Tag Archives: Atom

Outdoor advertising reinvented

Advertising used to be simple; for many years you just had to create ads for TV, radio, billboards and newspapers/magazines and reach varying degrees of a homogenous mass audience.  Now the choices are mind-blowing and even old school media is reinventing itself.  Take a look at this astounding augmented reality outdoor ad for the Beetle.  I haven’t got a clue how it was done but everything from the use of the media to the execution makes you go ooh and aahh in all of the right places.  Will it lead to people going out and buying a Beetle?  Not in itself but it definitely got noticed and talked about creating a real buzz.  The first priority for advertising is to create and build awareness which is all about placement and creative execution.

Read the article here:

And watch how it works here:

If you have got an iPad or iPhone you can try it for yourself by downloading the app (vwjuicedup) and a grabbing one of the Canadian Beetle posters from Google images.

Other big name companies who have explored the world of augmented reality include Mini who ran ads in German magazines and Lego who have developed some amazing packaging which enables the pack to reveal its contents fully assembled within live 3D animated scenes.

Shameless plug

Our new website is live and the opposite of dangerous.  If you want to quadruple your sales in under 5 minutes please take a mo to pay a visit (see below for how I created a cunning link) – spot the deliberate mistake and I’ll grow a great big bushy moustache for charity!


ATOM - new website

How to stand out and make a difference

Movember is such a great initiative, it never fails to make me chuckle and as such it’s a real shame it hasn’t taken off here.  It’s the perfect opportunity to check out how silly you look with a ‘tash while raising money for good causes.  It’s also a chance for brands to get involved and be associated with a fun event.  Win, win, win as we call it in the trade.


 Multi-coloured sheep

 There was a very famous black sheep ad for Levis created way back in 1982 by BBH.  I’ve long wanted to find a reason to showcase it again and the picture below from the recent Rugby World Cup in New Zealand has given me the excuse.  In reality the only connection is sheep but I loved the enterprise of the farmer who epitomised the warmth of his country’s welcome by painting his flock in the national colours of the competing teams.

Levi's black poster campaign

When the world zigs, zag. Classic poster ad from BBH.

NZ sheep

Rugby strip for some New Zealand sheep

 Always look on the bright side of death

 I was sent this gem by my colleague Nameer Kanderian.  It is John Cleese’s eulogy to Graham Chapman, it’s in the worst possible taste and that’s what makes it spot on.  There is a moment when you think it’s all going horribly wrong but it’s a great example of knowing your audience and using humour to elevate a sad occasion to something very special.

How to get to the top of the greasy pole

A few months ago I was reading a very interesting article that argued the greatest politicians were the ones with the most serious personality disorders. Churchill for example was a manic-depressive (bipolar disorder) with a love of whisky and soda.  His extreme personality enabled him to lead a country in times of great difficulties.  Now comes news that top achievers in the world of business also don’t conform to norms.

In a study published by the journal Psychology, Crime and Law, Belinda Board and Katarina Fritzon tested 39 senior managers and chief executives from leading British businesses. They compared the results to the same tests on patients at Broadmoor special hospital, where people who have been convicted of serious crimes are incarcerated. On certain indicators of psychopathy, the bosses’ scores either matched or exceeded those of the patients. In fact, on these criteria, they beat even the subset of patients who had been diagnosed with psychopathic personality disorders.

The full article in The Guardian newspaper is about wealth destroyers, it’s a bit of a shocker but well worth a read.  If being horrid is how to get rich it’s lucky most of the world is very poor.  Click the image to read The 1% are the best wealth destroyers the world has ever seen.

Guardian image

Balotelli takes the biscuit

Like a lot of people I’ve found the antics of Balotelli (the Italian striker currently playing for Man City) compulsive viewing.  He’s barking mad, you never know what is going to happen next apart from it will make you laugh.  Setting fire to his house with a firework and then getting involved with the firework safety campaign was Balotelli at his finest.  Unfortunately he will self destruct in the not too distant future so enjoy the show while you can.

iPad app(s) of the week

I hope you iPadders all have them loaded with Evernote and are now eagerly awaiting my next recommendation.  While there are a lot of applications out there that do tricks sometimes it’s the simple ones that get the most use.  This week I’m going for Dolphin HD, it’s just a sort of speed dial equivalent where you can quickly add and access your favourite sites.  No thrills it just works and for that and the fact I use it every day (unlike 99% of the apps I’ve downloaded including Angry Birds which I’ve only played once for about 2 minutes – what is the fascination?) it gets a 5 star rating.

Introducing Screamo

When I was growing up my parents hated my music tastes and that is exactly how it should be.  However as my girls started into their teens I noticed there was quite a lot of cross over in our tastes.  When we sat down to supper the other evening and they announced they had a new band that they wanted me to listen to I was genuinely interested.  From there on in it went a bit pear-shaped as they introduced me to the band that were rated the best performers at Reading and Leeds and has chalked up a pretty damn impressive 22 million hits on YouTube.  My good friend Tony Dodds once described Enter Shikari as a bit shouty, by comparison Bring Me The Horizon make the Enter boys look like a bunch of choir boys in a continual state of blissful harmony.  Turn down the volume, hit the link and run fast to hide behind the sofa.

