Adland exclusive


Spotlight on, ad interviews, exclusive content, scoops


Adland's 10 by 10 - Top Ten new ad space ideas in the past ten years.

Another countdown to 2010, in the past ten years the internet (and this website) has matured its way up to "2.0", everyone on earth learned to play along in the security theatre at airports and advertising has broken new grounds offline, these days its not so much ad creep as a great wave of advertising molasses seeking to cover every inch of the earth. Lets see the top ten oddest and most innovative new ad media ideas in the past ten years, shall we?

Eggvertising. You can have your egg and brand it too.
Egg ads media in Canada sold this space alone, meanwhile some folks in London decided that the sandwich wrapper made a great unused ad space, and now no food was safe - we had Printed pringles with logos straight on them, Nanner ads on Bananas, Gourmet impressions - selling ad space on pizza and even ads inside your Tokitos.
It was enough to make us loose our appetite.


Adland's top ten (well, twelve actually) sexiest ads of 2009.

Welcome to that odd Monday where everyone in advertising goes to work but nobody really knows why.

As a distraction, I offer you the sexiest ads of 2009. Since I find good ads sexy, we're not going by my standard but by the most common standard. In short, here are the ones with the most nudity.

#1 PETA came out early this year to try and grab the crown, they had models frolicking with asparagus and being "so smitten that she makes herself part of a steaming "orgy" of mixed vegetable soup." In other words, they had models and phallic symbols, lots of skin and suggestive moves and then they press released the hell out of not being allowed to air during the superbowl. "Banned" they called it, even though it's simply "rejected by network".

PETA - Veggie Love (failed superbowl ad) - (2009) :30 (USA)

#2 "Becoming a donor is probably your only chance to get inside her", sexy and it stings.


Adland's 10 by 10 - Top Ten Escalator ads in the past ten years.

Another countdown to 2010, lets look at how creative escalator advertising has become in the past ten years, shall we? From worst to best, here's the top ten (well, eleven actually), escalator ads in the past ten years.

#1 The Nivea shaving ad from DRAFTFCB switzerland uses the time spent on the escalator to make people read, and wait, for the point. Meanwhile the Revita beauty center ad from Brazil has people walking on the models back. Both of these are.... nice but no cigar, as the first one feels a bit too forced hoping people will read all that, and the second one just weird as I doubt anyone thinks "ah, how relaxing" when walking one someones back.

Gustav von Sydow and Gustav Martner

Gabbing with Gustav and Gustav: CP+B Europe ECD and CEO of Burt about remix culture

What is the future of advertising and communication in the remix culture of today? What can advertising learn from the new pop culture?

"I'd say, do something, learn, and then improve it" asserts Gustav von Sydow, founder and CEO of Burt.
"Advertising is much more about keeping momentum" offers Gustav Martner, the Executive Creative Director of Crispin Porter and Bogusky, Europe.

We delve into strategy, and product development as an answer to a communication brief, possibilities that are within reach today thanks to improvements in technology. Who owns the idea these days?


Adland's 10 by 10 - Top Ten Spec ads that went viral in the past ten years.

  1. Lego: Rebuild it. First it was posted on various adblogs as if Saatchi & Saatchi, Guangzhou, China really had Lego approval on this image. But they didn't - and Lego was furious. The team that created it, Black Wu and Darren Cheung, crafted an apology letter in both English and Chinese stating that they were very sorry for causing the brand damage with their "naive and irresponsible behavior", before getting the sack from Saatchi China. Where they are now is anybodies guess.

  2. The Bic Wite Out ads. Yeah, there, I said the name. SO SUE ME! First we had these terrible Bic ads submitted by the creative team Miguel Angel Barahona and Gabriel Gomez at TBWA Chile. Then, Bic's US Headquarters tells us to take them down. When that didn't work, the agencies creative director begged us to remove the ads. OK, fine, so the images were removed. But that wasn't good enough, as BIC Headquarters in the United States were pissed and the agency risked a lot of business, so the CD asked me again to please remove the brand name. Everywhere. Not happy until I had whited out every single mention of BIC® even in the comments, which of course bought these ads more blog mentions elsewhere on the web not to mention pissed off adgrunts. You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube folks.


Paul Lavoie on scam ads and trust: "Brands really want to tell the truth"

People don't like new. In fact, I always wanted to start an agency called HACK. We should do the worst crap, just get the job done, real fast, and just get out of there. New is more challenging to sell.

Right after Paul Lavoie, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of TAXI, was done with his creative solving problem lecture at the Eurobest 2009 in Amsterdam, where he had a pornographer, a knife-thrower and a Dakar Rally driver as guests, we dragged him aside and wanted to talk with him about trust, the must-have building block to create great ads. We ended up talking about the biggest deception of them all in adland, scam ads, and why they are made.


Double stealth campaign got the world scrolling

It all started with Mathijs Kraai and Bas Uytdenhouwen, who had set a goal for themselves to graduate from the Communication & Multimedia Design programme at the Avans University in The Netherlands in a spectacular manner. In contrary to the individually performed internship and thesis, the ‘free project’ offered the option to form a team and formulate a worthy project to graduate with.

Mathijs’ and Bas’ first task was obvious: finding the best and most ambitious Communication & Multimedia students of our year. It didn’t take long for us to get Bart van Delft on board, who Mathijs and Bas recently did a project with for Philips Design. They also followed a half year long minor program with him at the University of Twente.

