The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

How Do You Make Advertising Refreshing, Interesting, Engaging and Infectious?
April 4, 2007, 7:45 am
Filed under: Comment


In this World of communication exaggeration, promotional offers, celebrity endorsements, strategic alliances, limited editions, product placement, huge production budgets, charitable causes, media brainwashing, public relations … there is one way to make your ad stand out, resonate deeply with humanity and build some real brand affinity and that’s by TELLING THE TRUTH!

OK … OK … so truth is relative … however what I mean is  when a mass consumer perception of a brand/product isn’t denied or ‘re-configured’ – but acknowledged and embraced – even if on first impressions it could be viewed as being a ‘negative’.

We call this ‘unplanning’ … and it works because we believe it is easier/better to tackle an existing consumer perception – even if negative – head on, rather than spend masses of time and money trying to convince them they are infact wrong. 

In essence, it’s all about changing how people view their negative opinions and we have used it very successfully for many brands including Triple J [Enemy Of Average – because it never plays mainstream popular music], Midori [When Did You Become So Old – because it is as the alcoholic drink of choice for people just starting out drinking alcohol], Super Noodles [Gluttony Is Good – because it is tasty, bad food that’s quick, easy and ‘fills an immediate need’ ], Tabasco [Nothing Subtle About It – because it’s used more as ‘a badge of honour’ than a condiment to enhance foods natural flavours], MAC Cosmetics [Luck Doesn’t Fall On The Ugly – because it has been proved society prejudices against less attractive people in all aspects of ‘life’ ] and Egg US [Money Is The Root Of All Happiness – because America is a culture that operates on meritology, even if it ‘pretends’ not to]

So why am I going on about this?

Because while looking for some property to buy in Australia, I came across an ad that really grabbed my attention …

Not because it was cheap.

Not because it had stunning photography.

Not because it’s description had been beautifully constructed.

Infact, it was for none of these reasons – it was because it embraced the reality of the situation and treated me with the respect I deserve. [See Below]

Will I buy it?

Of course not – I am hardly Mr DIY am I? – however because the manner and attitude demonstrated in the ad was so appealing, I contacted the Real Estate Agent and am hopeful they’ll find me something I really want – rather than something they want to sell me  and then I will happily hand over a hefty sales commission.

The consumer is cynical because of what brands and agencies have done to them … so the sooner the issue is tackled head-on [rather than continually burying our collective heads in the sand] the better. For everyone.

Property photo 



Situated directly next to a petrol station and metres from the almost stationary peak hour traffic of Victoria Road, one could imagine they don’t come much worse than this.

Unoccupied for three years, this home is ‘home’ in name only. An aluminium clad timber cottage that has provided ample shelter for thousands of termites, there is little point in trying to resuscitate any part of the building.

Particularly popular with talentless Graffiti artists.
Holes in the walls provide natural air conditioning.
No kitchen is irrelevant as the Club does great food.

But there are lots of positives, including an incredible opportunity for complete redevelopment. Generous 212 m² block within footsteps of Darling Street. 

A rare find for those that relish a formidable challenge.

43 Comments so far
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considering the buying boom and rental crisis in sydney, this ad is awesome!!

the recent poll results for ‘who we trust the most’ pitched real estate agents just above car salesmen as the least trusted profession (at 10% of people surveyed). this kind of selling may just improve their rating.

looking at buying on the balmain peninsula hey.. oooerr.. [just pokin’ fun]

Comment by lauren

As someone who has been reading a lot of real estate ads of late, I am actually stunned. That is brilliant… Hows ballsy of the person that wrote it.

I am disappointed though, I see you as more of a Melbourne kinda guy Rob! tsk tsk…

Comment by Age

they still wont crown you lord of the fucking manner, even if you continue buying all the property in balmain for the next1000 years. maybe age is right, try buying melbourne.
and why is no one talking about our (read: my) fucking great ads? philistines.

Comment by andy @ cynic

Rob, you can tell Andy is happy with how the meeting went as his ego is off the scale. Even the arrogant French can’t keep up with his head, or his eating habits. Bless.

Comment by George

Morning. I’m back. What’s going on? Anything happened?

Comment by Marcus Brown

That was one of the things that was widely agreed on at the FMS. Honesty is key. With the net and ease of communication as it is, people are always going to find out if you are lying.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

It’s sad that this is something people think advertising and communication should get back to – when in reality, it should never of gone away!

Thank God for cynic … ha!

Andy, George – well done BUT BEHAVE YOURSELVES!

Comment by Rob

is ‘honest communication’ just a trend like bubble skirts? in 20 years’ time, will we all be sick and tired of telling it like it is and want to go back to the 80s where it’s all about a good story and ego-driven excesses? i hope not, but i’m interested in how much of a reflection of ‘human nature’ this kind of communication really is, or whether it’s just a cycle like everything else..

Comment by lauren

You know what Lauren – I think it’s abit of both.

