Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Wash your troubles away

This is such a lovely little spot from a washing up liquid. And very topical too. It breaks my heart to see marine animals washing up dead because of oil spills or any man made disaster. BP are evil in my mind and that's all there is to it. You would think that they would have planning in place for events like this. If you can't plan for such events, you shouldn't have pipelines across the sea beds.

A few years ago I stayed in a beach house in Florida. Every day we swam among shoals of fish in the sea and went down to sit on an old pier where giant sea turtles and even a manatee would visit us. We felt so close to nature, and it gave us such joy. Then in the third week we went into the sea and it looked strangely cloudy. The next day there were mounds of dead fish and eels all down the shoreline. All the beautiful animals we had swum with were dead. They had been starved of oxygen by a huge blanket of algae on the sea called the red tide. We spoke to a local who told us it was getting worse every year and it was the fault of the government who let huge amounts of fertilizers be used on the land which washed into the sea and fed the algae. I can only imagine the harm the oil slick has done in the Gulf of Mexico but I find it funny that it hasn't been a bigger story all over the world. I haven't seen front page newspaper articles showing marine animals covered in oil. I wonder if BP are even more powerful than we think.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Dove - Beauty Pressure

Dove continue to do good work in promoting healthy body images to women. Here they show the onslaught of perfect body imagery children face in their daily lives. And leave you with the message that you should talk to your children about body image and beauty before the industry gets them.

A while back I went for a hypnotherapy session. I wanted to sort out a habit I have of obsessing over my skin. Every night I look at every pore in the mirror before I go to sleep and feel miserable about every imperfection. It drives Fiance mental. Anyway the hypnotherapist told me to think of the first time when I could remember something happening with my skin. I told her I was 6 and my mother was holding me down and squeezing my face between her nails. It hurt like hell. She wasn't being cruel - she had seen a blackhead. The message I had taken from this was that blackheads were something dirty, something that HAD to be gotten rid of, something that you got punished for. The hynotherapist then asked me to imagine myself aged six playing in the garden with a bit of mud on my face, she asked me if 6 year old me was ugly with the mud on her face. I said no, she is beautiful and then I cried. I cried until tears rolled down my cheeks. The hynotherapist asked me why I was crying and I said, "because I've lost her". I didn't feel that that was me any more. I wasn't the same happy little girl, I wasn't beautiful any more. The hypnotherapist told me that that's all blackheads were - a little bit of mud on your face. You are still beautiful. You are still you. You are still the same person. You've just forgotten.

Anyway I guess my point is that little things when you're small, have a huge effect on your self-image as an adult. So as a parent you need to tread carefully and make sure your children always feel beautiful. And that includes, as Dove point out, telling them that the women in adverts and magazines have been airbrushed and painted and that normal people have flaws and that those flaws are what make them unique and beautiful.

Email scammers- the most hilarious one I've yet received!

I love the fact that not only are they trying to scam me out of giving them personal information, they are also telling me off for supposedly doing something illegal. Brilliant! But I am still reporting them.

"Dear Sir/Madam,

This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract file presently on my desk, and I found out that you have not received your payment due to your lack of co-operation and not fulfilling the obligations giving to you in respect to your contract payment.
Secondly, you are hereby advised to stop dealing with some non-officials in the bank as this is an illegal act and will have to stop if you so wish to receive your payment After the Board of directors ' meeting held in Abuja,we have resolved in finding a solution to your problem..

We have arranged your payment through our ATM CARD PAYMENT CENTRE in Europe , America, Africa and Asia Pacific ,This is part of an instruction/mandate passed by the Senate in respect to overseas contract payment and debt re-scheduling.

We will send you an ATM CARD which you will use to withdraw your money via ATM MACHINE in any part of the world,and the maximum daily limit is Fifteen Thousand United States Dollars($15,000.00) valued sum at One Million United States Dollars {$1,000,000.00}.

If you desire to receive your fund this way,Kindly re-confirm your :

(1) Your Full Name.
(2) Full residential address.
(3) Phone And Fax Number .
(4) Occupation and Date of Birth.

You will find below the person to contact regarding your Atm Card.

Name: Mr.Jerry Taylor

Email: ( )

Cell phone , +234-8025389355 Make sure you call him .

He will be expecting to receive your information as you have to stop any further communication with anybody or officer.

Thanks for your co-operation.

BEST REGARDS, Mrs.Ruth Joseph "

Sorry that your board of directors is having meetings about my lack of cooperation Mrs Ruth Joseph. How about you give the police in the UK a little call and explain the problem to them?

