Tag Archives: creative

Field Trip Sydney 2013

As I am contributing to AustralianInFront I wanted to make everyone aware of the top creative event in August: Field Trip on Aug 30, that’s Friday next week at Darling Harbour.

Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 9.48.24 PM

Taking the Powerpoint out of it, the presenters are practising their craft as they present. Really cool concept that puts the fun back into listening to a good ‘show and tell’. And it’s great inspiration for all you agency folks and your creative team members. See and hear from charming individuals like Georgia Perry, We Buy Your Kids and Heath Killen. And if you want to score some of the last tickets, hit me up for a code to get a 20% off at check out.


I look forward to seeing you next week for drinks, a chat and inspiration.

foster georgia heath01 wbyk


Are the most popular ideas always analogue?

Almost 2 years ago we at Adverblog published what became our most popular post so far: The Stripper Blackmail. This billboard campaign features a male stripper that nobody wants to see naked. But why is it so funny and appealing in its analogue format, in paper as opposed to in digital?

I loved the idea and execution by Y&R Amsterdam. And I am not suggesting it should have been any different to what it was. But its popularity got me thinking: would the Adverblog readers have reacted the same way, would it have garnered as many awards as it did, had it been a digital piece, a banner or website for example?

Here is what is similar:

  • People commute in cars on highways to their destinations – people commute online (excuse yesteryear’s buzzword ‘data superhighways’) to their favourite websites.
  • Drivers are busy steering their vehicles – users are busy clicking around for interesting stuff.

So in both cases, there is lots of competition and the placements would attract only mild attention, if any.

But here is what is different. Firstly, it’s in the way the idea is presented. The billboard idea is explained as a series of photos where the real environment appears secondary, just there in order to understand it is a billboard next to a street. We phase out that there are many other signs in the street, that might have more importance to drivers.

Now imagine the same execution in an online execution (as e.g. a page takeover). Immediately alarm bells go off: wouldn’t I be annoyed by this large banner, trying to close it as soon as possible? After all, people HATE ads online, right? Would I be able to run a mystery campaign like this? One in which the reveal happens 5 days later, knowing users can’t even remember the last site they clicked away from?

A second difference is the ad’s context: a street billboard works in a situation in which you for the most part don’t see a) any real nudity or b) freaky stuff. You somehow imagine the drivers passing the billboard, giggling to themselves due to the provocative nature of the ad. We picture journalists throwing a story up on mainstream media. Now compare it to the web, where most boundaries have been crossed, where some users have seen ‘a hamster dressed as Kylie Minogue playing ping pong’ just seconds before they came to your banner. Difficult to raise an eyebrow in this context, right?

I am not sure what these differences even mean. Except that I am stating some fairly obvious things: firstly, it matters a lot how you present an idea for PR and awards, and secondly, it’s brutally hard to hold anyone’s attention online.

Sharpie gets opportunity to sponsor consumer art

This is a short follow up to my post on the Post-It note Jaguar and how 3M ripped off the idea without engaging the previous social media originator. Sharpie: whatever you have in mind regarding “effective marketing spend in bad times”, don’t muck this up by stealing the idea 1:1!

Charlie Kretzer's basement (watch 360 QTVR)

Charlie Kretzer

This is a story about a 50-year old American lawyer in Kentucky, Charlie Kratzer decorating his basement walls with amazing wall drawings, using only $10 worth of pens (ok, that sum might be underestimated for catchy headline purposes). Sharpie art happens every day, all the time in any art college or on any given doodle notepad. But this is just a very good, un-commissioned example of someone going out of their way because they like using the product.

I think Charlie might professionally be well equipped to battle it out legally, if Sharpie did hop on this story without involving him. But hopefully they see the valueof getting him onboard beforehand and start a Sharpie-up-your-wall fad (am claiming copyright for the tag line right here)!

That would definitely beat paying David Beckham gazillions to pose sucking on a pen. Especially if all you can announce is a “Stay tuned as Sharpie and David Beckham launch exciting new promotions.” Oh please….

Eternal creative Beta

Google Reader for some algorythmic reason suggested that I read Fallon Planning‘s blog and while I am not a planner, Fallon didn’t sound like such a bad source. And as I read their first post about the usual “unmanage your brand”, “put people in charge” and “conversation-based campaign”, Conner’s mentioning of “eternal beta” stuck with me.

What if “eternal beta” , this expectation of flexibility and ever-changing functionality, usage and interpretation had to apply to the sheer visual veneer of a campaign? By now we are accustomed to users submitting stuff and this material being “all over the place” in visual terms. That’s fair enough since playing around with brand guardian-approved icons doesn’t produce the greatest variety or interestingness.

Pepsi Billboard

What if the whole campaign shell (layout, type, colors, contrast, GUI, sounds, animations) has no boundaries or fixed form? Is there any consistency left that makes a campaign recognizable, memorable and therefore have any effect? Sure, Tomato had an early stab at an ever-changing logo for SONY in 2001 and there have always been remixing tools for existing web pages, the latest being TenaciousD or Atmosphere’s Paint.

Between 0 and 1 on gold

Yet I don’t recall sites, banners or other digital formats that let you basically change absolutely everything. Choose a color combo from Adobe’s Kuler, pick your favourite DaFont and while you’re at it, flip through the visual preferences your social graph shares with you.

Of course all of that is pretty involved and works against the lean-back trend of consuming content online. Is it fair to say that eternal visual Beta isn’t in the interest of users, after all why should they come and re-arrange YOUR living room before watching TV? And if I want to see randomly designed pages that hurt the eye, I go to MySpace.