Andy Warhol and Sonny Liston have a chat!

27 Jun

I don’t know about you guys, but I really love those old print adverts they used to have. The ones that had a big, attention-grabbing headline, a big picture and plenty of copy.

Probably my favourite one of all time is the rather surreal effort for the long-defunct airline Braniff International that you can see above. For some reason, Braniff thought it would be a good idea to pair-up art legend Andy Warhol with former Heavyweight Champion of the World Sonny Liston in order to encourage people to fly on their planes. Sadly, it didn’t work.

This advert is partly attritubted to creating the downturn in fortunes that would eventually cause Braniff to wind down completely in the early 90s, and was said to have alienated the airline’s many business travellers when it first appeared in 1968. But if you ask me, it’s great – I mean Andy Warhol and Sonny Liston. You just couldn’t find that level of iconic-ness these days, can you?

Unfortunately, you might not be able to read it above without straining your eyes, but the actual copy in the ad is nothing short of hilarious. Not the least the suggestion that Andy Warhol flies Braniff because he likes their “girls”!

Luckily they made a TV ad of this barmy classic and you can check it out below.

Great Ads You Might Have Forgotten About!: Dime bar… Armadillos!!!

13 Jun

Having spent the middle part of last week in Bergen on a lovely business trip, I’ve been reflecting on the best bits about foreign travel recently.

I’m not too proud to say that one of my favourite parts of any foreign holiday is holing myself up in the hotel (preferably on the first night!) and watching some local telly with a big bag of sweets exclusive to the country of my holiday. This “passion” has helped me build up an impressive knowledge of confectionary from around the world. Why, it would be my specialist subject on Mastermind!

Perhaps the best region for sweets and chocolate (outside the mighty UK, of course!) is Scandinavia; birthplace of the incredible Dime bar. Or Daim bar, if you’re from outside the UK.

Ah, I bet you didn’t know that Dime was Scandinavian, and it’s probably as a result of these none-more-British adverts for the chocolate fave starring Harry Enfield.

I wonder how many of you will be quoting this advert all day tomorrow? And I wonder how many of you will now be craving a Dime bar?

Great Ads You Might Have Forgotten About!: Honey Monster Signs For Newcastle United

2 Jun

After observing Turkish Airlines’ campaign to congratulate Manchester United on winning their 19th English league title on the MEERKAT Works homepage*, I couldn’t help but cast my mind back to other football team/brand tie-ins.

Of course there have been many, but one of my all-time favourites has to be this mid-90s match-up for Sugar Puffs between the Honey Monster and Kevin Keegan. One went from bewitching kids in the 70s to cutting a rather sad and dated figure in the modern age, and the other is the Honey Monster! Only joking, Kevin… We still love you!

The gist of this ad is that the Honey Monster signs for Newcastle United (although they obviously didn’t grant permission to be named directly or have their kit used in the ad) and heads the side to glory in a big Wembley cup final after KK takes a gamble and brings him on as a super-sub. It’s hard to say which aspect of this fantasy is more unlikely; the Honey Monster being allowed to play professional football… Or Newcastle winning a trophy!

A big, hairy good-with-his-head number nine at Newcastle? These days the Honey Monster would be sold to Liverpool for £30m! Golly, I’m tart today, but I do love this ad. Weird how 90s football, while being just as commercial, seems infinitely more charming than the sport today. Nostalgia, eh?

Get in there HM and KK!

*Why no congratulations to Man U this week? LOL! Not that I’m bitter or anything… I’m a Wolves fan!

Britain’s First Ever Radio Advert!

24 May

Here’s a question for all of you… When was the first radio advertisement broadcast in Britain?

If you think it was in the 50s… You’re wrong!

Sometime in the Swinging Sixties? Guess again!

It was actually in 1973, as part of the launch of LBC (London Broadcasting Company) – the UK’s first ever commercial radio station!

Radio advertising is such a firm fixture in Great Britain these days that it seems quite strange that it’s not yet even forty years old, and stranger still when you compare it to radio advertising in America, which has been dominating the airwaves since the early 1930s.

Appropriately enough that first ever British radio ad was for Birdseye Fish Fingers, quite possibly the most cherished frozen food product on these isles. Perhaps sadly, however, the famous Captain Birdseye is nowhere to be seen (or heard!) in the ad, which actually sounds surprisingly dated now. In fact, I could have told you that the ad actually dated from the 50s and you may well have believed me!

You can listen to it on my Facebook page!

RAJAR figures for Q1 2011

18 May

You can read my first official report as MEERKAT’s official newshound by visiting our website.

The RAJAR figures are released every three months and show top advertising bods like me what local and national radio stations have the most listeners. Check it out!

Great Ads You Might Have Forgotten About!: The Mint Card Hamster

5 May

Hi everyone!

Hope you enjoyed all that Royal Wedding/long-weekend hoopla! Unlike the rest of you (I daresay!), I used my downtime wisely… By coming up with a great new feature for my blog: ‘Great Ads You Might Have Forgotten About!’

Adverts come and they go, and I wouldn’t even like to begin to think about how many adverts each of us are exposed to throughout our lives. But quite often an advert can really stand out and linger on in the memory. And I don’t just mean the big, bona fide classics (Guiness, Cinzano etc.), I’m thinking more along the lines of those little, sparky ads that might not have ran for too long, but for some reason or other managed to get their hooks into you.

