This is The Tea Song (from Yorkshire Tea), full of amazing FACTS about the healing properties of the cup that cheers!
A group of Big Issue vendors have got together with ad agency M&C Saatchi and independent typographer Stephen Kenny of A Two Pipe Problem Letterpress to design and create their own adverts, using 19th century letterpress equipment.
The national print and outdoor campaign, #SupportLocalBusiness, aims to highlight the fact that Big Issue vendors are small businesses in their own right, earning their living rather than receiving charity. The video above documents the project and includes interviews with the vendor designers.
* SONG OF THE DAY: Towa Tei & Kylie Minogue - GBI (German Bold Italic) *
'Stompy The Bear' is a joymaking collaboration between singer songwriter Caspar Babypants and knitting animator Charlotte Blacker (see my previous post about her short film 'Little Red Plane'.)
Thanks go to Charlotte's dad, Roy, for contacting me to tell me about it! (My dad is also called Roy... aww.) And now for some more bear-based fun with everyone's favourite quirky Quebecoises...
* SONG OF THE DAY: Tricot Machine - L'Ours *
Via CraftStylish: This is a beautiful stop-motion animation, made for the New Zealand Book Council by Anderson M Studio. It's been created from the pages of a book ('Going West' by Maurice Gee) - goodness knows how long it must have taken!
It reminds me of Su Blackwell's work, especially the ad she did for Beringer wine (below). I love stop-motion animation but am in awe of the animators - I just don't think I'd have the patience (or skill!) required to produce it myself!
Spotted this ad for the Mental Health Foundation's Tea & Talk campaign, at Victoria Station (London) last week. I thought it was lovely - both the graphic and the sentiment. I've suffered from depression at several points in my life, and during those times I always found meeting with a friend to talk (sometimes about what was troubling me, sometimes about anything but!) was good medicine.
It takes you out of yourself, stimulates your brain and refreshes your perspective on life. Conversation: to be taken several times a week, either in person, over the phone or online.
On Monday night I just could not get to sleep, and at 5.45 on Tuesday morning I was up and staring out of my living room window when an Adshel van pulled up at the bus stop over the road to change the advertising poster. Yes, I take photos of strangers at night without their knowledge or consent...
I walked past today, and it's a new campaign for Bombardier beer. They're trying to make themselves the drink of St, George's Day (like Guinness is for St. Patrick's), and the poster features icons of Englishness.
So we have Henry VIII wearing rugby kit, holding a conker, one foot on a wheel of Stilton; and the late, sorely missed Eric Morecambe dressed as a Morris man, with a Punk-style leather jacket, making Churchill's 'V for victory' sign with one foot on a policeman's helmet. They are standing on a big Cornish pasty and above the pint of beer is a red letterbox with a miner's helmet on top of it and a robin sat on top of that. On either side are garden gnomes with fishing rods - one has a Rich Tea biscuit on the end of it, the other a Custard Cream.
I've Googled in vain to find out who's done this artwork - have emailed Bombardier so watch this space! It's the work of artist David Lawrence. who has a cracking website. He's produced three posters, here are the other two:
|This one has Queen Victoria dressed as Robin Hood and Les Dawson dressed as Queen Elizabeth I, standing on the Isle of Wight (inculding the Needles lighthouse). She holds a rolled-up umbrella and has one foot on a teapot, and he holds a cup of tea and rests a foot on a pork pie. Next to him is an English bulldog with a string of bangers in its mouth.|
Here's Winston Churchill dressed as one of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and holding a '99' ice-cream cone, with one foot on a rugby ball. He's standing in Stonehenge with Kenneth Williams dressed as Sherlock Holmes, holding a cricket bat, with one foot on a jar of strawberry jam and, I think, wearing sandals with socks (and I thought that was just Christians...). Above them are red squirrels eating acorns from oak branches. Behind the beer bottle a pantomime horse can be seen.
I spotted this paving stone on Grand Avenue in Hove. T'internet informs me that this was made by the Adamant Stone & Paving Co of Aberdeen. According to The Maven's Word of the Day:
"Adamant comes ultimately from Greek adamas which was first an adjective meaning 'invincible' -- it came from the verb damao meaning 'to tame or conquer' -- and then became a noun meaning 'the hardest metal' or 'anything firm and unyielding'. It was also applied to the hardest gem known to the ancient world. The Latin adamas had the same meanings as the Greek word and was eventually transferred to the diamond (which is a variation of "adamant"). "
I remember being at primary school one day doing a reading test, and next in the list of words my teacher was getting me to read to her was 'adamant'. I thought it was a trick question - what was the name of that bloke on Top of the Pops with the white stripe across his nose doing in my reading test?!
