Christmas Close down

Seasonal closedown for my laptop after a heavy party season, (its in for a service) back in Jan. Currently planning quite a complex photo shoot for 4/5/6 Jan involving a 767 at Stansted. more info later


Christmas eCards

Ho Ho not very Ho.

Well quite a pony selection of agency/company/suppliers cards this year so far. The Media agency I am sharing an office with are overflowing with chocolate advent calendars. High(low)lights being the nice illustration on the Clear Channel one let down by woeful copy 786072-600263-thumbnail.jpg and poor font choice.  Also a very bland offering from Orange, I really expected much more from them.

Arc's plant a tree ecard is OK but could have been so much better had it linked to Plazes or Google earth or Flickr. Reactive have some neat programming in theres and if I was a client I can imagine pushing there little animated bodies around would give me pleasure. But for out and out simplicity Brand Tacticians wins.  786072-600248-thumbnail.jpg

For interactive fun, Russell Davies highlights  Grand Unions  Xpapr app' which is with out doubt one of the best time wasting / colour copier abusing ideas I've seen for awhile. (and possibly the tipping point for anti web 2.0 sites)

As ever the truth is so much funnier than the forced humour of company cards so I leave you with AdVerbatims. Everybody must be able to add something to this excellent collection of quotes from the creative process. 


Foggy London on the lash

Pre-smog controls, London suffered from fairly epic fog,(Smog)  but these days its fairly rare. Today we had the first really heavy dose of6BJ80186.jpg the year, The view from Waterloo Bridge was spectacular with sun glinting off the glass buildings of the city, caught up in what looked like cloud city from The Empire Strikes Back.

Looks like the rest of London is out on the lash tonight. Trying to find a bike space in central London after 9am is normally nigh on impossible, but cast your eyes at my lonely bike in the bay by Russell Square this morning.


Muggers delight

A while ago I wrote about my worries regarding social networks moving onto mobile phones. It centred on my concerns regarding opportunist muggers who might use the technology for a double hit. Today the BBC carried a story regarding concerns about stalkers misusing the ipod/nike set up.

I think the danger is less with stalkers but more with predetermined burglary. If as a house breaker you have a property under watch and the owner jogs. then the ipod/nike setup offers a fab WiFi look-out system, as you can track the house owners movements.

I take it encryption is pretty easy for these types of units. So why not? the question is more regarding the issue of web2.0 sharing. swapping ideas and joining up friends is indeed cool. Amongst friends why put up barriers? well unfortunately, outside of the beta testers there are some pikey individuals. I just think the rush to get these products out has ment some elements of common sense regarding personal safety have been ignored.


Plazer Google Earth mash-up


Yet another excuse to while away the day cruising Google earth. Matching the Plazer locations and peoples icons with Googles fab maps. I do love the way they all move around when you 'fly in'. By the way Plazer now works on your mobile, which is very neat at this time of year when losing friends in the streets of Soho becomes an Olympic sport.


proposition of the day.

A Pub = It's warm, everyone is glad to see you and they serve drink.

If only all briefs had such a clear consumer benefit. Thanks to the ever joyful boys and girls at Scarlet magazine for that.  They normally have a generous gift offer this time of year so give them a click, -it normally involves Rabbits.


Missed the Eurostar

The Eurostar is a fantastic service whose staff provided some of the quotes of last weekend. I had managed to miss my train which SNV30184.JPGinvolved the following exchange. Me, in very poor school boy French, 'Can i change my ticket for the next train?' Eurostar employee 'But monsieur you have missed your train'. me, 'funnily enough i'd spotted that.'

Eurostar's trains and station are all looking a little tired these days (prior to a re-launch come next years move) But the staff retain a sense that they are representing a premium brand. Even when dealing with the mixed bag of consumers that this time of year throws up.


Fantastic briefs

I received two very different briefs yesterday. Both utterly fantastic but in oh so many different ways.

 Brief one: Large international client, newish brand, I thought was just considering a refresh of its marketing approach has turned round and questioned just about every aspect of the brands communication. What's more they have a will and budget to allow real change. Fab! best creative challenge I have had for a long long time. oh and a decent deadline to boot. (i.e. not Jan 2)

Brief two: New UK brand, backed by a celebratory, lots of green credentials, Research shows gap in market. TV ideas using said celebratory, simple. ah not quite. The celebratory is already on air for a rival (non-green cred) brand. er ideas on a post card please.


Free wallpaper

rasterGiant sized images free, courtesy of the printer at work. This fab use of the office CLC. Huge blow-ups from your normal snaps or found images from the web. Either on-line or via a free download (which I can’t get to work on my mac).

This natty device is from the people at: who appear as barking as they come. Witness the following:

“We are testing Google Analytics to enhance your privacy violation experience and to provide the best possible visitor behaviour scrutinization and abuse service. We are deeply committed in providing this information to a huge American company for exchange of some statistics.”


Playing music while you work

Thank you to the ever observant Russell Davis for highlighting Musicology a fascinating visual bespoke music site. Ever since being introduced to Pandora I have been in two minds about this type of service. On the one hand they are great for creating a mood, on the other if you are musicovery.pngusing a well known band as a starting point (BowieThe Clash etc) you just end up with second rate sound alikes. But I suppose the biggest draw back is that rather than an ipod that hums away in the background while you work. Sound matching sites are so intriguing in the 'who's this?' way, that you are forever checking band names and details, is worst as it provides so much background info on each band. I spent the best part of an afternoon cross referencing second division punk bands connected by the sound of  Sham 69 (while my presentation went unfinished) For new music Haystack works well, but they appear quite pro' Snow patrol so be careful.

1. iPods = Surprise yourself with what you own. reassuring

2. Pandora = generic sounds, unmoderated tends to go off on a tangent.

3. Last.FM = Good punk selections, time consuming, customisable graphics

4. Musicovery = Fab graphics but limited range too much Aha & Aerosmith

5. XFM = Can be repetitive but you could win tickets to winterwonderland.

6. Humming = Rather comforting but bloody annoying for your co-workers