Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Apple iPod Touch - IGN Homepage Advert

I highly recommend paying a visit over to the IGN.com homepage today to witness a fantastic new display advert for the Apple iPod Touch.

It is not the first time Apple have developed a display ad that features an iPod coming out from the confines of the box, with myself reporting them doing so on YouTube in November 2008. However, to reflect the "New Level Fun" to be experienced with the latest iPod Touch, the motion within the ad is replicated on the navigation bar at the top of the homepage.

For those that have turned up too late to see this ingenious use of digital advertising can instead take in the below examples:

iPod Touch Banner Display Ad Screenshot 1
iPod Touch Banner Display Ad Screenshot 2
iPod Touch Banner Display Ad Screenshot 3
iPod Touch Banner Display Ad Screenshot 4
A selection of motion seen on the IGN homepage


UPDATE - Thanks to Graeme for providing video evidence!


Amazing Online Display Ad for iPod Touch

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Compare The Meerkat Jacuzzi Advert

This week, the UK's favourite 'Russian Meerkat that heads up an advertising campaign for a car insurance comparison website' is back with a brand new TV commercial.

With all the success that the Aleksandr Orlov character has had on social media (with over 580,000 fans on Facebook and 27,000 followers on Twitter, at the time of writing), it was good to see that the new advert made it's first official appearance on YouTube and Facebook before either TV or the CompareTheMeerkat website.

Here is the new commercial:


Compare The Meerkat - Jacuzzi Advert


In terms of Brand awareness, the Meerkat campaign has been a huge success for CompareTheMarket. Throughout 2008 their TV adverts featured the 'falling car' theme to limited success. The graph below shows the relative online search interest in the terms "compare the market" and "meerkat":

Search Insights - Compare The Market / Meerkat
Search Insights - Compare The Market / Meerkat (click for larger)


It is clear that the launch of the meerkat adverts in January 2009 had a massive boost on the interest in the brand (and also meerkats!). What has been fascinating, however, is that the interest did not simply peak at that moment in time, but has gradually built throughout the year. Surely this is a strong sign of the potential longevity that this character could have.

Friday, 25 September 2009

F.A.C.E. The Music

It is not often I get the opportunity to attend live music events, but I was very 'glad' (there is a poor pun there if you continue reading!) that I attended a live music event at The Gladstone (a.k.a The Glad) in Borough, London last night.

The event was organised by the Featured Artists Coalition and the wonderful Elsie Creative Management, with the following featured artists:

Jo Stevens
Michael John
Josh Bray

I highly recommend anybody interested in upcoming musical talents should click each name to go to their respective MySpace pages for a decent sample of their work.

I personally would recommend Michael John's "Devil In The Corner". Song of the evening for me.

The Gladstone is a cosy (but not in a bad way), little pub and I look forward to more live music events there in the future.

F.A.C.E. The Music Flyer

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Green Apple Smirnoff & Lime Smirnoff Launch

Smirnoff LogoTomorrow (Friday 11th September 2009), Smirnoff will be holding a series of launch events around the UK for 2 of their new products.

The details of the event are best described in their own words:

"The Smirnoff Co. announces that it will be simultaneously unveiling five huge ice sculptures across the UK on the 11th September celebrating the national launch of two new flavours of vodka; Green Apple Smirnoff and Lime Smirnoff.

Appearing in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool and London, the ice sculptures will recreate iconic landmarks from each of the five major UK cities in the form of scaled-down replicas.
Green Apple Smirnoff
In Glasgow’s Buchannan Galleries, an ice carving of the Armadillo measuring 8 metres by 2.4 metres high will be constructed.

The infamous Forth Bridge will be rebuilt on the rooftop of Edinburgh’s Prince’s Street Mall, Manchester’s futuristic Urbis will be reproduced at The Great Northern and Liverpool One will be home to an ice replica of the top of the Liver Building.

Meanwhile coming to the capital’s beautiful Covent Garden piazza will be an ice sculpture of London’s skyline featuring Canary Wharf, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, The London Eye, St. Pauls Cathedral and The Gherkin, measuring 10 metres in length and 3 metres in height.
Lime Smirnoff
The installations will see some of the world’s top ice sculptors, Duncan and Jamie Hamilton, Ben Edson, Jack Hackney and Darren Jackson work through the night to carve the structures from a mix of clear and white ice. The ice blocks for the sculptures, being prepared in giant freezers at the Hamilton’s workshop in South West London, will be transported to each location on the 11th September. Upon arrival, they’ll be slotted into place and shaped into their illustrious designs, incorporating limes, green apples and frozen bottles of Smirnoff flavoured vodka."

Each of the sculptures will contain 60 limes and 40 apples and take 4 men up to 5 hours to construct!

Members of the public will be able to view the sculptures from around midday at each venue until the displays melt.
Smirnoff Covent Garden Artist Impression
Courtesy of the event organisers, I welcome the readers of my blog to visit the displays. There will be a prize draw to "win Green Apple Smirnoff and Lime Smirnoff take home packs to share with friends" for the 1st 50 people quoting "ryanfitzgibbon.co.uk".

Enjoy!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Electricity Untamed - Audi Teaser

On 15th September 2009, Audi shall be making an announcement at the Frankfurt Motor Show that will be based upon some new "electricity" based vehicle.

To correspond with this announcement, Audi have created a series of viral ads that direct viewers to their "Electricity Untamed" website.

Audi - Electricity UntamedAudi - Electricity Untamed


At present the website does not give too much detail away, but emphasizes that "electricity has been dumbed down" and that this new technology will "unleash the untamed power of electricity".

The rumours are that the car to be announced will be a performance version of the R8, or a completely new vehicle, dubbed the 'e-tron'.

However, I am a little disappointed that a website that is trying to emphasize the sheer scale of the engineering feat achieved features some very Physics-poor statements:

"A single bolt of lightning contains 1 billion Volts of power" - I am sorry, but Volts is not a unit of power! Apologies, but that is the purist in me coming out.

