Goof Button

Want to forget about the dreariness outside for a bit? Then take a butchers at GoofButton. It's a haven for weird and wonderful, slightly sinister but colourful Dali-esque images with equally bizarre titles, bit like the one above entitled 'refrigerator flesh'.
Err, anyway, we were stunned by the sheer volume of work on there. There's bucket loads of collages, sketches and really quite disturbing images, and you can buy some of them too.
Get scrolling here.

The Centre For Common Fucking Sense In Marketing

Advertising and marketing is filled with lots and lots of very smart, talented people, people who have good instincts and common sense. So why is it then that the bullshit-talkers and the purveyors of nonsense are in the ascendancy?

The answer is simple.
The bullshitters have the charts.

You know the scenario. You're in a meeting, you know full-well that something is going to work/isn't going to work/is true/isn't true, but someone will turn up with a deck of charts to prove themselves right and you wrong. And there you have it. The people with charts always win. The end. Even if it flies in the face of what is clearly common fucking sense. This is because everyone is shit scared of getting it wrong, or rather shit scared of being blamed for getting it wrong. So everyone hangs onto anything that looks like it proves something. Then they can blame that later if it all goes tits-up.

Over here in smug Sell! Towers we created our own little bubble, where common sense rules, and powerpoint is outlawed. However, we know that this isn't the case for everybody. So in an attempt to help redress the balance, we are fighting fire with with fire. We are creating a body of charts to illustrate common sense. We're sorry it has come to this. But here we are. Here. Anyway, now the smart people of advertising and marketing can fight the bullshitters and nonsense-talkers with their own charts. A chart-off, if you will. Published under the banner of The Centre For Common Fucking Sense In Marketing, or CoFSim for short (a stupid, nonsense-y name to confuse the bullshitters).

So here we present the first. Poliakov's Pyramid Of Engagement. A simple, yet convincing-looking chart to prove what our common-sense tells us. That people are more likely to spend time engaging with something that they're very interested in. Ergo, if you are marketing a product that isn't in the top interest zone, you better have a rip-snorting, son-of-a-bitch of an idea (or a big prize) if you want anyone to interact any further than a cursory glance. So now you can turn up at that meeting to discuss the lame user-generated-content campaign idea for the new scouring-pad client, armed with suitably complicated-looking ammunition to back-up your argument that everyone is taking crazy-pills if they think anyone is going to take-part.

**Oh you liked that did you? You can read more of this kind of thing by clicking here: More Sell! Sell! on Advertising

Sweetheart Promo By Ben Reed

This is a different approach to animating or illustrating the words to a song. Created by Director Ben Reed, the entire thing is made out of second hand books, which gives it that interesting look and feel. It's the official video for the Wave Pictures EP 'Sweetheart'.

Yes, I Wrote The Brian Letter

Brian's Open Letter To All Of Advertising And Marketing seems to have developed a life of its own over the last few days. Earlier I counted more than twelve pages of google links to different places that have posted it. It's heartening to see that so many people related to it. But as it spread further afield, people started to ask "Is this even a real letter from a member of the public?". The answer is, obviously (I thought), no.

The letter was based on conversations I've had with mates of mine who aren't in the business, in fact Brian is based on one of them. It's simply a bit of fun at the expense of those poor deluded people in the ad and marketing business who seem to think that members of the public have nothing better to do than wait for the next lame marketing scheme. Now, obviously there are those rare occasions when something catches the imagination of the public, or is interesting enough to work. But mostly, it seems like marketers and advertising agencies mistakenly imagine that Joe public is waiting with bated breath to spend their valuable time participating in some half-arsed scheme for relatively low-interest products. They are not.

So there you have it.

Read more Sell! Sell! On Advertising Here

BBC Dimensions

I'm a bit of nerd for statty things, and history, and maps. So this interesting project by BERG for the BBC hits a real sweet spot for me. It's clever idea to quantify events from history and current affairs by enabling the user to compare the key places and events to familiar surroundings. It does this by overlaying the information over google maps, in any place that you choose. So, for example, you could plot out Neil Armstrong's exact moonwalk from the Apollo 11 moon landing on your street, or compare the size of the gulf oil disaster area to your town. Simple, clever, and a real smart use of technology to bring history to life. Find the BBC Dimensions prototype site here.

