The weak and the chaff

February 28th, 2011 // 4:15 pm @ // One Comment

Hello there. God, it’s been ages hasn’t it? Are you ok? You look well. No, really you do. Have you done something to your hair? No? Well maybe you should. There, I’ve said it.

So, where were we? Oh yes, hello there. Sorry it’s been so long but I’ve been all busy lately. Work to do, a new phone to figure out, new pc to struggle with. It’s been all go. Anyway, what shall we talk about today? I know. Crap ads. There are loads of them about at the moment. Some on the telly, some in the press and some even being trotted out in the name of so-called excellence for the bloody Chip Shop awards. I’ll get to them later though.

First on the list are these bleeding Quaker Oats ‘Thank you’ things. You must have seen them. It’s where a bunch of unbearably twee, caring, parka’d up middle-class knobs decide to reward those selfless members of the community who apparently ‘make more of their mornings’ via the complimenary mediums of generally sticking their big fat noses in and Quaker Oats. Here’s one to have a look at.

Bloody awful that, isn’t it? Where did this crack Quaker Oats Strike Force come from anyway? What compelled them to gather together in some aircraft hangar somewhere weighing up who to storm off and patronise in their fleet of bloody Land Rovers, trailers and pop-up Quaker cabins? I’m not so sure they really contributed much to the play in any case. I quite liked the minimalist set they had going on. Those skeletal trees looked pretty good in my opinion, whereas that great big huge massive oak, complete with foilage and fairy lights dominates the stage potentially to the detriment of the performances. Still, it’s good to see Sean Bean taking time out of his busy schedule to support community theatre isn’t it? I suspect he needed a good lie-down after that series of Sharpe and prolonged domestic abuse. Shame Danny Dyer wasn’t available though. There’s another one, where they man the Land Rovers and go do a bit of unnecessary tarting up of a boxing club too but you get the point don’t you? It’s people who make more of their mornings. And, presumably that’s what they have in common with Quaker Oats. Or something.

Next on the list is the new ‘webuyanycardotcom’ ad. Now there’s been an exciting new development with ‘webuyanycardotcom’. They now have a new advertising agency and, naturally that new agency made the bold step of moving on from ‘webuyanycardotcom’s massively irritating TV ads to produce this. An even more massively irritating TV ad.

Spectacularly awful, I’m sure you’ll agree. And, credit where it’s due, it’s a rare talent that can take an irredeemably dire ad campaign and make it even worse. A bad jingle, bad casting, bad production and the old jingle nailed on to the end in such a way that it makes you nostalgic for the old ads where the salesman started breakdancing or that saleslady played a bit of footy. Grim.

This, of course brings me neatly to The Chip Shop Awards, ( told you I’d get to them didn’t I? I’m nothing if not a man of my word, me. ) Now here’s the thing with The Chip Shop Awards. It proclaims itself to be an awards event for ‘creativity with no limits’ or some such advertising self-aggrandising puffery, yet every year it just seems to get worse and worse.

Last year’s winners were largely pitiful and, from the examples ‘The Drum’ are releasing weekly on the net, this year looks set to continue the downward spiral. Now I know that could sound like sour grapes from a Manchester copywriter who’s never won one but, as I’ve never felt inclined to enter The Chip Shops, that isn’t really a point is it?

Here’s how The Chip Shop Awards work. Take any client, any product, any service and make up an ad or campaign for it. Any media you like, any budget and no concerns about whether the ad could ever run. In fact, the more outrageous the better, ( there’s a bad taste category and everything ). Then send that ad, together with £100 per entry to the judges, ( any clues there as to why I’ve never entered? ), and await advertising glory.

Great eh? Well no. Have a look at what’s being entered and what’s won in previous years and you’ll see the same themes revisited time and time again. Viagra and impotence cures are usually a great opportunity for the boys in creative to pull off, ( ooer missus ), some student knob gags, sanitary towel ads are normally inserted somewhere and this week’s celebrity scandal can normally be relied upon for a really blistering ‘Should’ve Gone To Specsavers’, ‘I’ll Bet He Drinks Carling Black Label’, or suchlike campaign. All really rather depressing.

