Cool Stuff – World Cup Special

Every four years the world goes football crazy, and brands and broadcasters are no different, here are the best football / world cup videos I’ve been looking at

The Game before The Game – Beats

An epic 5 minute short from Beats about the pre-game ritual, I love the idea of making a football ad full of footballers but not showing any action

BBC World Cup 2014 Promo

Some original work by Red Bee Media that again goes against the testosterone fuelled grain of football promos, demonstrating the wide wide audience this tournament has.

Lucozade – The Heat

An unfortunately accurate portrayal of England’s display at the world cup, nicely done and very on brand.

Nike – The Last Game

With 55,000,000 views on Youtube Nike has commercially and creatively already won the 2014 World Cup, a fantastic campaign, beautiful to watch, well written, and very funny.  Zlatan agrees.

House Match – Adidas

Beckham and Zidane, they’ve still got it

Landon Donavon: Always in the game – EA Sports

I had to include this as up until the US Squad was announced I should have been filming with Landon, but not making the squad changed a few things as the US National team were supplying the talent.  Good to see he took the news well and a good way of EA changing their creative to adapt to the talent.

Tender – Woman’s reaction to England World Cup knockout

And finally a darker side to the World Cup, fantastic performance and powerful message







Cool Stuff for April 2014

A catch up post here as it’s been a while, here’s some things that have caught my eye in 2014 so far

Young by The Paper Kites

Using 4,000 images from 350 people this is stunningly simple idea you can’t take your eyes away from

Lookup – British Airways

Fantastic idea for taking digital outdoors and integrating it into the real world.

Icons – Sunday Times

One shot, 50 seconds, 6 iconic moments of popular culture from US and Grey

True Detective Title Sequence – Patrick Claire

A beautiful and haunting title sequence as visually striking as the show itself.  Be sure to check out the article on Art of the Title for details on how it all came together

ANAR – Secret Message

This is absolutely amazing, a fantastic use of outdoor technology for an amazing cause, very smart, very effective

Formula 1 on Sky Sports

Beautifully directed spot for Sky’s coverage of the new F1 season

Unsung Hero

It’s not often an ad for life insurance can make you smile and bring a tear to your eye but have a look at this

Canon – No one sees it like you

If you have any interest in photographer this beautiful spot for Canon will have you wanting to go out and capture the world with your lense

Waitrose – Carrot

A stunningly simple and moving ad by Waitrose, with fantastic use of The Cinematic Orchestra.  This was directed by Tom Tagholm who made the best sports spot of the last few years in Meet The Superhumans for the London Paralympics, certainly a change of pace.

Cool stuff for September 2013

Things are finally getting back to normal, the shoot is over, the edit nearly done, so here’s a few things that I’ve been watching that have impressed me

12 O’Clock Boys Trailer

Stunning trailer, fantastic use of sound, can’t wait to check this one out

Everybody Street

Another trailer, another documentary and as a lover of photography, another I’ll have to see

IBC Trailer

Beautifully shot and edited

Yahoo! 30 days of change

Interesting take on a rebrand and the power of a font, full article at Creative Review here

ITV Where Drama Lives 2013

A stunning walk through of ITV’s drama output, taking real ownership of each series.

G-Star presents Raw 2013

The Power of Promotion

In case you haven’t wandered over to my “about me” tab, my actual paying job when I’m not struggling to finish scripts is a Promo Producer. Which is a posh way of saying I make ads for TV programmes. I bring this up as self promotion is something constantly talked about in the writing world and as I’ve been promoting other products and TV shows I thought I would share a bit about it from my point of view, and how this can be applied to writing.

Now you can read hundreds of posts about how great the latest Guardian ad about the three Little Pigs is, so instead I’m going to talk about something else. For the past 4 or 5 weeks my four year old son has been completely obsessed with Dinosaur Train, a show that he’s never seen. Whenever he sees the ad that would state “Coming Soon” he’d get amazingly excited and ask when it’s on. When a dated version came on he’d keep asking “Is it March 12th yet?” This is what a good promo does, it creates a desire to want more.

How did Dinosaur train do this? Let’s look at the title, as we are taught in writing the key to a good title is that it tells you what the show is, and has a bit of irony “Dinosaur Train” a combination of a small boys two favourite things in the world, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Dinosaur Rocket Train, as adding rockets as well may have led to small children exploding with excitement and then where would you be? The front page of the Daily Mail and no-one wants that. But Dinosaur Train is a pretty original and ironic combination. Now you have your show with a great concept and title how do you promote it, well Kids love catchy jingles and tag lines, ask anyone whose child embarrassingly runs around the house screaming “BANG! and the dirt is gone”. By putting the promo on with this great title, a catchy tune and more importantly showing dinosaurs AND trains, at such an early stage led kids to want more, you show them this really cool peek at a fantastic idea and they get it. Kids are not dumb, if something is bad they won’t stand for it, kids programming has to be amazingly good and original to hold the attention span of a four or five year old.

