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Archive for February, 2007

NOSTALGIA

Ok, it doesn’t leap out at you as being as sexy as Audi, as fun as Nintendo or as fashionable as Diesel. But I was thinking, what other brand is so rich in my childhood memories in terms of trust, favourability and when if I were in a position to – buy one straight away. AGA!?! I hate to go all twee here and I will deserve a savage beating but I’m really liking and have always liked AGA.

This is mainly due to the fact I grew up in the countryside and, obviously, that my parents had one. This could therefore be the split, I’d love to hold research groups with those that buy AGA split by ‘grew up with’ and ‘grew up without’. I’m sure you’d find the former very passionate about the brand and not so much about the cooking and the latter based really on status symbol collecting.

I just can’t think of another brand that has my undivided loyalty, emotional affinity and has a postponed consideration to purchase decades before I’m able to?

Memories are really strong with AGA, if you grew up with one and I’m sure a major factor in its ‘consideration to purchase’ journey:

I remember: Leaning against it, aged 17, arms crossed, kicking it with my heal, looking down as my mum went mental after finding my weed under my bed

Dogs shivering next to it in brutal Decembers

Always burning toast on those grill net things

My mum clipping me behind my ear as I pulled on the springy handle things on the hobs

This is fucking twee so I’ll stop there.

Just wanted to note that no other brand from my childhood has such clear memories, others yeah of course are there in the background but are probably irrelevant to me now or certainly don’t lie in my aspirational bank.

Anyway, now that crap is over, who’s up for a massive rave in Shoreditch tonight with filthy techno that will melt the face off a Yack?

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The AdLads sat down for a World Exclusive with YOUR President Of The Internet, Her Excellency Mrs. Janet Belmot for a bit of chat. And a smoothie.

AdLads: Did you start in advertising or did you start advertising? How and why?

President Belmot: I first became interested in advertising in August 2006. Up until then, it was basically rubbish and the industry was over-run with amateurs, like rats in the store galley of an ocean galleon. Disgusting.

My brain employs a technique called the ‘Belmot Fast Tester Reaction’. Basically, I look at something and, if it’s rubbish, I do it better. This was happening all the time when I was watching adverts, so I began to talk over them and eventually become an expert. Case closed!

The AdLads: What is the capital of Peru? Have you been there? Why not?

PB: This is DEFINITELY Lima. Like a lot of places, I have NOT been there. If you’ve ever been to Dorking yourself, you’ll know that us locals are spoilt for choice. Apart from the one-way system which is a national town-planning disgrace, it has the LOT. Shops, hairdressers and other amenities. So to answer your question, what has Lima got that Dorking hasn’t? Answer: nothing. This also explains the high proportion of Peruvian tourists around Dorking shopping centre.

AdLads: We’re pretty amazing now but want to be better. Are we greedy or just being modest?

PB: The key things to being better are: realising what you’re NOT better at, then doing something about it to better that area. Here’s an example: an advert, for a brand I won’t ‘name and shame’, uses surfers and horses to sell Guinness but it does NOT work.

Reason: there’s no beer in the advert. Result = confusion.

Solution: make it BETTER. I would do this by everyone riding on horseback up the beach to a beer cart. Shot of old surfers enjoying Guinness and laughing together.

In conclusion, not greedy but still must be better.

AdLads: Do you think things would be different if blogs were in fact called fads?

PB: One day this MAY happen, but it’s unlikely. Once things get a name, it’s VERY hard for them to change it. Look at what happened when the Post Office tried to call itself Royal Mail. No one got it and the post went haywire. I was expecting some doorhandles in the post and they NEVER arrived. If the wind slams a door, it’s murder getting it open again.

Coincidence?

Answer = no.

AdLads: One of our cousins of 15 is bloody fit. When at family meals I laugh and joke of memories past with her often which leaves us in a state of exhausted bliss. I’ve never ever, ever, ever, ever thought about how awesome it would be if we were to be intimate. Is this wrong?

PB: The adjectives and lengthy back story make this one impenetrable. From what I skimmed, I would recommend a zoo or laser quest. If it’s a girl, show a field with a pony in it. Conclude with toys.

AdLads: What do you think of the guy who was made famous for hacking the M&C Saatchi site and planted a Saatchi & Saatchi ‘Nothing is Impossible’ logo on the homepage (his name is Anton and is most certainly absolutley 100% defo nothing to do with Adlads). We heard he’s in prison as M&C have issues with geniuses which he clearly is and is now a successful planner. Are you prepared to join his liberation army?

