Posts have been slow lately on Ideas Brothers but don’t worry – the ideas haven’t slowed down. If anything they have escalated to another plane. A plane that is anything but plain. We’ve been working on all kinds of exciting projects. One of them was our first go at traditional animation, which was screened as part of the London International Animation Festival last week. It’s a TV spot to promote handwashing and prevent diarrhoeal diseases worldwide. If it saves the life of just one of our readers, the hours slaving over a hot graphics tablet will have been worth it.
World tennis no. 1 Rafael Nadal withdrew from this year’s Wimbledon due to “tendonitis” in his knees. A plausible story. But the real explanation for his no-show has now been revealed: the star has been hiding out in his hotel room ever since getting embarrassing tattoos on both knees.
The bashful star revealed his tattoos to Spanish magazine ‘Hola a todos’ yesterday before immediately covering them up again and turning bright red. Reporters were tactful at first, asking what the tattoos (clearly penises) were supposed to symbolise. One journalist asked if the circular parts (testicles) were tennis balls, and if the protruding elements (penile shafts) were meant to be grandslam trophies. Nadal tittered like a schoolboy and said that the willies would be their special secret. His manager then whispered in his ear and Nadal’s manner became serious. “Seriously,” he added. “Don’t tell anyone.”
Asked why he had got the tattoos, said to be based closely on the anatomy of Boris Becker (left) and Pete Sampras (right), Nadal looked confused and close to tears. “I thought they would be lucky but then my girlfriend saw them and told me they were very embarrassing and it would not be acceptable for me to play in front of big crowds – sometimes with children and members of the royal family watching. Also I realise now it is not fair on Boris and Pete. It’s a shame for me because Wimbledon is a very special tournament, but when you have cocks on your knees it’s impossible to take part.”
Reporters remain unsure if Nadal is embarrassed or secretly proud of the tattoos, but he hasn’t worn shorts in public since early June.
Michael Jackson, pictured here with close friend Uri Geller, was one of the most creative artists in the history of pop. It seemed he only had to have an idea for it to enter the public imagination. When we were children, we saw him as akin to a third brother, so cool he never even came to our house. We moonwalked so much it damaged our calf muscles and led to back pain.
Jacko was an expert child-stroker, but today it’s his music we remember. That’s why we are posting a minute’s silence (’A Moment for Michael’, Epic Records, available for 79p on iTunes). Please feel free to play it and remember his greatest hits. If you’re in an agency, why not unplug your headphones and let everyone share in the memory?
(For a two-minute silence, wait till the end of the first minute and press play again.)
If you had tickets to one of the Jacko gigs planned for the O2 don’t worry – Gunther Von Hagens’ Body World exhibition will be wheeled out on stage for a special live show.
This classic birthday card indicates how culturally and historically aware Tom was as he grew up. For example, he clearly had a deep understanding of how every man in China is a dynasty, and how mum is also a dynasty. Looking back though, we wonder if the branding was adequate. What is there to tell the reader (mum) that this card is from Tom and not from one of his competitors (for example Rob)?
We’ve noticed more and more promotional campaigns for places in the UK recently. The other day we were on our way from London Liverpool Street to Norfolk to visit our parents. Every time the train stopped, it seemed, there was a poster paid for by the local tourist board or investment council, correcting misperceptions about the place or urging us to set up a business. We didn’t know where to get off! Perhaps our favourite was the county-wide campaign for Suffolk (headline: ‘Isn’t it time you Suffolk-ated your family?’). But there were lots of great ideas and it was heartening to see the region’s creativity bubbling through. Here is our journey in full, told in tag lines:
Shenfield. The jewel of Essex. Ingatestone. Will your business be the first to thrive in Ingatestone? Chelmsford. With a leading polytechnic university, two cinemas and four nightclubs, it’s no wonder the Romans settled here. Witham. Have you rejected Witham too hastily? Marks Tey. The furthest viable commute from London. Colchester. You’re wrong about Colchester. Manningtree. Will somebody visit Manningtree! Ipswich. What will your IP address be? Stowmarket. There’s plenty of room in Stowmarket. Diss. You’ll be shocked by the changes taking place in Diss.