In terms of my job I’ve promoted products and shows on lots of different channels and the key for me is always knowing your audience and having a tone of voice that speaks to them. Here’s a couple of examples for UKTV Gold, a comedy channel with a very knowing and intelligent audience, at the time these were made Gold had started to move into entertainment programmes, and placing those on a comedy channel meant you have to adapt your message for the audience, and the brand of the channel. In the future Gold shifted back to a pure comedy channel and launched a new channel for it’s entertainment content called Watch.

Now these are both examples of promoting to a very savvy audience, one that is “in on the joke” is it misrepresenting the film and TV show, kind of, but what it’s really promoting is the channels sense of humour and brand, these are shows and films everyone knows about, so promoting them in this way works, it’s putting a new fresh spin on something for the audience. Of course another way to look at is I’m a professional liar and one step above a lawyer.

One of the most recent promos I’ve made is the one that’s success has really surprised me, and this is due to the power of the internet and social networking. I needed to make something to promote the motorbike coverage on British Eurosport, which is pretty much THE channel for bike fans. Again AUDIENCE, what do I know about the audience, they are amazingly loyal and knowledgeable about the sport, and just hoover up information, bike riding and watching bikes is a huge part of the audiences life, if you’ve ever ridden a bike or been on the back of one you’ll kind of understand why, you’ll either want to kiss the ground and never go near one again or you’re hooked. These guys are hooked. The one thing about motorsport that gathers a lot of criticism from people is the “Oh well the best car / bike always wins the driver / rider doesn’t matter”. Which as any fan of motorsport will tell you is complete rubbish, you need both. This promo aimed to emphasise the team nature of the sport that it is equally man and machine, and these bikes are more than machines, they have a bit of soul to them. Why? Because the audience is smart, and they get it and are tired of these arguments. This was also to emphasise again the channel brand is knowledgeable about the content and knows its audience well.

This is where things get a bit weird, after sticking the video up on Vimeo, I posted one Tweet, one facebook message, one Linkedin Message all social networks I am active on. One thing led to another a few Bike blogs over the world picked up the promo and embedded it and currently three weeks after uploading it it’s on 34,000 views. Now I didn’t put this on Youtube as it was purely to promote what I’ve been doing and have an archive of my work, whilst having the best quality and no ads. It’s still getting about a thousand views a day on a fairly niche video site, which is by no means mind blowing but also wasn’t planned in any way, shape or form. Once you get something online it can take on a life of itself if you are lucky. If you have a strong digital footprint these things can be less lucky and more planned out but only if you have something good and original to say or show.

So in terms of promotion the key is always know your audience, this is pretty much the key to any type of writing. If you are writing a horror your audience know how a horror movie works, you either follow those rules in a really original way or you risk not meeting their expectations. By all means break the rules, shatter them into tiny pieces, put them in a blender and sprinkle them on a coffee, but if you want to do something truly original and different with your writing, know who your audience are, know your audiences expectations, and no matter what, exceed them.

Geriatric 1927 on the BBC tonight

You Tube is HUGE it’s so big don’t be suprised to se it appear in the dictionary at some point.  It’s the most famous of the video blogging or Vlogging there is and if you haven’t heard of you’ve either been sitting under a rock for the last year or a crazy American Senator has tried to ban it in your state.

Either way the biggest star of the moment is geriatric 1927, he’s a pensioner from England that just talks about his life story on Youtube and is getting a huge amount of views one of his more recent posts had over 27,000 views and he just sprung up from no-where.

Well the BBC Money programme is doing a special on Youtube which goes on air tonight at 19:00 on BBC 2, and features a TV interview with Peter and has his views on You Tube etc,  Have a look at he trailer below and expect to see the full ep on Youtube soon, I imagine….

Macworld 07 – part 2 iphone

It’s real it’s here it’s a smart smart phone and widescreen ipod, touch screen (no stylus). Runs OSX, check your mail. Has 2mp camera, 160 pixels per inch on the 3.5 inch screen

Seems to do bloody everything, has a built in speaker, ipod connector at the base, standard headphone connection at the top, and you can make calls, has a visual voice mail GSM+EDGE. Wifi, bluetooth, Quad band.

If this thing doesn’t cost a fortune I’ll be shocked.