Pringle Of Scotland Shrigley Commercial

Superbly written, excellent voiceover. It's to the point in the best way, about the product and what makes it special, but very well crafted and very enjoyable. Some great advertising at last to celebrate on a Friday. Hats off to all involved. Makes your typical ad agency offerings look ponderous and formulaic.


How To Report The News

More observational brilliance from Mr Charlie Brooker. If you've not clocked this yet, feast your eyes on a classic piece of Newswipe satire. Disturbingly accurate, we'll never be able to watch the news in the same way again.

The Original iPad

So the snazzy new iPad is unveiled amongst much fanfare. It's seems that Mr Jobs and Co haven't realised that someone already invented the iPad four years ago...



Back in '87 rare scotch brand J&B were looking for some new advertising. A campaign that was "fresher, younger & more alive" than their old stuff. So they approached the small Manhattan agency Grace & Rothschild.

The agency's initial proposal went down like a lead balloon, nearly losing them the account. But they got a stay of execution, 3 weeks to come up with something better. And they did. Roy Grace & Diane Rothschild went back to the drawing board and knocked heads until they came up with a simple idea. A series of visual puns employing the J&B name. They ran with it, creating over a dozen sayings and ways to illustrate them.

It's a great campaign, a simple idea, really well executed and art-directed that put's J&B at the centre of the messaging. They stand up well on their own and work as a set, OK maybe one or two aren't quite as good as the rest. But over a dozen executions that's good going in our book. And the client was hooked, the readers loved them and the campaign was a success.
Oh and we can't forget about this bad boy, best christmas print ad ever?

Barclaycard Rollercoaster

Entertaining new telly ad for Alton Towers, sorry Barclaycard.
They've clearly spent shedloads of cash making this pretty piece. It's really well shot, well cast, tightly edited with a great soundtrack, sexy post etc, etc.
And sitting in a rollercoaster is obviously a much better way to get about the place with a credit card in your hand than, say, on crutches like that bloke from last year's Visa ad did.

However, whilst I'm sure most people who see it will enjoy this feelgood visual spectacular, I've got a nagging feeling that the message and focus of the "contactless payment card" [i.e. the thing that's supposed to be being advertised] won't really register with viewers.
I must have seen this ad's separated-at-birth predecessor, "Waterslide", at least a dozen times and not realised that there was anything special or different about the credit card that was in the hand of the bloke in the flume.
Same with this execution - I think there's so much going on that you don't really pay attention to the voiceover and if you blink you'll miss beardy bloke swiping for his brekky in a nanosecond.

Interesting [and ever so slightly naughty] that there are no smallprint legals flagging interest rates on this ad. Does this mean that, for some poor buggers, the rollercoaster will end being a metaphor for a spiralling into deep and uncontrollable debt rather than as "a great metaphor for how Barclaycard makes payment so simple for our customers" as the company paying for this commercial would like us to believe?


I admit it. Sell! Sell! is a flawed company. There's no denying it anymore. We are institutionally addicted to sweets. Haribo in particular. The milk bottle Haribo especially. But any kind of sweets really. We love them. There I said it. I feel better.

So it was with the delirious glee of a true addict that we opened this package from the lovely folks at Vivio in Poland, sent as a thank-you for the Bullshit Free Zone Posters that we posted them. It's filled with a smashing mix of weird and wonderful Polish sweets.

Much appreciated fine Vivio folks, we're already enjoying them. Ta.

If anyone else ever fancies sending us any kind of sweets or confectionary item as bribe, inducement, or just for the sheer pleasure of giving, please feel free.

Crap Corporation

This promo video for Pulp - a healthy eatery in the States, created by Dark Igloo - takes a modern day twist on some classically cheesy old school food ads, under the guise of the fictitious 'Crap Corporation'.
The video has some pretty funny copy and nice little touches here and there. Looks like it was a lot of fun to make too.
Via Kitsune Noir.

Quote Of The Day

"I have never seen evidence that advertising created with the benefit of planning is any more effective than advertising created by a guy with a yellow pad sitting at a bar"

From Bob Hoffman today.
If you don't, you should read him.
Because he calls it like he sees it.
And the ad business needs more people like that.

Stupid Bankers

With an unrivalled track record of making their own staff look like twats in their advertising, Halifax have sunk to new depths with their latest commercial.

