Thursday, 14 November 2013

Jean-Claude Van Damme - DAMN!

This man is 53. And he is doing frickin' crazy stunts like this....Is this for real???
Anyway it's a great idea to show off the Volvo truck's dynamic steering.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

I had a crush on you in Primary School.

I just read a lovely article in The Guardian by Caitlin Moran in which she told the story of her first love. Read it here. And it made me think it would be quite fun to write about my own. A confessional if you will. So here goes. Here's everyone I loved at primary school.

Age 5.
Living in Reading aged 5 I loved a cross-eyed little boy in the year below. I think his name was Peter. I never talked to Peter but I used to look at him and think that when he grew up he'd look like Prince Charming from Disney's Cinderella. That's when I would swoop in and marry him. By then his eyes would be sorted I presumed. This thought that my future was already a dead cert made me feel all content inside. I never got to find out if I was right though as, at the age of 6, my family cruelly moved me to Swansea. That's when my love life went to pot. Thanks family.

Age 6.
Aged 6 I had a dream that I woke up, got out of bed, opened the cupboard and a little green alien was standing inside. This green alien was David Bowie (I'd been watching the Labyrinth a lot). He had come to feed me medicine which would kill me. Weirdly enough I woke up and, instead of crying, realised that I was in love with David Bowie. I was very aware that there was a huge age gap between us. So I prayed to God to make him cryogenically freeze David Bowie so that he could be defrosted at a time when I was old enough to marry him. God let me down.

Age 7.
My friend Julia and I used to play with a boy called Eddie in our class. One day we both decided we wanted to go out with him. We didn't really know what "going out with meant" so we saw no reason why we couldn't do a group arrangement. So I ran up to him at breaktime and said, "Eddie will you go out with Julia and I?" Eddie replied, "No!", then ran to tell our friend Jessie who actually was going out with him. We had not known this. After that we didn't play together any more.

Aged 9.
This is when I had a crush on a blonde boy in the year above. I can't remember this boy's name but he was the best friend of the coolest boy in school who used to win the Eisteddfod every year with his choir boy voice. I thought the fact that I loved his best friend instead meant I had more discerning taste than every other child. That year I managed to get into the folk dancing school team and so did he so this meant lots of time on coaches to dance events mooning over blonde boy. Then he went to secondary school never even having looked at me.

Aged 10.
The coolest boy in my class was called Robert. He and his best friend Satvinda used to sit by me and think of ways to humiliate me. One day they asked me, "Aimee, have you ever seen a Peacock?". Wise to the fact this question was not an innocent one I thought carefully about my reply. It must be a test to see how worldly I was, I thought. "Yes", I replied smiling, "in the park". To this they burst out laughing, "haha, Aimee saw a cock in the park!" Fail. In the following year one of Robert's friends came up to me in class and told me, "Robert said he fancies you". Me? Well I obviously forgot all the mockery of the previous year and fell a little bit in love with him. But I was way to shy to do anything so I promised myself that when I got to secondary school I'd start having boyfriends.

yes. Everything would be great at Secondary School....

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Mercedes Benz Chicken Dance

When I was a student my creative partner Liz and I had a book that was made up almost entirely of adverts featuring animals. Yes we were obsessed with all things furry and feathery. Perhaps that's why I really love this advert for Mercedes Benz. Such a clever way of demonstrating a product point without even showing the product. GENIUS...and so entertaining. 

Courage Indeed.

Oh it's been so long since I last blogged that I almost forgot how to embed a video. 
Time flies when you're in LA, doing up your house, tackling problems with cats pissing on your bean bags and putting ikea furniture together. 

Anyway I wanted to take time to post this little film about courage made by Graphic Designer, Photographer & Filmmaker Miriam Abrahams. It really is a brilliant take on the word courage. I don't think I could have done it.  Watch with sound - the two little kids are so cute.

Chop Chop from Miriam Abrahams on Vimeo.

All the comments below this video are asking to see how she fixed what the kids did to her. I was so desperate to see how she had it fixed that I trawled her website. Please post an afterwards picture Miriam! 

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

There are bad things out there but they don't stop us.

This advert by insurance provider Allstate is rather cute. It has a simple message and a really beautiful voice over by a child. There are bad things in life, but rather than avoid them, people every day go about living their lives and enjoying them rather than being fearful. Accidents do happen. Be prepared but don't stop what you are doing. This ad is like a little bit of therapy isn't it?

Using a child VO I think is clever. We automatically listen to what kids have to say. We are ready to be charmed.

Nice work Leo Burnett Chicago.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

I do believe he's making off with my Grey Poupon!!

When I tried to write the title of this post spellcheck turned the word "Poupon" into pompom three times. And that my friends would have been a whole 'nother story.

This advert by Crispin Porter and Bogusky is for Grey Poupon mustard which is so tres posh that it is made with white wine. The advert imagines what happened after the cameras stopped rolling on their old 1981 posh guy in a car advert. It really also shows how the times, tastes and the expectations of the buying public have changed. Once audiences could be impressed into buying a mustard just by seeing a toff eating it in a car. Now the toffs are comedy characters and a James Bond-esque car chase is required. Oh we are so demanding these days.

As a little bonus there is also another insider mustard fan joke - one of the guys from the original ad appears in a cameo role jumping out of the way on the golf course.

The ad has been nominated for Most Outstanding Commercial at the Emmy Awards.

Part 1 - the 1981 original.

Part 2 - The lost footage!

“It’s like, I’m Joan, and their vag is the ark.”

Tampon adverts have come a long way since rollerskating and riding ponies whilst enjoying a happy period. First we had the Bodyform advert taking the piss out of their own older advertising. Now we have this extremely funny advert for Hello Flo - a company who produce period packages.

In it we see a young teenage girl who is at summer camp when she gets her period. Since she is first she becomes Camp Gyno dealing tampons like they are drugs and bullying the other girls by controlling the supply chain.

This advert is not only surprising because it is really funny. But also because it's the first advert that features young girls who have just got their periods rather than beautiful model-like adults of about 25. It also has them using words like "vagina". Hooray! Why shouldn't girls talk about their bodies and tell it like it is? I am very impressed. What a step forward.

The advert was shot by marquis and Mccelland and produced at Hayden 5.

And here, if you still haven't seen it is the Bodyform advert.

Seen any other impressive modern tampon adverts? Send em my way. 

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Amanda Palmer my new feminist hero.

I am a girl who has always picked feminist idols to look up to. Over the years I've collected a few. Here they are for mutual admiration.

1. Jane Austen, Author

Damn she was a clever woman our Jane. And she has just been recognised as one of our greatest national figures by the sexist Royal Mint. She will be the new face of £10 notes. Austen's writing poked fun at the establishment and the precarious role of women who's futures hung at the mercy of often very stupid or roguish men. Not only that, she actually turned down an offer of marriage, just like her heroine Elizabeth Bennet. Girl had balls.

2. Madonna, Singer

Madonna is a bitch and a diva isn't she? She's also pretty demanding and extreme. But fuck what people say about her, she knows how to do the showbiz thing. She's the master of reinvention and she's battled to stay at the top for three decades. She's strong. She does things her way and isn't scared of criticism. She never apologises and she loves sex and her body and has hot toy boys. Go Madge!

2. Lady Gaga, Singer
Lady Gaga says she is a feminist. She doesn't dress for men to gawp at like most female singers. She dresses for the theatre and spectacle, to show off her creativity and to push boundaries. She hasn't used her looks to get where she is, she has used her brain. She's also a champion for gay rights and someone who gives those who don't fit the mould someone to relate to.

3. Caitlin Moran, Journalist and Author
Moran's book "How to be a Woman" is extremely funny, self depreciating and charming. At the same time it is also a book which tells women to embrace who they are, to accept the fact they are natural women with faults and quirks. She argues that we shouldn't look like barbie dolls with no public hair, we are women not children! Plus she shares my instinctive love for Lady Gaga.

4. NEW ENTRY Amanda Palmer, Singer.
Amanda Palmer's songs are clever and funny and about true life. What US rapper, X factor contestant or Pussy cat doll can say that? She has also spoken out in response to the Daily Mail's coverage of her performance at Glastonbury which failed to mention the music or her performance and solely concentrated on the fact that one of her boobs escaped her bra on stage. In a performance at the Round House she mocks The Daily Mail in a song called "Dear Daily Mail" in which she criticises them for objectifying women and reducing them to body parts. And in order to show how little she cares whether "shock horror" her boob escapes she drops her robe half way through the song. Look she says, come fight me now. Respect.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Detroit: Beautiful and Bust

So today came the news that the city of Detroit has filed for bankruptcy. It will mean that in future the stricken state will have difficulty raising cash, presumably much needed to stimulate economic growth in the area.

I have never visited Detroit but it sounds and looks like a place with a heart and a soul. It's no shiny metropolis or picture postcard. It has seen things, and it has endured suffering. I think I am partly drawn to it because I am from Swansea in South Wales. Swansea was once an important shipping port and at the heart of tin and copper mining. In fact it earned the nicknamed "Copperopolis". Now it is a city trying to reinvent itself as a tourist town. Its people, the great majority, are not wealthy and jobs are scarce. I imagine this is the case in Detroit too, once the proud centre of the nation's automobile industries.

There was a great advert by Chrysler which really should go back on the air following this news. It is a defiant rallying cry - we are not beaten, we will fight on.

The great thing about towns and cities that have suffered is the art that comes out of them - music, poetry, paintings, photography. Perhaps this is because artists are often said to produce their best work when they are anguished or have dark subject matters. There have been some beautiful art projects focusing on empty and abandoned homes in the suburbs of Detroit. Kevin Bauman's photography project entitled 100 Abandoned Houses was his attempt to document the forgotten areas of the city - often areas which were once inhabited by the wealthy, now in sad states of disrepair. Dreams that once were.

Another interesting project focusing on abandoned houses is Ice House Detroit. Artist Gregory Holm and architect Matthew Radune sprayed an abandoned house with gallons of water so that the entire house froze. The house is meant to symbolise the contemporary state of Detroit. Read their blog about the project here

Bankrupcy seems to be when a person/state/country reaches rock bottom. So Detroit, the only way is up. Maybe this is an exciting time. A time of crisis and change. Certainly it should make the US government sit up and take notice.

So Detroit, good luck. I look forward to seeing what you give the world next.


Friday, 12 July 2013

Ikea you are crazy like a coconut.

Awww so sad, look at this lamp. Tell me you don't feel sorry for it...

But you feel silly now huh? This advert was from 2002 and directed by Spike Jonze. Thank you to the Production department at work for reminding me of this one.

And while we are about it, here are some other really nice Ikea ads. Those crazy Scandinavians!

In this one its a poor naked man I am feeling sorry for. Get thee to Ikea naked homeless man!

In this Swedish one, you have to feel sorry for the man in the thong at the end. Poor man, he's gonna have to stay in that draw for a really long time.

In this one I am feeling sorry for myself. WHHHHYYY couldn't I have made this advert??? It's cool and I LOVE cats.

In this one there is simply no way to feel sorry for anyone. It's so happy!

Happy Friday xxx

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Dads in pants

When the weather gets warm (yes I know that doesn't happen much around these isles) there is every danger that your dad might cool down by wearing only his pants around the house. Or worse still, a friend's dad - even more awkward. Never fear here is the solution in this funny advert from BGH Argentina (I imagine this scenario is more of a risk there).

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Rock-Star Requests

Everyone knows what to put in a rock star diva's dressing rooms.  Yes, just the blue smarties - or so the joke goes. Henry Hargreaves however proves this is no exaggeration. He has created beautiful still life images in a classical style of the backstage requests of rock stars and divas. Some are rather modest (some gummy bears), some more extravagant, others are a little more telling (condoms and KY jelly).

Take a look

See more at Vice magazine

Britney Spears
Fish and chips, McDonald’s cheeseburgers without the buns, 100 prunes and figs, a framed photo of Princess Diana.

Busta Rhymes
Twenty-four pieces of fried chicken, Rough Rider condoms, Guinness.

Mariah Carey  
Cristal Champagne, bendy straws.

Van Halen 
Herring in sour cream, large tube of KY jelly, M&M's (Warning: absolutely no brown ones).

Thanks to my friend Thomas for this post. You rock man!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Adverts like soap operas.

There is a dream that copywriters and art directors and even clients share. And that dream is to create an advert that will not only sell the product in question, but be enjoyable to watch too. An advert that people are interested in seeing again, or look forward to the next. 

One technique is the soap opera. 
Daz tried it in their very low brow Eastenders type way - "who's been starching Sandy's draws? OH its the Milkman with his box of Daz". Kenco tried it with their boring love story. And BT tried it in their modern fuzzy family - taking on the step children way. But no one has done it like Prada darling. 

Prada's new advert for their scent Prada Candy is directed by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola. So of course it's good. Plus it's French - très chic. It tells the story of Candy who is courted by two men whom she can't choose between - after all they are very similar looking. The men are so smitten (she looks and smells divine) that neither will give up.  Get your popcorn ready.

Part 1.

So how will this relationship progress?  Find out in part 2!

Who will she choose? The guy who took her out or the one with great cake choosing skills? Find out in Part 3. 

Clever girl - who needs to choose anyway?

Thursday, 25 April 2013

The evolution of music

This sung journey through the ages is really clever and also really fun to listen to. The group are called Pentatonix and they from Texas (just thought you might want to know). Anyway enjoy.

Thank you to my friend Lele for this video.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Beautiful lies

So we all tell lies. 
Well Dailydishonesty at makes them beautiful. 
Here I've picked the ones which feature the lies I told in the last three months. Probably shouldn't admit to this really...

I came across these because I was looking for a typographical style to paint something that was said to me recently by a lovely friend. He said: "for what it's worth, I think you're a super hero wonder star. With rainbows and unicorns attached!" I am going to paint those words on a canvas and put them by my door to remind myself every day.

Tippex and Basement Jaxx

In the world of computers you forget that other people out there in schools and the suchlike are using Tippex. Ahhh Tippex - my books were adorned with the stuff - mainly because I couldn't spell.

So here is another brilliant online Tippex experience for you to enjoy. You have to open it in Youtube for it to work. And try a good few diff years - so funny. I got back to the Romans.

Hunter and Bear's birthday Party

What else have I been sent recently? Well I was also sent this very cool Basement Jaxx video. It's trippy man.

No there is no link between these two things in case you are wondering...apart from they both have an "x" in. Yeh see what I did there??

30 years old life crisis

Hi guys

I've been away for a while having a 30 years old crisis. Someone pointed out I'm rather young to be having a mid life crisis - so I guess this is more like a 1/3 life crisis.

So what have I done so far as a 30 year old? Well I learnt to drive for one. Then I broke up with my perfectly lovely boyfriend (yes I am insane), signed up to work at Glastonbury (my first time - I don't really do camping) and did some other things that it's best not to mention. One involves finding out someone I loved is actually a wanker. So that was very sad. The latest 1/3 life crisis thing I have done is spend £245 on a pair of shoes. They are REALLY nice. In two weeks I might buy myself a car. Then I will be unstoppable! All I can say is stay away from the roads in Swansea and London!

So here I am, a single, 30 year old driver who sleeps in tents. Craziness.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Gig Tribes

Photographer James Mollison's project  The Disciples, is a brilliant study of social groups coming together for concerts. He describes how the project began as such: 

Over three years I photographed fans outside different concerts. I was fascinated by the different tribes of people that attended them, and how people emulated celebrity to form their identity. As I photographed the project I began to see how the concerts became events for people to come together with surrogate 'families', a chance to relive their youth or try and be part of a scene that happened before they were born.

