Graphic Design Gangsta Rap

Thank you Christina for posting this on the AdJoke Facebook group. The group is now 96 strong. Who is going to be the lucky 100th member? Maybe you.

My Ad Industry Book Review

When I am not blogging, working or trying to impress women you can usually find me reading books about this little industry of ours. Below is a group of my favourite books from that have something to do with the ad industry.

If you agree or disagree feel free to let me know. Also, I am always looking for great books to read. If you have one you liked share with me.

If you are an author and you want AdJoke to review your book leave us a comment and we will email you an address that you can send a copy to ;)

Perfect Pitch by Jon Steel.

His winning pitch record speaks for itself. His analysis and dissection of the London 2012 bid presentation is incredible.
Another interesting and well written book from the legend Jon Steel.

Cutting Edge Advertising by Jim Aitchison

If you are a creative you should read this. If you are a suit you definitely should read this. A time-tested masterpiece on what makes print advertising effective.

A New Brand World by Scott Bedbury.

The man who was the VP of advertising at Nike for Bo knows & Just Do It. The man who convinced Phil Knight to keep W+K in 1988. The man who left Nike to build Starbucks into a world class brand brings us his life of learning in this quick read. He tells his intriguing story complete with behind the scenes knowledge and life lessons that only a world class brand builder could.

One of my all time favourites.

Why We Buy by Paco Underhill.

Some will say that this book is about merchandising, store design and customer service not advertising. My response is that the job of advertising is to bring people towards products and the job of merchandising and retail is to bring the product to people. For us to properly execute our half of the equation we need to understand the other half. Hell, who says advertising can't functionally influence the design of stores, the look and feel of a retail space. It has with many brands and will continue to do so.

Very entertaining and at times you will catch yourself laughing out loud.

On aside note Wikipedia is probably one of the worst books I have ever read. Boring, repetitive and way too long.

Sony 2. Toshiba 1.

Blu-Ray DVD is currently outselling HD-DVD 2 to 1 in the US.

The Sony backed product is expected to pull in $186 million in sales, versus only $91 million for HD-DVD.

I believe it is the titles that is driving the acceptance not the technology.

Full Story here via American Copywriter.

Bud Light - Dude


London Week - Nike iD. Studio

After doing some shopping this afternoon (don't worry, London's extremely cheap for great stuff...right), I wandered into Nike Town and this is what greeted me.

For those of you who haven't seen it, Nike has an option on their home site to customize your own shoes.

From the design to the colour of the swoosh, you can customize anything you like. Once your design is complete, Nike will build your shoe (for a little premium) and ship them off to you.

When you enter the Flagship UK Nike store, there are three touch screen monitors that allow you to do this shoe customization. After you're done, you can send your shoes to a friend or family member for them to view your creation.

The neat thing is that just inside (couldn't get a pic), there is a huge wall of customized shoes with their creators listed on plaques below.

It's always nice to find a perfect pair of shoes. But it's even better to get a compliment on them and simply respond, "Oh thanks, I made them."

Radiohead - A Perfect 10

Marketers beware we have entered a new era. Last week Radiohead held all 10 spots in the top 10 plays of followed by Kanye West, Foo Fighters and then guess who at 13... Radiohead.

This is what happens when you try to be a little disruptive; and it doesn't hurt that they are Radiohead with arguably the most devoted fans in the world.

For those who may not know about last FM it is a UK-based internet radio and music community website, founded in 2002. It is the world's largest social music platform with over 20 million active users based in more than 232 countries. On 30 May 2007, CBS Interactive acquired for £140m (US$280m), making the largest European Web 2.0 purchase to date.

Using a unique music recommendation system known as "Audioscrobbler", builds a detailed profile of each user's musical taste by recording details of all the songs the user listens to, either on the streamed radio stations or on the user's computer or portable music device. This information is transferred to's database ("Scrobbled") via a plugin installed into the user's music player. The profile data is displayed on a personal web page. The site offers numerous social networking features and can recommend and play artists similar to the user's favourites.

Users can create custom radio stations and playlists from any of the audio tracks in's music library, but are not able to listen to individual tracks on demand, or to download tracks unless the rightsholder has previously authorised it. Registration is required to acquire a profile but is not necessary to view any part of the site or to listen to radio stations.

Last FM description from Wikipedia
Original post found here

One More Time...Daft Punk Promotes Album Online

Daft Punk is promoting their new album online with an embeddable widget, which allows visitors to listen to previews of new tracks, buy the single, read Daft Punk’s biography, read the newsletter, and see a photo gallery of the band.

Pretty sweet. The music industry has taken the lead when it comes to embracing the digital world. From Radiohead's latest efforts to some great viral efforts such as the Bob Dylan campaign Ty posted on previously the music industry is opting to try new things online and leaving the traditional promotional model on the shelf.

Found on Fallon Planning Blog

Things that make you go hmmmmm....

Recession? I ain't afraid of no recession.

By all accounts national GDP growth in the US is expected to be the lowest it has been since 2002. Current predictions have the growth to come in around 2%. In 2002 the economy was emerging from a recession and the sluggish 1.6% growth rate was a welcome sign of good things to come. Five years later many economists are suggesting that a sluggish 2008 is on the horizon and a recession might not be far behind.

