Sunday, November 18, 2007

Death by Powerpoint

With my new love of Keynote, i thought i would be nice to share this with you all. He makes some nice points, but it's TOO LONG.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bathroom anyone?

A nice little online viral campaign from France. Check out Italian culture blog frizzifrizzi

Thursday, October 18, 2007

No Cowboys

Came across this cool little site. No Cowboys allows you to recommend or check recommendations of tradespeople across New Zealand.

In the internet age, your brand has to be more that nice ads and pretty design. Customer service and (gasp) actual performance is now even more essential than ever. People talk. People rate. Beware the cowboys.

Monday, October 15, 2007

New wins for The Whisper Shop - RVCA and Fox

Another account win for The Whisper Shop, as a result of the success we've had with their lead brand - DC, Action Sports Sports Marketing have awarded The Whisper Shop the RVCA and Fox apparel communications accounts for New Zealand. Thanks guys.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Tokyo subway flicker book

This is an amazing campaign from Japan. Thousands of snapshots are taken from a TV advertising campaign, each one is put up on the subway wall in the order the ad plays out on TV, and guess what happens? That subway wall becomes a flicker book.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Google are evil

Google have have billions of reasons to show why they are not evil ... their corporate mantra. But check this out, the benevolant giant are turning evil empire. Advertising on YouTube videos. I hate intrusive advertising.

The Consumer is King ... Circa 1776

My old boss Kevin Roberts quotes Adam Smith in his From the Edge blog

"Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interests of the producer ought to be attended to, only in so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer."

All selling and communication must be based on filling the needs of your consumer, whether they be physical or emotional.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ogilvy, Carat CEOs Clash on IAB Panel

An interesting video from ADAge at New York's Advertising Week. A couple of CEO's or big agencies give their view of the future or advertsing. Digital vs Structure vs Insights for more

Friday, September 14, 2007

Monday, September 3, 2007

Syndicating content from

Here's a great new tool from that allows for easy syndication of news and content. This is a player profile box (in this case, for NZ's only NBA player Sean Marks). Could your brand benefit form creating easily embeded live content such as this?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The line is crossed

Advertising is a powerful medium. In many ways it defines, shapes and informs culture. I love advertising. i love the creativity and the intellectual challenge required to effectively sell products.

One of the reasons I started my own agency, is because I did not feel comfortable with the ethical compromises that were needed in order to work for certain clients. Unfortunately when you work for someone else, you do not always have the luxury of making judgement calls on whether a project is ethical or not - somebody tells you what you are working on, and then you work on it. At The Whisper Shop we try to make decisions on whether to work on specific clients or briefs with a wider understanding of the implications of our work.

... which brings me to the point of this post. Hell Pizza's new Hitler ad.

In the grand tradition of "controversy for the sake of controversy" advertising, Hell Pizza revel in making controversial advertsing, underpinned by a (understatement) irreverent brand. They advertise in a manner which is intended to get old ladies, and guys in tweed suits to complain loudly to the media, which in turn will lead to widespread condemnation by the media, which creates millions of dollars of free advertising to their ACTUAL audience, who think they are cool because Hell extend their middle finger to the system. Rocket science huh?

Their game is to induce complaints. If you do find something offensive and actually complain about it, you're falling right into their evil little trap. It's brilliant strategic word of mouth advertising.

But what if it's morally and ethically wrong? What to do? Ignore it? Let it just wash on by? Giggle and laugh along with them? I don't know the full answer, but lets humour them and talk about their latest billboard.

Their latest billboard feature Adolph Hitler in full Nazi regalia, swastika's and all with the line "you can convince some people that heaven is hell" . Hilter if you remember was the guy who was responsible for the murder of millions of Jews, homosexuals, gypsys, handicapped people, other ethnic minorites and his actions also contributed to the deaths of millions of other soldiers and civilians (including possibly people you are related too) in WWII. Hell are using him to sell Pizza.

I will quote a friends complaint today to the Advertising Standards Authority:

"The campaign explicitly uses Hitler and the Holocaust, history's most horrific genocide as a marketing tool. The swastika symbol alone is an image that incites racial hatred and simply should simply not be allowed in advertising. It is the blatant promotion of fascism. Racists, white supremacists and other hate groups, use this symbol in the promotion of their values, and it is accordingly banned in many other countries.

New Zealand need not [allow] the use of such offensive and foul imagery to sell pizza. The text and image is offensive as it blatantly and EXCLUSIVELY uses the regime that directly caused the tragic death of MILLIONS of people to promote their food. This kind advertising breeds ignorance toward the horrors of history that can, and must be, learned from."

My personal opinion is the campaign is horrific. I ask the question of their management and agency. How can you look yourselves in the mirror in the morning? Surely you must have some qualms or conscience that will prohibit certain topics or images from being copted in your personal search for the almighty dollar? Maybe not. Maybe you love the fact i hate it.

My response will be simple. Maybe it won't make change a thing, maybe writing this will actually be of greater benefit to Hell Pizza than harm. However at least i am responding. I, nor The Whisper Shop will ever buy a Hell PIzza again, and I have laid a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authorithy. It's not much, but at least it's something. I will not be defined by apathy.

By the way, the copywriting on those billboards is terrible.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Classic Ad - Atari

This is advertising gold from sometime during the 80's. Starring a robot, carol channing and kareem abdul-jabaar. I love their proposition for the Atari - Don't watch television, play it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Truth, Lies and Advertising : The Art of Account Planning

The book that began my career as a planner.

"Account planning exists for the sole purpose of creating advertising that truly connects with consumers. While many in the industry are still dissecting consumer behavior, extrapolating demographic trends, developing complex behavioral models, and measuring Pavlovian salivary responses, Steel advocates an approach to consumer research that is based on simplicity, common sense, and creativity--an approach that gains access to consumers' hearts and minds, develops ongoing relationships with them, and, most important, embraces them as partners in the process of developing and advertising.
A witty, erudite raconteur and teacher, Steel describes how successful account planners work in partnership with clients, consumer, and agency creatives. He criticizes research practices that, far from creating relationships, drive a wedge between agencies and the people they aim to persuade; he suggests new ways of approaching research to cut through the BS and get people to show their true selves; and he shows how the right research, when translated into a motivating and inspiring brief, can be the catalyst for great creative ideas. He draws upon his own experiences and those of colleagues in the United States and abroad to illustrate those points, and includes examples of some of the most successful campaigns in recent years, including Polaroid, Norwegian Cruise Line, Porsche, Isuzu, "got milk?" and others.

The message of this book is that well-thought-out account planning results in better, more effective marketing and advertising for both agencies and clients. And also makes an evening in front of the television easier to bear for the population at large."

Monday, August 13, 2007

Tips for blogging, fulfilled it's purpose - gave me content

According to brandchannel for a successful blog you have to post every day. for this and other tips on blogging click here and you'll discover whether I followed any of their other rules.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Classic Ad - Coke (Jack White)

Coke make a reference to an ingredient in their original recipie

Classic Ad - Honda "Kog"

The greatest TV ad of all time imho.

Classic Ad - Nike "Instant Karma"

An average ad that has stuck in my head for 15 years. Why? A great song.

Monday, August 6, 2007

The end of the master brand

An interesting white paperby Geordie McClelland from Brandchannel. He writes:

"Master brands and brand architecture are two of the many inward-focused notions that have come to define the world of branding. While these concepts heralded an important milestone, continued adherence to their principles may lead to branding’s downfall. Inflexible models and exclusive language inherent to these concepts are alienating branding’s most critical potential proponents, giving the impression that as branding practitioners, we have built artificial processes to justify higher fees for what otherwise would be considered “expensive marketing.” In this article, we will make the case that traditional brand jargon, brand architecture and its numerous flavors - such as Branded Houses, Houses of Brands, Endorsed Brands and Sub-brands under a Master Brand, and any other “branding” term that puts unnecessary conceptual distance between a business and its brand(s)—is ultimately detrimental to the discipline of branding. We will then provide an alternate view of brand system management that we feel is more relevant to the needs of businesses and the many stakeholders they serve."

Download the full white paper here

Monday, July 30, 2007

How's your Burger Fuel shares going?

I can't believe i haven't posted about the Burger fuel float yet. That was probably the most borderline unethical campaign i've seen in a while. It was a campaign targeted at people who knew nothing about the share market, and most probably didn't have $1000 to chuck around.