So, sorry everyone for what I suppose is slightly negative post. Maybe I’m feeling particularly jaundiced this week but it seems that once again, the ads I’ve seen lately have been mediocre at best, gut-wrenchingly dreadful at worst.

If you work in advertising though, or even if you don’t for that matter, how about taking that ‘Creativity With No Limits’ line and having a think about what it really suggests?

Maybe between us we could scrape together £100 and enter something into The Chip Shops that’s actually worth an award.

Please, no knob gags though.

 

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Clash struggle.

February 13th, 2011 // 2:27 pm @ // 6 Comments

Hello there. Today we’re having a bit of a change from all these proper advertising based blog posts I’ve been writing lately. No. Don’t try to stop me. I’m going off on a slight tangent and you’re all coming with me. Ready? Right, strap on your bondage pants and we’ll be off.

Now, as many of you regular readers, ( yes, you two ), will be aware, I have been fully embracing my ongoing mid-life crisis of late. This has, of course, taken on many forms. There’s the band, a slightly unhealthy obsession with recording every single bloody car and motorbike I’ve had throughout my life, poring over old photos and, currently, tracking down and finding all my old vinyl records. ( yes, vinyl. Oh, ask your dad. Ok, your grandad. Smartarse. ). Sadly, many of these old records have been lost along the way. House moves, separations, hand to hand combat and DJing in Wolverhampton, ( Oh the glamour ). So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I saw an online ad, ( actually, advertising is going to creep into this post. Sue me already. ), offering ‘All 19 of The Clash‘s singles in their original sleeves’. Naturally my aging punk’s heart skipped a beat and I decided, there and then, that I must have them. Of course I’d end up with a couple of duplicates but as the old sleeves were a little rough round the edges, the vinyl a tad battle-scarred, they had to be bought, didn’t they? So I read the ad a few times to make sure I knew what I was getting, checked the ad’s credentials, ( you’ve got to watch these advertising people you know, slimy bastards ),  and discovered that it was from ‘Pop Market’, a subsidiary of the Sony Group. Can’t go wrong can you?

So I bought them. Filled in the online form, stuck my card details in there and waited. And waited. And waited. Not that waiting was a problem of course. I knew that  they’d take a while, they were coming all the way from America and I’m not a fool, ( Yes, I’m talking to you Juliemead ). A couple of weeks later I reached the first hurdle. A card from Royal Mail telling me that I’d need to pay a £13.00 customs charge to have the package released. Fair enough. An unexpected extra cost but, what the hell. It’s a boxset of ‘All 19 0f The Clash’s singles in their original sleeves’, got to be worth it, hasn’t it? Paid it. Settled down for another wait.

Two days later The Royal Mail got me again. They despatched their legendary ninja postman. Chances are you’ve heard of the ninja postman but never, ever seen him. He’s the one who can reach your house, come down your path and slip a ‘Sorry you were out’ card through your letterbox while you are clearly very much bloody ‘in’ and have, in fact, been looking through your bloody window at regular bloody intervals and the very slightest bloody sound lest you miss the bleeding postman. The man ( or woman. No-one knows ), is a genius.

So, another two days pass and this time the package arrives. Of course I have spent the last two nights sitting on my doorstep pumped full of caffeine and pro-plus ready to pounce at the slightest provocation. Now the second I held the parcel in my hot little hands I knew there was a problem. It was just too small, too light to be ‘All 19 of The Clash’s singles in their original sleeves.’ Bollocks.

I gingerly opened it and what did I find? All 19 of The Clash’s singles alright – but in teeny weeny cd form. All 19 in teeny weeny facsimile sleeves, perfect in every teeny weeny detail. They’ve even got pretend teeny weeny grooves and teeny weeny labels on the teeny weeny black cds for Christ’s sake. Now, as a highly skilled and experienced copywriter, ( stop giggling at the back. I can hear you ), You’d think I’d know better wouldn’t you? But I’d read the ad over and over and, when I ordered ‘All 19 of The Clash’s singles in their original sleeves’, I kind of expected to get ‘All 19 of The Clash’s singles in their original sleeves.’ Call me old-fashioned but that’d be 19, 7″ vinyl singles in 7″ paper sleeves. Wouldn’t it?  Apparently not. And according to a friend who lives in The United States, ( Thanks Tracey ), there is no Trade Descriptions Act in the USA and you can pretty much call anything, anything over there. So it looks like I’m stuck with them.