From Salman Rushdie to Fay Weldon, copywriters who go on to write novels are two a penny. But what about planners? Their intellectual mastery of human nature should make them great novelists. That’s why we were so excited to hear about the debut novel by Robin Poynglass, Director of Warm and Fuzzies at a leading London agency. ‘The Wedding Murder Code’ is so titled because according to research, books with ‘Wedding’, ‘Murder’ or ‘Code’ in the title are more likely to be bestsellers. Poynglass argues that all three words together should create a blockbuster. But can The Wedding Murder Code live up to the hype and avoid ‘plannery’ language? We think the answer is a resounding yes – but judge for yourself with our exclusive excerpt… Click the link below to read.
Placements are the pits, say commenters at Scamp and Gordon Comstock. But if you think it’s tough for talent to break into the UK industry, you should watch Placement Island, the brainchild of Malaysian tiger agency Pumani-18.
The hugely popular reality show sees dozens of keen young teams dumped on a remote island where they must literally fight for briefs. As in a real agency, they have to be tough to survive. The island has plenty of latte machines and fussball tables but food is scarce – and in addition to Pentel signwriters, every team receives a weapon to attack their rivals with.
At time of posting, the island’s ‘Top Team’ is Li and Gok, who hide out in coastal caves with their crossbows. “It’s brilliant to have a cave to work in,” they say. “At night, one of us always stays up to keep the fire going and guard our portfolio.”
Sometimes, for a change of scenery, the team stroll along the beach with a frappe: “Getting out of the cave for a few hours can really help your thinking when you get stuck on a tough brief,” says Li, “but once we were just on the verge of a big idea when an enemy art director shot Gok in the ankle with a poison dart. He’s been scared to push ideas into other media ever since.”
To increase the challenge even further, bored middleweight creatives from the agency’s mainland HQ have taken to flying over in helicopters, strafing the island with machine guns. The violence pauses only when flamboyant bitch creative director Jackie Hu makes a rare visit to lecture the survivors about creativity.
For juniors in the UK, watching Placement Island may be a comfort, but they face a battle, too. Increasingly, the only way to get a placement in London is to first do a placement placement, where a placement team does unpaid work experience with another placement team, warming the toilet seat and pressing T-shirts for them like boarding school ‘fags’. And when the placement placement placement teams start queueing up to lick the placement placement teams’ boots, we’ll know that advertising is a glamour industry once more.
In this cash-strapped age it’s vital to make the most of precious airtime – and that’s why the marketing strategy of the Energy Saving Trust is so clever. By allowing their current 60-second TV ad to repeatedly grind to a halt the Trust have made it seem to go on forever, making the most of their media spend. We were at an informal gathering with friends when it came on TV, but the sensational, jerking narrative made our conversation falter to a stop and, after watching the rest of the ad in silence, none of us could quite look each other in the eye. That’s powerful!
These days, we see a lot of scripts that crackle with witty dialogue and flow. But as the Energy Saving Trust teaches us, the creative community could save these valuable resources for the future, and instead focus on extending perceived length.
We bumped into an extraordinary troop of Hare Krishnas in central London the other day. At first we paid no attention to their chanting, but as the procession went past a strange higher-state-of-consciousness enveloped us, and we had to stop and get our camera phones out. It’s hard to describe the sensation we experienced, but it was something like a mixture between powerful cosmic vibrations and the desire to go shopping RIGHT NOW. Then it dawned on us – the canny Krishnas had been making extra money for Vishnu by selling media space within their mantras. What an enlightened idea! Chatting to a media buyer friend we were thrilled to find out that other belief systems offer similar opportunities – double-page spreads in the Koran are readily available, and apparently getting your jingle played on local church bells isn’t altogether out of the question if you chat to the right people in your parish.