However, the virals released are indeed a bit of fun, and do get the point across:

The Lawn Mower:


The Static Shock Kid:

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - In-Game Footage

It is now only 36 days until the rumored 14th October 2009 release date for "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves".

The PS3 exclusive game is a sequel to the fantastic "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune" that was released back in 2007.

Much has been discussed over the spectacular graphics that Publisher 'Naughty Dog' have been showing off over the last 6 months. However, the below footage shows just how addictive this game is going to be.

Game of the year 2009 looks to be in the bag!

As you can probably tell, I am a HUGE fan of the original game, being a cross between Tomb Raider and the best of 3rd party shoot-em-ups. The game-play felt very natural and easy to control. The storyline was engaging (Indiana Jones style). Basically it had everything you could possibly want in an adventure/action computer game.

The sequel looks to have taken this to a whole new level. It is reported that the game takes up 100% of the capacity on the Blu-Ray disc with a vastly longer game.

My gut feeling is that this is going to be the game that sets the bar for this console generation (and it may not be beaten).

Enjoy!


Uncharted 2 - Among Thieves - In-Game Footage

Friday, 4 September 2009

Beck - Loser - Literal Video Version

Literal versions of classic music videos have been gaining increasing coverage over the past month or so.

One of the main reasons seems to be based around the success and popularity following the DASjr Productions version of Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" which built upon the Dusto Films (Dustin McLean) version of A-Ha's "Take On Me".

DASjr (David Scott) has put together a collection of footage from various news stations that highlight the coverage the videos have been receiving:


DASjr Coverage


In with this footage is a brief interview with Dustin McLean that shows him working on his new video, Beck's 1993 single, "Loser".

This new video is now finished and I can proudly feature it here (thanks to "Funny or Die"):


Beck - Loser: Literal Video Version


Although I would love to embed the YouTube video here, due to copyright issues, I can only provide this link:

YouTube - Beck's "Loser" - Literal Video Version

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Catching Laptops With His Butt - MSI X-Slim Viral Ad

MSI (the computer motherboard manufacturer) have released a great new viral to correspond with the launch of their new X-Slim Series of laptops.

The viral features a guy (wearing a lovely lycra outfit!) catching laptops between his butt-cheeks that are thrown at him from a series of distances and heights. With over 1.2 million views in just under 6 days, it is proving to be quite the hit on YouTube. However, the number of comments by people that feel that they need to point out that the video is a fake always amazes me. The whole point of virals is to create talking points and entertain, not provide real, true-life stories.


MSI X-Slim Series Viral Ad


The viral makes it clear that it is a tribute to the original Ray-Ban viral that I featured in the very 1st post of this blog!


Ray-Ban Sunglasses Viral Ad


In the Ray-Ban viral, the trick was that sunglasses were thrown by one guy to another and he would catch them on his face. This just takes the concept to the next level.

In the Ray-Ban Ad, the trick was accomplished by having the sunglasses pulled off the face using a piece of string. The video was then played backwards to achieve the desired effect. I would doubt that this method was used for the MSI viral as a laptop would be much too heavy to pull using string. The alternative would be a case of some very clever video editing to splice the footage of the laptop being thrown with the footage of a laptop that is stuck between the butt cheeks! Well done.

Bing Usage Statistics

There has been conflicting reports over the last few days regarding the market share that Microsoft's new Bing Search Engine has been gaining following it's launch at the end of May 2009.

The situation in the US is being watched very closely as this is where Bing is initially concentrating it's efforts, both in terms of the engine development and testing, and in terms of advertising.

The below graph (courtesy of Statcounter) shows how that over the past 2 and a half months, Bing has been gradually building market share from 6% to 12% in the US. During the same period, Yahoo has remained considerably stable, dropping from around 12% to 11%, and Google has dropped the other 5%. Google is still clearly the dominant force, with around 77% share:

Statcounter - Search engine market shareStatcounter - Search engine market share


This is clearly great news for Bing. The initial objective was to be the 2nd biggest player in the market. With the gains they have made in the last few months, plus with Yahoo giving up in the search engine battle and handing their share over to Bing, it looks like the first battle has gone in favour of Microsoft.

However, Mashable have reported that statistics released from Nielsen tell a different story.

Whilst the lose in share for Google from June to July is still recorded, the Nielsen figures suggest that it was in fact Yahoo that gained the market share and not Bing.

June 2009 figures:
Nielsen June 2009 Search FiguresNielsen June 2009 Search Figures

July 2009 figures:
Nielsen July 2009 Search FiguresNielsen July 2009 Search Figures


These results are quite intriguing and unexpected. All 3 major engines gained volumes of search queries month-on-month with the industry as a whole recording a rise of queries by 5%. However, Yahoo's volume of searches rose 11% (compared to Google's 3%), which took it's market share to 17.1%.

It is thought that the increase could be explained due to the huge amount of media interest surrounding the Yahoo/Microsoft deal and the launch of the new Yahoo homepage. It will be interesting to see what figures Nielsen release for August and whether this trend continues.

Either way, it is good news for Bing, as any market share loss for Google is a step in the right direction for them. However, with Google creating their own media interest around the new caffeine platform, it is quite probable to see things swing back in their favour.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Becoming Batman - The Feature Film

As my regular readers may know, I featured a particularly brilliant series of videos entitled "Becoming Batman" over the course of the past 9 months or so.

Whilst I still eagerly await the second series, the guys at WindowSlaws Productions have made the excellent decision to put together the footage from the 1st series into a feature film, "Becoming Batman - The Feature Film".

Not one to miss an opportunity to highlight the work even further, I present the first trailer:


Becoming Batman - The Feature Film


A masterclass in trailer making!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Compare The Meerkat - Sergei Bloopers

The activity surrounding the Compare The Meerkat commercials is continuing to build momentum.

The major development today is the launch of a brand new bloopers video on the Compare The Meerkat website. This is the second blooper video to be created for the website and I still hope that they decide to use some of the content on TV directly.

