Archive for September, 2009

Slip It On…..

September 30, 2009


I love this new safe sex campaign created by Sydney-based agency Frost*Design for ACON.

The campaign’s core aim is to make gay men “go bananas for condoms”.  

It’s really eye-catching and engaging which is great as the whole “use a condom’ messaging has been done for so long now that it was getting harder and harder (no pun intended) to get this message out there and get it noticed. This is exactly what this campaign does. I think so many people are getting bored of condom usage ads – this one is so bright, fresh and fun that it’s almost impossible to see it “as just another boring safe sex ad”. It also works because of the innovative approach the campaign takes and the pop art-inspired imagery which has appeal across all ages. And the tagline, “Slip It On”, says it all

Check out this website to see more:

Film Review: The Taking of Pelham 123

September 8, 2009


I won’t beat around the bush – this is pretty bad. If you’ve been anywhere near a mainstream cinema lately, you’ll probably have seen the trailer. Sad to report, you don’t need to see any more than that…

It’s the third filmed version of this story, following a well regarded 1974 version and a little-seen TV-movie from 1998 and it’s easy to see why director Tony Scott decided to revisit the material. On paper it sounds like a lean, mean action machine: bad guy hijacks subway train; passengers will die if his ransom demands are not met within one hour; heroic New York City transit employee comes to the rescue. Cast John Travolta and Denzel Washington as the bad guy and the hero respectively and you can’t go wrong, right?

Wrong. In my opinion, the film was woeful on almost every level…

Tony Scott employs his usual flashy style, with a sudden zoom or a jump-cut every ten seconds or so. Yes, it’s kinetic and colourful and some clever sound-design is employed to amp up the sense of urgency. Scott tries really hard to inject as much action as he can above-ground, with car crashes and swooping helicopters and lots of men in uniform running around. But you can’t hide the fact that for much of its running time, this is basically a filmed conversation between a man having a bad day at work and an angry person on an underground train.

The performances are very ordinary. Travolta does bring some weight to his role – about 50 kilos worth by my estimation. He’s been veering towards chunky in recent years, but this really shows that there was less padding under the Edna Turnblad costume than we thought. The crazy schtick he employs here is strictly off-the-shelf – a mixture of softly-spoken menace and sudden shouting, plus a neck tattoo for extra edginess.

And honestly, is there a duller actor working today than Denzel Washington? I know we like it when he plays bad guys, but presumably this is because we’re shocked he isn’t playing the same old world-weary everyman whose lips quiver to indicate each ‘dramatic moment’. He’s ordinary here to the point of being invisible and frankly, it’s tough to care whether he succeeds or not in his endeavours to save the day.

And whose idea was it to cast James Gandolfini as an obsequious Mayor coming to the end of his tenure? We all know he’s more than just Tony Soprano, but I really don’t think anyone buys this guy as weak and nervy.

I love movies and I’ll always find something positive to say about a film whenever I can. In this case, I’ll allow that the credits are interesting and the gunplay is pleasingly brutal.

I’m not being snobbish and I enjoy a popcorn no-brainer as much as the next person, but if you’re in the mood for that kind of entertainment, approach with caution. You’d be wiser staying in and watching an episode of CSI – it’s half as long and twice as well-made.

Review by: The All Knowing I

Guerrilla Marketing

September 4, 2009

I am a real fan of guerrilla marketing and the recent trend in the ‘flash mob’ approach has generated some fantastic examples of how well this seemingly ‘improvised’ event when coupled with a viral marketing effect can get universal coverage in a short amount of time.

A flash mob (for those of you with your head in the sand) is an assembly of a large number of people generally in a public place for a brief moment of time.  The idea being that the gathering follows a pre-planned script, such as all 14,000 people suddenly descending on Trafalgar Square in London and signing along to the same song (see link for this T-Mobile stunt below).

The purpose of this is for the event to grab the attention of passers by in a way that entertains them so much they whip out their i-pods and, hey presto, within hours millions all over the world have seen the event (or as it should be called the ‘free advertising’) on-line.

Of course any company conducting such an event needs to ensure they have processes in place to effect a viral marketing campaign that will get them maximum exposure, some of these are clearly filmed on high-end recording cameras and not just hand-held shaky mobile phones. There was something much nicer about those early ones that had a more amateur feel to them; some are so polished now that they kind of lose that spontaneous reaction look and feel and they are in danger of alienating the intended audience.

See these links for some examples: