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Meme Star

Right, I’ve been tagged by Chris to share with you all eight random things about myself and seeing as distractions are welcome as I’m trying to slay my thesis, here we go:

  • The first movie I ever saw at the cinema was Ghostbusters 2.
  • I hate ketchup, it has no taste! Gimme some hot sauce any day.
  • I can’t eat egg yolks, I throw up every time, some childhood trauma I’m sure.
  • I’ve been offered a book deal, but I need to pick a nom de plume, so suggestions are welcome.
  • I learnt how to drive when I was 13, had my first crash at 14 and have been terrorizing road users ever since.
  • I sleep talk (often) and sleep walk (not so often). Not good ’cause all my secrets come out when I’m asleep.
  • I’m a black belt in Pasaryu Karate, which way way back was the same style The King learnt. Sadly no-one wants to get into fights with me anymore.
  • I’m quite surprised, and kinda happy you’ve got to the last point.

Sooo to keep this sucka rolling, I’m gonna tag:

Angus (cause it’ll piss him off)
Asi
Sir Charles
CG
Doddsy (because he’s the man of mystery of the blogosphere)
Gemma
Lloyd
Mark

Write your stuff and leave a comment so the trail lives on. Boom.

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The Mother of Finds

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I’m not really into reviewing eateries, I find it quite pretentious and sad when ad folk do the one up manship on restaurants and some predictable fame seeker will say in total cliché form The Ivy. It’s fucking shit anyway. Having said that, I’m no greasy spoon man either, with vanity strong in my veins I like pretty people and presentation. But this all aside, I have to say I have stumbled onto what is the most modest yet awesome little find.  

Ladies and gentlemen let me introduce you to MotherMash. Out shopping in Carnaby Street last weekend I followed someone’s tip and Jesus this place is cute. It has innovation written all over it. Talk about taking the sad sack of British dishes – the sausage and mash and waving a culinary, brilliant service based and utilisation wand all over it.  

Firstly, the guy who runs this lush little eating place is great. As soon as you’re in his door he’s got eye contact, a smile and ‘what can I get you fella?’ all over his face. It’s the kind of service that seems homely and warm rather than snotty and posh. Then get this, you choose which kind of mash you want from a variety of like…I dunno…loads, then you choose your sausage and then your gravy, it’s like a tailored made meal of love. It goes without saying that it tastes fantastic, nothing but organic food tricks your taste buds into an even higher state of euphoria whilst you consume at a silly speed. It’s the kind of place and food that if it was snowing outside you’d feel like it was Christmas day. I can’t explain why, it just does, it has that ‘I’m happy I’m inside where it’s warm when the rain is smashing against the window’ feel about it.  

It’s a long shot this one, trying to link this to what Faris was saying about control, I’m wincing as I type and shoe horn the tenuous link but you do feel like you get to totally custom make your own sausage and mash. In a weird way it makes you feel like a bit of a connoisseur as you create the cheesy mash/lamb n mint sausage/red wine gravy combo. Maybe I’m being incredibly sad here or maybe it’s the way the menu was laid out that got me quite excited but the variety was something I haven’t seen before – dedicated to what I always felt was something I’d have to eat if I ever went to jail (that’s a joke, I’m from Newcastle so I lived on the stuff).  

Don’t get me started on the brand identity either – cute cards with a literature about the ‘humble spud’ and offers of external catering services all compliment this well rounded lovely idea. I want it to be everywhere so that the guy who owns it is rewarded for his genius invention and that you can all try it but at the same time I don’t want the wicked world of the ‘chain’ to ruin its impeccable charm.  

Really, if you’re around Oxford Street/Carnaby Street you must nip in and try it.  

www.mothermash.co.uk

Anton xx     

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As if having Dubya as our leader wasn’t enough to inspire warm and fuzzy feelings in the rest of the world’s peeps, our fine and sporting Olympic team won’t be partaking in the culinary delights of the Beijing games this year because get this, they’ll be taking their own food. Way to go guys, I really like your reason as well, you don’t trust the food there.

Just imagine if this was extended to manufactured goods, oh no wait, everything sold in America now pretty much has some part of it made in China, there I go flapping my gums again. Idiots.

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I’ve recently been completely bowled over by quite an amazing piece of ‘on a shoe string’ work that has come from Leo Burnett Dubai. I’ve been harsh on the region in the past for a number of reasons but since following this campaign I’ve seen that great and fun ways of doing stuff can be born there. 

