Monthly Archives: November 2008

thinking of starting an awards show. building a ‘voice of authority and measure of standards’.

feeling the whole awards vibe. adfocus has got me all excited. feel like i want to invent an awards show for ‘great, vibey and rad ideas’. that way i could label everything i do and like as ‘great, vibey and rad’ and everything else as whatever.

it could have a complicated and obscure title like The Capybara Street Pole & Radio Awards and it could focus on those 2 categories only. i could sell adspace at my awards show. and i could accept bribes from people who wanted to be called winners. it would basically be like any other awards show except i would be in charge, which is what would make it great.

i’d probably have to have some sort of disclosure on my judging criteria. the rough draught might look something like this:

– did the idea make people LOL?

– did the idea give people a ready-made opinion that they could use immediately as they go about their daily quest for low G.I. and the iPod with the most memory for their money?

– did the idea creators copy an internet genius and not credit them as the original idea creators, and did it cause a clutch of crusading creatives to get up in arms about it on bizcommunity [mandatory]?

– did the idea namedrop any famous SA tech bloggers so as to maximise Afrigator and Muti ratings?

– did the idea come into this world on some unknown foreign college kid’s blog as a drunken karaoke video with ‘untapped viral value’?

– is the idea available for download, and did they make a facebook app that you can forward to friends on their superwalls?

– does the idea come with a press pack for easy understanding on behalf of the awards writers in a word doccie so they can cut and paste and have ready-made content for their website and make them seem like they know what they are talking about?

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not very inspired about sussing out awards criteria. maybe i can just get a part time job handing out awards on stage at various events. i could be the ashley hayden of advertising, and i’d keep my upper body completely stiff like a robot so viewers on tv question whether i am actually real.

The Face of The Loeries. Miss those days when you used to hand out grand prixes on tv.

The Face of The Loeries. Miss those days when you used to hand out grand prixes on tv.

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“An Ad Man measures his contribution to society and his weight as a person of integrity by the number of guilded roaring wild feline friends adorning the shelf above the photocopy machine. ” -Bill Bernback

big important congratulations

to Alistair King on being named ‘Agency Leader of the Year’ at the Adfocus Awards 2008.

Our Al. A natural leader.

Our Al on the right. A natural leader.

I think we all share the sentiment his wife expressed by writing on Al’s facebook wall, namely that we are all very proud of you, Sparkles. Click here to read about how awesome Al is.

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An open letter to an ex-boyfriend

Dear Archibald*

I know you’ve been googling me. In fact, I know you’ve been googling me for the past 8 months. I know that you google me more than once a day. I know that you have particularly frenetic days when you google me up to 30 times (yes, 30 times).

I know that sometimes you add strange words to my name when you google me. Words like ‘boyfriend’, ‘address’ and ‘wearing a dress’. For half a second I feel flattered by your obsessive googling, but mostly I just feel like it’s time you moved on.

Now, I don’t really mind you googling me. But I would imagine your boss probably doesn’t pay you to google me (I know that you google me from work), and that he pays you to do whatever it is that he pays you to do. You should probably just get on with it. In my experience, getting on with it can be very therapeutic.

I wanted to help you move on, since you are clearly having trouble doing so on your own. And I just wanted to remind you why you and I would never have worked.

You kept snakes, and one night your albino python escaped and entwined itself on our bed between our legs. I woke you up and asked you to move your legs. You told me to move my legs. We looked down, and there was a python. That was the day I moved out, remember? There was a python in our bed, attached to your body, and it wasn’t your penis.

Just wanted to snuggle.

Just wanted to snuggle.

Another reason it didn’t work is because I am hot, and you ‘have character’. Let’s get real. Every girl goes through that phase where she dates a guy who’s beneath her because he ‘makes her laugh’. You know what doesn’t make me laugh? The fact that you’re googling me 20 times a day. That makes me giggle nervously in front of the budget trauma counselor my medical aid suggested I talk to. You need to understand: we only dated for a month, years ago, and I just wasn’t that into you.