PB: The army is Herman’s area of expertise and, in many ways, his downfall. We went to a fancy dress party in 1992 and he INSISTED on dressing as Bismarck which did not go down at all well. Fortunately, it was my nephew’s 4th birthday party and he recognised his uncle, so he was not as terrified as his other infant friends and their parents.

In all seriousness, he is someone I would like to meet and could learn alot from, even though he does like to scamp around and cause trouble for people, he is adland’s Banksy.

AdLads: If you could advise anyone on how to write the best blog in the world, well, 3rd best given our 2, what would it be?

PB: Nonsensical. This is like asking the President to advise someone on being the President. Actually, that DOES seem to make sense now I see it in black and white.

The three key factors are:

1) Clarity of thought

2) Great computer-aided design skills (my preferred CAD package is Paint)

3) When you have nothing worth writing about, come to a halt.

AdLads: If you had 3 people round for a tea party in the garden. Who would you assign to bringing a paddling pool and why? Who would you assign to bring cakes and why? Who would be able to convince you that you should skinny dip in the paddling pool and why?

PB: Ha ha! The easiest way to answer this is by listing all the people I WOULDN’T trust to do anything: Carol. She’s as lazy as a fat monkey not having to lift a finger to help herself.

That said, she’s a good friend and would do anything for you, so that answers the question too.

Adlads: Why would you not want to work in advertising?

PB: Simple. Answer = this would not EVER happen. But mainly the opinionated amateurs ruining it for gurus.

AdLads: We think advertising helps us get birds, and it does, what career could get us even more birds?

PB: Again, Herman thinks the Army would the best option, but this is generally his answer for most things. Ignore him.

AdLads: What 10 things should a planner never do?

PB:
a) Always be planning (ABP). If you stop, except to eat and go to the t*ilet, you are NOT a planner by definition.

b) Never not blog. Blogging and planning are what the intelligentsia know as ‘synonyms’. The proles call this ‘words say different but be the same’. Idiots.

c) The Ten Commandments are a GOOD place to start if you’re looking for things not to do, but there are at least four other GREAT commandments I can think of which should be thought of as “biblical no-no’s” too. Drinking any kind of seafood smoothie after 11pm is an example. This is experience speaking.

d) Trust robots to do your job for you. They will NOT.

e) Run into the Creative Department with scissors facing outwards. Neither side can be trusted with the necessary safety awareness.

f) If you are in the public eye, take care of your appearance. If you can’t manage this, invest in ‘covering’ clothing such as boiler suits and balaclavas. No one wants to see unsightly things.

g) Keep livestock in the airing cupboard. Self-explanatory.

h) Let a client use your facilities (t*ilet) without freshening it first. They will judge you and NEVER change their opinion.

i) Start statements with phrases like “Based on no research at all, I’ve got a hunch that…”. Respect = lost.

AdLads: Raiders of the Lost Arc or Police Academy?

PB: I haven’t seen either of these films as both had EXCELLENT posters. If you can sum up a film in one poster, then you’ve not only done your job but saved me the price of admission (great ROI).

The ‘Lost Ark’ poster told me all I need to know (cowboy goes on holiday to Egypt, wins beach volleyball contest, irritates his headmaster but still goes to college). The Police Academy poster made me want to watch The Bill with American accents. Enough said. 4 stars****

AdLads: If we post this interview on our blog will you post it on yours?

PB: Yes. This will bring home the bacon (blogreaders) for both of us.

AdLads: Tell us how much you love your husband with the utmost emotional out pour you can possibly muster. We want to be crying after we read you answer.

PB: This really is Herman’s area again so I’ve asked him what the answer is. He says he’d describe me as a “good egg”. He is NOT an overly-emotional man.

This is also part of a worrying trend of his to refer to everything as ‘eggs’. Yesterday alone, he called Gordon Brown a ‘bad egg’; our car a ‘fast egg’; a cup of tea a ‘nice hot egg’ and also an omelette a ‘hot flat egg’ (factually true). I don’t know WHERE he’s got this from. I’m hoping it’s just a phase.

He’s just asked for a ‘quick trip to the eggs’. I literally haven’t a CLUE what he’s referring to.

Actually, the toilet door has just closed, so the mystery has been solved.

…..End of presidential prose….

A big thank you to our leader for taking the time out to sit down with the AdLads

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That’s right people, you read, heard it here first. We will be having an exclusive with the award winning Mrs Belmot. Loved by Russell’s readers and befriended by those at Brand Republic, we will be hosting a one to one interview with the up and coming star of Web You.

