25.6.09

If something's worth doing, it's worth doing differently and well. And worth having fun about.

And because I'm having more fun doing other things differently and well, IIP is on hiatus. Just think of it as in care for a bit - you can't see it, but it still loves you.

A really exciting project is underway - see you in another guise soon :)

Til soon,

15.5.09

Truly, the geek shall inherit the earth

It seems the world's best computational search engine has finally come online for the public to try and crash. And with a kickass name like Wolfram Alpha, they will. The aim is that eventually it'll be able to tell you anything:

But for now, it's a case of God making man in His own image:

Still, how long till 118 118 jumps on this baby?

11.5.09

Whoever thought 'viral' could become an even dirtier word?

Ha. I waited ages to make that joke. Nicely gone off the boil now, though. We got a nice "don't worry about swine flu and for god's sake, wash you hands" email in the office, promptly setting off a torrent of jokes. Isn't it wonderful how a minor crisis sets of the comedian in all of us?

-Aporkolypse
-Armagammon
-Tried to ring the phone line, got crackling
-Something about a black guy being president when pigs fly, swine flu etc.
-Summer seems to be trotter than it was last year
-Seems like avian flu has come 'back' for more
-'Snout that bad

...okay, the last three didn't happen. I just wanted to see if there's any stray drops of pun to be wrung out here. But it's got everyone thinking about other pandemics, as well it might. For my part I humbly submit possibly the best and yet least-researched internet phenomenon - the World of Warcraft Corrupted Blood Outbreak.
Here is a picture of lots of dead people. If only characters stayed dead in WoW, the plague might be considered a mercy.
How fantastic is that? The Corrupted Blood incident is, apparently, lauded as the first "real world" event in the game - that is, the first gamestate where the parameters of reality rather than fantasy were what caused players to adopt certain behaviours.
Briefly: A curse that killed players over time was introduced into a new, high-level area. The idea was that the characters in that area were strong enough that they'd certainly be hampered by the affliction, but it wouldn't actually kill them - not if they were careful. But Blizzard (the developers) tried something knew with this curse - it was, as the WHO would say, Level 5: "Human-to-human transmission in at least two countries".
The idea being that players within the area would 'infect' each other and it would all be a really exciting laugh, though nothing serious.
But, as anyone who saw 28 Days Later knows, you can't contain a virus forever. Evil life found its dastardly way, incubating within the summoned creatures and pets of characters, escaping the area and spreading across the other, low-level areas, where characters who 'caught' it were too weak to, well, not die. A map of the virus' spread would be so cool, but alas, none.
The coolest thing was in the way people reacted:
-A couple of the early carriers adopted a malicious Patient Zero-like attitude, purposefully infecting as many as possible before they were put down by vigilante mobs.
-The well-meaning players attempted to heal the sick, almost certainly at the cost of their characters.
-Plenty of people ran for the hills. Cowards.
-Blizzard attempted to enforce a quarantine - which, you guess it zombie fans, was broken by some idiot and caused chaos, since it allowed the virus into areas where players has been deliberately packed into a high density.
Couldn't find a good video, so just watch this and pretend it's nerdier:


As an epilogue to this, the Corrupted Blood Incident has been used a springboard by anthropologists who may now use online world to test models of both viral infection, and terrorist cell formation.
How cool is that?
Very.
Shh, it is.

24.4.09

People Of The Now 9: Gemma

A shop space in Kingly Court. Beer and ink flow freely, intermingling with synthpop as the evening glides along.

Me: So, this is pretty awesome.
Gemma: It is? Oh, thank you! I'm so glad everyone likes it!
Me: Well, I think you've tapped into a zeitgeist here. I mean, everyone wants to draw, right? But something stops them...
Gemma: Yeah! I designed the new t-shirts and I can't draw, really...
Me: This a one-off thing?
Gemma: Not at all! We try and do something with every new line release at Lazy Oaf; this time we just wanted a bit of a drawing party. Only had two weeks to organise it, but its worked!
Me: Well, you've hit on the kind of thing where the people make the event. It's changing the way people act, you can see it.

