Friday, October 30, 2009

Join me in the world’s most audacious cybersnub

I know you’re as dumbfounded as me that I was overlooked at this year’s BIMA Award for best blog.

I managed to steal their special ‘vote for me’ button though.

BIMA 2009 - Best Blog: Vote for me!

So I’d like to ask you all to click through to the site, shake your fist at the screen to register your displeasure, then close the window really fast so you don’t help their traffic stats.

That should do it. They can’t ignore me forever!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Real men have died writing long copy

Long copy is a very tricky thing.

Because it’s a horrible fact of life that the more words you write, the more there are for people to disagree with.

Before you know it, you can find yourself embroiled in rounds of amends so endless and dispiriting, they make the Hundred Years’ War look like a small spat with the in-laws.

The copy goes back and forth back and forth until you can no longer remember what you're writing about or why.

Then just when you've become really disillusioned with the whole thing and decide you can’t write a single word more, they ask you to do a complete rewrite.

The client asks for a rewrite not because you’ve lost the original energy and direction of the piece.

It’s because it’s been going on so long, all the people who first briefed you have died.

A whole new generation of people have since grown up and begun working on it. And they have no idea what their forefathers first intended when they began the project.

I have a job like this going on at the moment.

Records suggest that when my great-great-grandfather was first briefed, it was a letter to aristocrats and dandies launching the first ever brand of moustache wax.

But over the years, through endless drafts and redrafts, it’s slowly evolved into an email and microsite for a leading brand of anti-virus software.

What’s most galling about this particular job is that at several points we’ve been so close to seeing it run. Then, each time, something’s come up at the last moment. Apparently at one point we had sign-off from all the clients involved , but then World War II started and the whole thing got put on hold.

Some people could get depressed at the thought their work will still be going on long after they’ve ‘passed on’.

But I realise my project is in good company. Raphael's Transfiguration. Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. Tupac’s R U Still Down?

I take great comfort in the thought that some small part of me will live on through these endless rewrites.

Or at least it will if they don’t change every single fricking word.

Friday, October 23, 2009

We are all Ian

Wondering what this post would read like if it were written by someone intelligent? Read the new Planningplusone.
Here are some things that anger me on the underground:
• People looking at me funny
• People breathing wrong
• People looking at me funny whilst breathing wrong
• People looking miserable
• People smiling but sarcastically
• People walking in front of me but 0.00001mph slower than I like to walk

London is the angry capital. And I would be the King of Angry, if it weren’t for the fact everyone else seems to be angry too.

Which is why I’m not too sure about the campaign to get that tube worker sacked.

Yes he is a horrible little person. But aren’t we all?

I am, at any given moment, only one elbow nudge from throwing an innocent old man under a train. I mean, let’s be honest, who hasn’t at one time or another deliberately tripped a nun who pushed past us on the escalator? Or at least thought about it?

There's something about the underground that brings out the worst in people. Like firearms. And the 80s.

My worry is, it feels like the twitmob is out of control. My twitter feed is starting to read like the letters section of The Daily Heil.

Sure, twitter is for protesting. But that means real issues like free press and democracy. Not, ‘he’s got long hair and an annoying face and shouts so let's get him sacked’

The problem with being involved in a campaign against someone mean is that it’s mean, no?

Principally, tweets should be a force for all that is funny and dumb.

For example, here are some which have made my world a better place recently:

@adlandsuit: When faced with a dilemma, just take a breath and ask yourself the all-important question: What would Atomic Kitten do?

@Elika: Hang on... Wait... No. Wait... Ah. There it is: my hangover.

@SandwichRich I wish there was a Shewolf in MY closet.

Not to mention following the hilarious trials of @realnickgriffin getting caught with stolen cocktail sausages in his pockets at TV Centre yesterday.

Ridiculing fascists. Now THAT'S what twitter should be about.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Is this the most terrifying thing ever screened?

Someone here just mentioned The Wheelers from Return to Oz and I came over all queer just thinking about them.

I had a little quiet sit and a cup of tea and was feeling okay again. Then I watched this.

Fetch me a very large a cup of camomile somebody.

Why would they put something like this on telly? For kids?!

It’s not lunatics with guns or flesh-eating monsters that really scare you. It’s men with wheels for hands. And things like Chocky. Remember Chocky? That weird green floating nipple thing in the kid’s room? Chilling stuff.

Mum, dad, why did you let me watch this?

Friday, October 16, 2009

I've been to J R Hartley's for lunch. Have you? Didn't think so.

If you’re pregnant, I heartily recommend attending an NCT class.

You get to spend a few hundred quid learning how to say helpful stuff to your partner like “Push”, none of which is useful as in the end they decide to make a neat cut and just pull the baby out of her tummy (why didn’t they just do that in the first place?)

On the plus side, you get to meet lots of nice people.

You go bowling with the other men and give one another hilarious birth-themed names on the scoresheet, like Forceps and Perineum.

Then if you’re really lucky, you have a get-together at your friend Emma’s parents’ house. And it turns out to be the home where they shot the classic Yellow Pages J.R. Hartley ad!

I know!

Sadly, JR wasn’t home. So I got a photo of myself in situ instead.