Anyway, it’s not a total loss. I’ve discovered that they’re almost the perfect size as accessories to my daughter’s collection of cuddly toys so they’re currently having a tea party with all 19 of The Clash’s singles in their original sleeves spread out all over the floor.

And I’m looking for a copywriting job in America. It must be a piece of piss.

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The future is, um, written.

February 8th, 2011 // 2:26 pm @ // 2 Comments

Hello there. You may have seen this post a few weeks ago but I had to remove it till the lastest issue of Eight:48 came out. Anyway, it’s out now so here’s the post again. Deja Vu eh? Over the new year I was asked by Eight:48, a rather swish design magazine, to write a piece for their ‘Future of design’ issue. No, really, I was. No, me neither, not a clue but they did so I did. Anyoldhoo, it occurred to me that some of you may not be regular subscribers to Eight:48 and thus may miss out on my pearls of wisdom. And, at £6.00 a copy, I can’t really expect you to rush out and buy it. So, in a spirit of sharing, ( and in no way as a cheap, tawdry way of sticking content onto the blog without writing anything new ), I’m putting it on here today. Have look, see what you think and if you agree, disagree or really couldn’t give a monkey’s one way or another, feel free to leave a comment.

The future of design. What’s copy got to do with it?
Hello there. My name’s andy white and I’m a copywriter, have been for about 25 years all in all. Now what, you may be asking, is a copywriter doing writing an article in Eight:48, essentially a design publication full of the thoughts of designers? It’s a fair question and in all honesty one I’ve been asking myself right from the point I was asked to write it, to the point where I now find myself sitting at what should really be a macbook pro but isn’t, to write it.
It’s like this. Maybe a copywriter really does have an observation or two about design that may be worth listening to. Personally, I did a degree course in ‘Graphic Design and Communication’ at Wolverhampton Poly, ( or, as it’s now more impressively known, ‘The University of Wolverhampton’ ), so perhaps that gives me the right to stick my metaphorical oar in. Admittedly I spent a lot of the three years it lasted well off campus but I was there when it mattered, sometimes even staying long enough to learn a thing or two about Typography, Photography, Printmaking, Illustration and all the other stuff the course covered. More than that though, I like to feel that I’ve always been aware of the role that good design plays in just about every aspect of our lives.
Maybe it’s in the road signs that direct us to where we want to be, the posters that make us want to visit a gallery, a cinema, a gig. The signage on a pub, club or restaurant that draws us inside. And it’s probably here that design affects me most. As a copywriter you see, I’m primarily an advertising writer. I’m in the persuasion business. My role is to write all the spectacularly clever words that convince people to do what my clients, and me, want them to do. It’s not always sinister, money grabbing thought control by the way. I write quite a lot of stuff for a few charities too, ( naturally I don’t like to talk about it ), so maybe my soul will be saved after all. But, getting back to the point I was in fact trying to make, there’s an area of my life in which design and copywriting collide and when it’s done right, it’s a thing of beauty. In my opinion, ( and in a cunning, if contrived, way to link to the theme of this issue ), the future of design, and of copywriting, is when the two come together to create a piece that is as effective as it is visually appealing.
One of the agencies I feel consistently gets this right is Manchester Agency LOVE. Now, before you call me biased, I’d like to point out that I don’t work for LOVE, never have, ( Ok, one of it’s founders, Phil Skegg, is a mate from way back but don’t hold that against him ). I simply mention them because I admire the way in which they make the words complement the design, the design enhance the words. Let me give you some examples.

Now they’re lovely aren’t they? Some great words, some great visuals. But what really makes them all work is that the copywriter and the designer have obviously worked together. Ideas have been passed back and forth, jokes have been made, maybe arguments have been had and conciliations reached. But what’s clear is that the end results are both beautiful and effective. Each one makes me feel good about the product and they do that by combining the right copy with images that make you want to stop and look. And really, who’s to say that the copywriter didn’t come up with some of the visuals, the designer with some of the words?
That’s how it always used to work in the agencies where I started my career. Places like McCann Erickson and Publicis, where an Art Director and Copywriter worked as a team to take a brief and create an ad or design. In my time I’ve been unlucky enough to work with Art Directors who thought that the two disciplines were completely unattached, lucky enough to team up with one or two who realised that both parties have something to bring to the table. I’ve even heard of Ad agencies where ‘creatives’ and ‘copywriters’ are considered to be two completely different entities.
But look at it this way. Have you ever read something that didn’t bring some kind of a picture to your mind? Ever looked at a picture that didn’t inspire the words to describe it? It’s impossible to separate the two or, to my mind, it should be.
So lets not get too bogged down with who does what in the future. Lets not say that the designer draws, sculpts, paints and creates while the copywriter brings along some words. It’s entirely possible that the copywriter may have some beautiful images to share, the designer be in possession of the greatest headline of all time.
It’s not that important who does what really, is it?

So there you are then, I hope you enjoyed a Manchester copywriter‘s views. If you didn’t, at least you can console yourself with the fact that you didn’t spend six quid on it. I spoil you, don’t I?

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The folly of youth.

January 31st, 2011 // 7:42 pm @ // One Comment

Hello there. Yes, it’s that time again. “What time, andy?” you may well ask and I may well say, “Late. That’s what time.”. Yes, it’s the late thatandywhiteblog again. Not ‘late’ as in ‘dead’ of course, ( although you may have your own opinions on that ), ‘late’ as in “Oh no, it’s time I  wrote another blog post, it’s been ages since the last one.” late.

Anyway, enough of all that, we’ve established that I’ve been a tad slow off the mark with the blog lately and I can only apologise. I’ve been a bit busy that’s all. However, in the midst of this busy period and while waiting for copy to be read and approved and all that, I’ve been doing a spot of tweeting and some reading of the tweets of others.  While doing this, I read one of Dave Trott’s little tweets which led me to a great post by a blogger known as ‘The Ad Contrarian’. I particularly loved the post as it neatly parallels and slots in with a post I wrote a while back, entitled ‘The old ones‘. In that post I was having a slight moan about the way ad agencies seem to be obsessed with youth, possibly to their detriment. What I was talking about though was that Creative Departments today seem to be populated exclusively by callow youths, barely able to grow the essential facial accoutrements of the professional 21st Century ‘creative’. Obviously they have no problem with the asymmetric hairstyle but the heavily stylised beard or soul patch can be a source of almost unbearable angst. I also pondered the possibility that perhaps, just perhaps, a few of us slightly*  ( *much ) older creatives might have the occasional opinion worth hearing.

Well it seems that the Creative Department isn’t the only place where youth is considered the be all and end all – and possibly not the only place where that assumption is completely mistaken. The ad contrarian writes rather beautifully, ( you can read his stuff here ), about how Marketing Departments continually aim absolutely everything squarely at the youth market without necessarily stopping to think if they’re doing the right thing. He points out that this phenomenon has its roots in the 1960s, a time when advertising was beginning to be viewed as a science, an art and generally a very exciting thing indeed. ( Have a look at ‘MadMen‘ on the telly. It looks like advertising was bloody great then. And drinking. And smoking. And sexual promiscuity. Oh for a time machine eh? ).

However, in the 1960s there was a solid reason to aim products and advertising at youth. There were bloody gazillions of them. It was the decade of the ‘baby boomers’, a time when there was a sudden explosion of kids just turning 18 and earning their own money to spend on stuff of their choosing. It was a huge market so it made perfect sense to start selling to that huge market, with huge advertising designed and written with them in mind. The problem now though is that Ad agencies are still doing just that, when that time has passed and that market no longer has anything like the spending power it used to have. In fact, as The Ad Contrarian explains, over 75% of the wealth in this country is in the banks and the pockets of over 50s. So why all the focus on youth? Naturally, advertising to the youth market means making funky, exciting ( potentially award winning ) ads. Scouring youtube, twitter, facebook and the like for the latest virals and capturing all the excitement therein to steal, sorry, take inspiration from and create the hottest ad campaign ever.  You can see the attraction can’t you? But is it really working? Who’s buying what we’re selling?

