Monday, 30 June 2008

More on Meadows

I’m a big fan of Shane Meadows so when I arrived here missing home a bit, I was delighted to see that Somers Town was showing as part of the Sydney Film Festival. However when I read the festival’s programme and I found out it was funded by Eurostar and the brainchild of an advertising agency (namely Mother) I was intrigued to see where this was going to go. Thankfully it didn’t sell out as a piece of film and I thought it was brilliant.

I was quite surprised it didn’t do better at Cannes but perhaps you have to be from the UK to appreciate the piece or maybe the 'power of unbranding' rationale was too much for people to get their head around. I'm not sure about the phrase but I get what Nugent means. It's nice to see a client with some balls.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Billy Connolly on digital...

I have just finished reading Billy Connolly's biography, which has been written by his Aussie comedienne/psychologist wife Pamela Stephenson, and right at the end there is this quote from him on people that use the Internet or 'The Great Anorak in the Sky' as he calls it.

"You know why those people are on the Internet don't you? Because you wouldn't speak to them in the pub"

Harsh! Billy, there are PubCamp's going on don't you know!

PubCamp - The Web 2.0 Media Day from Sticky Advertising on Vimeo.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

How to raise levels of employment

I love the Australian government’s approach to reducing rates of unemployment. It’s quite simple really…they make morning TV that is so bad even the most mundane of professions will look appealing. Pretty much every channel will break out into these God awful infomercials that try and blend seamlessly into the show. They would make even the cheesiest of people cringe. Something tells me though that they may well do the job. The worst culprits are David and Kim. Check this bad boy out.

Man I miss Richard and Judy.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Playing catch up

It's been good catching with all the great work and thinking that has been going on since I have been away so here are just a few of my initial favourites.

First of all is Poke's work for Orange. It's up there with their 'Spot the Bull' work they did for them over the last two years. It really is the World's First Internet Balloon Race.

Then there is Leland's new blog on Transformation Design.

In Leland's words: "When businesses look at marketing, they focus on things like integration, brand measures and ROI. While these are important, we must respond to the fact that we are now in a situation where the recipients of marketing are, at best, numb to it or, at worst, revolting against it. We must put emphasis on designing new marketing activities that engage with people's behaviors, emotions and lifestyles in ways that help them and our clients.

To that end, design thinking and techniques can help us rethink marketing systems and structures and - possibly - redesign them from beginning to end around the "user." This is genius and right on the button in my opinion.

And also Noah Brier's Brand Tags project is neat along with it's supporting blog and battle mode. It would appear that Lego is the current brand to beat.

Trotters, the bowlo, nutbags and rednecks

So far I have had a nice introduction into Aussie life. In between meeting lots of clever planners, the ‘relos’ have kept me entertained showing me the best of down to earth Australian hospitality.

First of all there’s the ‘trotters’. The best way to describe it is a kind of horse, chariot style race around a speedway track. I know people used to race these years ago back home in Sussex but only on the roads (it is of course now banned). Fingers crossed the family’s horse, which is now in training, will be racing later this year. It’s actually all pretty exciting.

Then there is the legendary Bowlo aka St John’s Park Bowling Club. I have never seen anything like it before back home. Imagine combining a bookies, casino, arcade, bingo, restaurant, sports bar, cabaret, dance shows…and of course bowling, all under one roof, happening at the same time. Just to give you an idea of how busy it gets on a Friday the four story car park is completely rammed. But one of my favourite things they do is a free mini bus that picks you up and drops you home. Awesome no need for Des.

Image via

The last thing I’m enjoying is the sports banter although at the moment I’m trying to get my head round the all the 'football' codes and the rugby obsession. Last week a player called Willie Mason branded QSL fans ‘a bunch of nutbags and rednecks’. Can you imagine Frank Lampard calling Liverpool fans a bunch of lazy, thieving scallys. It might well be true but he would banned for weeks. I love their confidence and brutal, albeit politically incorrect honesty! However his team were then thumped 30 – 0. A perfect example of cocky Aussies, when will they learn?

I’m getting a good repertoire going which mostly involves playing dumb when it comes to their favourite sports. It consists of asking if they play rugby because they didn’t picked for the football (I refuse to call it soccer) team. Pretending that I know nothing about Union and asking how the Australian Rugby team has done in the last 2 world cups and finally claiming that cricket in England is only played by toffs. At least one good thing about being over here with England not playing in the Euros is I don’t have to stay up till 2am to watch them play.

Monday, 16 June 2008

In the words of Burt Munro...

I watched 'The World's fastest Indian' last night and absolutly loved it. In particular this quote by Burt Munro...

"All my life I've wanted to do something big. Something bigger and better than all the other jokers out there."

Friday, 13 June 2008

Toohey's - Wild beer ideas

I like to think I'm not one to slag off a campaign. You never know the ins and outs of the strategy and the relationship with the client. So I will try and remain constructive on this one, but I'm referring to this Toohey's New ad that aired recently on Aussie TV.

I love the production. It is quirky and has a nice personality and to be fair it makes me want to watch it all the way through. So half the battle has been won. However why did they force it into this big online 'wild beer idea' participation thing. It just doesn't really do it for me. Why?

Because they have no intention of actually doing any of these ideas. Which defeats the object of it all really doesn't it? I for one would like to have seen a lager swilling Aussie, preferrably a sports fan, chryogenically frozen. Unfortunately for Toohey's there are more comments on the site from industry types than there are from their target audience. Those that are on there look a bit set up. You know the thing where someone sends a staff email and asks everyone to sign up to a site and leave a comment. Admit it, we have all done it.

I would have been happy going to a slick site, registering my details with the opportunity to win a fridge. Job done. There needs to be some purpose otherwise it lacks any kind of authenticity. There was a neat idea in there but someone somewhere didn't want to follow it through. It lacked a bit of conviction to turn it into a great participation campaign, which would have been really cool. It would have been more interesting to see it move offline as more of a 'wild beer reward' for Toohey's New drinkers, something that mobilses people into some kind of group action. People could of voted for one of three proposed 'wild beer events' that Toohey's were putting on for free.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

I'm back...well almost

Now I've finally stopped being a travelling bum I'm left with the reality that I need to start working. It's exciting getting settled in a new country and getting your head around a new market and culture but I'm sure my brains have turned to mush over the last 7 months. In my first interview, which was the day after landing and the first real conversation about work in a long time, I was asked my thoughts on the future of planning. Talk about in at the deep end.

It has been a difficult first week to say the least but I've stacked up on Adnews publications and it is like I've never been away. The industry in Aus are talking about many of the things being discussed before I left the UK such as the new agency model, employing interesting people, skill shortages, measurement and effectiveness etc etc etc. There are alot of surprising differences starting to emerge, some of which are good and bad but I'll blog about these shortly.

So it's back to school for me and hopefully back to this blog a bit more frequently.