sticky fingers.

July 14th, 2010 // 12:52 pm @ // 2 Comments

Hello there. A couple of weeks ago, in my capacity as a Manchester copywriter, I became embroiled in a fairly lengthy debate over what constituted ‘the greatest business card in the World… ever!’. If you’re a member of Linkedin, you may well have read some of it, possibly even joined in. If you aren’t and you didn’t, then you really should be and you should have. Honestly, if you’re not going to get involved in all this Social Networking stuff you’re just not with it. Daddio.

Anyway, back to the debate,  Julian Gratton of Red C Marketing had his ideas, I hadmine. Tim joined in, so did Steve, even Phil and Dave had something to say about it. So where were you eh? I rest my case.

This morning though, I saw something that raised the business card to a whole new level. It was this.

That’s brilliant isn’t it? It’s by the Japanese Model kit manufacturer Tamiya, obviously, and you can take the card to bits and make teeny, tiny models out of it while you’re planning a corporate takeover or browsing for sandals on ebay. Genius.

I’m actually in the process of designing one now for the Central Heating Engineer I called out last week. It will consist of roughly 78 pieces which will form a working model of a condenser boiler, perfect in every single, minute detail. The idea will be to place each piece on various different kitchen surfaces before you finally ascertain that one tiny, yet vital, component is missing. That piece will be have to be ordered separately and may or may not become available 3 -5 weeks after the arrival of the business card, at an  extra cost of around £135 plus vat.

And there won’t be one  in the sodding van either. Not. A. Sodding. Chance.

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Movie drone.

July 8th, 2010 // 7:59 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. Today I’ve been thinking about how I can improve my efficiency, save time and get more out of each day. And I think I’ve hit upon an idea that’s approaching genius. Admittedly it’s approaching genius at a fairly oblique angle but genius nonetheless. Now, I like to spend time watching movies and I’ve often thought how time-effective it can be going seeing a couple of films together, back to back as a double bill. Two films but only one trip to the cinema, reduced journey time, only one shower required, no wasted minutes in queues or travelling.

Now here comes the genius bit. Instead of watching two films in succession, how about we combine two films into one? All the enjoyment and fulfilment, half the running time. I’ve already started working on it with a handful of DVDs, a little editing tool on my PC and a dash of creative thinking. And you know what? I think I’m really onto something this time. Something that’s going to change the world of cinema and be a whole lot more personally successful than that Mobile Golf Course I set up last year.

Here’s a list of just a few of the titles I’m giving the mix treatment to:-

The Unbearable Lightness of Being John Malkovich.

Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice in Wonderland.

The Empire Strikes Back to The Future.

2001 A Space Odessa Files.

I only wish I’d thought of it sooner. All those wasted hours in the Multiplex when, as a Manchester copywriter, I could have been working on award winning campaigns or writing flyers for Landscape Gardening Services. It just doesn’t bear thinking about.

I’m going to start working on my record collection next, who’s up for The Pet Shop Beach Boys?

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July 1st, 2010 // 2:26 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. Over the past week I’ve been thinking of treating myself to a new ‘phone. The one I’ve got is ok really but I’ve had it a while now and there are a couple of niggles with it. The main one being that there’s a great big crack right across the ‘O’ on the keypad and when you press it, which you often have to do unless you only call people already in the phone book or those without a ‘O’ in their number, it kind of half falls out and I have to catch it and sort of wiggle it back in. I’ve been managing ok but did you know that there are hardly any people out there without an ‘O’ in their number? And those who haven’t are getting frankly sick of me calling them and asking them to pass on messages to people who have got an ‘O’ in their number.

So obviously, as a high flying Manchester copywriter about town, I need a new one. Naturally the first one that springs to mind is the iPhone. I mean, there’s a brand spanking new one out that’s all thin and glossy and cool and it seems that all the hep cats, groovers, scenesters and designy type people snap them up like interesting shoes and dinky shoulder bags. There seems to be a problem with it though. I was doing a bit of reading up and apparently there’s an issue with it getting any reception at all if you hold it. In your hand. When you’re making a phone call.

Now I know I’m like super picky but that seems a fairly fundamental flaw in a phone. Sure it looks all slim and glossy and sexy and cool, the graphics are great and there are about 38 gazillion apps you can download to do all kinds of crazy stuff but just don’t expect to be doing any phoning with your phone.  You can play ‘psycho murder deathsquad racecar alien prostitute holocaust 7’ while enjoying a Latte in Starbucks. You can check your hair in its rear facing camera and get an update that tells you if your hair’s dropped out of fashion in the last 12 seconds ( probably ). You can do all kinds of fun stuff with your photos, you can surf the net, you can read a book, watch a movie, book a flight to Cannes, probably find yourself a partner of any sexual persuasion and look really slick while doing it. You just can’t rely on actually making a phone call to anyone at any given point. Or getting one.