And here’s my friend Emma playing the part of the daughter.

I’m thinking of turning this into a regular feature and going round other famous ad homes. Here’s my wishlist.

The Ferrero Rocher Ambassador's house.

Flake girl’s house – the nice one in the garden, not the one on the windowsill who in my opinion was a bit slutty.

Gold Blend couple’s house. Although I’d probably feel a bit of a gooseberry, like this poor chap. I can’t stand it when a couple’s all luvvy-duvvy right in front of you. I’d have to shout “I am still here you know”.

So if anyone knows where these guys live, please get in touch.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It’s raining babies

As a child I was told all manner of tales regarding where babies come from. But now I think I've finally got to the bottom of it. Babies come from a recession.

It makes perfect sense. The lack of spare cash to spend on going out means people are left with no alternative but to have sex with their partners.

Since the recession, people here at RMWLC Towers have been falling over themselves to procreate.

In the creative department alone, we’ve had two kids in the last two weeks!

It has to be said that, taking a long term view, having children is not a great way to save money. The average cost of having a child from birth to 21st birthday is said to be £186,032. (That can’t be true by the way. If it is, my parents owe me at least £185,500.)

Simon, the art director wot sits behind me, was so sensitive about costs he actually delivered the child himself. In his bathroom.

Now I’ve said some pretty mean things about art directors in the past but that is IMPRESSIVE. Congratulations Simon and Vicks on baby Sonny.

I’ve shot him here in baby-catching action pose. Apparently the cuddly dolphin here actually bears very little resemblance to his baby. But the look of surprise on his face as his firstborn popped out is pretty much spot on.

And secondly, anyone who reads the comments section will be delighted to hear that Katie the copywriter, who posted under such pseudonyms as Workman 2 and A girl near you, had a baby girl named Lorelie on Monday. Well done Katie!

One of the pitfalls of parenthood is that you can become incredibly boring. You lose all perspective of what is and isn’t interesting for others and just ramble on endlessly about your child.

This isn’t a problem for me, as I was boring before. But the rest of you who are thinking of reproducing should watch out!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bryan is on holiday. Permanently.

Well there’s a nice welcome back.

Not a single, “Did you have a nice time?” or “Missed you”.

Just a lot of, “I read your blog while you were away – Bryan’s really funny” and “Can he do it every week?”

I wouldn’t mind if people were saying it to wind me up, but there’s a horrid ring of sincerity in their voices (you can tell when someone’s being sincere here because everybody turns around and stares).

Yes Bryan was very entertaining. FOR A WEEK. Anyone can blog for a week. He’s a flash in the pan, don’t you see? Like Right Said Fred. Or Stiltskin (remember them?)

Me, I’m U2. Consistently producing the goods. Churning it out. Admittedly the routine has got a bit tired lately – basically the same idea re-hashed over and over. But you're compelled to keep coming back for more because you remember it was good once.

Maybe it'll get good again. Maybe it won't. The point is, Bryan’s gone now and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Not so Rude Tube

If like me you like nothing more than driving over to your girlfriends on a Friday night, only to land in a traffic jam at Wandsworth on the way, sack it off and turn back after an hour of the car overheating, grabbing a MacDonalds on the way to sit and eat on your own in front of the TV, then you may have caught Rude Tube on Channel 4 last night. If not, then this was the best video you missed :-

Hey, Hey it's Friday

Grunders is still giving it some.........

When I lived in Oz in the 90's, the TV there really was a big pile of steaming.................well....... let's just say, it wasn't very good. Nothing typified this more than their Saturday night prime time show 'Hey, Hey, It's Saturday'. It ran for 27 long years.

I see it is back in the news again. TV wise, this really is about as good as it gets in Australia.....................

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Reach Out and Touch Dave

RealmensupportSpurs is back soon. Grunders is still blogging 'til then.

As this is generally a creative blog, maybe I need to write something a bit more arty than what I just eat for my lunch. I was planning on going to the Tate Modern tonight but that shut at 6pm. I was going to blog about that but instead I want to share with you info on a documentary movie that is having a limited release in the next month or so. It is 'The Posters Came From The Walls'.

I was lucky enough to see this film at the NFT early this year and being a slightly mentalist Depeche Mode fan myself, loved every minute of it. It charts peoples obsession with fandom and how their devotion to the synth pop band from Basildon has shaped their lives.

Jeremy Deller and Nicholas Abrahams do a fantastic job, trawling the world to interview Depeche fans and see how their tunes have affected a wide range of individuals. From a homeless guy who was saved by his cassette recording of '101', to Eastern Europeans who equate the Berlin Wall falling with 'Violator', all the way to the fans who dress their whole family up in Depeche costumes. Poignant, surreal, funny and, even sad at times, it showed me that just one song, video, concert, or even a glance from the lead singer at a gig can change someones world forever.

It is showing at the Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Place (inbetween Chinatown and Leics Sq, London) next Saturday 17th October at 10.30am (yep, that's am, not pm). If you are unable to rise that early, it will be rolled out to 15 other sites on December 1st at 6.30pm. Check the website for details :-

Until then, here's Depeche at their peak. They were a big band, you know............

