Festive cheer

Oops, it's been a while since I last did a post so just a quick one from me to say Seasons Greetings to all and if you still need to get any fun Christmas presents, check out firebox.com as they are still delivering (just) in time for Christmas.

I'll have some of that

Omega3? I’ll have some of that.

Now I maybe pretty un-reconstructed but I shouldn’t give the impression that health consciousness and healthy eating are totally foreign to me – because they’re not. Having said this I still find it curious how my breakfast these days seems to leave old-fashioned muesli wheezing asthmatically in the dust.

Breakfast now resembles the multi-coloured aggregate we used to feed the guinea pig – who incidentally lost his appeal as a pet after about a week and a half, and then outstayed his welcome by about 3 years. Not that my breakfast has the same seemingly electric effect on my libido. Thank goodness – otherwise I wouldn’t be allowed on the bus.

Apart from the occasional Friday lapse – nuts, seeds, grains, oats, berries, dried fruits and other dried ascetica have now replaced the guilty pleasures of a sausage sandwich or a bacon roll. And this somehow goes to show how far the revolution in healthcare and personal well-being has advanced – far beyond the front lines of future featurers and early adopters, and well into the ranks of obdurate resisters skulking towards the rear.

With this and, for example, the resurgent media debate on GM foods in mind, it seems particularly timely that we have been working over the past few weeks on briefs for natural flower remedies and for foods (naturally) enhanced to deliver increased levels of Omega 3. So time spent looking at data, visiting gardens, talking to nutritionists and therapists, interrogating production processes – the usual drill – and also looking for hard evidence.

What brought it home to us is that, in just about every market sector you can think of, consumers are increasingly and quite rightly preoccupied with the integrity of what they’re buying. They seemingly go in relentless pursuit of guaranteed provenances, authenticity, assured quality, proven naturalness, carbon footprints, whether it was grown by someone called Geoff in Suffolk, and so on.

There is an increasing crescendo of desire and demand for products which can stand up to the hard light of forensic consumer scrutiny.

And yet…

It’s also fascinating to observe how the consumer’s thirst for hard evidence and proof of integrity can still, at the same time be easily short-circuited by illogical trust in received but un-interrogated wisdoms, or by their putting absolute faith in the word of friends, quasi-professionals or (worst of all) plausible celebrity.

Take Omega3 for instance – and indeed you should – it will, after all, make you cleverer, healthier, stronger, suppler and younger. And who knows it may also enable you to breathe under water, see in the dark, juggle, play the violin, and it may restore your hair.

What’s really astonishing is the way it is being added to an ever-widening range foods, particularly foods suitable for children, without consumers really understanding what it’s doing there. Of course, they understand that Omega 3 is good for you and that our bodies need it, but how it works in a particular enhanced food seems rarely to be questioned.

Do they know whether their bodies can actually use the Omega3 they are ingesting? Do they know what sort of Omega3 it actually is? Do they know why their bodies actually need Omega3? Do they know that a lot of the Omega3 that goes in one end fairly promptly leaves through the other? Do they realise exactly how much of the food substance they are consuming they’d need to achieve a recommended daily allowance?

The answer to all of these is almost certainly no. And when you start to do the calculations, the real answer to the last question is quite mind-boggling.

Omega3, like so many wonder ingredients that have also gained unimpeachable status with the cynical and sceptical consumer, has become a kind of universal truth. Good in many respects but, as a demonstration of the consumer’s appetite for rigorous analysis, perhaps it shows that things haven’t changed that much.

So then, some oily fish for lunch? I don’t know, though; the cheeseburger looks awfully good.

ipod hacks -pah! build your own phone instead!

Seeing as just about everyone knows someone's brother's mate who has hacked the iphone we need a new challenge. Bug Labs have built a fantastic open source platform for hardware (sharing web 2.0 source code is sooo 2007). Jokes aside this really is a neat idea. Practicality might intercede (just about every phone I own falls apart due to misuse so one that clips together has no chance). I really hope they succeed- it would be great to see a whole host of kitchenware developed on this concept. Toasters that clip together with your fridge - that would be cool.

Information is king

Matt who used to work with us and now authors a sweet blog on advertising HERE -that is when not trying to subvert the world of catalogue shopping. Anyway he has found THIS rather cool document about about the top 10 premium brand trends.


Rainbow, originally uploaded by t7F London.

Working as we do on the 7th floor you do get some fab weather to watch. This huge rainbow went from Liverpool Street all the way to Kings Cross. Shortly followed by full on THX rain.

'Tis the season to be silly

Ok, it's Monday morning and I have lots to catch up on but my friend sent me this festive link which is absolutely hilarious (simple minds and all that)...

Ambient media

This site covers a bunch of ambient media stunts most of which have done the rounds but the Mini idea is new to me. A very simple banner on the entrance / exit to a subway. The visual shows a mock-up and in truth it would last about a nano second in real-life, a sad reflection of our chav infested transport networks.

Nostalgia in the air tonight

Ok to make up for my lack of blogging the last couple of weeks this one might be a bit longer than usual, so here goes...

It seems that a lot of players in adland are looking back to their youth for creative inspiration. Take Cadbury's Dairy Milk, for example. Love or hate Phil Collins, 'In the Air Tonight' is a cracking song and provides a powerful soundtrack to the gorilla ad. It takes me back to my days at home with Ma & Pa in the 80's, waiting for the cassette to load Horace Goes Skiing on my Sinclair Spectrum whilst attempting to master my Rubik's Cube. I digress...

Cadbury's have also re-launched, thanks to popular demand, the Wispa (I'm still hoping they bring back the Wispa Gold). The supporting campaign is based around an 80's revival for which they have a great interactive section on their website. No great surprise there perhaps but they've been a bit cleverer than most and created a facebook application which, if you sign up, is visible to everyone who looks at your profile page instead of being relegated to your groups list. Check out the sweatband!!

I recently saw the Aquafresh animated family ad again which I wish they would show every year around Christmas as it was done by Raymond Briggs, creator of The Snowman and again, takes me back to my childhood.

Finally on this theme of nostalgia, here is a fab Mini ad that aired in early November.

Over and out!

Fun in the East

Iran collateral damage, originally uploaded by t7F London.

Never a dull moment at an event like The World Travel Market. Not least getting there, Excel is a lot further east than I remembered (past the Olympic site and keep going)

Favorite moments at the show? toss up between the Borat designed Kazakhstan tourist board stand and Iran's 'Land of Peace' beach holdall's -a must for my next JFK flight with MAXjet. But in the end we went for the set of postcards from the charming Iranian representatives. These not only extolled the virtues of skiing (!) on Iran's highest peak 'Damavand' but invited us to marvel at the glorious opium, er, poppy fields.

Kazakhstan tourist board

Kazakhstan tourist board, originally uploaded by t7F London.

I don't think they were joking, hand cut lettering included.

Top Gear show

Yesterday some of the team went down to sunny Dunsfold with our client Harman Kardon to see Top Gear being filmed. I think it's fair to say we were all pleasantly surprised at how nice Jeremy, James and Richard were and they engaged with the audience brilliantly. It was just like watching 3 friends putting the world to rights! If you haven't been already, put your name down on the list as it's well worth it.

In an attempt to up the figures this month we took the petty cash box to Bingo, unsurprisingly we lost. –but we did find a cheap bar and free pens.

Great illustrator / graphic designer

Have just come across this guy Teis Albers a freelancer in Holland. Colourful layered work and a full some portfolio of work. A good W.I.L.F'ing blog stacked with links as well, worth checking out if only to get onto the completely barking Hamster site shown below.

Gorilla ad parody

Vic wrote a post a few weeks back on the Cadbury's gorilla ad which has been taking the nation by storm, and we thought it was great how they put a message to our rugby boys on the drum kit during the world cup. Further to this, there are around 25 parodies floating around on YouTube and Philip's favourite is of course...the Wonderbra version - quelle surprise!

Speaking of Cadbury's, the Wispa has been re-launched which pleases Vic and myself greatly! I just hope they bring back Wispa Gold.

This week it's all about...energy tablets

To overcome the inevitable mid-afternoon lull here on the 7th floor, we're going to swap cupcakes and chocolate bites for...Dextro energy tablets. Much healthier and should keep us awake! Please take note Mr T (aka 'the Feeder').

Quick buy a lottery ticket!

Not that we spend all day looking out of the window BUT today we've had six, yes six magpies flying around outside our windows. Now as any one from the UK in their 40's knows that means GOLD!!!!! -even if my parents made me watch Blue Peter.

