I wouldn't normally…

March 14th, 2010 // 5:37 pm @ // One Comment

Hello there. Today I’ve spent a few hours amusing myself with that “xtranormal” thing. Yes , yes I know it’s old news now and that absolutely everyone’s moved onto some kind of 3D movie that 12 year olds are making on their Nintendo DS things. In fact you’ve probably already made an xtranormal Brothers Karamazov or Gone with the Wind with a cast of robots, teddy bears and those kind of half lego person, half animal things while I’ve been fannying about –  but to me it’s all new and exciting.

Just to get started, I’ve made an old blog post into an animated featurette. I used that “Independent Northern Creatives” one, mainly because it’s fairly short and it’s the first one that sprang to mind. I’m sure that at some point I’ll find something useful to do with it, I may even eventually learn to use it in such a way that I get further than a talking head and produce my own little Avatar or Hurt Locker. Or something. Anyway, have a look and then try writing something and making your own movie. It’s fun.

Here’s one where there’s a bear type thing saying it…

And here’s a robot.

I’ve got far too much time on my hands.

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you don’t say.

March 11th, 2010 // 1:17 pm @ // 2 Comments

Hello there. I’ve had a slightly odd few days this week. Jobs starting, then stopping. Madly urgent projects being put on hold. Plans suddenly changing. All in all most unsatisfactory. However, this has led to more time spent browsing the net,  ( andy don’t surf. ), doing a bit of reading and, inevitably, watching the telly. All of these activities have brought me to the same conclusion. People everywhere are writing dialogue which includes things that people just don’t say anymore, anywhere, ever.  Maybe it’s just me but I just don’t recall anyone saying such things to me in real life. Try these.

A soap staple seems to be the ” Slap up meal” If you’re a loveable cockernee Eastender apparently you go for these often. In fact, even on the cobbles of Weatherfield, the “slap up meal” is a right treat. Now the only people I can ever remember having a “slap up meal” or “feed”, ( We’ll leave out “nosh” ), are Billy Bunter the fat owl of the of the remove and Dennis the Menace and Gnasher. ( whose slap up meals were enjoyed at the Hotel de Posh ).

Another which grates, features in the ” Circulation Booster” TV ad, ( it does just what it says on the box you know, in a fine example of advertising eating itself ).  Admittedly you need to be watching obscure digital channels in the wee small hours to catch this one but it’s there. Here, a woman refers to her mother, ( without a hint of irony ), as her “dear old mum“. Surely no-one calls their mum “dear old mum” these days. Well not while she’s alive anyway. Or is it just me? Do you call your mother “dear old mum”? If so, please let me know. You freak.

There are loads more I’ve seen that, for the moment, have escaped me.  Probably because they’re things that I never say and nor does anyone else I’ve ever known. Is there perhaps a book of phrases that writers just dip into while preparing scripts? A kind of  thesaurus of cliche to relate to the dumbed down society that an awful lot of writers  seem to insist on catering for?  If so, please don’t ever use it.

Maybe, just maybe, we’re not quite as dumb as they think we are.

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presence dear.

March 8th, 2010 // 4:13 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. Lately it seems that whenever I put the tv on, I see that new Mercedes ad. You know the one. It’s got that bloke who looks a bit like Chris Isaak but isn’t, sitting moodily in a moodily lit diner, then appearing all moody in some seriously moody rain.

Throughout all this wanton moodiness, another bloke, ( who probably looks equally like Chris Isaak but equally isn’t ), moodily monotones some stuff about “presence” and how, if you have to prove that you’ve got “presence” then you haven’t got “presence”.  However, in my opinion, if the Chris Isaak lookylikey bloke actually had that much “presence” then whoever’s driving that Merc about would’ve remembered to pick him up. Apparently, again according to monotone man, someone also once said that the whisper is louder than the shout. Well it isn’t. I looked it up and everything and can categorically say that a shout is louder than a whisper every time. Even if you try whispering really, really loudly. Because at some point it stops being a whisper and becomes the shout it was meant to be louder than. Simple as.

