Advertising, scepticism and zombies

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

UK more tolerant than most European countries

Britons have more liberal attitudes toward cohabitation and divorce than many of their European neighbors

At the end of his History of Modern Britain, Andrew Marr said "To be born British remains a wonderful stroke of luck". Sometimes it's good to be reminded of this.

Posted via web from vichoon's posterous

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Great storytelling

Those with a more cultured creative eye might disagree, but I think that Fallon’s BBC trailers for A History Of The World In 100 Objects are gorgeous and intriguing. The BBC's project looks like a winner in these days of short attention spans: bite sized bits of history broadcast every day on Radio 4 that describe some of the contents of the British Museum.
I’ve always had a hankering for history, so these really do speak to me.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Sadness at Houghton Hall

Much distress in Houghton Hall as our tropical fishes are dying off. In the space of three days we’ve lost nearly all the larger fish and are left with a few baby guppies and about half a dozen neon tetras.
What’s the cause? A new bulb encouraged massive growth of plants. We recently introduced five Assassin Snails to control our snail infestation. A grey tetra ballooned to twice its size with what must have been a tumour. All are suspects.
Worst of all was the death of Colin the Catfish. He (she? it?) was one of the first fish we bought, over 10 years ago. A tiny black sliver when we introduced him, he grew into a 6-inch monster. With olive green with yellow spots, tiny pinprick eyes and evil spiny fins, he was scary enough without the added thrill of his regular sudden, furtive emergence from behind his castle to leap onto the glass of the tank and suck the algae with a movement reminiscent of the Alien facehugger. He frightened many visitors that way.
The various flouncy, pretty, showy fish that populated the tank over the years seemed like some kind of middle-class fancy dress party. All ignored Colin, a much more primitive-looking bottom-dwelling beast, a triumphant evolutionary dead-end with a Fuck Off attitude to any poncy-tailed imposter visiting the bottom of the tank to retrieve a fallen flake. He was evil-tempered and a master of the insolent disappearing trick: he’d crawl on his fins and then with a flick of the tail, disappear in a cloud of plant matter to attack intruders.
As hardy as a cockroach after Armageddon, he’d survived every epidemic that struck this tiny community over the last decade. Until yesterday.
There he was, slightly paler, stiff as a board and resting insolently on top of the box filter from where he would occasionally launch assaults on other occupants.
He’s now in a Ferrari aftershave box provided by our teenage son, awaiting burial when the kids return from school.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Saruman Sings Charlemagne


"Coming this Spring, Sir Christopher Lee’s symphonic metal concept album about the first holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne. If that sounds at all like an odd career move for the knighted actor, consider this:

The Carandinis, Lee’s maternal ancestors, were given the right to bear the coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire by the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. Through his Carandini ancestors, Christopher Lee has a direct link to Charlemagne, and has decided for the first time in his life to pay homage to his distinguished ancestor, who is credited as “The Father of Europe.”


Christopher Lee is related to Charlemagne? Who'da thunk it?

Posted via web from vichoon's posterous

Monday, 4 January 2010

Just what the year needs: a ZZ-Top guy with a machine gun and wings

The trouble with car advertising is the intrinsic nature of the product. It’s a box with 4 wheels. Recognising that such an object (that most of us encounter in volumes in hundreds or thousands every day) is not interesting, ad agencies have tried to show cars do improbable things like swing off cranes, breakdance and turn into submarines. Frankly, this approach is shit.

My fancy little directory fails to identify the agency behind the new ad for the Seat Ibiza which is a pity because 2010 begins with that near-impossible feat: a car ad that’s different and good.

The best thing about it is that it doesn’t show off the car.

No sticky-knickered alpha males.

No challenging geography.

No shine porn.

In fact, it’s easy to miss the car as the focus is on the emotion the car supposedly stimulates in those who encounter it. Top this with gorgeous art direction delivered with cheeky humour and we have a lovely ad for a product which might otherwise be just a well-polished turd.