Now, there's a whole Thesaurus worth of adjectives to describe just how bad this ad is. What I'd like to spend a bit of time banging on about is just how wrong this ad is.
It appears that Halifax are completely fucking oblivious to the fact that this country has experienced a deep, painful recession and that bankers are suffering from a reputation crisis where the lack of confidence and trust in them probably means that now even Gary Glitter is more highly regarded.

Those "slice of life" Nat West ads where real employees are talking to real people about money stuff may not be my cup of tea but at least they feel down to earth, human and not profligate.

A bunch of clowns from Halifax waving "free" fivers around is hardly likely to restore faith in that once well-regarded profession or compete at the same level. I know who I'd rather trust with my money.

It would be tragic enough if it was Halifax's own money that they were pissing against the wall with this ad. But the government's intervention and subsequent bailout of HBOS means that the good old British taxpayer has funded this garbage somewhere along the line.

More questions. Does it really make economic sense for Halifax to overtly chase the kind of bargain hunter who would be happy to switch current accounts for a fiver a month? Especially as people often seem more inclined to change their own sex than they are the current account they've had since college? Also, is this audience really going to be the most profitable group for Halifax to target, sorry, make money from? Will they really be able to cross sell other HBOS financial services to this group who are only likely to be concerned with getting a good deal?

Also, how did much the bloody thing cost? It seems to be on almost every other ad break and Spandau Ballet "Gold" can't come cheap. You would have hoped that someone, somewhere has worked out the maths and that a profitable return on investment for this activity is feasible. I'd love to know if this campaign actually works.

Somehow I doubt whether the business success of this campaign will be meriting high fives all round.

Airbrushed For Change - The Hands Of Change

This poster and its unreal, unearthly hands seems to have been haunting me recently. Since I realised how weird the hands look, I seem to see it everywhere. At first I thought it was just the product of some overzealous retouching, but I have had another thought. Can anyone confirm that these are in fact your mate Dave Cameron's hands?

Airbrushed for change

This is the new campaign for the Conservatives, or more specifically for 'your mate Dave'. It's been in the news for it's over-zealous use of airbrushing on Dave's face. And because Dave's not wearing a tie either.

We seen it and thought it would be great to do a spoof, but we were beaten to it by And now Andy Barefoot's made it even easier to create your own with this online app. So, here's a few of our faves so far.

Have you seen any better ones?

Losing the Plot

We stuck our heads in the Kemistry gallery at lunch today to get a better look at Hvass & Hannibal's latest exhibition, 'Losing the plot'.

The exhibit showcases colourful screen prints (like the one above), wooden holograms and a dangly mobile thingy.

The Danish design duo sought inspiration from 'collating, sorting and re-interpreting random data'. Upon bombarding themselves with such information, 'from probability theory to landscape mapping', they apparently 'got lost, and went a bit mad', ending up with 'hypnotic patterns instead of informative plotted results' - hence the name.

Anyway, the exhibit is definitely worth a look, and a great way to jazz up a lunch hour.

Passion & The Soda Pop Guy

I found this great film over on the Here Be Monsters blog, where Simon says "Isn't this what business should really be about?". Yes is the answer. I love this guy. When people are genuinely passionate about what they do, that's when business is genuinely enjoyable, exciting and rewarding. If you're in the car hire business, being passionate about giving the best fucking car hire service that is possible, if you're a joiner, being absolutely passionate about wood, and the craft of joinery, if you're in the bookselling business, being obsessive about books, reading, writing, and the minute details of selling books. If you're a prostitute, well you get the picture.

It's exciting working with clients and company owners who are obsessed about their product or service, and are passionate about making it as good as possible. Similarly, the best people I've met or worked with in the advertising business have been obsessed about making the best possible advertising to an extent that people outside the business would probably find surprising. And on the flipside, those people who aren't really that bothered, or are more interesting in the money, or just got into it because it seemed like it might be a laugh, they're the ones who tend to turn out the poor stuff.

Anyway, this a great film, I really love the Soda Pop guy's attitude. And there's a great little mention for our friends at Fentimans in the middle, too.

A Commercial Break


Someone called Santander has sponsored a television advert for Lego. It looks like an expensive ad, too. They've even paid for Lewis Hamilton to appear in it. It works well, I really like the Lego bridge they make, I wonder where you can get one?