It could be argued that the cultural penetration of the meerkat commercials has been strong enough that these videos (even without direct branding themselves) would further assist this awareness.


Compare The Meerkat - Sergei Bloopers


In fact, the launch of this new bloopers video also managed to make the front page of this morning's Metro:

Compare The Meerkat - Metro Front PageCompare The Meerkat - Metro Front Page


The story also highlights that, based on Twitter followers, Aleksandr Orlov is now more popular than Lily Allen and Katie Price/Jordan.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Citizen Eco-Drive - Kevin Pietersen

Nick Burcher beat me in highlighting a great advert in the press from Sure, following the success of the England team in the 2nd Ashes Test. In particular the use of Andrew Flintoff and listing his 5 wickets followed by "No Sweat" is brilliant.

Sure Advert - Flintoff - No SweatSure Advert - Flintoff - No Sweat
Hat Tip to Nick for the picture


Citizen (the watch maker) currently has Kevin Pietersen as their cricket celebrity endorser. So it is of no surprise to see an advert in today's Shortlist featuring his image.

Kevin Pietersen Citizen Eco-Drive AdvertKevin Pietersen Citizen Eco-Drive Advert


However, following the news over the last few days that confirms that Pietersen shall not be taking any further in the ashes, it is a tad unfortunate that Citizen decided to describe him as "Unstoppable" (just like his watch!).

Kevin Pietersen is unstoppableKevin Pietersen is Unstoppable!!

Monday, 13 July 2009

Microsoft Office 2010 - Online

The announcement was made today that Microsoft Office 2010 shall be available in Web-Based versions, much like their Google Docs competitor.

These lightweight versions of the applications will enable various users to access and edit the information from anywhere in the world through an internet connection.

You can see previews to the changes being made in the upcoming Office Suite by visiting the official information page from Microsoft.

In line with Google Docs, the Office Web Apps shall be free to use for those with a Microsoft Live login (all 400 million or so of them!). Other users shall be able to purchase subscriptions to the service as well.

To coincide with this announcement, Microsoft have created a movie-style trailer for "Office 2010 - The Movie" which directs viewers to a website that gives them a "Backstage" look at the development of Microsoft Office 2010.

I have seen a number of spoof action videos on YouTube that use Microsoft Office as the source of the problem, so I was not expecting for this video to be particularly original or funny. However, provide the concept with a bigger budget to give the trailer a true movie feel (minus any acting ability), and it actually works very well.

See for yourself:


Office 2010 - The Movie


"Spell-check THIS!....D.E.D."

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

The Killers - Read My Mind - Literal Video Version

In general, the highly popular literal music videos have been classic hits from the 1980s. I have always maintained that the 80s produced the majority of unusual music videos that hold no relevance to the lyrics of the song. This is why they make idea videos to create literal versions of.

However, the latest brilliant video from DASjr Productions has bucked the trend by using the music video to the 2007 song 'Read My Mind' by The Killers.

A great song in its own right (even if not yet a classic) the video is sufficiently odd that it works incredibly. Credit must also go to the creators of this video as, once again, the lyrics are spot on and the vocals are fitting for The Killers.

My personal favourite line takes advantage of my love of TV/movie references:
"Why am I dressed like Bret Maverick?"

Genius!


The Killers - Read My Mind - Literal Video Version

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

HD Video - Slow Motion Surfing

I have previously stated my keen interest in HD technology. The HD picture of the Obama Inauguration still amazes me at the level of detail that was captured.

However, the BBC has decided to stun me again with a fantastic HD video of a slow-motion wave.

Made for the TV documentary 'South Pacific', footage is of big wave surfer Dylan Longbottom in a 12 foot monster barrel - the first shots of their kind ever recorded.

This is without a doubt one of the most impressive pieces of footage ever taken.

Needless to say, the below video should be watched in HD:


Dylan Longbottom in a 12 foot monster barrel

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day everyone!



P.S. Jeff Goldblum is alive and well (despite what Twitter says) and on The Colbert Report! Any man that can hack an alien computer system with just a mid-90s PowerBook is a legend.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Compare The Meekat - Puppet Theatre Advert

This weekend sees the launch of the 4th main TV advert from Compare The Market featuring Aleksandr Orlov from Compare The Meerkat.

The official backstory to this new commercial goes as follows:

"While doing a rootle around my nursery the other day, I find my old meerkat marionette theatre. Quick as flash, I realise I can use to help my business. So please be excite for comparethemeerkat.com theatre spectacular. Show is based on true story of man who ask me for insurance deal at a party and so I battle him with salami."

This actually ties in well with the newspaper interviews the meerkat has been carrying out over the last few days. It does seem that Aleksandr has a small obsession with the concept of salami as a weapon!

The new commercial:


Compare The Meerkat - Puppet Theatre

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Aleksandr Orlov - The Meerkat Interview

Aleksandr Orlov (the meerkat from the Compare The Meerkat/Market commercials) has been a huge success for the company's brand awareness and the character appears to have been warmly adopted by the UK audience. It has also been great for the awareness of Meerkats!

The graph below shows how the interest surrounding 'Compare The Market' and 'Meerkat' really took off in January 2009 with the launch of the first Aleksandr Orlow commercial. As time goes on the interest only seems to keep building.

Compare the Market Insights for SearchCompare the Market Insights for Search


At launch I recall having some concerns that the concept could potentially get old very quickly if the character wasn't kept fresh with new material on a regular basis. Thankfully this has not been the case. By investing in continued activity, we have seen:

We can now add interviews in a number of press publications to the list.

To coincide with a feature in 'The Sun' Newspaper, a video interview with Aleksandr Orlov has been created and uploaded onto the CompareTheMeerkat YouTube channel.

The video continues to build upon this brilliant personality that the character has been given and never fails to make me laugh (or at least smile).