Designer Death Match

wooah this is really great. Mark found this event for a head to head graphic design face-off a few weeks ago at The Old Truman Brewery. Called Cut & Paste the idea comes from New York where the first event took place in 2005. -the 2006 winners are HERE. Each designer has to go head to head in a 15 minute round of intense creation, simple knock out rules until the winner emerges blinking slightly into the spotlight. I think this is a really top idea, real shame we missed it. -next year, just you wait. -Cool Hunting did a bit on the September event in Boston HERE

Great site shame about the colour

Came across this fascinating site for amateur photographers: Woophy. Plonking photos on maps is hardly new but this does it with such style and grace it draws you in. My only gripe being the colour while a logical choice (the world = Green) I find it not a little unsettling, all those years of colour theory coming back to haunt me either that or the Dutch collection behind it have been getting way too mellow.

Pure genius

October 18th, 2007


This is absolutely brilliant! O2 have set up a group on Facebook called ‘The Battle for the UK’s Favourite University’. This ties in perfectly with their ‘Favourite Placecampaign and instead of going on about how great O2 is, it is encouraging people to get together and chat about how fantastic their university is, why it’s more fun than others, what’s cool etc. The more Facebook activity a uni has, the more points it earns. The uni with the most points at the end of it will win a £50k party. Currently there are 75,814 members, with 1,203 discussion topics and 2,651 wall posts. You need to have a facebook profile to look at it but if you have one, check it out here. So simple, yet so clever. Come on Exeter!!


yup, web site is still delayed but heh, we've got badges!

October 17th, 2007

yup, web site is still delayed but heh, we've got badges!


A great station (almost)

October 16th, 2007


The new St Pancras looks stunning, although it should be said with only a handful of weeks left before opening there is a lot still to do, as evidenced by a huge number of scurrying blokes in Hi-Vis jackets seen today. I find large railway stations deeply romantic, something about sudden travel and impulsive actions. I've travelled most of Europe by train and despite our best efforts to get everyone off to the States via MAXjet trans-continental train journeys still have a lot to offer.

Punk's not dead

October 16th, 2007

Robert and myself spent the morning in Derby talking with our new client the teenage fashion brand; Golddigga. A fantastic chance find of a pub for lunch was the Victoria Arms. Old school punk / metal live venue and seller of extremely well kept real ale. One room is lined with photos of the bands who’ve passed through, from the just before making it (Snow Patrol ‘03) to the ‘my god are they still playing?’ (UK Subs ’07 – how old is their singer Charlie Harper? – I was a teenage punk when i first met him at the London Lyceum during a Damned gig in 1979!)

I love these ads

October 16th, 2007

I’m sure most of us have seen the gorgeous Sony Bravia ads with the balls bouncing around San Francisco, the paint shooting up some buildings in Glasgow, and the latest execution which shows play-doh bunnies frolicking around New York. But what about an ad that has been made especially for Egpyt? It shows thousands of coloured cotton reels being thrown down one of the pyramids – check it out here.


Media placement

October 15th, 2007

The West London Clinic
We are running a bunch of classified ads for our new client The West London Clinic this month. The art department at Vogue have obviously got far too much time on their hands - our ad being rather neatly placed to fit with another. There is a branding campaign coming soon and a new web site in the offering.

Sport fever...

October 8th, 2007

...gutted. What more can I say? Two very close games for the All Blacks and for Scotland but we just weren't good enough. I think I'm going to have to temporarily move the Scotland flag from my desk.

Now all eyes are on England and fingers crossed they can do it again.


Stunning photography

October 4th, 2007

Our chums over at KB49 came across this collection of photos of the space-shuttle crew in action. The normal nature of it all is jaw dropping. - Mind you I half expected to see Google earth symbols appear in the background.


Sport fever

October 4th, 2007

It's all hotting up in the office. With an exciting weekend of Rugby World Cup action almost upon us, there are some 'discussions' going on in the office. Philip is adamant that Scotland are going to be packing their bags on Sunday (I don't disagree that it would take a minor miracle for us to stay in the tournament) but it's the huge grin on his face when he says it that gets me! Monday morning in the office will be certainly be interesting...

I'm off to Cardiff on Saturday for the All Blacks v France game and we're hiring a bus to take a load of us there. The plan is to stop off along the way for a spot of lunch while watching the England v Australia game (how exciting will that be?!) and then to Millennium Stadium which will be an experience in itself. Going out with a Kiwi, I guess I'll be supporting the All Blacks even although I watched them beat us at Murrayfield recently. I don't think the 35 All Black supporters I'll be travelling with will let me support anyone else.

