Direct communication, Irish style. Part 2.

As we’ve mentioned before, nobody beats the Irish when it comes to pooh-poohing illicit canine pooing.

Well this proud tradition continues. I found this gem on an Irish website today. I love it.


The continued adventures of television advertising

The US cable TV industry is the last frontier for good interface design and generally acting cool. It’s laughably bad. And for an industry in as much peril as it clearly is, it doesn’t do much to help itself.

(But enough of me. Here is a far more entertaining and incisive dissection of the industry from that bastion of forward business thinking website WhatWouldTylerDurdenDo dot com)

Nielsen Realizes That People Are Telling TV To Go Fuck Itself
By Jack

The good news is that people are still pretty much fat and lazy visual-intake vegetables. The bad news for cable and network TV execs is that everyone is getting their fix on Hulu, Netflix, downloaded torrents, and their parent’s HBOgo account. The Associated Press is reporting on a study by fossilized TV measurement service Nielsen about “Zero TV”. Nielsen is scrambling to figure out how to minutely record people’s watching habits in order for companies to better sell us their Fruity Pebbles. This trend has been coming for years and the television industry has kinda sorta not really done jack shit about it, short of getting Louie Anderson to swan dive off a 3-meter board. A lot of broadcast and cable networks content can still only be seen with expensive monthly cable and satellite plans. So, the execs are trying to appeal to the consumer demand for on-demand viewing by allowing them to watch on their own schedule, provided they still pay a boatload each month to their service provider. Solid plan. Goodbye TV.


I started my career in advertising on the media side of things. I sold airtime on ITV (Independent Television) network in the UK . The commercial counterpoint to the BBC TV network.

And it gave me valuable insight into how the advertising business actually works in real life. If nobody sees your content it may as well not exist. Hollywood knows this all too well.

I quickly realized that two things seemed to matter in media placement: money and money.

If you had tons of cash you could literally buy the attention of the nation like magic. And to a large degree you still can.

What made TV such a great advertising medium is that people were sitting comfortably and looking to be entertained in the broadest sense. They are looking for escape and their minds have been slightly switched off. They are open to suggestion. Their guard is down.

And the best TV advertising went with this flow. The worst was a jarring reminder that what you were watching was ad supported. This hasn’t changed.

One of the biggest flaws with advertising on the internet is that advertising just doesn’t belong there.

The internet isn’t a media property owned by Rupert Murdoch. It’s not an advertising medium. It does not enjoy a symbiotic relationship with brands in the same way that other media did.

That was the genius of Google. They basically co-opted the whole of the internet and leaned into what the internet does best: wish fulfillment. Not demand creation.

Demand creation can only be achieved through what amounts to seduction and your brand acting like it’s a real person establishing a relationship. Let’s face it, most people don’t actually NEED most brands. Most brands aren’t the object of anyone’s desire and have to fight to get actively considered by purchasers.

The Internet didn’t change this reality. And the fact that it doesn’t lend itself to demand creation isn’t a flaw with the Internet itself. It’s the flaw of marketers who choose to squint at the Internet and only see the eyeballs of an audience to be exploited.

It’s telling that online media vendors frequently talked in terms of “eyeballs” they could deliver.

Yes, that’s what you offer. We also need hearts and minds unfortunately.

Mobile advertising = annoying people on their phone

Common sense tells us that annoying people with advertising on their phones is a bad idea.

Your mobile phone is a treasured private space.

Remember how despised telemarketers were and are?

They were despised because they were violating personal time and space.

They were uninvited. They were unwanted. They just didn’t belong.

Spam phone calls were the tool of bottom feeders and shady types.

Some tactics are just abhorrent and counter-productive.

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

Marketers would be well advised to remember this.

UPDATE: tangentially related topic. Big data. The latest tiresome topic of the bullshit/marketing axis of tedium. The legendary John Hegarty weighs in. Great read. Read it here.

Once again, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.

I f**king love this

Having shot with NASCAR drivers and shot a lot of hidden camera prank videos including, coincidentally, one involving a car salesman, my hat is well and truly off to TBWA Chiat Day for executing this one to perfection.

And no dig at Jeff Gordon (cue: dig at Jeff Gordon) but this is the most exciting thing you’ve done behind the wheel in years dude. Booyah!

Enjoy the juicy goodness.

A Saint Patrick’s day plea to US marketers from an Irish ad guy.

Saint Patrick is famous for using the three leaves of the shamrock plant to illustrate the concept of the holy trinity to Irish pagan Celts back in the fifth century AD.

An analogy that we swallowed hook line and sinker. Apparently.

The key number here is 3. Three leaves. That’s what a shamrock is. A three leaved plant.

Not a four leaved plant. That’s a different thing entirely. It’s called a clover.

A plant that is associated with good luck.

In the US, for some reason that has no basis in history, Irish people are also associated with luck.

There’s a leprechaun fronted breakfast cereal called LUCKY CHARMS, for example.

Anyway, somewhere along the line the two got conflated. And the clover is frequently mistaken for the shamrock in Paddy’s day promotional materials.

No big deal, right?


This is our big day. Get the f**king vegetation right!

Three leaves good. Four leaves bad.


A genius cat food ad campaign

Cats are all over the internet. Everybody loves a kitten. Just a fact.

And apparently Henri the French existentialist cat is the pick of the litter.

It’s genius idea. A bored French guy’s VO narrates the inner thoughts of deep thinking feline.

And Friskies cat food has just hired this cat to do a series of hilarious ads.

I just love this idea. It’s another great example of advertising harnessing something that has energy in real life. And it’s a great fit.