Vlad: And maybe they'll come up with some new designs for you!
Gemma: Oh no, its nothing as serious as that! We just want people to come and well, draw! How are you guys getting on? Drawn yet?
Vlad: Yeah!
Me: ...I had my drawing inhibitions for a while. I've been trying to shake them for a year, and then something like this comes along and smashes it...
Gemma: Have a beer!
Me: We certainly shall. Oh and, isn't this basically the best job ever?
Gemma: It's got its good points!

The Lazy Oaf drawing club stays open all weekend in Kingly Court, Carnaby. It's awesome as all hell and deserves YOUR support.

22.4.09

One And Other - because i can't think of plinth pun right now

Anthony Gormley's new venture to occupy Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth, One & Other, has now been opened for registrations - and its gathered over twice the number of applications to places. Shit. Even shittier shit for those of us in London, as you're looking at a 10% chance of success right now, which is set to change for the worse.


What? Oh right, well basically: it's a project spanning the summer months whereby a different member of the British public gets to occupy the plinth for a hour, every hour, day and night - that makes 2,400 slots. And once on the plinth, you can do whatever the hell you like - except:
-drinking/drugs (and you can't be affected by them when you start, cheeky rulebenders)
-bringing weapons or 'dangerous items' (fireworks, surely)
-race hate (tut tut! Naughty!)
-infringing copyright. So no freebie client work.

That all said, there's the potential to use your hour of fame to do something genuinely thought provoking and memorable. You can bet that's what Gormley is banking on. Alternatively, it might very well be an equally unique and valuable experience to just sit there and enjoy a unique view. I'm still undecided as to which is best.

But go on, sign up. It's gotta be worth a punt.

What would you do?

21.4.09

Yes, Client

Last night, I got to watch the hilariously scathing In The Loop:

The website has a nice flavour to it: a Guido Fawkes-style political blog that provides enough to entice people (e.g. the actual trailer), but isn't afraid to to have a lot of slightly impenetrable extras for the benefit of those who saw The Thick Of It and have been crying out for more Malcolm Tucker adventures for years now. Oh, and you can follow him on Twitter.

...and yes, it is 60, no, 70% about Tucker's capacity to work the phrase "Lubricated horse cock" into polite conversation, but he doesn't rule every scene. The beauty of the film is that every single character has a weakness, all of which are exploited at some time or other by someone else, and - oh yes - when the film reaches its conclusion, you have no doubt that every one is culpable in some way. And that's gotta make you think about what's happening today.

But don't despair! It is, at its core, very funny indeed. The mix of humour, human interest, and unabashed voyeurism at a secret world is irresistible. Which makes me think - we need one of these for ad agencies. Imagine! The toadying young account exec. The bothersome head-in-the-clouds planner. A foaming, psychotic head of traffic. The Client - always referred to with a mix of reverence and disdain, never seen. And various other one-dimensional stereotypes.

What d'you think? Any more compelling agency 'personalities' (not people!) the world needs to see? And who on earth could play them?

Bonus footage:

16.4.09

Up A Down B Left C Right A Start

I have spent the day beautifying the office in preparation for next week's big brainstorm on gaming:


Lots of people...

don't know...

what the hell...

is going on (spot the reference)

But it will all become clear on Tuesday:
games

Play again? (y/n)

8.4.09

Our APG Project: There's a magical place, we're on our way there...

After 10 weeks of hard thought, graft, and (some) dicking about, APG is over. The project brief was how to launch Best Buy in the UK, when it comes over in 2010. We answered it with verve and bombast, including reverentially watching the old Toys 'R' Us ad in silence.

Here's my bit - a madman's ramblings about recession psychology.

(what the bloody hell happened to the font? Use your imagination)
But the real payoff came when Ramzi (Yakob. No relation - or is he?) took the stage and went off on a beautiful, utterly impromptu serenade about the universality and creative depth of our concept.

We didn't win. She did. But I had a really, really good time.

Enjoy!


Still gives me goosebumps.

6.4.09

You either loved her or you hated her or had no opinion on her really

Is it possible to execute a sombre high-five? Cause DDB will have to try:



Rest in peace, Jade. You were the thin, bitter spread on the toast of the national consciousness. Apparently.

30.3.09

Let's stop thinking and start wanking

Enough of this. Can we all stop using the 'adjective' "wanky"? I'm all for the evolution of language and all that, and actioning things sounds like a great laugh, but there's a line between organically refining our communications, and pointless bandwagoning*. Language as I see it has a dual purpose - information, and social cohesion, these haven't changed since prehistory.

