Shimmering bits from the w w w

March 30, 2009 by

I’ve been storing up some found digital images over the last few months hoping I would be able to drop them inconspicuously into a post to highlight a salient point. As I’ve not yet found one opportunity to pull this off, I’ve decided to throw caution to the wind and just put them down here. It feels good to get them out, so here’s a selection of my favourites.  After all this is supposed to be about sharing…

Could have used this one for my Seeing things differently post actually…

More after the jump!

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Isn’t it time product placement was encouraged rather than banned?

March 29, 2009 by


The news a fortnight ago that Culture minister Andy Burnham has rejected proposals to allow product placement in British TV has caused a fairly widespread negative reaction across the advertising world, with bloggers and columnists alike disparaging his take on the subject as short-sighted and simultaneously behind the times, and it’s not hard to see why.

The fact is that the old distribution model is weakening under the strain of digital – Clay Shirky wrote in the Guardian in January about newspapers struggling to adapt to digital and burying their heads in the sand with regard to the impact the internet is having on their distribution model (which Rory Sutherland followed up on in Campaign on Friday, although doesn’t seem to be on their website yet). The same problems face the TV industry, although in this case the real crime is that legislation like this is forcibly pushing their heads under the surface and giving them little chance to adapt, even if they wanted to.

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March 24, 2009 by

Nice viral as part of the Stella Artois 4% campaign. French nonchalance at its best.

Awesome interactive Trueblood billboard

March 22, 2009 by

Because, deep down, everyone wants to hunt vampires.

A few more pictures here.

Is o2 Ducks the perfect recession ad?

March 21, 2009 by

I know it’s been around for a while now, but earlier today it struck me (in the shower, obviously) that Ducks might just be the perfect recession ad, because it manages to combine almost everything that people have been clamouring for from ads since the recession began:

1) People have been wrangling over whether to go down the branding or pricing/offer route in ads ever since the world started to fall apart – Ducks does both. It has brilliant branding, working hard to push o2 as relevant, quirky, knowingly self-deprecating and in touch with consumers, all whilst pushing an offer-based incentive.

2) It’s funny, feel-good, not gloomy in the slightest – it’s not “you’ve got no money now, so get on pay as you go”, but rather “look how fun pay as you go is, plus you can get all this cool shit!”. Plus that shot of the wide-eyed duck about to go over the waterfall is priceless.

3) Most importantly, it really pushes o2’s generosity. Generous brands are going to be the ones who come out of the other side of the recession in good shape, simply because they will have been the ones who demonstrated their commitment to their customers above all else. When things are good, yeah sure it’s easy to give away a few prizes to lure people in and reward loyalty, but when money is in short supply generosity like this means so much more. I’m not saying it’s less transparent, far from it, it might be even more so, but it’s memorable and powerful to give things to customers in lean times such as these (especially when it’s existing customers who don’t have to do anything – this is definitely a “I want to be one of them, their little club is cool” ad).

Anyway, just a thought.

Could Gazaro be the future of online shopping?

March 20, 2009 by

As the aggregation of the internet becomes increasingly popular across multiple platforms and applications (RSS readers, Twitter, Facebook’s new homepage design and everything Joel wrote about yesterday are all good examples of the increasing collation of online data), it seems obvious that there is real potential out there for a great platform for the aggregation of shopping deals across the web. Sites like kelkoo have existed for a long time (but are usually cluttered and hard to navigate), and Google Product Search, although still a Beta, is incredibly good at weeding out deals, but what really sets Gazaro apart (in the video at least), is its incredibly simple interface, its price tracking ability and its ease of integration into other aggregation platforms such as RSS.

Just a shame it doesn’t seem to be working in the UK yet, even to compare US prices. People over at Lifehacker seem to be giving it mixed reviews, but I’ve tried using it and I can only find one product on there, even just by clicking through all their popular categories. Maybe something for the future?