Now, as a Manchester copywriter, I’m not for a moment suggesting that we all stop looking to the future and aim our ads at ladies and gentlemen in leisure slacks with expandable waistbands. Nor am I saying that we should start considering  campaigns that utilise the available space on the side of a Stannah Stairlift or walk in bath. No, what I’m trying to convey is that Yoof isn’t necessarily where it’s all at. Man. There’s a massive market out there of the over forties, a socio-economic group I’m right in the middle of, and we’re not just sitting at home watching re-runs of Inspector Morse and adjusting our dentures either. We’re going out to the cinema, to galleries, to restaurants, to gigs. We’re calling each other on our iPhones, we’re buying all the cds, dvds, clothes, trainers, boots and questionable hats that we couldn’t necessarily afford in our teens. We’re doing, ( and buying ) all kinds of stuff. Ok, if you’re reading this, chances are you’re in one of the ‘creative’ professions and are perhaps more likely to be spending money on the kind of things I’ve just listed but the simple fact is that there are millions of people in their forties and fifties with the kind of spending power that Marketing Departments should be salivating over. Yet an inordinate amount of energy ( and budget ) seems to be going on a market that simply doesn’t warrant that kind of concentration anymore.

Once again, of course, this leads me back to my original thoughts on the subject. If we need to advertise to people in their forties and fifties then who’s best placed to understand what those people want? A creative department made up exclusively of awesome twenty somethings or one that contains a few people who live and breathe that market? You may call me biased, ( Not all at once. Jeeeeeesus ), there’s every possibilty that I am but, while I firmly believe that the advertising business constantly needs new blood to stay creative, stay exciting, there’s still a place for us old gits.

We’ve been there, seen it, done it and bought the Tshirt. The important thing is though that we’ll buy another. And probably an expensive pair of jeans to go with it.

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Mistaken indemnity.

January 21st, 2011 // 3:07 pm @ // One Comment

Hello there. Today I start the blog post with heavy heart. It’s nothing to do with all the weight I’ve put on over the past month, ( though that, of course, has left me substantially heavier in many areas ), no, I have a heavy heart today because I feel I may have made a terrible mistake and now I feel honour bound to admit it. It’s all about those ‘Morethan Freeman’, More Than insurance ads. You see, a week or so ago, I slagged them off quite forcefully on this very page and I now feel I may have gone off a little too early, perhaps not given them the chance they deserved. And no John, it’s got nothing to do with your smartarse blog.  ( Although I do rather like John’s smartarse blog. )

It’s got to do with seeing them a bit more often, seeing the rest of the ads in the series and acknowledging that they get much better when viewed as an evolving campaign. I particularly like this one, the pet insurance ad.

It all works doesn’t it? The ‘hairy heartbeat’, the ‘castanets of calamity’ are lovely bits of copywriting and, all of a sudden, the elements of the ad that I’d accused of being lazy and ill-conceived make perfect nonsense. All the little details they’ve thrown into the ads are great too. The overweight cat, Morethan’s desert boots and socks left on the lawn, the man himself, trousers rolled, standing in the bird bath with his coffee and a particularly well cast terrier under his arm. I’ve started to love it all and to look at the rest of the ads with a newly found admiration for all the quirky little unnecessary, yet essential, touches.

So, I admit it. I was wrong. The Morethan Freeman ads are actually very nice, very funny, beautifully constructed and I’ve been a fool.

I can, however, feel rather pleased with myself for proving one very popular theory to be completely false. They say that it takes a big man to admit he was wrong. And, as anyone who knows me will be glad to attest, I’m a very small man indeed.