Information: "Oh no, a tiger! Look out!"

Social Cohesion: "Hey, do you remember that tiger? That was so rad, man."

Both are wholly legitimate. The species survives through awareness of the environment, and successful mating and group action. Therefore, I'd like to suggest that language 'evolves' when it a) becomes better able to describe the subject (external, internal, real or metaphysical - and one can see this is equally applicable in a creative sense), or b) better facilitates social cohesion by helping two people think in the same way, or feel some sort of empathy.

Wanky, to me, does neither of these. It has a couple of attractive qualities for the user:

- It says "I don't like this, but it's beyond my mental capacity and/or inclination to tell you why". What are you being paid to do, for fuck's sake?
- It does that whole low-level-swearing that people find edgy and cool nowadays. Good for you, Bill Hicks. You tell them.

My contention is that it's not only inefficient, but actively damaging to the discourse. Why care? First and foremost, because I'm a sentimental and pernickety young fool.

Secondly, it fucks up the way you think. George Orwell suggested that:

"...it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes: it is not due simply to the bad influence of this or that individual writer. But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts"

Language is our door to understanding and empathy. Please, try not to treat it like a catflap.

...and if you must have 'foolish thoughts', make them original.



*see, I'm perfectly capable of verbifying a noun when I need to.

26.3.09

With a megaphone and nothing to say



Not a great start. But maybe I'll get better soon.

...hey, I've got an idea! Why not follow me and find out?

24.3.09

All a matter of briefs

"For me, the requirements for an art director are different to the requirements for a wife"

-Dave Trott

20.3.09

Trail of Breadcrumbs 2: Trust!

Is it the subject matter? Is it the execution? Either way, this thing grabbed me.

Global Gathering have found an interesting way to reveal their lineup this year. Why should this even be an issue?

The truth lies in what it means to host an event. There is nothing, absolutely nothing to draw anyone to a music event, other than who is going to be there and the inpalpable nature of the crowd. The second one is your emotional draw, and is a branding job. The lineup, though. That's your meat. How to take the lid off the silver platter?

Most events have a fairly standard procedure for doing so - reveal most of the 'good' acts before sale date, and allow speculation and fever to build up around the identity of the headliners (promoters' note: this may very well be because the headliner hasn't confirmed, but that's another story). So it's a system of withheld information. But if this is only an strategy of patience, well, how is that interesting?

So GG wove the possibilities of interaction into it. Basically you drive the car, and every checkpoint reveals the identity of another headliner. That also gives you a little extra time, as does picking up fuel. Avoid cars and potholes.



The game is eminently playable. It has 4 buttons and 3 elements - not far from 'AVOID MISSING BALL FOR HIGH SCORE' (thanks Pong). You only go forward. The artists are not revealed in order of 'importance' so there's always motivation to keep trying - and yeah, I left unsatisfied with plenty left to uncover. I did discover the identity of a certain out-of-retirement duo that will guarantee I go, though.

It's simple, playable, and shareable. And there's a hell of a lot of bravery involved here. When was the last time you trusted consumers to use their skill to 'get' a piece of comms, let alone their intelligence>

Good job, Global Gathering!

P.S. I got 30th. Though that's certainly gone down by the time of post...

18.3.09

People of the Now 8 - Mike

A quiet, empty gallery in Totnes.


Me: Which is your favourite?
Mike: My favourite?? Um, haha... I can't have a favourite. But I guess that portrait at the end is the main focus of the exhibition. It took me the longest.
Ellie: Ahh, okay...
Me: I like the saws. Cutting up a book though?
Mike: Yeah, it felt like sacrilege! But I lost the book then found it in the bin, so-
Me: -I guess you saved it.
Ellie: How is the fruit so fresh on the saws?
Mike: This is only the first day of exhibition. I was cutting them up like mad at the start of the private viewing! But people didn't seem to mind.
Me: I guess the performance intermingled with the art itself. It's as though what I can see here is only a tribute to what happened in the making.
Mike: Yeah! Only got halfway through Bill Bryson before I had to saw him up, though.

9.3.09

The Shoebox Full Of Gold.