Mathijs and Bas both chose the specialization Interaction Strategy, which focuses on strategic aspects of campaigns, but also on marketing, management and concept development. Bart chose Information & Interaction, with which he specializes on converting the above to the real world.

After the first brainstorm session, organized before the project itself had started, the three decided to present themselves to the ‘real world’ and potential employers in a highly distinct and unique way.

Even though there were no concrete plans yet, they realised that designers should not be lacking in this project group. Hence, the search for new blood continued, which resulted in hooking up with Hester Naaktgeboren and Jeroen Bijl. Both of them have specialized in Multimedial Design, and it shows. The composition of this group that would operate under the name ‘De vijf van morgen’ (The five of tomorrow) was born.


When is a copy inspired, when is it illegal, and how to tell your clients to stop having demo-love

This is brought on by Her morning Elegance trend & the recent straight style copy of "Sorry I'm late".

Badlanders as the examples I promised: Dexim ad vs Jamie Nelson - This is what we call "demo love" - and what lawyers call "copyright infringement". and Double BLT magazine covers, NYT's "T" vs Coast a.k.a Toast.. This is not to be confused with obvious parodies that mimic a style on purpose to be funny. Like when John Cleese & Schweppes copied the style of CK perfume ads at the time.
Homages to other ads are a long-going tradition in UK advertising, but it's difficult to make them work in their own right so be careful with that.
The all time low is when ad agencies in far off lands re-use photographs they have no rights to use in their own ad campaigns, and this one tops them all as the mummy in that photograph is actually the copywriter of the original ad. When it comes to design you need to be inspired but watch out so it's not too inspired by all the great designers who came before you.

Clients will get in trouble for straight-up rip-offs. As they did in the case of Coke mimicking Joel Veitch's ninja kittens, and when Nike copied a chinese flash animators stick figures. These cases were won by the original creators, which is rare, but the bigger worry is when you piss off someone elses fanbase which may also be your customer base. Like when Nike copied Minor Theft or Jamba Juice borrowed heavily from Get Your War on. There is bigger danger in copying than simply being called a hack.


Rest in peace S-W-H, Long Live INDIE, Amsterdam instead.

I bumped into Mark Aink in Cannes, as proven here with a blurry phoneshot from Gutter bar, and did ask him about Indie - the new agency born from what was once known as S-W-H. Can't for the life of me recall all the clever things he said (everything ever said at the gutter bar is the smartest thing ever, but it evaporates the next morning), but he did confess that relaunch of S-W-H to Indie is all part of a "reset", just like the one Balmer was talking about.

All cleaned up and ready for their closeups, Mark Aink and Lode Schaeffer of Indie have much more to say about their metamorphosis.

Managing Partner, Mark Aink says:

“First instincts can sometimes lead businesses to seek what they know and try to maintain stability despite changes occurring within their industry. It’s time for businesses, ours included, to realise that things aren’t changing but they’ve already changed. The changes that we have made over the years within S-W-H are manifested in the roots of Indie.”

Creative Director and Founding Partner of S-W-H, Lode Schaeffer, says:

“S-W-H was established in 1997. It doesn’t sound that long ago but, since then, we’ve seen exponential changes in the world around us, especially in the rise of new media. YouTube, camera-phones, TV on-demand, blogs, MP3, even Google didn’t exist back then, and now they are an everyday part of our lives. It’s a no-brainer that change has also occurred within our agency. Indie takes on board all of those changes and embraces them. We’re looking ahead to the not-yet-known.”


Psyop Workshop in Cannes 2009 - where skin wins over execution.

Psyop - you know them - they're world famous for creating amazing animations for advertising, had a workshop in cannes Wednesday 24 June titled: Blurring The Line Between Art And Commerce In Advertising. Their best-known piece is probably Happiness Factory for Coke out of W+K Amsterdam that won a silver lion last year and appeared in the 2007 Super Bowl. When I heard they were doing a workshop, I was interested in learning more about who they are, what they do, and how they do it.

The workshop was headed up by Psyop Managing Partner Justin Booth-Clibborn and Marie Hyon and Marco Spier both Founders and Creative Directors at Psyop. The workshop began with a little bit about who they are this may be best shown in their anthem spot which they created to define themselves, their anthem. They then then went on to dissect a few of their best works including the beautiful Crow for MTV HD (, the paper doll cutout music video for Converse , Fantaand their latest for Milk. They shared with the delegates what goes into a job, how they pitch it and their design process. They went into the most detail on the Milk Sad Princess spot and it's really amazing at how much work goes into creating animated water - something like 28 layers to make it look real.

In the last 30-45 minutes of their workshop, the workshop bit began. Delegates dived into groups, given a number of magazines, poster board, sharpie markers, scissors and glues sticks, and were told to come up with a concept or story inspired by the music. The music was "Thank you for Being a Friend" (yes, the theme from TVs The Golden Girls, egad!). They didn't wnat to make things easy. Groups, composed of people from all other the globe, who did not know each other, began to frantically work together to get this task done. The prize to the winning group would be Psyop books, which are not yet released.

The groups came up with some great ideas - the most impressive to me was the group who did a stop-motion piece utilizing their digital camera. In the end the team that used sex to sell, they had a Playboy magazine to work with, were the winners of the day. Figures.