Education Connection Cringefest

Some things are so ridiculously uncomfortable and cringeworthy that they just have to be shared.

Watch through the gaps in your fingers on your face.

Found via Robert Popper's site which is a treasure trove of the awkward, hilarious and plain weird.

30 Screaming Years

From the 14th to the 23rd of August, surf/skate artist Jim Phillips is showcasing thirty years worth Screaming Hand goodness at the House of Vans.  For a sneaky preview of some of the work on show click here. It promises to be rad, sick, gnar, sweet, or whatever it is the kids are saying these days. Let's just say it'll be good.

Here's a little preview:

Should Agency Positionings Be Different?

I saw a thing on the twitter today, someone offering agency people a free copy of the book Escape The Sea Of Sameness, which promises you'll learn how to define a truly unique positioning strategy for your agency.

It got me thinking, if advertising agencies are truly diagnostic (ie. they start with the client's problem and situation and work out the right thing to do for them) rather than prescriptive (ie. they think they know what the answer is going to be before the client even walks in), can all agencies ever really have truly unique positionings, apart obviously, from their talent?

What do you think, dear reader?

What Have The BBC Ever Done For Us?

We're big fans of the Beeb at Sell! Towers. It's undergoing a rather ominous-looking government 'review' at the moment, brilliantly eviscerated by Stewart Lee in the Guardian. It would be a huge step backwards if pressures from the commercial friends of the government lead to it being diminished. Anyhow, here's an excellent classic 'promotion' (remember, they don't do 'ads') from the BBC. Seems quite appropriate today...

Let Us Help You Define Your Brand Porpoise

If there's one thing we've learned about marketing and advertising over the last few years, it's that there are no shades of grey or nuances of approach when it comes to marketing – at any one time there is only one right way to do things, and everything else is old-fashioned, or dying. Now, this blind absolutism may seem extremely stupid, but hey, who are we to judge? Once a new fad starts to snowball, everyone wants to get in on the act. Pages and pages of copy are written and published daily by the marketing press on the fad, blog posts from eminent marketing twonks, tweets and hashtags aplently follow, plus, obviously a couple of people do speaking tours, and write books about it. Maybe you'll even get a whole conference dedicated to it, with people tweeting the sage advice about the fad. The aim, obviously being to work towards the moment when every brand in the world is doing exactly the same thing all the time. What a utopia!

Well, recently we have cottoned on to the fact that it is now impossible to be a brand in 2015 without having a porpoise. Yes, forget having a good product that people might want to buy, or a better service than your competitor. Forget solving a problem for the customer, in fact fire all of your product development staff, your engineers, fuck it, lay off the entire workforce – all you need to succeed is a porpoise. And that porpoise doesn't even have to be related to what your product or service is – you just need any old porpoise.

But why take a chance with your porpoise, when we can help you define your perfect brand porpoise with our unique Porpoise Definement Methodologizer (TM obviously)? We can find the perfect porpoise for your brand. But don't take our word for it – here are a few we've already done (everyone loves a case study don't they? Even if they might have been perfectly relevant solutions for the particular brand in question, but of fuck-all relevance to anyone else – if it worked for one client once, well surely it's right for every client in every category, right? That's the beauty of blind absolutism utopia!).

Here's the brand porpoise we recently found for airbnb...

It's name is Cuddles. Since we found airbnb's porpoise, things have really taken off for them. They don't have to worry about boring things like cost and convenience, or choice. They have cuddles.

Here's another brand porpoise, this time one we found for uber-cool taxi-driver disemploymentizing service Uber...

Uber's brand porpoise is a friendly little porpoise called Flipper. Now don't write in saying that Flipper is an unimaginative name – that just shows how little you understand about blind absolutism utopia. The point isn't to be original, the point is to just have a porpoise. And what a beauty it is!

Now don't be fooled into thinking that a brand porpoise is just for fancy-crazy new tech startups. No. Remember. It is right for everyone. Every brand. To demonstrate this, here are two brand porpoises (yes, that is the correct plural, sadly) that we found for functional, supermarket products. Here you can see them side-by-side, as you might in any supermarket aisle...

