6.11.10

The Game. I'm Back In It.

I feel like first things first, an apology, for leaving people in the dark for the last month or so.

Also, sorry for my post about taking a shit. I was driven to madness by the events I am about to describe.

As the iron curtain surrounding our advertising major lifts you can look forward to two things. Hearing a lot more about what Adam and I have actually done, and potentially seeing some of our work published on another page that'll be coming soon.

So what are we up to at the moment? Well we're done!!! We have officially finished our Bachelor of Communication Studies majoring in Creative Advertising. We were so stoked to be done in fact that we ran down to the beach, stripping off clothes madly (and skipping). As we clambered over the rocks to a sweet diving location we looked with anticipation at the sparkling water. We held hands and jumped head first over the rocks edge. At that very moment however our awesomeness appeared before us and pulled the entire tide out and Adam and I crashed face first into the sand, the sand of sober reality.

We have so much more work to do than we thought!! Not only do we have to get jobs like right now but we have to produce a good old fashion portfolio of work (which is currently sitting at 40 A3 pages). It is a sexy portfolio and I am currently Art Directing up the final ads to put in it as I write this blog. It features some great work of ours over the year including work for Tenderloverandcarry, TVNZ ONE News, OGGI, Rexona, Stardome, and State Insurance. These are all campaigns of our that have been highly commended, recognised, and even nominated for various awards.

It feels fuckin good guys!!

We've made it, we ARE creatives!

The final hurdle is getting a job. We have an end of year show this Tuesday our in Mt.Eden where a bunch of 200 or so industry bigs are gonna show up and check out our portfolios. Adam and I have a few tricks up our sleeve to lift us above the competition so it should be a great night.

The Sun is out guys. We're young. We're Creative. We're free.

Lets fuck shit up

Cheers,
Hugh

18.10.10

I Took A Shit Today

Hey WANCers,

As Adam said we are in the midst of some pretty hectic times at uni at the moment what with all our assignments being due on the same fucking day. However, despite this I found time in my busy day for two things.... The first, is to write this blog in place of Ben (assuming that Ben won't post tonight), and the second, was possibly the best shit I've taken in a long time.

I was standing outside my tutors office with Adam waiting to see him. He was on the phone though so it was taking some serious time. I sat down in the chair outside his office and it set in. The urge, not the need, just the urge, so I wriggled uncomfortably for a bit as I watched Adam pace around the place.

It seemed to pass and I breathed a sigh of relief and thought "ok, I'll get through this meeting then hit this bad boy up"

Adam said something to me which I couldn't quite care about as at that instant the urge came back. This time it was more potent and I knew, this wasn't an urge I was experiencing, it was a need.

So I stood up, casually walked over to Adam, handed him my folder and said "Hold this, I need to shit" then I casually strolled (because it was like the shit when you are real casual bout it until you get into the cubical at which point it is game fuckin on to get your pants down) to the bathroom. It was definitely a shit where you sit there and think "I'm gonna write a blog about this".

The rest is history. However I did feel uneasy and slightly vulnerable afterwards on my walk down Queen St and the bus ride home.


So, plenty of action in my life at the moment as you can see, with that I leave you with the promise to deliver a better post about nicer things like finishing university forever next week.

WANC out!!

17.10.10

Dont Even Bother With This Post

There has not been nearly enough WANCing going on lately.

Uni is drawing to a close and we are all stressing out. Except for you damn journalism kids because you’re weird and somehow already done.

But then that’s it.

WE have to go out and find real jobs and be grown ups. File tax forms. Play the stock market (I will talk to Ben cause I’m told he has a guy.)

But this morning, as I lay down to write (yes I write lying down, so what!) with my brain slowly crumbling away, like a ginger nut you dropped in your tea and just left it there, I wish more people would play the new game I’ve just invented.

It's the same vain as the Ice game (where your presented with a Smirnoff (also, aside from a bracket within a bracket, my computer has Smirnoff in the dictionary, and I think that is note worthy.) Ice and must down it in one. I’m assuming there is some sort of punishment for not finishing it or throwing up but to be honest I am to tired to take the 5 seconds to research this.).

My game is called eggs bene.

The game where you bring me eggs bene and I eat it at my own pace (I’m going to make this a thing)

The current score board sits at me in first, my mum in second and Lydia in third. I will of course be officiating the game. Creating rules. A board. Possibly selling advertising rights (I wonder if that’s enough of a link to advertising to keep people happy).

It will be awesome.

Sadly, as I said, I am not well. Self induced as it may be I am putting this as the reason for this, lets be honest, shoddy attempt at user created content.

What I mainly wanted to say in this entry was that we the WANCers are sorry that we haven’t been posting much as of late.

With the end in sight we are defiantly not losing out resolve (at least I’m not) and we will continue to post shit you don’t really care about to waste precious seconds of your life.

I am sure posts will resume as normal in maximum 2 weeks even if I have to write them all.

Also I’m working on a top-secret project. You’ll get to see it some day.


And may I close my saying sorry for the pointless post, I felt as though I needed to at least contribute something.

8.10.10

Idolatry

Though I recently espoused the evils of idolatry and putting people on pedestals. I’ve gone hypocritical and am deciding to let you in a bit to my life. Mostly I was running out of things to say, and to be blog worthy (I set very high personal standards). So I was going to try a classic what I did in my summer holidays. As we know summer hasn’t arrived and if I’d pasted one from last year people would’ve noticed I’m sure.


On a recently long public transport trip, after the last of my waning iPod battery died I found myself having an odd time. I was examining my life. A little DNM with the inner happier, more physically appealing me. But it was rush hour on an mundane Tuesday, I wasn’t under the influence, no fire to stare into and I wasn’t philosophically refurbishing my life with a close friend. It was deep thought at random and it was strange. In this process I realised I’d never had a true idol, a person to admire, to look up to and be inspired by. And though I abhor the use of celecbrity and trying to emulate them, I can set a point at which thinking ‘yeah there a good dude, maybe I’ll be like them’ and ‘ I want to wear their clothes and crap in their toilet’ crosses a line. At a push, I would’ve said Warren Buffett, he’s got it all going for him in most ways. The kind of guy you‘d love to hate if he wasn‘t such a good guy (e.g. Dan Carter). So as I sat in a rickety bus headed west, I decided I needed someone to admire.