I would imagine though that actually using the thing for something as basic as making and receiving phone calls came pretty low down on the list of iPhone priorities. ” You’re doing what with it? You’re making a freaking phone call? You’ve got that beautiful piece of glossy, slimline design and technology in your fat sweaty hand? Up against your fat sweaty face? And it’s not even in a 250 buck designer case? Jesus H Christ you moron. Put it on a glass desk and look at it. Haven’t you got 15 bucks to buy a goddam cellphone to call your fat sweaty friends with?”.

Apparently the highly portable iPad has a few ‘teething troubles’ too. Like the fact that if you take advantage of its highly portablenessability the chances are it won’t work. Its revolutionary built-in antenna being built-in to a point so deep within its designer loveliness that it can’t actually pick up any signals if there’s a grain of sugar between it and another antenna. ” You’re doing what with it? You’ve taken it freaking outside? And you want to use it for stuff? Put it inside a glass case on your glass desk, next your iPhone and look at it you freaking moron.”

It’s not all doom and gloom though. Apple have set up a website where you can now see lessons on how to hold your iPhone, ( very delicately it seems ), in order to make a call and how to position your iPad to stand a fighting chance of showing off with it in public. All done by a hugely attractive American person in a black turtleneck sweater. Probably.

For now, I reckon I’m going to stick with my slightly broken nokia and my laptop. But then I’m an old-fashioned kinda guy.

The kinda guy that can make phone calls. With his phone. In his hand.

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Do try this at home.

June 26th, 2010 // 11:57 am @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. Do you ever ever have those days when you just can’t think what you’re going to write in your blog? Hang on, I should probably qualify that. If you do, in fact, have a blog, do you ever have one of those days that you can’t think what you’re going to write in your blog? I do. And I do. Often.  Well I’ve found something that can help if you ever get stuck in that situation. ( That’s the situation of having a blog and having a day when you just can’t think what you’re going to write in your blog ). Here’s the answer. Just subscribe to PSFK. There’s always something interesting / informative / mental in there that will get your copywriter‘s mind racing and your keyboard clattering.

Take one of today’s headlines for example.

Amateurs Building Homemade Nuclear Fusion Reactors.

Now there’s something that’ll make you sit up and take notice. Apparently there is now an enthusiastic online community of like-minded amateurs committed to building their own little nuclear fusion reactors in their front rooms, attics and sheds. What could possibly go wrong? Apparently there are a few killjoys out there who question the benefits of building something that up to now can’t generate as much power as it takes to actually function. These same people are seemingly also getting niggly about ‘nuclear reactions taking place near their homes’. Sheesh. Talk about buzzkills.

However, this did also get me thinking, what else are our neighbours beavering away at while we’re out in the garden, watching telly or doing a bit of shopping? There could be all manner of stuff going on that we don’t know about. That eerie light, late at night, from the bedroom window opposite may not be young Kenneth surfing the internet for dubious german pornography. Maybe he’s knocking up a time machine from old biscuit tins, that rowing machine you saw getting dropped off from Argos and some bits and pieces from his Thomas Salter Chemistry Set ( Age 7+).

Perhaps that irritating revving and smell of burning two-stroke oil on a Sunday afternoon isn’t someone firing up the lawnmower or rennovating a 1972 Honda ‘thrifty’ moped. Maybe it’s the first stages in the building of a huge amphibian landcraft / battlecruiser / killer robot being assembled for the floods of the coming apocalypse. That truck dropping off bricks and uPvc frames down the road may not be for the conservatory / summerhouse you’ve always promised yourself. It could be that the Thompsons are now housing their home-made nuclear reactor in a brand new superlab / war room from which they’ll launch the deathrockets that Hilary has been crocheting for the last 4 months.

So just think on. Next time you’re in B&Q scouring the aisles for that carpet shampoo you saw on telly that was definitely 15% off on Tuesdays or was that in Homebase…  or DoItAll… or Aldi? Take a look at what the person at the next checkout is stocking up on. Are those solar powered garden lamps really going to be brightening up the decking? Or are you going to awake one morning to find a fully functioning landing strip in next doors garden, awaiting the landing of the Mothership?

I don’t know about you but I’m off to my bunker.

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June 19th, 2010 // 11:17 am @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve done anything at all on thatandywhiteblog but I’ve been a bit busy of late. What with work, my daughter’s birthday and the overwhelming urge to sit in the garden with a cold beer as soon as the sun makes it’s presence felt, it’s been all go. However, all that sitting in the garden and the thought of Harriet getting older led me to muse on one of the great inescapables of life, death. After all, ( quite literally ), it awaits us all doesn’t it? So I thought I’d better get myself prepared.

As usual if you’re looking for a great idea, about anything, ever, the place to look is PSFK. And once again they’ve come up with the goods in the shape of this:-

It’s a nifty little addition to any tombstone, onto which you can add all kinds of information and images to share with visitors to your final resting place from beyond the grave. You can read all about it here.