And so onto football. Well, what can I say? Have you seen the Group B results table for the European Cup qualifiers?

European Championship Qualifying : Group B Table

Who would have thought/predicted/dreamt that fine looking set of results? Us Scots aren't kidding ourselves that it could all turn around very easily, but we're quietly proud that we've got this far.

Rangers Football Club did us Scots proud on Tuesday night too. Lyon (French Champions) 0 - 3 Rangers FC. And although it pains me to admit, Celtic also did rather well last night. So, is Scottish football starting to be taken more seriously again? Philip mentioned this morning that he's going to take a much more active role as a Celtic fan now that they're doing well (fairweather fan methinks). I'm not sure if this is due to his secret love of Celtic or to wind me up!


neat menu

October 3rd, 2007

The ever fruitful Stumble turned up this rather smart polish site: Sadowski with some neat tree menu ideas. Good for a quick 5 minutes of WILFing. The Christmas cards from a bank being a particularly good example.

Beautiful and interactive

October 1st, 2007

Possibly the most striking creative that has stuck in my mind of late is the ‘Rhythm of lines’ Audi campaign. I’ve seen this in press, TV and online, and the online version is interactive so you can create your own beautiful rhythm of lines!

On a similar theme, you can create your own flowers and build a garden through zefrank's blog. I am a Facebook addict and it’s currently being overtaken by applications like this but not as fun as this one.


More office bounty

September 28th, 2007

Spent all day yesterday in Geneva talking with IATA. Being in Switzerland meant only one thing for the rest of the office.

Normal service resumes

September 26th, 2007

I'm back from the States, Vic's home from north of the border and Fiona's rejoins from Portugal. Even Nick and Robert are in.


I'm back!

September 25th, 2007

Just got back from a fortnight away in the sunshine and am already suffering from mild SAD thanks to the good old British weather. Ah well, plenty on here at the ranch to keep me occupied, and we’re shortly off to take advantage of the current rainbow lunch offer at Yo! Sushi - hooray!


everyone's talking about...

September 21st, 2007

Well, rather ashamedly this is my first post but I've managed to work out how to do it all by myself! It's been a quiet week in the office with both Philip and Fiona away so I've had some time to figure it out...

Anyway, everywhere I turn I hear people talking about 'the gorilla ad'. Whether you love it, hate it or find it just plain bizzare it's certainly got a reaction and plenty of coverage for Dairy Milk! A very interesting turn from their standard 'feel good' ads and I personally think it's fantastic. I wonder if advertising has to get more and more bizarre in order to cut through all the standard noise and wallpaper? If you haven't seen it, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbLr2NEV_7o

p.s. We're hoping that Philip will bring back some NY chocolate. Our tuckbox is empty.

Deep in New York

September 20th, 2007

Yup its all one long run of meetings, tough but someone has to


Not leaving on a jet plane

September 17th, 2007

ah, well, we were going the States, currently sat in the lounge at Stansted while a bunch of blokes in hi viz jackets crawl all over our plane. mmm this might take a while.

Victoria’s in charge

September 14th, 2007


Right! Robert and myself are in the States next week that puts Victoria in charge of the blog - you have been warned

Music discovery2

We are in the middle of development of a fairly epic new music application. Apart from some fairly nail biting deadlines all is coming along sweetly -thanks in no small part to a bunch of very bright folks in South Africa doing the programming. One rather cool by product has been finding loads of other groups working on similar types of ideas. Just come across one llama fun to use with some nice quirks. Only grumble is its range of UK bands is a bit poor.

llama Philip's Llama

Heart warming

September 7th, 2007

Exciting brands surprise

September 6th, 2007

pod heaven

oooh how much do i want one. Brands that delight and surprise get my vote every-time. Apple can be forgiven any amount of battery pain by simply offering up a new product like yesterdays revamp of the ipod range. Suddenly the anger over the collapsed hard drive of my old ipod is dissipated by the thought of owning one with WiFi. Yup the Starbucks link is teeth grating but like Mac battery life I can live with that. Should I wait till the UK launch? No chance ! I'm off to NYC via MAXjet with a pocket full of cheap dollars and an innocent smile for HM customs on my return.