With much deliberation I settled on A.J. Jacobs, editor at large of Esquire, regular contributor to Weekend Edition (a popular culture, society & history sort of show on American public radio) who has also contributed to The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly and New York magazine. Jacobs has written 3 books, The Know-it-all where he reads the entire encyclopaedia Britannica (great trivia), The Year of Living Biblically where he tries to follow all the rules of the bible for a year (not as subjective as you may think), and The Guinea Pig Diaries where he details all the experiments he’s ever been a subject for like when he outsourced his entire life to India (including arguments with his wife and bedtime stories for his kids, a best of Esquire sort of).


These are the reasons I idolise A.J., he has an awesome job, he is paid to be witty and observant plus his outlook on life is that it’s a “series of experiments in which I immerse myself in a project or lifestyle, for better or worse, then write about what I learned” and as a sucker for knowledge I get a bit giddy thinking like that. When I grow up, which comes sooner than one may think, I’d love to have a life like this, its not about money or prestige its about having fun and following that truly crazy “What if I…?” thought.


On a slightly deeper level, he seems insanely wise, thought provoking and has the most loving wife in the world with all the shit she puts up with (and let us be honest here, I’m a slight romantic, and she’s damn good looking, which gives me hope).
My choice was hard, and if in 20 years I think I’m closer to Jacobs than now I’d be a very happy man.


People who make up the top 5
1. AJ Jacobs
2. Warren Buffet (billionaire philanthropist who doesn’t flash it around)
3. Sherlock Holmes (mainstreaming reason - who said they have to be real?)
4. Bill Bryson (a man who makes history hilarious and education exciting)
5. Ryan Reynolds (two words = Scarlett Johansson)




As an interesting aside, and slightly more in touch with the creative world. Radio survey results came out today. The Edge got dominated, lost in a box seemed to drive listeners away I wasn’t a fan.
Newstalk ZB while still on top, lost appoint to Radio Live. All the urban stations grew, and for the first time they included Rhema & life, and Radio Waatea who are taking listeners away (or at least are being shown)

Check out the results at TRB.co.nz or try finding a survey party tonight with a massive bar tab. Watch all those famous radio Celebes getting paralytic just in case the get the old DCM*.

Talk next Friday (it’ll be about my job hunt – exciting yes!)








* For those of you under the age of forty or never heard the saying DCM – don’t come Monday, i.e. you’re fired!

6.10.10

Overload

I am fucked off.

I have 6 assignment due.

2 weeks of university left.

And I’m watching 17 again.

I thought I’d save you the stress of 500 words this Wednesday night.

And save myself the time of writing this because I am max stressed.

Again. I am a well of pure anger and rage.

Cheers.

3.10.10

One Flew Over the Zombies Nest.

Some thing has been concerning me recently.

You could say I’m almost afraid.

It’s not the fear of my own mortality, the fear that I’ve made the wrong decisions in life, the fear that no one will remember me, or geese.

It is something that is (debatably) more real.

The Zombie apocalypse.

Yes with each passing day the fear of Z day grows however I think I’m prepared.

My plan, involving stealing a yatch and the cleaning a cruise ship of any and all inhabitance and living like a king sailing the 7 seas like pirate king.

Many things must be taken into account.

Are the zombies smart, organized? How do they find me? Smell? Can they run? Or are they those lame limping zombies? How do I kill them… again? And most importantly how is the infection spread?

Yes the infection. If it is one, and lets face it the crazy shit scientists are up to they probably will create something like a zombie virus very soon. Or they already have but the CIA is keeping is under wraps. (Ponders own place on the Internet and wonders if I’ll ever be powerful enough to create a conspiracy theory. *cue elaborate scrubs style cut away to a magical land were I am king of the internet and all the famous internet memes are my minions and I force the lighting bolt guy into a battle with all the LOL cats*)

But before I get to off topic, and I think I already have, I should link this somehow to advertising (because, aside from Ben’s ‘50 ways to get that pesky tomato soup stain out of your favorite slacks for less than $5’, that is what this blog is meant to be about. I think.)

So, uh, here it goes.

Zombies are like ads. You can’t escape them. If the world is being over run with them (remembering zombie apocalypse in this metaphor is = Capitalist society) you kind of just have to accept the fact. Zombies/ Ads are part the way the world works and whether the ads walk (print media) or run (the internet) your probably going to get swallowed up some how and if you don’t, if you think you can avoid it, if you plan to live the rest of your days alone and paranoid, well then your not going to be part of the new society.

In a speech at Tedx last year the Bloodster put it far more eloquently than I could ever hope to so I’ll let you discover more for yourself (partly because I’m lazy, partly because you need to stop being lazy and partly because it’s a really nice speech and you should all listen to it.)

So just linked that up nicely (*cue scrubs flash back to me dressed as Hannibal lighting a cigar and saying “I love it when a plan comes together.*).

P.S. The Zombie rant was brought to you by a book I have a manuscript of (its not out yet so I don’t think I can say the name but its really really good. I also have the book that’s meant to be better than Steig Larsons stuff and he is pretty choice.) and we have to do a campaign for it.

P.P.S the CIA is covering shit up that’s not a joke if I get assassinated tomorrow you all know why.

P.P.P.S How many of these can I do before they get old.

P.P.P.P.S Not this many.

2.10.10

Morbid, finality and sadness: an emo retrospect

Though I hate to admit it, its less than four weeks till I’m done with university for ever (well fingers crossed, knocking on wood and whatever other superstitious bullshit I should try), so I thought I’d talk about finality.


Not many people contemplate their own mortality, only ninjas and presidents really (mostly because to get to be in that position they have to realize they will most likely be assassinated). Which to me would put me off applying for either. Possibly the only worse position to be in is a nameless henchman, because unless your up against Nigel Powers, and he’s feeling loving, you’re pretty much ruined. I have contemplated death, recently and throughout life, mostly because I one read that you don’t even spend a million hours alive. It’s more like


24 x 365 = 8760


8760 x 74 (average lifespan of a white NZ male) = 648240.


