Filed under: advertising, politics | Tags: beer, black americans, bud, budweiser, obama, True, US advertising, US political advertising, US politics, USA, wassup, wassuuuuup
Not only is this very funny and a genius pastiche but it is a very true take on our current zeitgeist (yeah I know but it’s the right word.)
For those of you who don’t remember the vernacular hogging original it was truly the talk of the water cooler in 2000.
Filed under: advertising, politics | Tags: Bank ads, bank advertising, Bank commercials, Banking, Clam crab cockie cowrie, credit crunch, HABC commercial, HSBC, HSBC ad, HSBC Advertising, HSBC Bank, Joanna Newsom, JWT, JWT London, recession, The milk eyed mender, thinkbox, tv ads, TVSpots
If ever proof was needed that recessions do not necessarily dampen creativity take a look at this new spot for HSBC by JWT London. Now, the banking sector is not an area one might expect great creativity from at this moment in time. But this epic mini-movie with a soundtrack by the imperious Joanna Newsom takes some beating. In fact I voted it ahead of Hovis in this month’s Thinkbox poll.
It is truly wonderful. And nicely subversive.
And this is Newsom performing the song, in full, on Jools Holland. (Clam, Crab, Cockie Cowrie it’s called and can be found on The Milk Eyed Mender LP.)
Filed under: design, photos, politics | Tags: liveries, livery, scotrail, trains
Again and again I see glimmers of hope coming out of our present government’s think tank. Here’s a small (to some; not me) and not life-changing, but nonetheless brilliant initiative.
An Edinburgh design firm, Redpath, led by the larger than life Richard Irvine has completed a rebranding job for Transport Scotland that will see all of Scotland’s rail network (trains, signage and stations) uniformly branded.
You might say ‘so what’ but I say ‘fantastic’. If we want to act as a nation we need to present ourselves like a nation.
So First Scotrial, Strathclye Passenger Transport and whoever else has their own liveried trains chuntering about on the tracks of Scotland’s railways will be uniformly branded Scotrail and if the franchise changes the liveries won’t, only the train operator’s logo on door panels will.
Not only that, but the Saltire device from which it emanates will tie in with many of Scotland’s brands, like the Scottish Govt itself, NHS Scotland and so on.
I call it a victory for common sense and creativity and I take my hat off to all involved!
You can read more here.
Filed under: advertising, design, photos, politics, web2.0 | Tags: power 100, the drum
Apparently I am among the 100 most powerful people in Scottish media and marketing! I find that rather amusing. If you don’t believe me follow this link. Better still, cast a vote for me and I might not end up as the 100th most powerful person in Scottish Marketing, which would be decidedly disappointing having made the cut, so to speak – like Scotland reaching the final stages of a major football competition. Remember them?
You will note of course, if you read the small print on the poll, that I was in fact one of the judges. You can be assured that I left the room when my name came up for voting.
(Actually I didn’t, so had to put up with a sustained barrage of slagging and many, many reasons for my non-inclusion before the cheques I had posted to the other judges kicked in and did their job.)
What is also rather amusing is that the most powerful man in marketing, Alex Salmond, was not eligible for inclusion, which thankfully left a wee space for me to squeeze in in 100th place.
Ach, life’s a bitch, then you die.
Filed under: advertising, design, politics | Tags: ads, business, challenge, communiation, Gerry Farrell, journalism, life, newspapers, scotland, shoddy reporting, The Leith Agency
This one, from my friend Gerry Farrell, Creative Director of The Leith Agency, is a cracker.
He appeared in a BBC4 TV programme charting the history of advertising and was outraged when he read this review of it in The Scotsman last week.
So annoyed was he that he was moved to write to Paul Whitelaw, the TV critic responsible for irking him so much.
I reproduce the article and letter in full for your comment, amusement, anger.
I’m totally with Gerry in defending our industry’s professional standards. Is it fair for this guy to make a sweeping generalisation that our industry is a pack of disingenious snakes who will happilly feed a pack of lies in order to sell consumers our product?
No Mr Whitelaw it is not.
I just read your TV review in Wednesday’s Scotsman and, like all good admen should, I felt like stabbing myself through the heart with a breadknife.
Let me declare an interest right away. I work at The Leith Agency and the BBC interviewed me and broadcast some of what I said on The Hard Sell on Tuesday night. I`ve only got council telly so I didn`t see the show but I`m sure I did “state the bleeding obvious” and I can quite believe that it was tame and bland, nor can I understand the public`s appetite for programmes about advertising, least of all ones like this, put together by lazy journalists who don`t look far beneath the surface.
Hope you spotted the hint of menace there. How tedious it is to have to take another knee-jerk kick to the nuts from yet another lazy journo with opinions pre-formed in the Sixth Year and unchanged since.
