Twee for two.

August 23rd, 2011 // 4:07 pm @ // 4 Comments

Hello there. Yes it’s me. Remember? The little stroppy one. Yes, that’s it. Well, you would be excused for forgetting, it REALLY has been AGES this time hasn’t it? Sorry but I’ve been really, really busy. There have been gigs, little days out with my daughter, ( it’s the school holidays you know ), and even some bloody work! Yes, work. I’ve been into a couple of of Manchester Ad agencies being a Manchester Copywriter, you know, writing stuff and even naming stuff. Oh yes. I’m a brand consultant now. I may even become a ‘Brand Evangelist’. as some of the trendy people call themselves. I have of course been doing all that for around twenty years but now, in the noughties, we have dead good names for it all.

Anyway, back to blogging. Guess what I’m going to do today? You’ll never get it. Oh, alright, everybody already did. Yes! I’m going to have a go at some TV ads. I’m nothing if not consistent, me. First of all, lets do the new Match.com ad shall we? I know I’ve done it before. If you didn’t know, have a look here. It’s where I was unnecessarily cruel about the old one.

The new one though, is even worse. Here, have a look.

What is it with Match. com and their world of irredeemable tweeness? Who’s thinking up this crap? And moreover has anyone involved ever visited a railway station at any point in their lives? I use the train often and I happen to know that if I were to indulge in that kind of ukelele based activity on any station in this country I would, 1. be beaten to a bloody pulp before I’d got half way through my first verse and, 2. I would be carrying that sodding ukelele internally for the rest of my journey.

Had it been left to me, I would, of course, have made that ad slightly differently. I’ve given it some thought and can guarantee that my idea for the bit that establishes that the girl is not, in fact, a natural blond is a doozy. I reckon it’d really increase sign-ups to Match.com too.

Next, I really wanted to do that bloody Impulse ‘Very Pink’ tv spot but I can’t find it anywhere on the net. You know the one though. Ms. Coquette Twee and Mr. Twinkly Twee are in a library on opposite sides of some shelves and perform a teeth-grindingly twee flirting routine involving apposite book titles. Christ, that one grates doesn’t it? I have thought of a few titles to replace them with though as Ms.Twee plays increasingly hard to get, having established that Mr.Twee is a bit of a dick for hanging round libraries trying to pick up women and Mr. Twee realises he’d be better off in a nightclub with his Rohypnol. I suggest you do the same whenever you watch the ad, it’s fun. It is, however a shame that it’s not a record shop. I’ve an absolutely storming title by the legendary beat combo Wayne County And The Electric Chairs that would round off the ad a treat.

I imagine that not many of you are all that familiar with the works of Wayne ( later, Jayne ) County and The Electric Chairs but by all means Google them. The song in question begins, ‘If you don’t wanna…’, and in the unrequited love stakes, it’s a work of genius.

So I suppose that’s about it for now then. I was going to include the latest ad in Tampax’s ‘Mother Nature‘ series but they’ve gone and re-edited it haven’t they? I was tweeting about the ad incredulously when I first saw it a few weeks ago, just to establish that my eyes and ears weren’t deceiving me, and it turned out it was all true. When disco girl told Mother Nature that she could dance all night if she wanted to as she had ‘Pearl’, Mother Nature did indeed reply, ‘Where?’

All together now…

 

 

 

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Help! The aged.

July 8th, 2011 // 3:57 pm @ // 4 Comments

Hello there. Sorry It’s been a while again but, as well as writing a website or two,  I’ve been completely glued to Twitter all week. Been brilliant hasn’t it? What with all the News Of The World stuff and the opportunity to hurl abuse at John Gaunt doing Question Time. Splendid. I also think it’s been wonderful that Hugh Grant has been afforded the opportunity to appear on about a million TV and Radio shows and do a load of interviews to express his overwhelming desire to be left alone by the media.