Meet Marcel. A Shell.

This is a lovely, lovely, lovely animated short film. Great writing and performance. The dog thing... well, you'll see. Directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp, written by Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp. Marcel voiced (untreated & unenhanced) by Jenny Slate.

Madder Red

Here's the latest in a string of bizarrio videos from Yeasayer, this time featuring a cameo from Kristen Bell with her flashy pearly whites and nice LA tan, and a blob monster thing. It's a little bit disturbing but in a good, odd way. So wrong it's right? You decide.
Best watched after lunch. Enjoy!

Bill Bernbach Said #17

Especially for Fedex (our indefatigable friend, not the company) the seventeenth in our series of Bill Bernbach quotes...

“You can get attention and really make people resent you if you do it with an unrelated gimmick. They won't like you for that.”


Good short film with some excellent type and motion graphics, by MK12. It has a good cold war kind of feel to it as well, thanks partly to the voice over style. More information at

Another Open Letter

Seems like our good friend Brian might have got up somebody's bottom. This is what may be a retort to the lovable Brian by advertising creative, Kevin, spotted over on Rubbishcorp...

We asked a friend of a friend to ask Brian what he thought of this letter, "I dunno. I don't really understand what he's on about. Is he the chap that wants me to tell him stories about bread?" was his reply.

Day & Night

Anyone who's seen Toy Story 3 at the cinema will no doubt have seen this wonderful little Pixar short before the main event, and what a lovely little film it is! Brilliantly executed and a first for director Teddy Newton, it's definitely worth putting a few minutes aside for. Enjoy!

This Is How It's Done: Quiznos "More Meat"

I believe this to be a spec (ie not real, client-approved) commercial. But regardless, it's a prime example of what this adman at least reckons to be good advertising: competitive, direct, gives me a good reason to choose, but entertaining, re-watchable and rewarding. Great stuff from director Jeffrey McCarthy and writer Holly Levin. Have a smashing weekend.


America in Color from 1939-1943

These beautiful photographs are colour reproductions of slides taken in small towns in America around the early 40s to document the effects of the Depression. A rare collection that gives a great insight into domestic life in that era.

The Adman Is A Servant With Two Masters

The adman has two masters: the client and the customer. You have to serve both well to be successful.

The clients pays for your services, and our work should do its utmost to deliver the results they require, that is a given. But we also have a moral responsibility to the customer to treat them with respect and intelligence, and to provide value either by entertainment, utility, information, or emotional satisfaction.

The great thing is that serving the customer well in this way also serves our clients well. Advertising that treats the audience with respect and offers the kind of value mentioned above is more successful at meeting its goals and makes for a better relationship between the brand and the customer in the long term.

Now a less-enlightened client might think "Fuck that, I pay you, your first responsibility should be to me" and I think that's understandable, and there are clients out there like that. But luckily most smart clients I've had the pleasure of working with always realise that advertising can't just be what they want to say, their has to be some genuine reward there for the customer or viewer.

Reward in advertising has and does take many different forms. If you look back to some early advertising, reward was simply the promise of important information, or a problem solved. As advertising has increasingly used entertainment media as a vehicle, so entertainment value has become more important, and in these days of the interwebs, and two-way communication, utility and function have become important things that we can offer the customer, as well as going right back full circle to the offer of information.

But whatever form it takes, the reward is an important part of the tacit deal that is advertising. If all advertising was just hard messages pushed out to people, with no sense of reward, if people didn't think that there was something in it for them, then it would have probably become obsolete long before now.

These days, people are more attuned than ever to screening out messages that don't interest them, not just advertising, but all messages. Think about the way that you scan a newspaper or a web page, you aren't an obedient drone reading everything in an order that someone has dictated. More likely, you scan quickly around for things that interest, or catch the eye.

Advertising has to deal with this to an even greater extent. People screen advertising more than other content, and the tools to do it more easily are getting better all of the time. Advertising has to clearly flag its value to the customer - be it pertinent information, entertainment or utility - if it doesn't it will be dismissed as quickly as it takes to move the eye from one pixel to the next. And it has to deliver on that promise. And not treat them like a fuckwit.

