Browsing Month January, 2010

sunday’s cool.

January 31st, 2010 // 11:12 am @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. Today I was just going to shove a “sunday” related video on here without a word of explanation. Just a nice easy sunday kind of thing to do I thought. Naturally, “Every day is like Sunday” by the Mozzer sprang to mind. It’s a no-brainer isn’t it? Sadly, so is the video. Good god, times have changed video -wise haven’t they?

It appears this one was directed by a 14 year old Smiths / Morrissey fan with a teen angst checklist. Shall we go through them?

Alienated Youth? Check. British suburban decay? Check. Morrissey quiffalikes? Check. Palid unappetising meat? Check. Militant vegetarian slogans? Check.  Tea shop? Check. Over made-up old ladies? Check. Billie Whitelaw? Check. ( actually Billie Whitelaw probably wasn’t on the checklist but I feel sure a sixties actress will have been mentioned at some point ), Tortured Mozzer cameo? Check.

It actually made me blush watching it. Still, it’s a cracking song so enjoy the video.

What’s not to like?

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January 30th, 2010 // 1:35 pm @ // 2 Comments

Hello there you. It’s the weekend again, which begs the question, “What are we doing sitting at our computer screens when there’s a whole wide world out there just waiting for us to enjoy?”.

It’s a good question and I’m glad you asked. Well my answer is this. Henceforth I shall be enjoying my weekends a lot more and in order to make this possible “thatandywhiteblog” will be changing slightly. From now on proper blogging will be more of a Monday to Friday affair with the weekends being a kind of  “drop in and see what’s happening” thing.

If I’ve seen something funny / life changing in the paper, on telly or somewhere on the web I might stick that on here for people to have a look at, I may choose a favourite piece of music or video clip to share. Either way it’s just going to be a little bit more laid back.

I hope that’s ok with you and that you enjoy it. If not, go fly a kite.

Have fun.

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chip, shop.

January 29th, 2010 // 1:14 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there you.  If you’ve been reading this blog regularly you’ll know that I’ve been mentioning technology quite a lot lately. It’s hard not to, as with each day it takes on a greater role in our lives.

Today, for example I’m working on a job for a new client that involves credit cards, microchips, “over the air” functionality and all manner of crazy hi-tech stuff. The latest thing, ( and I realise this may well be old news to you hip, swinging cyberpunks out there ), is that “over the air” malarkey. It’s already big news in some Asian markets and the basic gist of it is this. In the very near future we won’t really need all the credit cards we have now, ( of course a great many people will still want them. Nothing says so much about you as slapping your Amex Centurion card on the marble effect bar and saying “keep ’em coming”.), we’ll be carrying out all our transactions with our mobile phones.

All our bank details, our creditworthiness, our medical records and possibly even sexual preferences will be stored in a teeny weeny chip inside our phone. We wont even need to key in any old-fashioned PIN numbers, ( and there’s a funny thing, PIN stands for “Personal Information Number”. so every time you get asked for your PIN number you’re being asked for your personal information number number ), We’ll simply choose an item to buy, wave our phones at a compatible Pay point and the sale will be made. Which of course gives an old technophobe like me great cause for concern. What happens if I’m taking a short cut through the lingerie department of Debenhams, ( it could happen ), and I inadvertently switch my phone on as I brush past a rack of brief ‘n’ bra combos? Next thing I know, I could have a selection of ladies’ undergarments delivered to my home causing no end of consternation and awkward questions. And another thing, I don’t want to be calling British Rail Enquiries to check my train’s progress, only to find that I’ve pressed the wrong button and have purchased the Manchester to London Pendalino. For one thing I’ve got nowhere to put it, for another I just don’t want the responsibility.

I’m sure all of these potential problems will be ironed out by the time we get to use the technology but I implore you to be on your guard when that day arrives. Remember, when you’re phoning for the latest movie screening times you’re only one digit away from buying a Multiplex.

And you’ll never get that home on the bus.

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don’t frighten the horses…

January 28th, 2010 // 1:27 pm @ // 5 Comments

Hello there you, I’m back. Hope you didn’t miss me too much yesterday but I was working you see. Just couldn’t be helped.