Not even a million hours how stink is that? So with the knowledge of living less than million hours, does your brain start wondering about the time you’ve spent reading this? When you could drawn a beautiful picture, hugged a person you love or watch birds fly and marvel at nature? But rather than an actual ramble about death, because that is just depressing and can put you in a very unhealthy cycle of thought. This is more to do with what human spend their lives doing. We often establish routine at an early age and then stick with it until a variable changes. The majority conform to the social norms around us, accept what the things we cannot change and try to work past them. It’s your basic ‘adapt & overcome’ situation. As an aside, one of the biggest changes is a new partner (I hate that term, in a relationship sense it’s one of the most contrite, PC words and it should be abolished). I reckon the success lies in the ability to find the mutual overlap of routine/ That weird oval space of Venn diagram if you will.


So I raise the question imagine what you would do if you knew you couldn’t fail? There are so many options with this, it’s almost like becoming invincible or having a million wishes, you could guarantee a lottery win, sit any exam on any subject and pass, impress everyone and generally live life better off… oh what a world that would be. But there is a trick in this question, just like in Bruce Almighty replying yes to all the requests of the plebs, if you knew you couldn’t fail you’d expect to succeed all the time. However, success is fairly subjective. For a starving African child success is eating more than once a week, while for a super rich white person success is having sex with a different girl every night and not remembering as you snort kilos of coke. Obviously this is a bit extreme, but if you look at it that way, you could only win 5th division winning like $25, passing your exams with a B- and forming a relationship with a person who never really loved you but instead just felt obligated (and there is nothing worse than that). I have way over examined this simple statement. I think it’s just supposed to be a motivational type thing so you can achieve dream big, live fuller existence and other such psycho babble.


What is really the point of anything at all? I don’t really have an answer, it’s like a why is the sky blue, or if bumblebees aren’t supposed to fly how come they do type question.


What this blog stemmed from was a shitty day that put a few things in perspective. Everyone has those days when they are getting yelled at by the boss, or having an argument with a significant other and just look them in the eye while thinking I don’t have to put up with this shit, why am I taking this? We take that crap and disappointment etc because we crave the routine, the unchangeable existence of being, the regular events in our life that make us realise we are living and not just cruising through life on auto-pilot. This may have become a bit morbid, but take from it this, as the remorseless sweep of the second hand ticks away during those long hours at work, or in class or waiting in traffic, remember that you’ve got to get a shit load of stuff in less than a million years, and that that it could be really worse, you could be dead.

29.9.10

Immersed In Immersion

This week I wanted to follow on from last week. Purely because last week was just not a good enough rant. It was a fine rant, don’t get me wrong. It just needed something more. So this week I bring you ‘Last week’s rant 2! The sequel!... This time it’s personal’.

I want to touch on immersion. Specifically immersion in new media. I may even dabble in experiential advertising but that is a big may. When I talk about immersion I don’t mean the people who play grand theft auto and then go out, steal a car, have sex with a hooker, and then kill her to get their money back. I don’t even mean the LARPers (Live Action Role Players) out there who dress up in ye olde clothes and yell spells at each other. I mean YOU! Yeah, that made you feel uncomfortable, confrontational self-reflexivity all up in your grill.

What I mean by this is that you sir or madame, are immersed. That is to say that you are immersed in technology and all it’s wonderful benefits and opportunities (to exploit you). How long have you spent on Facebook today? How long have you spent checking your phone? How long have you spent doing other random shit on the internet? Long story short, where the fuck do our lives go? I mean, I was thinking the other day, where is the line?

In our parents day (rady fuckin raaa we all know they didn’t have technology Hugh) Now you can’t do anything without it involving some sort of technology. Unless of course it’s something that doesn’t involve technology but those things are usually A) Boring, B) Healthy, and C) Boring. Back in the day there would have been a clear division between what you did with your day and how you did it. Now you just use technology to escape life, and life to escape technology. Can you see where I’m going here?

One day I’m going to walk in to class, and forget who everyone is in there. I’m then going to have to whip out my phone, go on Facebook, and scan through my friends till I find photos that identify them because I will be so deep in this fuckin rabbit hole they call technology to even think about the biological world we actually live in (unless it is integrated into technology in which case we are doomed, possibly by robot zombies).

Sometimes I just can’t see the difference between e-consequences and real life consequences. On the internet I could say fuck you motherfucker and you’re ugly as mother, who you beat. And they would prroooobably reply saying ‘lolololol you used the wrong ‘your’ what a retard *insert racial slur* go have sex with men’ Which for me, at least, I can deal with. In real life, hey, who knows, but I’m 90% sure my gangly frame would get the crap beaten out of it. But I would still feel inclined to say it.

I can't tell if that is just the anarchy in me wanting to slip out or maybe technology has blurred the line so much that it loosely resembles a smudge that could possibly once have been a line, but you couldn’t really say for sure. But if it is anarchy. I know it was technology that put it there.


Cheers.

P.S. experiential advertising is advertising you experience.

27.9.10

Online Radio Adventures

While perusing through Facebook one evening, I was prompted from the Pendulum fan page that they were playing a live spot on something called the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge. Lacking the necessary funding to purchase tickets to the up-coming concert, this appeared to be the next best thing. Naturally, I was intrigued. I clicked through a series of links which then lead me to the number one UK radio station's website.

I’ve never ventured into the realm of streaming radio online before. Why would I? I don’t waste my bandwidth listening to what good old New Zealand has to offer live on the airwaves. We get the latest pop hits and good hard man-rock from the 80s. If I’m not feeling the radio buzz I’ve got a selection of my favourite MP3s to keep my fist pumping.

Soon enough, I was listening to prime time UK radio (they’re 11 hours behind) where the DJ is promising me some live Pendulum within a matter of minutes. I was suddenly excited. When the fuck would get an opportunity to listen to world-wide DnB superstars live listening to 91FM? From what I last heard, ZMs latest offering was a phone call to Zac Efron from Australia about his latest fucking movie but then again, Australia is almost New Zealand, right? Yes, I realise there is about 20 times more people in the UK but that fact is I now know that there is an alternative to what we’re offered here in God’s own. Now we just have to wait until we can steam this in our cars without being charged $10 an hour (I’m too lazy to research this.)

After a quick interview, Pendulum (the full band) jumped straight into their latest single The Island (Part 1) and followed that up with a cover of Linkin Park’s new single The Catalyst which I admit, is really quite good. The Live Lounge is renowned for bands covering artists which are very off-genre and generally aren’t expected from them. Last time Pendulum were there, they covered Coldplay’s Violet Hill.

BBCs Radio 1 delivered a great first impression leaving me keen for something more. A friend directed me to listen to Zane Lowe’s show, this time pre-recorded, from a few nights before. From what I can see, Radio 1 runs two hour slots in which DJs can pretty much do whatever they want. Of course they have a theme to their show, for instance, Top 40, hip-hop etc and there doesn’t seem to be an annoying ad in sight, apart from advertising shows within the radio network.

Our fellow Kiwi Zane Lowe plays at a prime time of 7-9 Mondays through to Thursdays. His show centers on the best of new music. Zane Lowe plays host of the world premier of some of the world’s biggest tracks, most recently the new My Chemical Romance and Kings of Leon tracks. He played a dub step remix of Claire Maguire’s Ain’t Nobody from Breakage (think Skream vs La Roux) which he dubbed the world’s biggest track right now. After the song was over, he was struggling trying to get through the overload of texts he was receiving. He then stopped the whole show to play the song again. Once again, the texts wouldn’t stop. He read as many as he could out and said fuck this, and encored the song for a third time. After realising he was in critical danger of playing the track for the next 1.5 hours on repeat, he forced himself to stop it and chuck on some Architects, some pick-on-guitar, stick-on-skin, mouth-on-mic action. I was shocked at the shear range of music this guy plays. I have never had such a great time listening to the fucking radio.

In other news, it’s the time of the year where the first announcements for New Zealand’s great music festivals are posted five hundred times on Facebook. Rhythm and Vines go-ers have recently received the good news of DnB heavyweights Chase and Status joining the already promising line up and there is only a matter of hours before we get our first real Big Day Out news (2am Tuesday morning). After some questionable years of BDO since ’06 (the Tool year), I think it’s safe to say that we’re old holding out for something worth-while. Some rumours are currently pointing towards Blink-182, Deftones, Weezer, MGMT, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots and many more big names.

While this really does sound good and great, I couldn't help but cry when I saw the confirmed line up for Soundwave, a festival only a couple hours away on a plane as the crow flies. From what I hear, they're working on bringing this one over to New Zealand, touch wood. I’m not going to list them for the sake of the word count, but fuck. Check out the magnitude of what the UK gets to experience at Leeds, Reading and Download. And don’t even get me started on America’s Warped Tour. Sigh.

Encore, turn your subs up.

26.9.10

The Age of Random.

I realized something today.

It’s Sunday.

And no one really gives a crap on Sunday.

Sure there maybe some of you that are reading this Monday, or even Tuesday (but honestly, get with the times. You should be refreshing this page all day Sunday waiting for my update.) remembering the weekend that was.

But it is the job of Sunday to be lazy.

To be the day that everyone kind of forgets what it is they did.

It’s the day of the hangover.

The day where you walk to the dairy for a can of coke.

The day you go out and get eggs bene.

It’s not the day for relevance.

If Sunday were an ad it would be one of those shitty random ones that no one really likes.

So it is my duty to embody that.

For me.

For you.

For us.

Or maybe just for me.

But seriously folks! (After that opening gambit I have something interesting to say. Yus!) What is with those random ads? The likes of the moro gold ads (not the funny old ones with the squirrels oh no, not the crazy Bollywood ones. The one with the talking giant chocolate bar), the ads that try to come so far out of left field that they don’t even make sense. Some are clever and funny and have logical lateral leaps to the product and others die a tragic, tragic death.

It was in an agency that Hugh and I were helping out in that we first really had a face-to-face encounter with these sorts of ads.

No idea was good enough, and we had some fucking good ideas.

“But the kids like random.” The creative director kept telling us.

Yes your right kids like random they find it fun. The flashing lights and colors make their pre-pubescent head spin.

But they aren’t memorable (well most of them aren’t).

You can’t set out to create something random. You can have randomness in mind but I don’t feel as though it can be your mission statement. It doesn’t work because, as we see in so many ads these days, it comes of looking a little retarded.

So what did we do? We toiled and toiled. Thinking up random idea after random idea. They were all dumb and we had hardly anything we liked but we needed to pitch so we kept on keeping on.

And when we asked to see what the real creative’s had come up with wasn’t much better but the problem was the CD loved what they had done. Even if to us it looked even worse than what we had thrown up

So what am I trying to say? Random = fun, exciting sometimes awesome ads. But if you’re focusing on being random you’re going to create something random. If you’re really good it will look okay. But if your not, and I don’t really think many people in the world are successfully random on cue, it’s going to look constructed and be a waste of your time and effort.


24.9.10

Celebrity, hipsters & hip-hop Friday

To start off with a lie is usually bad… but I’ve never aspired to be a huge somebody. I mean sure it’s nice to be recognised, because nobody ever really wants to be a ‘nobody’. Acceptance from other humans, social circles and communities is what drives so much of our lives. But I mean let’s face it, I have watched enough movies to know that for your average famous person all may seem like a box of fluffy kittens while really knowing that lurking behind the wondrous glowing blue eyes of happiness and success is a soul riddled with self doubt and a small sense of personal worth. Movies love to show the renowned whomever, but loves to portray they alone side, the fact that their genius, beauty, evil or whatever distance them from the rest of society. Nobody really wants to be a complete outsider, a person so far out of the norm they become the freak n the corner who can multiple base number in under 4 seconds (although people like that always survive the Cube – check that movie out).

