colour schemes and print quality. Have a look here.

George Bush Colouring Book

George Bush's term as president of the US of A is nearly at an end, but there's still time to get in your piss-takes. This is a pretty good one, the George Bush Colouring Book. Are you meant to stay in the lines?

Foo Fighters at Wembley

On Saturday night I went to watch the Foo Fighters at Wembley Stadium. I'm a fan of the Foos but don't normally like big concerts, I'd rather see a smaller band in a small club or something than a big one at a festival. But - this was awesome. Wembley was sold out with 86000 people, yet the atmosphere was indescribable really, amazing. It has to be the best gig I've ever been to. To top it off with an encore with guest appearances from Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones playing Led Zep classics Rock And Roll and Ramble On (with Grohl drumming on the first) was fantastic. OK, that's enough superlatives. While I was trawling youtube for a clip, I found this of Will Ferrell and Dave Grohl doing a duet of Leather & Lace - random but good...

Que Viva El Sell¡ El Sell!

Well Euro 2008 kicks off tomorrow. We've felt bombarded by TV channels and newspapers telling us to 'Decide who we're going to support' - a thinly veiled attempt to drum up interest in a competition that doesn't include any of the home nations. Obviously they have sold their ad space and scheduled their programmes around it, and are desperate to get people watching/reading.

However, being footy fans here at Sell! Towers, we realise (even though the constant badgering has been a bit bit annoying) we should pick a team to throw our support behind. But who to chose? Obviously we have the opportunity to support a team that might actually win the competition, or one that might overachieve. But somehow that seems wrong. It wouldn't be the same following a major international competition without a sense of injustice and disappointment. So we have decided to go with a team that matches good old England for being much less than the sum of it's very talented parts. A team that equals our consistently strong record of under achievement in international competitions. That's right - Spain.

They are being touted as potential winners - check!
They have some of the best players in Europe - check!
They will probably lose to Croatia or Greece or someone - check!
So, for the next couple of weeks, or at least until they get knocked out - Sell! Sell! will become El Sell! El Sell!. We're cracking out the Chorizo, Estrella Damm and the Juan Sola records. We is going Espaniol!

Come on the lads! Or should that be ¡Venga en los muchachos!

Same car, different year

Automotive Monogamy is a great project by Italian photographer Matteo Ferrari. He finds people who have owned the same car for a long time, and recreates their old photographs of themselves with the car.

Sell! Sell! Salutes - Aston Villa

Not because of their footballing prowess. Not because they'll be playing in the Intertoto Cup against a team from Eastern Europe whose name has too many vowels in it. And not because they're going to sell Gareth Barry to Liverpool.

But because they've decided to forego the filthy lucre of lucrative shirt sponsorship and wear a strip emblazoned with Acorns - a network of children hospices.

This story warmed the cockles of our hearts. In the era where football seems to be more and more about the money, it's great that a club is taking a stand and doing something truly positive. It's also smashing for a low profile children's charity like Acorns as they'll get invaluable exposure and awareness that will undoubtedly contribute massively to their fundraising efforts.

Football kits were changed forever in 1977 when Hibernian became the first club to wear shirts carrying sponsorship. As our picture shows, it was for the sports brand Bukta (now fashionable 31 years later only in Shoreditch). As you can see, Hibernian picked Rab C Nesbitt's drinking buddies to show off their revolutionary shirts. Those were the days.

Since then the world and his corporate wife have jumped on the shirt sponsorship bandwagon in a desperate attempt to connect with the man on the terraces and the man in front of his telly permanently tuned in to Sky Sports. Often with mixed results. Does anyone really drink Chang Beer? Have they spent all their cash sponsoring Everton instead of actually distributing the product in bars, restaurants and supermarkets where people might actually be tempted to buy it?

It was wonderfully refreshing to see Man Utd wear unsponsored shirts to mark the 50th anniversary of the Munich Air disaster. Now there's a shirt you could wear with pride if you were a supporter. Shame it was only a one-off.

Wouldn't it be marvellous if all the other 19 Premiership clubs followed Aston Villa's lead and had a charity on the front of their shirts? I'm sure they'd make up the shortfall in cash from sales of dodgy pies, flat overpriced beer or bungs. Can't see it happening somehow...

Clients - Meet the creatives

This is an idea for anyone who has the dubious pleasure of being the 'Client' of an advertising/creative agency. These days it is normal practice for creatives to be in meetings with clients, presenting work, responding to questions, talking through ideas etc., and that has got to be a good thing. But I think it would be very interesting for clients to find out a bit more, up-close-and-personal, about the people who will be given the responsibility of coming up with the stuff that ultimately has to work for them.
Obviously, everyone who an agency wheels into a meeting with a prospective client, or at a pitch, or at a presentation is going to 'say the right things' and have an understanding of the client's business and what they are trying to achieve.
But if you are a client looking for an agency, or you already have an agency but you haven't done this - do this. Ask to meet the creative department. Be firm, don't take no for an answer. The agency might try to find ways to distract you, but insist - it's your right.
Don't settle for meeting a couple of senior people, or an awkward group meeting. Ask to be given the run of the creative department for an hour. Pop in and see as many different creatives and teams as possible, at all levels; juniors, middleweights, placement teams - and just chat to them for a couple of minutes. Ask them what they are working on, ask them what their favourite campaign is and why, ask them what they think their Creative Director is looking for in their work. Ask them why they got into the business, what they think makes for a successful campaign, what their own most successful campaign is. You get the picture. Find a bit about what is going on at the business end of the agency. It'll give you a good insight into the company, and the people, and the culture. And you might find out what the people doing your advertising are really interested in.
And I think in some cases you might find that very interesting indeed.