Dannii Minogue does M&S

I love the M &S Women's fashion advertising. I also love Danni Minogue. M&S's latest advert brings them together - yes Dannii is the new M&S girl. Now in the television advert they have managed to keep a pregnant Dannii Minogue sexy. But there is a problem. We are all used to seeing Dannii look perfect - in those gorgeous long flowing dresses by expensive designers on the X Factor - with hair that, as Dannii puts it, has a "career of it's own". Dannii usually looks like a Goddess. And yet here, on the M&S adverts, she looks pretty normal. Don't get me wrong some outfits are brilliant. The pencil dress really does sharp tailoring well, the hat is so Dannii, but the green summer dress? I wouldn't wear that. It's so mumsey. Yes Dannii is pregnant but she is a superstar known for her fashion. She's not your boyfriend's frumpy Mum! On Sunday I was walking down South Bank London and was accosted by a huge poster of Dannii in that dress. What a mistake. If Dannii can't make that M&S dress look good then noone can - the message is that M&S makes gorgeous women look frumpy. Well done Marks and Sparks. What an achievement.

The dress:

The still lovely TV ad:

Dannii being a brilliant spokesperson and saying all the things that are music to M&S's ears:

How we know and love Dannii on the X Factor - even showing Cheryl Cole a thing or two about fashion!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

To go in for the second kiss, or not. That is the question.

So sexy actor left after a new record. CD and Senior Creative got handshakes, lucky Producer got a double kiss which she found slightly embarrassing. And that got us all into a discussion about the problem of saying goodbye.

Once upon a time the British were all about the formal handshake. People knew where they were in those days. Men shook hands, and kissed ladies gloves, if not there was a lot of bowing or nodding or doffing one's hat. These days it's not so simple. We have come over all French - one kiss, two kisses, a kiss and a hug - it's all to play for. And this uncertainty means that we regularly have moments of awkwardness when someone goes to kiss left the other goes to kiss on the right and, oh dear, they accidently snog, or someone kisses someone's earhole or heads are banged together. I tend to do a bewildered dithering where I change my mind about which cheek to kiss in quick succession making people think I'm having a funny turn.

Senior Creative said that he had an embarrassing moment when a woman he had known through his sports team only 2 weeks went in for the kiss and actually talked him though the moment "and now we'll kiss again on the other cheek" as if he were an idiot.

The other problem with the cheek kissing phenomenon is what kind of kiss - is it a loudly said theatrical "mwaa mwaaa"? Is it a kiss in air that sounds like a real kiss? Is it an actual kiss of the person's cheek (spare Aunties and drooling Grandmas go for this one I've noticed). Or is it simply a case of resting your cheek against the other person's for a second and making no pretence of anything to do with the lips? Or there's always the option that Amanda and Myleen have gone for in the above picture - the "I actually hate you and think you're a germ ridden syphilitic crack whore" kiss where you kiss the as far away from the other person as possible - so much so that you end up in different time zones. And should different kisses be reserved for different occasions?

What we really need is a set of rules laid out in a handy pocket book which can be taught in schools and then carried around for moments where you panic and end up French kissing your friend's new boyfriend.

VO recording -

This week has been mainly consumed by voice-over recording.
This involves conversations with talent managers that go like this:

Us: "Hi we'd like to call in Bobby Boverine for a casting tomorrow".
Agent: What's the product?
Us: It's a secret.
Agent: Errr...ok, what's the pay?
Us: I'm sorry I can't say.
Agent: Well Bobby is very busy at the moment. He's currently promoting his new film "the fourth nipple", he has several parties at Jack Nicholson's house, and he is also in rehearsals for the west End version of East 17 the Musical. If you can't promise us that it's not nappy rash cream or erectile disfunction pills then it's a waste of Bobby's time.
Us (to eachother): The agent is being very difficult. Tut'd think they'd be pleased...

Anyway despite these difficulties we did manage to get hold of two famous actors at short notice:

Famous actor number 2 is a bit gorgeous. That's really why the Producer and I put him forward. He's posh, blonde and has had a starring role as a brave intelligent high flying heart throb in a long running British TV series. We presented his VO library to our Creative Director with the caveat - "it really doesn't do him justice". So there I was on the Monday morning at the swanky recording studio, nervously and excitedly nibbling on the free grapes and (taking advantage of the free food) ordering bacon butties waiting to meet him. Senior creative turns to me. "I'm just here for the ride. You direct him and I'll add anything that I need to". GULP! I have to direct him!