The result are these funny and kinda sweet portraits. 

It kinda makes you think about the people you know and how they fit in. I definitely know some Klaxon type people - I work in advertising. I also know some Oasis types. 

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

I got a blogging award

A Liebster award to be exact. And I was kindly nominated for it by Emily Lewis. My dear, we have the same surname! That makes me like you even more (and no she isn't my sister). So thank you very much to Emily Jayne Lewis at I Hate Ads.

So because this isn't The Golden Globes I will attempt to explain what this means: 

What is the Liebster Award?
The Liebster Award is given to new bloggers with less than 200 followers and therefore helps promote and support those bloggers nominated.

The Rules:
-Nominees must link back to the blogger who awarded them.
-If nominated, write '11 Random Facts' about yourself.
-Answer the 11 questions the person who nominated you wrote for you.
-Come up with 11 new questions to be answered by 11 new nominees.

Ok so here I go. 

11 Random Facts About Me:

1. The first album I ever bought was Dangerous by Michael Jackson. 
2. I love singing the ridiculous words to Chesney Hawk's "I am the One and Only".
3. I really love shows, films and books about witches and wizards.
4. Growing up I wanted to be Sarah from The Labyrinth SO MUCH!
5. When I was about 14 I got bullied so I made up an invisible dog friend called Seb to keep me company. He was a border collie.
6. If I won the lottery I'd become a painter.
7. When I was young I wanted to be a gipsy - I wanted to live in a caravan, sell lavender and travel around the country. When I realised this wasn't a career option I decided I wanted to be an actress. 
8. I've played a stripy alien, Daisy Meredith from Daisy Pulls it off, an oompaloompa, a 19th century teacher, a fairy, a Hitler youth, a chavvy murderer, a santa, a bin man, a child who can't talk, a massacre victim, a ghost, a Welsh dragon and a prostitute on stage. 
9. I really like those cheese and ham croissants from Pret. 
10. If I had a last meal on death row I'd choose my Dad's meatball curry. 
11. One of my favourite memories is dancing to T-rex with my family with my dad with a tea towel on his head strumming on a french loaf. 


And here's the answers to your questions Emily:

1. Who/what was your blogging inspiration? 
I started blogging because I wanted to work for a cool Advertising agency. At one such agency an interviewer asked me if I had a blog. I said no, I didn't get the job. 

2. What is your guilty pleasure? (Chocolate, Justin Bieber...?) 
My guilty pleasure is The Spice Girls. I love them. 

3. What was your fashion fail of all time history? 
So many to choose from...probably a navy long legged playsuit. I looked AWFULLY lumpy. But I refused to throw it out because it was fashionable...must throw it out.

4. What's in your handbag/manbag? 
Purse, blistex, pressed powder, an instruction manual for my dishwasher, the guarantee for my boiler, beats by dre headphones, an umbrella, a plug, tissues, lipgloss, glasses, keys. iPod. Yes, I need to empty it. 

5. What's the best advice you have ever been given?
"No matter if you have a job lined up or not, set yourself a deadline and leave" - the career's advice lady at Oxford University when I was so unhappy in my job that I went back to university to talk to the careers service.

6. How would you describe your style? 
UMMM...rock-pop comfy. 

7. What one item from your wardrobe can you not live without? 
There's not one thing I can't live without but my favourite item is s pair of Furry tasselled snow boots.

8. Do you prefer designer or high street?
High street. But was I rich it might be different.

9. If you were to model for a company/designer who would it be? 
Noone would have me. But if my body shape became miraculously fashionable I'd model for Alexander McQueen's brand. 

10. Do you have any tips on hair/beauty/fashion that you could share?
Ok - I have a stripe of purple hair on one side cut in about halfway so it's subtle. I've had a lot of compliments and it's quite unusual. 

