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

Join The Army And Get Killed …
May 21, 2008, 7:19 am
Filed under: Comment

I cannot tell you how much I hate this ad.

Look I know it’s going to be hard to recruit people into the army – even the Aussie one who do nothing [Haha!] – but to try and position the armed forces as some sort of ‘fame provider’ is total desperation.

You can just guess how the agency sold this ad …

“Hello Mr and Mrs Important Soldier. We have come up with a brilliant strategy for the Australian Army Recruitment Campaign that we call “FIGHTING FOR FAME” and we’d like to explain it to you…

1 No one wants to join the army because they know our country in a pointless war that could see them being sent off and killed.

2 The army can no longer promise things like offering training that you could find useful in later life because the chances are you won’t have a later life thanks to point 1.

With all this in mind, we have based our campaign on an insight that says people are all looking for their 15 minutes of fame and will do anything to be on the front page of newspapers and magazines so our “BIG IDEA” is to show how being in the army isn’t a job that you find in the classified ads of the local paper, it’s a job that gets you on the front page … though obviously we’ll ignore the bit that says it does this because you will either be being reported as killing people or being killed by people – so we’ll be satisfying people’s craving for ‘stardom’ and motivate the ‘sad demographic’ to sign up”

Brilliant eh?”

Errrrrm no …

For the reasons already outlined, I know this brief would be incredibly hard to crack – but this ad isn’t going to do it because regardless how thick or fame obsessed you are, this concept is more transparent than a fucking greenhouse and what pisses me off is that I bet a planner had a big part to play in this idea.

Is delusion and illusion a big part of today’s society?

Sadly yes … but that doesn’t mean people are going to run off and join the armed forces in the vague hope they’ll get their mug on the front page of the fucking Illawarra Mercury!

Seriously, the agency/client would be better off running an ad that said …

“When You’re In A Situation Where Death Is Mere Minutes Away, Female Soldiers Won’t Turn Down Your Sexual Propositions. Join The Army And Go Out With A Bang”

The only people who will fall for this illusion and delusion are the guys who made/approved it.

A truly terrible ad, but then the odds were always going to be against them thanks to the actions of their Government.

It’s A Special May Day …
May 20, 2008, 7:59 am
Filed under: Comment

Today is a special day because today my friend Marcus is another year older.

I can’t remember how many years ago he was born [but I know he’s younger than me, bastard] but I want to wish him a very special day – even though he’ll probably be spending it in his shed!

Marcus, I know I’ve not met you [yet] but it is important you know I think of you as a real friend. You’re smart, talented, funny, caring and generous and I hope this is the year you can show the wider World just what you’re capable of because I know it would produce amazing and exciting things.

[I mean that in the good sense of the phrase, I know you’re capable of evil as well 😉 ]

From all of us, Happy Birthday!

Copywriter Porn …
May 20, 2008, 7:47 am
Filed under: Comment

Look at the labeling on this product …

OK, so the grammar is abit dodgy because it comes from China [hey, you try and translate into another language if you think you’re so clever] but how good does this product sound eh?

Seriously, it could be the answer to my prayers in trying to get creativity back into Singaporean educational policy.

But what could it be? I hear you ask?

Well I’ll give you some clues …

1 It’s not Lego

2 It’s not an Etch-a-sketch

3 It’s not Table Tennis

Any ideas?

OK … OK … I’ll give you the answer …

Yep, it’s a gun that shoots mini frisbee’s.

A fucking gun!

Talk about bigging yourself up interms of value to society.

Helps kids use their brains?

Harmonization of the 2 hands?

Cognize speed, strength and angle?

Whoever wrote the copy on this product should be in adland – though they’d probably find it frustrating because there’s no way they’d be able to get away with the sort of ‘over-promise bollocks’ they can when writing for Companies and/or Hollywood.

And some marketers can’t work out why the public don’t trust them …

Eitherway, associating a ‘gun’ with ‘educational value’ explains alot about China’s approach towards education which begs the question, is the situation in Tibet actually just a school project?

Human Rights Abuse …
May 19, 2008, 7:34 am
Filed under: Comment

I’m having the day off [yeah, wanna make something of it?] so to keep you sort-of amused [or as amused as this blog can ever achieve which is approx ‘zero amusement’], here’s what I got the guys to shout at the Bangkok conference I was at last week.

Sorry Marcus, I tried ‘Supercalafraglisticespialidocious’ but it just wasn’t working!

[PS: Andy won’t be responding to this post because he’s currently doing his best not to get murdered in a Rio slum [long story] – however he has seen the clip and I’m sure you can all imagine how complimentary he was about it! 🙂 ]

Inspired Media Placement?
May 16, 2008, 7:31 am
Filed under: Comment

What next, Brian Clough books in the Alcohol section and Ronaldo’s autobiography on the Dentistry shelf?

I’ve always been a massive, massive believer in intelligent and inspired media – both interms of channel and placement – and I hate how the creative and media departments have been separated because I think everyone loses except maybe the shareholders of the media companies.

I’ve written previously why this situation happened – and I’ve also written how I understand why media companies regard many creative agencies as cocks – but I can’t help but feel it has limited the ‘inventiveness’ of communications because whilst there are creative people in media organisations and media thinkers in creative companies. the solution developed by the company tends to be disproportionately influenced by whatever their core discipline is, which means media companies tend to regard placement as the most important factor whereas creative companies see engagement as the holy grail.

There are many reasons for this – including how each discipline earns its remuneration from its clients – however I also believe ego and arrogance are just as much to blame because we are now in a situation where every discipline/channel in the comms industry seems to believe they alone can solve clients business problems and that is just not the case.

[Mind you, that’s not as scary as this trend for one discipline to start dealing in areas they have little knowledge or experience about – but what do you expect when [1] they believe they are smarter than all the others and [2] they need to keep as much of the clients money as possible can because they’ve sold the value of their core business down the river]

If the disciplines within the comms industry continue to operate in this exclusive manner, then the value of what we do is only going to further decline, which is why I thank my lucky stars I started my career at an agency who practiced and embraced holistic thinking because without that grounding, I might never have understood how things like design, packaging, distribution. content, sales and media can help me help my clients get to a better place.

In my opinion adland works best when it collaborates – sure it might mean your ego and profits take a bit of a hit – but you end up learning, doing and achieving a hell of a lot more than you would otherwise.

As Lee said – it’s not about media neutrality, it’s about idea neutrality and once you get that, everything else just flows …

[PS: If you don’t know what the photo in this post refers to, go ask a Chelsea football fan]