Here is the interview with 'The Sun':


Official Interview with 'The Sun' starring Aleksandr Orlov - Founder of Compare the Meerkat


I look forward to even more great work.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

U.R The Night - Smirnoff Facebook Vanity URL

It has been a few weeks since Facebook introduced the vanity URLs ability to their system. The idea is that you can register an address so that it can be easy for users to find your fan page (e.g. facebook.com/coca-cola).

However, today I saw these vanity URLs in action for the first time to promote a Smirnoff "U.R The Night" advert.

The posters I saw were all over West London and were directing people to visit "Facebook.com/URTheNight":

Smirnoff Ur The Night PosterSmirnoff - U.R The Night Poster


The Facebook page highlights upcoming events in the Smirnoff Experience calender, including the opportunity to win tickets to an event at the O2 on the 10th July. At this event they will be filming a music video in which the audience will play a big part.

Smirnoff Ur The Night Facebook PageU.R The Night Facebook Page


The use of the Facebook vanity URL is a great idea for promoting a social-based event, along the lines that bands have been doing with MySpace URLs for a number of years.

It will be interesting to see whether this will become an increasing trend and whether musicians begin to adopt this system in preference to MySpace. It would also be good to see some interesting/innovative use of the format from companies outside of the entertainment/alcohol industries.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Google vs Bing - Usability Study

With the emergence of 'Bing' (Microsoft's Latest Search Engine), the comparisons being made to Google were obviously going to be made.

I am personally a big fan of Bing. The results page is much clearer and it easier to navigate to various other aspects of the search (e.g. images, videos and other related searches). It is also similar enough to Google for the way it operates to be familiar.

However, I do not feel that it has enough benefits (yet!) to be worth switching from Google. The fact that I have iGoogle as my home-page means it does not make sense to use anything else. In time this decision may change, if Microsoft introduces some of the features available in the US to the UK version.

The Farecast option in Bing is a great tool that lets you compare flight prices. It also has historical data that allows it to predict when the ticket price will be at its cheapest. This allows you to decide on whether to buy the ticket straight away, or hold off a few more days/weeks!

I do not seem to be the only one that feels this way. The Catalyst Group have carried out a study to highlight how users interact with Google and Bing. The PDF of this study can be viewed below:


Catalyst Group Bing V. Google Usability Study


The main points to come out from the study were:
  1. Most users preferred Bing visually and felt the organisation was better.

  2. Both engines were deemed to provide equally relevant search results

  3. When searching for a digital camera, Bing attracted 150% more user viewing time to the ad space above the natural results compared to Google.

The overall sentiment towards Bing was that it was very nice to use, but it wasn't enough to switch the user away from Google. It may provide encouraging reading for us Search Engine Marketing folk, though.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Tiger Woods 10 - Walk On Water Follow-Up

In August last year I reported on a brilliant video created by EA Sports that responded to a YouTube users that had highlighted a bug in the 2008 version of Tiger Woods PGA Tour computer game whereby the player was able to walk onto water and take a shot.

For those unfamiliar with the brilliant video, here it is again:


Tiger "Jesus" Woods


To mark the upcoming release of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10, EA Sports have continued with the same concept but this time using (at time of post) world number 113, Rocco Mediate.


Rocco "Not Quite As Jesus" Mediate


This is another brilliant addition from EA Sports to viral advertising around the Tiger Woods franchise. Although this will not cause as much of a stir as the original did, it is still great to see the company are happy to have some fun with their brand. After all, isn't that what computer gaming is all about?

The video is also highlighting a competition with the opportunity to win $50,000. In order to keep this wonderful series of virals going, EA Sports are looking for the next great idea to implement with Tiger Woods. Unfortunately as I am not a resident of the USA, I am unable to enter the competition.

By going to TigerWoods10.com you will be able to get the full details and download an Asset Pack that should give you everything you need to get started. I'm looking forward to seeing the outcome.

As a final piece of inspiration, here's one other Tiger viral that EA Sports created:


Square Peg, Round Hole

Monday, 22 June 2009

Mash Up Monday - Lily Allen vs Terry Bush

It has been a while, but here is a brand new edition of Mash Up Monday.

Thanks to Dave Gorman (via his Twitter) for highlighting this wonderful mash up on YouTube from thriftshopxl.

Featuring the Lily Allen song "Not Fair" and the Terry Bush song "Maybe Tomorrow", it is an absolutely brilliant mix.

For those unfamiliar of Terry Bush's song, it was the title theme song to the 1979-1985 TV series of "The Littlest Hobo", which was essentially a Lassie-esque show except in that the dog wandered from town to town, with no owner, helping people.

It also featured as a cult reference in the excellent Simon Pegg show 'Spaced' in the episode in which their dog, "Colin", ran away.

The title of this mash up, "The Lilyest Hobo", is therefore inspired genius.

Until next time...


Mash Up Monday - Lily Allen vs Terry Bush - The Lilyest Hobo

Sunday, 21 June 2009

I ♥ Hammersmith

Recently there have been hanging notices on street-lamps around Hammersmith Broadway featuring the slogan "I ♥ Hammersmith".

I Heart Hammersmith Slogan

The body responsible for these banners is not the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham directly, but a not-for-profit limited company called HammersmithLondon
. HammersmithLondon is responsible for delivering a business improvement district (BID) to Hammersmith and was established I Heart Hammersmith Campaignto represent the views of local businesses in Hammersmith town centre. They will then identify and deliver tangible initiatives to benefit local businesses and improve their operating environment.

This campaign has been updated to now read "I ♥ Hammersmith In The Summer" in order to draw in extra business to the area and counter-act "the ever present media misery mood whilst at the same time engender some civic pride".

Although it is not an original idea (The "I ♥ NY" campaign was created in 1977!), it is a rather simple one that is harmless and gives a nice little slogan to run with while the weather is warm and sunshine keeps the public smiling.

The only slight issue I have is that one of the 'deckchair-style' banners that they are running with looks a little too close to the Tesco Value products styling! You wouldn't really want to try and advertise Hammersmith as being of a cheap and lower quality product.