So, I’m very sorry Mercedes but I just find the ad wrong on many, many levels. Not only that but whenever I watch it I keep thinking of the line,

“Mercedes. When you don’t know enough to come in out of the rain.”

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March 5th, 2010 // 12:36 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. Last night I went along to a meeting of the Independent Northern Creatives at The Old Monkey in town. And there I made what I consider to be an important discovery. If you ever go along to a meeting of people who are both northern and creative and don’t know anyone at all at said meeting, there are some key points in recognising your prey.

Start by looking around the pub. Instantly discount people drinking draught beer and look for bottles, preferably with a chunk of fruit jammed in the neck,  ( of the bottle, not the drinker ).  Next, cast your eyes to the floor. Don’t worry, you’re not ashamed. you’re looking for shoes. Don’t worry about your own, presumably you’re wearing some so, so far so good. What you’re looking for is interesting shoes, quirky shoes, shoes that say ” sure, I wear shoes but look at my shoes, they say I don’t just protect my feet, I celebrate them and all they do. Look at my feet and dig them. ” If you’ve spotted some shoes that fit the bill, let your gaze drift upwards. You’re looking for a shoulder bag now. Not just any old shoulder bag though, a shoulder bag with flair, with finesse, a shoulder bag with a certain devil may care joie de vivre that tells you there’s more than a cheese sandwich inside. If you’ve found all three, the chances are you found a “creative”.

Next, casually amble to the bar, timing it to arrive at the same moment as your chosen creative and strike up conversation. I tend to use, ” Excuse me. I can’t help noticing that you are both Northern and creative. Nice shoes. ”

You’re in.

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copy. right.

March 2nd, 2010 // 1:44 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. Sorry it’s all been rather quiet on the thatandywhiteblog front recently but, aside from being a bit busy lately, there is a really good reason. And here it is. For weeks now I’ve been wanting to write a post about some really brilliant copywriting I’ve read in the press, seen on TV or heard on the radio. Preferably something mainstream that just about everybody gets to see on a daily basis. It’s always easy to criticise all the rubbish that’s out there so I wanted to leave behind all the negative stuff and write something positive about some real quality writing. Writing that rises above the dross and stands as an example of the copywriter’s craft.

The problem is I can’t find any. Now I must apologise for using such an obvious example as the Volkswagen “Lemon” ad. There’s a reason for that too. I wanted to use the great ” If the welding isn’t strong enough the car will fall on the writer”  Volvo ad that  David Abbott wrote back in the 70s but I can’t find it on the net. Funny that. You can find loads of design and art direction stuff on the net, not much copywriting. Not only that, it’s a bit sad that, in order to find some really great words, I’m going that far back.  So, sorry it’s not a very amusing post today, even sorrier that I can’t find some brilliant copy to dazzle us all with.

I’ll go and carry on looking, if you find some please let me know. I’m beginning to give up hope.

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ad enough.

February 27th, 2010 // 2:46 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. As you know, Saturday isn’t a proper blogging day so once again here’s something to play with for a while.  It’s a little film made by coy! to launch the new identity of the Creative Circle Awards. See how many ads you can spot and then get smug about it with friends in the bar of your choice. If you haven’t got anything better to do. Or more interesting friends.

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malice in wonderland.

February 25th, 2010 // 1:07 pm @ // 2 Comments

Hello there. I was just reading a film blog by the name of utraculture and was so impressed by their review of Tim Burton’s  “Alice in Wonderland”  that I had to share it with you.

” Imagine if Tim Burton directed a movie adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.

I just saved you £10. ”

Now that’s quality writing.

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too tight to mention.

February 23rd, 2010 // 4:09 pm @ // No Comments yet

I’ve spent this afternoon worrying. Worrying about what we’re going to do when all the unwanted, broken and surplus gold jewellery runs out. It’s worth thinking about isn’t it? I mean, if you watch the TV, listen to the radio or flip through the quality magazines,  (  Take a Break, Heat, Closer, OK ), the current economy is more or less based on sovereign rings, clown necklaces and broken bracelets.