Good brand good service

August 29th, 2007


One our favorite lunch options is Hummus Bros, uncomplicated food, (hummus/pitta/topping/chilli sauce served in a fast and efficient manner by staff who care. You even get a free badge. The web site is a little crude, a simple flickr or Facebook group might have been more appropriate. But overall proof as ever, Good Service = Good Brand.

Summer project

August 29th, 2007

Student unlocks an iphone. Top work fella, US student spends the summer with his buddies hacking an iphone. Then swops the results for a Nissan 350Z and a clutch of new iphones courtesy of Certicell. (after ebay dicked about with his auction). heart warming that no ransom for cash was involved. Beats the standard summer McJob options.

Top meeting

August 24th, 2007

Yesterday Robert and myself had a great meeting with the MD of a large drinks company. people who work in the booze business always seem so unnervingly jolly, Confirming yet again why I've never specialised in the financial services business. Added bonus was the venue. The top floor restaurant at The British Museum, just over the road from the office, Charming staff and a sort of Asian fusion menu. They have a couple of tables tucked away from the main room on a kind of balcony, really very pleasant place to while away an afternoon.


August 22nd, 2007

We had another pitch yesterday for a range of garden products. Philip came suitably attired – imagine this image all over a suit and that will give you an idea of what he was wearing!


Hopefully they won’t forget us then!


Where have all my friends gone?

August 14th, 2007

There are so many social networking sites around now and I am personally hooked on facebook, managing to waste away hours at a time wilfing around the site. There is now (hilariously) a new range of anti-facebook type sites, which ‘prevent stupid people contacting you’!!!




Fantastic – it was only a matter of time!


Jock 2.0

August 14th, 2007

Whilst some of the team were living it up at Simpson’s on the Strand, I was checking out tartanmaker, found by Philip of course! Check out my (stunning) creations:


How does Philip find out about all these sites? Anyway, hours of fun to be had but my attention is needed elsewhere as we're just about to kick off another round of travel advertorials.


Last week

August 13th, 2007

Varied is how we like life. I began last week in a tent at the Big Chill festival, On Thursday I was enjoying a most agreeable breakfast meeting at Simpson's on the Strand. Friday I spent all day with teenagers at the Underage festival in Victoria Park.

We also said goodbye to Matt last week, which was all rather sad, we all wish him the very best of luck.


Philip bar big chill
Photo shows the perfect festival experience for the over 30's, sat in a deck chair reading the Sunday papers, enjoying the sponsors beer, while listening to heavy dub floating across the fields.

Digital Future

August 3rd, 2007

I was reading an article about digital and the future earlier and came across Graffiti Research Lab. Some really interesting ideas and designs which can’t fail to capture your eye….new ways of expressing creative concepts whilst interacting with consumers. Digital is a vast sector with doors opening everyday to new technologies and it’s great to be a part of.

I’m afraid I can’t take credit for finding this. Thank you very much to Will Rolt at LBI.Smith Sane

Posted by Matt.

Luxury brands & older consumers

In an era of unstable economies, rising interest rates and a slowdown in consumer spending, luxury goods companies seem to remain largely unaffected; the simple reason that the affluent consumers continue to spend.

Whereas the average citizen may find a tight squeeze on outgoings when mortgage rates go up, the wealthy consumer will continue to shop as before. Luxury goods are said to have high income elasticity of demand: as people become wealthier, they will buy more and more of the luxury good.

According to the IGD the number of over 65-year-olds will grow by 153% in the UK between now and 2050 and will have serious spending power.

Think about it…it’s obvious. The kids have left home and the mortgage is almost paid off. They are simply looking to indulge!

Every ad agency should be bending over backwards to obtain luxury brands to work with.

Posted by Matt.

Dating Site for BRANDS

August 2nd, 2007

Touchdown-Marketing agency has launched BrandMine, a dating website....for brands. A really novel idea, a middleman who finds you the perfect match.

It basically creates 'dates' and 'marriages' between like minded brands with the travel industry one of the leading sectors that is being targeted by non-travel brands at present.

Good news if one of your clients is an airline operator.

Read the full article on Netimperative.

Posted by Matt.

NOPATTERN / Chuck Anderson

July 26th, 2007

I came across Chuck Anderson whilst searching netdiver.net. An awesome display of neon lighting.


I especially like his work for Absolut Vodka in 2004. Fantastic imagery and colour used to highlight different flavoured Vodka. It really captures your imagination!