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I love Pret

Realmenholidayinwales is still away. Grunders is still blogging until he’s back.

Gwen Guthrie said ‘Ain’t Nothin’ goin’ on but the rent’ but she obviously didn't have the kinda day I had. First I got Jay Z tickets, but better than that - I went to Pret-a-Manger for my lunch. Crazy.

Here are some Pret facts for you :-
- To get a job at Pret-a-Manger you have a one day trial and then the staff actually vote if they like you or not. A bit like Big Brother – but in reverse. And with sandwiches.

- Today’s soup was Carrot and Coriander. I gave it a miss.

- Pret-a-Manger literally means ‘ready to eat’. I mean, how more direct do you want it ?! It’s like calling a toy store something mental like ‘Toys R Us’. But in French.

- The name ‘Pret a manger’ is slowly being phased out and your local one might actually now be just a ‘Pret’. Please check on your next visit. For this reason the rest of the blog I will adhere to this and they will now only be referred to as ‘Pret’ only.

- I’ve heard in London you are only 3 feet away at any time from a rat. The same could (probably) be said for a branch of Pret in London. If you see a rat in Pret, please let me know.

- Whilst the movie Pret-a-Porter might have gone down well in the States (2 Golden Globes), Pret didn’t. US expansion losses made the company as a whole turnover a loss in 2003.

- Pret sold to a private equity firm for £350m in 2008. The only thing of similar value I could equate this to was Liverpool FC’s debt of the same amount.

- Be careful. The company name PRET could also be confused with a company called ‘Peace Research and Education Trust’. They do tons of good stuff about stopping wars and tanks, so don’t go to them for a sandwich.

- My favourite sandwich is tuna and cucumber. I’ve read reports that tuna fishing is unsustainable but I’ve heard nothing about the cucumbers? I hope they are not under threat also.

- My lunch (pictured above) cost £4.20.

- Also, their website advertises jobs by saying :- ‘We wear jeans, we have legendary parties’. They ain't lying, man. Check this out :-

Ice Cube : then and now

He came 'Straight Outta Compton' and told us how he was going to do something unspeakable to tha Police, but how he's changed. Sweet.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Clowns are funny

Realmenwritelongcopy is on his holidays. Grunders is the guest blogger this week.

Growing up in the 80’s I was at the tail end of Star Wars and space exploration seemed a tiny bit exciting. Space shuttle launches were live on TV, I knew where Cape Canaveral was and R2D2 was my homeie. These days are gone and I no longer care but it does seems that NASA are getting ever more desperate for the public to give a hoot about what they are doing.

First was there plans to put N*SYNC on the moon (not quite true), then Blur lost their Beagle on walkies on Mars but this week’s effort to grab the public interest is the best........ they’ve sent Krusty the Clown into orbit.

Now, if you were a NASA employee and had devoted your life and career to the cosmos, would you really want to be locked in a space station with this bloke Guy Laliberte ? Look at his brilliant quote from his press conference :-

"I'm a person with a pretty high spirit, who's there to crack jokes and make jokes to those guys, and while they're sleeping, you know, I'll be tickling them"

I am assuming that space exploration is a fairly technical exercise and takes a certain level of concentration. So I guess when approaching re-entry / docking / landing on Venus etc, you really could do with some extra fun. A squirt of water from a flower or a balloon animal always lightens the mood.

Whilst I have found this space clown story pleasantly funny, I bet this lady didn't :-

Thursday, October 1, 2009

RealMenWriteLongCopy has gone to Wales for a week

While I’m away, I’ve asked Bryan 'Grunders' Grundy from Finance to ‘guest blog’.

I have no idea what he’s going to write. Or indeed whether he can write. Maybe he'll just post Excel spreadsheets. Whatever happens, I feel confident I've set the bar at a height no one can fall below.

Anyway, don't get used to him. I'll be back before you know it.

Inspiring indifference in my readers

Go on, give in to the hate

Yesterday I read with interest the blog of some young upstart from the States.

Alex Bogusky, or whatever his name is, wrote about success, how you define it and how you go after it. It’s a pretty nice post if you like that sort of thing.

That’s not my point.

Something in his words made his fellow countrymen so furious they almost choked on their collective cheeseburgers and immediately began waving fully-licensed firearms around willy-nilly at anyone daring express an opinion in the land of the free.

The anonymous bloggers bravely accused him of being arrogant, smug and shallow. And having long hair.

Now I couldn’t give two hoots whether he’s arrogant or not. What really upset me is the vitriol he managed to provoke in his readers.

This guy's only been blogging for a month and he’s already upset scores of people. I’ve been at it nine months now and have had virtually no insults in my comments section. Those that have come have been half-hearted at best.

It’s a well-known principle in advertising that our number one challenge is to get a reaction – better to be loved or hated than ignored.

But this is me. The Magnolia of creatives. The plain boiled rice of writers. Not great. Not bad. Just there.

I know there are people in the industry who hate me. They’ve told me as much on several occasions. But even they can’t be arsed to comment. Whereas this Bogusky chap has angered people who’ve never even met him.

Where’s the fairness in that? Come on guys, show me the hatred.