Archive for January, 2013

My Two Ads – John’s pick

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

This week, impressively bearded Senior Designer John takes up the My Two Ads challenge, the Together Agency’s mission to celebrate marvellous ads, and lock terrible ones in a wheelie bin full of angry moles.

The best – British Heart Foundation

‘For me a good ad has to be original and clever (and sometimes being slightly bizarre helps too). They have to cut through the mediocrity… for example why are sofa ads always, well sofa ads? Why can’t creatives who make these things, think outside the box now and again and surprise us. And why can’t the companies that hire them not always look to their competitors instead of taking a lead themselves?

Which leads me to the British Heart Foundation’s Vinnie Jones ad . How do you make an advert on life saving techniques without being grim and preachy? Enter Vinnie, perennially typecast as an East End villain, demonstrating hands only CPR (hard & fast and no kissing) to the Bee Gees ‘Staying Alive’.  Honestly its a ‘win win’ and according the Daily Mail (boo hiss) it’s actually directly saved lives!’

The worst – Vodafone (Yodafone)

‘There are lots of adverts that annoy me (far more than I actually like), so where does one start? John Lewis and its shameless manipulation of the middle class heartstrings (and I bloody love shopping in John Lewis!)

Kevin Bacon selling 4G mobile phones (great concept, really badly executed), Brad Pitt selling perfume (really bad concept, really, really, badly executed) to the super crass horror of Go Compare, Confused.com, Money Supermarket.com – but one advert stands far above all these shabby ads…

Yoda selling mobile phones for Vodafone.

Let me explain. The first the film I saw in the cinema aged 7 was ‘Star Wars’ and so it holds a special place in my heart. The franchise was held in great esteem until those prequels raised their ugly CG heads in the late 90s. Until then, Star Wars was right up there with the ‘Godfather’.

When I was a child I loved Han Solo – but the older I got, the more I swayed towards the character of Yoda. He was old and wise, you just didn’t mess with Yoda like you don’t mess with Jeremy Paxman. So imagine my horror when during an ad break for a Midsomer Murders there he was, my childhood hero, selling mobile phones!

Here is my problem. Star Wars happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Yoda dies (or becomes one with The Force) at the beginning of ‘Return of the Jedi’. So how is it possible that Yoda, looking positively sprightly, is plonked into the 21st Century, trying to make friends with young hipsters with smart phones who know him by name but have no respect for his wise words. If anything he’s a mild annoyance to them: ‘oh no its that bloody Yoda again, “blah blah, tap tap, ooh shiny phone”.

BAH!!

And then to top it off Vodafone don’t even use the strapline ‘Yodafone’ which would rescue the whole shambles a little bit.’

Next week: Office Manager/Pirate Ruth Fox

Building Succesful Graduates on Facebook for NTU

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

You know the bit in The Bourne Ultimatum where Jason Bourne beats a man to death with a rolled up magazine? That bit was awesome.

Well, just recently, we enjoyed working on one particular project for our pals at Nottingham Trent University even more than that.

We were asked by NTU to come up with an engaging and original social media platform that would get prospective students involved with the NTU experience, tell them a bit more about university life and let them interact with other students in the same position as them.

What we conjured up was a striking and playful Facebook app called ‘Building Successful Graduates’, where prospective students can build their own little character (an NT-You) and drop them into an online NTU environment.

Us, NTU and the students who are getting involved are delighted with how it’s turned out, and it’s one of our favourite ever projects.

In fact, we’d go as far to say that it’s even better than the bit in Jaws The Revenge where the shark eats Michael Caine’s plane. And that bit is, frankly, brilliant.

The rise and rise of creative Nottingham

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Nottingham

I once met a Norwegian chap who asked me where I was from and I told him Nottingham. He replied ‘ah Nottingham, famous for the ducks, yes?’.

