I remember loads of public information films: Green Cross code man,
one with deep sexual undertones about a car overtaking a bicycle ,
But this was a more honest world before multichannel tv, before sky plus, and when men with puppies were only beginning to be eyed with suspicion.
COI still spits out some great public information films, but I doubt they get the same kind of audience charley and sexy bicyclist did. Why? In simple terms it has to be distribution. No longer is there a medium to play films over and over to gain affection by attrition. You've got to get people engaged. Horrible word, but it's the best there is. That's why creative has got so much better. People are interested in it. Engaged.
Now creativity has been woven into the means of distribution. Simon Ellis has directed a brilliant campaign for the Met (presumably through Central Office of Information?) which uses Youtube annotated notes to give you a choice at critical moments in the story, each choice links through to a different video. The tale unfolds as you click through and, once you reach the end, compels you to start again and reach a different ending. So for most people who watch it, they watch it a minimum of two times. Genius.
It's a nice execution using the massively under-used Point of View conceit to great effect. But it's the method of truly interactive distribution that's brilliant. Whether or not the yoot think so, or whether it reveals itself as ultimately gimmicky can only later become clear. Personally, I think it has a limited life-span and genuinely unusual / inspired creative will remain the enduring option. But right now, this campaign deserves bigging right up.*
Scamp is no more. It was always a good read, and delving into the comments page made me regularly pleased I wasn't in the viciously ego fragile world of advertising. It's been gone for a while, and I guess many people like me dip into if this is a blog... as suggested.
But the blog that's floating my boat right now is lets be human beings. I haven't met Ted, but he's written some of the smartest words about the future of marketing I've ever read. He was the first to blog about my favourite rebrand of the year, and despite being all, like, digital, is always bang on with what [I reckon] people want to engage with. No surprise then that he's an Innocent protege.
And all this despite the glaring lack of apostrophe that hits me like fingernails down a blackboard covered in eyeballs every time I visit.
Let us, Ted. The u is missing.
pic nicked from ted's post about Puccini's rebrand
The other blog that's made it onto the 'I'll start this just after I've checked this' list (seen on the rhs of this blog) is Mr Nick Hand's Slowcoast. Mr Nick Hand is awarded a prefix through sheer admiration. Mr Nick Hand is currently cycling around the coast of the whole of the British Isles (well, most of the bit on the right anyway - N Ireland lost out) blogging and tweeting as he goes. I was hoping I might get to intercept him in Badachro in August where I'm running the Great Wilderness Challenge, but he's already sailed past.
Slowcoast is one of the finest websites around at the moment. It looks amazing (LOVE that wood-cut banner design), and is both simple to navigate around and dead clever which is definitely the most difficult thing to execute. But best of all are Mr Nick Hand's soundslides.
Part of Mr Nick Hand's self set mandate for the trip was to visit artisans on the route. He makes audio recordings of these meetings and sets them to photographs he takes of them doing their thang. Mr Nick Hand is a wonderful photographer, so what you end up with is charming life-affirming accounts of people living rather than earning, set to beautiful images of them engaged in their craft.
Mr Nick Hand is doing all this in aid of the Parkinson's Disease Society. You should sponsor him.