Simple. Brilliant.

This piece reminds me of Bill Bernbach’s famous maxim about “simple, timeless, human truths” being the most powerful tool we can wield. Great work – well done, Clems.

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Do you wish you could fly?

Check this out. Major LOLs with a deep streak of pathos running all the way through it. Fabulously left field idea, brilliant writing and excellent performances. Doesn’t need the bits at the end (from 2.24), but other than that quibble it’s one of the best things I’ve seen in ages. What I love most about it is the sense of “Where the fuck is this going?” Wouldn’t it be great to bring that sense of intrigue (back) into advertising? In a world of Milward Brown-driven obsession with brand attribution, it feels like we’ve become too scared to let go a bit, allow a narrative to pick us up and take us somewhere interesting and unknown. And, while every ad break is filled with shiny happy people overjoyed at the bliss some car/tampon/bog roll/instant gravy has brought to their life, wouldn’t an ad stand out a mile if it dared to be just a little bit darker?

(Thanks Andy Flemming for bringing the genius of Limmy to my attention.)

Manchester, Rave On

Even for a soft Southerner like me, this beautiful ode to an “honest Northern blagger” and his iconic city brings back so many emotions and memories. The sublime art that came out of Manchester has touched and changed so many lives, including mine, in such irrevocable, powerful ways. And this is a fitting tribute to those people, that art and the man that was at the centre of so much of it, Anthony H Wilson. Gorgeous, lump-in-the-throat stuff, with all the money from sales going to The Christie Cancer Hospital. Find out more about the project and how to buy the music, here.

When the world zigs, zag.

Is this campaign a brilliant way to stand out in a bland category or just puerile playground humour? I actually think it’s a bit of both…and that’s a good thing. In a world where 89% of advertising isn’t noticed or remembered, it’ll stand out and get talked about. Aside from teenage boys – which I imagine aren’t the major audience demographic for this product – I’m not sure how many people will dig this kind of humour. But while the category spends zillions every year churning out wallpaper that focuses on grape provenance and vineyard soil qualitzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, this at least stands a chance of being noticed. As a great campaign once implored – when the world zigs, zag.

(Cheers for pointing me in the direction of this work, Andrew Blakeley)

So beautiful

Her writing’s so brilliantly evocative of the place she’s singing about. Kind of reminds me of Morrissey’s use of Manchester as a character in Smiths songs. Over the past year I’ve gone from quite liking Courtney Barnett to thinking she really is an outstanding songwriting talent.