I think the below advert for Mint Card is a prime example (what was a “Mint Card”? Does anyone still have one?). A great little idea starring a man, a woman, a hamster and an oddly-shaped financial product.

I bet loads of you are gasping “Ooohhh, I remember that!”

The Return of The Dulux Dog!

20 Apr

Yes folks, it’s true! The best advertising news I’ve heard in a long time; that most famous of pooches, the Dogfather of Advertising (well, next to me!) the Dulux dog is back on our screens!

It’s a new campaign from Dulux celebrating 50 years of the hirsuite hound. 50?! Good old Double D looks great for fifty! Hang on… It says here that there’s actually been 15 Dulux Dogs in all, including the latest addition. The magic of television, eh?

You can watch the Dulux Dog’s comeback ad below. Those of you of a certain age will recognise the soundtrack as being the theme song from seminal 60s kids’ show The Littlest Hobo. I myself remember many a Sunday morning in the 80s sobbing along to repeats of that traumatisingly tearjerking dog-helping-kids’-in-danger saga, so this fab new ad is a double nostalgia hit!

You can also check out Dulux’s own website for even more info on the anniversary.


Weekend Woof!: Mitchell’s Sounds of Scandinavia

15 Apr

I’m sure all my fans out there remember that not so long ago I put together a rather fantastic Scandinavian-themed Spotify playlist for my pedigree chums at Norwegian Airlines.

You can check it out again here.

Well, Norwegian’s very own Mitchell Hawes has done one himself and he reckons it’s better than mine!

Norwegian

Here’s what’s on Mitch’s playlist…

1. Serenade to Sweden – Dizzy Gillespie

2. Fairytale – Alexander Rybak

3. Fly Away – Lenny Kravitz

4. Eagle (Short Version) – Abba

5. Hate To Say I Told You So – The Hives

6. Sister Surround – The Soundtrack Of Our Lives

7. God Knows – Mando Diao

8. You & Me Song – The Wannadies

9. Jerk It Out (Original Mix) – Caesars

10. My Favourite Game – The Cardigans

11. In The Shadows (Radio Edit) – The Rasmus

12. Last Dance – The Raveonettes

13. Cornerman – St. Thomas

14. I’d Rather Dance With You – Kings of Convenience

15. Stay On These Roads – a-ha

16. Young Folks – Peter, Bjorn and John

17. Eple (Original Edit) – Royksopp

18. Fascination – Alphabeat

19. Fyra bugg & en Coca-Cola – Lotta Engberg

20. Dancing On My Own – Robyn

21. Rhythm Bandits – Junior Senior

22. Lovefool – The Cardigans

23. Nevermore – The Soundtrack Of Our Lives

24. Hot Night Crash – Sahara Hotnights

25. Does Your Mother Know – Abba

26. All That She Wants – Ace of Base

27. Hooked On A Feeling – Blue Swede

28. The Actor (Remix ’99) – Michael Learns To Rock

29. You Are The One (7” Remix) – a-ha

30. It Must Have Been Love – Roxette

31. You’re The Storm – The Cardigans

32. Hard Rock Hallelujah – Lordi

33. Up Around The Bend – Hanoi Rocks

34. Northern Lites – Super Furry Animals

35. Queen Of Denmark – John Grant

36. Hobo Humpin’ Slobo Babe – Whale

37. Amsterdam – Peter, Bjorn and John

38. Sheepdog – Mando Diao

39. Norway – Beach House

40. Stockholm Syndrome – Muse

41. Tick Tick Boom – The Hives

Wow! Hats off to Mitchell! That’s what I call a great playlist…

But whose is better, mine or Mitchell’s?

There’s only one way to find out… Listen to both!

Mine:

Norwegian Airlines: The Sound of Scandinavia

Mitchell’s:

Norwegian

Let me know which one you prefer. Or better yet, make your own!

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Every Dog has its Holi-Day!!!

12 Apr

(Me in the office… Needing a holiday!)

My very good friend Sarah Jane McQueen (from News International!) sent me a link to this fascinating article regarding dog-friendly holidays that appeared in today’s Sun.

I’ve made sure that all of my colleagues at MEERKAT Works have seen this feature, as I’m loooooong overdue a holiday. They work me very hard here, I can tell you!

I never get to go to any of the places I want to go to either, and I have no idea why! Apparently they’re too “specialist”.

Here is a list of my Top 10 Dream Destinations. Let me know what you think…

1. The Isle of Dogs

2. Barking

3. The Dalmatian Coast

4. Alsace (that’s one for clever-clogs)

5. HOUNDuras

6. Turkey (sounds tasty!)

7. Denmark (home of the Great Dane, of course)

8. Peking

9. Afghanistan (oo-er!)

10. West Highlands

Anyone have any other suggestions regarding where I should go?

Dog’s-eye View: The New Cravendale Ad

6 Apr

Now, I don’t like this new Cravendale ad for two reasons. I’ll give you the first reason, and then let you watch the ad. And then I’ll give you the second.

The first reason I don’t like this ad is because it’s full of cats. And not just any old cats… Intimidating cats with opposable thumbs! Gives me the willies!

See what I mean! It’s not right!

The second reason I don’t like this ad is because it’s just replaced one of my favourite campaigns of recent years, the Cravendale Cow, Pirate and Cyclist spots. How good were they? And how many of you know that they were inspired by cult Belgian animated series Panique au village? Oh, just me…

Enjoy the last of these wonderfully zany ads one last time!

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