That was a new one and, not even knowing where to begin with this statement, I punched him in the face and threw him into a volcano. Actually, I just nodded, smiled and cursed the absence of a nearby volcano.

But my confused Norwegian friend aside, Nottingham is a city with an increasingly burgeoning reputation, not for ducks, but for creativity.

We’ve been operating as an agency in the heart of Nottingham for over 7 years, and we’ve witnessed the remarkable rise in quality, imagination and stature within the city’s creative community.

We’re constantly coming across agencies, artists, developers, filmmakers and all other kinds of creative characters who have got so much talent, they could use it to beat a dinosaur to death. They wouldn’t though, they’re too nice for that.

And that talent has emerged in an atmosphere of encouragement, investment and pride from the city itself.

Art establishments like the Nottingham Contemporary and The Broadway Arts Cinema are nationally renowned, while Nottingham Trent University is amongst the most dynamic and influential creative universities in Britain.

And it is cornerstones of creativity such as these that provides the platform for agencies, individuals and projects (like the iconic ‘Left Lion’ magazine) to flourish.

There is a spirit of boldness and inventiveness within the city’s creative community, one that is seeing Nottingham develop an enviable reputation for ideas and output.

Along with Manchester, Birmingham and many other thriving UK cities, Nottingham has helped shatter the myth that creativity is generated solely and exclusively in London.

We’re increasingly finding big brands looking further afield for a creative agency, and it is the duty of us, and all creative enterprises in Nottingham, to persuade them that they were right to bring us their business.

Come to Nottingham friends, home of some of the finest creatives in the land. And some ducks. Apparently.

The Crunch: Quavers

Friday, January 25th, 2013

QuaversImagine a tiny baby dolphin, with big caring eyes and a cheery demeanour. Now imagine that baby dolphin was made of cheese. You’d eat it. Don’t lie, you know you would.

That’s because anything associated with cheese become instantly delicious. Or so we thought…

Few things in life are more disappointing than uninspiring cheese crisps. And sadly, that is what Quavers are.

It’s not even that Quavers are unpleasant. It’s the fact that anything cheese flavoured can fail to be more delicious than a Greggs Sausage Roll stuffed inside a Greggs Steak Bake.

If Wotsits, or even generic supermarket cheese puffs, are ‘Jurassic Park’, then Quavers aren’t even either of the two underwhelming sequels or the upcoming fourth movie. Oh no, they’re a secret bootleg ‘Jurassic Park’ in which all the dinosaurs have been replaced by languid moles. Not even big ones.

Sorry Quavers, you are cheese and therefore our Jesus. But as cheese Jesus’ go, you’re a pretty rubbish one.

Quavers score 2 Lovejoys.

 

2-Lovejoys

More Crunching next week…

My Two Ads – Ady’s pick

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

This week in My Two Ads, Together’s weekly ad review, Ady, King of Artwork (and Peterborough. And fishes) gently embraces his favourite ad of all time, and viciously strangles his least favourite.

The best – Bargain Booze’s Christmas campaign

‘Not an awful lot makes me laugh on the TV these days, and genuinely funny adverts are few and far between.

But this Christmas, in amongst the pretentious perfume ads (we’ll get to that later) the Bargain Booze festive campaign really stood out.

But not only was it humorous (and a little wacky) it still managed to get across it’s key brand messages (local, convenient, great deals and value) clearly and effectively.

And the answer by the old lady right at the end of the commercial (I won’t spoil it) is a punchline any stand up comedian would be proud of.’

The worst – Chanel No. 5 with Brad Pitt

‘What can I say about this legendarily bad ad that hasn’t been said already? Three things:

1. It’s waffling (but that doesn’t matter because we only look at his lovely face).
2. It’s cheesy (but that doesn’t matter because we only look at his lovely face).
3. It’s meaningless (but that doesn’t matter because we only look at his lovely face).

First rule of Fight Club Brad: never ever do any kind of advert ever again. Ever.’

Next week: Designer John