More Number Based Friday Fun

Take a looky see at 7 8 9 by Barenaked Ladies. Neat little ditty. Neat little animation.
It's rare to find music that both parents and young children can enjoy together. On long car journeys there are only so many times that you can listen to "The Wheels On The Bus" and "Goosey Goosey Gander" without wanting to poke your eyes out with a rusty spoon. And that's just the opinion of my two year old daughter.

Maybe I'm a big kid at heart, but I think there's a whole new genre of music starting to emerge of well crafted, catchy music that can appeal to both adults and kids. Until recently, children's music was all about some cheesey session singers warbling their way through age-old nursery rhymes. That's all changing now. Barenaked Ladies have released Snacktime, a corking collection of original children's songs, and Dan Zanes ex-frontman of 1980's US college radio favourites The Del Fuegos has re-invented himself as a pioneer of "family music".

Rumour has it that Slipknot will be following suit shortly.

Field Day poster

Saw this poster for the Field Day festival today, which sounds nice. But the reason I've put it here is that it's great to see some classic Herb Lubalin-inspired type out there. I don't who designed it, but well played, whoever you are.

Art Department

We just got sent some smart newsprint posters of photographers' work from Art Department. Made a nice change from the usual glossy postcards. I love stuff printed on newsprint. This shot by Robin Broadbent is particularly strong in large scale - that'll be going up on the wall.

Advertising failing to help consumers choose...

A letter to the Viz Letterbocks highlights the confusion that modern, touchy-feely advertising is creating...

"I am in the process of buying a car and have narrowed my choice down to two. But I don't know whether to buy the one that floats away on balloons or the one that's made of cake. I think I prefer the one made of cake, but I'd like the security of knowing that the ad had won an award before making such a big commitment." Brian Fester

Read more excellent letters here.

Cheers! Cheers!

A big Sell! Sell! Welcome! Welcome! to graphic designer Ryan Young, who joins us having recently graduated from the University of Cumbria. We have been pre-warned by a concerned party about his penchant for fluorescent leisurewear which, although slightly worrying, virtually counts as camouflage here in the Shore of Ditch. Ryan will be contributing to the Inevitable Sell! Sell! Blog (yes, this what you are reading) and we're looking forward to him getting stuck in to our projects here at Sell! Towers. Smashing.

A big thanks to Dan at Dirty Mouse, and The Serif for helping us out!

Sexism In The Creative Department

A feature in this week's Campaign asks the age-old question of whether adland is shedding its sexist past.  No is the short answer.

It's fair to say, however, that women are being portrayed in a slightly more positive light these days...

Keep filling up

Inspiration – everyone needs it. When you are at art school or university, or just growing up you are constantly being exposed to new ideas and new things, you might see loads of exhibitions, films, art, stuff. Sometimes what happens is when people start work, they are so concentrating on working hard on their projects and making a good impression that they forget to keep looking for new inspiration. Everyone needs to keep inspired. And I don't mean sitting-on-your-computer-looking-at-youtube. And I definitely don't mean 'inspiration' as in 'watching-something on youtube then doing it again but with a logo at the end'. I mean good old filling up your brain with interesting, exciting, provocative stuff. Go to galleries, exhibitions, see films, art, design, whatever. Don’t forget. Otherwise if you stop putting things in to your brain, the things that come out of it will start to get a lot less interesting.

Kids Rock

I just watched the excellent School Of Rock, then I saw this. Rock-tastic.
As has been said - the Pearl Jam bit is top, Alanis Morriset is weird, but good.


Which advertising industry do you work in?

There are two advertising industries out there.

One where people enjoy the job they do and are inspired by it, where they see its value and try to do the very best job they can do for their clients. In this advertising industry people fight tooth and nail to get great ideas and get them out there, they are proud of what they do and know where it fits into society and commerce. They crucially know the point of what they are doing. An industry that respects the past but is moving with the times to improve. The people in this industry are inspired by the people around them and the challenges of their job, and they attack those challenges with enthusiasm and energy.

And then there's another advertising industry. In this one people despise what they do. They think clients get in the way of 'their creativity' Their main interest in the business is money. They chase awards, because awards (supposedly) bring them more money. They think what they do is pointless, apart from as a way of making money. They want to make little creative 'films' but if someone stops them, they complain, and blame them for making their work look bad. They treat their advertising industry as a system to be played, learn the ropes, play the game, work your way to more money. They avoid challenges, or 'difficult' briefs, and do what's fashionable, or currently perceived as 'cool' - that way they can win more awards. Ego rules, money talks and awards are the holy grail. The people in this second advertising industry are far more vociferous (probably because they are so angry), they put the people in the first ad industry down for being naive or idealistic, because it's impossible for them to understand.

Thankfully I and the people around me work in the first advertising industry. But it's scary to see just how many people seem to work in the second.

Modern Publicity

Found this the other day - it's a pull-out advertising the publication 'Modern Publicity' from 1950. A quote: "Modern publicity is the lifeblood of the modern mechanised world. If it suddenly ceased, industry would come to a standstill, unemployment would be rife, many people would starve, health would deteriorate, bewilderment and fear would stalk the world. We should go backwards towards chaos and barbarism" easy tiger, I'll subscribe to your mag.

Something good, something not so much

This is a new app for the iPhone created by BMB and Illusion Labs for Carling. It's like a virtual pint in your iPhone that uses the phone's built in accelerometer to make it move realistically. It looks like you have to play a pretty average-looking game to download it, but the virtual pint itself is really good. It's clear there are going to be loads of innovative and useful apps for the iPhone - this isn't an 'app' as such, in that it doesn't have a use other than entertainment, but it's a great piece of entertainment, it's bang on the product, and I can see loads of people doing this to show their mates. Spot on.