Anyway, I digress. We all know where this is going, don’t we? Yes, that’s right. I’m going to stick a telly ad on here that I hate. This time it’s the turn of the latest Age UK offering. Now I don’t know about you, ( actually, I know about YOU but that’s not the point, I’m dealing with everyone here, not just YOU. Anyway YOU should just bloody well pack it in. And don’t pretend YOU don’t know what I’m talking about ), but I know quite a few people of pensionable age. I see them down the pub. Go to watch one or two of them play in their bands, ( Hi Barry ), natter about cars with them and sometimes work on ads and stuff with them.

That’s why I’m not quite sure about Age UK’s ad. You see, to me it looks like a creative team quite some distance from any kind of pension have gone to Central Casting for some stock ‘oldies’ and asked them to perform in a suitably elderly manner with all the cute, loveable, bless ‘em, hideously patronising air that entails. Go on, have a look.

See what I mean? Well maybe not. Perhaps it’s just me who feels that those people aren’t neccessarily representative of today’s pensioners but let me just make another point with a little list.

  • Sir David Attenborough – 85
  • Dame Maggie Smith – 76
  • Grace Jones – 63
  • Alan Bennett – 77
  • Debbie Harry – 66
  • Leonard Cohen – 76
  • Dame Shirley Williams – 80

 

Just a thought.

 

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Yeah!

June 30th, 2011 // 1:31 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. Well here we are again. Yes, I know there’s been a long pause since the last post but I’ve been busy. Yes, busy. Deal with it.

Anyway, you know I’m always putting ads on here, then tearing them to pieces because they’re crap and I hate them? Yes, of course you do. Today there’s a bit of a change. I’ve just seen this ad and I think I love it. I’m not entirely sure yet but I think I do. Why don’t you have a look and see if you agree? I’ll probably give it some more thought a bit later and maybe come back with a Manchester copywriter‘s opinion on why it’s ace. I may, of course, change my mind and decide that it doesn’t work hard enough for the brand, the message isn’t clear enough and it’s bobbins after all.

However, for now, enjoy.

 

( Oh, and did you spot the bit of SEO I slipped in earlier? Horrid, isn’t it? )

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The dog’s bollocks.

June 17th, 2011 // 3:24 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. God, it’s been ages hasn’t it? How are things with you? Still wearing that shirt/dress/cardigan/gimp mask I see. Well, if it works for you, who am I to knock it? You’re right, I’m no-one. Especially while I’ve been wearing the same T-shirt since last we met.

Anyway, let’s get on with it shall we? ‘On with what?’, you may well ask. Well I’ll tell you. On with the usual small-minded, grumpy, resentful old twaddle you’ve come to expect. Yes, I’m going to have a go at an advertisement currently polluting your telly box. Possibly more than one, we’ll see how we go on. First offender has to be the new(ish) Wall’s sausages ad.

Right then. I know many of you will be thinking, ‘What’s wrong with that, Andy. You curmudgeonly old copywriter you?’ (  curmudgeon cur·mudg·eon/kərˈməjən/ Noun: A bad-tempered or surly person.). Well I’ll tell you. Maybe it’s cute, in it’s own way but it gets right up my nose. I can almost picture the scene in the Ad agency that made it. ( Saatchi’s London, since you ask ).

Ad chap 1. ‘I’ve got this brilliant idea, yeah? It’s a talking dog!’

Ad chap 2. ‘Hold on mate. We’ve done the talking dog. In fact, the talking dog has been done to death.’

Ad chap 1. ‘ Aaah yes, but get this! It’s a tiny talking dog!’

Ad chap 2. ‘Hmmmmmmm.’

Ad chap 1. ‘ no, wait, wait, it’s a teeny weeny talking dog. With a teeny tiny electronic keyboard!.

Ad chap 2. ( more interested ) Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Ad. chap 1. ‘ It’s, it’s a teeny weeny talking dog with a teeny tiny electronic keyboard IN A RING BOX! RAPPING!