I have no doubt in my mind that you are reading this (since you must have found my blog in your google travels), and you’re probably thinking that this is some strange coincidence, that there is no way I could know that you’re googling me. But Archibald, I really do know that it’s you, thanks to this site. This little site called wikiworldbook, which is nothing short of an online, stalker-prevention miracle, has been telling me about your google sessions for months now. It shows me what you’re searching for when you find my name, and it shows me which of my many sites you click on. It shows me where you’re googling from (which is why I know you’re doing it from work). It shows me numbers. And it’s shown me YOU.

NEwayz, lets get real here. Googling my name can’t be that much fun. So I suggest you quit it. Google albino pythons or albino python facebook apps something. I see that you do have a blog about them (yeah, I googled you, except I used the same site that told me how much you were googling me, since it just does people). It also told me that you belong to a flickr group entitled ‘Chicks and pythons’.Chicks. And. Pythons. Now that’s a niche fetish. Not something you wanna go bragging about over dinner / at the watercooler / while you wait for your python documentary to download. So how about you forget about me, and I’ll forget about the pythons.

Sincerely,

Alex

*you know who you are

the old ‘make a giant shoe’ trick. works every time.

it’s summer, which means it’s summer promo season, and i thought i’d share with you the first of the promos to catch my eye. we headed over to the neighbourgoods market on saturday at the old biscuit mill and parked right outside, blocking the entrance was this enormous high-heeled shoe.

Frightening. Makes you reconsider your priorities.

Frightening. Makes you reconsider your priorities.

i switched into consumer drive and made sure to get a side-angle shot, too. i pondered, what could this giant shoe mean? i am intrigued? and then i spotted the naughty devil ladybug logo and clicked that it was brutal fruit.

Just as big from the side. Nice, um, Comic San Serif. And whats that funny thing wrapped around its heel?

Just as big from the side. Nice, um, Comic San Serif. And what's that funny thing wrapped around its heel?

so i smsed the number. i got sent back a URL, and i opened it. i then got a bunch of pretty neon colourful messages saying things like ‘Do you want in’ and ‘Full colour is the new black’. There was some mention about some fashion parties, and then i figured i’d download some wallpaper to try and plug the emotional void in my life.

another elite branded secret society to make me feel special and valued.

Just what i need: another elite branded secret society to make me feel special and valued.

Wallpaper. This is on my phone, filling the void my iPhone left when i dropped it off the balcony of my house on Clifton 3rd.

Wallpaper. This is on my phone, filling the void my iPhone left when i dropped it off the balcony of my house on Clifton 3rd.

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Do you ever get the Fear Of Missing Out when it comes to summer promos? Summer is such a happy, bright, branded time. Sometimes i worry about getting to Clifton 3rd later than 12 because all the best summer promo giveaways might be gone by then. I’m not sure i’d be okay with summer if i didn’t get my free Cell C frisbee or my free Nivea Suntan Lotion sample that i can put in my free summer beach bag that i got free with December’s Glamour mag. I look forward to hitting the beach wearing the same free sunglasses i bought in the Elle magazine that every second girl on the beach bought. These branded freebies make me feel like i have a place, like i have a home. they make me feel a part of something bigger than myself.

Summer is not just about sunshine and swimming in the sea. Summer is about getting as much free stuff as you can from brands that save their whole BTL budget for this time of year. I resolve to make the most of this up-and-coming summer.

I WILL NOT languish by my pool when i could be reaching out to promo girls with zinc on their noses and accepting offers of sun lotion squirts by promo boys.

I WILL NOT set foot in a mall or anywhere else that requires me to pay for iced tea, suntan lotion, self-tan, moisturises, air time, lip balm or deodorant, all of which fall under the summer freebie category.

I WILL put on an accessible, happy expression that attracts promo ambassadors towards me.

I WILL pretend that i smoke when the Camel reps offer everyone on the beach free tickets to the Camel Summer Experience 3.0

I WILL roll down my window when pretty young people wave flyers at me while i’m waiting at the traffic lights, and i WILL take what they have to offer.

I WILL take their shiney flyers with attached samples and press them to my face and inhale their plastickey, gloss-printed goodness.

