Thursday, 30 June 2011

Google+ and all that 'starting another social network profile' thing.

I got an invite to Google+ today after moaning that I wasn't special enough to get one (which made me feel a bit like a total dick, but there you go). I was all excited, because it's always fun to start again from scratch, isn't it? You get to add people who really are actually your friends, don't you?

Apart from it isn't that good, is it? All this "take it from the top, no funny business" stuff. It's empty and cold, and it feels like all my friends are far away and compartmentalised into efficient and clean little boxes. They might be coloured circles, but really they are boxes. My friends aren't allowed sunlight in there, and they are wondering why they've been invited to come along and sit in a box. I can't tell them why. I have no idea why I asked to be invited to sit around in a box all day, listening to people ask why they are sitting around in boxes all day. I suppose it's nice that we are all confused together.

The best bit is YOU! Isn't it! You! YOU'RE THE BEST BIT! etc


At the moment I feel like I'm all alone in a sterile building. Not a hospital, that would be too morbid. Perhaps a really clean train station, or MacDonalds. There's that unnerving feeling of space, as though at the moment you've got loads of it, but pretty soon all of it will be taken up by movement and queues and people sitting on your shopping. Like walking around Barbican at night (Using recent events as part of my analogy arsenal FTW).

One good thing however - I have discovered Google Chat, which means Facebook Chat can go take a hike, like the bozo it is. I know I had it before, but it seemed a bit primitive having Gmail open all the time. Or is that what people do? Oh, I'm so confused. They certainly don't have Facebook open all day, which is what I've been doing, so thank god I'm not in that gang anymore.

So, I'm taking bets on when BRITNEYSUCKVIDS shows up for old-time's sake. 3 weeks?

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

My Secret Little Portobello Facebook Shit

http://www.facebook.com/thesecretlittleportobellomushroom

There it is. A url that will take you directly to this very blog's very own facebook page.

I promise it isn't just an RSS feed of what you see here already (what, please tell me, would be the point of that? Why did you think that then? What exactly do you take me for? Come on!). Periodically (every hour or so when I'm bored) I put links and things up, or generally talk about things I can't be bothered/are not interesting enough to use editorial topiary on and turn into lovely blogs in the shape of peacocks, lions, bacon sandwiches etc.

Please pop along, you might like it. Then again, you might not, but at least you didn't do any work for a good 3 minutes.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Lovely Letters


I was hit in the face earlier today by two adorable letters on the Threescore blog via twitter. I say hit in the face, it was much more like having cats thrown at you while eating candy floss and staring at a rainbow.

The adorableness was started off by Lily, a 3 1/2 year old girl who has decided that Tiger Bread needs to be re-named Giraffe Bread. Good call, Lily. Now, a normal person would smile and move on with their life, but those who know me well may recall that Tiger bread is one of my all-time favourite foods. Eating it is one of my favourite pastimes. It takes up a great deal of space in my heart, and it is a large part of my life. So, for something to be concerned with it at all made me very happy. After all, there are still people in the world who have not tried the deliciousness of a freshly-baked Tiger loaf. Horrendous shame.

Courtesy of threescore


In response to Lily's suggestion, a lovely person under the name of Customer Manager Chris King aged 27 1/3 realised the true importance of Tiger Bread, and agrees that it has a silly name. Due to his sweetly funny reply, I am now somewhat in love with Chris King, Sainsbury's Customer Manager aged 27 1/3. It has been decided that he has a nice friendly face, smiles a lot, is fit and likes animals. Unfortunately it isn't made clear if he is in fact a he, and may of course be Christine or even Crystal. In which case, many apologies, you are lovely and nice, but I don't think it could ever work between us. You write a very nice letter, however.


courtesy of threescore

So - crusty white bread, a lovely friendly smiley person and a cute and curious little girl (who I think might have a tricycle and bunches). Today has been a good news day.

STOP PRESS!

Looking for ways to stalk Customer Manager Chris King aged 27 1/3? You weirdo. I'm not going to stop you though, here he is on Twitter (and yes, he is a he, just as I suspected. Judge the fitness on your own.) http://twitter.com/#!/chris16king

RELATED BLOG:
This person knows Chris: http://reelgonekid.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/giraffe-bread/

Monday, 13 June 2011

Reasons that I am sad about the sale of BBC Television Centre.

After noticing that a few people are bemused about how sad some people are regarding the closure of BBC TVC, I decided I wanted to share with you some of the reasons why I'll be sad to see its demise.


1. I used to think all the newsreaders and TV show hosts lived in it, like a big sleepover. They all had sleeping bags and the CBBC broom cupboard was the best room to sleep in because it had all the toys. Once it gets sold off, I'm concerned that some of the less well-remembered presenters might get left behind (aka. Toby Anstis).


2. The white dots on the wall outside will forever remind me of Children In Need thanks to endless panned shots of TVC during awkward filler moments in the mid-90s, and is there anything more BBC than Children In Need and a faltering Wogan-ologue about 'phones ringing off the hook'? It was my childhood dream to climb those white dots like Spiderman.


Have you ever seen something so ready to raise money/celebrate New Year/gunge Prince Charles for a laugh?




3. Seeing the circular courtyard in the middle of a show - let's say Noel's House Party - always felt anarchistic and exciting, like when you were allowed to do your Maths lesson outside on the grass.


4. It is instantly recogniseable as the home of the BBC, and crumbling and old as it may be, it sums up British TV better than any other landmark (other than perhaps the foam map of the UK that used to float in Albert Dock for Granada Weather with Fred). For something so beige and utilitarian, it really has done an excellent job at becoming iconic.


