Browsing Month April, 2011

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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Category : Advertising &Blog &humour &Uncategorized

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.

6 people like this post.

Category : Advertising &Blog &humour &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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Category : Advertising &Blog &humour &Uncategorized


"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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