Ad chap 2. ‘Jeeeeeesus Juilian, you’re a genius. A GENIUS, that’s what you are! What’s the actual idea though?

Ad chap 1. ‘What?’

Ad chap 2. ‘ You know, the idea. We’ve got the teeny weeny talking dog with the teeny tiny electronic keyboard in the ring box, rapping. But what’s he rapping about?’

Ad chap 1. ( rifles through bin ) ‘Got it! You know the one where the bloke couldn’t say soft stuff because he was a bloke?’

Ad chap 2. ‘ Yeah. Hated it.’

Ad chap 1. ‘ Well, we nail that on to the tiny dog idea!’

Ad chap 2. ‘ But what’s the teeny weeny talking dog with the teeny tiny electronic keyboard in a ring box, rapping, got to do with the bloke not being able to express himself?

Ad chap 1. ‘He uses the talking dog to express his feelings for him. SEE?

Ad chap 2. ‘Well yes. But why is it a teeny weeny talking dog with a teeny tiny electronic keyboard in a ring box, rapping?’

Ad chap 1 ‘ Because that’s the IDEA, that’s the IDEA!’

Ad chap 2. ‘But I thought that the bloke not being able to express himself was the idea?’

Ad chap 1. ‘ Oh fuck off, Simon.’

Later that same day, Ad chap 1 is making a telephone call.

Ad chap 1. ‘ Nigel, hi! You know you brought your showreel in the other day with all those ideas on? Yeah? I want you to make an ad for me based on that.

Which idea? Which idea Nigel? All of them Nigel.  ALL OF THEM!

( searches desk/manbag for ad awards entry forms )

 

FIN.

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Say it ain’t seo, Joe.

May 25th, 2011 // 6:18 pm @ // 2 Comments

Hello there. How are you doing today then? Everything ok? Life going well? No grey clouds, ( volcanic ash notwithstanding ), on the horizon? Everything just tickety boo? Well bully for you, you smug git.

I’ve had a couple of days of nightmarish techno-fear. Well, I say techno-fear. It’s probably a walk in the park for loads of you out there but for me it was a nightmare. My website went down on me you see, ( which is nothing like as pleasurable as it might sound by the way. Just imagine my disappointment ), and with it my andy@whitewriting.com email address. For me, such events are nothing less than terrifying as they mean I have to get involved with the dark arts and wizardry that make the World Wide Web work. And that’s just not me at all. I know, as a copywriter of some repute, ( please don’t snigger, you just look stupid with that stupid sniggery stupid face of yours ), I probably should know the ins and outs of the internet but I’d really rather not. I have quite enough useless rubbish tumbling around in my head without having  http, html, coding and all that malarkey jostling for elbow room. So, as I always do in these circumstances, I phoned someone who does know about such matters. In this case Gary at Mediaburst. Gary’s ace Gary is and he knows this stuff so it all got sorted out in a matter of moments. Turns out these ‘Web hosts’ need paying from time to time. Who knew?

Anyway, while all this was being cleared up, Gary decided to check out how my site was performing SEO wise. Now I’ve never claimed to be the World’s leading authority on SEO but it turns out I’ve not really paid the kind of attention I give to clients’ websites in that area to my own. You see, having done one of those ‘Keyword density’ test things it turns out that, according to Google, I’m not a Manchester copywriter at all. I am in fact Stockport’s leading Radio Art Director. Now that would be simply lovely if I was in fact a Radio Art Director, better still if there were such a thing as a Radio Art Director. But there isn’t. You see that would be a bit like being Radio’s leading make-up artist, set designer, juggler or fire-eater. So saying, there was a ventriloquist with his own radio show some years back. That’s a great gig isn’t it? He must have had a terrific agent, in fact I think he’s still in the business, working closely with the Commissioning Director of ITV 3.