Serving only one master well isn't good to anyone, either. It's tempting for the adman to just serve the customer. We've all seen work that is very entertaining, or funny or interesting, but really does nack-all for the client. This might make for popular or enjoyed advertising, but in the long-run is going to end very badly when you get found out. And conversely, if you just hammer out a message without thought for the poor customer and what they might get out of it, then you might win popularity with a narrow-minded client in the short-term. But you'll be left with advertising that no one wants to take notice of, and in no time, a brand that no one wants to take notice of either.

Done well though, advertising doesn't have to be the unwelcome guest. It can be a well-received and enjoyed message or communication. It can be a genuinely useful utility or a valuable piece of information. Then you have advertising that people enjoy and use, and even pass on to other people to use or enjoy. That's advertising that feels valuable to the customer, rather than annoying. And, happily, that's also the most valuable kind of advertising to our clients.

The adman is a servant with two masters. Only one of them pays, but they both need serving well.

Nice things from Andy Smith

A wonderful parcel arrived at Sell! Towers today. It was from Andy Smith and was full lovely tees and super printed things (we're particularly fond of the animal menagerie wrapping paper). What a mid week treat! It's really made our day. Thank you Mr Smith. 
You can try see more of his top work here and here

Reggie Watts - Fuck Shit Stack

Funny stuff by Reggie Watts and Ben Dickinson. If you find swearing deeply unfunny, even when used in a comedic fashion, best to skip on to the next post.

George Babanau

Neat shots from George Babanau. Look that bit closer and you'll see they're also really rather funny.

See more here via Photo Donuts.

How To Come Up With Ad Ideas Just By Stalking

Everyone has their own way of working, be it leafing through scrapbooks or browsing YouTube. Some like to get a few key facts off an account man or planner, and work off those. Whatever works for you is the best way of working I suppose.

I'm painfully old-fashioned, I'm afraid, in that I like to go out and do my own research. Get out of the office, go and meet the client, grill them about this and that. See where it's made, how it's made, who by etc. I like to go to the shops and look at the product on the shelf, or visit a branch, go to competitors' store. Sit around a bit, listen to what people are saying. I guess this makes me sound like some kind of advertising stalker. I am.

We are just getting cracking on a new project for a brand-new client here at Sell! Towers. This is a part of the process that I really enjoy - finding out as much stuff as possible about a new product and category and the customer. It's an exciting time because there's always the hope that every new experience might lead to something interesting. 

I like to try the product in situ, and the competitors' products. Be honest and critical about its qualities and failings and how it compares to its competitors. Talk to the staff, talk to my friends and family about the product - if they buy it or not, why, why not, etc. 

Some people say you should keep your distance - so you can bring a different perspective than the client or account team (who invariably know everything there is to know about the product and the category). That makes a lot of sense in theory. But I think it is possible to do your own leg work and keep your own perspective at the same time. Otherwise you're always relying in someone else's interpretation or understanding. And it's funny what turns out to be very relevant sometimes that someone else has discounted. 

Small observations or details or experiences can spark off an idea or train of thought. It's surprising what can pop into your head if you leave the safe confines of the office and venture out into the real world now and again.

Personally, I find it easier to come up with ideas that centre around the product or brand this way. There isn't the need to retro-fit a technique or idea to the product if it started from there in the first place.

Anyway I'll shut up now, I'm off to stalk some shoppers.

Monday At Sell! Towers Is Brought To You By

Monday at Sell! Towers is brought to you by Blue sky and Dubble Bubble. Nom nom nom.

Walk across America

This fantastic time lapse video shows a guy walking across America, all in under two minutes. It's brilliantly executed and you can see just how those clever camera bods created it here.

Radar Detector

Kick start your week with this smashing music vid by the delightful Darwin Deez. It makes me want to dig out all my half used dusty disposables (from the 90's, I shudder to think what's already captured on them), stick them to my head and prance about creating a photo whirl. It's a cracking track too. Enjoy.