You know how some people have little boxes of their most treasured possessions? Possessions so treasured, in fact, that they're prepared to entomb them and look at them only every five years, all the for the knowledge that they're safe? I know people who did/do that, and it struck me as odd. Aren't your most treasured possessions your memories, and all that stuff?

Not today. Today, I'm backing up my music. 32 Gigabytes of pure love. Flowing from the teetering shack-on-a-cliff of my laptop to the lead-lined underground supersafe safe that is my budget portable hard drive. And it feels so very, very good.

Should it?
The kind of thing that's taking place as I type this is something that conventional notions of transaction and value can't keep up with, and it's a little dizzying. The hard disk costs about 50 quid. Onto it, I am adding just over 5000 songs (many of them are hours-long mixes, fact fans). At an iTunesy estimate, that'd be, what, £4050? And once I copy my dissertation, and all my old uni-work (hey, it's important), we reach about £4051. Except it's just not that valuable, is it? It's mentally impossible for me to treat the thing as though it is. Is it right that we take a shoebox and fill it with gold?

In the future, that shoebox won't even be in our hands. We'll send our stuff off to some guy who promises that he'll keep it really safe, and we can come and look at it every now and then, and poke around it, and he won't look in it himself, honest. This is called The Cloud, apparently. We'll be carrying our treasures in invisible bubbles behind us, and it'll be impossible to lose them.

Sounds awesome. Sort of.

Oh, transfer's finished. My precious...

5.3.09

Doing what's right / Doing what works

As you well know, I've been spending a lot of time in the British Library recently. It's been a lot of fun, a gentle cuddle for my inner student. In the process, I've been writing a lot of notes - in pencil, mind! One of the beautiful things about the library is that they absolutely insist you don't use a pen in the reading rooms and moreover, people actually obey it because the library is geared to overawe you with the sheer weight of knowledge in the place.

That's quite the digression. A little philosophy and it could've been a Comstock. The point is that in the course of my note-writing, I came to the conclusion that going through all three letters of a-n-d is a massive pain, especially when you research a subject that actually includes lists.

So, naturally, symbolism stepped into the breach. Here's where the mundane dilemma lies:

The blighter on the left is an ampersand. Shift-7 will get you one, thus: &. It's the official symbol of and-ness. Most people know of it, a smaller proportion know how to draw it, and then there's a tiny number that actually do. To start with, I thought I'd be one of them... but look at that thing. It's shite! Typographers are foaming at the mouth. Now, there's no way I'm doing one of those retarded 'e' things, a single loop that just looks like nothing.
Instead, I soon switched to the chap on the right, something I'd seen a few art directors do. It's much easier, and it looks like I've done it with less effort which is also true. People who know something about motor skills might know about this, but I'm guessing that it uses more natural hand movements; two simple curves, and a line.

It's wrong. But it works.

As is starting a sentence with 'but', like I did above, and like the DM I receive every day does. In both cases, it's to create a 'natural' feel. The 'but' is conversation, the backwards-e-with-a-line is more reminiscent of well-used characters. They're not right, but they work. Where does that leave someone like me. Someone who, well, gets a huge kick out of being right?

I guess it's just not natural to be right all the time. And if that's a classic planner's defence, I don't know what is.

27.2.09

People Of The Now 7: Ryan

A cold Thursday in Clapham, 1:30am.

Ryan: Nice, innit?
Me: Mm! If you like cigarette holders, I guess.
Ryan: Press that button on the side, right? And the lid flips open.
Me: Wow! That is pretty nice.
Ryan: Got it from a charity shop...
Me: Good man. I wonder if they've seen an increase in the trade in the, uh-
Ryan: In the present climate, yeah mate. Well I stole it.
Me: You stole from a charity shop? Isn't that a bit, well, cannibalistic?
Ryan: I only stole it for a joke, like. But I was in there an' I saw this TV and DVD combi, right? Combi. And it was yellow, which is my favourite colour.
Me: Bargain if you have somewhere to put it. Like a house.
Ryan: Well I thought it was £25 cause that's what the label said, but then the woman said that it was the other TV was 25, a grey thing.
Me: Bastards. A bait-and-switch.
Ryan: ...so I bought that one, and sprayed it yellow. Looks proper professional!
Me: Hey, nice one man. I mean that.
Ryan:...so anyway, you sure you haven't got any change?
Me: Sorry buddy. Oyster only tonight. Good luck with that though. Take care of yourself.