Top 5s

Having done well over a year’s worth of top 5s I’ve actually run out for the moment so have decided to make them a monthly rather than weekly occurrence.   Happy to take suggestions from the floor…

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The cats have been playing

A few years ago ATOM invested in a brand expert who engages with companies to discover their essence enabling their brand to become a decision-making asset guiding their every action.  Take Apple for example, their essence is ‘think different’ so they never get involved in producing twists on established products invented by competitors.  No Walkman lookalike/doalike for them, they went straight to the iPod.  Our very own brand man, Nameer Kanderian (name and shame), has built a very strong essence for ATOM given which imagine my surprise when he was caught on camera dressing up as Jack Sparrow at an Iftar staged by one of our major clients.  Pirate and agency, umm . . .

Nam as pirate

Not capturing our brand essence

On a more serious note, the full-scale of the tragedy engulfing Pakistan has emerged, with the United Nations saying that the floods have affected 13.8 million people. This is more than the combined victims of the three most recent big natural disasters the world has faced – the Haiti earthquake in January, the 2005 earthquake in northern Pakistan, and the Asian tsunami – although the death toll from the flooding is much lower. Officially it stands at around 1,600, but with so many parts of the country inaccessible, it is feared it could end up being much higher.  Locally, The Green Foundation has launched an appeal and this is a fantastic opportunity to offload all of your unwanted electronics for a very good cause.  Details on their website or in this ITP article.

Also our very good friends at TDIC (well done to Alison Carmody for coming up with the idea and getting it off the ground) have organised a quiz evening at Left Bank Abu Dhabi on Tuesday to raise funds.  The prizes are well worth winning so I’ve spent most of the Eid holiday swatting (two days for the private sector, Friday and Saturday, thanks).  Air Miles have contributed some great prizes and it’s well worth noting they have a triple points promo running through September – my iPad is getting ever closer.

It seems ages ago but I’ve recently returned from holiday during which I’m pleased to announce that I witnessed four sunny days in a row – a British record.  Suitably flip-flopped and shorted-up when my girls came across tree surfing to replace our cancelled fishing trip (wrong sort of tide) my hand flew up in the air.  Little did I know that it would involve making my way up a tree about 36,000 ft in the air and then balancing precariously on rope bridges as I made my way Indiana Jones style to the next tree (I use the term bridge very loosely).  Once you started there was no way back and at one stage a traffic jam took shape behind a young lad who refused to leap off a tree minus a parachute into a rope net that was located in France.

Tree surfing

Those tree surfers are my daughters - gulp!

Other highlights included; conquering Pew Tor on Dartmoor in the sunshine, camping with friends in North Devon, visiting Riverford Organics for a guided tour around the farm and a scrummy meal (whenever our guide looked away I was scrumping apples, plums, artichokes, tomatoes and sweet corn – only the rhubarb escaped my deep pockets), breaking my (world) record for eating Cornish pasties and visiting my good friends Anthony and Kathy Wills at their malt whisky distillery on the Isle of Islay – Kilchoman (read my wife’s review of this here).  For anyone who doesn’t use SatNav head up to Scotland, go through Glasgow (tip, follow signs to the Erskine Bridge unless you want to finish up either in Glasgow town centre or back in Carlisle), skirt Loch Lomond and Loch Fyne and wend your way to the Islay ferry at Kennacraig on West Loch Tarbert.  The Wills’ have built the first independent distillery on Islay for well over 100 years and by making clever use of the barley from the farm next door and the unique peat waters of Islay they have created a masterpiece.  Islay itself is spectacular and even better it has a brilliant old-fashioned links golf course with lots of right-angled doglegs and blind shots adding to the challenge.

Beach on Islay

That's us - the only ones on 6 miles of beach on Islay

Another tip for anyone planning to visit England, avoid the M6 car park.  I will never, ever complain about traffic in Dubai again.  Whenever you see a traffic jam on the opposite carriageway in England the temptation is to gloat, don’t, your turn is coming soon, very soon.

Everyone we met in England seemed to have kids receiving news of their A level results.  The whole country was awash with A* and people like me saying exams were much more difficult in my day.  With many more highly qualified students than places at university, David Willets, the new minister for universities in the coalition government, hit upon a novel idea.  His advice to the 170,000 school leaves who will be left without a place at university due to spending cuts; sixth formers who fail to secure a university place should start a business. Funds, experience, knowledge of the game all sprung to mind.  Imagine a 17-year-old student walking into the Dragons Den trying to sell the mass production of false identities to the under 18s so they can blag their way into pubs.

An amusing local story that caught my eye the week before I left was a report in Arabian Business claiming 113% rise in number of interviews as companies search for employees.

True or false?

Best international story, in the wake of the Gulf oil spill is there have been 2,000 additional applications for commercial fishing licenses.  Now that BP has exonerated itself from all blame those baddies at Transocean and Halliburton will have a lot of fun compensating all of the people who would have been successful fisherman if only.

More fun, penalty shoot outs as we all know are tense affairs. Take a look at what happens when a goalie celebrates a great save a wee bit on the premature side.


And talking of ‘while the cat’s away’, this video is what happens when you let loose 100 of them in an Ikea store. No joke.

No top 5 this week, simply my annual award for best Cornish pasty.  This year it goes to an exceptional example of the pasty maker’s art, Ellis’s Bakery in Tavistock, Devon which has been going since 1907.  Freshly baked on the premises, great pastry, perfect seasoning and cracking ingredients.  In short, highly recommended and to all you Cornish bakers, raise your game!!

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