insights, ironies and idiosyncrasies in communication and design

from the wide, wide world and the world wide web

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Not property.

A corporation that's manufactured products long considered to be part of the public domain and therefore entirely free from actual or legal ownership (ball point pens, cigarette lighters, razors etc) has now, quite bizarrely, extended its product line to include the ultimate status object – the mobile phone.

Snatching a pen from a coworker's desk, pocketing another smoker's lighter or helping oneself to a razor from somebody else's bathroom cabinet (at least in one's student days) are actions that have all somehow escaped reprimand since these disposable products first arrived on the shelves back in the 1980s. Now, with the advent of a BIC mobile, are phones suddenly going to become disposable, too?

Retailing at 49 Euros and currently only available in France, the BIC phone is ready to go in more ways than one. It comes with 60 free minutes, the battery charged, and the SIM card already in place.

Monday, 10 November 2008


Having recently bigged up French graffiti artist Zevs and paid homage to other subvertisements I thought it only right to post my personal Banksy favourite.

If ever there were a yardstick for insights, then this would be it. Planners and creatives take note.

Via Flickr.

Sunday, 9 November 2008


Bang Gang perfectly visualize the teutonic political shift I was getting at in my last post.

Saturday, 8 November 2008


Ad Age's Pete Snyder provides a comprehensive analysis of Barack Obama's exploitation of time shifting and consumer control, but for some unexplained reason chooses to ignore the brutal simplicity and single-mindedness of the brand strategy behind the election win.

Both far and deeply-reaching, the relevance, consistency, resonance and sheer power of the positioning statement, 'change', is quite remarkable. And when you consider the accompanying visual imagery – a seismic reversal of a colour (white) that has been predominant since the inauguration of George Washington in 1789 – you have a real milestone in marketing, as well as political, history.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

The idea is not dead.

Creative genius handed down from one of the godfathers of advertising Dave Trott.

"I was at art school in New York, and one of the projects we were given was to advertise yourself. Like everyone else I started by thinking what was different about me. Then, once I’d got that sorted, I wrote some ads. Then thinking about the best media for it. Then we all went along to class to present our ideas.

The two guys who used to teach our class were from Doyle Dane Bernbach, and Delehanty Kurnit & Geller, two of the hottest agencies in town. As we were waiting they walked in with faces like death. They sat with their heads in their hands. They looked up at us with tears in their eyes. They said, “There isn’t going to be a class tonight.” They said, “We’ve just received this letter from the Dean. The best person in the class has been killed in a car crash. She was the person with the brightest future of her entire year, and now it’s all gone. If there was anyone in this entire year who was going to make an impact, anyone who was going to be great, it was her. And now she’s gone.”

They went on like that for about twenty minutes. And then she walked in. She’d been waiting outside the door, listening while they did her advertising for her. When she walked in they were speechless. They didn’t know whether to be relieved or hit her. They were so angry they just walked out. She knew that, in America, when anyone dies they get an automatic eulogy. So she had the Dean write the letter about the car crash, to get her teachers to advertise her themselves.

When they calmed down, they repeated that story all over town. They even carried the letter in their wallets to show advertising people all over New York. She became so famous that, by the time she got out of art school, she could have walked into a job at pretty much any agency on Madison Avenue. Now what I say is, if you need permission to be creative, you’re not really creative. You’re safe."

Dave Trott

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Lovin' it.

This corporate intervention by French graffiti artist Zevs dramatically illustrates the putrid nitrate slime found in many a burger – with bright yellow paint. Obviously not a fan of fast food but the artist at work it appears seems to be lovin' it.

Check out his other visual kidnappings here.

Via Pingmag.