This. Is London. Greatness from Nike. (Thanks to Wieden and Kennedy.)

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London gets its own Nike ad.

We regionistas should hate it ‘cos it’s Lundin, innit.

But nah; it’s just great.  The fastest three minutes in advertising you will see in a long time.

What I particularly love about it is that it twists the ULTIMATE regional yarn – the Four Yorkshireman sketch from the 1970’s by Monty Python – and makes it relevant to both London and 2018.

Every sport, every exercise, every trope explored with wit and excellent cultural mixing.

Everyone comes out of it well.

Except Peckham.

What’s wrong with Peckham?

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How to become a creative director for a week.

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Studio Something is an agency with a difference.

I’d like to think my own agency, 1576 Advertising Limited, had a similar sure-footedness in its early days but I fear that would be bigging us up too much.  The landscape is different now and their advocacy of pure creativity is a harder course to steer in this rocky world of creative algorithms and Big Data than it was in 1994 when your TV screen still contained delights between programmes.

Creativity lies squarely at Studio Something’s core (square core? – Ed) which, obviously, appeals to me and they’re not afraid to break the rules.

As little babies they surprised the orthodoxy in Scotland by winning the Tennents Lager advertising account and running a multi-execution (online and cinema) animated campaign; a kind of soap opera about the life of Wellpark (site of the Tennents brewery).  Part slice of Scottish Life, part League of Gentlemen with dogs, it was a bold experiment that reaped great rewards.

That was the start.  Since then they’ve continued to surprise with interesting work for See Me and Innes and Gunn, amongst others.

And this post caught my eye on Medium this morning.

It’s essentially a job ad.  An ad for an internship, a creative internship.  But they’ve pulled a great stunt with it.  It’s not unpaid, it’s not minimum wage.  It’s (for one week only) paying the wage of the average Creative Director in the UK –  £45k (or (£865.38) to be precise.

But what makes this unashamed stunt much more interesting is the back story.

I don’t know if it’s written by Ian or Jordan, but it doesn’t matter.  It tells the tale of their damascene moment when Gerry Farrell offered them their own first PAID internship at The Leith Agency (or placement which sounds far more bearable) in the face of their impending personal bankruptcy.

It’s a minor chin wobbler but it also beautifully illustrates their culture.

Indeed (to brutally capitalise on their creativity for, frankly, my own gain) it’s a perfect illustration of EMPLOYER BRANDING, – like we’re doing at Inside Out, but with a boldness and joi de vivre that few could match.

You get a strong sense of values, culture and vision without using any of these words.  And most of all, if I was a 22 year old creative starting out on this rocky journey I’d want to work there.

£865.38 or otherwise.

 

 

 

Who said websites don’t need ideas? A digital marketing “hipster”; that’s who.

What you are about to read demonstrates that ‘websites do not need ideas’ is complete and utter nonsense.

I promise you.

They don’t necessarily need ideas, but those that do are one thing: better.

Today I’m talking to you about a website with an idea.

No a website that is an idea.

It’s a website for a copywriter.  A friend of mine as it happens.

His name is Chris Miller and this is his website link.

And if you have even half a desire to read the best thing you will read today I urge you to read the website on the link I posted above.  It will give both me and Chris Google moolah.

Chris had an idea.  You know, one of the best ones.  The simple ones.

The ones that makes you go.  “Jesus wept; why has no one ever thought of that before?  It’s so simple.”

And what is that idea?

This is his idea…

He’s selling his wares as a copywriter.

What do websites immerse themselves in these days?

 Content! (Shut up you wanker. Ed.)

Pictures (and videos)!

In webland words are deemed nasty, necessary evils only there to attract Google spiders. Words like (in Chris’s case)…

“Hi.  I’m, Chris Miller, a copywriter.  I write copy – award winning copywriting – that will help marketing managers achieve a higher ROI on marketing communications in Scotland, Harrogate, Manchester and the North of England in advertising and digital marketing  in FMCG, automotive, food and drink, public sector and charities.”

Blah blah blah.

But, as I have stated twice already (repetition is not a good idea for Google spideryness –  Ed.), Chris had an idea.

“If I’m about words why plaster my website with pictures?  You know what?  Fuck the lot of you. I’ll use none.” (That was  paraphrased.  Chris is not a big sweary pig like me.)

That opened up a rich vein of thought, and an opportunity to write stunning copy that makes you laugh out loud (even here in the National Library of Scotland where laughing is heavily frowned upon.)

In demonstrating his site to you, and because Chris had the balls (apart from the one page where he didn’t have the balls), to not use any pictures; neither will I.

Except this one.

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Go on, dig deep here.

(Now you’re link bombing you twat. Ed.)

Touching, beautiful and hilarious. The sign of a great brand hitting the mark full square.

Beginning with the beautiful but subtle soundtrack (1982’s ‘Four Square’) reimagined by Scots director Dougal Wilson (ex Leith Agency) Channel Four have released four new idents that are crushingly brilliant.

I laughed out loud at the football execution and was genuinely moved by the immigrants spot.

Dougal Wilson has turned into a real nations favourite director with a string of great work but this is a tricky one.

The brief was to capture C4’s inclusive and diverse personality without becoming ‘right on’ politically correct or overly serious.  Channel 4 is fun too, and cheeky (naughty they say).

So this is an outstanding achievement of branding. both aural and visual, and completely true to Martin Lambie Nairn’s original creation back in 1982.  Yet almost completely different.

A class act.  Bravo.

This may seem a bit new age, but it’s not really, and the sense of it is spot on.

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(Photo Credit: My own)

It’s a quote by a guy called Zen Shin. (They’re all Chinese warriors and philosophers that come up with the best ones are they not?).

Anyway, I spotted it within a talk by Lucky Cloud Skincare at Creative Edinburgh‘s Talking Heads event last night.

What resonated with me is the vanity that pervades my industry and the comparisons we all make with one another for no real gain.

The simple fact is that great work will always stand out by being, great work.

This is my philosophy on how to achieve that;

  • Strong strategy/briefing (follow the ‘Garbage in, garbage out ‘principle as a starting point to keep you straight on that one)
  • Focussed messaging (Meies Van der Rohe nailed that one – less is more)
  • Thoughtfully targeted and placed in the right context
  • Work with (and hire) real creative talent and don’t be in awe (they are as nervous, inside, about any new brief as you are)
  • Enthuse them
  • Immerse yourself in the product/service
  • If it IS great and your client doesn’t bite; sell, and sell hard.  Do not give up.  Do not compromise.  If all fails put it in a drawer for selling later to someone else who has vision

“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.

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Come on Currys.  Come on.

And come on your agency too.

A bloody great retail ad spoiled by a wee arsehole.