I should probably start today by explaining the heading and accompanying photo of the lovely Frau Blucher. It’ll help if you’ve seen the Mel Brooks classic “Young Frankenstein“, If you haven’t seen it, see it. It’s brilliant and you’ll love it. The point is that whenever the name “Blucher” is mentioned, you’ll hear horses panic. Yes, she’s that scary.

“What?”, I hear you ask, “has that got to do with anything andy?” Well I’ll tell you if you give me a minute. Jeeeeeez, just have some patience.

What it has to do with, is the location of the company I was at yesterday and the consequently slightly odd meeting that ensued. The business is based in a beautiful barn conversion out in the English countryside and, right next door to our meeting, separated by a seemingly inordinately thin wall, was a massive stable block containing, unsurprisingly, lots of horses. So, now and again, our discussion was punctuated by the whinny or snort of a disgruntled horse. ( I say “disgruntled” but I’m not really sure. I’m not a qualified horse whisperer yet but I’ll be working on that ) Obviously that provided a little light relief but did lead to an altogether more serious question.

Why don’t we involve animals more in the creative process? Imagine the scenario. We hold the first presentation in a large barn. Creatives, account execs and client sit around a table in the middle while animals, selected for their own experience and knowledge, surround said table offering their input as the session progresses. Hyenas would be great. Their natural ebullience hides a hard bitten cynicism and acute awareness of the importance of brand values, while the much more reserved and considered opinion of the Hereford cow could teach us all a lot about market penetration. Goats are known to keep a keen eye on youth trends and no-one can deny the flair of the mighty Walrus when it comes to media placement. Not only that but they make really cool noises too.

Give it some thought. I am.

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January 27th, 2010 // 12:03 am @ // No Comments yet


Apologies for this break in “thatandywhiteblog”. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I’m writing stuff for other people today.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

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tweet talking guy…

January 26th, 2010 // 12:43 pm @ // 4 Comments

As those amongst you who know me are doubtlessly aware, I’ve long been at the cutting edge of the technology that now forms a huge part of our daily lives. Steam locomotion, the internal combustion engine, even the fax machine, are just some of the things that I take in my stride. Today though marks another huge leap forward for me. I’ve activated a Twitter account, which apparently means I’m now best mates with the literati, or “twitterati” as those of us in the know call ourselves. Yes, I’m on first name terms with such luminaries as Stephen Fry, Barack Obama and Amanda Holden.

I’ve actually been resisting this development for quite some time but current wisdom suggests that success in almost every field is massively dependent on social networking. Or what we used to call meeting people and talking with them. Now I’m twittering though, I’m not entirely sure what I should tweet. I’ve had a quick look and it seems that what you had for breakfast is a fairly hot topic. As is what you watched on telly last night. And, apparently, the conjecture that Tracy is a slag.

Tracy, yesterday.

Obviously I need to approach this new medium with caution. Careless tweets cost credibility and all that. So, for now, I think I’ll just observe and get a feel for what is and isn’t done when twittering. I’ll take a look at what Stephen’s up to, check out Barack’s views and find out Amanda’s opinion on that whole Tracy situation. Then, when I’m fully informed I’ll tweet like no-one’s ever tweeted before. Until then, it’s probably not worth following me.

If you’re interested though, I had a bacon butty for breakfast, Nurse Jackie on BBC2 was pretty good and I can’t really say anything about Tracy till I’ve read a few more tweets.

Tweet as a nut.

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get happy…

January 25th, 2010 // 1:54 pm @ // No Comments yet

Just been looking at the LOVE blog and decided to nick an idea from them. I’m sure they won’t mind. Apparently today is officially the most miserable day of the year, it’s one of those statistic things. You know, where a group of scientists, who should have better things to do frankly, work pointless and ultimately meaningless things out. Well apparently they’ve worked out that TODAY is THE most miserable day that you’ll have this year. That’s a comfort isn’t it?

Anyway, LOVE decided to recognise the day with a Smiths track called “I know it’s over”. And while I love irony as much as the next man I thought I’d mark it with this. It’s “anywhere” by Dubstar. And it’s quite possibly the cheeriest track ever. So enjoy. You’re going to have a terrible time later. Ask a scientist.