5. Once, George Alagiah held a door open for me in the news centre.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Wooaaaahhhh yeeaahhh nonono yeah nooo

Thursday, 2 June 2011

The worst ads of 2011...So Far

I'm quite an advertising nerd. It's safe to say that I talk about ad campaigns fairly often - I don't work in advertising, so I can't use any real terminology or actually even pretend that I know what I'm talking about, but I like to think I know what makes a good ad and what doesn't. So what irritates me more than anything else in the world is when an advert is not only irritating, it does it's job badly. After all, if it can't sell that product, what is the point of it? Exactly. There is none. It's a mobius strip of empty non-existent profits margins and words like 'Implementation' and 'innovention' (copyright Jack Donaghy) that circles like a blind vulture, incapable of swooping down to a nomfest barbecue because, well, it doesn't have any eyes to see the potential food. It's a metaphor. I'm tired.

What I'm trying to say, is that this isn't a list of adverts that make me want to get violent in numerous creative hyperbolic ways, because that would be far too easy. These adverts fail in not only engaging a potential customer (ie. They pissed me RIGHT off) but they also fail in managing to get their message across too (ie. they spent so much money or time on YouTube that they forgot they were selling something). Plus, we all like a good self-regarding rant. I want to hear your least favourites too, because I'll probably do an awards ceremony at the end of the year (if somebody pays me to do it).

ADVERT 1

MAZUMA MOBILE - TITKIDS FROM OMICRON PERSEII 8


Odious. At first glance, this advert is a knowing nod towards terrible advertising. After it's fourtieth airing the horrible realisation dawns that actually, Mazuma paid the exec that came up with this idea (Hey, Yeah, That's what young hip dudes with smartphones like! *fingergunpow*), they got two aspiring young actors to jig about like tits and thus end up being hated by anybody who watches it, and they said "Oh yes, this is the image we want to portray. HERE IS THE MONEY! MAKE IT AND BE GONE!" 

It looks like it's aimed at kids, which is fine. It is on at 9pm on all channels. I just don't understand.

Dressing teenagers like it's 1998 on Mars, giving them stupid hair and telling them to "look really FIERCE" is shit. Really really shit. I am never using Mazuma Mobile, because subconsciously I believe that I will end up wearing purple bell-bottoms and start playing a Fisher Price keytar at all times. For this reason, they FAIL.

ADVERT 2

P&G - WE ONLY LIKE MUMS, DADS CAN JOG THE FUCK ON


I'm not going to get all preachy, but a lot of Dads do a good job raising their kids. People without children also manage to, on the whole, keep their houses clean and tidy, and perhaps look after a pet or two to boot. Why then, have Proctor and Gamble decided to focus on potentially 25% of their market by twee-diddly-deeing about how bloody great mums are? I'll tell you why. JOHN LEWIS is why. They want to cash in on that squeeze-the-tears-out advert synopsis that's been doing the rounds since last October. Full disclosure: They make toothpaste, toilet cleaner and Pringles. Boo hoo hoo.

This advert was brought out around about mother's day, so in the spirit of all things Hallmark, I decided that it was total hokum, but people clutch at straws around easily forgettable celebration dates and need present ideas. Fine. It's still being played. This isn't fine any more, it's ridiculous, and I want no part of it. For this reason it has FAILED.

ADVERT 3


WONGA MAN


For many reasons, this advert is a great shame. Clearly the person who put it together has a lot of talent, and references to Doom and Mortal Kombat are always welcome in this house. However, it's a clear example of how advertising can give too much credit to what people talk about on Twitter, and at one point, people/idiots were talking a lot about "that guy wot said a "wonga" on that advert". They dumped the rest of their ad campaign with the nice smiley people and the clear Envirophone message, and went solely with Wonga Man for their entire ad strategy.

Yes, Envirophone. That's the name of the company. Are you surprised it isn't Wonga.com? I always am, and I know it isn't. Envirophone and Wonga.com are completely separate entities. Clearly, for this reason above all others, this advert FAILS.

ADVERT 4 


PIGS, TRUFFLES AND THAT BANK


This advert is quite good. It looks nice, and the idea is sound. The reason I don't like it is that even though it's about a year old I only just worked out what it was selling two days ago. Until then I spent the entire advert thinking "Ooh look, a pig! Is that how truffles are really found? I hope he finds one. Oh look, he found one! Is that a big one or just regular sized? He looks happy. Ah, that was nice. What?" This might be just my simple nature at fault, but I don't want to blame myself. FAIL.

There are good adverts though, and as an advert dork I do enjoy a really well-thought-out advert. there are so many mediocre or simply irritating adverts that i didn't write about, simply for the reason that this wasn't meant to be a bile-spewing hate-fest. People made these things after all, and I want to give them constructive feedback. I didn't talk about Halifax again because every time I do a blood vessel bursts in another part of my body, and I didn't talk about adverts that shamelessly steal work from YouTube or artists or musicians because I feel that's been covered elsewhere, and it would be better to email these companies to tell them what they are doing is wrong and prickish than just moan about it on a blog.

I'm ending with an example of a good advert. I've heard that a few people hate it, and it is a bit old, but I love it. It makes me laugh, it clearly states what it's selling, and the guy said "THEY ARE NAAAOOW DIAMONDS" in the best way ever.


Here is another great advert.

[THERE WAS AN EMBEDDED VIDEO OF EVIAN'S NEW AD CAMPAIGN IN THIS SPACE, BUT I'VE SINCE HAD MY SUSPICIONS CONFIRMED THAT IT WAS INDEED TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE AND IS MADE OF A STOLEN IDEA - THANKS @grazingbison]

See you in December for that champagne-fuelled awards dinner (funding pending).
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