So, having taken some SEO advice on board and with a view to increasing my ‘hits’, I’ve spent some time this afternoon shoehorning the words ‘copywriter’, ‘copy’, ‘writer’, ‘Manchester’ and ‘Stockport’ into the home page of The Whitewriting website. Which leads me neatly to a subject close to my heart. And that  subject is, copy written specifically to work for SEO.  I hate it and it is, by and large, bloody awful. Just clunky and clumsy and horrible. Ok, it may appeal to the spiders that run the search engines but once you click a link, arrive and start reading, you pretty quickly want to stop reading. I wrote a post about it a while ago, if you didn’t read it then, you can have a look by clicking here.  The problem as I see it is, once you start to rely on on keyword heavy copy to reel in the search engines, it destroys what I like to think of as ‘real’ copywriting. Words that flow, pulling the reader along for a pleasant ride, sometimes meandering to take in an interesting thought or two, occasionally stopping off at a particular idea. Hopefully providing a little entertainment along the way.

I’m not going to go though it all again here because it would just get repetitive and slightly dull, wouldn’t it? Very much like SEO copywriting in fact. However, I suppose I’ll have to face up to it and try to make my site just that bit more SEO friendly.

Either that or remain Stockport’s leading Radio Art Director.

 

 

 

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Golden Greats – 6 Sensational Songs from the Telly Ads.

May 12th, 2011 // 4:23 pm @ // One Comment

Hello there. Well it’s that time again isn’t it? Time for me to run through the apologies for the non-appearance of a new post, time to make excuses for my tardiness, time for that same sorry round of self pity and flagellation. Well no. No it’s not actually. Henceforth there shall be no apologies, no remorse. For today I have turned over a new leaf. Leaves in fact. You see, life shouldn’t be about guilt, shame and remorse should it? For god’s sake if it were I’d be on my knees begging forgiveness so much I’d get nothing else done. And don’t you sit there nodding. Yes, YOU. You’re far from blameless aren’t you? Pervert.

Anyway, I have no real excuse for being away from the blog so long, even if I were in the business of apologising. Which I’m not. New leaves remember? For Christ’s sake keep up. It’s not like I’ve been up to anything in particular. I’ve had a fairly quiet couple of weeks actually. Not much work on, no wild parties, nothing. In fact, it’s been so quiet that I’ve caught a bit of daytime TV. That’s grim isn’t it? ( Not the quiet bit, that’s been quite nice. The daytime TV bit, That’s bloody grim ). This morning I saw The Jeremy Kyle Show. And that’s what inspired me to write today’s post. Golden Greats – 6 Sensational Songs from the Telly ads. ( I know it’s taken a while but we’re there now. Relax )

Right. It wasn’t so much The Jeremy Kyle Show that inspired me, it was actually the little ident thing that goes in the ad breaks. It’s a bingo company that sponsors the show and they’ve chosen a Cyndi Lauper type of song, the lyrics of which would appear to communicate with their chosen audience. Now, I can’t actually find out which particular Cyndi Lauper song it is ( if it is indeed her ) so I’ve had to just listen to it on the telly and transcribe the lyrics myself. And they go like this.

‘ IIIII know weeere alldigiirlsgoooooo. Yip yip yip allwigetagethuh wepwebwepamanaporrageee. Allmoddahdigiiiiiirls guuurangedagetha. Waddleplehplehplehpleh,plehhhdadeeeeh.’

They do. Honestly. Look.

Now you can’t deny that’s a cracker can you? I may have misspelt a phrase or two in there but I don’t feel it detracts from the overall message of the piece.

Now that little gem got me thinking about some truly great songs in TV advertising and there have been some absolute belters written specifically for the ad, not just picked out of the Guinness Book Of Hit Singles and bastardised for advertising purposes. I’ve been guilty of that myself, I have to admit. I’ve made total bastards of Dion’s The Wanderer and Frank Sinatra’s Nice ‘n’ Easy to name but two.

First of all who remembers Mr. Cadbury’s Parrot? It’s a few years old now but completely wonderful. Here, have a look. And a listen.