11. What fashion item do you despise? 

So here are my nominees for an award: 

My questions for you are:

1) If you could interview anyone in the world who'd it be? 
2) If you won the lottery what would you do with your life?
3) What do you dream about in your sleep the most?
4) What are you scared of?
5) What is the song of your life?
6) What was your first ambition in life?
7) If you could snog one celeb, marry another and lock away another who would they be?
8) Which celebrity reality show would you go on if you were famous?
9) What do you eat for breakfast?
10) What is your favourite book?
11) The worst advice you've ever been given was what?

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

My 50 Top films

In the lull before Christmas my fellow copywriters and I put together lists of our top 25 books to make into a poster. It's quite a fun exercise if you are a bookworm like me - picking out the ones you love the most. 

Take a look at my list on my other blog The Copywriter's Bookshelf.

We then challenged each other to think of our top films. So here is my top 50 with directors and dates. Starting with my favourite of all time...oooooo David Bowie in those tight leggings and sexy eyeliner.....mmmmmmm. 

1. The Labyrinth, Jim Henderson (1986)
2. The Muppet Christmas Carol, Jim Henderson (1992)
3. Monster, Patty Jenkins (2003)
4. Moulin Rouge, Baz Luhrmann (2001)
5. Some Like it Hot, Billy Wilder (1959)
6.  Ferris Bueller’s Day off, John Hughes, (1986)
7.  The Shining, Stanley Kubrick, (1980)
8. The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan (2007)
9.  Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Michael Gondry (2005)
10. Edward Sissorhands, Tim Burton (1990)
11. Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson (2002)
12. Harry Potter franchise, Chris Columbus/Alfonso Cuaron/ Mike Newell/David Yates (2001-11)
13. This is Spinal Tap, Rob Reiner (1984)
14. Shindler’s List, Steven Spielberg (1993)
15. A Clockwork Orange, Stanley Kubrick (1971)
16. Goodfellas, Martin Scorsese (1990)
17. Fargo, Joel and Ethan Coen (1996)
18. Walk the Line, James mangold (2005)
19. It’s a Wonderful Life, Frank Capra (1946)
20. Mama Mia, Phillida Lloyd (2008)
21. The Royal Tenenbaums, wes Anderson (2001)
22. Clueless, Amy Heckerling (1995)
23. Se7en, David Fincher (1995)
24.  The Silence of the Lambs, Jonathan Demme (1995)
25.  Anchorman, Adam McKay (2004)
26.  The Lion King, Disney (1994)
27.  Beauty and the Beast, Disney (1991)
28. Interview with a vampire, Neil Jordan (1994)
29. Sin City, Robert Rodrigez, Frank Miller (2005)
30. Dodgeball, Rawson Marshall Thurber (2004)
31. Romeo and Juliette, Baz Luhrmann (1996)
32. Kickass, Matthew Vaughn (2010)
33.  The Sound of Music, Robert Wise (1965)
34. Pirates of the Caribbean, Gore Verbinski (2003)
35.  Juno, Jason Reitman (2007)
36. Little Miss Sunshine, Jonathan Dayton (2006)
37. American Psycho, Mary Harron (2000)
38. Kill Bill1&2, Quentin Tarantino (2003-4)
39. Pretty Woman, Garry Marshall (1990)
40. The Sixth Sense, Shyamalan (1999)
41. Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle (2008)
42.  Grease, Randal Kleiser (1978)
43. The Nightmare Before Christmas, Henry Selick (1993)
44. Sweeney Todd, Tim Burton (2007)
45. An Education, Lone Scherfig (2009)
46. Mean Girls, Mark Waters (2004)
47. Shaun of the Dead, Edgar Wright (2004)
48. Titus Andronicus, Julie Taymor (1999)
49.  The Full Monty, Peter Cattaneo (1997)
50. Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Robert Zemeckis (1988)

So that's it. What do you think? What makes it into your list and what is your favourite of all time?