Marketing: Friends now as important as brands

July 24th, 2007

The other day I blogged about how brands need to engage in social networks and understand their audience. Following on from this I came across a recent lifestyle research report, commissioned by MTV, Nickelodeon and MSN, due for release today (July 24). It shows that today's under-20s really just value technology as a means to being more connected with friends. It's about gossip, flirting and the latest music, not about the virtual reality of Second Life, which currently is being criticised in the US press.

What youths do care about is feeling part of a community, building an individual identity and being entertained. If a mobile phone, IM or a page on Facebook or MySpace helps, then great. The dramatic change today is that youths never stop communicating with each other.

What does this mean for brands eager to take a share of the kids' pocket money?

The main lesson is that outsiders (brands) need to get pulled into the conversations that youths are involved in. They cannot interrupt the discussion or force their way in, but provide the youth with reasons to bring them up in their conversations, hence why 'Friends are now as important as brands when it comes to marketing.'

I've noticed a trend of upcoming bands, budding artists with little or no cash operating MySpace/Facebook profiles. A trend which will only grow and be of beneficial use in the long-term.


Marketers missing a trick with Social Media

July 20th, 2007

A really interesting article on Netimperative titled 'Marketers missing a trick with Social Media.' According to a new report 'The 2007 Social Media for Brands' commissioned by search marketing agency Tamar, 6 out of 10 British consumers would be willing to interact with a brand on social networks if offered the right incentives, discounts and special offers. Key findings were:

  • More than three quarters of social networkers actively comment on brands

  • Negative comments put off 1 in 2 consumers with travel brands most at risk from user generated comments

  • Befriend, don't banner

In summary, understanding how your brand is talked about in the social media network is key to targeting consumers.

To read the full article, please click here

Posted by Matt.

I've got a budget and I'm gonna use it!

July 13th, 2007


How to sell a TV production brand. Oh my, did the boys and girls at HBO have fun with someone else's money (BBDO and Big Spaceship spending between them $7 - 10 million to get it done) THIS is the most amazing use of cross media to push a media brand i've seen. Everything from street screenings, blogs, faq, even phone numbers plus of course youtube previews. What I really like is that it could so easily have been a cliptastic experience but has ended up as an exercise in lateral utilisation of the media platforms its broadcasted on. HBO as a brand in the UK is so linked to certain key shows, but here you get much more a sense of what the brands values are. Detail, Realism, Risk and audience reward. While i have seen notes about Voyeur on other sites, big thanks to Ashley Ringrose at Bannerblog for a fullsome review of the idea. Further thoughts on this HERE

Football Superstars

July 13th, 2007

Football Superstars

Whilst doing some sports research for a drinks company the other day, a colleague, Mike Condon, told me about this fantastic new game set to launch Spring 2008. This game (Football Superstars) would interest any male under the age of 30 who loves football. A cold shivers running down my spine just thinking about it. A game that incorporates second life and pro evo....in other words you get to live life, virtual, like a footballer.

Football Superstars will capture both the magic of the beautiful game on the pitch and also bring football lifestyle elements like fame, fortune and glory to the table. The creators say "We're hoping to capture the game's passion and bring it together in a virtual world where players can literally live, breathe and eat football." Needless to say, any university students that have aspirations for a 1:1 degree and loves football don't stand a chance!


Football Superstars is a massively multi-Player online (MMO) game based on the immensely popular sport of football. Football Superstars is the first MMO to recreate the game of football and its associated lifestyle. Thousands of players within a huge online persistent world compete to become a football superstar leading to on- and off-pitch glory, fame and luxury.

You control one player, rather than an entire team and develop your player’s career from your first days at a football academy all the way towards stardom as a member of the first team of a successful premier club. Along the way you must train, develop your talent, learn new skills, tricks, abilities and use these new found abilities on and off the pitch to further your football career.Interact with a world full of real human opposition, make allegiances, form clubs, create private competitions, or just show off with a kick-about with friends on the beach. Communicate with any other member of the game world using headsets or in-game chat.

Ultimately you can enjoy the glory and fame of playing with the best players in the world, competing in a faithful representation of leagues, cups and eventually even the glories of the world cup.

Posted by Matt.