24.2.09

Let's try this Slideshare thing

...with the presentation I did this morning. Went down okay.


I expect I'm preaching to the converted, but I'm still minded of a comment I received on Scamp:
"Researcher? There's no bigger waste of money. I'd cut that straight away"

I've got news for you, mister - 57% of people Somewhat Disagree or Totally Disagree with you. So there.

21.2.09

**entry censored by Chinese Government. Thankyou for your cooperation**

After a heady bout of research at the British Library, a spare half an hour found me at the Taking Liberties exhibition. If documents outlining the intricacies of curtailments of feudal nobility give you a hard-on (on whatever happens to you if you happen to be female), this is for you. It was at times a little difficult for me to invest the old parchments with the sense of awe they deserved, but the copy of Magna Carta and the materials on female suffrage were quite arresting, as they obviously were to everyone else.

Moreover, kudos to whoever curated this and wrote the accompanying copy for making all the exhibits relentlessly relevant to today. It worked - I saw a couple studying the Laws of The Forest as they pertained to 42-day detention (or something), with the following exchange:
-Terrible, isn't it. So unconstitutional.
-...actually... I don't agree with you.
-What?
-...I just don't. I'm...sorry!

They rounded the corner at that point, but I like to think that the debate didn't end there, as it so often does in the real world.
Like the best adverts, the entire setup was designed to seize you and force you take a stance on what you saw. Everyone gets a wristband which they scan at various terminals, at which point they have the opportunity to 'vote' on various issues. This had the beautiful Huxleyan side-effect of reducing the individual to a number:

Best of all, these responses were aggregated in real-time, and available to view at a final, big-screen terminal at the end of the exhibition. The results were presented in a visually pleasing, almost artistic way, and almost made me go back in to vote for what I missed, which has to be a first for an exhibition. And, apparently you can continue your barcoded interaction online afterwards. The voting system was elegant in its simplicity, and makes me wonder why this hasn't been fully realised in the experiential world yet. Not the the seeds aren't there: voting at the co-op tills always makes me smile, and mine was one of the families that went mad for supermarket self-scan then promptly ditched it once the novelty wore off. When the synthesis is realised in the marketing sphere (and make no mistake, all the technology is there and affordable), we could see some really exciting developments. I can't wait to shout "I am not a number!" and mean it for a change.
A couple of final observations before I go enjoy the sun:
-In almost all cases, I voted for the wet-blanket wishy-washy middle option on the terminals. Is this a product of middle-class handwringing? Because it kinda pissed me off. Or is it a result of the proliferation of media meaning that we overdebate the issues, and can't take a side? Tough to say. Aww, I just did it again, huh.
-This child (?) has it right:

-Apt, Neil :)
Happy weekend, everyone! Go picket something...

18.2.09

got insight?

The APG Training Network kicked off last night, and what a night it was. The next generation of planning (us) seem pretty awesome, extremely friendly, and tenacious as Carol Thatcher in a jam factory (okay, that was rubbish and stale but what're you gonna do).

We had a talk from Jon Steel, superhero of planning and writer of Truth, Lies and Advertising, a bit of a bible on the old discipline. Oh, and he did got milk?, obviously. Like Moses descending from Mount Plan, he offered us idol-worshipping heathens ten insights into planning. A few that stuck out:

-Planning is logic and intuition in perfect harmony.
-Planning is born of anger. (grr!)
-Planning is a story.
-Planning is listening.
-Planning is about creating a sense of possibility.

Food for thought, there. And the structure of the presentation itself was something to think about. The ten-point list is a good way of making people listen as they know exactly how far through the presentation they are and aren't likely to get disheartened. They also provide something to make your notes around, and starting each section with the simple idea makes people want to hear more. All this was greatly aided by an inexhaustible supply of joyful anecdotes, that it would be a dream come true to match.

So cheers Jon.



Afterwards, Ben, Planning Partner at CHI introduced us to the group coursework - and it's a meaty one, got everyone's pulses racing - then plugged his very entertaining website. Cheeky monkey.

9.2.09

I care?

