written by john lewis

Advertising Category Archive

P is for placement

Snapped this at the airport a while ago. Found right next to the AirNZ check-in counters, it’s a good example of thoughtful placement.


Smaller text reads: “Most of our clients are based in Wellington, so that’s where you’ll spend most of your time.”

Nice work Equinox (shame about your website though…).

Posted in: Advertising

Woah Mozy, WTF?

When I still worked at Intergen, Trey put me onto Mozy. It’s an insanely-great online backup tool. It works on a PC or a Mac, it works in the background with minimal fuss, keeps the different versions of your files, is very lightweight, and has a very generous free account.

I love it. It has saved my bacon while I’ve been working on Ponoko more than a couple of times.

Today, as a Mozy user, I received their May newsletter (don’t think we’ve seen one at all before…). A big part of my role at Ponoko is email marketing so I pay a lot of attention to what others are doing. Below is the “lead” story in their newsletter:


First thought: WTF was he thinking!? I’m almost speechless beyond that…

It has nothing to do with their product (which is awesome) and manages to insult Americans, Canadians, Quebecois, hockey supporters, and probably his staff as well.

Then again, had he not insulted all those people I could probably guarantee I wouldn’t be blogging about his newsletter or his company or his product.

What do you think? Insanely stupid or insanely smart?

Posted in: Advertising, Rants, Web

Guerrilla marketing: brothel-style

every-blog-needs-a-photo-of-spitzer.jpg The smartest thing a brothel could probably do is campaign against itself.

Yesterday I found out I live in the same suburb as Simple and Loveable ‘s Nat. As she reported, Mt Vic residents received a letter from the banana-republic-styled “Mt Victoria Resident’s Association about Brothels in Mt Victoria”. It was a simple petition/submission letter asking you, as a resident, to let the council know you don’t want brothels in our suburb.

I really don’t know if I could care less. Moral panic is boring and generally turns me off. If a brothel respects the regulations those business have to follow… then the law says it’s a completely legal enterprise.

It’s an interesting contrast with Mt Vic’s recreational drug users, from the social dope smokers to the drum’n'bass munters. While some of these are probably next in line for legalisation (once Jim ‘need to protect you from yourself’ Anderton departs) and tolerated like they already are legalised… the law does quite plainly state… they are illegal.

These concerned residents and other moral outrage activists never seem to learn from each other that the very thing they crusade against is what they end up helping the most.

I remember when the “Society for Promotion of Community Standards” protested against Baise-Moi being screened in NZ. Essentially all it did was bring attention and coverage to the film. If they wanted to stop people from watching then they suffered an excellent failure. Their rampant attention grabbing probably increased the film’s patronage in NZ by a factor of 100.

Which makes me think: if I was a brothel, the cheapest most effective way to promote myself would be… to campaign against myself. It would be brilliantly effective at grabbing attention compared to the newspaper ad examples included in the petition, has amazing stickiness, word-of-mouth appeal, efficient (read: cheap).

These guys have just advertised “convenient” brothel services to Mt Vic’s 5000+ residents for the price of a ream of A4 paper. Well done.

It has all the makings of a brilliant guerrilla marketing campaign. Remember, you read it here first. ;)

Posted in: Advertising, Wellington

Colour like no other


Sony has brought out another Colour like no other advert for their Bravia range of LCD televisions. The first, you might remember, involved the launching of thousands of bouncy balls down some of San Francisco’s steeper streets. It was one of my favorite adverts ever and I remember seeing it at a cinema for the first time and being absolutely mesmerised by it. The ad also helped to launch Swede José González with his beautifully acoustic song ‘Heartbeats’.

paint-com.jpg So how do you follow that up? Explode 70,000 litres of paint all over a rather bland looking residential area In Glasgow. Spend 10 days setting up and filming, then a further 5 cleaning up.

I like it, it exudes the same original and creative thought that the first does. But, I still think the bouncy balls are better :)

Watch it and decide for yourself – View the Bravia paint ad »

Posted in: Advertising

American Obesity Task Force

aotf.jpg The ticking time-bomb that is the obesity epidemic, sigh… Check out this delightful (and skinny) website for the American Obesity Task Force. The website serves two purposes, the first is to reinforce the viral campaign with the video paced front and center on the page. The second purpose is to link people to information should they want to know more. I love how the website hasn’t tried to be anything more than that. Brilliant.

The video is more than a little bizarre on first view – what do you think?

Posted in: Advertising, Life

World Press Freedom Day


Brilliant shot, extremely good at communicating a simple but vitally important idea.


More on the original photograph at Wikipedia.

Posted in: Advertising, Life

Job adverts (we’re also advertising)

I had to write a job advert last week. It was a really interesting exercise trying to write copy to advertise for people like yourself. As a company we’ve done a lot of recruiting since I’ve been there and this means we have a lot of existing templates and written ads. In the end I thought the best route to take would be just to introduce a little bit of humour… Have a look at the ad on Seek and let me know what you think.

Incidentally we’re always looking for talented people at Intergen. Especially designers and front-end developers in the team I’m in. Specifically (as you’ll see in the advert on Seek) I’m looking for an intermediate CSS guru/developer.

So, if you’re looking or know someone who is, get in touch through me. It is a competitive marketplace we’re in at the moment for labour – but we’re definitely worth a look. Come and have a chat.

Posted in: Advertising, Work

Added to the blogroll

Just found Houtlust which is an blog on nonprofit and social campaign advertising. I think this is where the best stuff in advertising happens – the most amazing mind changing stuff. Its probably because its the “edge of marketing and activism” that makes it so good… consider:

Found via advergirl.

Posted in: Advertising


An email was sent around work today with the Honda Hate Something advertising campaign. As far as I can tell it was a UK rather than US campaign. We first saw the game which is an incredible Flash based game that takes an incredible amount of time to download, even on broadband. But, do try it.

Another email followed with the TV advert that the game supports, this is rather large at 7MB but is an incredible ad. Highly colourful and highly creative – I think it’s a fantastic way of driving product awareness but also helps to develop a lovemark for and with the Honda brand, but at 1.5 minutes long I wonder how many slots they could afford.

Flash game:
TV advert: /media/entries/05/08/10/Honda_Hate_Something.MPG

Posted in: Advertising