Web trend map 2007

July 13th, 2007

webmap.jpg The 200 most successful websites on the web, ordered by category, proximity, success, popularity and perspective. mmm very Friday friendly bit of research time killer. Very very cool interactive version here

Found on the Information Architects site; map by Oliver Reihenstein. via a link from Greg Verdino blog, which in turn came via Charles Arthers blog -(championship level WILFing today)

July 10th, 2007

Just found this during our hunt for a flash based menu system, its like Wow! Full on physics engine that maps movement. doesn't fit what we were after but, wow anyway. Designed by the far too clever Andre Michelle who has a whole bunch of other stuff here.

oooh map mash-ups

July 5th, 2007

Mother of all clouds

July 3rd, 2007

mother of all clouds

While parts of the Midlands are still under water, we get CGI effect storm clouds over the office. 8mins of rain, a bit of rocking thunder, then pah! its gone, guess the FX budget got spent in Doncaster. pretty all the same.

Coca-Cola online banner ad

July 3rd, 2007

We have just come across this superb business to consumer banner ad produced by Juxt Interactive for Coca-Cola. It's a lovely piece of interactive design that engages the consumer at the point of browsing. The campaign is integrated with another form of communication - pinball. Can you beat my score of 27,000....needless to say I wasn't trying hard! (Matt 'busy honest' Kelly)

Where's Blackie?

July 2nd, 2007


A few weeks ago, we told the world about our resident blackbird, Blackie, who sits on the ledge outside Mark's desk and sings sweetly. We haven't seen him in almost a fortnight now and wonder where he's gone. Perhaps he's seen sense and flown the nest to a warmer location...

Internet Umbrella

June 29th, 2007

Rainy days will never seem as dull again thanks to a new internet umbrella by pileus. Pileus is an umbrella connected to the Internet to make walking in rainy days FUN! It has a large screen on the top surface, a build-in camera, a motion sensor, GPS, and a digital compass. The high-tech brolly allows you to take pictures with a built-in camera. These can be uploaded to Flickr (a photo-sharing website) via a wireless internet connection and within two minutes you can watch downloaded photo-streams on your umbrella screen with a simple wrist-snapping movement.

Invented in Tokyo the Pileus umbrella also has GPS and a digital compass, which uses Google Earth to help you navigate yourself around the world. They are working on incorparating a video camera as well.

The project started out as academic research at Keio University in Spring 2006, but now Pileus LLC is keen to make it a money-spinning venture. No word yet on how much the umbrella would cost, but it is likely to be very expensive.

Just don’t leave it on the tube.

Interactive Billboards

June 29th, 2007

Interactive Paper

A few months ago I came across a prototype billboard allowing customer interaction. Fantastic idea…but never heard anything again until now!

Swedish scientists are to introduce what might be the future of billboards - interactive paper. While many are already familiar with digital pens, this type of “circuitry” paper is quite different. It is responsive to a human touch - the images displayed can change, or play a sound once a certain area on the surface is pressed. And so, boring sheets of paper can turn into interactive, and therefore, more attractive displays, inviting the user to have a closer look.

The billboards are made almost entirely from paper materials, making them cheap to assemble, and easy to recycle, says Gulliksson. "We've used the roll-to-roll methods used by industry to process paper materials."

To make the paper surfaces interactive, the team screen prints patterns using conductive inks containing particles of silver that overlap, allowing a current to flow.

The researchers behind this project call their invention “Paper Four”. This fourth generation of paper, they say, is the next step in using it after printed books, packaging, and hygiene. Because the smart paper contains three layers - an outer layer with the printed design and text, a middle layer containing the conductive inks, connected to a power supply, and a third one made of thick cardboard material - one can easily replace the middle layer, thus changing the billboard’s functionality, and making it respond differently.

These kinds of responsive, smart-paper billboards can be applied to a number of industries: think about an advertisement to any store, on which you can explore the specific item you are interested in, or billboards for holidays, playing music and repainting themselves once triggered by a human touch. I see collaboration with Google maps and London transport.

There are endless opportunities for ad agencies.

worried about Fiona

June 28th, 2007

Breakfast can be a confusing array of choices in any office (coffee or er coffee), but we feel Fiona's gone for broke this week.


Lazy signage

June 28th, 2007

cj-sign2.jpg cj-sign.jpg

Hi, it's Fiona here. As Philip and I meandered back after the cricket to the paradise that is SW11, we noticed this signage at the station. Now, I'm not a creative but even I can see this is rubbish. There are several points that should be made:
1) none of the signs line up - not even in a post-modern, cool random way.
2) the top MIND THE GAP sign is covering part of the FIRE EXIT sign. I can feel myself getting cross again. This is pure laziness. Why does the sign-installer not care?
3) there are TWO MIND THE GAP signs. Perhaps the top one (at eye level) is for your average Joe Public, and the lower one is for all the people who have had too many blue drinks at Infernos or the Grand and are crawling across the platform in a vague attempt to get home. I guess we'll never know...

ps, I know the pictures above don't line up - just thought a little irony might be appropriate!!