There's a rather heartwarming story over at Breitenbach Und Brown about a German single mother suffering from cancer. She doesn't believe anyone cares. Truly tragic. She has slipped through the cracks of society.

Marcus' response was to ask the community to say that Yes, We Do Care Actually. The responses were diverse, but overwhelmingly positive in nature... and yet, how many of the respondents walked past a homeless person that week? Most of them, I'd wager. Her conceptual problem was actually worth more than the 'real' (physical) problems around us.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not here to spoil everyone's fun. A community bonding around the concept of care can only be a good thing, and might in time lead to better places. What I'd like to investigate is the mechanics behind this ordering of priorities. Just what is going on here?

Engagement at its best - the 'activation' of a community, you might say. The spuriously attributed "One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic" has been put to work. This woman's plight got the same narrative treatment that the 11/9 families got, that the tsunami victims got. That thousands of homeless people, wage-slaves (proper wage slaves, not you lot), and trafficked sex workers have been denied. Caring about them does not allow you to take part in writing the plot twist of someone's life. It's more like throwing a handful of detergent in a swamp and watching for some result.

Not only watching, but watching alone. Or at least anonymously. Giving to most charity goes unheeded by one's community - the charity will thank you, but your peers will not know. And it's just not polite to bring it up in society, since bizarrely it's given the same conspicuous consumption status as a big TV. 'I care' made the responses public, and consequently people wanted in.

But the offering is not just to be in on a community. It's a chance to stand out from it too, as witnessed by the wonderful creativity of the 'entries', which read like a charitable postsecret. People have unconsciously sensed the chance to make an impact, no matter how small, and at the same time to stand out. Many people have hosted their gestures of caring on their own blogs, to maintain an 'ownership'.

It's an advertising tour de force. Low involvement cost, community payback, individual fame, an emotional narrative to feed into... it's everything people are looking for, and the fact that it captured the attention of some very busy people is testament to the power of the movement. Let us hope that movement can be harnessed. Wonderful things may happen.

It's handraising at its best.

(Thanks Angus)

Is dissecting an honest movement with noble intentions shameful? It might be. But if it makes charities and social marketing ideas take flight... who cares?

30.1.09

People of the Now 6: Marlon.

Me: Marlon?
Marlon: Yeah mate. Like I said, I'm not a salesman, I'm a creative. What you see here? It's what you get. It's what we all get. What you gotta remember, blud, is what's actual is factual, and what you can see is what you feel, inside. I'm not selling you a t-shirt, right? Well I am selling you a t-shirt, but really I'm selling you an eye-den-ti-tee, right? This is the philosophy of my label. Ages 9-39. All you gotta do is place an order with me now, cash, upfront, and then I will call you and shi' is goin' daaahn. Be part of something big. The most important thing is, don't believe my hype.
Me: Gotcha.

26.1.09

Nike Be Transformed

How great are these? I wish I was a girl. And lived in the asia-pacific economic region.



Statement from Nike:
For women wanting to experience their own transformation Nikewomen.com also offers a unique training program- the Nike Training Club. With Nike Training Club, customizable training programs can be created to target key areas and maximize dynamic training such as core, strength and cardio. The customizable program can be shared and downloaded to an iPhone/iPod touch®.
That'll be Nike+, then.



An enabling message combined with arresting, imaginative visuals is alright by me, thanks. And it beats the UK comms' obsession with football...

(thanks AKQA)

20.1.09

You wouldn't perform an AWESOMELY SWEET BANK ROBBERY...

Really really sorry for the lack of updates, everyone (mum), but it's been a busy time at work and it turns out moving to Lambeth takes a lot more effort than I thought.

But I still had time to notice this on an old DVD I got for christmas:



There aren't many adverts that actually the binary opposite of what they're intended to do, but here is one. How did this happen?

Ring, ring.