But why have they made this Lego advert, do they own Lego or shares in Lego? But then why would they put their own logo on it rather than the Lego logo? And what on on earth is the man talking about in the background? I mean, these people are building an amazing bridge out of Lego, and a really famous motor racing driver is helping them, you think he would have something to say about that, right? But no, he seems to have the script for some corporate induction video.

Lastly, who are Santander and why are they on my television?


Renault have made an advert about cars. Which is unusual for a car-maker these days. A man with a mildly aggressive voice asks lots of questions over video clips from the We Got That B-Roll car library, "Is it still acceptable that some of us can drive, while others barely have the means to get around?" he complains, over videos of a poor man pulling a hand cart, and a lorry full of people in a third world country. It turns out later that the advert is for some electric cars.

How the electric cars help the poor man pulling the cart or the people in the back of the lorry in the third world country to suddenly have a means to get around is not explained. Maybe they have shares in the power stations that could be providing the electricity for the electric cars, and so will get rich from the increased electricity needed, and be able to buy themselves a nice electric car?

Later in the film (we can call it a film, because it's almost as long as Apocalypse Now) the aggressive man reveals, "From next year, Renault will launch a range of zero emission vehicles, to drive the car forward again, towards people".

Now, I don't know about you, but to me that sounds a bit dangerous. For a start, these electric cars a really quiet, so if they're going to start driving them forwards towards people, potentially there could be a lot of accidents. If I looked around and found that someone was driving their car towards me, I'm not sure I'd be too bothered whether it was powered by electricity, diesel, or the milk from lactating pussy cats.

I'm not sure I'm in favour of Renualt's new range of aggressive electric cars, even if the nice people in the third world do have shares in the power station.


Why is it a rule that all electric cars should look like cheaply made props from the movie Starship Troopers?

Studio On Fire Calendar

If you're still on the hunt for a 2010 calendar, you could do a lot worse than this little beauty from Studio On Fire. Some lovely illustration beautifully letterpress printed with four colours on a cotton-blend stock, available here for $30.

Are You Letterheady?

I have an unhealthy love of letterheads, I admit it.
There's something about them that I really find fascinating, I think it's partly that they are a good point where design meets commerce, which is something I find interesting (and also I think the reason why I love the the business of advertising so much, but that's another story). And also because letterheads are by their nature, a very restricted brief. Because unless you have a very good reason why not, they're all exactly the same size and shape, A4 (or letter in the States I suppose). And restrictions in design and creativity lead to interesting thinking.

Anyway, happily I was pointed in the direction of this great site, Letterheady dedicated to celebrating letterhead design. Set up by Shaun Usher, it already has an interesting collection of letterhead design on there, I've picked out a few of my favourites from it below. Starting with an enjoyably businesslike one for The Rolling Stones...

Ta for the tip Ben.

Adverse Weather Conditions Cause Traffic Warden Chaos

With most cars staying firmly parked at home it looks like this bunch of folk employed to do Britain's best loved job have now got bugger all to do. Doubtless with revenue targets to meet they'll have to start issuing tickets to snowmen instead. I know they sometimes hunt in packs but I've never witnessed a gathering of this size before. Not sure what the collective noun for traffic wardens is - "a haemmorrhoid of traffic wardens?". Any other suggestions gratefully received.

The Baptism Of The Drunk

A man is stumbling home through the woods completely drunk when he comes upon a preacher baptizing people in the river. He drunkenly walks into the water and bumps into the preacher.

The preacher turns around and is almost overcome by the smell of alcohol, whereupon he asks the drunk, “Are you ready to find Jesus?”

The drunk answers, “Er, yes?”

So the preacher grabs him and dunks him in the water. He pulls him up and asks the drunk, “Brother, have you found Jesus?”

The drunk replies, “No, I haven’t found Jesus.”

The preacher shocked at the answer; dunks him into the water again for a little longer this time.

He again pulls him out of the water and asks again,”Have you found Jesus, my brother?”

The drunk again answers, “No, I haven’t found Jesus.”

By this time the preacher is at his wits end and dunks the drunk in the water again. This time holds him down for about 30 seconds and when he begins kicking his arms and legs he pulls him up.

The preacher again asks the drunk, “For the love of God, have you found Jesus?”

The drunk wipes his eyes, catches his breath and yells to the preacher, “Are you sure this is where he fell in?”