I’m definitely getting one. I want it programmed so, as anyone approaches the headstone,  it screams “I’M BEHIND YOU!” . At about a squillion decibels.

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Poetry emotion.

June 11th, 2010 // 2:41 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. Now I think I’ve mentioned before my deep hatred of crap poetry in advertising. In fact, I know I have. I mentioned it fairly firmly in a post called poet, lorry, hate.” a while back. However, it seems that regardless of everything I’ve said, some copywriters are still intent on churning it out. This latest abomination from McDonalds is a case in point. Directly after is a response from the respected poet E.J.Thribb ( 17½ ).  I couldn’t have put it better myself.

And those who watched their big TVs

and swore through tightly gritted teeth

and tore their hair in deep despair

and threw themselves behind a chair

Were just pissed off

And watching on those same TVs

they cried out “Shove your Maccy Ds

your Flurrys and your poetry

where no sun shines and piss off please!”

We’re just pissed off.

E.J.Thribb 17½

Good God. I’ve just watched the ad again and am now forced to add another point. In the bit where our poet says “Financial clerk” , he pronounces it “clurk” to rhyme with “work”.

Well I’m terribly sorry but we pronounce that word “clark”. Why? Because we’re not bloody Americans, that’s why.

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Crazy flog.

June 10th, 2010 // 4:32 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there.  Due to my incredibly efficient working methods I’ve had a little time on my hands today. So I’ve made the most of that time by looking at some of the really clever things that people are sticking on the web to advertise and sell us stuff. About an hour ago I came across this and I’ve been on it ever since. Consequently, I’ve not really done a tremendous amount of research. I have, however got some bloody great shots worked out.

Have go. It’s ace.

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June 7th, 2010 // 10:25 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. Today I’ve become very disturbed by something rather personal. It’s been brought to my attention that for some time now I may have been wallowing, night after night, in my own filth. And it’s not just me you know. Oh no. It could be you too. You see I’ve just seen the latest Vanish detergent TV ad and it really scared me. It’s not so much the young mother putting the sheet over her head and doing the classic, “Woooooooo, I’m a ghost“, thing at her child, ( although you have to admit, that is pretty scary ). It’s the fact that our seemingly clean bedsheets are quite literally seething with huge colonies of bacteria that we just can’t see. Plain old washing powder won’t get rid of it. To be honest, I kind of got the impression from the ad that burning your bed linen in a fiery furnace wouldn’t even do the trick. What you need is Vanish Extra Hygiene. Not just hygiene mind, but Extra hygiene. Obviously, I wanted to get the full details so watched like a hawk and here’s where it gets even scarier. It turns out that even Vanish Extra Hygiene is only capable of destroying 99.9% of that filthy filth, ( and it’s really filthy. It’s brown on the ad, not pink so that’s like, really, really filthy isn’t it? ). Now, what’s truly disturbing is that if that Vanish stuff kills 99.9% of bacteria, then that remaining 00.1% must be really hard bastard bacteria musn’t it? I mean proper, proper Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, Daniel Day Lewis, ( in “Gangs of New York”, not “The unbearable lightness of being” ), hard. So, really you sort of question the whole value of killing the other 99.9% don’t you? What’s the point? Why bother? That 00.1% is just going to pick its hard bastard self up, multiply a millionfold, grow weird little spiny bacterial talons and strangle you to death in your sleep isn’t it? The whole thing’s left me completely unsettled. I probably won’t get a wink tonight.

Mind you, judging by what’s going on in my sheets, I don’t think I fancy going to bed anyway.

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No Cannes do.

June 3rd, 2010 // 1:20 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. Look, I’m really, really sorry about this but I haven’t really got a post to go with that header. What happened, right, was this. I was going to write a piece about the fact that I’d really wanted to go to the Cannes Film Festival this year but no amount of begging, borrowing or blagging could get me tickets to anything at all that was going on over there. So I didn’t get to go and consequently didn’t go to a single party or “do”. Then I realised that it would make for a very dull post indeed. However, I really, really liked the headline, ” No Cannes do.”, and didn’t want to waste it.

So there you have it. No post, just a smartarse header. I promise I’ll do a proper post soon, till then, No Cannes do.

Geddit? Eh? Eh? Oh suit yourselves.

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Friday. Good.

May 28th, 2010 // 2:48 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. It occured to me earlier that the last thatandywhiteblog was a bit serious, a bit worthy, a bit well, dull. So to redress the balance I thought I’d just stick a couple of things I find funny on the page today. I mean, it is Friday after all so let’s all let our hair down and relax a bit eh?

First, here’s an old VW ad that always makes me chuckle. It got banned apparently,which is a shame but, thanks to youtube, this stuff is always lurking somewhere on the net.!v=0GuBdvA7Qus

Good that, isn’t it?

And now, something for all you men planning a big Friday night out.!v=1TiJNewpCnY

Got that? Good, now get out there and have a good time.

And remember, be adventurous.

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