Tesco Value Hammersmith Banner

Psychic Festival

Hang on a minute. Surely psychics should know when and where this is going to be held?

Psychic Festival - I know what you're thinking!

Chad Vader Is Your Father

As a fitting video to coincide with Father's Day, Chad Vader is insistent on Commander Wickstrom performing the usual yearly ritual.


Chad Vader - I Am You Father


For completeness (and some very questionable acting from Mr Hamill!), here is the original for comparison.


Star Wars - I Am Your Father

Monday, 8 June 2009

Hammer-Time Flash Mob

With there being a massive craze of flash mobs that involve people dancing to a recognisable tune, how would you go about drawing attention to the premiere of a new TV reality show based around the late 80's/early 90's superstar, MC Hammer?

The answer is obvious...a "U Can't Touch This" dancing flash mob, complete with gold baggy trousers (US read as "pants").

Set in a clothing store, the following video is the result. It is just a shame that nobody alive can dance as well as MC Hammer:


Hammertime - Flash Mob - U Can't Touch This


STOP....Hammertime!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Total Eclipse of the Heart - Literal Video Version

It has been a couple of months since I last featured a literal music video, but it seems that during this time there have been a few great new ones that have cropped up.

Those that I featured before were mostly by one artist (Dusty McNeato), but a few new artists with reasonable talent have arrived on the scene and giving us a couple of classics.

Today's video comes courtesy of dascottjr and features the video to Bonnie Tyler's 1983 classic "Total Eclipse of the Heart" with the literal lyrics over the top.

As with previous 80s entries, the unusual visuals and big hairstyles makes it the perfect target for a literal make-over.

Enjoy.


Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse of the Heart - Literal Video Version

Play Him Off Keyboard Chad

Following the "Chad Vader After Dentist" video it is apparently becoming something of a tradition for Chad Vader to re-create the weirder, yet popular, YouTube videos with his own piece of flair.

In the video below, Chad has filmed a little duet with 'Keyboard Cat' to accompany a slap-stick scene from Season 1 of Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager:


Play Him Off Keyboard Chad


For those unfamiliar with the concept of Keyboard Cat, I recommend spending a little time searching around on YouTube for the many videos featuring Keyboard Cat. The most common use is similar to that of the Family Guy VaudeVille Tributes in that the music is used to distract away from some form of failed stunt or joke.

There is a whole website dedicated to the Charlie Schmidt creation at Play Him Off Keyboard Cat.com, where some of the best videos are featured. One of my own personal favourites is below:


You Can't Handle The Cat

Monday, 1 June 2009

Signs of Despair - No.3

Is this a new profession?

Brilliant!

Also, isn't it a bit sexist to suggest that the "elecrtrician" (whatever that is) is male?

What does "inconvinience" mean?

This is just all wrong.

Help!

Beware the Elecrtrician!

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Signs of Despair - No.2

An extremely busy May has left me unable to create much in the way of new content. However, over the last couple of days, I have come across a couple of classic 'signs of despair'!

In this instalment, there is a clothes shop in Ealing, West London called "Bardo" (no website to link to I'm afraid).

In a classic example of odd grammar, this is the sign they have outside the shop:
Bardo - Signs of Despair
Bardo - Signs of Despair

As you can see, the phrase "French for Less.!" contains both a full stop and an exclamation mark. I am going to assume that it used to contain 2 exclamation marks and that a piece of the sign is now missing.

However, it must be noted that the sign is of the flat and painted kind rather than the 3D kind that tend to have bits missing. If only they had a website for me to confirm against.!

Friday, 15 May 2009

SNL - Mother Lover - Justin Timberlake

Last weekend was Mother's Day in the USA, and to mark this occasion Justin Timberlake and Adam Sandberg have created a wonderful sequel to the legendary "Dick In A Box" music video.

For those unfamiliar with the original song, please watch the below:


SNL - The Lonely Island - Dick In A Box


The sequel, "Mother Lover", features the characters from the original leaving the Brooklyn Detention Complex 5 months later.

To be honest, I don't want to ruin the music video for those that have not seen it yet and don't want to over-elaborate the "plot". Needless to say, the result is a hilarious video and great tune.


SNL - The Lonely Island - Mother Lover

Friday, 8 May 2009

Advanced Search Query Reports - Google Adwords

(***UPDATE: This addition does not appear uniform across all accounts. It is an option on some but not others!***)

The visibility into the minds of consumers has been made a fair bit easier today thank to a tiny amendment made in Google Adwords' "Search Query" reporting process.

To those unfamiliar with the Search Query report, it is simply a report that allows you to see exactly the search terms that people have been searching for within the engine that led to an impression of your ad appearing.

Whilst this has long been an essential tool to the Search Marketing community, it had a small limitation. As the majority of searches made in Google are unique, the report would group these terms together and state something along the lines of "1043 other unique queries".

This means that you are not given the details of what these searches actually are, leaving you unable to fully learn from the consumer behaviour and plan accordingly for this.

However, today a new option appeared within the report criteria, called "Query Depth" (see picture below):

Advanced Search Query Report OptionAdvanced Search Query Report Option


By requesting the "Advanced Query Depth" it is now possible to obtain the FULL list of search queries made.

This is something I have been wanting for quite some time and just adds that little bit of extra knowledge that potentially could go a long way in optimising client accounts.

Thank you Google.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Sir Clement Freud - Funniest Joke Ever?

With the sad passing of Sir Clement Freud this past week, many papers and websites have been performing the usual task of going through his previous work on radio and come across a truly brilliant joke from when he was a guest on the Telegraph World Cup Pubcast in 2006.

Sir Clement Freud (the grandson of Sigmund Freud), was a regular on the Radio 4 panel show "Just a Minute", and often the funniest one of the bunch. I highly recommend the show to anyone that has never heard it before.

In the mean time, you will have to satisfy yourself with the funniest joke I think I have heard (in recent memory at least!).


