lastminute.com ads from 1999/2000

Digging through some old files I’ve found these four posters I commissioned for lastminute.com through M&C Saatchi/Immediate Sales. They’re not my favourites but they’re the only surviving ones I have. The Blair “don’t plan” ad was an opportunistic response to the news that the then Prime Minister’s wife was unexpectedly pregnant.

The best ad we ran, IMO, was “Surprise your girlfriend. Take her sister to Paris.”

The LMN brand was all about spontaneity, adventure and romance. I have to say I think they lost that sheen, though they appear to be wanting to get it back.

Screenshot 2013-11-12 18.08.00 Screenshot 2013-11-12 18.08.23 Screenshot 2013-11-12 18.08.53 Screenshot 2013-11-12 18.10.04[ EDIT – I found more ads]

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Purpose beats benefits

It’s good to know what benefits your product offers, but really powerful brands have a purpose – a point of view on how they believe the world should be. This reason to exist can create an authentic connection with people and a guiding narrative for the business.

Waking up your street

The story behind Maybe It’s Because I’m a Londoner is one of the most popular posts I’ve written here, so I was pleased to discover this ‘making of’ trade video we made for the follow-up ad for Capital FM in 2005.

I’m pretty proud of it. Looking back, the effort, thinking and professionalism shines through. It’s also quite clear how expensive the ad was and I wonder if radio will ever see its like again – not that this execution or media approach would necessarily be right today. 2005 was before anyone had heard of YouTube, Facebook or Twitter.

Many thanks to the excellent Alex Boyesen of Digital Mixes who made this video

Virile and Viral – our blades are f’ing great

This splendid video for the Dollar Shave Club has lathered itself all over the chin of the internet and it’s offering a serious disruption to a high-margin sector. Note:

  •  A nostalgic nod back to no-nonsense times (shaving as virility)
  •  Humility: he’s rubbish at anything involving throwing or catching (this brand is reachable by you)
  •  Clear repeated branding and the dead simple proposition (why wouldn’t you?)
  •  “The party is on” – hints at peer approval and that it’s an OK gang to join
  •  Acres of humour and likeability (use this and have more fun!)

Dickens on demand

Next day the posters appeared in due course, and the public were informed, in all the colours of the rainbow, and in letters afflicted with every possible variation of spinal deformity, how that Mr Johnson would have the honour of making his last appearance that evening, and how that an early application for places was requested, in consequence of the extraordinary overflow attendant on his performances,—it being a remarkable fact in theatrical history, but one long since established beyond dispute, that it is a hopeless endeavour to attract people to a theatre unless they can be first brought to believe that they will never get into it.

Nicholas Nickleby, p.378

A viable way to get rid of TV ads?

People don’t like ads interrupting their viewing, and adverts that aren’t relevant to particular viewers (or skipped) don’t work.

Step forward MirriAd – a neat way of allowing product placement to be inserted post production.  Its effectiveness will all be down to execution, but it’s a very neat idea. Imagine being able to place ads into programmes tactically at a minute’s notice, or show ads for products a particular viewer has been researching online.

Check out the video demo.

Danny’s back

I wrote about Danny MacAskill and his amazing bike skills 18 months ago. At the time I speculated that had that video been an

“ad for a sports brand, or an energy drink, it would have been a worldwide smash”

Well, hey presto, he’s back. This time powered by Red Bull…