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Premature e-publication

January 13th, 2011 // 2:48 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. If you’re a regular visitor to thatandywhiteblog, ( and if not, why bloody not? ), you may have noticed that a post has suddenly disappeared. Yes, ‘the future is um, written’, has had to go into cold storage for a little while. The reason for this little change is simple and it’s all my own fault. You see, it mainly consisted of a little article I just wrote for Eight:48 magazine and I’d stuck it up here on the blog before the magazine had come out. Which is not only a bit silly of me but, frankly, it’s very bad manners on my part.

Anyway, rather than just leaving anyone to wonder why the blog seemd to have suddenly gone back in time, I thought I’d just offer an explanation. While I’m here though, I’d like to draw your attention to Eight:48, the magazine and its website, which you’ll find here. They’re both rather lovely you see and full of the kind of stuff that, if you’re at all interested in design and copywriting, ( and you really should be ) you ought to be having a look at. The magazine itself is beautiful. I had issue 2 delivered, as I’d missed number 1, and it kept me enthralled for half a day. It’s in the format of a small newspaper which is, in itself, a lovely thing and it contained enough really rather gorgeous images to paper half the wall of my ‘office’ ( I use the term ‘office’ loosely but it sounds better than ‘that area in the house which contains my desk, pc, printer, phones and enough shite to fill three skips’ ). Now obviously I’m going to be a bit keen on a publication that I’m in, it’s natural, but it really isn’t just that. After all, I’ve never asked any of you to subscribe to any of the mail order catalogues I’ve written reams of stuff for. Even though I could have pointed you at some really top end garden furniture on more than one occasion had I chosen to. It’s just I get a bit excited about quality printed stuff in these times of online publications and the slow erosion of things you can actually hold in your hands, hang on your walls or roll naked in, should the feeling take you.

I mean, have a look at all this.

See? It’s all rather beautiful isn’t it? What’s more, it’s the kind of thing that gives you a swift poke in the ribs, kick up the backside and a little wake-up call to the kind of design that’s going on all around us, without necessarily popping up in the mainstream media.

So, if you’re looking around for a little inspiration or perhaps the subscription’s up on your Exchange & Mart, you should maybe have a quick look at Eight:48.*

You could do a lot worse.

*( other design magazines and websites are also available. )

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Merry war, Christmas is over.

January 4th, 2011 // 4:00 pm @ // 6 Comments

HELLO THERE. Sorry to shout but I’ve been away so long I thought I’d better make my presence felt. First of all, how are you? Had a good Christmas? New Year? Yes? Oh good. Me too thanks. Oh, you know, quiet. Family and all that stuff. Still, good to be back isn’t it? It isn’t? Oh well, suit yourself. Come on, it’s a brand new year and there’s lots to look forward to. More VAT on everything, more libraries closing down, loads of charities losing funding and a shitload of shit new ads all over your telly. Great innit?

Looking on Twitter, ( as I have done lots over the Christmas break ), it seems the TV ad that’s really getting on everyone’s twits at the moment is that new ‘More Than Freeman’ spot. ( Well three spots actually but I can’t be arsed with more than one of them. )

Everyone seems to have an opinion on it. Sadly, the reaction I’ve had has been that kind of speechless despair usually reserved for terrorist atrocities, natural disasters, famine and the like. Quite simply, I don’t know where to start with it. Everything, every single thing about the ad leaves me open-mouthed and bewildered.  The impression’s dodgy enough but when you want to wax eloquent with what is essentially long copy in the voiceover, taking care over the words might be nice. I mean, it’s all a bit cack-handed isn’t it? What does that ‘whole red army marching back to Moscow’ bit actually mean? It doesn’t really suggest anything roof-tile related to me. More it seemed a good line at the time so may as well use it, which seems to be a bit of a theme. I feel sure that somewhere within the guilty agency or even client side ‘More Than Freeman’ was a completely brilliant gag. For about 15 seconds. How it ever became the huge production it now is completely beyond me. Perhaps when I can bring myself to leave the ad on without changing the channel I’ll ‘get it’ and form a more coherent statement that I can put on the blog. Till then I’ll continue banging my head on my desk and considering a career outside of advertising.

