Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vaio Videos

Our videos have gone live now. See link here to view.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A little bit of self indulgence.

Been an awfully long time since the last blog post. Mainly because since winning a Sony Pitch 6 months ago, it has been a little non-stop since.

So here's the work that came out of the long slog..
The campaign was entitled "welcome back emotion", the idea comes from the basic insight that we increasingly want more and more from entertainment, we want to experience heightened emotion more that ever. We want to be scared more, cry more and laugh more and now with all the laptop's gadgets and gizmo's watching films, listening to music and playing games has never been so god damn good. In fact your more involved, more entertained and consequently you experience more emotion.

With this concept in mind, we knew that we wanted to make our campaign stand out amongst the competitors. Firstly we wanted colour. So many laptop adverts are full of techy language, mainly black and dull. So within our campaign, we chose 5 emotions to match the top 5 features on the laptop and to make each unique we chose a colour with portrayed the emotion best.

We commissioned Mitch Jenkins, an absolutely fantastic photographer, with a lovely team who was great to work with, completely knew what we wanted and achieved stunning photos and films. We wanted to keep the adverts quite basic and make the portraits and emotions be the focal point.

so here's part of the final result... The films are currently playing on underground digital escalators and will be available to view online soon as rich media and website formats.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Prose and cons of it all

The poem.

Poetry was possibly one of the more interesting parts of my English class but equally one of the hardest to crack. With the recent spate of verse and rhyme hitting our TV screens it’s also becoming something of a creative’s favorite. So why's it become so popular?

The poem does make a nice change to heavily music-laden ads; verse gives an ad substance, rhythm and a reason to believe. A poem, particularly the way they are used, helps a brand to become more approachable as they directly speak to the consumer. Enabling the audience to relate to the brands home truths.

This down to earth approach suits the brands that have used this style and the messages they’re trying to communicate. But, like most advertising trends (which seem to occur as some kind of collective creative subconscious that we all tap into at the same time)becomes harder to distinguish between brands that use the same treatments, styles and tone of voice.

Personally, I like this style of narration; it communicates in a kind of honest yet fun tone. However as it has become so popular it means it’s becoming a little bit like literacy pretty but beige wallpaper.

Here's a collection of some adverts that use poems...


And if you can't join them, mock them:

Friday, July 30, 2010

Honda DM pack update

Our latest pack has won DM Campaign on the week: Woooooola

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The ideal formula

This is a very long overdue post, of which I have had in my blog drafts for a while. Never the less it's still a very debatable subject. Creating the perfect portfolio always seems to be some sort of magical formula where only a magical circle of creatives can tell you that your book is great. The fact is there really is no right answer of what you should include. Back in May, I read a post on Hey Whipple's blog. Where he talked about what makes an ideal creative candidate and how digital knowledge and work are becoming increasingly important yet this alone will not make you hirable. It's the strength of creativity that makes you worth a paycheck and yes a Creative and not a digital programmer or coder.

I agreed with this post, for example the other week I went to crit some graduate books and I was gob-smacked at how they all looked like Wired magazine. Cut 'n' pasted and slapped into plastic wallets. Did a portfolio full of different new medias impress me? Well er... NO. I know the range of media platforms available to me and so do, it seems, most of the media savvy students. So, out of all the books the one that impressed me the most was actually pretty much straight forward press ads, with a couple of inventions thrown in. This got my attention as it showed they can think, solve problems and persuade people without the crutch of a gimmick or new media.

So back to basics I say, just show people you can think and that it's not the medium that carries your idea. In actual fact the media could be anything and it would still be great. I would like to see brave young creatives go back to basics. By all means show that they feel confident about how to use different media and digital platforms, but an Idea should be able to be written in a few sentences and work without any execution or technique.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Look what we did...

Been a long time since I last posted but work has got its very large claws stuck in me at the moment cos it's been blumin busy around here!

So Here's a little glimpse of a project we did for Honda. We were briefed to come up with a new creative DM pack to display the whole Honda car range and brand. The Idea- "Inspiration is everywhere". Inspiration for making the cars often came from looking at the world around you rather than just staring at a blank piece of paper. We commissioned Hattie Newman to come up with these gorgeous paper sets to which would home the cars. Each set would fit with the characteristics and personality of the car and each set also tells a small story about other Honda products and antics.