While staying with Mum and Dad last week I ended up going through old photo albums and have picked a few favourites I want to share.
Here I am aged three and a half, 'helping' my dad decorate the spare room for the arrival of the new baby (The Blonde). I'm not sure what I'm wearing on my head but I suspect it's one of Dad's hankies, which have been a constant comfort to me during times of crisis, when he has offered them up to be covered in tears/snot/mascara. (Do men of my generation even carry hankies?)
I am wearing my Paddington apron. I'm surprised Mum has allowed me near wet paint, although I see she has arranged for me to be put on the less messy 'scraping off old wallpaper' detail. I loved Paddington. I was astonished to learn that there was a railway station in London named after him. Pleased for him, though...
'Paddington Bear - Please take care of this bear', via YouTube
I still love Paddington (in his 1970s stop-motion incarnation, not the cartoon version). I got a Paddington calendar for Christmas, and I'm so pleased to see him back on telly, doing the Marmite ads (see how they were made below).
And of course there are all the old episodes on YouTube - just one five-minute application can act as a mild anti-depressant. Just hearing that theme tune and hearing Michael Hordern's gentle narration makes me feel all warm inside :)
The Making of Paddington Bear's Marmite Advert, via YouTube
This sprawling building across the tracks from Hove Station is the old Dubarry Perfume factory. It's currently home to residential flats, a gym, a yoga studio and a company which localises video games, but its walls are still ringed with green and white mosaics advertising Dubarry's 'perfume and toilet luxuries'.
They're not only beautiful to look at but always raise a smile, coming as they do from a less cynical era in beauty products. There is no 'science bit'':
'Shalimar Complexion Creams For Loveliness That Lasts'
'Creme Shalimar For Dainty Soft White Hands'
'Dubarry's Silkashave Soap For A Luxurious Shave'
I took my camera out to capture as many of them as I could, and I've gathered them together in a Dubarry building mosaics set on Flickr.
Flickr: Dubarry cosmetic ads
* SONG OF THE DAY: The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain - Smells Like Teen Spirit *
BBC2 Christmas ident, 2007. Via YouTube
Idents.tv: Cutting up Christmas on BBC Two
BBC: BBC Two Idents and Classic TV - BBC Two Ident Videos
BBC: In pictures: BBC Two's distinctive style
BBC: BBC Two Citizen Idents
BBC: BBC Two Idents Wallchart (pdf)
BBC2 Christmas ident, 2007. Via YouTube
The latest ad for Sony's Bravia telly is even better than the last one (the coloured balls bouncing down a street). It's a complete joy to watch - multicoloured paint explosions in and around a disused Glasgow tower block, accompanied by Rossini's The Thieving Magpie.
The Bravia Ads website has loads of fascinating info on how the ad was made, as does the website of Phoenix Fireworks, who provided the fireworks which blasted the paint sky high. There's also a lovely set of photos on Flickr of the ad being shot.
Film Four advert for 'Film Free Is Free' campaign
I just love the 'Film Four is free' advert on the telly at the moment. It's a joy, full of beautifully-timed comic moments.
I love it when Lucy Liu mutters, "Muppets..." whilst observing Christian Slater and Ray Winstone's dodgy billboard pasting, I love Willem Dafoe's expression as he encourages Mackenzie Crook and I LOVE the moment when Dame Judi Dench, dressed as a LOBSTER for goodness sake, raises her pinchers aloft and trills, "FREE!" while Ewan MacGregor's confused tomato looks on.
I do love the Sheila's Wheels ads - an Aussie girl group in pink sequins driving a fab pink car and singing a catchy tune? What's not to love?
"For ladies who insure their cars
Sheila's Wheels are superstars
Women make the safest drivers
You could save a bunch of fivers
For bonzer car insurance deals
Girls get onto Sheila's Wheels
Girls are bored beyond indurance
Paying too much for car insurance
For bonzer car insurance deals
Girls get onto Sheila's Wheels"
Sure, it's been done by evil capitalists trying to flog car insurance, but I've never even had a driving lesson so am immune to their attempts to sell me their product. I just like the song, and the ad in the bar ("If your name was Florence, and you needed car insurance...") makes me laugh.
It's rare that a bank advert appeals to me, but I love the Barclays ad which is on the telly at the moment - the one with the staff brainstorm (or 'ideas stew' as the facilitator calls it).