Bill Hicks. Yeah,yeah,yeah. Tom Lappin used the same quote a couple of months back just before he called Alan Hansen “ a money-grubbing whore” for doing TV ads for Morrison`s Supermarket. And now, from your bottomless journalistic well of investigation, research and experience (aka Google), you`ve drawn up a very similar bucket of insults.
If you`d had the energy to click more than once, you might`ve found “Advertising is the rattling of a stick in a swill bucket” (George Orwell) or – my personal favourite – the title of a French adman`s autobiography, “Don`t Tell My Mother I Work In Advertising, She Thinks I Play The Piano In A Brothel”.
And so you rummaged around your own personal swill bucket and came up with the usual lazy rubbish that “ most admen are disingenuous snakes…who.. feed consumers a multi-pack of lies”.
Whoo. How edgy and unpredictable.
Where to start.
Show me a society with no advertising and I`ll show you a government that lies to its own people. Show me a daily newspaper with no lies in it…wait a minute, that`s silly, the average daily newspaper contains more lies, half-truths and uninformed opinion than you`ll find in a month`s worth of ads. Journalist ain`t got much moral high ground to play around on; every paper or magazine I`ve ever read has been funded by the ads it carries. How much does that bother your conscience?
There isn`t even any logic to your position. You watch a lot of telly, apparently. If the Sony client runs a beautiful ad with coloured balls bouncing down hills to tell people the colour on a Sony Bravia is amazing and somebody goes out and buys one and the colour`s shite, they`re not going to sell many more. The best way to kill a rubbish product dead is to advertise it because people will only buy a crap thing once and once isn`t really enough for those wonderful folk who flog beer, cornflakes and Yakult. The internet makes bad word of mouth virally infectious. None of our clients can afford to publicise anything that doesn`t do what it says on the tin. (See what I did there).
It`s persuasion, not mass hypnosis.
Where`s the lie in Cadbury`s drumming gorilla ad?
Have you actually ever been so outraged by an untruthful ad that you`ve complained to the Advertising Standards Authority? Try it. My bet is you`ll struggle to find a single untruthful claim. If you do, and your complaint is valid, the ad will be pulled and the ad agency punished. That`s because we operate under a draconian code of `legal, decent, honest and truthful` that`s a hundred times stricter than your toothless Press Complaints Commission.
More to the point, the vast majority of the men and women I`ve worked with over the last 28 years ( and it`s a fifty/fifty gender split, by the way) are also nice, decent, truthful people. In fact half the people in this agency give up their free time once a fortnight to do free marketing clinics for any business that`s based in Leith for no other reason other than that we love Leith and we think we can help small businesses to market themselves more effectively.
Oh dear, I`ve ranted onto a second page. Let me finish with an invitation and a challenge. Come into The Leith Agency for a day. If you can find a single ad with a lie in it, I`ll buy you an Eighties-style advertising lunch at the posh restaurant of your choice. If you can`t, the lunch is on you.
Alternatively, if you`d prefer something more adversarial, I`ll stand up and debate the point with you anytime, any place, anywhere (see what I did there again).
Or, if you feel particularly feisty about the whole thing, I`ll fight you for it in a boxing ring, all proceeds to a cancer charity.
Any of those three would give you material for a more interesting piece of journalism than the tired old tat you bashed out for your TV review in Wednesday`s Scotsman.
Creative Director, The Leith Agency
(Postscript. I reproduced this post onto my personal blog and it got a LOT more comments which you may enjoy. Here.)