There will be a making of video to follow showing the final shots.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wanted Ads brief and viral

Our work can now be seen here.

The peoples choice is also up. Pick us if you like it. Thanks

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A change of name

From Last week, Cate and I now work at "Crayon" as HS&P got re-branded to help encompass the group under one roof. Crayon will offer a full digital and direct service for clients such as Sony, Honda, Axa, BT, British Gas and Diagio.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mussels in Brussels

Last week saw Cate and I scooting off to Brussels for a few days to take part in the European BestYET competition. 18 teams took part to battle out for title of "BestYet team of the year"

We ended up staying in Luven, where Stella Artois is made. So you've guessed it, our brief was to advertise Stella Artois. The proposition, as it were, was to show Stella in a premium light showcasing it's "authentic quality." We had about a day and half on the brief including a trip to the factory itself and a lesson in pouring the perfect pint. Check out the photos below of the trip. Unfortunately we didn't win, but the trophy still came home to the UK with Julia and Gav picking up first place. We had a really enjoyable trip thanks to the precise planning from Lucy and our delegate Rob at the Newspaper society and the lovely company of Julia and Gav. So thank you!

What did we learn from this trip:

Keep things simple. As is always the case with great adverts, but especially true when communicating to Europe.

Keep smiling. The work that got the most praise made the audience chuckle.

Keep drinking, beer tastes better in Belgium. And that's strong stuff coming from a Cider drinker.

Keep perfecting quickly, 24 hours seems shorter abroad.

Keep chatting, amazing what you learn from your foreign counterparts that are merely just across the English Channel.

More work and info can be found here.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The People's choice

The Chip Shop people have decided to let the public get their smitty paws on the entries this year. So in pure competitive spirit here's the link.

All you have to do is press the star rating on our entry (Alka Seltzer app) and that's it. The formula below makes it seem tricky but very intelligent. I think it just means rate/votes= average. Thanks

***The final results will be assessed using an algorithm designed to weight ratings to include factors like how many people actually voted for a piece of work.***

The formula we will use is: (WR) = (v ÷ (v+m)) x R + (m ÷ (v+m)) x C

* R = average for the piece of work(mean) = (Rating)
* v = number of votes for piece of work = (votes)
* m = minimum votes required to be listed in finalist table
* C = the mean vote across the whole judging process

Monday, May 3, 2010

it's called...The...You...Tube

Here is our video from the Wanted Ads on the Newspaper Society Reel. *cringe*. You can see all the other 18 teams by pressing this link. I think the work will also be uploaded soon as well so you can then put a better picture to our ramblings.

We are off the brussels this Thursday for the next stage to represent the UK at Best Yet . eeeps!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Campaign clipping

Here's some more info about the Wanted ad comps from todays Campaign. Hopefully the website with our work on will be running soon.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

chip shop Nominations 2010

We didn't get our entry into this years nominations. But big congrats to HS&P'S other entries from Jules, Chris and Nick for there nominations in "most shocking copy" and "best politically incorrect" and "best consumer campaign"

But take a look at our entry below for the Mobile App Category. The App was for Alka seltzer called 'Memory Aid' which acts as a lost and found app for the day after a heavy night out.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wanted Ads- Young Team of Year 2010

Last Friday we entered the wanted ads Young team year contest.

We rolled up at 9.30 for a long day of pressured thinking and manic scamping.
The brief was set by Al young, Creative Director of St Lukes which was to advertise Strongbow within a local media context. Immediately I was happy as it was a brief for cider and so I felt on very familiar grounds.

So after a long day trying to get to grips with the brief we quickly scamped our campaign and then presented it dragon den style to 5 judges. Not sure how it went we then sat down with the other 20 teams for the results... a few words from the judges and by-eck we won! surprised? We were too!

So next stage is Brussels in May to represent the UK in the Best Yet Competition.
We are very excited and we will be joined by runners up Julia and Gav.

Overall fantastic day and we met so many lovely and talented creative teams. Be great to see everyone again soon for another drink. I will post up links of work once they have been published online.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Reel them in

I'm a sucker for a show reel and if it makes my heart skip a beat i'll post it. This one has to be my reel of the month. Nando Costa.

Nando Costa Reel 2010 from Nando Costa on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spontaneous Combustion. The Birth and Death of an Idea.