Young Todd arrives late for the meeting, still trying to get his tie on straight - just in time to catch his snooty blonde colleague putting forward her idea for a hover phone.
Put on the spot, Todd suggests, "10% interest on our Regular Saver account?" and is met with snorts of derision from his colleagues, particularly Snooty Blonde.
The facilitator, however, loves it, and the ad closes with a hover phone appearing in shot, intoning, "Great idea, Todd" to the pleasantly surprised young man.
It's a great script and the little visual touches and comic timing are perfect. I love the disgusted look on Snooty Blonde's face as Todd is congratulated and her hair is blown about by the air from the hover phone.
Barclays Newsroom: Barclays Launches New Brand Positioning with National Advertising Campaign
Becks 'Four Steps' TV advert, 2006. Directed by Dougal Wilson for Leo Burnett Agency
I love the new Becks beer ad on the telly. It's the one with four men doing a dance routine in a dark, grotty street - a marionette, an animation (who reminds me of Phil Daniels), a stop-motion figure and a real person. The music works brilliantly too - It Overtakes Me by The Flaming Lips.
It delights me every time, and yes, sometimes I join in the dance. But I still don't like beer.
I love this year's Christmas poster from CAN (the Churches Advertising Network). It made me grin whilst battling through the crowds at Victoria station.
"Picture bookI love the new HP ad which feature this Kinks song - very cleverly done. The song reminds me of a few months ago, when I was looking through boxes of slides with Mum - pictures taken in Kuwait in the early seventies, when she and Dad were courting. Dad standing proudly by his Lambretta outside his RAF quarters. Mum standing outside a mosque in a thigh-skimming minidress. Mum and her flatmate Eileen posing in their tiny, flower-crammed walled garden, with the desert visible in the background, stretching on for miles, punctuated only by oil rigs and the de-salination plant. Mum at a party wearing a white embroidered cheesecloth two-piece, bought on her last trip home from 'Stevie's' in Portsmouth.
Pictures of your mama
Taken by your papa
A long time ago..."
She is the age I am now in these pictures. I screw my eyes up as I examine each one, trying to see myself in her. She looks so happy. Sexy, fashionable, and very happy. And of course, she was freshly in love - with the man behind the camera! But with the benefit of hindsight I can see that the happiness shining from her face is not just from the rush of meeting someone new, but from the feeling that she's found someone with whom she feels she really belongs for the long run.
Sometimes, she still looks at him like that...
Still from Wieden & Kennedy's 'Hate Something Change Something' ad for Honda, 2004
I LOVE the ad for Honda's new diesel engine - the one with the dirty, noisy engines flying through a animated landscape of rainbows and peacocks and exotic topiary, been shot down by bunnies wearing ear protectors, while Garrison Keillor sings a specially written folk song.
Click here for the full animation and news on the site they're launching to accompany the ad. Altogether now, "in the key of 'Grrr'...":
"Hate something, change something
Hate something, change something
Make something bett-errrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...'
After seeing the brilliant new Kia Picanto ad on the telly every night for a week, thinking, 'That really looks like Pete Fowler did it', I've got round to finding out - and he did! It's a great ad - cute little ladies, a pastel-coloured cityscape and his usual monstrous creations. I enjoy it every time. And I've never even had a driving lesson.
"You keep me running round and round Well, that's alright with me..."* I love it when one thing leads to another. I pop in to ilike.org.uk and see that Belle & Sebastian are doing Tracks of My Years on the Ken Bruce show on Radio 2. And one of the tracks they've chose is Kirsty MacColl's version of A New England. I won't go on and on about the great affection I feel for Kirsty and her music cos I'll start welling up, but it's good to know that a band I was once so into (heck, there was even a fanzine...) appreciates her too.
Last week I was up at the British Museum with my hack's hat on, and on the way back to Victoria I decided to go to Soho Square to see Kirsty's memorial bench. However, it didn't go as planned. I'd never been there before and hadn't realised there were dozens of benches there - or that on a blazingly hot lunchhour all the benches and lawns would be crammed full of people! I wandered round the Square several times, checking every bench plaque which wasn't hidden by someone sitting in front of it, but eventually gave up. I think the most likely candidate was a newish one in a prominent position on a raised section of the garden, but it was full and I wasn't brave enough to ask the gentlemen sitting in the middle to lean forward so I could take a look at the plaque. Next time I'll pick late afternoon on a rainy day...