So he turns up all sweaty in his motorbike leathers, running his hands through his floppy hair and shaking hands with us before stripping off. It's like a commercial already! He's taller and broader than he looks on the TV and very polite and enthusiastic about the product - he's probably glad it's not nappy rash cream. He's probably also smelling the cash! I decide the only way is to look and sound confident - he'll never know that I have hardly ever given an actor directions before let alone directed a famous actor! And off we go. Senior Creative chips in as I run out of ideas. But it's all gone rather swimmingly. Producer and I are slightly in love and I keep saying "that was great!" - and then it's over. he's finished his bacon buttie and is climbing back into his leathers. He did tell us however that he was arguing with his wife recently and he smashed his phone in frustration...must be a sign that we're in!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Things I believe

A while back my friend Laura posted an exercise she made her class at school do. It's called I believe. All you do is write a list of all the things you truly believe. Two years later and I thought I'd read through what I wrote...and I still think everything I wrote is true. Here is what I still believe. Now tell me what you believe.

I believe that family are the most important thing.
I believe that my friends are all wonderful people.
I believe that there are such things as soul mates, there is only one for each person. 99% of people won't ever meet them.
I believe that my parents couldn't have done a better job raising me.
I believe that the world will never ever be fair, or free from violence or prejudice.
I believe my mum was an angel.
I believe that advertising can be a good thing (thankyou Nick)
I believe that you have a choice whether to fall in love or not.
I believe that wearing yellow makes makes me happy.
I believe in showing off your body while you are young and it's beautiful.
I believe I become a more introverted insecure person when I put my glasses on.
I believe that this country needs a young-ish prime minister.
I believe in God. Or at least I really really try to.
I believe that for the rest of my life I will be waiting for the rest of the people I love to die.
I believe that the nicest people aren't the most successful.
I believe i will never have a friend like my mother.
I believe half my emotions are so analysed they are fake.
I believe I might have a little binge drinking problem.
I believe that swansea is a truly wonderful place and that people who diss it and have never been there are regrettably prejudiced.
I believe that Wales will always be my home.
I believe that alcohol has done me a lot of good but nowadays not so much.
I believe a hell of a lot of stuff which I wouldn't write on facebook.

Terrorism - it's a funny business.

Here is the trailer for a new British movie called Three Lions. It's about a group of terrorists who are pretty rubbish. There is a bit of debate as to whether it is right to turn terrorism into the subject of humour but that's what us Brits do. If in doubt - turn it all into a joke. I actually think it's a great way of undermining terrorist groups - the more we take the piss - the more stupid they look. Just think of Craig hold on...I'm actually getting to a point here...if we can ruin someone's career in Britain by taking the piss out of them..then why can't we spoil the career of a suicide bomber with humour too? Someone who dies for the cause shouldn't be taken seriously. They should be derided. Mocked. So that is why I will be laughing out loud at this film in the cinema. Anyway enjoy!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Robin of Shoreditch saving Haiti the creative way

Robin has come up with a new way of Creatives getting a piece of the charity action. I mean why leave it up to the pop stars right? We can do what we do best in return for funds for charity. We too can be heroes!

Here's the video which explains the basic idea.

The 100 Brands Project from Robin of Shoreditch on Vimeo.

You can also watch some of the ideas that Robin has produced. ANd I must say - some are good - some not so good. A lot of them seem to be about making a brand more earth-friendly rather than really generating sales. They fall into the trap of making brands do fluffy things that creatives want to do rather than actually making money. My question is, if you are producing 100 ideas how well do you know those brands? Because the advertising agencies that work for them REALLY know them and will probably already have covered your idea. So then the brand ends up giving money out of pure charity rather than paying for a service. Robin, I worked on BlackBerry and your idea isn't new. And Blackberry rejected it years ago. Saying that I do like the idea for Morgan Stanley - I wonder if their ad agency like it?

And overall, Robin well done, You did have an original idea - the concept as a whole is great. The thinking on particular brands? A little first thought-ish/ student book-ish.

Monday, 10 May 2010

but it's not just's very old fashioned, shaky and made with paper and hamsters

Look Google Chrome is not only super fast, it's also made of paper and hamsters. Never knew that now did you!

More lovely strangeness from BBH. Although I don't think this advert is entirely original - think Honda cogs, think that music video wot I can't remember the name of (regular readers I did a post on it last month).

How fast is Google Chrome - as fast as sound, as fast as lightening, as fast as a cheetah who's had his cheerios!

Lovely idea very well executed. Just shows how you can take a simple context and stretch the execution.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

The cutest lottery advert in the whole wide world.

Oh yes it is! You are a little cutie! You know you are!

And now for something serious.

People - it's called a road it's a rainbow road and we all go there when we die.

Thanks to for this weirdness.

Better get to know Spike Jonze

Every time my colleagues reference any director it always seems to be Spike Jonze. Now I am ashamed to say that I have only recently become acquainted with him. So just in case anyone else has missed out here are some lovely Spike Jonze adverts to watch...

Ikea advert by Spike Jonze.

GAP ad by Spikey baby:

Adidas by the Jonzemeister (we know him really well by now so nicknames are allowed)

Oh and there is a small matter of a supposed-to-be very good children's film: