Advertising Gambling as Insurance

I guess it had to happen. Everyone’s realised that finance is a big gamble. So Paddy Power have started advertising their betting service as a kind of insurance against your holiday being ruined by an airline going bust.

Paddy Power Advert

The ad was placed in the Guardian travel supplement on Saturday.

More than half of me hates it. Less than half of me thinks it’s clever.

I Heart Flight of the Conchords A Lot

Flight of the Conchords

I know lots of people know about The Flight of the Conchords, and I know that it’s not new. But there are a few people who’ve either not heard of it, or for some reason resisted. This post is for you.

I’m loving it so much I feel the need to evangelise…

For me FOC takes the slow, dark, slightly depressing humour of The Office, and manages to fuse it with the surreal nutsness of The Mighty Boosh in a spectacularly funny way. And the characters all possess those fundamental human flaws and quirks that we can all relate to, but it’s done a bit more subtly and less painfully than something like Peep Show.

And the songs. I’m not normally a funny song kind of person. But I love the way these guys burst into song with a totally unexpected genre and mutate it into something that’s laugh out loud funny.

Hip hop gets lampooned quite a lot, but this is so superior to most efforts. Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros:

And Inner City Pressure bears more than a passing resemblance to someone…

And the songs / sketches make perfect YouTube fodder. Their clips have millions and millions of views which can’t hurt in terms of creating buzz and awareness.

And their websites are funny too.

Copy like this is just good:

The Conchords will be playing there. Here for details. Performance times TBA (that stands for ‘to be arranged’ but it just saves time to write ‘TBA’).

Crisps and Conversations

I’ve been a bit of a sceptic about interactivity and FMCGs. Most of the time they just create digital litter.

Maybe it’s just because I’m a big fan of crisps. But Walkers seem to be doing some peculiarly interesting things around conversations and their brands.

Firstly the brilliant ‘Do Us a Flavour’ campaign. (If you’ve not seen it, they’re getting people to submit new flavors of potato chips. If you submit the winning flavour you get £50k and a 1% share of the profits from the new flavour).

The site’s got a lot of shortcomings. It doesn’t handle duplicates at all well, and the searching isn’t up to scratch. But it obviously doesn’t matter that much to people: 130,000 pages of entries – 6 to a page – gives almost 800,000 flavours submitted. That’s bloody incredible.

But they deserve it. They’ve built the campaign around a great question. A superb conversation starter. I’ve ended up two or three times now in conversations where people have got really excited about coming up with interesting new and bizarre flavours of crisps. And debating what would actually sell. What’s likely to win. Etc. etc. etc.

It’s a brilliant user generated content idea becuase anyone can do it. You don’t have to have any technical skills whatsoever. It’s just about imagining something. And something that almost all of us will have an opinion on whether we’ve thought about it before or not.

Once the submissions round is over. They’re going to manufacture the judges favourite top 6 flavours and let the public choose which of them wins. Generating trial / sales and driving even more conversations. As a genuinely integrated campaign I think it’s quite brilliant.

And now they’ve re-launched Monster Munch crisps. But they’ve not made a new version. Instead they’ve reverted to the old one.


What’s so clever about this is that they’ve tapped into a conversation that’s been going on for decades amongst crisp fanciers. Everyone knows that the old Monster Munch were bigger. They were ‘the biggest snack pennies can buy’. And they had really cool big monsters advertising them. It’s the kind of thing that pops up in those terrible ’50 reasons why things aren’t as good as they used to be’ nostalgiawank TV shows.

Anyway they’ve made them like they used to be again. And I love the ‘old’ flash on the top corner of the pack.

And if you’re wondering how big they are now. This is how big…


Apparently there’s a new website coming soon too. I’m not holding out a lot of hope for it being the next brilliant thing online. If they follow the normal FMCG template it’ll be all about the monsters. Maybe some flims? Perhaps embeddable / sendable monsters? Monster games? I hope they do something really nice though. Building on what they’ve done so far.

And just in case you don’t remember the original Monster Munch monsters from the TV ads…

Radiohead House of Cards on

I was just watching Current TV and this film about the Radiohead House of Cards video came on…

It really is a bit good.

I Haven’t Got Anything Interesting To Say Today

I’m almost ready to write something marginally profound. But my brain’s a little too tired to pull it off, so I thought some of you might like this instead:

I was going to say how it reminded me of Zip-a-dee-doo-dah but without the Acid House connotations, then I found this clip on YouTube and realised that the Nathan Fake video is way less fucked up…

Credit Crunch Minimix


To try and lift everyone’s spirits I’ve put together a little (30min) mix of uplifting feel-good tracks to see if I can raise the mood of the internet. It’s a mix of styles from soul / mashups / hiphop / drum and bass / other so there’s something to suit some people in there.

Tracklist and download link at or via the iTunes podcast.