There’s something in the water in Bangkok.

This is another great Thai ad campaign.  This time by TBWA.

Again no headline, no words just an image and a story.

Brilliant art direction IMHO.

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Sir Frank Lowe’s genius

Lowe Howard Spink and CDP are the agencies that I most associate with this giant of the industry.

Now retired, he is interviewed by Dave Dye.

It’s a lesson in how advertising works.

In some ways the man in advertising I admire most – He was the ‘creative’ that wasn’t a ‘creative’.

Here’s a picture or two to treat your eyes as well as your ears.

What’s even greater is the video archive that accompanies this.











A breath of fresh air. Sweden’s Libresse ad by AMV BBDO.

Female hygiene product advertising has come a long way since Bodyform’s blue water absorbency demonstration.

Let’s face it, it’s a product area that carries a fairly high degree of throat clearing and knee crossing language in ‘polite households’ and isn’t the language that 50% of the population are comfortable using with the other 50%.

Here’s how the category is described in Wikipedia to give you an idea of what I mean

Female Hygiene (or menstrual hygiene products) are personal care products used by women during menstruation, vaginal discharge, and other bodily functions related to the vulva and vagina. 

Increasingly blood is replacing the blue test tube in this category, one of the few that, in my opinion, is holding onto the notion that ‘the big idea’ has real value in this dumbed down world of advertising that we live in.

I stumbled upon this commercial, from Sweden, for one of the aforementioned products while reading a piece on the new Gillette commercial which is nothing if not brave, but maybe a little laboured – I will write about it soon.

Anyway, I think you will enjoy its celebration of femininity in all its honesty.

Maybe it should carry a decency warning, but that would defeat the point of its existence.

It was created by AMV BBDO in London (the agency behind The Economist campaign) and directed by Kim Gehrig at Somesuch (she was responsible for the new Gillette ad and the excellent ‘This Girl Can” campaign for Sport England).

It’s interesting that the creative team is all-male. Art Director: Diego Cardoso de Oliveira
Copywriter: Caio Giannella.

But, as ever, in great advertising great credit has to go to the client who sanctioned it in the first place; Global Brand Communication Manager, Martina Poulopati.

It deservedly won a Gold at Cannes IMHO.

We live, in some small ways, in enlightened times after all.

The power of poster advertising. The fall of the Economist’s advertising intelligence.

In august last year I was asked to argue a debate in favour of big ideas over big data.  Little was I to know that my defence of the Big Idea could never be about to be validated more perfectly.

AMV, for many years, were the top agency in the UK and the jewel in the crown (creatively, not financially was The Economist).  Their advertising was legendary and I show some of it below.  It was always on posters and garnered more PR than it did sightings.  I rarely saw an Economist ad in the flesh but I knew them all.

Proximity now hold the account and the proudly stay

We use data-driven creativity to solve business problems

Their data driven creativity brings together a bunch of algorithms (I guess) to create an an ad on medium that ticks every box going.  And the result is a piece of communication that adds up to…well, zero.

It’s a sad day indeed to see how the Economist has abandoned its incredibly intelligent generation-long advertising campaign on posters for a TV spot that will simply make you cringe.

From these….








To this….

Truly a sign of the times.

Why I’ve joined the Nods team as Vice Chair.

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I was a guest at the inaugural Nods Awards last year and was impressed by its enthusiastic rejection of the usual awards puffery.

  • No suits ( I wore my daughter’s purple hat, inexplicably)
  • No drawn out sit-down dinner with expensive wine. (In fact it was a selection of market stalls selling street food in a really cool venue in the Barras called BAAD)
  • No two hour ceremony with so many awards you couldn’t even begin to work out who had won what.  (It was by contrast a little rushed and in need of sharing the work visually more – but it was all done and dusted in half an hour – the criticism was noted and a balance will be struck this year).
  • No overblown entry fees or ticket prices
  • And, most importantly for me, no profit motive – the proceeds went to the STV Children’s Appeal. But this year, and hopefully for the long term, proceeds will go to NABS (Scotland) well that’s an obvious choice is it not given that NABS is the creative (Communications) industry’s representative charity

This all made the event refreshing, more so when the judges are revealed as global giants, the Chair is a Global Giant herself (MT Rainey) and the organisers are Lux Events and CRAK Marketing, two small businesses wanting to put something back.

Many in our industry have bemoaned media owners using Awards as money-spinning bun fights and whilst I don’t wholly subscribe to that point of view there is no doubt this represents a refreshing change.

So year two now approaches, this time the awards ceremony will swap to Edinburgh and the ethos will be identical, although all of the people and organisations categories have been opened up for FREE entry.  This makes sense as people feel awkward paying to enter themselves for an award.  Instead it will be a Nod of recognition to those that deserve it.

Also we have introduced a craft category – a chance for photographers, illustrators, animators, musicians, film makers to enter for themselves – or for makers in agencies to have a bit of a spotlight shone on them.

I hope the industry will support the awards like they did last year.  It’s a shop window for the winners both to clients and to prospective staff and the awards themselves are keenly priced.

You can find out more here.

But, please note, the deadline for entries is 23rd November.  So get your skates on.