The World's Most Awkward Date?

Have you ever been on a bad date? I mean really bad? Our good friend and former Sell! Sell! co-conspirator Matt has asked us to share this clever new interactive wotnot with you, our gentle reader. Made to promote his spiffing dating website DoingSomething, have a look and a play here, or click on the picture below.

This Week's Reading

Our fellow ad bloggers have been posting some great stuff this week. In case, by some freakish chance, you haven't caught them, here's a couple that you should read:

Dead Air More Effective Than Facebook Ads from The Ad Contrarian

Filling In the . from Ad Aged

Social Media And The Olympic Games From The Ad Contrarian

Time from Scamp

Bill Bernbach Said #67

Number 66 in our Bernbach series...

“Most readers come away from their reading not with a clear, precise, detailed registration of its contents on their minds, but rather with vague, misty idea which was formed as much by the pace, the proportions, the music of the writings as by the literal words themselves.”

Read all of the previous Bernbach Said posts here.

Channel 4 Meet The Superhumans

This gem from 4Creative was a talking point amongst us today. We all agreed it was a most excellent piece of craft and the only thing we'd seen recently that managed to capture the spirit of an Olympics blighted by corporate greed and LOCOG bureaucracy. Hats off to all involved.

Private Eye Covers

What better way to while away a Friday afternoon by losing yourself in the online archive of Private Eye covers.  You can search by year, cover star and even buy a copy if it takes your fancy.  Check it out here

Bill Bernbach Said #66

Number 66 in our Bernbach series...

“We don’t ask research to do what it was never meant to do, and that is to get an idea.”

Read all of the previous Bernbach Said posts here.

My Favourite Writing #9: Steve Harrison

As our regular reader will know, it’s our belief that regardless of strategy, creativity and the creative crafts ultimately make the difference between great advertising and not-so-great advertising. And none more so than great writing. Regardless of media or technology, great writing is still the most powerful tool available to the marketer and advertiser. So we have been asking people whose opinions we respect to tell us their favourite three pieces of advertising writing. And thankfully most of them didn't tell us to fuck off. We’re running them as an irregular series. Today's is number nine, with selections from copywriting colossus Steve Harrison. Steve has recently released his excellent book on the life and work of one of our greatest creative heroes, Howard Gossage – more on that at the foot of this post.

“Here are my three. There are others I could have shown but, for various reasons, decided not to. First there were Steve Timms's press and posters for M&G Investments; but he did them at my agency so it might have seemed a bit self-serving had I included them. Then there was anything by the doyen of the direct mail letter, Bill Jayme. He, better than anyone, knew how to home in on the prospect's problem and then show how the thing he was flogging would solve it for them. Unfortunately I couldn't get hold of any examples. Same with the Epson printer ad I wanted to show. Ben Kay has already picked an execution from this campaign. The one I prefer showed how famous novelists and dramatists might write business letters. If anyone's got a pdf can they send it to

 So that leaves us with:

1 – Fina. “If you’re driving down the road...”
Howard Gossage’s Fina ad In the 1950s and 1960s the major players in the gasoline sector, Shell, Esso, Mobil etc were using some high octane hyperbole in their efforts to claim market leadership. Never one for bombast, Howard Gossage realised he could differentiate Fina by simply making them likeable. And having got his head round the reality of how and why people shopped for gasoline, he sat down and wrote this ad. To this day, I don't know of any headline that is as honest, empathetic and appealing. Ever one to zig when all others were zagging, Gossage also recommended that, thereafter, the headline run as Fina's 44 word strapline.

2 – Maxell Cassette Tapes: Into the Valley.
Crap ads (which comprise 95% of the ‘creative’ that surrounds us) are messages to the real world from the delusional realm of marketing. Good work, however, takes a bit of the real world and gives it a deft commercial spin so that we suddenly see the thing that's being sold in a new and beneficial light. I can't think of a better example than this spot. The writing works so well because the bit of the real world (the Skids Into the Valley and, more accurately, Richard Jobson's ludicrous rendition) was already (unintentionally) very funny. I intended to play it once just now to remind myself, and am currently on my sixth viewing.

3 – Written after hours.
We end at my beginning. When I was starting out as a 30 year old trainee I saw this in a book called The 100 Greatest Advertisements. Reading it made me realise that I was standing in the lengthening shadow of all those unsung heroes who'd dedicated their lives to our craft and sullen art. It made me proud to say I was a copywriter (it's a title I always preferred to that of Creative Director). And, pinned above my desk, it got me through a lot of all-nighters and solitary Saturdays. Have a look at the romantic ideal it describes. If it doesn't make you proud as well, it could be that you're in the wrong racket.”

Thanks Steve. Now, onto Steve's book. It never ceases to amaze me how few people in our business have even heard of Howard Luck Gossage, yet as Jeff Goodby once so eloquently said “The best of Gossage is the best advertising ever done...”. Up to now, the only real reference for the scholar of Gossage has been The Book of Gossage, which is getting increasingly hard to get hold of. Thankfully Steve Harrison has ridden to the rescue by painstakingly putting together what is a fantastic biography of HLG, as well as an educated look at his work and his legacy. It includes material from interviews and stories from people who were actually around at the time and/or worked with Howard. Clearly a lot of time and love has gone into it, and thankfully with Steve being a great writer himself, it is enjoyable to read as well as inspiring. I respectfully implore you to get hold of a copy. It's called Changing The World Is The Only Fit Work For A Grown Man. Published by Adworld Press.

Previous MFWs:

Justice — New Lands

Check out this awesome new music video for Justice by Barcelona directing collective Canada.

It's Quidditch meets Tron, Speed Racer, Rollerball, well pretty much every cool 70's sci-fi movie with a slice of Leiji Matsumoto thrown in for good measure. Sounds like a right dogs dinner, but they've nailed it.

The attention to detail & styling are superb. It's a little thing but the sports number typography is really good, too often those details are forgotten about or done the 'easy' way. We bang on about it all the time, but that extra bit of craft really makes the

If you want more great Justice music videos, check out Stress & D.V.N.O.

And how cool are eye patches?


Sweet Treats From Down Under

Today at Sell! Towers we received this rather nice parcel of antipodean sweets from smashing friends of Sell! Sell! Anna Rose Kerr and RubbishMASSIVEPRAWNScorp, in New Zealand. Rather predictably, we sampled them all straight away, and now feel a bit sick. It is odd what other countries class as acceptable confectionery (the US being the worst offender of all). Also, what kind of name is Pineapple Lumps? Lumps?

MADE FOR MOUTHS – We’re fairly sure that isn’t a Droga5 tagline, but we can’t be certain.

Anyway, thanks guys.

We think it's worth reiterating at this point that we're always open to impromptu deliveries of confectionery. The weirder the better.

Fireworks fail.

This is what happens if you let off 18 minutes of fireworks in 15 seconds.


via thefoxisblack

Bill Bernbach Said #65

Number 65 in our Bernbach series...

“In this very real world, good doesn’t drive out evil.
Evil doesn’t drive out good.
But the energetic displaces the passive.

Read all of the previous Bernbach Said posts here.

Big Type BIG NBA Promos

We really like these new NBA promos. Great use of type and music, and very well written. The elements are very simple really, but executed brilliantly. You can read more about them on Fonts In Use.