(insert scary music and read in a deep echoing voice here - I am trying to lighten this up a bit)
So, what will happen to the ad industry if the economy slows down or worse... enters a recession?

Here are my thoughts.

An economic slowdown historically means that media spending and the ad industry as a whole will take a hit as our clients feel the pressure of consumers wallets tightening. This change in spending habits will put brand relationships at risk; especially once the realities of a slow economy causes advertisers to cut their media and production budgets.

Based on what historically has happened to the ad industry many would be predicting a rough ride if a recession comes to town. I think a recession could be just what the ad industry needs.

A recession will give us a true opportunity to show our clients the real potential that the interactive environment of online offers them. Why do I think this would happen now when the online ad industry suffered deeply in 2000?

In 200o when the US entered its last recession the online world was deeply impacted as there were too many companies leveraged beyond reason that simply ran out of money and lost market capitalization. The second factor leading to many companies demise was a low level of trust, acceptance and understanding of the online environment by both consumers and advertisers. It wasn't a space that many companies saw as a strong medium.

(Are you ready for it? Insert Beethoven's symphony no 5 in C minor...seriously)

Today the digital environment is more than banner ads, websites and sponsored content. It is a dynamic landscape of limitless opportunity and consumer acceptance. As mass broadcast and print become too expensive and long-term, advertisers will find comfort in the world of online. Campaigns can be created faster, buys more targeted and short-term. The uncertainty of the next quarters financial reports won't weigh in as much as considering a Superbowl media buy, or a bulk, long-term deal with a major network.

In 2008 I believe we will find ourselves in a very different situation than 2000. The online industry is ran by a smaller group of very well respected and financially strong companies. Secondly, online sales, usage, and advertising has dramatically increased. The consumer has embraced the digital world as they openly contribute and have actually become through well designed sites and the opportunity to contribute a truly interactive consumer.

This level of interaction creates a tighter emotional bond between brand and consumer and as many have said before "without emotion there is no learning". The interactive environment will create a brand learning environment beneficial beyond belief to all parties involved. Advertisers and agencies that create emotionally connected digital experiences will come out of the recession stronger than they were before. (great timing right there if you were listening to the symphony)

My final thought on this matter is that I believe that this switch to online for many advertisers will begin to raise online costs (good old laws of supply and demand). Once we find ourselves in this disequilibrium new sites will begin popping up; but the solid, reliable, trustworthy sites will remain where advertisers want to be. Investors and advertisers are too smart to fall for another great web explosion.

So as online media costs soar what will happen?

As the media costs rise and begin to move to the realm of expensive advertising space everyone involved will begin to demand more effective and reliable reporting. We will demand accurate tracking, trustworthy security against click fraud and most importantly these demands will become a requirement if the online media companies want advertisers dollars.

The totality of the results of a recession will cause an online revolution.

We will emerge from an American depression with not only clients and agencies with a greater understanding of the digital space, a greater appetite for risk (and good advertising) but the entire online media industry will become a better place for both advertisers and consumers.

Win, Win, Win. Let us all just hope that this recession lasts long enough for my hopes to have a shot at becoming a blissful digital reality.

I admit that this entire post is just me shooting from the hip with no real research or stats to back up my predictions, just a little too much caffeine to sit still and not enough brains to move on.

So there we go people. Did anyone actually make it this far? If so, tell me what you think?


Ad Quote of the Day

"The ideas that come out of most brainstorming sessions are usually superficial, trivial, and not very original. They are rarely useful. The process, however, seems to make uncreative people feel that they are making innovative contributions and that others are listening to them."
~ A. Harvey Block

AdAge Power 150 Rankings

So we submitted AdJoke to the AdAge Power 150 Blog rankings. I am excited about our score of 13/15 from Todd's score. That is where the man in charge ranks our blog based on content, recent posts and relevancy. Only 28 blogs out of 500 scored higher than us in this category.

I am not too excited about our Technorati score...come on people please favourite us in Technorati or take advantage of the RSS feed and help us climb up the list.

We thank you for visiting and we hope you enjoy what you read.




London Week - Post 1

Just arrived in London a few hours ago and was stuck by the differences in their ads versus the ones that we see in North America. Throughout the week, I'll be blogging about some of the European executions that I see during my stay here.

For now, I'd like to start with writing about Icons.

Many brands aspire to become icons within their target group. For Apple, it's the white headphones and for Nike, it's the simple swoosh on your clothes. All brand icons try to mean something; from being independently creative to having the courage and drive to do whatever it takes.

Some cities have the same sort of icons / symbols and in London, nothing is more iconic than the red phone booth. This simple, public space defines a small part of British culture.

It's interesting to think about other icons that can represent a city. Some cities have large monuments (think the Twin Towers / Empire State Building in NYC or the CN Tower in Toronto). Others have a specific place or purpose - think the Opera house in Sydney or the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

London has many of these monuments and historic buildings. But for me, it's the red phone booth that shouts out London more than anything else.