Hello, Federation Against Copyright Theft, how may I help you?
O hai this is ur agency. You want an advert abt d0wnloading and haxx0ring amirite?
That's right. I don't really understand the magic of advertising but I suppose you'll want to highlight the problems of downloading and de-emphasise the benefits?
Lol! No. Ya know what wld be 100% sw33t?
Is it, "achieving the purpose of our comms"?
We could have liek fast-cut camera shots, whip pans, and a kickin' rad Matrix soundtrack so that everyone knows that downloading is like being in Snatch. Totally kewl.
Um...
...except even better cause you can't be hurt! And if we don't show the faces of the peeps who get stolen from then it looks like a victimless crime!
Yes, but that isn't...
Oh oh AND then cut to a girl downloading something, and the download bar is filling up in abt 5 seconds even though she's torrented about 3 gigs of Heroes. We can make illegal downloading look not just danger-free, but rly rly quick and easy!
O rly?
Ya rly. And then BAM! The strapline... wait for it... Piracy. It's a crime.
Wow. That is totally mindblowing. My mind is, like, blown. Thankyou, agency, have some more money! :D

I'm firing up bittorrent tonight, just out of spite.

12.1.09

This is how you generate buzz, mate

Take a bow, Tourism Queensland. Fuck. You know the idea's special when you don't realise the damn thing's been sold to you until after you've bought it.

They're advertising for someone to take on 'the best job in the world'. They contend that this would consist of dicking about with the fishies and coral and generally having a good time around the Great Barrier Reef. Oh, but you do have to document it. A bit. Benefits include a million-quid beach house and respectable wage, to say the least.

"Hold on!" you cry, "this sounds like a prize, not a job!". Well, yeah, now that I read it back. But I didn't when I first saw it. I took it at face value (to my shame), because it was pitched so earnestly and well-toned. In the Vacancies section of the Metro. It's only when it reappeared as articles that I reconsidered.

Most people will have had more brains and spotted it for what it was, but there's still plenty going for this campaign:
-Its job angle seems strangely resonant considering the current employment situation.
-The idea that you actually do give something back to them adds a weight and sincerity to the proposition. It recognises the reality of the exchange - it is them who are looking for something from you.
-The uniqueness has allowed all the major press sites to pick up on it without feeling like they're prociding free publicity. Except that they are.
-It's a prize that pretty much anyone would want - and The Best Job In The World is pretty memorable. Punchy and confident.

I think this $1.7m campaign has the potential to work. It's based on a few sound insights and some cunning twists in the prize formula.

Apply at the sexual-practice-like http://www.islandreefjob.com/, and this could be your office.


Mate.

9.1.09

Well? Do ya?

So the 'Advanced Medical Institute' is ignoring the ASA's ruling that it must pull out early, with regard to the Longer Lasting Sex poster campaign. And this on the same week that Virgin Atlantic is applauded by others for its testostofest 25th anniversary campaign. Why is sex seen as a bit of harmless fun in some cases, degrading to our fragile minds in others? If anything, Virgin has offered a more graphic treatment of sex, while it is the AMI that have resorted to the abstraction of language:

The ASA is, in fact, slamming the ad for promoting a prescription product, which is undisputedly against guidelines. But can we believe that this has absolutely nothing to do with the 450 complaints received on grounds of taste? Personally, well done them for capturing attention (though using the word 'sex' is a bit of a gimmie), shame its a miss-sell. The controversy, if it can be fanned into a scandal, might generate even more notice. Whether you think that's a job well done is probably down to what you think advertising is for.

6.1.09

People of the Now 5 - Uno

On the train home yesterday, there is a man reading a book entitled Plane Flight, a couple of seats away. I put down my copy of American Psycho and look up...


Me: Can you... fly planes?
Uno: Mmhmm. Small ones only. You need a special license for each size though.
M: That's... so cool. Living out a childhood dream.
U: Well, and I'm an engineering student so I have that to fall back on.
M: Wow... I just do marketing and ads and stuff. I kinda wanted to be a journalist at one point.
U: You seem a bit like a paparazzi!
M: If only. Being a pap would be pretty good. I was told when I was very young that getting into journalism was next to impossible, so...
U: Ah but that was other people's experience. If you only rely on other people's experience you can never know if you were able to do it. Abraham Lincoln said, "Failure is not a signal to give up. It is a signal to try again".
M: Right on! You never know, huh? I might be a paparazzi one day yet.
U: It's funny you should say that. You know Alexandra from the last Big Brother?
M: Uhm. Yes?
U: I got through to the end.. but my police check didn't come through in time. She was my stand-in.
M: Oh what?
U: Yeah well, you know. I'm gonna apply next year.
M: Can they... fast-track you or something?
U: They said not.
M: Bastards. Don't give up.

[heavily edited]