I stumbled across an article in the Metro last week that struck a chord with me. The article suggested that brainstorming restricts creativity. It caught my attention as I had spent two days locked in a room brainstorming with a few people on a tough brief that didn't want to crack easily and so I was in a collaboration mindset.

The article read:

Brainstorming 'makes you less creative', researchers say
It will come as no surprise to those of us who have groaned at the thought of another session of ‘blue-sky thinking’ – brainstorming does not work.

Far from generating a raft of brilliant new ideas, thrashing out random thoughts in the boardroom on a Monday morning is counter-productive.US researchers have concluded we get the best ideas when sitting quietly on our own.
‘Fixation to other people’s ideas can occur unconsciously and lead to you suggesting ideas that mimic your brainstorming partners,’ said psychologist Nicholas Kohn.
‘You potentially become less creative.’
He and his colleagues at Texas A&M University carried out three experiments using groups of two, three and four subjects and found working together caused a gradual decline in the number of fresh thoughts they came up with.
Brainstorming can lead people to becoming fixated by just one possibility, blocking out alternatives and eventually leading to conformity.
‘Exchanging ideas in a group reduced the number of domains of ideas that were explored by participants. Additionally, ideas given by brainstormers conformed to ideas suggested by other participants,’ said Mr Kohn.
The study concluded that group creativity may be an overestimated method to generate ideas and individual exercises may be more effective.

So, what do I think? Working with a copywriter everyday often means we collaborate on briefs and so discussing concepts is a natural daily event. I however can understand where the research rings true. Often break-through moments for me come when i'm alone, completely absorbed and train of thought is clear from conflicting conversations and distractions. This is usually when i'm maniacally scribbling with a good Spotify list blasting through my headphones to keep me ticking along, or on the tube where no one actually cares if your unsocial and lack of eye contact is encouraged. For me I feel I have to have a moment alone to absorb the brief and think it through myself. However I see these first thoughts as just germs of ideas, I think the ideas come alive when people collaborate and expand on them. Often steering ideas into a clearer and stronger direction.

Here's a little more research (found here) that also suggests mainly negative outcomes of brainstorming.

In a [1987 study, researchers] concluded that brainstorming groups have never outperformed virtual groups. Of the 25 reported experiments by psychologists all over the world, real groups have never once been shown to be more productive than virtual groups. In fact, real groups that engage in brainstorming consistently generate about half the number of ideas they would have produced if the group’s individuals had [worked] alone.

In addition, in the studies where the quality of ideas was measured, researchers found that the total number of good ideas was much higher in virtual groups than in real groups.

So the evidence is there. Poor little Brainstorming (or "Thought Showers", if i'm to be politically correct) is getting some right jipp. However I find it hard to believe that the greatest adverts of all time came from one person's vision alone. Often anyone that's at the top of their game has a fantastic team supporting them. Also, if the method of brainstorming didn't work so well then perhaps the "creative team" structure wouldn't have passed the test of time as being a winning formula to produce award winning ideas in agencies that we still see today.

Jimmy the Jester

A little bit coincidental, but after posting Brooker's attempts at pulling apart adverts, I noticed Jimmy Carr had a go On Creative Review Blog. Carr's attempt is a little more involved but I think Brooker wins hands down for comedy value. Jimmy just doen't seem to hit my funny bone and often I did that slightly amused snot of a laugh that never progresses to a full chortel. Sorry Carr, I'm with Brooker on this one and thats not just because I like a good swear word or two.

Monday, April 5, 2010

what a cock up!

and just incase you thought women escaped.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Screw you Darling

Maybe it's just me being from the country and all that but I really like this new tv ad below from Magners and the strapline, "There's method in the Magners" Well done Cider people you make me proud.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mystic Meg

It's like the world's going to end in some sort of advertising armageddon. I agree with most of this video as alot of agencies might die off if they don't fully embrace digital. But I think it's also very patronising. Everyone has already started to get geared up and planners know that consumers have more knowledge and access to brands, it hasn't just happened over night. It's just a shift in where most of communication targets lie. However you can't deny that posters still work in their functionality, and DM packs still get more consumer attention than say an email. Also TV will never die, it's just moved to a digital scape.