Clever stuff found

A whole bunch of research (and general W.I.L.F.ing**) for a tourist authority we are designing a new web portal for has resulted in a range of rather interesting found links.
Great picture viewer here = letstakepictures
Top navigation and cool music = Konspiracy
Great illustrations = Overmode
Nice menu and navigation = Leitwerk
Clever design company = Upwithg
Another design/web cleverness = Soleilnoir.net
Bunch of rather smart creatives who work at the above = Creaktif
Good info, articles and links = lastickerie
Small but perfectly formed site (its about Burmese cooking) = Hsaba
Finally an almost Last.fm, MTV.com type cross over = musicmesh


"Wilfing" - or surfing the web without any real purpose

"The tendency to wilf is more prevalent among men than women, the poll found. Gazing at a succession of pointless web pages also appeared to be the preserve of the young, with people aged 55 or over being three times less likely to browse absent-mindedly than those under 25.

"The time-consuming practice appears to have destructive effects too: a third of males admitted that wilfing has a damaging effect on their relationship with a partner." Guardian.co.uk

Splendid day

June 27th, 2007

In a rather charming reversal of the traditional agency entertaining client masquerading as sales pitch, our new client invited us to a day at the cricket in his box. Ebullient entertainment. All in all it was quite an experience (oh and Surrey won)

Fiona loves her TEA

June 15th, 2007

Back in December we had our annual Secret Santa and our receptionist was presented with her very own mug - complete with a picture of a naked man in all his glory! Our receptionist felt it was rather unsavoury so we decided to make Fiona's tea in it every day. She has now adopted the 'willy mug' on a full time basis but the gag has backfired as the offending picture faces outwards!!

Fiona’s Mug

Blackie - a new member of the team

June 15th, 2007

We are proud to welcome a new addition to the 7th Floor team, Blackie. He has become so popular that we can't stop talking about him. Blackie's a frequent visitor to our window ledge. He loves singing us his rendition of the British 'National Anthem.' He is a real entertainer!

We often think about inviting Blackie for a team drink after work, but due to these strict drink-flying laws in place, we'd rather not risk losing a valuable team member!

When you're next up on the 7th Floor, look out of the window and you may see Blackie hovering around looking to entertain YOU.


Effectiveness of online

June 15th, 2007

While the others ponced around like extras from ER (see below) I was adding to our collection of like minded clients (posh lingerie, plastic surgery) by opening up discussion's with a teenage fashion brand (!) We also have had further the discussions about effectiveness online. Kieron Matthews IAB's head of marketing has written a fab paper called "is branding best and are click throughs through?" Which ponders brand engagement as part of a wider campaign rather than being a slave to CTR.

Cosmetic surgery meeting

June 15th, 2007


Some of the team went to visit our new cosmetic surgery client at their hospital yesterday. Here are two of our account handlers in 'greens' just before being shown around the theatre area.

Banner ads as branding

May 23rd, 2007

We have been discussing the changing role of banners and sky scrapers recently. Click thru' rates are so low at present the old purpose of a banner ad to generate clicks appears out dated. Question is what are they for? Well, rather a lot of debate about their value as branding tools. Subconsciously building a warm feeling about a brand via repeated but not insistent viewings. This was all a hunch really in conjunction with Genna at AW Media, until Kevin sent me this great article "The Mere Exposure Effect" by Xiang Fang a professor at Oklahoma State University. In it he talks about evaluative judgements and perceptual fluency. Press release about it HERE. Very interesting to consider when looking at the true value of online brand spend. John Timmer at Ars Technica also covered it. A follow up should be posted on Piehead as well.

Never a dull moment

Currently rather busy on the 7th floor, getting ready for a meeting with a leading plastic surgery brand, while still trying to think about a 'big idea' for the lingerie company Matt's getting all excited about. oh and yesterday we spent the afternoon at The London International Wine & Spirit Fair.


May 21st, 2007 ·

Two of our colleagues are just off to a meeting with a top end lingerie brand.

An overly excited male’s fascination with Lingerie.