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Here are the photos I didn’t take at the Jazz Club tonight. And here’s the video I didn’t film there. And the selfies with the band in the background I did without. And this is the Facebook update I wrote after I watched the brilliant performances. Because I realised tonight that this thing is called a post – something you can do after the event, not during. So I didn’t miss a thing. Just enjoyed watching the musicians, including the virtuoso saxophonist’s 11yr protege daughter, play joyously without feeling the need to record it all.


Have you counted up the number of emoticons you use each day? I avoided them for so long thinking they were just for kids. But now I realise that I’m forced to add them in many if not all emails, texts and status updates.

The thing is, just like here, there’s no tone of voice. We can’t ‘hear’ each other without speech, obviously. And we can’t see the facial expressions that accompany the words. All the subtle audio nuances and visual clues are lost. So we have to include pictures now to soften or strengthen what our fingers type.


In less than a week, I start as Executive Creative Director at Lowe, the biggest agency in Vietnam. After a month of discussions on Skype with the senior stars and face to face with the tremendous Michel Borelli, MD there, I finally signed on the dotted line last Thursday evening.

Click here to see their current website.


At a recent Careers Evening in my daughter’s school, I was asked by four sets of parents during the few hours whether or not their little darling should go to University. It really made me think about what advice to give – the pros and cons of routes into Advertising.

Ever heard of a place called Longyearbyen? No? Well it’s one to learn for Pub Quizzes. It happens to be the world’s northernmost town. As such, it gets the least daylight of anywhere on Earth that people call home. In fact, the townsfolk live for 4 months of every year without sunlight. So what better place to demonstrate the benefits of the Philips Wake-up Light?


Watch this when you’ve got 7 minutes and 11 seconds spare. It’s a mesmerising film about a blogger who has 70,000 readers a day. This is part of Amsterdam Worldwide’s latest campaign for Intel’s Visual Life. Almost 600,000 views in just a few weeks, it’s far more engaging and informative than most 30 second spots, press ads or poster campaigns. This new style of content-based advertising will feature


What makes great creative for multi-channel campaigns?

I wrote this for this month’s mediaPro magazine. They asked for a page or two. I gave them three… So much to say and I had to cut loads out too. Anyway, if you have a spare 20 minutes, I think it’s worth the read. Some great examples in here too.

Here goes.



Ever had to design those little buttons that make software look unique? Well I’ve done one-offs before but never a full set. A designer friend artworked up my sketches beautifully.


One very happy client. (This isn’t what he looks like!)


After the unprecedented success of last year’s inspired Best Job in the World for the Queensland Tourist Board, advertising you take part in featured heavily in this year’s award-winning campaigns at Cannes Lions Direct.
The Grand Prix winner was a great use of Iggy Pop – unlike those stomach-churning nonsense ads for Swiftcover. Audition to play with Iggy on a brand new performance of ‘Passengers’. Love it.
Check out all the winners here and spot how many actually involve the audience to build the campaign.
Bring it on I say.


I’m three weeks in and loving getting these little boxes every day. Filled with loads of scrummy snacks, it’s a pleasure each day opening up to see what they’ve sent me. 9 times out of 10, I really like all the contents. I really recommend Graze – great tasting food delivered daily to my desk. £2.95 per box, £1.50 starter pack. Each little pressie means I don’t snack on crap. A very good thing after all these years!

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2009 November



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In Uncategorized

By Chris

Where’s the nearest toilet?

On 17, Nov 2009 | No Comments | In Uncategorized | By Chris

So, you’re busting for the loo and you’ve no idea where there is one. Whip out your iPhone, tap on the new ToiletFinder UK app and it finds you your nearest public toilets. Not only that, you can upload ones that aren’t on there, thus growing the app and its usefulness. Nice eh? With the help of my friends at BeTomorrow, I produced this app for WaterAid to coincide with World Toilet Day (yes, there really is one!) – 19 November, 2 days time. Just launched, it not only finds you a loo, it highlights the need of proper sanitation for 2.6bn worldwide. If Apple can be persuaded, in the near future, you’ll also be able to donate simply to the charity via the app – just to say thank you for helping you out when you get caught out.

Must go now – I need a wee.



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By Chris

But will people talk about it?

On 09, Nov 2009 | No Comments | In Uncategorized | By Chris

Whenever I speak to my creative teams these days about a brief, shortly after reading through the proposition, I always ask the same thing – how will you get people talking about it? You see, when people talk, the message is passed on – obvious really. And the more talked about something is, the more powerful it becomes, and the less money needed to promote it. I often wonder if we shouldn’t these days be spending less money on advertising and a whole lot more on PR.

When you look at the example of The Best Job in the World for the Queensland Tourist Board, there was a tiny ad spend, comparatively huge PR spend. Then an estimated £100m free publicity (£500m if you believe the hype) followed. Is meerkat a phenomenon because of the TV ads and website? This was PR’d to death. And if you read one of Dave Trott’s recent posts, you’ll see that one campaign’s success was less down to the great advertising, more the great PR story. So, find an angle to sell a product then find an angle to sell the sell.

Getting cut through in an obscenely crowded marketplace is insanely difficult but talk to the right people and they’ll shout from the rooftops – well, they’ll tap away in the blogs and Tweets. The point is, they’ll tell everyone they know if the story is a good one. It’s like hearing a great joke – you can’t wait to pass it on. But you always choose you audience wisely.


For one of our clients, we sent out a request for people’s favourite memories. A bit like the current Cadbury’s Wispa Gold campaign where anyone can send it messages, we received hundreds of amazing memories, some by post, some on the microsite. The notes we sent out to the 33,000 direct mail audience came in packs of 10. The recipients were encouraged to ask friends and family for their favourite memories too. Many did and some returned 6 or 7 notes with separate hand-written memories on. Speak to one person, see if they’ll talk to 9 others. 33k becomes a potential 330k simply by asking people to ask. Wispa Gold have 100 times the budget but the principle is the same – get people talking, get people involved.

So, which campaign have you talked about recently?

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