Don't get me wrong, I love digital, it's advertising without limits. But I'm predicting once the newness has rubbed off there will be flip back to traditional ways. Bit like organic vs processed food movement. Albeit traditional will become more of a niche, but you cant rule them out. At the end of the day all products are different and it's what ever medium gets the message across best to the right audience. I believe most agencies will become integrated and very few will specialise. But if agencies do stick to their ground, I can imagine them surviving on their expertise alone. It will be interesting to see who's brave enough to stick it out.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mad Men's so fake.

Plastic fake. Love it. Bit creepy but Don still looks the shit even in a hot pink polymer sort of way. And Joan, loving the tailoring but just not enough curves!
In Order from left, Joan Holloway, Roger Sterling, Don Draper and Betty Draper.

Wanna be in my gang?

So it happened. The first slice from a scalpel blade. Suprised it took me this long actually. But now I feel initiated into the role of an art director/mock-up queen. I think I came off fairly well, no stitches just a nice flap of skin and most importantly not a drop off blood on the work! So professional.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sacred Spanners

This is all new to me when I spotted it in Lyme Regis, but Spanners are saved for future generations like some dying breed of fisherman's tool. Nice. Donate Generously people!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Patternity at Supermarket Sarah

Another beautiful wall from Supermarket Sarah in collaboration with Patternity. The wall this time explores you guessed it patterns.It's a really fantastic kaleidoscope display of patterns (see the making of the wall below) and yes it's all for sale! so... LEG IT!

Friday, March 5, 2010

A new bit of Silverware.

A Little bit of good news.

On a whim I thought I would enter a brief set by the Idea Bounty.
The brief was for the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation to promote students to enroll in their education program in South Africa via text and press.

My solution was to create a bit of excitement and release hundreds of ribbons with the text number on over the schools. The action would be filmed and photographed to form viral videos and assets for press.

So I was pleased to hear that I got a Silver award from the competition. Not bad for my first bounty.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

book vs blog

Despite the decline in pure creative advertising blogs, the growth of design blogs has flourished. However,I'm a bit torn by these design blogs. They quickly inform me as an art director of all the talented designers, illustrators and photographers out there, fantastic you would think, your jobs done, easy, wal laa!
It means I have more of the same choice that everyone else has. Of course nothing is original, but everything is becoming mainstream. For an illustrator or designer its perfect to finally showcase yourself but at the same time it can become boring. Once, beautiful design and illustration used to move me. Now, i've become a bit blasé, which is outragious considering the majority of work is brilliant. Perhaps I'm just overwhelmed in a overcrowded marketplace and its become much too easy to look at new trends and styles for "inspiration", that also go out of fashion as fast as they have come in.

So this week, whilst trying to tackle a full on brief I've returned to books to try and find something original, (if that's at all possible). Yes, its taken me longer, but it has proven very refreshing and feels like I'm discovering great work myself, in my own time. Also, I find that when looking through books you seem to have more time to consider and think about the little leads that crop up inside your head and although it takes longer it feels as though you have a wider spectrum to think in. Where as on the computer my thoughts feel confined to the frame of the computer screen, with the finger on auto pilot scrolling through pages and pages of new work, my brain just flicks from one thought to another, treating peoples work like " throw- away" design.

The only benefit I can see from these blogs is that standards are generally raised. Everybody is aware of what other people are doing and everyone can see the quality they need to reach, or mimic in some cases, in order to compete in the creative industries. Work is compared and critiqued internationally within seconds of being published. This type of blogging to me is all about showing your work off at its best in the quickest and most interesting way to a huge audience.

Despite the pros and cons, the pace of producing adverts has accelerated and so the speed at which looking for new illustrators and designers needs to be faster than ever. Blogs give you the ability to keep up to the speed of production whilst keeping one eye on trends. So perhaps blogs are a very useful tool to get the job done, but this doesn't necessarily mean the best. However, with books or blogs, its the end result that matters. Its not about what you've fffff-Found and more about how you've aaaa-Applied it (possible sister site suggestion ha ha?)

Now where did I leave my library card?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

"Question everything generally thought to be obvious"

I took a stroll to the Design Museum on Sunday to have a gander at Dieter Ram's exhibition. Despite only a small part of the gallery open due to preparations for Designer of the year, what I did see was really great and this time I did actually spend longer in the gallery than in the amazing design shop. That's always a good sign!