It is a box that has become a symbol for one of the most iconic cities in the world. What does your brand represent and, more importantly, does your icon / symbol properly communicate it?

Got a Pepsi for me?

Although we post a lot of new campaigns on the blog, sometimes it's hilarious to check out old spots.

Love the insight and the execution (it probably became the most used insight - drinking our product makes you cool - for this category of all time).

What do you think happened to the kids?

Absolut What?

Remember Absolut's amazing print and OOH campaign? You know, the one where the bottle is made up of different shapes and images depending on the region of the ad?

The campaign that lasted for decades but has since been replaced with these horrific "Absolute world" executions?

As marketers switch roles and agencies shift, people (creatives, suits and marketers) get antsy to prove themselves with a new and fresh campaign.

Some brands, like Nike, have been able to move their brand in a new direction with different twists (think about the Leave Nothing spot or any of the latest NBA work). That being said, Nike remains true to it's brand DNA. They understand that straying to far from what has worked in the past can tear down all the work it took to build up their brand.

It's too bad Absolut had to shift gears - especially with a campaign like this one.

Sony One Note

New spot for the Sony Walkman Phone.

They've taken their "" brand and extended it to other facets of the Sony business (Music in this case, rather than Colour for their HD TV's).

Neat spot and another win for Fallon.

Fed Ex - Ballsier than you think

Apparently this is real and from BBDO Dussledorf.

Found on Adgoodness.

Another Great AIDS spot - AIDES

I have been really impressed with the quality of International AIDS campaigns this year. See Ty's previous post here.

Ad Quote of the Week

"All great discoveries are made by people whose feelings run ahead of their thinking."
~Charles H. Parkhurst


Hidden Talents - What are yours?

Incredible Video. From Seth Godins blog The Dip.

What allows some people go through life with a dream and the knowledge that they have the ability to achieve it but they do not chase it? Fear paralyzes them and their dreams. If agencies and clients stopped being fearful of risk and failure how much better can advertising become?


Talking and Driving

A new print campaign from Saatchi & Saatchi Praha.
The work is interesting and eye-catching, but I can't get over the fact that if people are against driving while talking on the cell phones, why are their passenger seats in cars?

(understand that your hand might be off the wheel but what about hands free?)


Apple Rewards Creative Customer

Found a really interesting article on the Wired blog a few days ago.

Nick Haley, a huge Apple fan, posted his version of an iPod Touch 30 second TV spot. He used footage from the web and found a song that he thought fit well with the video and then posted it to YouTube where it quickly gained over 400,000 views.

It turns out that Chiat/Day and Apple felt the same. After seeing the spot on YouTube, Apple contacted Nick and flew him to their San Franscisco offices. At the offices, he re-created his spot in HD and Apple then purchased prime time airspace during the World Series to air the spot.

Many companies would have simply called the lawyers on someone like this, but Apple is different. A sign of a great brand is to let brand enthuasists create - and reward them for it.


Canadian Facebook Statistics

After playing with the Facebook Flyer this afternoon, I wanted to share some interesting and current Canadian based statistcs from the network.

Much has been said about the popularity of Facebook. With over 35 million profiles and many more each day, it has become one of the most popular social networks (based on North American publicity, not total users) around today.

Facebook recently added a Flyer function to the site. Flyers are similair to Google's AdWords. You simply type in the people you want to target, a quick message, our maximum pay-per-click amont and you're off.

What I found interesting with the Flyer was the ability to immediately search Facebook's database and analyize the terabytes of information it stores.

From ages to likes and interests, you have the ability to manage all the information and create highly targeted ads for a low cost-per click (CPC) rate.

Some interesting stats:

- There are 7,669,540 Canadian users (20,655,580 in the US)

- 2,601,140 Male / 3,553,580 Female (34%-66%)

- 633,300 people are Liberals, 291,420 are Conservatives

- 2,102,540 people are single (1,433,640 are married)

- 18-24 Demographic; 2,614,540

- 29-40 Demographic; 1,854,640

- 413,960 people over 50

- 75,060 people like Radiohead, 46,740 like The Tragically Hip

- 1,320 people like Paris Hilton, 4,520 like Britney Spears

- 108,620 people like The Hills, 12,140 like the Hour

- 2,600 people work at Rogers, 4,000 at Telus and 4,600 at Bell

When Facebook opens up like this, it allows anyone to search through and target the exact type of person they want.

In the next couple of weeks, we're going to test Facebook Flyers against a small budget of $20 dollars. With a cost-per click of around 10 cents, that should generate approximately 200 additional hits to the blog.

We'll measure the traffic with our blog counters (Blog Counter and Google Analytics) and compare them with the results that Facebook provides.

All in all, really interesting stuff from one of Canada's favorite sites.

Going for it.

This video isn't new but for those of you who haven't seen, it showcases Jake Brown's final big air jump at last years X-Games.

Not only did Jake land a 720, he free fell from approximately 4-stories and the speed of his impact (projected at over 20MPH) blew his shoes right off his feet.

Thankfully he was OK and walked away.

Still, inspiring to see someone go all out - despite what the potential consequences might be.