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Here are the photos I didn’t take at the Jazz Club tonight. And here’s the video I didn’t film there. And the selfies with the band in the background I did without. And this is the Facebook update I wrote after I watched the brilliant performances. Because I realised tonight that this thing is called a post – something you can do after the event, not during. So I didn’t miss a thing. Just enjoyed watching the musicians, including the virtuoso saxophonist’s 11yr protege daughter, play joyously without feeling the need to record it all.


Have you counted up the number of emoticons you use each day? I avoided them for so long thinking they were just for kids. But now I realise that I’m forced to add them in many if not all emails, texts and status updates.

The thing is, just like here, there’s no tone of voice. We can’t ‘hear’ each other without speech, obviously. And we can’t see the facial expressions that accompany the words. All the subtle audio nuances and visual clues are lost. So we have to include pictures now to soften or strengthen what our fingers type.


In less than a week, I start as Executive Creative Director at Lowe, the biggest agency in Vietnam. After a month of discussions on Skype with the senior stars and face to face with the tremendous Michel Borelli, MD there, I finally signed on the dotted line last Thursday evening.

Click here to see their current website.


At a recent Careers Evening in my daughter’s school, I was asked by four sets of parents during the few hours whether or not their little darling should go to University. It really made me think about what advice to give – the pros and cons of routes into Advertising.

Ever heard of a place called Longyearbyen? No? Well it’s one to learn for Pub Quizzes. It happens to be the world’s northernmost town. As such, it gets the least daylight of anywhere on Earth that people call home. In fact, the townsfolk live for 4 months of every year without sunlight. So what better place to demonstrate the benefits of the Philips Wake-up Light?


Watch this when you’ve got 7 minutes and 11 seconds spare. It’s a mesmerising film about a blogger who has 70,000 readers a day. This is part of Amsterdam Worldwide’s latest campaign for Intel’s Visual Life. Almost 600,000 views in just a few weeks, it’s far more engaging and informative than most 30 second spots, press ads or poster campaigns. This new style of content-based advertising will feature


What makes great creative for multi-channel campaigns?

I wrote this for this month’s mediaPro magazine. They asked for a page or two. I gave them three… So much to say and I had to cut loads out too. Anyway, if you have a spare 20 minutes, I think it’s worth the read. Some great examples in here too.

Here goes.



Ever had to design those little buttons that make software look unique? Well I’ve done one-offs before but never a full set. A designer friend artworked up my sketches beautifully.


One very happy client. (This isn’t what he looks like!)


After the unprecedented success of last year’s inspired Best Job in the World for the Queensland Tourist Board, advertising you take part in featured heavily in this year’s award-winning campaigns at Cannes Lions Direct.
The Grand Prix winner was a great use of Iggy Pop – unlike those stomach-churning nonsense ads for Swiftcover. Audition to play with Iggy on a brand new performance of ‘Passengers’. Love it.
Check out all the winners here and spot how many actually involve the audience to build the campaign.
Bring it on I say.


I’m three weeks in and loving getting these little boxes every day. Filled with loads of scrummy snacks, it’s a pleasure each day opening up to see what they’ve sent me. 9 times out of 10, I really like all the contents. I really recommend Graze – great tasting food delivered daily to my desk. £2.95 per box, £1.50 starter pack. Each little pressie means I don’t snack on crap. A very good thing after all these years!

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2010 February



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By Chris

Careers Evening

On 23, Feb 2010 | No Comments | In Uncategorized | By Chris


A couple of weeks ago, for the third year in succession, I hosted a table at my daughter’s school Careers Evening. Along with around 80 or so other parents representing the same number of different professions, I met and talked to a steady flow of teenagers about what I do for a living.


It’s always a pleasure talking about something you love. Enthusiasm for one’s metier. I don’t get to see any of the other tables as I’m usually surrounded by loads of kids and their eager mums and dads or both. My favourite from the evening was a girl who lit up wen she told me about how much she enjoys the TV ads in the breaks. I told her this was a good sign. (I remember my excitement and fascination watching John Webster’s ‘Points of view’ for The Guardian years ago.)


Now that I’ve spent nearly 20 years doing this whole marketing/advertising thing to earn a living, it’s easy to forget that I was once one of those faces looking in and wondering what goes on in there. Yes, you can do lovely work in lovely places with lovely people and earn lovely large sums of money but I often forget to tell these kids how incredibly hard you have to work to achieve this. But then, do they really want to know? Would they really understand? How to explain the reason why you’ve worked days/evenings/weekends for as long as you can remember to someone who thinks that an hour of homework every night is hell?


What I did tell my followers was that I’d help give them a few pointers to show them what agencies are like and what goes on there. So here are some books to start with. All very good, the first one magnificent – around £40 altogether: (Just click on all the purple words – they’re links)


Hey Whipple, Squeeze this.


The Fundamentals of Creative Advertising


Truth, Lies and Advertising


How to do better work


Cutting Edge Advertising

Then there’s the truly outstanding bi-monthly magazine that showcases some the world’s best work: Lürzer’s Archive A bit pricey maybe but always an absolute pleasure to receive.


In terms of brilliant blogs to follow, read every entry of the genius Dave Trott‘s masterpiece. When you want a job in advertising, you want to work with the best. He is the best.

As far as Tweets go, follow the guy who wrote Hey Whipple – Luke Sullivan – another superstar.


And check out this little treat from some students. Quite special and only a few years away for some of you kids.


If you get a chance, have a read of some of the stuff this guy has to say. He’s been a sponge to advertising, marketing and design for such a long time and have learned from some exceptional people (Steve Harrison, author of How to do better work, probably the best). He has a fair few awards to his name. Has run his own agency. Lectures regularly. Blah. Blah. Blah. So he likes to think he knows his trade pretty well.
Try this.
Or perhaps this.
And this.

What do you think?

And here are a few websites of agencies I think are worth looking at.
Partners Andrews Aldridge



This is just a start really. Check out D&AD and The DMA. See their members and the showcases of work.

And, blimey, if you’ve taken all that in and are still interested, drop me a line at [email protected] for ideas on courses to get you started.

It’s hard but it’s fun.




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By Chris

AOP & Jonathan Knowles

On 22, Feb 2010 | No Comments | In Uncategorized | By Chris


Always nice to get a bit of recognition. Years of working with the über-talented Jonathan Knowles has meant I have a back catalogue of outstanding shots for corporate and charity clients, the latter being showcased in the December/January AOP magazine.


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