I knew little about Dieter Rams apart from a few Braun products and some furniture design, so I didn't really know what to expect but from the start your greeted by a snapshot of his 10 point design ethos expressing what makes good design:

Good design is innovative.
Good design makes a product useful.
Good design is aesthetic.
Good design makes a product understandable.
Good design is unobtrusive.
Good design is honest.
Good design is long-lasting.
Good design is thorough down to the last detail.
Good design is environmentally friendly.
Good design is as little design as possible.

Here's a few of my favorite pieces. I think its easy to see where products such as apple get their minimal style influence from. For me, feeling like i want to own all the retro pieces (especially a Braun radio) shows that the design hasn't dated and still could remain in a modern market place whilst the balance remains prefect between both style and practicality. Have a look at a short interview with Dieter Rams below.

"Good design - real design is centered on the user."
At the exhibition there was also a mini section exploring ergonomics. Ergonomics looks at problems or situations that can be improved through design. There was some really interesting experiments that included looking at how medical emergency equipments works and how it can be improved for efficiency to studying the layout of a Sky remote control. I particularly liked the experiment that looked into trying to stimulate what its is liked to be an older driver with ailments such as arthritis and restrictive movements. The result was a funny looking suit below that mimicked these restraints however the real world use is in fact that these studies will improve safety and car design for the older generation.

So the lesson, brilliant design is a solution that is both innovative and serves a purpose. The best of last years design can now be seen at the Brit Insurance Awards. Which funnily enough, for a brief, I was sent there yesterday. See the next post for more details.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The age of diversification

Coming from rural roots, I know alot about business' diversifying, especially farmers. But the creative industries also seem to be at it. It's not a new phenomenon but why does it happen? Whether its an entrepreneurial act for financial survival or simply transferring existing skills and creating voluntary collaborations, everyone in the creative sector seams to be exploring other fields.

Take Rowan Moore, an architect with several buildings to his name, he has branched from exterior to interior design. His designs include the 2009 Oscars ceremony, the stage production of Legally Blonde and the interiors of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants. Moore claims its not about making shed loads of money, but instead the result of natural progression as a result of "staying curious" and open minded to opportunities creativity can produce.

Likewise in Advertising, agencies no longer wish to pigeon hole themselves into boxes, instead they choose to be more expressive and encourage communication through the medium which works best for the brand, not the agency. Spanning from music videos, magazines, installations and product design. Personally I think this is probably the best way to express creativity, after all don't clients and budgets restrict the brief enough already? It seams to be changing the shape of advertising just as it has through the history of Art, where many new movements happened due to accidental experimentation.

However, as conceptual thinkers this would suggest that creative people should be able to move into any creative area, but this doesn't mean you will succeed in all. Here's a classic example, take Celebrities Dancing On Ice, each celebrity already has a 'talent' of some sort in predominantly the entertainment industry but that doesn't mean they can all skate.

So, does this mean you should stick with what your best at? Of course not, but as long as we explore, experiment and stay open minded when answering a brief, you never know where it might lead, but almost certainly it will lead to somewhere new.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Love is in the air

So tomorrow is Valentines day. Florists will have Cheshire Cat smiles, restraunteurs are clinking champagne glasses and Anne Summers gets another *ahem* boost. But if the love of your life doesn't magically appear tomorrow or of those petrol ridden "special coronations" aren't quite cutting it, then heres some advertising attempts instead to help celebrate this most special time of year.

First up, Heineken's Beer flavored lip Gloss:

Next, nicely directed ad from Seat, Ibiza " See it, Love it."

Finally, once for the boys, Hard Chorus by Puma. Cleverly taking advantage of Valentines day falling on a match day.

Bring on the Pancakes!

Monday, February 8, 2010

A happy accident

Well the battle of the blogs is over and indeed I lost to the boys who regained a lead in the last hour. Well done.

Apart from rallying blog votes this weekend, I visted a photography exhibition by Matt Stuart at the KK outlet titled "Happy Accidents". It was nice to view an exhibition where whilst trundling around you'd hear discussion and laughs from other visitors. A light hearted subject certainly lifts the mood of a gallery space.

Matt Stuart's exhibition is about being an opportunist with photography and either through composition, people and props quickly take a photo that gives the subject another meaning or life. Considering most photography is staged and meticulously fussed over it's refreshing to see photos that are less staged and comprise of natural and accidental compositions. It just shows that with a little patience,luck and an observant eye, great pictures are out there waiting to be captured.

Friday, February 5, 2010