Wednesday, June 24, 2009

George Lois is a Genius.

Advertising doesn't do a very good job of learning from its elders. This doco on George Lois is thirty years old and every bit as relevant today as it was then.

Extremely accurate pie chart.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

iPhone apps as art?

Does the People's Love for their iPhones have no end?

From Creative Review

At Apple's recent WWDC developer conference, 20,000 of the most popular iPhone apps were showcased on a pulsating wall of 30 Cinema Displays. Whenever someone downloaded a particular app, its icon pulsed light outwards creating a mesmerising display.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I don't want a friend, I want a bank.

On the weekend, I had to take some money out of an ATM. It was a Westpac one.
I don't bank with Westpac, so I knew I was in for a fee. But that's okay.
I key in my desired amount. Insufficient funds. $2.
I key in a lesser amount. Still insufficient funds. Another $2.
I ask to see my balance. Another $2. No longer ok.
And so I leave the ATM with six dollars less than I started with and a burning desire to start a riot. But I calm down. Until I see this.
Now it's game on.
'We're care factor 50'? 'We're take a jumper just in case'? Now you're taking the piss. You're laughing at my inability to find a non-robbing ATM or real competition in the mortgage market. You're pointing out and underlining the inequity of our relationship, while pretending that we're all equals. And fooling, who?
How did that even get off the creative's pad, let alone get on TV? In a couple of hours, my attitude toward Wetspac turned from ambivilance to irritation to a well-founded suspicion of pure evil.
I've worked on banks in the past. I don't know what it is, but they are obsessed with being liked. With having their charitable deeds and community activism acknowledged. With having their essential place in society acknowledged.
While at the same time charging people $6 to withdraw no money from an outsourced ATM and thinking they won't notice.
Here it is, Banks. I don't want you to be my friend. I don't want you to send me a card at Christmas. I just want you to be a bank, without violating me too vigorously.
Something Barclay's seems to understand.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What's on the Wall?

Hmmm...a man with a jackhammer, a pipe, eye patch and heroic Chinese workers. What kind of ad will it be?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Is it ok to steal ideas from YouTube?

The most withering judgement one creative can pass on another's work is; 'it's been done'. In our peculiar segment of our peculiar industry, originality is valued above all else, even intelligibility and efficacy. The current head on the chopping block (or chopping blog in the case of Campaign Brief) is JWT's new spot for Allen's lollies. In it, a giant doll walks down a city street, blowing bubbles that turn into sweets.

Now regardless of any other considerations, it does bear remarkable similarity to this piece of film posted by a company called The Electric Pig.

Or even this viral campaign for Levi's Jeans by BBH in London.

Predictably, the creative community cries 'plagiarism'. And it's hard to believe that at least some of the people involved in the Allen's job weren't aware of the Electric Pig project.
But does it matter that creatives find inspriration on YouTube? In Oasis' pomp, Noel Gallagher proudly noted that he stole most of his ideas from the Beatles. The Rolling Stones started out overtly and publicly trying to mimic Southern Blues artists like Muddy Waters. Visual artists and novelists are also proud to identify the origins of their ideas.
Perhaps these other creative types understand that there is little that's absolutely original in the world, and instead try to move the good ideas that exist just one step further. Or mix two existing ideas together to produce something new.
However, unlike pure artists whose work needs to stand in it's own right, we are commercial artists who use ideas to promote and sell our client's products.
Is it right to hold ourselves to a higher level of creative accountability? Is the 'it's been done' argument a reach for higher standards or nothing more than self-indulgent creative naval-gazing? Should we be less concerned about where an idea comes from, and put more thought into making sure it achieves what marketing objectives it is meant to?
There are 20 hours of content uploaded to YouTube every minute, let alone other video sharing sites like Vimeo. If we discount all of this, what are we left with?

Monday, June 1, 2009

There might be something in this social media after all.

Last week, Russia's Digital Sky Technologies paid US $200 million for a tad less than 2% of Facebook, valuing the social network site at $10 billion. Which sounds like a lot while argument still rages about Facebook's lack of ability to carry advertising or deliver sustained, mass-market advertising results. But what the Ruskis might have worked out, that most of us have not, is that Facebook represents not just another medium to flog a sales message, but rather a tell-tale of how technology is changing the way companies communicte with their customers. A smarter man than me explains it all here.