Sir Clement Freud - Fabulous Joke

Stayin' Alive - Gillette Advert

Gillette have released their latest commercial in the USA, featuring American Baseball Player (and New York Yankee Captain) Derek Jeter, Tiger Woods and (World Number 2! Tennis Player) Roger Federer.

The advert utilises the "Stayin' Alive" soundtrack by The Bee Gees, by having the sport-stars strut down the street in a semi-parody of Saturday Night Fever, finishing with the tag-line "Here's To Confidence". They also highlight their "/walk website" where you can win a Gillette Fusion.

I have found the recent Gillette ads in the UK to feel a little dated. The use of Tiger Woods (hadn't been playing Golf for quite a while, but is back now), Roger Federer (Number 2 in the World and having a tough time recently) and Thierry Henry (moved to Spain to play Football so no longer has a strong presence in the UK), makes it feel like Gillette haven't really moved with the times to secure the latest crop of sport-stars.

The fact that the sponsorship contracts are probably signed for years at a time and that the world of sport is continuously evolving will undoubtedly make this upgrade rather difficult. It will be interesting to know whether Gillette intend on modifying this new ad for the UK market, and whether this would mean bringing in Thierry!

Although these stars may not be shining as brightly as they did, they still have a great sense of style. I can't think of too many of the new stars in sport that would have the same appeal. Imagine the same ad but featuring Andy Murray, Rory McIlroy and Wayne Rooney. Doesn't quite work the same does it?


New Gillette Commercial - Stayin' Alive


Hat Tip to Illegal Advertising.

Friday, 17 April 2009

SNL - Beyonce "Single Ladies" Parody

Being a big fan of The Lonely Island, I am always excited when Andy Samberg does a music video parody on Saturday Night Live (SNL).

The latest skit is a parody on the Beyonce music video for "Single Ladies".

Not only does the sketch feature Andy Samberg, but other SNL regulars Justin Timberlake and Paul Rudd.

To give a pre-video taster, here is a snapshot of the video:

SNL Parody of Beyonce's Single LadiesSNL Parody of Beyonce's "Single Ladies"


Here is the skit in it's entirety. It is difficult to find the full original version on YouTube due to copyright claims, so here is the MySpace Vids version:


SNL Parody of Beyonce's "Single Ladies"


For those unfamiliar with the actual music video by Beyonce, then here it is (***Note*** My UK location means I am unable to feature the high-quality official version. Sorry!):


Beyonce - "Single Ladies"

Monday, 6 April 2009

Mash Up Monday - The Clash vs Beyonce vs Nelly Furtado vs Ofra Haza

As I hadn't posted any mash ups for a while, I decided to be nice and post two in the one day.

This time I have picked a song that features four great songs:
  • The Clash: Rock The Casbah

  • Beyonce: Upgrade U

  • Nelly Furtado: Maneater

  • Ofra Haza: Im Nin Alu

The mix itself was created by DJ Schmolli, with the video coming from Guttorm Hellevik via YouTube.


Mash Up Monday - The Clash vs Beyonce vs Nelly Furtado vs Ofra Haza - Upgrade The Casbah

Mash Up Monday - Beastie Boys Vs Bob Marley

It has been away for a little while now, but Mash Up Monday is back.

Today's effort comes from Neblina Sound, who have created a great mash between Beastie Boys' "Intergalactic" and Bob Marley's "Could You Be Loved". On paper I wouldn't have said that this could have worked, but I admire the achievement here:


Mash Up Monday - Beastie Boys Vs Bob Marley - Could You Be Intergalactic

Signs of Despair - No.1

In a spin-off (rip-off?) of the wonderful Joe Blogs' "Signs of Life" I had to post a great sign that I noticed a couple of weekends ago in Brighton.

BS Social CareBS Social Care - Indeed!


A quick Google search finds that the BS actually stands for Brook Street. However, when it comes to a lot of social care, I'm sure it doesn't!

Volvo FH16 - World's Strongest Truck 2

Back in January, I featured a nice advergame by "Muskedunder Interactive" for the Volvo FH16 700 Truck, which they claim is the "World's Strongest Truck".

I have since received a lovely email from the guys at Muskedunder, highlighting the success that they have had with the original game. The combined play time for the game adds up to over 20 years!

The feedback they received has led to the creation of the new version of the game (see below).

The new version is longer, with far more obstacles and challenges. It is certainly a more difficult game, but keeping the simple left and right format as the original.

They have kindly supplied me with a few screenshots to use as well.

Firstly, the game itself:

***(Update - I have noticed problems with the game loading both on this page and on the website itself on Firefox 3. I recommend if you are experiencing similar problems then please attempt to play in a different web browser.)***


World's Strongest Truck Advergame 2


World's Strongest Truck Advergame 2 Screenshot - WaterfallWorld's Strongest Truck Advergame 2 Screenshot - Waterfall


World's Strongest Truck Advergame 2 Screenshot - BridgeWorld's Strongest Truck Advergame 2 Screenshot - Bridge

Friday, 3 April 2009

Wired Magazine - Pavement Advert

Following Nick's review of the newly released UK Edition of "Wired" Magazine yesterday, I came across a subtle piece of street art today just outside my office.

The following stencil had been applied several times along the pavement (aka sidewalk), but in the sunlight I almost missed it. I quite like the fact that it wasn't painted in bright colours, as it somehow made the fact I have seen it a nice little reward.

Wired Magazine Launch - Street Art

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

YouTube - April Fool Viewing

Not one to miss out on the April Fool fun, YouTube today has developed a new layout for their videos.

What I shall dub as the "&flip=1" format (due to the fact that by adding this to the end of the usual URL you can have any page in the new format), the whole YouTube page becomes flipped upside-down while still maintaining the individual section layout (e.g. comments below the video).

YouTube "&flip=1" April Fool Layout (click to make larger)


What would be simply a novelty addition to YouTube has been expanded upon with a brilliant set of instructions on how to make the most of the new entertainment experience.