That was written and performed by the mighty Viv Stanshall of The Bonzo Dog Doodah Band and based on their own ‘Mr Slater’s Parrot’ Great, isn’t it?

Actually, while we’re with Cadburys, who could forget the Fruit ‘n’ Nut ads?  ( I’m talking about the classic Frank Muir ones from the 70s by the way, not that terrible updated one they did with the singing bar of Fruit n Nut, that one was bollocks ) . Come on, let’s have a bit of Frank Muir too.

Make ‘em up as they go along eh? If only.

After all that chocolate, let’s have a couple of soft drinks to wash it down with eh? How about a Kia Ora? Ooooh, we all adore a Kia Ora, don’t we?

Now, I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t get made today. Possibly due to accusations of racism, probably because no-one seems capable of making stuff this good anymore.  Next,  UmBongo. Some cracking lyrics in this rascal.

Lovely isn’t it? No strategy to speak of, no big plan, just a great big silly song. I’m not sure if the drink even exists anymore but ask anyone of a certain age and they’ll sing that song back at you. I guarantee it. That, to me, is pretty good advertising.

Here’s another great ad song. Universally loathed for many years but firmly nailed into the heads of several million reluctant grimy carpet owners.

Makes you cringe doesn’t it? But ask someone to name a carpet freshener and they’ll say Shake n Vac. ( come to think of it, I’m not sure there is another named carpet freshener so that may not be a fair comment. However, stuff it. I don’t care ). They’ve tried to revamp this campaign a couple of times. Most forgettably with that Jedward thing. No joy though. You can’t improve on perfection.

You may well have noticed that all the examples I’ve been putting on here are years old. Well there’s a good reason for that. I can’t think of a single new one that’s stuck in my mind for any reason other than it being completely shite. There’s that Richmond Pork Sausages one and, if you read this blog on a regular basis, you’ll know my opinion on that. If not you can read about it here.

Can you think of a good recent one? Can you? CAN YOU?

Well if you can, please mention it in the comments section on here. If you’re right and I’ve overlooked something wonderful, I’ll be happy to write a new post, aplogising for my crass stupidity and giving you full credit. If you send me one that’s crap, I’ll be equally happy to humiliate you mercilessly.

That’s got to be a deal, hasn’t it?

 

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Category : Uncategorized

Think BIG

April 28th, 2011 // 3:30 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. Lovely day isn’t it? ( Unless of course you’re reading this on a less than lovely day in which case, sorry. It was lovely when I was writing it so if it’s not now, try not to worry about it. Stay in. Maybe you could tidy out that cupboard or something? Make the most of it, it’s an ill wind and all that. ) Anyway, back to the blog. Lately I’ve been watching the ads on the telly and I’ve come to something of a conclusion. Speaking as a Manchester copywriter, I believe that a great many advertisers are sorely underestimating our ambitions and desires. I think the feeling first came to me while I was watching an ad for Glade’s latest range of air-fresheners. I can’t actually find it online to show you but, bear with me, I’m sure you’ll have seen it. In the ad a lovely housewife is rearranging her shelves, ( that’s not a euphemism, she’s rearranging her shelves ), to make room for her new air-freshening device while the voice-over states. ‘If you could design your own air-freshener, it would probably look like this…’ at which point, Ms.Housewife whips out what looks like a little stone vase of some type but is, in fact, her new Glade air-freshener. The voice-over then suggests that it , ” would probably work like this…”, at which point the ubiquitous gormless ad husband walks past and the cunningly disguised Glade thing goes ‘pfft’ and issues a little puff of scent into the air. ( Gormless ad husband must really pong, those rascals go off like a 21 gun salute whenever he makes an appearance ).

Well I’m very sorry Glade but, if I could redesign my air freshener it would look more like this – a solid gold effigy of myself wearing some form of military uniform, ( General, Admiral, Field Marshall, something like that ), brandishing a huge diamond encrusted scimitar whilst astride a rampant, bejewelled unicorn. Possibly in the style of Jeff Koons’ Michael Jackson and Bubbles statuettes only not quite as subtle.

