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  • seandodson 9:10 am on July 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: advertising, , , stewart lee, values of the carphone warehouse   

    Most people by now must know my thoughts on the phone hacking scandal. But I also detect a sense of ethical ambiguity in the actions of the corporations who are “suspending” advertising from the News of the World. Many of them for as much as a whole week. I suppose it must make good PR to distance yourself from a brand that has developed an infectious disease, although the diagnosis has been far from sudden.

    Listening to Tesco and Asda and Coca Cola et al “monitoring our options” I can’t quite help but sense a moral bandwagon being leapt upon. So much so that I was reminded of this excellent sketch by comedian Stewart Lee on the values of the Carphone Warehouse, which he performed in the wake of the wake of the Jade Goody racism row.

    • seandodson 8:19 pm on August 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      According to the latest issue of Private Eye. Many of the companies who “pulled” their adverts from the News of the Worlds hadn’t actually booked advertising in the News of the World. The values of the Carphone Warehouse indeed.

  • seandodson 10:49 pm on September 15, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: advertising, , , , , , ,   

    Orwell in Tribune is the Observer’s paperback of the week 

    Hats of to my mate Paul Anderson. His book, Orwell in Tribune, is paperback of the week in this Sunday’s Observer. It’s a great collection of Orwell’s writing dating from 1943-7 and originally published in the left-wing newspaper Tribune.

    From the review:

    “Many of his observations are as relevant today as they were in the Forties: the snobbishness of advertising; the prevalence of faux-scientific superstition (‘That a swan can break your leg with a blow of its wing’); the lame jokes in Punch (‘Jokes that are funny usually contain that un-English thing, an idea’); and that perennial of the political commentator, the ‘quite fantastic ugliness’ of most politicians.”

  • seandodson 6:03 pm on August 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: advertising, CGI, , , espania, madrid, , spain, ,   

    Spanish Metro advert displays a beautiful, surreal Madrid 

    A little of something beautiful for Friday: This advert for the Madrid Metro (sorry I am too hamfisted to embed the video, but you can catch it over on the excellent SuperSpacial blog). It’s one of the most beautiful adverts I’ve seen a long time and a great use of computer modelling. The city as seen from a glass ceiling (via).

    • Madrid 10:07 am on August 5, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I totally agree. One of the most beautiful adverts I’ve ever seen indeed.

  • seandodson 7:21 pm on July 4, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: advertising, , Aung San Su Kyi, , , , , ,   

    Yuko Shimizu: the high art of illustration 

    I am so fond of the work of Yuko Shimizu, the New York-based Japanese illustrator who is not to be confused with her namesake, the creator of Hello Kitty. Her work straddles the worlds of advertising and magazines and includes portraits of world leaders, including Aung San Su Kyi (above centre) , the celebrated Burmese political prisoner. The way she magically mixes traditional techniques with contemporary pop culture reminds me a lot of Kozyndan.

  • seandodson 6:34 pm on June 13, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: advertising, , Branislav Kropilak, city, , , ,   

    Branislav Kropilak: Prague photographer reveals a rare urban beauty 

    Portraying the city as if it was a huge machine, Prague-based photographer Branislav Kropilak captures images of the empty urban environment. His pictures of garages and trains and factories are devoid of people and his eye renders even the most mundane areas with a kind of magical beauty in a way that reminds you of the novels of the great JG Ballard (via computer love).

    • louise ten have 9:08 am on September 23, 2008 Permalink | Reply


      Iam looking for a Prague based photographer for an assignment. If interested please email me.

      Louise ten Have

  • seandodson 10:33 am on May 15, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: advertising, , , britain, british culture, british design, , , , folkstone, , lithography, , , st martins, visual culture   

    London poster exhibition really is the best of British 

    I’ve just returned from London where I saw the thoroughly excellent Modern British Posters exhibition at Central St Martin College of Art and Design in Holborn. It’s a fairly compact exhibition pulled from the private collection of Paul Rennie (there’s a nice gallery here), one of the tutors at the famous art college. The exhibition covers the period around the second world war and concentrates on the heavy use of lithography, which dominated commercial art much longer in  Britain than it did in the rest of Europe.  There’s also a bit more humor in the posters when compared with contemporary material in the rest of Europe and some wonderfully sanctimonious war time propoganda. 

    Incidently, Brightonians might want to click through to Rennie’s shop in Folkstone, Rennie’s Seaside Modern, where he selling this beautiful collection of late Victorian and Edwardian photographs of the seafront at Brighton. (found via AceJet

  • seandodson 4:22 pm on February 6, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: advertising, , eye-tracking, , notting hill, , westbourne studios   

    The act of beholding is in the eye of this beauty 


    To London yesterday to get a glimpse of eye-tracking, an emerging new technology being employed by the advertising industry and news media to map our collective unconscious. I went to visit Bunnyfoot, a behavioral research consultancy based in the impressive Westbourne Studios in Notting Hill, who use a sophisticated machine that follows the movement of the eye as it scans across a screen.   

    The two advertisements for Sunsilk (above) demonstrate how this works. Both have been given the full treatment: an arrangement of infrared sensors and cameras track the iris as it moves around the screen recording what people *actually* look at. You then get the image above, simple to read, with the red parts representing where people allowed their gaze to linger.

    The difference between the two images is very subtle and demonstrates how a simple tweaking of a design can manipulate the eye towards a product. In the left hand image only 6% of people actually looked at the ‘pack shot’, focussing their gaze, instead, on the face of the pretty girl.  Once the image has been tweaked (simply by moving the eye of the girl to direct your gaze towards the product) the number that landed on the product, according to Bunnyfoot’s research, was 84%.

    So what? Well from this a new kind of visual grammar could be developed, one that makes advertising much more effective at tapping into our unconscious desires. In a kind of moment of futureshock inspired by Minority Report, advertisers might know we want something before we do. If they don’t already. Little wonder Bunnyfoot’s business is booming. It opens its fourth office later this year.

    • Jag 6:04 pm on February 8, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Hello Sean, you left a comment on my pages re bus. I answered, and then came here to make a comment so you could get my email address.

      These guys should get to work on the Iris machine at Heathrow Terminal 2; it’s forever unable to scan the eyes properly.

  • seandodson 1:09 pm on January 17, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: advertising, , , culture jamming, ,   

    Cutting advertising down to size 

    Originally uploaded by the decapitator

    An anonymous artist is currently roaming the streets of London and defacing adverts by eerily removing the images of heads from posters and replacing them with gory stumps. The East London Decapitator seems to work by capturing the unadulterated images from poster advertisements, then returning home to remove their heads on a computer before revisiting the site to paste over the original image with that of the beheaded rendering. The work is not perfect, but from a distance its difficult to see that the advertisement is not as originally intended. It is, instead, a rather shocking and blood-spattered form of culture jamming. Various posters have fallen under the knife, including this fly-poster for Mulletover, the Shoreditch warehouse party.This, as my friend David Cano points out, reminds of the early Adbusters, as well as a long tradition of graffiti artists who have long defaced commercial advertisements. There can be a variety of motives for defacing adverts: environmental; politics (in this case a witty piece of anti-capitalism); or the purely purile.

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