I WILL wipe branded fake tattoos onto pertinent parts of my body that i find at the bottom of assorted summer promo goodie packs.

And I WILL drink the free flavoured fizzy water that the Aquarelle Girls give me, even though it’s slightly warm and there’s sand in the cap.

I WILL BUY SUMMER 2008. And it will be awesome.

why is vodacom’s Summer Loving ad such a success?

All the boys and all the girls want to If You Seek Amy.

"All the boys and all the girls want to If You Seek Amy."

because deep down inside, every woman wishes she was Sandy, and every guy wishes he was the character that John Travolta played. Danny? deep stuff. consumer insight 101. makes me want to reconsider what strategy means to me. sometimes i think strategy – a process put in place to safeguard a brand’s image – can inflict some sort of body dysmorphia on the brand it’s supposed to be working for.

i’ll bet the vodacom meerkat was right on strategy, even though it destroyed a nation’s hopes and dreams, stole our collective democratic innocence and obliterated our basic understanding of what separates right from wrong. sometimes i think we should do a little less thinking and building of complicated charts and do a little more feeling. a little more basic observations. a little more ‘duh’.

How to tell if you’re in control of strategy ie. strategy is not in control of you:

Place the word ‘duh’ behind your observations / positioning statements / SWAT analyses / consumer promise. if the sentence makes sense, then you’re in control of strategy, not the other way round. for example:

Statement 1: Everyone wants to be Sandy and Danny in Grease. Duh. Brilliant. Makes complete sense.

Statement 2: Consumers do not know what they need until you tell them they need it to assauge their lack of brand alignment with target focus of the specified demographic that the product fulfills like no other. Duh. Makes no sense at all.

You could hide the lack of sense making in a strategic diagram or chart. This is a dark art. Does anyone know who the hippest strat chart producer is at the moment? Success of your chart depends very much on whether your powerpoint producer is flavour of the month. my advice to you would be to insist on working with ‘the Timbaland of .ppt’ and accept no less. there is no point in compromising when it comes to charts. you’ve got to ask yourself whether you want to play in the big leagues or not.

Does this make you feel alive? Blame it on the boogie.

Does this make you feel alive? Blame it on the boogie.

CiBiPi - i think ive found the name for my new electro label.

CiBiPi - i think i've found the name for my new electro label.

My brain is round and swirly like a shell. I am smart, you should do everything i tell you to do.

My brain is round and swirly like a shell. I am smart, you should do everything i tell you to do.

I have used a lot of green because i love animals.

I have used a lot of green because i love animals.

This last chart contains the secrets to the universe. Do not let it get into the hands of those who cannot control their powers ie. Sylar.

This last chart contains the secrets to the universe. Don't show Sylar.

wow. totally got distracted by some riveting charts. i was thinking of blowing a few of these up to A2 and getting them block mounted in my house. anyway, well done to whomever made the decisions on Summer Loving. that police lady shaking her boobies was the best thing to happen to my TV since i stopped watching TV way back in the late nineties.

i want a man who gets together with his choir buddies and drinks brandy in tea cups before breaking into a solo. and if i didn’t want a man like that, i would want to BE a man like that.

big, f-ing NOT. but what the hell was klipdrift thinking? that they would make The Great South African Ad? that they would with one fell, swooping television disaster wreak havoc upon attitudes that judge a bunch of men singing songs and clutching teacups as lame? did they think they were going to Change History? i will eat my own hair – all of it – in front of the person who shows me any culture or subculture in the world that aspires to sing in a male choir and drink brandy in tea cups.

Nothing like a spot of brandy eh chaps? Toodle-loo!

Nothing like a spot of brandy eh chaps? Toodle-loo!

well, maybe i am being a little hasty. klipdrift could be starting a trend right under my nose. maybe i am being narrow-minded and ‘not open to new things’. maybe i ‘live under a rock’ and this is ‘what the men of today are vibing to’. it could very well be the case. living out here at the bleeding edge is almost like being a late majority laggard. on the bleeding edge the trends reach you so early you don’t even know they’re trends. same vibe on the laggard side except well… you get the picture.