And what’s more, it wouldn’t go ‘pfft’. When anyone passed, the unicorn’s tail would rise and a cloud of rose petals, lilacs and pixie dust would appear, accompanied by the swirling strings of a harp. That’s what mine would look like. Come on Glade, show some ambition. And it’s not just Glade. What about Coca Cola? Now here’s a huge global concern, currently celebrating some anniversary or other and they’ve rolled out that old thing about wanting to ‘teach the world to sing’.

Well sod that. I want to teach the world to perform an enormously complex dance routine that involves people of every race, creed and colour taking part in a kind of massive Busby Berkeley meets that bloke out of Shalamar piece of choreography in every major landmark across the globe. Naked. Except for roller-boots. Now that’d be more like it wouldn’t it? I mean, practically everyone already knows how to sing. They may not be great at it but they all grasp the basic principles don’t they? Now a dance routine, that’s a different matter. So get with it Coca Cola, If you’re going to teach the world to do something, think bigger for God’s sake.

The next ad that popped up while I was pondering this lack of ambition was for ‘Simply Be’. It’s a catalogue. I get the impression it’s for the bigger-boned lass but that’s not the important bit. Simply Be claim that they’ve ‘got all the looks. ‘ Well have they? Have they really? What about the ‘Intergalactic sex leopard’ look? You know the kind of thing. Fur, space helmets, pvc, 15 inch rubber platform boots, oxygen tanks, crisps. Whereabouts in the Simply Be catalogue am I going to find that ‘look’? Nowhere, that’s bloody where. So is that ‘All the looks’? Is it? No. It very much isn’t.

Meanwhile, back with Air-Fresheners, ( I hadn’t realised just how many air-fresheners were around to be honest. Christ, we must stink ), Airwick claim to be able to make your home ‘smell just the way you want it’. Now I’ve been through every single Airwick on the shelves of my local Tesco and nowhere is the fragrance of a party on P.Diddy’s yacht, featuring the smell of naked girls, diamonds, champagne, Cuban cigars and the aroma of bundles of freshly produced banknotes. Nor is there an ‘Eau de Lamborghini et kebab’. So, again I say, show some bloody ambition people.

If the best you can come up with is a poxy pretend stone vase, singing lessons, a size 18 cardigan and the smell of Spring Flowers then you’re just not making the effort.

So come on people, think outside the telly box. Think BIG.

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whiskers on kittens.

April 18th, 2011 // 2:15 pm @ // 2 Comments

Hello there. Yes, yes, I know, bloody ages. What can I say? What can I do to make things right? Well how about this? I’ve spent ages ranting about things lately haven’t I? The Chip Shop Awards, Crap ad campaigns, rubbish bars, dodgy facial hair, foursquare, self-publicising, characterless, pointless, pretentiously twittering narcissists. They’ve all come in for some stick. So, for today, just for today, shall we just have some jolly fun? Shall we? Shall we? Yes, let’s.

Today I’m just going to stick some random nonsense on here. A few of my favourite things, if you like. Things that make me happy, things that run their metaphorical fingers down my spine and give me a tickle in sensitive, ( occasionally erogenous ), bits and generally give me a smile. Please try to join in. Particularly you. Yes, you. Miserable git that you are.

Right. Let’s start off gently, just to get in the mood. First, how about an owl in a hat? Can’t fail with an owl in a hat can we?

See? Brilliant eh? What shall we have next?  I know, a link to another blog where you can play about with some little squares and make up little tunes. Go on, no-one’s looking, click through here and play around for a bit.

That is fun, isn’t it? A friend of mine spelt out the word ‘BUM’ in the squares and she assures me that it sounds quite lovely.

