I think Dollar Shave Club might have been more influential than we first thought…

(Thanks, D.)

Loving our new mac ad

(Not accepting comments.)

Side Project number 12845627345

Alex and Adam write:

Hi Ben, 

We write to you with what might be the least worthy side project in the history of your blog. 

We will understand completely if you pull a funny face and then drag this towards the little trash icon.

Or you can open the attached word doc to see what it’s all about.

(Here are the contents of the Word doc:)

“The client is pushing us heavily towards full-bleed.”

If you work in advertising, we don’t need to tell you the quote above is less sinister than it might first appear. It is, nonetheless a fine example of the surreal sound bites pinging down the halls of ad agencies the world over.

Whether you’re a suit, creative, a planner, or even one of those accounts payable gnomes – chances are, you’ve had a conversation shudder to a halt as you all frown and wonder how you arrived at: “I don’t want to execute any ducks.”

Long, insufferable meetings produce gems like “We have to maintain the biscuit equity” or “That’s a lot of buckets of learning you’ve had along the way.” And if you retreat to a different part of the building – fearing an imminent bleed on the brain – you’re only going to run into a TV producer insisting “We need someone with a face like a sock puppet” or a creative director ranting “I should have drunk that tea, instead of sticking my cock in it.”

These absurd little quotes – stranger still, when taken out of context – seem to be unavoidable byproducts of the marketing process. And we love them. They remind us that we didn’t settle for the nine to five, and the rows of neatly ordered cubicles. No, instead we get to spend every day with a strange, wonderful bunch of people, who say things like “Trick everyone, eat a granny and have a great time.”

As a sort of group-therapy catharsis, we’d like to invite your readers to share their own ad-quotes with us via


Share away…

When Did You Last See A Good KFC AD?

Here’s a new one that smoulders like a Zinger Tower Burger:

Really well shot (interest declared: by my friend Jeff Labbé) – to a level that a fast food ad really doesn’t usually enjoy.

I did wonder if the product moment would work, but it’s pretty good. Great American Bites? Rodeos. Fine by me.

And let’s face it: it’s several thousand times more memorable than whatever they’ve been doing for the last ten years (none of which I recall).

Yay Agnostic Atheism!

So I was thinking about how god-fearin’ my new home is going to be, and how, as an agnostic atheist, I may encounter a little bit of awkwardness on that score.

‘An agnostic atheist?’, I hear you cry. ‘Weren’t you a fundamentalist agnostic only a few years ago?’

Well, yes. But now I’m an agnostic atheist because I’m clear that agnostic atheism is the absence of a belief in God, but without certainty. I previously thought that it was the belief that there was no God, but as that’s not the case I’ve revised my standpoint and here I am: an agnostic atheist heading for the United States of America.

In these days of ridiculous religion-based warfare I feel it’s worth standing up for the way of thinking that necessarily avoids all that, in the hope that others might wind that kind of stuff back in and leave the world a more peaceful place.

Of course, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but for anyone wondering where I’m coming from, here are a few helpful visual and verbal aids:





Last time I brought this up there were quite a few opinions from all sides.

Just curious… Have any of you altered your position towards religion in the last few years?

New boy in the neighbourhood, lives downstairs and it’s understood. He’s there just to take good care of me, like he’s the weekend.

The three words most commonly used about each World Cup team (thanks, T).

Great historic black and white photos colourised (thanks, J).

Photos a second too early/late.

Real-life Pete Griffin (thanks, C):

Better Call Saul interview (thanks, J).

Album covers minus deceased band members (thanks, T).

I think this might be the best thing I’ve ever seen (thanks, T).

Paging Dr Freud (and Dr King):

Crazy Japanese inventions (thanks, K).

Is your shizz built to last?

The other day my son’s class sang a song in assembly that they said was based on this ad:

As we were leaving I turned to my wife and said, ‘That’s a pretty obscure reference to base a 2014 Year Three assembly on.’ She agreed, but the thing I found even more interesting was the fact that we both remembered the ad. I then went home and showed it to my kids (8 and 4) and they both loved it. Could it run today and delight kids into buying crisps? Absolutely, and that’s a hell of an achievement for a little ad from the 80s.

So how long will your work live for, and does it matter?

I have no idea why certain ads have stuck in my mind for decades, but it does seem that animation and a catchy song was an easy route to victory:

But there were other ads that seemed to hang around for less obvious reasons:

I loved the slicing noise, but now I’ve had another look, what the hell was the point of slicing it? To show it had peanuts all the way through? Did anyone doubt that?

I remember the kissing snooker balls of this one, and the fact that my friends and I used to say ‘Der-der… follow the bear!’ in the playground a fair bit:

Anyway, are today’s ads doing the same thing to impressionable young minds? Is it possible to deliberately create something that will still last for decades even though it’s ‘just’ an ad?

I have a feeling the Cadbury’s Gorilla will last a while, but what about the puppets, or the Yeo Valley rappers? Will that weird little poo character for EDF imprint itself on our psyches? Will the adults of 2040 sing ‘’ to the tune of YMCA?

Like almost everything on God’s clean earth, it doesn’t matter whether that happens or not; but it might give you quite a glow if you can pull it off.

I suppose we’d better discuss this

Juan Cabral directs an Ikea ad for Mother.

It’s like the advertising industry of 2005 decided to create a fantasy team to produce the finest ad of all time.

But, y’know, it’s 2014, so can those stalwarts of awardification still cut the mustard?

Well, for what it’s worth I think they’ve run a Stanley knife through the Colman’s like a proverbial motherfucker.

It’s one of those event ads I was brought up to believe we should aspire to.

It’ll stand out like dogs’ bollocks, intrigue, delight and satisfy.

OK, it’s not quite a Surfer, Drugstore, Grrr or Balls – it lacks a touch of relevance in closing the circle of the idea, but that’s a tiny quibble for a bloody good ad.

Hats off.

Just last week, when I was walking down the street, I observed this lovely lady that I wanted to meet. I walked up to her I said hello, she said you’re kind of cute, I said yes I know. But by the way sweetheart what’s your name? She said my friends like to call me the weekend.

Let’s deconstruct the style of Michael Bay (thanks, D):

And then, to recleanse your soul, the work of Roger Deakins:

Don’t do meth, kids (check number 12!).

Best Kickstarter evah (thanks, V).

How to stammer like Porky Pig:

Interiors of the year.

Writing tips from the CIA (thanks, T).

Presidents with boob faces (thanks, L).

The making of Magnolia (thanks, J):

Tim’s Faces (thanks, A).

Great booze products.

Great Viz letters.

Scary motherfucker.

Oscar-winning screenwriter explains how he does it (thanks, V):

Ship the bed has a lot to answer for

Contrived, unfunny and when you look at the icing on the bun, kinda gross*.




*I’m in LA, so now I say things like ‘kinda gross’.

UPDATE (thanks, Nobby):