TRANSPLANNIVERSARY – THE BLOG POST

Yesterday, 19th August 2014, marked the day of my first transplanniversary (the first anniversary of my bone marrow transplant).  I had big plans –  my first Nando’s in over a year, balloons and a stack of glazed donuts in place of a cake (numeral candle and everything). 

Unfortunately, I spent the bulk of the day trying not to throw up and being generally fatigued and bedridden.  This didn’t stop my lovely mother inviting everyone over to the house to celebrate in my honour.  I shall consider this my (her?) ‘Nero fiddling while Rome burned’ moment though I have no idea what that even means or would entail.  I just like know that I like saying/writing/typing ‘Nero fiddling while Rome burned’.

When I finally arose I opted for my first Chinese takeaway in over eighteen months, much against medical advice, and spent the night worrying I had food poisoning.  This also came with my first fortune cookie in over twenty something years (yes, that’s right, I have never, in my young adult life, had a fortune cookie).  Having snapped the crusty, pastry treat in twain I saw the fateful words ‘TOMORROW WILL BE A GOOD TO GET THINGS DONE.‘ which is definitely the universe telling me it’s ok to procrastinate and is was infinitely reassuring.  It looks like tomorrow (now today) is a good day to get Nando’s done too because I’m off out for a bit.  Wish me luck. I’m going to need it.

PS I spent today wrangling with the bone marrow balloons and a stuffed toy to produce this picture.  I’m prouder of it than I probably should be but I still think it’s great.

kermUP

PPS Night well and truly Marrowed

 

a few of my favourite things (digital)

I was recently asked what my favourite ad was and to make a short story long, I decided to turn it into a blog post/series.  It’s going to be nothing if not subjective because otherwise, what’s the point?  If you want to find the best/most awarded/most popular ads of their type then Google, my friend, is your friend.  A warning, Diesel’s BE STUPID is easily my favourite campaign of all time so even though I’m going to put together a post for each genre (and some made up ones of my own), be prepared to see variations on a Diesel theme quite a bit.

DIGITAL

Of all the types of ads I should be most clued up on it’s Digital.  With all the time I spend online I should have an arsenal of well thought out critiques of and opinions on the all digital offerings but this is where I’m probably most biased.  As a Mozilla user (God knows why) I’ve missed out on properly experiencing things I should love like Build With Chrome, to name one.  The Wilderness Downtown and Take This Lollipop are both amazing but far too creepy for my liking.  That leaves the way for your favourite and mine, Diesel.  If you’re looking for other cool digital projects you can cut out the middle man/Google and go straight to B Reel and Stink Digital’s archives.  You won’t regret it.

As far as I know the Diesel 100 Lovers interactive catalogue cum music video was the first of its kind.  It’s an idea that’s since been often emulated/copied (depending on how kind you’re feeling) and it’s not hard to see why.  It’s a simple idea on the surface (with an impressive technical underbelly I’m sure) but exactly what you want when shopping for clothes – the ability to see them in action.  Sure, ASOS have their video catwalk but you want more than someone walking in a line.  You can hover over the dancers to find out more about them, and the clothes they’re wearing.  If you want you can, well, could, click through to shop the item online.  It’s a definite case of John Willshere’s ‘make things people want, don’t make people want things’ in action and it’s why it works and why I like it so much. The non-interactive video version is below but the lovely men and women at Stink Digital have archived the project for your pleasure.  Experience it in at its interactive glory here.

If that’s not enough, ASOS’s Urban Tour took it a step further showing the clothes on breakdancing models.  It’s also by Stink Digital and they’ve been nice enough to archive that too so you can play along.  Enjoy!

more from the series here

a few of my favourite things (TV)

I was asked recently what my favourite ad was and to make a short story long, I decided to turn it into a blog post/series.  It’s going to be nothing if not subjective because otherwise, what’s the point?  If you want to find the best/most awarded/most popular ads of their type then Google, my friend, is your friend.  A warning, Diesel’s BE STUPID is easily my favourite campaign of all time so even though I’m going to put together a post for each genre (and some made up ones of my own), be prepared to see variations on a Diesel theme quite a bit.

 TV

So having started with my favourite category, Print, I thought TV ads would be a great place to not quite start from.  They seem to be the type of ads people are most exposed to and might actually have some opinion on.  I get the feeling too that when people ask what your favourite ad is they’re expecting you to say something from TV.  It also gives you a break from DIESEL ads because they are too cool to make ads for the telly.  The ads below are pretty much joint favourites.  Some of the older Guinness ads are a close third, especially Surfer or Swimmer (though I wish it were in black and white).

