Ferris Bueller was right, "If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." We all need to take time to stop and look around.
This is a blog about brands, technology, ads and ideas that I find interesting and would like to share.
I am writing an article for the Spectator on brilliant, must-have gadgets this Christmas. In fact the article is actually about technology and gadgets for girls (no, not those kind of gadgets for girls...). but having spoken to smart people like Belinda Parmar author of Lady Geek and the folks at London Girl Geek Dinner, I know that it is not about Swarovski crystal encrusted cellphones and pink Hello Kitty laptop carriers, and more about great design and ease of use.
Couple of thoughts to share and questions to ask: I am not convinced that actually there is such thing as a girl gadget, surely brilliant design and ease of use a la Apple works across the gender divide?
I know that pink DS Lites outsold the other colours, but I wonder whether than is more of a youth trend rather than simply a female one?
I guess that the only real gender difference might be that men are happy to spend longer tooling around and getting a piece of kit set up, as Dr Genevieve Bell at Intel says: " If you want to design technology that appeals to women, it needs to work flawlessly out of the box. They don't have the time to faff around."
Is there a technology gender divide??
Are there any gadgets that you have heard about that just sound fantastic that you think I should look into? Regardless of whether you are a boy or a girl/man or woman.
I sit next to Mik at VCCP. Not only is he one of the best 3-d animators and web developers I have worked with, he also has a secret other life. Actually his other life is not so secret really. Mik commutes into London each day from his chili farm in Hampshire. He and his family produce the most fantastic chili products - forget about your ordinary run of the mill chillis, we're talking about Scotch Bonnet, Thai Dragon and Hungarian Wax. Some of it almost physically blows your head off, others are actually pretty mild. They all taste great.
Mik makes all sorts of things - pouring sources, dipping jams and pickles.
Watching the ads during the RWC final reminded me a little of Superbowl Sunday - an enormous sporting occasion that generates enormous TV viewing figures and some very high profile advertisements.
From my entirely unscientific focus group of 10 non-advertising people watching the rugby it was interesting to see what ads people talked about unprompted and what they said.
These were the ads that seemed to cut through and get people talking in South-West London last night: 1. The Silverjet ad - people were amazed that a such a direct "copy and paste ad" could be made (though admittedly the soundtrack had been changed for the final) Everyone remembered the original British Airways ad even though it was from the 1980s. It's a fantastic ad and I guess that the music that helped keep the association so fresh and alive. 2. The Audi R8 "The slowest car we've ever made" - This car-porn ad got every man in the room salivating. 3. Cadbury Gorilla - By far and away the ad that made everyone stop and talk. Most people seemed confused, "I just don't get it," "what does this have to do with chocolate or Cadburys", " But then people started to say how funny they found it, how everyone they knew was talking about it and about the brilliant parodies and remixes that were on YouTube that kept on being emailed round.
No-one talked about Bravia Bunnies at all. Buying the spot immediately at the end of a World Cup Final for me didn't seem like the smartest decision. Everyone was so exhausted and deflated that they paid no attention at all to the TV. If we'd won, we'd have been dancing round celebrating and opening bottles of champagne and not paying attention to the TV. But what do I know about media buying.
So in Renata's house last night, Gorilla was the clear-cut winner of the RWC commercial break. Not only for the ad itself, but also for the creativity that it inspired in others.
As people unprompted mentioned the brilliant YouTube Gorilla remixes, here are two of my favourites:
Neil Jones, 35, from Portsmouth, Hants, said: “I’ve
averaged four pints a game and my friends have knocked back double that. I
was so excited by the action on the pitch I assumed I must be burning up the
“I kept drinking and wondered why nothing was happening. Now I feel
Jim O’Shea, 45, from Coventry, said: “I’ve been
drinking like a fish and I thought it was strange.
“I suspected the beer was watered down but had no idea it didn’t
contain a hint of alcohol. It’s outrageous. I could have saved a
fortune by drinking water. The fact that it’s alcohol-free should be advertised. It’s
typical of the French to try and cheat us.
It feels a little odd to me to be using this blog as a recruitment tool, but since starting "Life Moves Pretty Fast..." almost a year ago I feel connected to a multitude of smart, inquisitive minds in a way that I have never done before , so here goes.
I moved to VCCP 8 months ago - I was looking for a genuinely integrated, down to earth un-ad wanky agency, a place that was good but had the potential to be great. The important bit for me was to be part of a bright, forward-thinking and imaginative team focused on building and creating something a bit different.
The first 5 years of VCCP centred a lot around the building of Brand Worlds for clients (think about O2, Dyson, ING Direct, Diet Coke and you will understand what I mean)
Although VCCP has always been involved in activation of brand ideas (The O2 arena, Scrum in the Park, Arsenal, Wireless music festivals etc) it has been this year that I think that we have started to move up a level.
Focusing on ideas rather than executions, ideas that adhere to these new rules of brand engagement:
1. Be useful 2. Be transparent 3. Be inclusive
Thinking about how we engage, rather than where we communicate.
I want to talk with "T-Shaped people" (people with a good broad overview of brands and communications but with a deep digital centre of gravity) It's important to me that digital is not seen as a separate entity, but as part of a wider comms plan.
I am looking for planners who can come and help come make incredible work and shape the future of VCCP.
If that sounds at all interesting, email me "email@example.com"