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Hugh MacLeod Writes Cartoons on the Back of Business Cards

Creativity That Fills The Corporate Void

If you look towards the top right side of this web site you will see an intriguing looking cartoon. These are "cartoons drawn on the back of business cards" by Hugh MacLeod, a New York City copywriter who has been in advertising business since 1989.

The Guardian's Jonathan Glancy calls MacLeod's work, "as dark and disturbing as a dry martini served with a razor-blade twist, as brilliant as a fluorescent-lit city morgue at two in the morning."

On Hugh's website, Gapingvoid.com, you can check out more of his witty creations as well as check out his copywriting work. He's so good you just might want to hire him.

by Steve Hall    Sep-22-03    

Napster is Back With New Street Level Ad Campaign

The Return of Kitty

Garnering mixed reaction, Roxio's Napster is trying its hand at street cred advertising in a new poster campaign that places Napster kitty stickers over the faces shown on faux posters. The sticker includes the statement, "It's coming back," and they have been manually glued over posters depicting fake ad campaigns such as Gour-Mutt, a dog food company and Drop 'n' Go, a child day-care center.

While cool people debate whether this attempt at cool is cool or just a pretense at cool, the stickers are being ripped down because, well, the campaign seems to have caught people's attention. In the article, Nissan's Electric Moyo and MSN's butterfly sticker campaign are put forth as comparative methods used by corporate America to leveraged the cool factor to promote products.

The debate is moot. Cool is never cool once its deemed cool but capitalizing on cool is still possible if done appropriately. Whether or not is resonates with the intended audience is mostly a hit or miss proposition.

by Steve Hall    Sep-22-03    

MTV Gets Your Attention With Dental Sounds

In this MTV spot, nervous patients in a dentist's lounge awaiting certain pain in the dental chair are subjected to certain aural pain.

Via TTR2

by Steve Hall    Sep-19-03    

Coffee Campaign Offends Gay Community

We're Not Pretentious

Fagg's, a New Zealand coffee company recently launched a billboard campaign with the tagline, "The Great Straight Coffee." The ad also pokes fun at the predominantly gay Auckland suburb Ponsonby. Complaints call the ad campaign "overtly homophobic."

Fagg's Coffee Marketing Manager James Ford dismisses the complaints claiming the word "straight" is simply used to distinguish the brand from other coffee companies who position themselves as pretentious.

"We are straightforward," he said. "What you see is what you get, and it's common knowledge that there's quite a lot of coffees that take themselves extremely seriously."

While that may be true, the creative team knew what they were doing on this one and knew they'd gain attention for it. Which, of course, is the whole purpose of advertising.

by Steve Hall    Sep-19-03    

Beer Babes to Disappear in Brazil

Beer Babes Gone?

This would never happen in America but a spokesman for Brazil's independent advertising industry regulator Conar said on Tuesday new guidelines which require that ads for alcoholic drinks should "avoid the use of eroticism" will come into force within three months.

The new restrictions listed on the Internet site of Brazil's National Council for Advertising Self-Regulation, or Conar, also say beer and wine ads run between 6 am and 9:30 pm should also avoid any symbols that might be attractive to youngsters, such as cartoon characters.

Please Stay

Adverts for alcoholic drinks should also only feature people, "who are and seem older than 25 years of age," a move which could prove to be a blow to young models whose careers are frequently launched by an appearance in a bikini to launch one of the nation's brews.

The world's fifth-largest brewer Companhia de Bebidas das Americas, better known as AmBev, and rival Kaiser, which is owned by Canada's Molson Inc, routinely bombard Brazilians with ads featuring scantily-clad women and quirky cartoon mascots to promote their beers. I thought Brazil was the place where nudity and pride of the body was part of the culture. Is the whole world going PC?

Both brewers declined comment on the new ad guidelines.

by Steve Hall    Sep-18-03    

Writer Goes Crazy, Tattoos Book on 2,301 People

Don't Read My Book

Author Shelly Jackson has a new way to publish a book. She will ask that 2,301 people step forward and have one word each of the 2,301 word story tattooed somewhere on their body. Now that's innovative but she has also placed some restriction on the participants insuring this story will never actually get read.

Jackson will never release the book in print and if pictures are taken of those who have been tattooed, they must make sure the tattoos are not visible. What the fuck? Oh sure, it's art, you say. Come on. Seems pointless if no one will ever be able to see the work and appreciate it.

by Steve Hall    Sep-18-03    

Bike Maker Commercial Uses Cheeky Bike Rack

For an Australian bike maker, illustrating a unique replacement of a bike rack can be one cheeky event. Click image to view.

by Steve Hall    Sep-18-03    

New York Magazine to Get Snarky With Elizabeth Spiers

According to Elizabeth Spiers herself, she is officially joining New York Magazine. Along with writing general topic pieces for the magazine she will write for the Intelligencer column. Or, as she puts it, "edit this and make it funny."

Interestingly, the magazine wants to start a weblog. Until recently, Elizabeth was the editor of the gossipy snark-log called Gawker which, following its launch last Fall, quickly became the talk of the NYC media community.

So now Elizabeth will be hopping from party to party like Tara Reid and the Hilton sisters, voyeuristicly digging for dirt, hunting for gossip and writing sniping pop culture columns. OK, so it will be a bit more serious than that but believe me when I say it will be writing well worth reading.

I'm subscribing. Far better Gawker story on this topic here.

by Steve Hall    Sep-17-03    

McDonalds to Test Market Adult Happy Meals

On the heels on winning the lawsuit where fat people sued McDonalds for making them fat, the fast food company is test marketing a "healthy" Happy Meal called "Go Active Happy Meal". The meal includes a salad and, humorously, an excersize booklet and a pedometer.

The test will occur in the Indiana cities Indianapolis, Bloomington, Munice, Lafayette and Kokomo this Fall.

by Steve Hall    Sep-17-03    

New Xbox Spot Presents Tough Choice

Honey, Don't Eat So Fast

Microsoft's new Xbox now has over 200 games. For the Xbox lover, that makes for some tough choices in life. The allure of a candle light dinner with your sexy spouse or a night of Xboxing. Not easy.

by Steve Hall    Sep-17-03    

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