It is because of this need for love and affection and the quest for acceptance that so many celebrities adopt poor African children or pledge gross amounts of cash to charities to try feel better about their enormous wealth & flashy lifestyles. When I talk of celebrity and celebrity culture it is a morbid fascination the world has to constantly follow the latest big thing shaking Hollywood, Bollywood or some other unseen force that guides the world. What is really annoying me at the moment is hipsters, the current fad of the day. They know nothing they haven’t read in any trendy New York underground fashion magazine, as ‘prototypical non-conformists’ they shop only at thrift stores, adhering to tastes and standards approved by an unseen panel of judgement. The look of scorn or approval as they give a thumb up or thumb down to incoming and outgoing trends and styles of music and art makes me want to go Big Chris on their heads (Lock, Stock…)

Normal people around the world have followed celebrities and their soul searching through Kabballah, Buddhism or Scientology or moved through diets from Atkins (who incidentally died medically overweight and of high-cholesterol), to raw-food, to lemon de-tox only to discover they only way either of those things can work for you is if you have a very healthy bank balance and enough spare time to commit to a personal trainer for 6 hours a day for 3 months.
Many people I am sure have ranted about the increase of ‘celebrity’ culture that invade our lives, how a model’s sex-tape makes front page news while the death of a single innocent bystander is relegated to page 4. Does it mean we as a society have degraded human life or is it just a matter of desensitisation? I wonder whether becoming desensitised means people become less afraid of death, and accept the inevitability of it or inversely never think about it until that day finally arrives.

Which is better I ask?

Often people who accept their eminent demise and have truly considered their own mortality after some near death experience or the loss of a loved one live a possibly fuller life. Of course some people take it badly and end up cowering at the thought of rain lest it turn to a flood and wash them away. This sort of fearful life, of mental instability cowering at the unknown, the unacknowledged and the uncontrollable are all products of becoming trapped in within the greatest prison in the world, the human mind.

A better celebrity to think about is the guy you pass every Thursday morning on the bus into Uni. Your life and his intersect weekly, or in some cases daily. Yet what more do you know of his life (and vice versa) other than the dog he walks. Do you realise that if you’ve seen him for more than a year he has had a birthday? May have gotten engaged, married, divorced or widowed? Everybody’s life could be immensely exciting if we all had witty script writers. My favourite comic book character the great Calvin once said
“Why isn't my life like a situation comedy? Why don't I have a bunch of friends with nothing better to do but drop by and instigate wacky adventures? Why aren't my conversations peppered with spontaneous witticisms? Why don't my friends demonstrate heartfelt concern for my well being when I have problems? ...I gotta get my life some writers."
Think of that guy you see from the bus, and other ‘famous people’ in your life rather than the ‘celebrity’ that is forced on you by popular culture, it could lead you places.

- NB. I am in no way liable or actively encouraging you to talk to him, he could be an axe murderer, let’s face it...

So this week I thought I’d also increase your musical range, pushing a bit of new indie hip-hop your way to broaden your musical taste.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExOCc_bHj6U

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnNukAP1p5M

Talk in a week.

22.9.10

New Media, Old Ideas.

In the world of today you can’t exist without the help of social media. I don’t care who the fuck you are or what you think about twitter, if I ask you if you have Facebook and you say “no! I don’t have time for stuff like that” I don’t buy it for one second. How the FUCK can you not have time for Facebook? It’s obviously not because you are too busy being social, because if you were social, you’d have a fuckin Facebook. What am I getting at here? Facebook and other social media channels raise big opportunities for advertisers, and they are being hailed as the newest, greatest and best thing for advertising.

The problem is, like your bullshit busy schedule, I don’t buy it.

In my time in agencies I have seen nothing to support the support for the use of new social media in advertising campaigns. In fact! One creative director told Adam and I to not bother with our pretty fuckin awesome and slick campaign on Facebook because “no one actually bothers to click the link” Sorry bro but who the fuck are you? A creative director? Oh. Better question, are you father fucking time?!

I’m just going out on a limb here and will assume that 90% of you are like me and will click the crap out of any link our friends post because 400% of the time you are on Facebook you are bored shitless, procrastinating, and looking for something, anything, to do. Social media is by far the most awesomely powerful tool. How did they get the message out about the sweet new cobbler on the corner of the street back in the day? I believe a classic something called ‘word of mouth’. Take word of mouth, lock it in a basement with the alternative between cutting its dick off or doing a ton of crack, wait till it chooses crack, then unleash it on the world and you have Social media.

Andy Blood, Creative Director of TBWA in Auckland gave a seminar in which he talked about the importance of social media, blogging etc, in the proliferation of advertising messages. It is easy. For example, I have 203 friends on Facebook. I send out my message to all of them. Say to be really rough on my message only 10 of my friends pass the message on to their friends. Then again, only 10 of their friends pass it on. All of a sudden in my first three tiers of broadcast I have reached 10 > 100 > 1000 people…. Exponential growth. Morale of the story, with social media, only a handful of people need to care in order for you to hit big numbers in terms of exposure.

The most upsetting thing for us in New Zealand is that as far as stuff like this goes, the guys who are running the show right now still want to play around with TVCs, Radio, Billboards, Print etc… while we are saying, fuck! Lets do all of that but online, or with an online component, its way more badass. But they won’t have a word of it, to be fair some of the bigger agencies are getting involved but for the most part it looks like we’ll have to wait till we are wearing the big boy pants in the agency before you see some real e-innovative shit going down.

In the mean time, who wants to see a picture that makes me look pretty 1337?

Everyone? Gangs.

It's my lvl 80 Mage and The Lich King, how cool is that.


20.9.10

Meet And Greet At The Big Boys Table


Finally, after watching the creative teams come and go from their respective agencies over the last few weeks, the suits were given their chance to prove their worth in the industry over the mid-semester break.

We were split up in to groups and sent to different agencies with the promise that it would be a very valuable and quality use of our time. The group sent to Aim Proximity actually went in for interviews for the chance for some real-life work experience for six days during the second week. I however, was sent to Colenso where we were treated to an evening with a junior account manager working on the Vodafone account and a copywriter. As great as it was being selected to go to Colenso, the chance for six days at Aim Proximity would have been icing. I’m going to say I wasn’t given it because I let it slip the day before that I was ‘sick as a dog’ leading to an, ‘oh… perhaps you should join one of the other groups then, there’ll be more chances later,’ but Colenso really is the next best thing, and I was stoked.