Not only that, she thinks we’re pretty good too, because we are, and has given us her stamp of approval. I’m off to sniff some glue and think of questions. Watch this space.

Updated: Check Out Mrs. Belmot’s words of wisdom here

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If You Do One Thing Today…

..Make sure that it’s voting for Mrs. Belmot’s blog post entitled Writing The Best Blog On The Internet as post of the month for January. Why? Cause we love her. And her blog. But not her husband.

Vote Here and do it before 10pm tonight.

Much love..

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Where’s the ‘£’ in yoof?

(Oh I see, young people out drinking, enjoying themselves, looking nearly as good as my girlfriend, well, I hope you still have that £160 for your monthly car repayment)

Have you seen the new Fiat Panda campaign? I wont go into how meaningless it is in terms of communicating a message but I will make the point that it most certainly has a ‘yoof’ feel to it. Visit the Fiat 500 site:

http://www.fiat500.com/

Now that is not only a piece of digital art but it also speaks a little more directly to someone else other than a 25 year old male/female, which is hinted at by the ‘baby boom’ section for expecting mothers.

Now lets look at Toyota Aygo, sponsors T4 heavily and associates itself with Hollyoaks and Shipwrecked etc whilst the Peugeot 107 calls itself the city bug and sponsors Hollywood churn out movies and has a very girly girly ‘lets meet for a salad’ tone of voice. It’s quite safe to say that these brands are talking directly to young 20 somethings in the space that only they occupy.

Interesting. When was the last time a twenty something rocked up to any dealership to purchase a brand new car? Considering the national average of twenty year olds being in the region of an income of £20,000 (http://www.statistics.gov.uk/), probably saddled with student debt (with a national average of £12,000), rent, bills and living a young lifestyle (20 – 25 year olds spend 62% of their disposable income on social and leisure) are they really likely to have about £7k – £8k knocking around or more to the point take out a £8k loan to finance a new car? Oh yes, and then we have insurance, road tax and the EC have just enforced CO2 regulations meaning that every car in the UK must emit no more than 130g/km – in summary the change to manufacturing engines means that on average every new car will rise about £2,500 – so a £7,000 Ford Ka will now be £9,500.

The picture I’m trying to paint is that one the one hand we have car brands spending in the region of £4m (Toyota Aygo) talking directly to the kids on da street when really they have no spending power to commit to these cars brand new. Ah Adlad what about second hand cars though, it generates a demand, you may say. Yes it does, the more these cars are becoming second hand the more market it creates for new cars to enter. However, if you’re a twenty year old guy with a budget of about £6k – £7k will you buy an Aygo or will you buy a second hand SMART Roadster, or a second hand VW Golf GT both of which market themselves as a more mature vehicle?

Is it a waste of money talking to young people about cars or should we focus more on those with the actual cash – the average age of a new car buyer is 53 years old, 76% likely to be married and has an average income of £27,000+ (NCBS 06).

Does pester power rise up the ranks to twenty somethings with rich parents? More to the point is that a big enough chunk of the market to justify whole campaigns talking directly to them?

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Ok guys its approaching 1am and I have a gazillion things to write in my brand spanking new moleskine notebook (how cool is that!! No honestly, I know I’ll stop using it in like a week, but let me bask in the limited edition red glory for a while).

BUT we are aware that we, the AdLads have been neglecting our student readers out there. And instead of hoping that posts about careers will write themselves (been trying that for a coupla months, but hasn’t worked yet), a different angle of attack is needed.

We will continue to chip away at posts about various careers type stuff, including reading lists, how to get in the back door (sick sick people) and post grad courses for those who want in but don’t feel ready. In the meantime, we’d like to throw the mic at you guys ang gals who’ve just been plouging through mountains of the most obtuse questions ever over the past couple of months. How did you find the whole grad scheme interview experience? What did you like? WHO did you like, what’s your ideal agency? And which bunch of sycophantic imbeciles could you not stand at all?

We’re looking for your thoughts on the whole selection process, with a view to pass on your comments to the esteemed IPA to help get the best into this spaceship. And the best responses, the ones that make us laugh and think (hopefully at the same time), get a prize. I can’t tell ya what it is. But you’ll all love it. And if you don’t, I’ll take it back. 🙂

Whack ’em in the comments or email ’em: theadlads@gmail.com

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A Good Read

It’s not short, and unlike most of my favorite literature, it can’t be taken to the bathroom (well that’s debatable, I have taken a laptop to the bathroom before), but adliterate’s post on the effect blogging has on planning is a good read, not a totally correct read, but a good one nonetheless

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