Now, before you write in and say Hold on, won't this be a tad confusing for the poor old punter? Two completely different brands, with quite different products that each have different functional qualities having what appear to be quite similar porpoises? We'll stop you there. Maybe you just don't get it yet? It doesn't matter. Every brand, to be successful these days, needs a porpoise. Don't argue. It says so in that marketing article online, and in that new book by that trendy bloke, and in loads of tweets and conference speeches. However, obviously defining or finding your brand porpoise isn't easy. Obviously. Obviously it takes a LOT of work, charts, presentations, worshops, away-days, idea-storms and brainsplooges to define a brand porpoise – all of which we can charge you through the nose for help you with.

And it pays to go to the experts. Take this for example...

To the untrained eye, that might look like a potential brand porpoise. But no. That is just a common-or-garden aquatic mammal. Don't make this mistake or your brand is destined to languish in the backwaters of the brand ocean for the next century. Come to us and we'll burn through hundreds of costly man-hours over the next twelve to eighteen months which our holding company accountants will give us hefty bonuses for help you work out exactly the right brand porpoise you your brand. And we'll maintain and feed it...

This is a picture of us feeding Coco-Cola's brand porpoise. Their porpoise is called Happiness. A bit twee, granted, but you know, when they're paying you this much it works, it works, right? This is where having an expert agency on-hand is vital – because a lot of people think that brand porpoises eat fish. In fact, a brand porpoise feeds on delusion. We have to keep them well-fed with delusion, with a bit of healthy misinterpretation on the side. We do a lot of research to make sure we have all the delusion we need to keep your brand porpoise looking great. Some silly people used to think that Coca-Cola's massive success was due to them being available on every street corner, constantly advertised to reinforce association with refreshment and taste, highly distinctive and having worked its way into becoming a product intertwined with American popular culture. But they could not be more wrong. Obviously their success is based on Happiness, their friendly brand porpoise.

To help people understand, we have – obviously – created a diagram: The Anatomy Of A Brand Porpoise...

Please feel free to use this in your next meeting.
Don't get left behind.
Don't be a dinosaur.
Don't be different to any other brand.
Don't get caught with some stinky relevant dolphin.

Get yourself a brand porpoise.

We can help.

Hey Marketing Martians – Buy this Book

Make sure you aren't one of marketing's Martians. Get yourself a copy of Bob Hoffman's new book Marketers Are From Mars, Consumers Are From New Jersey. And then read it. You're probably familiar with Bob from his brilliant Ad Contrarian blog. This book collects together some of his best writing and thoughts from the blog, his speaking, and other articles, under the title theme of calling out the delusional thinking of modern marketers and ad folk, and their disconnection from the real world. This is one of the biggest reasons why the world of advertising and marketing has got itself in such a mess, and so it's great to see it called out with such aplomb. And it's funny.  Get yourself a copy here.

The Beach Boys Shred I Get Around

The sun is shining. Get that Friday feeling by reacquainting yourself with The Beach Boys classic, I Get Around. Somebody just said that it doesn't sound as good as they remembered. Don't know what they're talking about. This version is amazing.


You Be The Judge #1: airbnb

Those cheeky chaps at airbnb have unveiled their latest commercial. As you may know, we are not afraid of a little, er, honest and unflinching critique of advertising from around the world, but we thought it would be good to take a step back now and again, and ask you, our esteemed and learn'd reader, to give your view. So what do you think of this? Are they doing the right thing? Did it make you more likely to use airbnb? Does it help in some other way? Is it interesting, unexpected, distinctive, useful?

Nine Ways To Improve An Ad

An old 'un but a good 'un.

Sad to say that a lot of today's advertisers are still taking this advice literally.

Why so serious?

When did skateboarding start taking itself so seriously?

I have an inkling it was when the marketing "specialists" started getting involved:

Lighten up, it's just skateboarding. It's supposed to be fun: