Wednesday, January 27, 2010

get the kaiser on bbc's so you think YOU can dance

It's our sworn duty as disrupters, heretics and downright cheeky monkeys to get The Kaiser on the BBC's 'So you think YOU can dance?' utter dross-fest.

The producers have issued a challenge:
'Get creative and show us your moves by uploading a video response here. Some of your videos may even feature in the final show!'

Marcus has responded to that challenge [see clip below] so now I encourage anyone who finds themselves here to click through to The Kaiser's Groove on You Tube, rate the clip with 5 stars and do our bit to get him in that final show.

That would be a smashing idea.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

from George Gilder 'Telecosm' (2000)

"In a world where advertisements are read only by people who choose to read them, the quality sharply improves. Freed from the meretricious need to appeal to passing strangers, advertisers ascend to a higher cultural level. The hokiness and smarm we associate with Madison Avenue dissipates and the advertiser makes an honest effort to convey as much information as possible in as compelling as possible a style. Advertising becomes an art of truth rather than an art of deceit."
George Gilder's "Telecosm" 2000

Posted via web from never get out of the (other) boat

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

before and after science

'I think records were just a little bubble through time and those who made a living from them for a while were lucky. There is no reason why anyone should have made so much money from selling records except that everything was right for this period of time. I always knew it would run out sooner or later. It couldn't last, and now it's running out. I don't particularly care that it is and like the way things are going. The record age was just a blip. It was a bit like if you had a source of whale blubber in the 1840s and it could be used as fuel. Before gas came along, if you traded in whale blubber, you were the richest man on Earth. Then gas came along and you'd be stuck with your whale blubber. Sorry mate - history's moving along. Recorded music equals whale blubber. Eventually, something else will replace it.'
Brian Eno - HT and finders fee to Lefsetz

Only Eno could make the connection between whale blubber and the floundering music business and make it sound scientific. The same analogy works for the advertising business too.

The question isn't whether we like what's happening or not, it's how are we going to deal with it and work with it.

Shit happens - roll with it.

Be ready for change - it never stops.

The more you want to hold on to the past the harder it will be when it inevitably changes.

The quicker you let go the better

If you're not ready and able to change, you'll become extinct.

Trust your gut, you'll know when a change is coming,
keep your eyes peeled too, you'll see it.

BE the change - that way you are ahead of the rest

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

something is wrong (it's a brand hijack, for Evans' sake)

Watching TV last night and a trailer/ad for the new Chris Evans Radio 2 breakfast show comes on. The clip features Evans larking about in the Radio 2 studio interspersed with cuts to members of the public, as they all sing along with a tune while going about their daily business.

However, something very wrong is happening.

The tune they sing along to is Candyman, I think its the Sammy Davis Jr version but can't be sure, so stunned was I at the brazen audacity of what can only be described as an outrageous brand hijack..

Everyone knows Danny Baker is Candyman!

And has been for a long long time.

'Morning Candyman' being the customary greeting callers give on the DB Radio London Show and the late lamented All Day Breakfast Show podcast.

If we must have an Evans homage to Sammy Davis Jr, surely Sweet Gingerbread Man is more appropriate?

Evans and Baker are supposed to be mates anyway, DB having been writer on Toothbrush and TFI Friday etc.

How can this betrayal be allowed to happen, BBC?

Friday, January 15, 2010

gillette champions

Sometimes, nay often, the best commentary on advertising comes, not from within the industry or associated media, but from other sources.

Gillette have launched a new TV campaign and microsite titled 'Gillette Champions' with Tiger Woods, Thierry Henry and Roger Federer.

'They were chosen for both their outstanding sporting performances and also their performances off the field, in their charitable actions, support of social causes and for their reputations as icons of true sporting values,' said Nathan Homer, Gillette brand manager.

This comment on the letters page of the current issue of Viz neatly encapsulates a thought that had crossed my mind also..

'With regard to those razor ads, Thierry Henry is now a football cheat and Tiger woods is shagging six birds behind his wife's back.

What's Roger Federer going to pull out of the bag to top the other two?

Perhaps he'll get photographed smoking crack in a Nazi uniform whilst bumming a tramp?'

As a footnote, the less forgiving Accenture have replaced Tiger in their new ads with an elephant, a chameleon, some frogs and a fish

Thursday, January 14, 2010

batgirl in the purple rain

I think even his royal purple-ness would approve of this comic book interpretation slash mashup of an iconic album cover by illustrator of repute Cliff Chiang.

There's a few others to see over at world famous design junkies, to whom we tip the hat.

part-time punks part 2

You would imagine I'd be on board with this 'social media is just like punk rock' piece.

I am, kinda, however, as a purist (!), the use of stereotype 'punk' images and cliches - and seeming dismissal of the stuff that came along in the same wave as punk (Costello, Blondie, Cheap Trick etc) - is a slight cause for concern.

Like those 80's retrospective TV shows that would have you believe it was all shoulderpads, Duran Duran and Boy George rather than overcoats, the Smiths then smiley t-shirts and converse.

Attention to detail..AND the big picture, please.

Nice try but another one to file under 'close...but no cigar'.

Further impetus for me to write the definitive article, I suppose.

Watch this space...

HT to Sebastien Kiel

gurus of new marketing #978 : adam ant

Trendspotting and the like can be helpful in this business but we must also be prepared for those cultural curveballs that come out of nowhere.

Like the fella once said..'The best way to predict the future
is to invent it'.

Adam Ant was adamant about this in 'Goody Two Shoes'

'We don't follow fashion
That would be a joke
You know we're gonna set them, set them
So ev'ryone can take note, take note'

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

iron horse

Someone once said something about the test of a truly great brand coming from the answer to one question:

'Would you tattoo yourself with the logo?'
With Harley-Davidson, for many the answer is a 'yes'.

Connecting with those type of fans, the few, the diehards who have the tattoo, is important, if you want an idea to spread.

Harley-Davidson say they don't sell motorbikes.
They sell an idea.
What they sell is the idea that 43 year old accountants (or advertising douchebags) can dress in leather, ride through small towns and have people be afraid of them.

Fans will get you more fans, better than any advertising.

Harley cooked up a participation idea to connect with the fans (and connect them with each other) - The H-D Mosaic.

Fans submit photos of themselves on their bikes, over 10,000 images submitted created a giant mosaic of their logo. Each image has an individual code so you can find it within the composite iand share it with others via twitter and facebook etc

The final mosaic is also used for the cover of their 2010 printed catalogue.

Using fans to help create something not only gives them a way to participate and feel an ownership of the brand, but it also gives them a reason to spread the idea.

Because it's about THEM.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

the road to hokusai's waterfall

Is this the near future of mobile communications?
Japanese mobile voice, data and multimedia services NTT DOCOMO have produced this vid, The Road to Hokusai's Waterfall, taking a peek into the technology of the next ten years or so.
Some things, like e-paper and quasi-AR, are already here or here-abouts.

'a future in which people of all ages can enjoy richer, safer, and more convenient communications lifestyles than ever before...people-friendly technology that will help to bring us all closer together'


aliens with brains that glow!

While the possibility of creating my own Zombie Army is a notion I've kicked around for some time, imagine my disappointment to learn that the retro ads in the above picture are, unfortunately, not real.

It's simply a very cool geek-retro t-shirt design by Riccardo Bucchioni available now from Threadless.

via Popped Culture

Friday, January 08, 2010

texas macaroni cheese massacre

Texas Stadium (home of the Dallas Cowboys American Football team) is to be demolished in March this year as they move to a new hi-tech state of the art stadium sponsored by SonyHD.

However, Kraft Foods is to be the official sponsor of said demolition of the old stadium.

The demolition will be called the 'Cheddar Explosion' to promote Kraft's Macaroni Cheese.

Yes, you heard.

'Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is excited about the possibility of working with the city of Irving, Texas, to be involved in the explosion of Texas Stadium,'

said Joanne Freed, a vice president with Hunter PR (spokespersons for Kraft).

This could be a trend worth importing into the UK.
My beloved Aberdeen FC are moving to a new stadium shortly.
Aitkens Bakery would be my choice of demolition sponsor for the old one.
With the demolition ball made up like an extra fired rowie.

HT to 5 blogs before lunch.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

advertising not dead shocker #651

I see Forrester are also on board with the thinking on the role of 'paid for' media (advertising, sponsorship etc)in relation to owned media and earned attention.

Round these parts we have been saying for some considerable time that advertising was not dead, as such, but it's role was massively changing and was no longer automatically the lead component of any campaign.

That lead role has been taken in the earned space, principally the VALUE that a brand can create within a situation where it is relevant. This value manifests itself in myriad forms, but the upshot is...

Creating value gives you something to advertise.

Not the product benefits - people go elsewhere for those - but the 'intangibles', the value and meaning that the brand creates.

Three steps to heaven...

1. Connect with fans via their passions
2. Create value in those situations where you are relevant. Advertise that.
3. Fans will actively seek out your advertising and spread it.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

you're pretty face is going to hell

Some things are just plain wrong. Certain brand extensions for instance.
Scrappy-Doo was one Bat-mite another. The Igster and mini-Iggy is the latest, I have no idea what this is about.

phonebook, it's a phone and a book

One of the key reasons why the mobile phone has become so important in marketing and advertising is the simple fact that mobile technology essentially enables ALL other media to become interactive. This is important from a product development perspective too.

With that in mind consider this from Japanese developers Mobile Art Lab: The PhoneBook.

It does what it says on the tin – a phone combined with a book. A picture book which contains a 'playing window' cut into it; the reader can then read the pages while interacting with the content on the iphone which is inserted into the book.

Very simple, but very cool.

from Japantrends plus HT to John McK.

Monday, January 04, 2010

...and the hound dogs get way back

‘Group’ loyalty is almost always associated with disparagement with other groups (football being case in point – most religion another, of course).

I mentioned this earlier today in a comment on Simon's blog in relation to his points on the online 'echo chamber'

He noted:
'I’m more interested in is an unwillingness to engage with alternative viewpoints. Through our emails, RSS feeds, Twitter streams and selections of articles to click through, we are self-selecting the news and views we read. We lack balance and nuance in our understanding of issues. This can in turn lead to close mindedness.'

One thing leads to another and I stumbled upon the above clip from Fox News on the Tiger Woods kerfuffle.

'Buddhism is inferior to Christianity when it comes to forgiveness of sins'

So says Fox News pundit Brit Hume.

His 'advice' for Tiger Woods is that he should turn his back on Buddhism and become a Christian to be forgiven for cheating on his wife.

Interestingly enough the Sanskrit (classic language of Indian Buddhist texts) word for tiger is in fact Vyaghra, ie Viagra.

'...the tiger is believed to have multiple powers that range from producing rain to fighting dragons, healing the sick and banishing children’s nightmares.'

These are the value adds of course.


design : obsession

A masterclass in design - as a process vs the creation of a physical thing - from Jonathan Ive.

'An indicator has a value when it's indicating something, but when it's not indicating something, it shouldn't be there'

Keep it simple.