Filed under: advertising, design, politics, sponsorship | Tags: business, business growth, communication, economic contribution, economy, government, growth, industry, marketing, parliament, PR, promotion, Scottish government, scottish marketing. scottish business, scottish parliament, the economy, trade bodies
You may be aware that I have been steering an industry-wide marketing communications lobbying group for some time now.Tonight is our big night. 120 of us will gather at Holyrood in The Garden Lobby to make a case for close engagement between our industry and our government.The following speech will be delivered by Tim Maguire on our behalf and we will be screening a short film documenting the excellence of our industry. In fact you can view it here. ”Tonight marks a watershed in the history of Scottish marketing. It is the first time that we have stood as an industry, shoulder to shoulder showcasing the remarkable output of a nation steeped in a tradition of innovation and creative thinking.That heritage is rightly celebrated not just at home but across the planet. Scotland punches way, way above its weight when intellect is being considered. And yet, Scottish Marketing, a surprisingly large industry, driven by intellect, plods a weary and unheralded path through life.Doing its own thing. Struggling against the weight of competition that comes from every corner of the UK and beyond.Tonight we would like to set in motion a process of change. A process of engagement, not just with one another but with you, our government and agenda setters.We’d like, no we need, to be on that agenda and in the next few minutes we’ll demonstrate why that need is real.But first, a little scene setting.A little over two years ago a collective of Scottish marketing people, led by the Scottish Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, alongside the Direct Marketing Association, The Scottish Marketing Aassociation, The Marketing Society and several media partners were worried about the “challenging times” that their industry faced.They decided that the time had come to address the issue of Scotland’s lack of joined up thinking, representation, dialogue and action in an industry that is a core driver of Scotland’s economic prosperity.So, they went to Scottish Enterprise and match-funded an economic report through EKOS Consulting that threw into stark relief the contribution that Scottish marketing makes to this country’s economy.It hadn’t been done before. The data was difficult and expensive to gather from many different sources.But, six months later that report was delivered and it became the catalyst for a joining together of ambition, a fusing of commitment and a passion and thirst for knowledge and strategy that reaches a crescendo with our meeting here tonight.This industry is desperately important to a nation that has gone through unprecedented constitutional change over the past decade and that stands on the verge of greater things.Just imagine, for a moment, a nation where Irn Bru wasn’t made in Scotland from Girders. Where Simmers didn’t make lovely, lovely biscuits where things didn’t get better than a Kwik Fit fitter; where the bank wasn’t a friend for life and where you couldn’t Live it or Visit Scotland.Imagine a nation where the newspapers had to find their own stories to feed the voracious reading public’s appetite.Imagine a nation where every whisky bottle, beer can, milk carton and bread wrapper came in utilitarian packaging.Imagine a nation that relied solely on imported programming to fill its television screens.Imagine a nation that had not been touched by the new enlightenment where creativity and originality were deemed irrelevant.Daft, isn’t it.Now, imagine a country that sees 75% of its marketing spend disappear to other places, chiefly London, where even some of the tax-payer-funded public sector fails to buy from its own world-class practitioners.Where a new digital economy is being held back by a lack of qualified young people.That’s daft too.But it’s exactly what happens in Scotland. It wouldn’t happen in Ireland – that’s for sure.Ken Livingston is stumping up £50 million a year to back Creative London, so valuable is the creative economy in his eyes. The Danish Government has invested heavily in Copenhagen’s creative industries and seen it rise from 20th to 7th in the European superleague of creative cities since 1999. Why not Scotland?As an industry, we have been backward in coming forward. Like the cobblers children who are seldom shod we’ve failed to engage with the people in our own back yard. We’ve seen business walk away. We daren’t mention the L word, so irritating do we find the drift of money to London.But, we’ve finally come together.We are here tonight to showcase some of our work. The work of our advertising people, our direct marketers, our newspaper writers and TV programme makers, our researchers, our sales promotions experts, our PR people and the bright young things that are driving our digital economy forward.Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you…Scottish Marketing.Driving Scotland’s growth.SHOW THE FILMSo, an industry we can undoubtedly be proud of.An industry brimful of creativity, imagination and excellent strategic thinking.An industry that makes Scotland tick that adds spillover value to all it touches.An industry of over 40,000 highly paid, well-educated people contributing over a billion pounds to the economy. (Who’d have thought?)Who knows, with your help it could become 50,000.But this is an industry that has failed to engage at the highest level with government because it has, in the past, been made up of too many silos. And it is an industry that is leaking 75% of its income potential elsewhere (chiefly London).Tonight is not about seeking handouts. It’s not about complaints – God knows we are the people most guilty of not making our voices heard.No, tonight is about asking this administration to acknowledge that Scottish Marketing is indeed a key driver of this economy and a vital part of it in jobs and wealth creation in its own right, but it’s an industry that is struggling to keep its head above water.We do need your help.We need you to listen to our issues.We need you to help us plot an economic path to prosperity.We need you to give us your support.Ladies and gentlemen, MSP’s, if you only do one thing in the next 24 hours, please sign Elaine Murray’s motion.If the only thing you do in the next month is to urge your colleagues with economic responsibility in their portfolio to engage with SMC Action you will have furthered the potential of Scotland’s economy.Thank you to Elaine Murray for sponsoring our event tonight.To Business 7 and Denholm Associates for supporting it and to Green Room Films for their generosity in producing the showcase.Lastly, thank you for taking the time to represent our industry and for coming out to listen to our message.
Filed under: About think hard, advertising, politics | Tags: business, business 7, marketing, scottish marketing, scottish parliament, smcaction
An article from today’s Business 7 online version.
I am heavily involved in the SMC Action initiative and will be speaking to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday at the Parliament building. You can read more about us here.
It just goes to show how attitudes change as these old ads demonstrate.
Fags feature large in the inappropriateness of the past like this one for superbrand Tipalet…
or this for Marlboro…
Social marketing has always been “in your face” but this one for hooker avoidment is brilliant and the casting of an Ameriocan Belle du Jour quite striking.I wonder if “the axis” is refering to the axis of evil.
Speaking of the Axis Ive saved the for last. This ad for Pakistan International Airlines leaves you thinking…