Tag Archives: focus ireland

Things for which I am grateful #32


Alas, it is not an idyllic croft by the ocean…

Scottish croft on North Uist

Crofter’s cottage.

…but, a roof.

Over my head.

And, on days like today, when it’s blowing a howling gale and lashing with rain, it makes one feel all the more grateful.

Apparently, there are about 380,000 people in Britain who don’t have this luxury.

When I lived in Ireland I worked on a guerilla campaign for a homeless charity called Focus Ireland. The idea was based on using the plaques where famous people lived and doctoring them, using real people’s names, and placing them on the streets where homeless people slept rough. The concept being: Everyone has a right to a home.

It was hugely successful in terms of raising money and awareness.

N.B. Plaques in Ireland are brown unlike the blue ones in the UK.

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Filed under Nature

The Art of the 48 sheet poster


Addendum bit:

The original post is below, but here is the proof I’ve been searching for. The offending VW ad. This is a DPS version rather than the 48 sheet I was banging on about. The only difference between the two is the addition of some body copy.

Cross of Iron? Most definitely not.
Creative Court Martial? Get the blindfolds out.

What were they thinking? Obviously not a lot.

Original post:

I’ve been searching Google for a pic I wanted to show you of an ad I abhor. But I haven’t come up trumps.

Then I thought, it doesn’t really matter if I don’t have a copy of it as it is so mind-numbingly dull, I could describe it to you.

The only problem I’ve been wrestling with is that it was done by one of the greatest ad agencies in the world for one of the greatest brands in the world.

Agency: DDB
Client: Volkswagen
Brand: New Golf Cabriolet

Now let’s start by saying: I love DDB.
I also love Volkswagen.

And I count myself extremely fortunate to have worked on the latter while I was at the former.

The reason this execution has got me so vexed is that I think both brands deserve better.

VW = Great advertising.
DDB = The pioneers of modern day advertising.

In fact, DDB pioneered the industry on brands like Volkswagen in the 60s.

So, what is this blot on the landscape that has offended me so?

Imagine an oblong. (Or rectangle, if you’re so inclined.)
Imagine said oblong in a landscape format.
Imagine this oblong is outside.
Beside a road.
It is made up of 48 sheets of paper. (Actually, it isn’t, it’s 12 what with better printing technology and all that, but the name has just stuck.)
On these 48 (12) pieces of paper is a photograph of a red Golf Cabriolet in front of a nondescript piece of modern architecture.
It’s the sort of picture you might find in a brochure for a new Golf Cabriolet.
It has some words written on it.
We call them: a headline.

Headline: The New Golf Cabriolet.

And that’s it.

Someone had better call in MI6 as I think Al Qaeda are holding the entire planning and creative dept of DDB hostage.

Who, at the agency and client, thought: Yes! You’ve cracked it. That’s just what we’ve been looking for – A picture of the car with the headline: The new Golf Cabriolet.

This execution beggars belief.

Where’s the dialogue?
Where’s the insight?
Where’s the smile in the mind?
Where’s the unique VW TOV?
Where’s the originality we come to expect from VW?

This ad is banal in the extreme and I would love to know how, and why, it ever made it up onto a 48 sheet poster.

Volkswagen deserve better.
And I know DDB can do better.

Here’s one I did a few years back while I was at Chemistry in Dublin. Same brief, different client.

To me, the poster is the Holy Grail of advertising. There is nowhere to hide.

Your thought has to be pure and simple. And above all, it has to be engaging.

Here are a few more examples I’ve done over the years.

There is one other thing that bothers me though. And that is this post is just completely negative.

And I don’t like that.

It’s bad for my karma.

So, in the interest of ending on a more positive note, I thought I’d show you some examples of a master in the art of making posters.

And I’m not talking about Messrs Hegarty, Abbott or Dye.

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Filed under Advertising, Art, Brand, Comedy, Cross of Iron, Design, Ideas, Inspiration, Photography, Strategy, Writing

Homeless guerilla advertising


This is an ambient guerilla campaign I worked on in Dublin for Focus Ireland. (In Ireland, the plaques that adorn the walls of homes where famous people have lived are brown.) We had the idea of using these plaques and placing them in places where homeless people had slept/lived. Using real homeless people’s names and the length of time they were homeless, the campaign highlighted the fact that everyone, no matter how rich or famous had the right to a home.

Credits:

Ad Agency: Chemistry

Creative Director: Mike Garner

Concept: Ted Barry / David Milligan-Croft

Copywriter: Ted Barry

Art Director: David Milligan-Croft

Photographer: Bruno Bossi

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