Colenso were recently awarded the top agency of the decade overshadowing advertising giants Saatchi and Saatchi who have held top spot for most of New Zealand’s recent history. Colenso’s most predominant clients include Vodafone, Yellow, Fonterra, V Energy Drink, Air New Zealand and more recently Westpac and Burger King. You may remember some of their award winning ads on telly, such as the Tip Top, simplifying summer one where they explained the difference between undies and togs and all those funny little Frank soft drink ads (plus many, many more).

Anyway, on Thursday just before 5pm, a group of young hopefuls met in the lobby at the Colenso/Aim Proximity building at the top of College Hill. We were quite nervous, unknowing of what to expect. However, we knew we were in for an interesting time after seeing the dozens and dozens of awards sitting inside the front desk and a shabby tree house dangling from the ceiling. After an agonizing 20 minute wait, a young chap bounced down the stairs, introduced himself as James and led us up to the second floor. He led us past a room which appeared to be the creative workplace but really resembled a playground featuring grown men and woman chasing each other amongst party lights and decorations and then eventually into a board room. I felt like I was walking through Hogwarts.

On the wall at the end of the board room hung a million inch TV, overlooking a massive table with big soft, cushiony seats. Upon the table sat a neat selection of cold beers and chips from which we were offered and then asked to take a seat. Zoe, our copywriting friend soon joined us and so began an exciting, career enlightening presentation.

James led the way and spoke about what it means to work for Colenso and spoke about what exactly it is he does as a junior account manager working on the Vodafone account. It was great. As he spoke, he began ticking all of my boxes one by one. His job boasts the perfect balance of creativity, management and sales and best of all; he gets to dress like a boss every single day for work. I’ll go into more detail on this next week.

Zoe then followed with a spiel about herself and what it’s like to work as a creative at Colenso. After coming from DDB in Sydney, she said that the suits at Colenso are miles ahead of anyone she’s previously worked with in terms of knowledge and synchronisation. While we learn about what happens in an agency every day at Uni, it was awesome getting a first-hand account from someone our own age. She confirmed and denied many industry rumours for us, the worst being the possibility of crazy work hours, but when you’re working the best job in the world, who the fuck cares?

They then gave us a preview of an upcoming campaign they are designing for Vodafone where they are offering people a salary to work for a charity for a year to show that it’s possible to make a difference in the world (and I believe it’s already begun). They then went over the thoughts and concepts behind it all and how it all tied into the final product.

After some Q&A, we said our goodbyes and left the building with high spirits. We were promised a quality encounter and it definitely delivered (although 6 days work experience would’ve been much better; I’m allowed to be bitter.) Most importantly, I got my first business card. Contacts within the industry are potentially more valuable than time and experience and I’m really looking forward to what I could possible make of this baby.

Now what you’ve been waiting for, answers to last week’s puzzle:

Visit our Facebook and Twitter!

19.9.10

Pride and Procastination

Writing is not easy.

I’ve had all week to write this blog and do you know when I started? This morning. I’ve had it in the back of my mind all week but the actual writing started this morning.

Even then it was a mission to start.

I woke up this morning at around seven as I have seemed to over the last few months which really is annoying me (I am going to have to take up computer games again so that I stay up later and waste the morning with sleep).

I rolled over checked facebook, and thought about starting to write.

I wrote a sub-par blog about a dream I had in which Hugh, Jack Bauer and I were trying to siege a pirate ship that was atop a tall hill. But in the end of the dream we got distracted by cheap tickets to snow planet (what there was a stall on the side of the road leading up to the pirate ship castle). There was also a nice scene were mine and Hugh’s families came together and had dinner, godfather style, not knowing that the others father was the leader of the opposite army (don’t ask who’s dad was in charge of the pirate ship castle we were trying to siege, I wish I knew). There was also a shotgun convention.

As you can see while my dreams are cinematic, complex and twisted like a Kubrick film they don’t make the best reading (however I decided to turn it into a play and if I ever get it past act one you can all have a read.).

So I put some pants on, watched some discovery. Made some toast and thought long and hard about what I wanted to write about, well that’s a lie. I thought long and hard about a witty title that references a famous piece of literary work that would make me seem smarted and more learned than I actually am.

So after an hour or so of clicking anything and everything that was blue and even remotely interesting on wikipÆdia I had done nothing except waste another hour of my morning.

With a hangover in full effect and my breakfast beer empty I knew something had to be done and fast.

So back on went the pants and down stairs I went to retrieve a breakfast cider (because another beer would make me and alcoholic).

My voyage of self and cider discovery was interrupted on the way back to my room, and freedom once again from my accursed pants, by discovery channel.

All I have to say about that is Bear Grylls is dreamy and that I could probably get away with killing someone.

After returning to my room I decided a run would clear my head and do me some good. I put on some laundry and decided a run was like a gym and a tan so I have my vitamin G.T.L for the day (Jersey Shore was also on this morning).

I went for a run and thought further about my blog.

I thought of all the high-minded things I could talk about and then I thought of how hard it is to think of high-minded things.

So I got home and started to write this.

I really wanted to leave a pinter-esk ending in which you as an audience didn’t know what the hell was going on but I though I better give you something to think about.

So here it goes.

Writing is hard. You actually have to sit down and do it when the world has so much more it wants you to do.

But if you enjoy it you’ll do it.

Because at the end of the day it’s something to do.

17.9.10

Introductory Rant From The Latest WANCer

As an introduction,

Ben Hope
Radio major (to graduate in 5 weeks all things going well)
Hard worker, big talker, some time party animal

I enjoy a decent amount of music, and talking about music and the world at large and politics and economics and oh so many things. I take the outlook that knowledge is a wonderful thing that we can never really have enough of.
I’ll be the first to admit I can have a difficulty in getting across an idea in written form, but I will try my best.
When I approached Hugh to become a WANCer I wasn’t sure what I would write about, i enjoy the business side of radio and media, because let’s face it that where the money is and there is nothing i love more than dollar bills in my pocket. I enjoy schmoozing clients, talking to people about what interests them and them making heaps of money by doing it. I also love a bit of audio production, and still marvel at the awesomeness of creating a something and trying to find that intersecting point whereby your creation comes to life in the listeners mind.
I also enjoy a good rant.