This curves about facebook but youll find facebook in every trend so *shrug*

This curve's about facebook but you'll find facebook in every trend so *shrug*

“Never underestimate your audience. Most of the time they are smarter than you simply by virtue of the fact that they don’t give a shit about what you have to say.” – David Ogilvie

maybe i just have inherent issues with men harmonising. too many bishops eisteddfods will do that to you. sometimes i wake up sweating from a nightmare where four pubescent boys are serenading me alternately with Elton John and James. my boyfriend has had to unpick the sheets from my semi-epileptic claws. men should never harmonise, unless all men involved are Justin Timberlake.

would never be caught dead drinking anything out a teacup.

JT: would never be caught dead drinking anything out a teacup. 'cept maybe Grey Goose.

Film review: How to get ahead in Advertising. Excuse the weird code at the top. Don’t know wtf. Something to do with the font no doubt. There’s always something about the font. Sigh. Deciding to embrace it. Added a ‘Build character’ tag to this post.


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Watched ‘How to get ahead in advertising’ last night. Thought it would give me all sorts of handy tips and tricks, kind of like ‘Hey Whipple, Squeeze This’ did (the book, not the movie. Tho it would make a very useful movie). Tips like ‘Strike while the iron is hot’ which means you should write your headlines while you’re feeling inspired, or while you’re high on cocaine instead of making stupid conversation in the toilets at the agency xmas party.

Categorically incapable of Keeping It Real.

Richard E Grant: Categorically incapable of Keeping It Real.

I’m not sure my how my agency would respond to me writing headlines at the Christmas party. Think they might ostracize me for life. Good thing I don’t work at the kind of agency that encourages or perpetuates drug use. I don’t think I’d ever be naturally inspired to write headlines while at any kind of party.

They should have called the movie ‘How to get severely agitated by watching Richard E Grant get all crazy like he did in Withnail and I’. Because that would be a really accurate descriptor of what kind of take-out you can expect from the film.

Still from the movie Withnail and I, the prequel to How to get Ahead in Advertising.

Still from the movie Withnail and I, the prequel to How to get Ahead in Advertising.

They could have also called it ‘Representation of the pathetic dude at every party who never knows when to stop’ and ‘Character study of a self-obsessed alcoholic idiot who appeals to submissive females with no self-esteem who are suckers for any kind of eloquent opinion’ or even ‘Most unrealistic marriage ever’ or ‘If you know anyone in Advertising who takes their job this seriously, kick them in the face’. The script writer managed to miss a very basic truth. No matter how passionate a copywriter you may be, you are only making ads. Not art. Nothing that warrants the kind of fuss Richard E Grant made.

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Am really disappointed. There are so few Hollywood glamourisations of my career out there. I really thought this would inspire me to be the best copywriter I can be. Instead it made me want to phone my mother and tell her we’re not all like that. I also wanted to phone everyone I know and make amends, as if I had just realized the error of my ways via association.

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Zany and passionate and likes to hold eggs. Thats how passionate. And creative. And zany.

"So crazy I hold eggs."

It made me want to stop smoking, even though I already have stopped smoking. It made me fully comprehend the words “No one likes a know-it-all” really and truly, for the first time in my life. It made me want to think about never having an opinion on anything ever again.

It also made me draw Grant parallels. I thought about how Richard E Grant can only play one type of character, and how Hugh Grant can also only play one type of character. Then I generalized that that’s the case with most actors / actresses out there. Generalizing is always a good way to make ideas immediately relevant to you, yourself, because as I was sipping my first Vida e Double Mucho Meia de Leite Skinny Wet it occurred to me how it was prob true that most writers only have one style of writing ie. One type of character. So I feel inspired to work on my versatility. Gonna write some poems, some haikus, maybe a short story.

I’m gonna write love letters as if I was a grizzly bear in love. Not for versatility though, more because Mark asked me to do them for his Grand Daddy Bear-themed hotel room. Grawr. Snort. Ftttl.

Did no one tells Richard about staring too long into the abyss vibes and how it stares back? Think Richard E IS the abyss.

Did no one tell Richard about staring too long into the abyss vibes? Think Richard E IS the abyss.