YouTube "&flip=1" Viewing Instructions (click to make larger)


The instructions are quite simple in giving 3 options:
  1. Turn your monitor upside-down

  2. Tilt your head to the side (great cartoon image)

  3. Move to Australia (brilliant)


There is, of course, the reminder at the bottom of today's date!

Waitrose Pinanas - April Fool Advert

In the 2nd of the day's main Metro April Fool adverts, was this nice and simple entry from Waitrose.

Waitrose Pinanas - April Fool Advert


A cross between a banana and a pineapple, I would imagine such a fruit would taste a little like an Innocent Smoothie (Or is that Smoothy?!).

There is a friendly warning that the Pinanas may be "sold out" in many Waitroses, but you can still get 50% off "essential Waitrose strawberries".

I really like this advert. It is clean, un-complicated, and features a bright colourful image on a bright (and potentially colourful due to the G20 Summit) day.
Well done Waitrose.

BMW - April Fool Advert

Apologies for the lack of recent posts! Life has been pretty busy recently.

However, I shall kick off the new month with a couple of April Fool Adverts that were featured in today's Metro.

It has become somewhat of a tradition for BMW to describe a new "innovation" to their vehicles that sound too-good-to-be-true. This is because they are. I remember last year, the "innovation" was an electrified hub-cap that would shock any passing dogs that decided to urinate against their cars. The idea was that the shock would train the dog not to urinate against cars, and stop the hub-caps from rusting! A nice idea, but ridiculous in reality.

BMW "magnetic Tow Technology" April Fool Creative 2009


This years "innovation" is the "BMW Magnetic Tow Technology". The principle concept is to have your car magnetically attach itself to the car in front. You could then turn off your engine and allow the car in front to simply tow you along. Personally, I think they went a tad too grand scale with the idea for it to be believable. It is much easier to fall for the small little additions to a vehicle than something that will change the way cars work forever.

Despite this, it is still a nice effort from the BMW guys, and the final touch of adding a contact email address (Uve.Vollenvorit@bmw.co.uk) is pure genius. Someone should send that to Terry Wogan.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Becoming Batman - The Finale - Part Three

Wow! In this final part to "Becoming Batman", everything we have been building up to finally comes to fruition. The Joker finally makes his grand appearance in his true form (leaving the Red Hood behind him) and has his confrontation with the Batman.

I would hate to spoil the plot for anyone that has been following this series on YouTube, so I shall not disclose the events should you have not yet watched this true season finale.

I would just like to say that the series has been an absolute pleasure to watch, and would like to thank Alastair Clayton and Stuart Laws of WindowSlaws Productions and everyone else that made the series.

I very much look forward to the return of the Batman and seeing you other work becoming a huge success. You can find a selection of their work on YouTube by clicking this link.

I will most definitely be watching "Who's Toby?" very soon, and keeping an eye out for everything else.


Becoming Batman - The Finale - Part Three - "The Dark Night"


Batman will return in... BEING BATMAN!

When he does, you'll find him here on the same Bat-Channel!

Half Life 2: Episode 3 Viral?

Gamezine today featured a video (see below) that is either a brilliant viral video for the highly anticipated Half Life 2: Episode 3 by Valve Software, or an extraordinarily epic video from a talent film student.

The video on YouTube claims that it will not be there for long (so please watch it while you can) and links to a website in the Netherlands called "What's in the box?". This is a good reflection on Valve's own Half-Life product website (What is the Orange Box).

Either way, this video is truly remarkable in it's single-shot, first-person footage that incorporates many of the recognisable visual and audio elements from the Half-Life games. The special effects are superb!


What's in the Box? - Test Film 2009

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Becoming Batman - The Finale - Part Two

Continuing from yesterday's episode of Becoming Batman, our hero faces multiple challenges from sinister enemies (all at 8 o'clock...although it really should have been 7!).

In the 2nd part of this 3 part epic season finale, both the Riddler and Red Hood claim to hold hostage people that are close to the Batman. How is he going to save them both?

Watch the below video and then tune in again tomorrow to find out:


Becoming Batman - The Finale - Part Two - "The Remarkable Ruse of the Riddler"

Monday, 16 March 2009

Becoming Batman - The Finale - Part One

Over the course of the past 4 months, chaos has descended onto Chalfont St Peter like the blanket of darkness at the transpiring of an eclipse. With the Riddler and the Red Hood causing havoc through the village, life has become rather tense for the Batman.

With relationships at breaking point between the two friends (and Selina also), it is time for the terror to come to an end...on one dark night!

In the first part of the epic three-part finale, entitled "Pool our Resources", the transformation of the Red Hood into the Joker has begun. The split personality of our hero's friend is becoming very pronounced and The Riddler is getting very close to finding the truth to the Batman. Replace a chemical vat with a pool being chlorinated and you have the set-up for a brilliant 2nd part in this finale.

Come back tomorrow for the 2nd part in this explosive finale of Becoming Batman. Until then, enjoy this:


Becoming Batman - The Finale - Part One - "Pool our Resources"

Friday, 13 March 2009

White Wedding - Literal Video Version

It is fast turning into a music-heavy week this week!

I promise to have some more in-depth technical posts soon.

To round off this Red Nose Day, I thought I would add in another great literal music video. For those that have not seen these before, the idea is to change the lyrics of a song (without changing the tune and trying to match the sound of the artist) to describe what is going on in the video itself.

As The Beatles' "Penny Lane" proved earlier this week, this process works particularly well if the video appears to have no relation to the original lyrics. In this case, Billy Idol's "White Wedding", does in fact feature a wedding. However, the outcome is just as good.


Billy Idol - White Wedding - Literal Video Version

Becoming Batman - The Riddler's Vlog Update

In the gradual build up to the epic that shall be the 3-part finale to "Becoming Batman", there has been an interesting update from the Riddler.

Following the usual "at camera" piece, the real developments come on his night-time walk through Chalfont St Peter, where he comes across the now-familiar Red Hood, who doesn't seem too happy to see him.

With the tension in the village building, it is only a matter of time before the Batman must act.