(Arbitrarily) First up is Sony Vaio’s Balls (quiet in the back).  It’s a pretty obvious choice as it’s well known and well liked but I didn’t particularly like it when it first came out.  I don’t think I really ‘got it’ and the contrarian, and The Knife fan, in me objected to the song choice.  Since looking into it more for my first ad agency interview(s), which went terribly, thanks for asking, I fell in love with it.  As a production fan (there must be a better way to word that) I appreciated the filming/editing/direction which is so important for such a visual ad selling such a visual ad.  Then I came across a making of/behind the scenes video while doing some research.  It was so amazing to me because I genuinely love seeing how things are made.  I just cannot get enough of it.  I also love when people actually do things rather than relying on CGI and special effects.  Seeing it at normal speed it is pure carnage, pure beautiful carnage.  It’s crazy to think a shoot that involved riot shields for the camera people’s protection was edited into something so calming.

My second favourite is another popular one.  So popular I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say they don’t like it.  It’s become such a huge cultural phenomenon that for some (many?) people, myself included, the Christmas season hasn’t started until it has graced our screens. Yeah, it’s that Coke ad with the trucks and the singing.  It’s equally, but differently, cinematic than the Sony ad and just as calming.  It rams in so much Christmas that it should be unbearable but it’s just as sweet as the sugary brown syrup.   They’ve updated the concept in the past few years but it’s not quite the same.  Hopefully this is just the ad version of the New Coke/Coke Classic ‘fiasco’ and we’re see the old school ads back soon.

more from the series here

a few of my favourite things (print)

Yesterday I was asked what my favourite ad was and to make a short story long, I decided to turn it into a blog post/series.  It’s going to be nothing if not subjective because otherwise, what’s the point?  If you want to find the best/most awarded/most popular ads of their type then Google, my friend, is your friend.  A warning, Diesel’s BE STUPID is easily my favourite campaign of all time so even though I’m going to put together a post for various genres/categories, be prepared to see variations on a Diesel theme quite a bit.

PRINT

I probably like print ads more than is normal/appropriate so decided to start with that.  As a lover of magazines, photography and (good) advertising it should be no surprises the Diesel BE STUPID magazine campaign is here.  And to be honest if I had to choose to my favourite ad in any medium, this would be it.  I love the imagery, the wordplay, the typography, the bold colours. I just love everything about it. I am a total BE STUPID fanboy and I will defend it to the bloody, needless death.

I absolutely love the attitude and sense of fun and how different it is from the Lee and Wrangler school of the Olde Wilde West TM school of selling denim.  It helps that I’m the clear target audience but having seen these ads for the first time while living in the medieval time warp that is Siena they stood out to be for all the right reasons.  It was also the first time I really thought about the fact that people were paid to make this stuff and it blew my tiny mind. It makes me kind of sad this was the only campaign Diesel worked with Anomaly on.  Would really loved to see where they could have taken this next, especially given the campaign that followed.

stupidgrid

A not so close second place goes to the Moncler dog campaign for pretty much the same reasons as above.  It’s fun with a great sense of humour and dogs  I love that a high end brand has taken such an irreverent attitude to their product, using a dog version to sell the real jacket.  I’m not sure if Moncler ever sold the dog version but I prefer to think they didn’t.  The idea they made special doggy versions for the ads is amazing to me.  I love dogs, so I was always going to love this but it’s a nice touch they used photographer Bruce Weber who is known for his love of dogs.  His name gives an added fashion touch too but mostly DOGS.

monclerdoggrid

more from the series here

x this y or the z gets it

I’m going to preface this post with the no brainer that I am against all forms animal cruelty.  So much that, as much as I love them, I’m against the breeding of brachycephalic (read – smushy faced) dogs.  Even pedigree breeding is pretty terrible now that I think about it.  Long live the mutts and rescues! Part awesome, part amazing with a dash of incredible.

It also goes without saying that threatening to electrocute a puppy to make someone watch your ad is pretty shameless. Luckily, the following pre-roll ad from Nail Communications handles the tricky idea, and cute puppy, with humour that just about lets them get away with it.  It helps, of course, that watching long enough not to shock the pup also makes for a donation to the ASPCA.  Everydoggy wins.  Maybe every pussy too.

It reminds me of one of my favourite, controversial magazine covers by National Lampoon which has a slightly more upfront threat.  The dog giving that side eye really makes the image for me and saves it from being pretty horrific.  The ASME seems to like it too and voted it 7th in the top 40 covers of the last 40 years (in 2005 mind) though I’d like to think it’ll still be there when the top 50 of the last 50 years comes round.  Would be interesting to see if they’d get away with a cover like that these days.  In honour or National Lampoon, #aphotoadayofkermitinmay and my love of mashups/crossovers below is Kermit’s take on the shocking cover.  I could always do with a bit more attention too.

nationalkermpoon

i like short shorts

In keeping with the topic at hand I’ll keep this short (short).  Channel 4 is starting an online series of (short) shorts, coming in at just a few minutes long.  They’ve made a cheeky little ad (puns intended) to promote it with plenty of shorts (in the non-film sense of the word). 

WARNING : the following short(s) contain(s) bottoms and in some cases, may contain nuts *titter*