This is an ad that seems to be haunting me at the minute - it seems to be on every time I watch telly. And every time I see it, it irritates me. All this fuss about starting with a blank piece of paper, and creating this blank, white world to illustrate it - then they wheel out a car that looks like any other 4x4 on the market. Maybe the blank sheet of paper was very thin, and there was a picture of a Honda underneath it. Ultimately, it doesn't matter how clever the execution is, if the idea doesn't ring true to the product, people will see through it. People know when they are being bullshitted. Maybe there are some fancy crazy things about this car that would back up the big statement over and above its looks - but there is nothing in the advertising to suggest it. So on face value, it just looks like a big, fat lie.

Max's Joke 'O' The Week #5

Courting controversy
Following a hard day in court, a judge decides to go to the pub. Nine pints and seven whiskies later, he staggers out of the boozer and starts to walk home. Unfortunately, on his way he feels sick and he throws up all over his suit. Arriving home, he uses his fine legal mind to explain the mess to his wife. ‘Some filthy tramp vomited all over me,’ he moans, and his sympathetic wife makes him a nice cup of tea. The next day the judge comes home and decides to make his story more convincing. ‘You’ll never guess what?’ he says to his wife, ‘The tramp that threw up on me was in court today. I gave him six months!’ ‘Well,’ she replies, ‘You should have given him a year, because he shat in your pants as well.’

Pictures of walls

Pictures Of Walls is "A gallery of walls with stuff written on". There's always some stuff on there to make you chuckle, plus some of them are really clever. More here.

Henri Cartier Bresson

A bit of classic photographic inspiration. See more here.

I Can't Go Back To Savoury Now

By the excellent John Shuttleworth.
That's Mr Shuttleworth to you.

Max's Joke 'O' The Week #4

The missing pen

A doctor is sitting in his surgery preparing to write out a prescription for a patient. He reaches into the top pocket of his white coat and pulls out a rectal thermometer. ‘Damn!’ he swears. ‘That means some arsehole must have my pen.’
Funnyometer from Here

New from Sell! Sell! this week

A bit of shameless self-promotion. Look out for this on your screens. Thanks again to Steve and Tim at Another Film Company for a cracking job.

To see more work, click here.

Creative secret weapon: Chatter

There's no one 'trick' to solving creative briefs and coming up with good advertising ideas (sorry!), every problem is different. But there are things you can do to help things along. One of them is very simple - stupidly simple in fact (my favourite kind). Talk to people.
Hardly rocket science, but it is something that can be forgotten too easily. A lot of creatives think that you should take the brief and go and lock yourself in your office and not come out until you have 'the idea'. But don't underestimate the effectiveness of just talking to people about the problem you are working on. It might be seen as a bit old fashioned in a world where the modus operandi of a lot creatives seems to be 'get brief, go on computer' but I guarantee it will help a lot.
It's obvious that that's one advantage of traditional agency creative teams - having someone to talk over ideas and the problem with on a permanent basis is massively more helpful and productive (and fun) than sitting on your own in a room waiting for inspiration to strike. But look further afield than that. Keep talking to everyone involved - talk to the account director about their perspective, ask an account manager what they think about it, go and bug the planner - ask them some difficult questions. You should always be talking and questioning everyone on the project, find out what people really think. More importantly you should make sure you are talking to your client - before, during and after the briefing, go down to their office/factory/whatever - ask them awkward questions that no one else would ask, find out what they think the real problems are. You'll be amazing how many important and potentially massively helpful things don't make it into the brief.
Also, make sure you talk to as many people from 'the real world' as you can about the product you're working on, ask your mates, your mum, a cab driver, the man you buy your newspaper off. A LOT of very helpful things, insights and opinions can lurk in these conversations.
So that's it really. Don't feel like you have to sit on your own in a quiet room to come up with an interesting idea. Go outside.
Have a chat.

Gary Taxali

Illustrator Gary Taxali takes a style that is reminiscent of vintage advertising/propaganda print and graphics, but quite often has a dark underbelly. We like it a lot. Check out his latest work here. You can also buy prints and other fun Taxali things here.

Tim Walker at the Design Museum

Went to the Design Museum recently to top-up on a bit of inspiration. There was some good stuff one there including a really interesting exhibition of Richard Rogers + Architects. But the one that stayed with me was the Tim Walker exhibition. Tim is a fantastic fashion photographer and this is a great opportunity to see his innovative work on a large scale. Scale was a big part of the exhibition actually, with very large scale prints and giant props giving it a real sense of wonder and playfulness. They are definitely worth seeing for real, the internet doesn't really do them justice. More details here.

Max's Joke 'O' The Week #3

The Ordeal of Fruit
Two men shipwrecked on an island are captured by cannibals. The chief informs them the only way to avoid becoming dinner is to undergo the ‘Ordeal of Fruit’. The men accept at once, and the chief sends them into the jungle to collect 100 pieces of fruit and bring them back to him. The first man comes back with 100 grapes. The chief says that if he can shove all the grapes up his arse without giggling then he will be free. But no sooner has the first grape reached his butt than the man bursts out laughing. ‘What’s so funny?’ the chief asks. ‘Don’t you realize we’re going to kill you now?’ ‘I’m sorry,’ the sailor replies. ‘It’s just that my friend is collecting pineapples.’

Any Jesus...

That's quite a bargain.