In all honesty though, I think I’ve found one that’s much, much worse. It’s the new Co-operative campaign, brought to us, ( it pains me to say ), by TWBA Manchester. In these things the two, equally detestable, halves of a couple give us a list of all the things they hate about shopping and all the things they’d rather be doing. That is to say, walking hand in hand along a rainy beach, throwing each other up in the air or, heaven forfend, having sex. Apparently, shopping at the co-op will somehow mean that you miss all the shitty stuff and have loads of walks, loads of throwing about and loads of middle-aged sex. It’s just not right is it? And, having looked at the pair of them, I’d really, really sooner be down the shops.

(TBWA Manchester reveals multimillion pound local Co-operative campaign from How-Do.co.uk on Vimeo ).

And another thing. I don’t like the way that bloke calls me ‘darling’ at the beginning and ‘gorgeous’ at the end. Perv.

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Now that’s what I call thatandywhitechristmas karaoke party! – volume 1.

December 19th, 2010 // 12:19 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. Are you in the Christmas spirit yet? Are you? ARE YOU REALLY?

Well now’s the time  to prove it by singing along with the all new ‘Now that’s what I call thatandywhitechristmas karaoke party! -volume 1′. A collection of Christmas favourites old and new, specially selected by this Manchester copywriter – just for you. So come on, let the snow fall, let the Christmas bells ring and raise your voices in joy, peace and harmony. Go on. DO IT. DO IT NOW.

Mary’s

boy

child

Jesus

Christ.

Good God. Look at yourselves. If I told you to stick your hand in the fire, would you? WOULD YOU?

Merry Christmas.

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thatandywhitechristmas

December 17th, 2010 // 2:26 pm @ // One Comment

Hello there. It has been brought to my attention that Christmas is upon us and, with that in mind, I bring you thatandywhitechristmas jukebox. Enjoy.

No. Really. ENJOY.

Tidings

of

comfort

and

joy

Bah. Humbug.

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All in all.

December 13th, 2010 // 1:55 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. Well, it’s been a funny old week or so since the last thatandywhiteblog hasn’t it? England not getting the World Cup, ( dirty rotten lying bastards ), the government making cuts on University education, ( dirty rotten lying bastards ), Ireland’s economy imploding, rioting in the streets and I nearly bought a ‘Cossack’ hat. All deeply disturbing stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Actually some of that student riots thing has been a bit of an eye-opener. Obviously, as a mere Manchester copywriter, I’m not going to get into the politics of the situation, ( first rule of light-hearted blogging – no politics ), the alleged  police brutality, ( first rule of everything, ever – don’t allege police brutality ), or the rumours of infiltration of the riots by persons unconnected to the students and with their own agendas.

What’s really interested me is the selfless way in which the sons of Rock Stars have thrown themselves into all kinds of frays on our behalf. First we had Bryan Ferry’s lad storming the House Of Commons to save us common folk from being saved from fox-hunting, ( understandable really considering the swathes of fur Roxy Music and their assembled sirens have reclined on over the years. Next Bryan will be telling us that Nazis are cool. What? Seriously? Oh well, what price style eh? ), now we have the fruit of Dave Gilmour’s loins*, swinging gaily from the Cenotaph in order to bring our attention to something or other, ( please insert your own ‘another prick on the wall’ type gag here ). ‘Who next?, we have to wonder. Shakin’ Stevens’ first born manchild protesting tax-avoidance outside Top Shop? Dweezil Zappa bearing arms in protest at the potential colonization of Neptune? It could happen.

In essence though, I do have to admire those students who’ve gone out there to peacefully protest the cuts. Largely because, in my days of studenthood, I don’t recall any of us getting that excited about anything at all, ever. Although, in my defence, I did do my degree in Wolverhampton where it’s fairly difficult to become unduly aroused about anything at all, ever. I mean, you could paint big banners and everything but start shouting the odds in a Wolves accent and it all kind of goes slightly awry. Never has an accent been better suited to apathy. Try it. Go on, start shouting ‘Black and White, unite and fight!’ or something, in the manner of Benny from ‘Crossroads‘.

I rest my case.

*( actually he’s not, strictly speaking, the fruit of Dave’s loins, he’s his stepson but fruit of his loins sounds miles better. Sorry Dave. )

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