Weird Ad of the Month

March 20, 2013 / Humour

By The Beak Street Bugle

A perfectly rational public safety video from Orangina.

This is surprisingly oddball considering it's a global campaign for a well-known brand. But it leaves us with so many questions. Why are the goat lady's nipples poking through her top? What is the human lady talking about? Where can we buy some Orangina, because the fear of giant pigeon shit is making us want some now.

Tech Talk

March 18, 2013 / Humour

By Lewis More O'Ferrall

20 bites from Silicon Valley.

During the APA’s Creative London Comes to Silicon Valley event, I listened to a lot of digital-deft, future-savvy, interactive-y types. Most of what they said was enlightening, but they sure have a peculiar way with words. Here are some of the more amusing examples of the tech-talk I encountered; some of it solid wisdom, some of it pure waffle. I’ll leave it to you to work out which is which. Not even sure I know myself.


“We take a deep dive into ‘what's our DNA?’ Be warned, as you pivot don't lose your DNA.”

“It was amazing for them not to know how much they didn't know.”

“They no longer control the problem. They are a smaller part of a much bigger eco-system.”

“The coming storm is linear TV versus the new landscape.”

“There is an inherent assumption because we are an online company that we have everything... we don't.”

“It's a mezzanine format that can be transcoded into the distribution model that suits an intelligent network.”

“Traffic shaping is the new future.”

“They burst a load of data getting a multicast, thus saving battery life.”

“The area of uncertainty is going to dominate for some considerable time."

“We are moving toward qualitative metrics"

“I'm completely spacing out on the new users number.”

“The way we look at it, we are at the front end of the wave.”

“"Here in the U.S.A. the rights landscape is not clean”

“I'm sure there's a weighted matrix behind it."

“The boundaries of enterprise are becoming less rigid.”

“Incubation acceleration is booming in Silicon Valley.”

“The mobile has become an extension of the human anatomy.”

“We deliver to any kind of screen you can think of.”

“It is the only place where you can earn £20m without owning a suit.”

“Would you rather send 100 ads to a million people and not know how many watched them, or 100 ads to a million people and know the stats?”

Weird Ad of the Month

February 20, 2013 / Humour

By The Beak Street Bugle

Wow. Just wow.

This Egyptian chocolate bar is apparently more surprising than a belly-dancing urangutan. Maybe he's in on it and he knows they're just people in monkey suits. Whatever. It's werid.

Weird Ad of the Month

January 11, 2013 / Humour

By The Beak Street Bugle

Our first ever Weird Ad of the Month had to come from Japan, didn't it?

Something has definitely been lost in translation in this Japanese ad. We're not even sure what sort of food "milk seafood" is supposed to be. And it features a cheese and pepper alien attack, obviously. We bet it did wonders for that actress's career.

Agony Jim: Poaching Directors

January 11, 2013 / Humour

By Jim Watkins

Veteran producer and sage cum digital native Jim Watkins solves your advertising conundra.
This edition: when directors miraculously move companies.

Illustration ©  Zoe More O'Ferrall

Dear Jim

In the worst recession since the Mesozoic Era, needs must as the devil drives. I had a terrible dream re poaching a director from a rival production company.

As we all know, poaching is a passive rather than an active practice. That’s to say, it happens to production companies but has never in history been performed by one of them.

Now I’ve had the thought, I feel like the character in the fatuous Ricky Gervais film ‘The Invention Of Lying.’

I’m concerned that I may act on it, and that breaking this immutable physical law will cause some kind of butterfly effect that colours the sky black, brings the four horsemen riding, turns the northern hemisphere into a barren wasteland etc etc.

Please help. The voices get stronger every day.

Upper Fling.


Dear S.F.S.

It is a well-known fact that no production company has ever approached anyone. Instead directors approach them.

The production company approached will always tell the director that the company they are with is wonderful but sometimes the director will insist on joining them. What can we do to stop them?

It happened to me at my production company a lot. I would be wandering along the road and your Danny Kleinmans and Ridley Scotts would literally leap at me from doorways begging me to sign them. I always said no of course - integrity is my middle name.

Jim Integrity Watkins
Dun Advertising

Secret Location

December 7, 2012 / Humour

By Graham Aza

Think you've shot everywhere London has to shoot? Graham Aza serves up an intriguing and unknown London location to get you thinking.

Think you know where this is? Post an answer below.

Graham Aza is a location manager and runs online locations site

Agony Jim: Forbidden Profits

December 2, 2012 / Humour

By alex

Veteran producer and sage cum digital native Jim Watkins solves your advertising conundra.
This edition: the shady business of turning a 'profit'.

©  Zoe More O'Ferrall

Dear Jim

I have a confession. I’ve been caught red handed attempting to make a ‘profit’.

You must agree my plan was ingenious. It involved adding an amount of money - a ‘mark-up’ if you will, onto the cost of certain goods and services on any given production before passing the costs on to the agency. The perfect crime.

However I didn’t get far. My nemesis was an astute Cost Consultant, who picked up on the discrepancies, and the plan was foiled.

My intention had been to use the ‘profit’ to ‘pay’ my staff and overheads, ‘buy’ food, and even to take a share for myself. Thank goodness I was stopped before any of these potentially irreversible acts could be accomplished.

Having come to my senses, I see that I have not only brought dishonour upon my own company, but let down all the honest production companies out there, whose goal is simply to make great work with little or no financial benefit to themselves.

Please share my shame with the wider community.

Yours hang-headedly,

W. W. W. De La Fouff


Dear Mr- or Ms- De La Fouff

I am glad you stopped because that is larceny and you could have gone away for a long time. Production company profit was outlawed by parliament in 2003 when big brands threatened to leave the UK if they had to pay for their advertising or pay tax.

You should still survive without a profit though. If you need to buy food for your family simply go into the supermarket you produced a commercial for. Tell them that you were not allowed to make a profit on the commercial you did for them, enquire what the cost price of the items you require are and offer to pay them that. They are reasonable people and are bound to say “yes”. I do that myself all the time and I have only had a few misunderstandings and seven or eight convictions for shoplifting.

Yours in commercials,

Agony Jim: When Clients Say Yes

November 15, 2012 / Humour

By Jim Watkins

Veteran producer and sage cum digital native Jim Watkins solves your advertising conundra.
This edition: the nightmare of actually having to shoot a job.

©  Zoe More O'Ferrall

Dear Jim

I’m in a spot of bother. We recently pitched on a project, and won the pitch only to discover that the agency and client fully intend to actually shoot the job.

As a relative newcomer to the industry, my understanding had been that the pitch process is a form of ceremonial entertainment more akin to modern dance or immersive theatre, in which we all play the roles of people who will make a TV commercial so that the client can muse over the idea before politely declining.

Please help. They’ve started asking about something called a casting session. I have literally no idea what I’m doing.

Michael Michaels


Dear Micheal

Another example of how far some clients are divorced from reality. Don’t they understand how a modern production company works? I can remember making commercials but the last one we did was, I think, 1976.

We were at the forefront of course, seeing that the internet was likely to be invented after seeing something a bit like it on Star Trek. Or was it Blake’s Seven? We knew Facebook and Twitter were on their way too and we could not stand still, so we adapted into the flexible multi platform company that you see today. 

Tell them it’s 2012 and they need to realise that you can’t actually make something as it would cut down the time we had for the all important offering of opinions on Twitter. Time to wake up Michael and realise that’s what business is all about in 2012.

Yours in commercials,