The Riddler's Vlog March 11th 2009

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Hard 'N Phirm - "Pi"

I have no idea how I came across this. I have no idea what this is actually meant to be from. All I know is that I like it and I wish it was on TV!

I'm definitely going to see if the song is on iTunes!


Hard 'N Phirm - "Pi" - Dir: Keith Schofield

Monday, 9 March 2009

Mash Up Monday - Oasis vs Green Day vs Kanye West

Whilst flicking through channels on Friday, it was good to see that 4Music were featuring a programme entitled "40 Hottest Mash Ups". There were several mashes which I have previously featured on this blog, several excellent ones which I hadn't heard before and many rubbish ones!

At the top end of their chart was a new version of Party Ben's "Oasis vs Green Day" that I absolutely love. By simply adding in Kanye West's "Flashing Lights" you get the wonderful "Boulevard of Flashing Lights" featuring all of the following:
  • Oasis - "Wonderwall"

  • Green Day - "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"

  • Kanye West - "Flashing Lights"



Mash Up Monday - Oasis vs Green Day vs Kanye - Boulevard of Flashing Lights

Penny Lane - Literal Video Version

It's been a while since the last decent literal music video I have featured (4th November 2008, in fact). However, I can today feature a great literal video version to the classic Beatles' song, "Penny Lane".

The Beatles are the band that probably have the best potential for great literal versions as their original songs and videos are usually weird and trippy enough for inspired genius moments. For example, this video has the "horse montage" and the "mozart guys".

More please.


The Beatles - Penny Lane - Literal Music Video Version

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Becoming Batman - The Finale Is Coming!

In the true spirit of an epic superhero movie, we have been given a brilliant trailer that gives us the first glance at the THREE-PART FINALE OF BECOMING BATMAN.

For those that have not been following this amazing series of YouTube videos, I highly recommend clicking this link to give you the full story surround each episode so far.

If you are lazy, however, the trailer does give a very rough "previously on Becoming Batman" to give you some of the essence of what is going on. If this doesn't make you want to go back and watch each episode, then you are honestly missing something special.

For those that, like myself, love the series so far then please book 16th MARCH 2009 into your diaries as this is the day in which the finale shall begin.

If you are out there and reading this Batman, then please drop me a line if you ever need any help with future works!


Becoming Batman - The Finale Trailer

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

iPhone Band - MGMT

Featured in today's Metro (in The Ridiculant section), was a brief mention of a band called 'The Mentalists' where they use iPhone applications to create a cover of the great song, "Kids", by MGMT. For those that are interested, the apps used are:
  • Ocarina

  • Retro Synth

  • miniSynth

  • DigiDrummer Lite

The evidence below speaks for itself! Another reason why I would love to switch phone networks to get an iPhone (I must have around 50 reasons already, but the inconvenience and cost of switching is preventing me from doing so).


The Mentalists - Cover of MGMT 'Kids' using iPhones


In case you are unfamiliar with the wonderful work by MGMT, then see the original music video below for comparison:


MGMT - 'Kids' - Music Video

Monday, 2 March 2009

Adverts Featuring Search - With No S.E.M.

I have noticed an increasing volume of adverts in the press and outdoor media that feature the image of a search bar with the text of a search relevant to the company.

In theory, this is a great way in which you could drive traffic through search engines to you site, taking advantage of cheaper sponsored link terms (even if they are typically generic words in themselves). Orange did this very well with their "I am" advertising (see below):

Orange I Am AdvertOrange "I am" Billboard
Hat Tip to Peter Gasston at broken-links.com


By featuring a very simple phrase to remember, these adverts were easily remembered for later searches once commuters reached their destinations. The "I am" search then produces a top-position sponsored link from Orange that links directly to their "I am who I am because of everyone" microsite:

'I Am' Search Results'I Am' Search Results


Clicks through this sponsored ad would be relatively cheap due to the lack of any real competition (it is unlikely any other competitors would bid on a term that has nothing to do with their business!) so would work well as a brand-awareness campaign.

However, there are a number of ads floating around that are missing a couple of steps in this process.

In today's Metro I came across an ad for CrossCountryTrains.co.uk. They are a train price comparison site, where they will check the prices of all train operators within the UK and return the cheapest price for the route you wish to take.

In the advert they feature a large search bar, quoting "I'm looking for the cheapest train tickets - no booking fee":

crosscountrytrains advertCrossCountryTrains Metro Advert


Firstly, this is not exactly the easiest search term to remember. Unless you take the Metro with you to work. I understand that the picture may just be there to reinforce exactly what the service is that they provide, but it is a wasted opportunity if you do not actually appear against that search:

Google Search Results for Train AdGoogle search results for the long search query found in the ad


As you can see, the Cross County Trains website does not actually appear anywhere within these search results. This means that the company is not taking full advantage of the power that search could provide them. It would be much more effective to either have a shorter term to remember (particularly if it features the brand name - this gives extra bonus effect of increasing brand awareness) or having the sponsored link highly present so that they convert those that actually search for what they appear to want you to search for!

There was also an advert running on the underground a month or so ago on the LCD displays running along the escalators at Tottenham Court Road Station. These ads were for a website called netflights.com, and whilst advertising great prices on flights, they were prompting commuters to search for "worldwide airfares from netflights.com". The animation that ran actually showed this term being typed into a search bar and the "search" button being clicked.

However, just as with the previous example, searching for this sentence produced results that were void of any netflights sponsored links:

Netflights Search Results PageNetflights Search Results Page


This example is little better than the previous one, in that it is a little shorter and does feature the company name, but it is still hard to fully remember when you move past the ad on an escalator. It is also slightly better as the search results does have the natural listing for the website. However, I am sure that they would have much rather have been in a higher position than under 3 sponsored links and 1 other natural search result (that is of a competitor!).

It is great to see that companies are beginning to understand the power of search on the minds of the consumer, but some are still a way off from understanding how to use it effectively and how to incorporate it into a media strategy to achieve good returns.