After intro’s, let us get serious, well sort of.

The world used to be so slow. In the days pre World War I stuff was pretty good. I mean sure people had to deal with the fact a common cold could kill them, 40% of women died in childbirth because doctors didn’t wash their hands and Heinz hadn’t thought up ketchup, but on the whole it’s a time I wish I existed in.

Back then it was simple to be a human, you got up at sunrise, did some menial labour job, got paid, home before dark, read a book, listened to a bit of the wireless or the evening paper to follow the breaking stories of some crackpot American inventor harnessing electricity, flushing toilets and the progress of the Titanic. How exciting!

When you look back in time, those past generations of ourselves did so much more than we have, the biggest thing the modern world can claim is perfecting the art of lying politicians, warfare and and reality TV shows.
Now days we have this intrusive media sphere shaping our lives, the continual shrinking of privacy and personal space. It used to be if you wanted people to care about you or vice versa you had to go talk to them, now its a simple friend request and your ‘mates’ with half the freaking globe. This may sound like old tosh, and that I’m just bitter I don’t have 1000 friends but its more of a fact I really don’t like the modern world.

I dislike the new deranged ideas of architecture with it’s sharp lines, excessive use of glass and using off-white to accentuate sparseness. I dislike that 4 percent of the population hold 80% of the wealth (and the instilled belief that it shouldn’t be regulated by the people because one day they too could be that wealthy), I dislike that entire countries are held to ransom for the idea of democracy, I dislike the threat of nuclear war and I especially dislike the fact that though there are heaps of great people trying to solve this ‘global warming’ thing, damn car companies are squashing the greatest of ideas (my personal favourite is putting hoses into the atmosphere, pumping up sulphur gas to give the impression of a volcanic eruption, it’ll cost about 50 million to set up, but that’s a lot less than the projected 1.6 billion per YEAR Ford & the American’s think we need to spend).

As you can tell, I dislike a lot of things, currently at the top of my list is men with incorrectly tied ties, people who start sentences with ‘so’ and twitter. Twitter I feel is ruining the fabric of society, I understand the ramifications of this and will take your disagreements, but they must be in 140 characters or less.
Currently twitter is in the process of reformatting their website, keeping the same chronological feed on the right while allowing pictures and videos embedded to play on the left. This was done for the users Twitter CEO Evan Williams said “It’s all about getting more out of Twitter in a lot less time.”. A lot less time? Are you serious, it’s already a 140 character maximum bullshit boring ass “technological marvel” that lets famous people say witty funny things that were more than likely not thought up by them in the first place, in the hope of being retweeted and thus gaining more fans, some peoples need for acceptance and to be liked is truly sick.

My main grudge against twitter is actually attack on social media and how they suck away the precious moments of our lives.. Already our society is pretty fast moving, new things appear in days and before we have had time to process, understand and accept its reformatted to something new.

No wonder old people complain about this ever changing world. I have a tough time remembering what Aotea Square used to look like. That is worrying, at my age i should be able too but what is really at the core of it, i just never took the time. Social media formats like twitter, Facebook or Myspace and those other faceless technological behemoths seem to suck away the hours, especially for those of us with extra time on our hands (and those with jobs let us all admit to the cheeky Facebook check, just in case you got a comment or tagged).

So that’s me in a nutshell, I’ll try not to be such a doomsayer and an old curmudgeon next time, but occasionally I can get pretty wound up.


- Thought by Ben Hope.

15.9.10

Slogans for Bogans

When it comes to creating a good slogan for a brand you can’t just do it. Rather it takes a lot of hard work. The slogan needs to slip off your tongue but stick to your brain. Where do you want to go today? Who cares because advertising is everywhere you want to be, therefore the slogans we see sure as shit better stand out amongst the crowd. You want a slogan that changes everything. Again.

So, what can you do to ensure your slogan sticks out. Well for starters, like every creative idea, don’t just think small. Think different. Make sure the way you execute an idea has grace, space, pace… the slogan should be elegant. It needs to essentially sum up the benefit of the brand in one line. Which is pretty difficult if you want to reach out and touch someone in a meaningful way.

The goal is to get your audience thinking yeah ok, I’ll buy that product because I’m worth it. Nailing that perfect slogan isn’t gonna be easy, you can’t sit around and expect it to hit you in the face and say what up. I’m 90% sure 30% of copywriters who come up with the killer slogans you see retire immediately due to never being able to achieve that level of omfg awesomeness again. It’s just how this game works amigos.

On a side note, why are Adam and I such a good team? We try harder. And when you’ve got it, flaunt it. We do, we are cocky bastards who think we are awesome and no one can bring us down. The result? Finger lickin’ good work. Give us 20 minutes and we’ll give you the world. Just one tip from us to help you on your way, Guinness is good for you (or maybe that’s just from Adam, shits nasty).

Where was I? oh right, I was telling you how to be all you can be and write groundbreaking and age-defying slogans. To be honest I don’t know how to write slogans, I usually metaphorically punch Adam in the gut till he chokes something out then I edit it to make it better, then he whinges, then we change it a little, then I edit it to make it better. Just, don’t sit round jacking off, It’s what your right arm’s for, but please don’t squeeze the Charmin’. As I noted before you need to get active and hunt out a reason why people will buy and then condense it into a line. You want to end up with something that melts in your mouth, not in your hand (whatever that means).

Whatever you end up with make it the best a man can get. And with that, I conclude this blog post and collect my tally. 18 slogans used in this post. Shit, I was hoping for more. Well if you find like, 15 of them, and can tell me the brand they are for, then I’ll write a blog about your exploits in a pre-historic land set in the distant future. Put your answers on the facebook page.

Cheers.

13.9.10

Thinking Outside The Box


Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve been forced to think creatively? Of course you have. You do it every day. Time management and general efficiency are all the result of creative thinking. You don’t get paid for another two days and your food rations are quickly depleting. How does one make dinner with the remnants in your pantry; tomato paste, stale bread, drinking chocolate and creamed rice?