Having fun? Good. I think this is all going rather well don’t you? The thing is, I just haven’t seen any advertising that’s stirred any kind of feeling within me, good or bad, for weeks so my usual inspiration for the blog is sadly lacking.

What now? Fancy Stewart Lee doing a fairly long and convoluted joke about Joe Pasquale nicking material from proper comics? Me too! Let’s have a look shall we? ( If you’re at work, you may want to view this later. It goes on for a while and tea/ coffee/ mineral water/ gin may come out of your nose.)

I really like Stewart Lee. Have a little browse through youtube later, there’s quite a lot of his stuff on there.

Oooooh, what now then? I know, a Tea Robot!

 

That’s ace, isn’t it? Want one? I know I do. If you do, you can buy one here. You could even buy me one while you’re there. I’d love you for it.

 

There. That’s my post for today over and done with. Sorry it hasn’t really been about anything in particular, sorry there wasn’t a Manchester copywriter based rant, sorry it wasn’t funny in any way, I just felt like a bit of a change and it is a Monday, after all.

So, thanks for reading, hope you liked some of the things that I like today. Let’s finish with a song shall we?

All together now.

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Category : Uncategorized

Bloody minded.

April 1st, 2011 // 12:47 pm @ // 4 Comments

Hello there. How you doing? Everything ok with you? Nothing bothering you today? Feeling cool? All chilled out and relaxed? Yes? Good, because I’m bloody not. Today you find me completely seething. I’m all annoyed and generally all over the place. And guess what’s caused it. It’s only another Chip Shop awards thing isn’t it? Now look, I’m sorry. I know it seems like I’ve become a bit obsessed with the Chippies this year but, honestly, I’m not. Today’s impotent rage isn’t directed at the awards itself, its organisers or its overall pointlessness but primarily at some of the wankers who enter it. In fact, today it’s aimed squarely at one particular bunch of wankers. A bunch of wankers who go by the name of Toast London, a part of the Haygarth Group. Now, I’m fairly sure that there must be some thoroughly lovely people at Toast London. Probably the sort of lovely people who are kind to children and animals, who buy lovely Mother’s Day presents for their lovely mums and are all round lovely, lovely people.

However, in the midst of those lovely people, there is obviously a right bunch of complete and utter wankers. How else could you explain this Chip Shop entry?

Sorry it’s a link, I was going to put the ad on here but, having given it some thought, decided that I couldn’t possibly put such an appalling piece of detritus on my lovely, lovely blog. At first I thought it must be some kind of April Fool’s gag but, as it’s been on the Chip Shop’s site for quite some time now, there’s not even that excuse.
I’m sure it’s not just me, a Manchester copywriter, who finds that offensive on just about every possible level is it? Am I missing the point somewhere or does that lack any kind of wit, talent, creativity and charm? I find it almost impossible to believe that anyone would actually put that level of thinking onto paper, let alone accept it as an entry into a competition that’s supposed to represent the finest creative thinking around. I’m fairly sure I could never be accused of being prudish or narrow minded. Ask anyone who knows me and I’m sure they’ll confirm that hardened dockers, vietnam veterans, sex workers and Frankie Boyle sometimes find my language a little beyond the pale. I found ‘A Serbian Film‘ a laugh riot, ‘The Human Catepillar’ a sure-fire winner for any Children’s party and I’ve often suppressed a giggle at the work of Jerry Sadowitz. This piece of crap, however, I find beyond salvation. It’s the kind of gag, that were it to spill from the mouth of a friend on a particularly sordid ‘lads’ night out’, that would make that person an ex-friend and cause me to wonder how I ever thought that person to be acceptable company.
Just look at the words for Christ’s sake. Who thought that was funny? Take the time to read it and consider what it’s actually saying. ‘No-one likes a b_____ c___’. So we’re saying Nick Griffin is a c__t are we? So far, so said, done, repeated ad nauseam and so obvious. But what else are we saying? Is there a literal meaning? Because that, in its witless, charmless writing is what the ad says. Even the screamer at the end of the line somehow makes the whole sad enterprise even worse. It’s entered in ‘The Most Shocking use of copy’ category in the Chip Shops but, honestly, the only shocking thing about it is that it’s considered copy and not merely some drunken, mysoginistic bile that would be better spewed into a gutter and left there.

