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

It Had To Happen …
October 21, 2009, 6:14 am
Filed under: Comment

… I’ve run out of things to say.


I’ve been sat here for 20 minutes trying to come up with something to write about and I’ve had nothing.


Well, to be fair, there were a few little things – but they were either even more inane than usual, or just too hard to write about given it’s a Monday [remember I pre-write my rubbish] and I’m tired and cranky.

To be honest, this should have been obvious to all – especially after yesterday’s post – so to fill the space, I’ll just leave you with some clips of the best television presenter I’ve seen in ages.

Ladies and gentlemen … boys and girls … I leave you with Bill Dance.

How cool is he eh?

OK, so cool might not be right word – but in this World of highly polished, uber-slick, botox injected, fashion label dressed, focus-group managed television presenter – it’s refreshing to find someone who doesn’t require a script to be funny, embraces their flaws, doesn’t pretend to be someone they’re not and expresses natural charisma and charm in every breath, wink and cough.

And that is what I think is missing in a lot of advertising these days.

Too many brands seem to think that if you express any element other than total and utter ‘perfection’ you limit your appeal … but what they don’t realise is that it also creates a brand that has all the warmth and attraction of Nicole Kidman,

Imperfection is a good thing.

Depending on what element is less than perfect, it creates emotional warmth and connection. It makes things interesting and encourages you to find out more.

At HHCL, one of the most important things we focused on was casting.

We were taught to appreciate just how important choosing the right character was to ensure the commercial worked as hard as it physically could.

Look at this spot from Apple Tango …

God that brings back good memories and I still think the line …

“Imagine tweaking my ring [pause] pull”

… is sheer bloody genius.

Now if memory serves me, it took an awfully long time to cast this spot because we needed characters and surroundings that truly captured the spirit of ‘gormlessly average’, mainly so the dramatisation of the lead character going from ‘fighting to remain normal’ to ‘reluctant involvement’ to ‘total surrender’ would be even more powerful and memorable on screen.

Now imagine that ad with good looking, happy people in it? Just wouldn’t work would it.

OK, so that ad is British advertising personified … however that doesn’t mean other countries wouldn’t react positively to characters who don’t look or act like they’ve come out of the television presenter production line.

The reality is good casting can probably have more impact on effectiveness than good planning … however I think this is also an area where planners should be involved … because spending time on personality [rather than just focusing on ‘appearance’] can create interest and relevance – which in this World of parity products, positioning and lifestyles – could help your ad get noticed over everyone else’s duplication of aspirational and delusional status.

Well what do you know, I did find something to talk about afterall.

Thanks Bill … whataguy!

11 Comments so far
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I’ve been censored.

Comment by John

is this what dodds and peggy were going on about yesterday?

apart from fishings mr bean and a fucking great memory courtesy of trev and al at their greatest, it was hardly fucking worth waiting for was it?

and why the fuck does the fishing disaster remind me of that account service nightmare prick bilko? only difference is mr bag carrier didnt have the charm, talent or skill of the fishing assassin.

and stop fucking encouraging planners to get more involved with the creative development. we only let you because i know how to manipulate you.

btw good fucking points on the importance on casting. fucking breaks my soul how little fucking time some people spend looking for the right talent. too much make do or looks good and not enough fucking perfect and interesting characters.

have i just complimented you? what the fuck is the world coming to?

Comment by andy@cynic

and dodds beats me to first comment. i fucking knew today would be a screwed up day or is it tomorrow? why the fuck cant the world operate on my fucking time zone.

Comment by andy@cynic

This is how you are when you have nothing to say? You’re scarier than a T-1000.

I love the Bill Dance clips and even though it’s a bit of a disconnect, I agree with your point about the power of the human flaw, physical or otherwise. It still needs to have a good idea to hold it all together but character casting rather than pure image casting can really make a difference in creating more engaging and memorable advertising.

And the apple tango spot is wonderful but I still prefer your chef hat late night shopper, though I fear for the reasons why.

Comment by Pete

stop being a fucking toad pete. if campbell is a machine hes a british leyland allegro. or a princess. yes, the shit ugly rust bucket, thats the campbell machine.

remember the bollocks he wrote yesterday? where he committed public divorce? that is what campbell is really like when he has nothing to say. this post was to lull us into a false sense of security the evil manipulative fucker.

but he does have good taste in ads. sometimes.

Comment by andy@cynic

Yes … yes … I know I said I had nothing to talk about but then like all good bouts of diarrhea, once it starts it just goes on and on and on.

And hell, if it gets a compliment from Andy [quickly followed by a much more reasurring insult] it was worth all the pain. At least for me, ha!

I daren’t imagine why the Mr Shopper spot appeals to you so much Pete, but I won’t be able to look Sarah in the eye next time, ha! This is also the campaign where I got in trouble for the infamous shoe polish “spot a pervert” radio promotion – but hey, it made sense at the time.

Anyway here it is for your visual pleasure – though I am sure you could have got onto youtube and found it yourself, afterall you’re not someone who needs an IT specialist to tell you how to “print”.


For the record Mr Dodds, you weren’t censored – you were just a victim of my technological ineptness, or actually my inability to read dates – however to prove that this blog is not run by the Chinese Government [even though it would be a vast improvement] I post your comment from yesterday, below.

Similar to Andy’s comment about this post … you have to admit, your little rant wasn’t really worth making that much fuss over either was it! 🙂

Comment by Rob

This blog is imperfection personified. Nothing to write about and still you manage to go on and on and on.

Comment by john

Can we use Bill for the VA stuff? I don’t know how but I’m sure Andy can fit him in with his genius.
Bill rocks hard but I wish I didn’t think of that grey haired American Idol loser every time he goes “whoa” or “darnnit”. Taylor Hicks?

Comment by DH

Sadly I know who Taylor Hicks is and even though I can understand why you would say that, it’s still deeply insulting to lovely Bill!

As for getting him into the VA stuff … let’s see how good Andy actually is, because given the brief, the markets its got to run in and the audience it’s trying to attract, I would imagine casting Hitler would be an easier goal.

Now if you suggested casting him in an insurance company ad – that would be easy – with the amount of screw ups he does, he makes the JackAss crew look positively sensible.

Comment by Rob

I very much look forward to seeing how Andrew includes Bill in our communication. I will notify Steve that he will be seeing post rationalisation excellence at work.

Those apple tango advertisements were the best in a long line of excellent commercials. Blackcurrant may have received more of the plaudits but for me apple was the more ingenious.

Comment by Lee Hill

A terrible post saved by a brilliant ad.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

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