Green and Mean

I just had a debate with my housemate about what energy company to go with. Supposidly our current provider is "greener" than the rest. However the thing with power is that it all gets dumped into the national grid so you don't know where the power you are using comes from. Why not just select on price? Why select a power company just because they don't happen to be the one required to operate Huntly?

In the BrandChannel article Best Global Brands: How valuable is green? , they quote Andrew Shapiro of GreenOrder, a strategy and marketing firm focused on helping companies maximize the value of sustainability, as saying “Lots of companies are trying to get on the green band wagon because they perceive it to be a hot issue, and they are putting forward messaging campaigns that amount to little more than ‘we care about the environment too,’ ” he says. “I don’t think those empty statements are going to carry weight with consumers; [consumers] are becoming more educated and savvy about corporate environmental [practices]. They know when a company is making a broad claim that doesn’t have much weight behind it.”

I tend to disagree. I would imagine the majority of people out there don't actually investigate the "Green Claims" made by companies. I recently undertook a research project for a major New Zealand power company on how companies were reacting to the Greenhouse Gas emissions issue. It's amazing to see how many companies have green statements or policies on their website. With a bit of critical analysis, it's also interesting to examine the substance of many of these claims. For many companies it's policies such as installing a new air-conditioning system which will save them tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars a year - and then calling it an environmental move.

With the growing awareness of environmental issues, companies will continue to green-stamp anything they can to make a quick buck. Whay defines a carbon-neutral power company? What's in our eco-friendly washing powder? For that matter what's so bad about our old dishwashing liquid? Will people take the time to actually try to get answers to these questions, or will we blindly buy anything that makes an environmental claim.

Will companies just be able to say they are green and charge a premium? Will we pay that premium without considering why we are doing so? If we can save the planet this way - great. I'm just concerned peoples good intentions are going to be taken advantage of by smart marketers.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Some ads we like

Facts and Figures

Courtesy of the Mike Craney's Mediacom Marketing Digest, here's some ridiculous numbers. the source of which is Andy Lark, guest at a recent Marketing Association "Brainy Breakfast"

· 40 exabytes (that’s 4.0 x 1019) of unique new information will be generated worldwide this year. That’s estimated to be more than in the previous 5,000 years.
· There are 106 million users of MySpace.
· If MySpace were a country it would be the 11th biggest in the world (between Japan and Mexico).
· There are over 2.7 billion searches performed on Google each month.
· 120,000 new blogs are created every day.
· Can’t keep up with your online reading? Read faster – there are 58,000 new blog postings every hour.
· 90% of all commentary on a blog happens in the first 24 hours following the original posting. After that, it’s old news
· And finally – a factoid that fascinated the audience: 1 out of every 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met online.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


check out Seeqpod it searches the web for mp3 and streams them to your computer. You get to create your on the go playlists.

Monday, July 16, 2007

What are you talking for?

The thing that has surprised me lately is the realisation that many people simply don't unerstand what they are "advertising" for.

Are you telling people that you exist? Are you trying to get a new type of person to notice you? Is it about getting them to like you more? Or to use you more often? There could be a myriad of reasons why you are trying to talk to your customers (or potential customers.) Before you even think about spending dollars on PR, advertising, DM, design, research or redecorating, understand WHY and what the actual task at hand is.

Maybe this piece of advice is a bit simplistic. But there are a lot of brands that really need to take it to heart. Millions of dollars are year are thrown away on pointless or misdirected campaigns that have failed to properly address these questions up front.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Emerica goes wild in the streets

The greatest thing you can do for your brand is to have your audience interact and have involvement with it. Check out this video from skateboard footwear brand Emerica ... it conjurs up imagery of the Pied Piper.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Welcome to the shop

The Whiper Shop are stoked to offer a belated welcome to Mrs Sarah Tiplady as an Account Director.

Wow, you're great!!!

Welcome back

Spam sucks.

For the last 4 months I've been trying to post back at our old blog.

To cut a long story short i've been trying to change the password on my blogger account. Due to the mass proliferation of spam my ISP decded to increase the integrity of their spam filter. The fortification however stopped Google being able to send me the change of password confirmation. Google customer service are hard to reach. My ISP couldn't solve the problem either. 4 months later it's come to this. A new blog.

... hopefully it'll be better than ever.