I’m sorry. I know this has been just one long rant but every now and then something hits me in the face and makes me almost ashamed to be in this business.

And that really is saying something, isn’t it?

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Cockles and mumbles.

March 21st, 2011 // 4:06 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. Well, first of all let’s do the customary apologies for tardiness shall we? Shall we? Of course we shall, we always do. Right then, first of all I’ve been a bit busy with work type stuff, secondly I have a stinking bloody cold and thirdly, I’ve been in London for a few days. Shallow excuses I know but cut me some slack eh? I’m not well for God’s sake.

‘What were you doing in London, Andy?’, I hear you ask. ‘Working on some cutting edge Advertising for those lacklustre London Agencies? Were you, as a Manchester copywriter, down there showing them soft Southern jessies how it’s done?’. Well no, sadly not. I actually went daaaarn Saaaaaarf to see a mate performing his music type stuff in a hip and happening club in London’s glamorous Denmark Street. More of which later. This is him.

And so’s this.

Good, isn’t he? His name’s Andy J Gallagher, ( as you no doubt saw on the videos ) and he’s got a couple of CDs out, which you can buy from here, if you so wish.

Anyway, got there, gig at hip and happening club on London’s glamorous Denmark Street cancelled so I had a couple of days in Leigh On Sea instead. Did all kinds of London based stuff. Got on tubes, got off tubes, looked at buildings, got ripped off. Even had cockles, which are completely despicable and should be avoided by all civilised*, ( *Northern ), people at all costs, at all times.

Still, I’m fairly sure that you’re not really all that interested in my London travelogue so lets get back down to some advertising things. You may have noticed that in the last post I had a bit of a go at The Chip Shop Awards. Last week I happened to mention it on Twitter too, which provoked a rather sarky response from the organisers of the awards, or someone. It’s hard to tell as their Twitter tag thing is just #chipshopawards rather than a name or anything. Unsurprisingly their comment was neither funny, nor original, ( they’re nothing if not consistent those Chip Shop chaps ), and went like this, ‘Are you entering your brilliant idea then this year?’.

Crushing that isn’t it? It was like being slapped in the face by an ineffectual student. Who can’t write. The ‘then’ would have been better placed at the end of the sentence, wouldn’t it really? Try it. See?

I had to reply that, having seen the standard of this ( and most ) year’s entries, I probably wouldn’t as I have earmarked the price of the entry fee for something more worthwhile. Like a hat. Or a tattoo. Or some pies.

Oddly enough, this year Saatchi’s* have placed an entry poking fun at another agency for using an idea they entered a couple of years ago. Which is a bit rich really, as last year Saatchi’s* won a prize for a gag that’s been doing the rounds for roughly 25 years to my knowledge. ( I was going to put the entries in here but I can’t find them. The ‘copied’ one was an ‘Every Lidl Helps’ idea. Geddit? Brilliant eh? The 25 year old gag one was ‘You’ve tried the cowboys now try the Indians – Singh Builders’. Even brillianter eh? And also a wee bit racist. Gifted. ) If I find the links I’ll put them in later. Don’t worry though, you’re not missing much.

So, that’s about it for today as I must away to catch up on a bit of work and drink some Lemsips. I’ll probably do a bit of coughing and swearing too. That’s the way I roll. Sorry it’s all been a bit brief, more next time. And sooner. Promise.

* If it wasn’t Saatchi’s, I apologise unreservedly. All the Chip Shop stuff blurs into each other after a while. Which is part of the problem really.

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"I was just saying how good it was to work with someone who I knew would nail it. Thanks, Andy"

Steve Byrne, MD, The Gate Films http://thegatefilms.com

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