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forgive me….

January 25th, 2010 // 12:16 pm @ // One Comment

Today I have a confession to make. More than that, a Kingsmill confession. I hate those bloody commercials with a passion. They make my flesh crawl and my teeth itch. In fact I hate them so much that they’ve forced me to lie to those closest to me. How can I look my daughter in the eye and tell her that I work in advertising, that I’m a Manchester Copywriter, when that’s on the telly right in the middle of Tracey Beaker? No, I just can’t do it.  So I’m impelled to deceive her. It’s not easy either when one works such irregular hours, sometimes travelling across the country and not returning home till well after she’s tucked up in bed. Having checked the options and, obviously wanting her to have a father she can be proud of, I’ve gone for a career with a bit of glamour. She now believes me to be a professional darts player, each night standing proudly on the oche, our destiny firmly in my hand, aiming for a noble future for us both. A future and a career we can both be proud of. Maybe one day I’ll tell her the truth. But not until that bloody kingsmill ad has long gone.

Till then, be lucky.


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lazy sunday afternoon…

January 24th, 2010 // 1:53 pm @ // No Comments yet

It’s at times like this that I wish my blog had a soundtrack. As a little intro to today’s waffle I could have segued neatly from “Easy like Sunday morning” by the Commodores into “Lazy Sunday Afternoon” by The Small Faces. It’s good like that, music. You’ll hear it everywhere, used to set the mood for whatever you’re up to. Whether it’s the background to your “dining experience” in a restaurant, on the TV selling you something or just keeping you calm as you hang on the telephone trying to find out why Tesco have sent you an air bed instead of an aubergine or why your Virgin Media bill for this month is £8000.00.

I’ve been thinking about music a lot lately, I think it’s all part of my ongoing mid-life crisis. Mostly I’ve been thinking about Manchester’s music and in particular the stuff that came through the  punk and post-punk boom periods. You see, having been serendipitously born at exactly the right time, about 14 years prior to the explosion, ( actually it was more of a spill and consequent seepage ), of “punk”  I was exactly the right age to witness the birth and growth of some spectacularly good, spectacularly Mancunian bands. Buzzcocks, Magazine, Joy Division, Crispy Ambulance, Stockholm Monsters, Section 25, ( from Blackpool really but honorary Mancs ), and A Certain Ratio to name but a few. Naturally, all this thinking has led to lots of reading of lots of books. Some good, some not so good and some frankly terrible. Of the good, there’s David Nolan’s “Confusion”, the story of Bernard Sumner of Joy Division, New Order, Electronic and now Bad Lieutenant. Now there’s a reason this book’s good, as opposed to Hooky’s book “The Hacienda, how not to run a club” which has some  very funny moments and isn’t a bad read but isn’t really “good”. That reason is that “Confusion” is written by an author, a writer, someone who writes things and consequently uses words pretty well, while the other is written by a musician. It does make a difference you know. So saying, Peter Hook is a man of considerable talent as a Bass guitarist and I doubt very much that David Nolan could whip a crowd of 50,00 to ecstasy with a low slung guitar and some masterly thrusts of the pelvis, or compose some seminal basslines. It’s horses for courses isn’t it? Let rock stars rock and let writers write.

Although, having said that, I also read Bez’s book. And I reckon with the right drugs and a set of maracas David, or indeed myself, could pretty much do his job.

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poster pains…

January 23rd, 2010 // 1:41 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. As it’s Saturday I’m not actually going to mention anything about work. Come on, it’s the weekend, let’s let our hair down, kick back and just relax. In the spirit of this, I’ve just been browsing the net, where I came across this…

 Good, isn’t it? It’s a little pastiche of the Cameron posters that can be seen leering from a 96 sheet poster somewhere near you. However, a clever chap by the name of Andy Barefoot, ( I’m not guaranteeing that’s a real name ), has created a page where you can go and make up your own slogan, see it miraculously appear on a poster, then maybe post it on Twitter, to the amusement of all your followers. So go on, click here and go and have some fun with it. Send me your best ones if you like. Then I’ll claim the credit for them.

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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

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