“Apostrophes are wee arseholes.”
That is the single bestest sentence I’ve read in a long while.
It stemmed from a twitter conversation I had with Helen Sell of The Gate Interactive.
She’d posted this, decent, long copy ad for Currys, but my Lynne Truss-like eye spotted that slap dang gosh in the middle of it was an offence to mankind.
THE MISSING APOSTROPHE.
Come on Currys. Come on.
And come on your agency too.
A bloody great retail ad spoiled by a wee arsehole.
Did you know about Bristol Pounds?
I didn’t until I read Dave Trott’s blog about them. Here it is.
It’s a new currency. A what goes on in Bristol stays in Bristol currency.
And the new Mayor of Bristol is paying himself in his own currency.
(Clearly he has no travel plans.)
It’s sort of daft having a currency you can only spend in your own back yard: quaint really.
Niaive? You could argue that it is.
But you know what? It’s brilliant too. It’s outrageously ‘outside of the box’.
Someone thought hard about that and I doff my titfer to them.
You wouldn’t Adam and Eve it. (Officer Dibble)
May 9, 2016, 9:51 pm
Filed under: 60 watt
| Tags: Halifax
, Officer Dibble
, Top Cat
, Top Cat ads
My first job in advertising was at the world famous Hall Advertising. I even met my wife there. Just before I started (1983 in fact) they ran a hugely, no massively, popular advertising campaign for the Royal Bank Of Scotland featuring the ‘cast’ of Top Cat.
Pete Mill and Rodger Stanier, were the creative team responsible for it and, along with John Denholm (the Suit), they spent memorable time working in California with Mr Hannah and Mr Barbera bringing the campaign to life.
Here’s a couple of the ads…
So imagine my shock at discovering that one of London’s hottest agencies, Adam and Eve, had also stumbled upon the SAME idea of using Top Cat but for rivals Halifax Building Society (part of HBOS Group).
Live Young: Evian
The strategy is frankly preposterous but the execution saves it.
How not to kill your clients.
April 28, 2016, 10:40 am
Filed under: advertising
| Tags: 1576 advertising
, advertising strategy
, atul gawande
, dave trott
, effective checklists
, mark gorman
, mark gorman think hard
, The Leith Agency
, think hard
So impressed and inspired was I by Atul Gawande’s astonishing book, The Checklist Manifesto, about how a seemingly mundane tool such as a checklist can reduce deaths on the operating table by half, that I’ve been pondering on how the same could apply to the world of advertising.
His inspiration was the world of airline piloting and he took the principals of this industry and applied them to his own.
I’ve done the same for the advertising industry and will be sharing them with an audience of account handlers at The Leith Agency on May 6th.
My presentation covers all aspects of advertising strategy and how to minimise your chances of getting it all horribly wrong, and contributing to the 89% of advertising that, according to Dave Trott, simply does not get noticed and consequently has no chance of working.
If you’re interested I could potentially be persuaded to share it with you.
(But only after The Leith Agency have had first dibs.)
March 14, 2016, 5:18 pm
Filed under: advertising
| Tags: American political brands
, Donald Trump Republicans
, mark gorman
, think hard
, US election
OK, so the Republican race isn’t over yet but Donald Trump is now three to one ON in the betting to win the Republican nomination, with Ted Cruz now 4/1.
Now, I’m not saying Cruz is an angel, because he sure is not, but it says an awful lot about the state of the American electorate that Donald Trump has been able to muster such a remarkable following under the auspices of a brand that I could only describe as toxic.
Most certainly it is toxic in the UK.
And for liberal America it too repulses commentators most notably in this MSNBC report by a visibly shocked Rachel Maddow. In the broadcast above Maddow creates a timeline of Trump speeches (you’ll have seen many of these snippets before so it’s not clever editing at play here) of the escalating call for an end to the toleration of protesters at Trump rallies and an increasing call for violence that led to the riots in Chicago.
It’s only one aspect of ‘Brand Trump’ that is so much the antithesis of Obama’s winning campaigns, that it makes me wonder if it can be the same electorate that is being addressed.
Now, sure, Obama’s dream is far from realised, but the quiet dignity with which he has presided over his office is a lesson in diplomacy for many leaders.
The tone adopted by Trump on the other (small) hand threatens to drive the US political system into farce.
But, like all good brands, the tone of voice is consistent.
One might also describe it as disruptive because it’s taking US politics and entirely reframing it.
In that respect it is as masterful as Obama’s Hope campaign.
But people, ultimately, are frightened of disruption.
Brand owners particularly so.
So, we can only hope that ‘Brand Republican’ sees, in time, that sub-brand Trump is about to kill its parent.
I mean, is this how you’d like your brand satirised on national TV and global internet?