The Client: Nando’s Chicken

The Brief: Bring awareness to Nando’s Chicken Kuwait in a saturated fast food/restaurant market

The idea: Create a character called Fred who is literally ‘dying’ to get in as a Nando’s chicken  

Now I usually wouldn’t say that running around in a chicken suit is ground breaking work. However, what LB Dubai have done is have this character’s rant on his plight recorded and uploaded onto his blog: 

http://chickenpower.org/ 

There are mobile phone sound bites you can download, they filmed a music video etc and it’s all about how this chicken Fred is being discriminated by being denied to become a Nando’s chicken. Again, it’s not the kind of stuff I would follow but if you watch the clips you’ll actually find yourself pissing with laughter. It looks like the guys at LB were given zero budget, have an awesome sense of humour and decided to make the first ever Adland version of Jackass. The Facebook group has 923 members as I write and most of the Fred stuff can be found there and I strongly suggest you check it out for a giggle: 

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5411418182 

Is it effective, how do you measure it? Clearly something you’ll have to park when it comes to this campaign. I would say it’s less about looking at it with a critique hat on and more about looking at it and thinking wouldn’t that be a laugh to make.

Anton

xxx  

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A Move?

I’m thinking about moving adlads off wordpress.com and onto someplace where we can play with the look and feel a little bit more and make it more ‘custom’. So I’m facing the questions of whether to jump to Typepad, Movable Type etc etc. Where do you guys host your blogs and what would you recommend? We’ve already got the domain name so moving to self-hosting is definitely a route we’d consider. All advice and tips welcome.

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I always tell anyone who listens (and even those who don’t) that the best thing by far about blogging is the people you meet, some of those people become your friends and some of your friends become really close friends. And when an awesome friend gets a great new job abroad, one that they’ve wanted, it’s kind of bittersweet to see them go. You want the best for them and are genuinely happy, but you want to still be able to hang out and shoot the shit.

Charles Frith is the 2nd person I met in blog-land (the 1st being one of my partners-in-AdGrads Will) and is one of the most awesome people I’ve ever met full stop. At Interesting 2007 we had a raucous time, getting told to shut up within 1.4 minutes of the start of the day, and things kind of took off from there. The thing about Charlie is that he’s really really interested in everything, and always gives you some good stuff to think about whenever you meet up. Plus, we’re both a little crazy, love the headphones on the outside look and think sleep is the cousin of death. It’s best way to be.

I’ve got something brewing, courtesy of Mr. Punk Planning, that will hopefully lead to my own jaunt abroad and will put me further in debt to him..watch this space.

So Charlie aka Sir Charles aka Big Kahuna aka My homeboy, I’m wishing you all the best in the republic of the people, but get your ass back to the island soon dude, it’s not the same without ya.

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 I’m quite late to comment on Marilyn Manson, he’s been around for years and everyone has mentioned that he’s a marketing genius but I quite fancied a brain dump on him. I’ve been watching his videos of late and using some of them as stimulus in certain briefings as they really capture the dark side of surrealism, which I’m, quite a fan of anyway.

Manson kicked off his concept of ‘shock’ around 1994/95 and has made quite a good effort at distributing it as a cultural idea which converges across a number of mediums – T shirts, music, music videos, live gigs, books,  interviews, films, documentaries, websites etc. What’s also great is that he gives credit to his content by using as many opportunities as he can to reveal he has intelligible reasoning and logic for it to exist, that and like it or not his look is quite cool. It therefore has the very makings of a successful brand – distribution channels and mediums along with a level of kudos. I guess what I’m trying to address is the use of convergence and transmedia strategies effectively to deliver a cultural idea into the heart of contemporary society. Some may argue that shock has always been there, Ozzy snorting ants is rock n roll story that’s used WOM to be told countless times. Sure. But in terms of a contemporary cultural movement and contemporary mediums that has been kicked off by a rock star I think Marilyn Manson proves quite a good case study. I guess the band brand of Marilyn Manson could therefore teach a few of the commercial brands a trick or two about getting into popular culture.

On a similar vein, I’ve noticed a few other ideas (using the word ideas to mean films, games, music) breaking out of their traditional platform. The franchise that is the Alien films looks to return Alien War to London in April 2008.

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his was at one point the only film experience of its kind and saw 2 million visitors running and screaming through it between 1993 and 1996. Essentially bringing a very atmospheric film to life to be experienced – branded entertainment, branded content, convergence or transmedia? Probably all. Then I recently learnt that the Resident Evil games (which are known for their atmosphere and deep dark plot lines look to make the whole game experience a certain twist of reality by opening…..A Resident Evil House….but in Japan.

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It’s only because I’m a geeky fan of the above (which usually have OTT fan bases) that I’ve started to notice them break out of their original launched platforms. It’s great for the business of content but also for taking a brand experience into a whole new dimension. Nintendo World, The Terminator Experience, Nike Land (which I would imagine could be fitness clubs) the possibilities are quite endless and can stretch as far as the imagination can.

It’ll be interesting to discuss other cultural ideas which have broken out of their original conception to become a much wider and involving entity if you know of any.

 

Anton xxx

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