What happens when there’s just no more gold to weigh in and melt down? Well stop worrying people, I’ve hit on an idea and I reckon it’s just what this country needs to get into the black and out of the red. ( please remember though, there’s nothing in this game for two in a bed. )

copyright andy white 2010

What do you reckon? I think this could be big.

(  Big thanks to Tim Sinclair for his help in making Cash My Spleen what it is today )

Oh, and as a little update. I did a version of it with that xtranormal thing.

Just like Dale Winton isn’t it?  Only more life-like.

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card sharp.

February 23rd, 2010 // 1:20 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there you. Sorry for the absence of thatandywhiteblog for the past couple of days but you know how it is. You don’t? Well you should. Enough said.

Over the past few days I’ve been giving some serious thought to business cards. Exactly how important are they? In the business they call “creative” and, as a freelance copywriter, I guess they’re a pretty vital tool. The first sample of your wares in a way so it’s important to get it right. I mean, I don’t want to get all Patrick Bateman about it, but you want to create a good impression don’t you? ( If you don’t get the Bateman reference you really should read “American Psycho” by Brett Eaton Ellis or, to save time, see the film. It’s all a bit old hat now I suppose but it’s still a good read or watch and a lovely “feel good” trip back into the caring, sharing  ’80s … )

Any old hoo, back to business cards. I’ve gathered together a couple of my current favourites and, would you believe it, they’re from Manchester companies. Well,  I don’t get out much these days.

First up, and most badly photographed, ( by me ), is LOVE‘s card. I particularly like it for its “pink porno plasticness“. Those aren’t my words by the way but those of Dave Bevan, top copywriting person of said establishment. It looks cool and what’s more, it has a hole in it. You could pin it on something, hang it from your keyring, even attach it to your latest body piercing. Do what you want with it in fact. I’m not here to judge anyone.

Next up is the rather excellent card from Music, another top notch Manchester design studio. Like the clever rascals they are, they actually make each card from old vinyl records.

image by Tim Sinclair

As cards are needed they’re die cut from an old LP and screen printed to order. So that’s a natty business card, a clever concept and saving the world from landfill in one fell swoop. Cunning devils.

In at number three and perhaps my own personal favourite is DOROTHY‘s beautiful little coin / token / round shiny thing / business card.

image by Tim Sinclair

They came up with the idea of producing something a little different from your usual business card and thus came this. It’s got the feel of a thing to treasure and to keep in your pocket, ( or handbag / purse, it’s an equal opportunity coin / token / round shiny thing / business card ), for a special occasion. Or perhaps to put into a parking meter or slip to a short sighted beggar when you’ve run out of real money.

Whatever you choose to do with it, it’s nice isn’t it?

Anyway, the point, ( if there is one ), of this post is that all kinds of opportunities exist to make you, and your business, look good so why not start at the very beginning? It is, after all, a very good place to start.

( Many thanks to Tim Sinclair for the photographs used in this post. You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to take photos of shiny things. Honestly, it’s nightmarish. )

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Excuse? Me?

February 19th, 2010 // 3:45 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there you. I’m terribly sorry but once again thatandywhiteblog can’t be with you in full effect today as I’ve got a bit of a rush job on. However, to keep you occupied why not have a look at what Campaign reckon to be “the 10 funniest TV ads of all time”?  I’m not sure I agree with them completely and I’m not convinced that you will either. Either way it’s something to think about and perhaps to stimulate argument and light fisticuffs between you and your friends and colleagues.

Oddly enough, Campaign’s list doesn’t include this, ( relatively ), new Old Spice ad which I think is fantastic, perhaps it arrived after the list was compiled. Enjoy this first then click on the link below it to get to Campaign.

Campaign’s  ten funniest TV ads of all time.

thatandywhiteblog will return in the very near future with a completely brilliant post that I’m already formulating.


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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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