For some brands [ie: most of the ones we work with] ‘truth’ is – and has been for years – a core element of their consumer facing communication, however for the industry at large, it is absolutely cyclical – often driven by the consumers growing resentment/cynicism/anger towards exaggerated communication. Unfortunately, the damage has pretty much already been done by that stage – but with the internet allowing people to find out ‘the facts behind the image’, I’m amazed some brands still go on with their blinkers on.

Oh, and please know I DON’T have property/seek property on the Balmain peninsula – only REAL Balmain does for me, haha!
[And Age, Balmain is the closest to Melbourne I could get in Sydney so whilst my body is in NSW, my soul is in VIC, ha]

Comment by Rob

And Andy … ‘your’ ideas are wonderful and fresh.

See, I’ve mentioned them … happy now?

Comment by Rob


Comment by Marcus Brown

Yes there is Marcus … easy ANGER!!!

Comment by Robert

Easy to understand why they are cheap…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

But THEY ARE NOT CHEAP! They may be “cheaper” but they are NOT cheap. Oooh I can feel bit of me boil.

Comment by Marcus Brown


Comment by Rob Mortimer

rob, balmain is nothing like melbourne!!
it’s now full of rich wankers who own expensive houses, eat at expensive restaurants, drive expensive 4WDs and like having a water view to brag about!
now rozelle – that i can understand. only a suburb away, but a whole different ball game completely.

Comment by lauren

I paid 350 pound for a return flight to Rome from Luton… I really had no choice though.


Comment by Age

Thanks Lauren – immediately consigned me to yuppyville.

Will it make any difference to say I’ve lived there for 11 years, my next door neighbour was Bryan Brown and the oldies [ie: the residents when Balmain was the rough end of NSW] regard me as ‘a local’?

AND I DID ROUGH IT IN WOLLONGONG AND COME FROM NOTTINGHAM! Jesus, that’s like having been in prison for 20 years.

Hmmmmn, this isn’t working is it.

Comment by Rob

What the hell are Age and Lauren doing up????


Comment by Rob

Lauren are you describing parts of Melbourne or Balmain? Hard to tell… ;p

Comment by Age

And I don’t have a 4WD … never have and never will.

Any points for that?

Comment by Rob

but it’s only 11:50pm!…sigh… ooookkkk yes, Dad.

Comment by Age


Yeah … stick that in your pipe Lauren, ESPECIALLY as you are living back in Melbourne with your folks. And don’t give me that “Sponging off my folks is another form of rebellion” because it won’t wash – because it didn’t work for me when I used that as my excuse to my mates, ha!

Comment by Rob

Is it? Fuck, I am officially an ‘old bastard’.

Jesus …called a yuppie and old all in one post on MY blog. Mental.

Comment by Rob

At least people are posting on yours! Mine seems quiet today, and I even had a mini rant!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I love Melbourne, wouldn’t live anywhere else. In truth, Melbourne has it’s fair share of latte sippin’ Toorak Tractor drivin’ yuppies though.

I’m off, g’night all and be nice to Rob! He supplies the creativity behind the creativity.

Comment by Age

I do really love this blog.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Its madness, but in the best way

Comment by Rob Mortimer

ps. I wrote that comment just so I can look forward to reading Andy’s reply when I check back in tomorrow. harhar!


Comment by Age

Age – it’s that sort of mischievious evil that I love – but Monsiuer Andy will be running around Paris [as he is at this EXACT moment] trying to eat as much croissant as he can before he and the rest of the EIGHTEEN people, fly back to the bad ol’ USA.

However I’ll make sure he checks out this post when he’s back – just for you.

And Mr M – I will go and post a rant on your blog right now!

Comment by Rob

Paris, worth it for the snails!

And ta Rob!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

hey rob – i’m still up ‘cos it’s not that much past midnight and it was my last day at work today.. officially unemployed – yay!
so i can stay up and play ‘cos i can sleep in!

well done for roughing it in wollongong! i feel like i’ve just gone through a divorce from the place and wonder what i saw in it all that time! he he

i’m sure during 11 years in balmain you saw some changes and it’s the ‘oldies’ there who make it only just bearable, but it still leaves a horrible taste in my mouth going there ‘cos it has become quite paddington.
not driving a 4WD certainly earns points.. just.

i’m living with my folks for the first time since i was 17 so i can save money before i head to the ridiculously expensive london. you’re right, it’s not rebellious at all. but not paying rent for 4 weeks and having them take care of my cat while i’m gone is worth it. tease away – i’m at peace with it… ha!

Comment by lauren

The U word? Ouch, sorry.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

rob m, the u-word is fine with me at the moment (i’m assuming you mean unemployed?)… it’s more like ‘letting go of responsible employment and embarking on a bunch of mcjobs to fund a good time’.

Comment by lauren

Ahh thats alright then!
I love how McD is trying to ban the phrase McJob!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I love you Lauren – not as much as Andy – but love you all the same. You’re a top bird [in a totally none sexist way, of course]

Comment by Rob

aw thanks rob. the feeling is mutual!
‘top bird’ eh.. almost as good as ‘allright sheila’!.. you’ll do fine in balmain.. lol!

Comment by lauren

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