Edit: Not sure why the video isn’t working right now, but you can watch it here

Seeing things differently

March 19, 2009 by

Faris Yakob’s written an article for AdAge which you’ll find here, it’s well worth a read. It sets out nine aphorisms for Digital Communication trends in 2009. One of them really resonated with me as it’s something I’m fairly passionate about at the moment – “Find new ways to see”.

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Israeli missile advertising puts a Bollywood spin on death

March 17, 2009 by

Apparently this video was shown by defence firm Rafael at a weapons trade show in India as a way to ‘build familiarity between India and Israel and Rafael’. I really hope it didn’t.

Found via Geekologie

Cadbury’s Caramel and the power of multiplied media

March 16, 2009 by


A few days ago Cadbury were running a campaign for Cadbury’s Caramel (nope, it will never be Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel, no matter how hard they try) all over the tube – this cover for thelondonpaper was accompanied by distributers handing out free Caramels, and supported by matching posters all over the place (alongside the huge IMAX board and T/supersides on buses). This focus on reinforcement seems to correlate well with what we wrote about the power of three and the work of Dr Paul Kelley at Monkseaton High School who is pioneering a system of spaced learning.

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Frito-Lay: Firesprite

March 13, 2009 by

Absolutely love this ad for Tostitos chips and dips from Goodby Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco – great choice of (British) music (not sure if the penchant for the plinky-plonky indie ad soundtrack is as prevalent in the US, but it’s nice to think that this stands out as much there as it would here), beautiful art direction, lovely and whimsical, whilst also being pretty brave from the client – smallish packshot, few visual clues as to what’s going on beforehand, and not a crisp in sight – insert hyperbole here.

And here’s the song – East End Blues – Leon Jean Marie

Found via NotCot

Augmented reality & imagining what they could do with football cards…

March 12, 2009 by

This is a really cool, if not slightly pointless, bit of augmented reality technology bringing baseball cards to life.

If I had a book, I’d definitely steal this for it

March 11, 2009 by


Found via Failblog

The Daily Mail: The acceptable face of British sexism

March 10, 2009 by


So, which really is the best invention for women?

a) Women! You like wine and stuff, don’t you? Having a little tipple with the girls while the men get on with the real stuff! Can’t say fairer than that can you?!

b) Women! You were pretty damn subjugated there, weren’t you, having to wash all those clothes by hand for us men, but – lucky you! – we’ve been all benevolent and bought you a washing machine! Now all you have to do is load it up, and everyone’s happy! See, with this happy invention you can save valuable time, time enough to wash some dishes perhaps!

c) Women! You’re all insecure and cute aren’t you?! Having all those issues about your bodies, no idea where they all come from, but don’t worry, you can get away from all that by dimming the lights a little! Nothing like a bit of darkness to cover that aching desire to be thin. Even better, when the lights are off, he might actually think your fat arse is sexy, and deign not to think about Kelly Brook the next time he’s shagging you – it’s win-win!

Just remember ladies, these are all great inventions for you, and we, those proud men who created them, should be foremost in your thoughts the next time you think of designing something – why bother, when someone better can do it for you?! Put your feet up and relax, read the paper, just don’t forget the dinner…

This is what YouTube was made for – The Wire in 5 minutes

March 8, 2009 by

Massive spoiler alert! If you have watched it all though – AMAZING from Mad Skillz. Sheeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!

Hit the jump for The Word’s Premiership footballers who look like characters from The Wire, and if you’re interested you should definitely read YouNotSneaky’s analysis of The Economics of The Wire, which is kind of a much better version of what I wrote a while ago about the recession, supply and demand and (you guessed it) The Wire.

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Advertising and other cool stuff from Berlin

March 6, 2009 by

This Nike mural is easily one of the most awesome ads I’ve ever seen, I just hope no-one ever paints over it. Art and advertising hardly ever come together this seamlessly nowadays, and it would be amazing to see more of it (although obviously it’s all about context, if this wasn’t in the east of the city, surrounded by countless other bits of graffiti, it probably would have been removed). The rest of the city was littered with all sorts of assorted coolness…

More after the jump, plus a link to the full Flickr set…

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