Honda Cog Wins Silver Award at D&AD

On Wednesday evening, this years Design and Art Direction Awards took place in London. As I predicted last year, the Honda Cog TV commercial came out top of the heap in the Television and Cinema Advertising category.

Strangely, there was no Gold award this year but “Cog” won Silver in the TV section and a Silver Nomination in Cinema. The details are HERE.

Congratulations Honda – it was just a shame the D&AD couldn’t see their way clear to making it a Gold – “Cog” deserved it.

Pimms TV Commercials (II)

Click here for the commercial
I have found one of the Pimms commercials. This is from August 2002 and in my estimation holds joint second place in the series with the “Hookers” commercial (the most recent “Wedding” one coming top).

Here, our hero, “Harry” meets up with a group of security van robbers in the woods whilst they’re burying their stash. Despite the security van being there, he believes they’re burying the money to avoid the taxman. One of the subtle aspects is how the robbers change from hostility to friendship – due to the jug of Pimms Harry conjures up of course. Click the picture for the commercial (2Mb Quicktime file – will open in a new window).

In 30 seconds the ad promotes the product brilliantly. Some commercials are so clever they leave you wondering what the product was; not this one, Pimms comes across loud and clear and encourages you to try it.

I’d really like to have some American viewpoints on this. Is this really how you see the English? And, I would still love to get hold of the latest “Wedding” ad’, if anyone knows where it can be found! And finally – Pimms – another plea – where’s the website?!

Pimms: Another Missed Online Opportunity

Regular readers will know I often talk about TV commercials. I have been increasingly impressed with the Pimms commercials starring Alexander Armstrong. Featurng an archetypal upper class eccentric English ‘Twit’ with no realisation of what is going on around him, the commercials are a stroke of brilliance.

They combine the typical outsider’s view of the English, (and let’s face it, the sort of character none of us can find objectionable) with memorable and genuinely funny ‘story lines’ (as much as 30 seconds can contain a ‘story’). Most importantly, they are witty, repeat-watchable and they do exactly what they are intended to do – put the product and its name across in a way that makes it attractive to the potential audience, in an amusing and memorable format. I am certain they have been very successful.

Why then, is there no Pimms Website? (I can’t find one anyway – if you can, please do let me know where it is). Here is a HUGE opportuntiy to cash in on. The commercials themselves would make superb viral marketing pieces – you Americans would love them! (The archetypal eccentric English Gent, intent on partying and mixing glasses of Pimms despite accidentally (and unknowingly) being in the company of security truck bandits, hookers, and most recently, at a huge (and ‘young’) wedding party in a marquee – a brilliant concept with excellent execution.)

Come on Pimms, you’re missing out on extra awareness, a huge viral marketing opportunity and extra sales! If you’re not sure what to do, drop me a note from here and I’ll set you on the right path!

By the way, the picture above is mine, I made it up – I couldn’t even find a ‘still‘ from the commercials on the web. Crazy!

Watching the ISS

Last night, on an impulse, I clicked on the roulette wheel in URoulette.com which serves up random web pages. Most often one finds something awful or simply boring, but this time, it served up a treat in the form of www.heavens-above.com.

Put your world location into this website and it will tell you what visible satellites are passing over your location and when and where in the sky to look and so on. (Apart from anything else, it’s an amazing piece of programming.) To my surprise, I discovered the International Space Station was due overhead ‘sleepy old Bournemouth’ at 23:58:45 BST (British Summer Time) and – it was a clear night.

I was expecting it of course, but it still seemed strange and sort of spooky when it not only appeared on time, but crossed close to the star at the bottom end of the “Plough/Big Dipper” (the name depends on what side of the pond you’re on) exactly as predicted in the starmap the website delivers.

I have to say, for a simple moving light in the sky, it was pretty spectacular. It was bright! Brighter than the stars, and seen more easily than any aircraft. It’s knowing what you’re seeing (and of course that there are people on board) that made it extraordinary.

I went back to the website and grabbed the image of the track.
Click here to see it. The dotted portion of the track is where it loses sunlight and becomes invisible.

If you’re so inclined, visit www.heavens-above.com and look for it yourself. You should see it once – show your kids!