Blast From The Past: Are You Having It off?

It's February 29th again. Once every four years they say. February 29th is a free day that you normally don't get. So why is it just assumed that if it happens to fall on a week day everyone should have to work? Surely we should just get this extra day to have some fun and do something we enjoy? Last leap year we made this little ditty to promote that idea. It fell on a Friday, you might notice. We leapt on the alliteration...

Gene and Steel

Gene and his lap steel guitar.

Bill Bernbach Said #51

Number 51 in our Bernbach series...

“The great mistakes are made when we feel we are beyond questioning.

Read all of the previous Bernbach Said posts here.

Tall-Tale Postcards

I absolutely love these Tall-Tale Postcards created by photographer Alfred Stanley Johnson, Jr. in the early 20th century. The feel of these early comped photographs is amazing, they're like weird rural versions of surrealist montages, but with a better sense of humour. From the Wisconsin Historical Society: Photographer Alfred Stanley Johnson, Jr. specialized in the tall-tale postcard, extolling Wisconsin's agricultural abundance through images of oversized produce and animals. Staging his friends and family to pantomime story lines, Johnson added enlarged fruits, vegetables and animals to fit the background and included titles that attributed bountiful crops to local communities. Johnson's tall-tale postcards affirmed the American myth of abundance — a myth often at odds with reality.

Wow, Just Wow.

Is this the worst ad placement ever? Youuuuu deciiiiiiide...


It's Halftime

I actively avoided all the online, ad-blog hoopla surrounding the annual Super Bowl ad love-in this year. But this commercial is worth thinking about a bit isn't it? We liked last years effort from Chrysler, and this really is picking up where that left off (whilst ramping it up somewhat).

I guess the thinking is to make Chrysler an analogy for the fall and (hopeful) subsequent rise in the fortunes of the good ole you ess of A. In doing so attempts to give people a emotional reasons to buy a Chrysler product; "We're like you, we're fighting for survival, we're part of America etc." At least as a brand, it is honest about the fact that they let themselves slide, which allows you to believe them a bit more when they say that they're turning it around.

Emotional reasons were never really their real problem though, were they? The real issue was that they were simply left behind by the build quality, design and value offered by overseas competitors. That problem isn't addressed in (this) advertising.

But sometimes advertising doesn't have to provide all of the answers. Maybe the best use of TV advertising for Chrysler is exactly this - to create an emotional reason for people to not choose the import. We know that a combination of emotional and rational reasons affect people's decision-making. And a car is a high-value purchase, where emotion is always going to play a large part. Can the product back it up though?

Executionally it's strong, as you'd expect. For the bashful tastes on this side of the Atlantic it may stray very close to the over-bombastic. But this is an American ad for American people, during half time of the Super Bowl. So I don't think we can let that worry us too much.

NB: It's important when writing an American epic commercial to include firefighters.

Bill Bernbach Said #50

The half-century milestone in our Bernbach series...

“It’s not how short you make it; it’s how you make it short.

Read all of the previous Bernbach Said posts here.

Fag Happy

Just imagine what the script was like. Shame they don't make 'em like that any more.

MI6 Print Ad

Very good print ad by M&C Saatchi for MI6. Proper, well-crafted copy. Long live the long copy ad.

Via Copyranter.

Amazing Interactive Post! Olympic Ads.

Inspired by Ben’s post, we are looking for your suggestions please, dear readers.
What is the collective noun for Olympic Games related commercials?

A procession of Olympic Games related commercials.
A marathon of Olympic Games related commercials.
A doping of Olympic Games related commercials.
A committee of Olympic Games related commercials.
A fiasco of Olympic Games related commercials.
A bandwagon of Olympic Games related commercials.
A tenuousness of Olympic Games related commercials.
A monetization of Olympic Games related commercials. (Alain)
A sewer of Olympic Games related commercials. (Lord Coe)
A machismo of Olympic Games related commercials. (Cameron)
A detachment of Olympic Games related commercials. (Copybeard)
An exhaustion of Olympic Games related commercials. (Anon)
An tedium of Olympic Games related commercials. (Keith)

Would you Adam & Eve it?!

We always thought this was a bit of an urban myth, but no, there is actually a cash machine near Sell! Towers that allows you to select Cockney as the language.

The Ads Of Ron Collins

Damon Collins has created a site to share some of the print work of his late father (and advertising legend) Ron Collins. "He's best known for his television writing for the likes of Texaco (the one with Morcambe and Wise and James Hunt), Cinzano (the one with Leonard Rossitter and Joan Collins), Carling Black Label ("I bet he drinks Carling Black Label") and Qualcast lawnmowers ("It's a lot less bovver than a hovver"). But he was also a gifted print art director. These are a few of his pieces of work."

I'm a big fan of the advertising work of this era, it always seems more succinct, witty, sharp, and hardworking than the work of today. These are superbly crafted ads, well worth a look HERE.