Dec 2015 08

First of all, hello. My usual ‘no I’m not dead’ message goes here.
After 10 months out in the big world of advertising, I’ve been enjoying the last month away and recharging for 2016.

Some of my favourite things in this business at this time of year are the agency holiday videos. Over the next bit, I’ll be featuring whatever ones I come across. They’re hard to do. It’s a tough audience and even tougher to be original.

First up, Zulu Alpha Kilo. Some of my favourite creative minds work there and I always respect how Zak tries to do something that no one else has done before. Here is their entry for this holiday season called ‘Jingle Butts’.

Sep 2015 09

As I sit here at home with a cold – sweating, coughing and generally crabby – this spot was a nice find today. John Lewis is a retailer in the UK and I’m familiar with all their tear-jerking Christmas ads (I dare you to view the snowman one and keep a dry eye), but I didn’t know they dealt with Insurance as well. Now I know. Having a summer cold stinks, but drugs and a fever have certainly given me a lot of ideas for some of the projects I’m writing scripts for right now. Ah, to have one of these on the reel…

Agency adam&eveDDB London. Great production. Perfect casting. I also posted the ‘behind the scenes’ video which gives some insight about just what clients and creatives (and directors) go through to bring something like this to life.

Client: John Lewis Home Insurance
Agency: adam&eveDDB, London
Chief Creative Officer: Ben Priest
Executive Creative Director: Richard Brim
Copywriter: Jo Cresswell
Art Director: Sian Coole
Director: Dougal Wilson

Aug 2015 13

No, I haven’t posted in awhile. Yes, I’m alive.

Saw this spot the other night on TV and audibly went ‘Hmmm’. That doesn’t happen a lot. I’m sure there’s a lot of good work being done but usually I don’t see it until it shows up in the award shows. Regular primetime TV is full of bad stuff (we’ve all done it) that we never talk about.

Then there’s this spot. Not only does it have a very insightful and smart creative idea, it also has two things that you don’t see much these days. First of all, it’s a very quiet spot. Nothing crazy sound or visual effects wise (NORMAL CLIENT: “What do we do if people are in the other room and we need to grab their attention?”). Understated. And also, the car manufacturer, Subaru, did something that most clients – especially car manufacturers – would never do. It showed their product destroyed. Brave client.

Like it. Alot.

‘They Lived’

Agency: Carmichael Lynch
Chief Creative Officer: Dave Damman
Executive Creative Director: Randy Hughes
Writer, Associate Creative Director: Conn Newton
Art Director, Associate Creative Director: Michael Rogers

Production Company: Park Pictures
Director: Lance Acord

Jul 2015 14

Once again, I find that writing for the ad world really cuts into my time writing for the Andrew world (IE: one type makes money). The good news is I’ve been rediscovering my chops as a Freelance Copywriter. The right people and place can really make this business fun. More on that another time but here’s something making the rounds this week.

I like to think there’s no such thing as a boring brief, right? Everything is an opportunity to do something breakthrough, right? Of course. But then there are briefs you get like ‘Create some excitement around our rewards program’. On the wrong brand, the first thought might be ‘Well, let’s mail this one in and move on’. How many interesting things have you seen involving a rewards program? Exactly. (hence the opportunity, perhaps?)

But this is Harvey Nichols under agency adam&eveDDB. And every year, they do something that everyone in this business says “I wish I’d done that” when they see it. Here’s the latest.

This one is so deceptively simple, I admit that if I stumbled across some temporary brilliance to come up with it I may have dismissed it as too one-dimensional to present it, or defend it if the CDs didn’t get it. Good lesson. Trust your gut it will work. This team did.


Agency: adam&eveDDB
CCO: Ben Priest
ECDs: Ben Tollett, Richard Brim
Creatives: Colin Booth, Ben Stilitz
Directors: Layzell Bros
Production company: Blinkink

Jun 2015 29

A sad little post to get back to some regularity (pardon the fibre reference). The ad world is busy right now, which is great as a freelancer. But I do miss mindless writing here on the page.

This product ‘Hammerhead’ just won a bunch of Lions in Cannes last week.

It’s a navigation system for any bike, if you have a smartphone on you with a bluetooth connection. And I would guess, also a decent data plan. You put in where you’re heading, and a couple of variables like the kinds of conditions you want to ride on (city or trail for example) and it plots the course.

Then, using a ‘T’ shaped lighting system mounted to your handlebars, it tells you when to turn.

I’m a sucker for a gadget. I have one on order. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I admit it’s hard enough to watch the traffic and stay alive in this town without looking at some lights on your handlebars. But like I said, I’m a sucker for a gadget.

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