Archive for June, 2011

The incredible melting men

‘Young British Artist’ Glenn Brown won the Turner Prize in 2000 to great controversy (he copied a 70s Robert Heinlein sci-fi book cover). Well, controversial to people who care about the Turner prize… and the Daily Mail; the Turner Prize gets right on their tits.

Anyway, here are some of his paintings, which look a bit like they were done by Old Masters after too much Vipco Vault of Horror. They’re ace:


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Help I Need Help was developed by two young ad execs who saw a gap in the healthcare market:

“The healthcare industry has done a horrible job in presenting itself to the world. On one end of the spectrum, you have drugs with all sorts of scary warnings like ‘may cause insomnia or rectal bleeding,’ but that really work. On the other end, you have herbal and homeopathic remedies that are nice and friendly but that don’t really work. We took the tone from one and the effectiveness from the other.”

Help I Need Help is a range of simply and elegantly packaged OTC basics. Help I Have a Headache contains ibuprofen, Help I’ve Cut Myself are plasters, and so on…

The website is a perfect example of a simple idea, well executed. Every page has been given thought and attention. There’s a button at the bottom of the headache page below called help I want to try “help I have a headache” but I don’t have a headache. Click on it and you get a wailing, discordant screech, mixed in with babies crying.

And it’s carried on throughout the site: the sleeping pills page has a link to an beautifully animated dream recommender; the allergies page links to an apology to sneezing fetishists, which further links to a fully realised page for www.helpihaveasneezingfetish.com; and for those of you just want to fuck around, help I’m bored has a good hour’s worth of distractions…

I’m torn by Help I Need Help – it’s a brilliant marketing job: the insight that basic OTC medicine should be simple allows them to position themselves as the honest, straight-talking option, so different to the “extra strength” and “now with even more pain fighting power” bollocks of their competitors, and the website execution is top-notch.

However, the ‘medicine should be simple’ message is undermined by quite how much branding there is. With launch stunts that included men running on treadmills in high heels to promote the blister pads and people sleeping all day for the sleeping pills, I can’t shake the impression that it’s all just to blind you to the fact that they’re selling 16 aspirin for $4…

I can’t complain too much though. This is pretty much the definition of a well run, well executed campaign, built around one really great insight.

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Snow job

Ambient advertising for Orbit:

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Andy Rementer’s comic book-style illustrations:

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Whole in one

Films boiled down to one sentence:

Ghostbusters: No matter how big and wild and crazy and wonderful a job sounds, it’s probably just a job to the people who do it.

Night of the Living Dead: The biggest threat in any crisis isn’t whatever’s going wrong, it’s the stupid ways people react to it.

Up: What’s important in life isn’t whether you achieve what you set out to do, it’s whether the things you did were worth doing.

Memento: Revenge is an ultimately hollow and meaningless pursuit that makes you into a monster.

Logan’s Run: It’s easy not to care about a problem until it becomes your problem too.

Blade Runner: Anyone who tries to divide the world into “us” and “them” is probably trying to justify the terrible things they do to people.

The Wicker Man: The protections of civilization do not extend beyond civilization’s boundaries, and you forget that at your own peril.

Raiders of the Lost Ark: Obsession can be a very dangerous thing. (Actually, this could be the ultimate message of just about every story ever.)

A Nightmare on Elm Street: Part of growing up is dealing with the crazy fucked-up world your parents left for you.

The Birds: Sometimes bad shit just happens and all you can do is deal with it.

Transformers: As long as you cram enough giant fighting robots that turn into cars and planes into your movie, it doesn’t have to mean a goddamn thing.


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This ad by the Dublin ad agency Chemistry ran in the Irish Examiner, leading up to a series of articles on the Irish and alcohol.

Having just returned from a wedding back home, I quite say with deeply hungover authority that yes, yes it has:

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