You don’t.

You strike a deal with your flat mate. You convince them you’re worth the left over spagbol, that they really want to trade your three pack of creamed rice for a Mi Goreng noodle. They don’t need to eat that pre-cooked butter chicken packaged perfectly in a take-away container because they went for a run today; no silly, it won’t keep one more night. I’m not cheap, I’m just thinking outside the box.

No, I already told you I’m not poor, as a matter of fact I’m rich! After all, they say that a penny saved is a penny earned. Think about how much money I saved when I didn’t pitch in for that light saber for your birthday, that’s right buddy, you’re getting something special next year! How this blog went from how to think creatively to me trying to justify to myself that it’s okay not having a real job. I don’t know, maybe one of the my compadres can teach you the secrets of succeeding down your creative path but for now, I’m going to go over five ways on how to be more like me!

1. Do not buy your fruit and veg from the super market. This should really be common knowledge but don’t fall for their convenience. You can buy about 20 little button mushrooms from the asains down the road for about $3. Just because you’re poor doesn’t mean you have to eat bad. Speaking of super markets, don’t go to Countdown. It’s shit. Paknsave is better in every way. Better brands, better prices, better selection. Just don’t.

2. www.onedaydeals.co.nz. Everyone has heard of 1-day, but there are like 50 of these fucking websites out there now and here you can view them all on one page! Underwear is the last thing you think about budgeting for and when you’ve ripped your last good pair and are hit with a $25 price tag at Farmers, this website will save your ass (yes, I said it). Three pairs of Jockeys for $30? Roger that.

3. When it comes to flatting, set up a flat account. Putting away extra each week for the bills and flat buys is an absolute life saver. The last thing you need is being hit with a winter power bill when you’ve had to fork out for eight 21st’s in a month (figuratively, of course).

4. When you do go shopping, first of all eat before you go. Shopping on a full stomach stops you from buying shit. Secondly, don’t buy snack foods. They are a waste of time, they don’t fill you up, they’re expensive, they come faster than they go and most of all, they’re super bad for you. Health tips now Ben? You’re really struggling tonight aren’t you?

5. Drink before you go out. $7 for a beer is a joke. It’s funny when you think about it, when you’re down at the pub enjoying a beer, you never want to buy some wedges cause they’re just a bit too pricey, but you’re never reluctant to buy another fucking beer.

I’m done.

P.S. On the subject of creativity, give this puzzle a go. Try and draw a line through each of the nine dots using only four strokes of the pen.

Edit: You can't take your pen off the paper.


Extras for experts: three strokes.

You'll punch something when you figure it out: one stroke.

Answers next week!

12.9.10

The Importance Of Being Emo.

Life, dear readers, can be pretty crap.

However, it can be pretty choice. So it balances out.

But it’s not the bad times that make us who we are. It’s not the good times either. It’s the act of living. Jelly touched on the fact that when you're writing about something it's easier if you're going through it yourself and that’s true. Very wise writers, much wiser and with much more experience than I, the world over suggest that the best thing a writer can do is live. As you live your life just write. Not a diary or anything like that, but do that if it helps. If you like writing you should just do it when ever. For the hell of it. Put words on paper for any reason. Write anything, poems, stories whatever. No one has to read it.

And as I’ve lived my life over the last few months dealing with everything it has to offer me I’ve written. Witten not about how I feel I’ve just written. I’ve now got scores of random documents on my computer, poems, short stories all sorts. No one will ever read them, probably.

But they are there in my arsenal for if I ever need them.

P.S. It’s been a long week. I’ll write something funny for next time.

P.P.S. My vote is for “Two in the Pink one in the Ink.”

10.9.10

The Commodification Of Writing

Ain’t no such things as halfway crooks.

After reading Ben’s perceptive blog post on The Gruen Transfer, I wondered why there were no similar shows about writing. Although I haven’t actually seen The Gruen Transfer, I can understand the appeal of watching a bunch of wise-cracking advertisers flaunt their shit to a panel of judges. The show gives viewers an insight to the industry and, most importantly, it entertains.


Eventually I came to the sad conclusion that a television show about some budding writer hunched over his computer probably wouldn’t draw too many viewers – unless I was on it, of course. While I enjoy creative writing as much as the next guy, even I can see that it lacks the danger, the intensity, the jizz-on-your-face action that today’s society requires of its entertainment.


How do w
e solve this?

If they can redesign cricket – the world’s most boring activity to engage in, let alone watch – into the almost spectator-friendly game, 20/20 cricket, I’m sure someone can turn the act of writing into something resembling a dynamite-laden bouncy castle on acid.

Maybe writing needs to be packaged, commodified, into something a little more spectacular.


Shit, yeah.

I can picture it now. A creative writing game show. It would have to be hosted by someone charismatic and trustworthy to the public. David Attenborough? The Rock? Jenna Haze? Hmm. I think they'd each bring something unique to the show.

Due to outrageous public demand, the show would probably be broadc
ast nightly across multiple channels, possibly in place of the 6 p.m. news shows. The news shows could be played later at night or even scrapped altogether. (How much news do people really need, anyway? Christchurch had an earthquake, we get it. Meanwhile, in Africa…)

The show would have to have some kind of badass, attention-demanding name, which at the same time communicated the objective and content of the show.

Something like:


FIGHT TO WRITE

or

CREATIVE CARNAGE

or


WORD WARS


or


TWO IN THE PINK, ONE IN THE INK


I’m still undecided on the name. They’ve all got potential.


Each show would have four contestants: two loud, proudly confident men, and two giggly, low-cut-singlet-wearing women. The host would give the contestants a character, a setting, and an obstacle, and then, armed with only pen and paper, they’d set out to write the best piece of fiction they could – all while bathing in the lungs of a thousand llamas, or setting themselves on fire, or engaging in fights to the death with one another.

Gore, sex, explosions, creative writing.


Fuck, yes.


I’m salivating just thinking about this show. And I don’t mean at the mouth.



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This picture goes out to Ashley. It’s a spider giving a marketing report. I think I made the stapler too big.