Sunday, 11 April 2010

Opportunistic Tiger Sad-vertising

Love this. It was inevitable at least one sponsor would try to capitalise on the cheating, but nice decision to play the pschotherapist, to NOT deny the complexity of the man and the situation he finds himself in, and to resist summing it all up in a single line or thought. It's an open wound, we don't know how it will heal and Nike don't deny that. Sporting relevance galore, especially in such a mental game as golf.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Swedish Advertising Effectiveness Debate


The finest planners in Sweden, including the wonderful Johan Ostlund of DDB Stockholm, have sensibly decided to have a debate about effectiveness, in order to inject some life and longing and good sense into the country's "100 Watt" effectiveness awards.

I've contibuted my own thoughts to the debate, and there are lots more worthwhile opinions to read, including those of the peerless Les Binet. You will need Google Translator at the ready though...

Saturday, 2 May 2009

A cheer led for Andy Whitlock

I love this, serves me right for that mournful mug :)

Superb work by Andy Whitlock, you can see the full set here....

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Essay in Campaign - "We believe the people should control the means of branding"

I'm lucky enough to have my IPA Diploma essay published in Campaign this week. If you get a chance, have a read... it's a fictional guesstimate at what the future looks like for brands... given trends for collectivisation, ethics and "We-actualisation" as I put it.

It was written in July 2008, so you'll see that not everything has come true so far. Enjoy it & I'd be interested to hear any thoughts.

There's a scan of the published article here (thanks Franjse)...

And this link should take you to a good quality pdf, though not final version... has mistakes in the charts, etc.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Emotion - a familiar friend we hardly know

Greetings from Berlin.

I don't know why, but I've decided to spend the summer here. About this time last year I visited Berlin for three days and such was the impression made on me by the city and its unique inhabitants that I very nearly never made it home.

Well I wasn't ballsy enough to be THAT spontaneous, but I am rather chuffed to have made it here eventually. Much as I love the city I've called home for the last four years, the bohemian principled sloth and affordable everything of Berlin makes it a charming antidote to the hectic, runaway relentlessness of London.

Anyway, the only reason I'm checking in is to let you know that this month's Admap carries another little article by myself about Emotion. This time it's not just about 'negative' emotions, but the full gamut of affective experience (as superficially indicated by Pollack's grid of facial emotions below) and the question of whether we really know what we're saying or doing when it comes to 'emotion' in advertising.

On both counts, I think we haven't a clue.

If you get to read it, I hope you find it enjoyable or worthwhile - much of it may be self-consciously provocative nonsense, but I'd love to hear any thoughts anyway.

I'll post the article here if I can figure out how to do so.

UPDATE - here's the link:

Sunday, 30 March 2008

8 months later...

...and I'm thinking about posting again.

Maybe it's the sun poking her wares through the trees and making me feel all creative, or the semi-illusory prospect of life maybe going in a new direction and my feeling benevolent with the excitement of it all... or more probably it's the fact I've got another Admap article coming out soon (and it's not about sad-vertising you'll be glad to hear) and I might just have something worthwhile and substantial to share with you (I'm not one for 'interesting things I saw today' blogging, maybe I just don't see enough interesting things).

A romantic explanation for my hiatus might be that I finally got a job playing piano in a cabaret or my book idea "Toilets of London" is finally to get published. But truth is I've been putting most of my energy into the 9-5 (really the 10 to 9).... and into this...

In June 2007, along with 15 other bright-eyed advertising peeps about 5-8 years into the industry, I committed the next 15 months of my weekends to reading all the best thinking our industry has ever felt important enough to put into print (and that's a lot...more than a Masters-worth of reading)... spitting some out along the way, trying in vain to digest other morsels, and greedily allowing the great majority of it to nourish me and turn me into an altogether better-rounded and more convincing advertising practitioner.

The best bit (and the real reason I've not been here) is that I've had to use up all my words writing essays with original and compelling points of view on everything I've read... Comms Planning, Metrics, Consumers, Brands and Creativity... I've now got an opinion on everything, my brain hurts and I'm terrible company in the pub.

It's been magic, the true academic in me has had a field day. I just wish I could do the IPA Excellence Diploma as a full-time job...and I wish everyone else in the industry got to do it too, because frankly it's scary what we don't know. And it's scary how many of us get by without reading the important treasures some great minds have left for us. We've been driving advertising without a licence...and how we're not in a heap at the bottom of some dusty ravine, I do not know.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Mr. Bergman, even your ads were dark

If sad-vertising is about putting a focus on darker material, then it would be wrong not to mark the passing of Ingmar Bergman this week. I've spent summers on Bergman's home island of Gotland and I have many Swedish friends who feel this week they have lost their national grandad. I cannot think of a more influential Swedish artist than Bergman and today Gotland, and Sweden, must be in quite a strange mood.
Speaking of mood, it's what Bergman was great at. All his films have a mesmerising darkness about them, an honesty about the futility and mortality of human existence. They can be tough going at times, but a Bergman film won't leave you feeling empty.
And when I found out this week that Bergman had directed 9 soap ads in 1951 (9 of them! and some over a minute long! those were the days) I just had to see if bergman was into his sad-vertising. Well, I'm not fluent in Swedish and can't translate, but there does seem to be a little darkness to these ads... for example, check out the one below.

It's really quite impressive for 1951, lots of startlingly affecting archetypal images. You can see all the "Bris Soap" ads here.

RIP Ingmar Bergman (1918 - 2007)