A Chuckle and Some Music for Friday

90s flowchart

From the excellent: http://xkcd.com

And if you want some music for the weekend, this 3.5 hour mix from Pixel in Amsterdam by James Holden is quite superb. For me he’s quite the musical hero at the moment.

Heroic Ads – New Bravia

bravia play doh

I can’t help myself.

I’ve been contacted by the online PR guys who are ‘seeding’ the new Bravia ad. Part of me wants to not play ball, but the other part of me wants to see what’s going on. I do like the ads and I’m interested to see what next…

I got contacted by their PR guys with this:

Set to follow in the footsteps of its predecessors (“balls” and “paint”) the new ad is a closely guarded secret, but I can tell you that it is currently being shot in New York; ‘Gorgeous’ director, Frank Budgen, will be directing; and this time the theme is ‘play-doh’.

Ruth Speakman from Sony will be ‘Twittering’ throughout the filming of the advert, providing early glimpses as the shoot unfolds. Ruth’s experiences live on set can be found at: http://twitter.com/braviaplaydoh.

It’s definitely shaping up to be another ‘hero’ ad. All eyes on the ad. The advert being the thing that we’re all waiting for. And suckers like me are doing the bidding of Lord Advert. They’ve even got people ‘twittering’ (their inverted commas not mine) about the making of the ad. I wonder if there’s a Facebook group called ‘waiting for the new Bravia advert’?

But the thing is, there’s only a few adverts out there that can actually sustain or command this kind of attention. And to be honest if this one’s more ‘paint’ than ‘balls’ I think it could be their last opportunity to ride on the goodwill created by beautiful bouncing balls.

It’s not an uncommon thing for many of us to get a brief that’s basically “make this ad famous”. Sometimes it works; if the ad deserves to be famous. Oftentimes it fails; because it doesn’t. It’s not that tricky a formula to work out. It is tricky to tell someone (or admit to yourself) that yours is one of the latter.

An ad that tried to hero-ise itself without the balls to back it up (‘scuse the pun) is the recent Ford one with the balloons in it. This one if you’ve not seen it:

The first time I saw it was in the Metro, they’d run a piece on how it was going to be shown during some football match, and it had cost loads of money, and it had lots of landmarks in it. OK, so what, now you’re going to have to prove something to me.

The second time I saw it was in Victoria station. Where they’d parked a Ford Mondeo in the station with loads of plasma screens, a sound system, etc. And you know what you could do? You could sit in the car AND WATCH THE ADVERT! I thought this was pretty lame and a bit navel-gazingly-rubbish. That was until I visited Amsterdam a few weeks ago and it was eclipsed by this (at the airport):

As you’re going along the travelator, the ADVERT FOLLOWS YOU!

It’s just like Minority Report, only shit.

What a waste of a massive long screen that cost loads of money. You could do something great with that. Seriously.

It’s not that I don’t like the Ford advert, it’s fine. But in my humble opinion it’s wasn’t ready to be hero-ised.

Here’s hoping the Bravia ad deserves the expectation that’s being built up around it…

House Sign Typography

house sign amsterdam

I always get overexcited by nice type on house signs. Whenever I go to Europe I’m impressed by the layouts of their flat numbers and suchlike. They always look so, well, European, and sophisticated.

So when I was walking home in Brighton and I saw this (almost) nicely done house number. Even though it’s far from the standards you’d expect to see in Amsterdam or Zurich it is mounted nicely on perspex and someone had at least considered the design.

So I did a double take. Then I did a triple take. And it all fell apart in front of my eyes…

house sign


Our ‘Secret’ Creative Director

OK. It’s time. I can now finally reveal the all-new 3rd Poke Creative Director (after all the buildup). He’s the guy on the left.

His name is Yacco Vijn – pronounce it as Jacko (like Whacko Jacko) Fine – pretty simple, and he claims it’s close enough to how you’re supposed to say it. Yacco has left behind the agency that he co-founded (skipintro.nl) to come and work with us at Poke in London. We’re looking forward to making sure he doesn’t regret it.

We’re dead excited that Yacco found us. And once the connection had been made we realised that we knew lots of his work and loved the way that he thinks about stuff. I really love the Rijkswidget they made for the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam – basically its a widget that gives you a painting a day (and the history of it when you flip it round). Can still be downloaded and installed from: http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/widget. Simple and brilliant. Self improvement never looked so good.

And he used to be a top Techno/Trance DJ/ Producer, which is nice. Plus he’s got a MySpace page with his own music on, which is cool.

Perhaps Yacco’s biggest legacy to date is creating the legendary skipintro.com, described by one website (in an article called “it’s a car crash out there”):

So how did we get here and where do we go from here? While none of the experts would point a finger at a single cause, they did point to some causes and all agreed that skipintro.com is a great example of what not to do.

High praise indeed! Unfortunately the site isn’t there any more, so unless you were there at the time, and many people were. This is probably a bit meaningless.

We’re all looking forward to doing some good stuff.