Coleridge, Waldman on Media Week TV

LONDON РReaders are being asked to send in their questions as Media Week TV prepares to interview Nicholas Coleridge, Cond̩ Nast UK managing director, and Simon Waldman, group director of digital strategy and development at the Guardian Media Group.

Showtime: Ill Bill Vol 2

Showtime: Ill Bill Vol 2

Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, Dubai, UAE
Via: ArabAd Zone

Showtime: 6 1/2 Mile

Showtime: 6 1/2 Mile

Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, Dubai, UAE
Via: ArabAd Zone

Lexus hires The Listening Company for contact work

LONDON – Lexus has appointed The Listening Company to manage its inbound and outbound UK contact centre activity.

Lily Allen ads for Agent Provocateur to be dropped

LONDON – Lily Allen will no longer appear in future advertising for the lingerie company Agent Provocateur.

Lexus hires The Listening Agency for contact work

LONDON – Lexus has appointed The Listening Company to manage its inbound and outbound UK contact centre activity.

Unique user record for UK gaming site

LONDON – GameSpot, the UK gaming website, attracted a record online audience of more than 3.5 million unique users, according to December ABCe data.

PC World sponsors Terminator series

Virgin 1 has secured the computer retailer PC World as sponsor for new series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Ad2One scores hat-trick of website account wins

LONDON- Digital sales house Ad2One has picked up three new accounts, including one brief previously held by rival Unanimis.

Bennigan’s hires seasonal leprechaun hoser

Leprechaunspray Bennigan’s: “an Irish American Grill & Tavern famous for great food, fun atmosphere and a wide selection of cocktails.” And now home to a grumpy, hose-wielding leprechaun. That appears to be the premise of a disturbing new Bennigan’s campaign. Over at, there the bad-tempered green imp (named Fergus, sigh), as well as St. Patrick’s Day countdown widgets and “lepregrams,” which allow users to download their headshots onto the body of a leprechaun. To my ear, “lepregram” sounds uncomfortably close to “lepergram.” In fact, Fergus would feel right at home in last year’s weird-food ad blitz kicked off by Cold Stone Creamery, which made us face our childhood fears in a scoop shop. Word to the wise: If you start seeing leprechauns, your sundae has been sitting out too long.

—Posted by David Gianatasio

Until death from cardiac issues do us part

Celebrating Valentine’s Day at White Castle is one thing. Getting married there is something else entirely. What are the odds that two people who, separately, might be willing to do such a thing would actually meet each other? Consider, then, what a weird, weird scene it must have been at an White Castle in Ohio recently, when not one but three couples tied the knot on the premises. According to reports, there was “a flower girl who threw salt-and-pepper packets instead of rice,” “employee name tags on the grooms’ lapels,” and a cake made to resemble “a White Castle tray holding three ‘Slyder’ burgers, fries and a drink.” Improbable isn’t the word. This must have been like watching a bluebuck hatch from a New Zealand quail egg. The couples did get a radio station to cover some of the expenses, so at least they weren’t footing the whole bill for their defiance of life’s natural order.

—Posted by David Kiefaber

StuffIt Deluxe commercials short and sweet

StuffIt has an ad campaign—who knew? And the software maker does the same thing with commercials as it does with computer files. See a few more spots after the jump. Via AdHunt.

—Posted by Tim Nudd

Chinese feel pinch of subway-squeeze ad

Beijingsubway The Chinese are pissed about a Beijing subway ad that addresses the city’s notoriously sardined straphangers with the line, “Squeezed in?! Go and buy a car then!” A Beijing local says “the company sees subway passengers as potential customers, but the scornful tone of the advertising language exposes a lack of interest in human feelings behind a meticulous design.” My translation: No one likes being told to eat shit and smile. Other begrudgingly admits the ad’s success: “If they only cared about getting eyeballs rather than [worrying about] the impact it would have on people and society, has it not been effective?” Here in the U.S., of course, we tend to figure an ad is successful if people don’t hate it.

—Posted by David Kiefaber

Human-skin substitute gets ad campaign

Apligraf Ads for a human-skin substitute may sound like something out of Total Recall, but a Canton, Mass.-based company called Organogenesis has indeed launched a direct-to-consumer push for its living-cell-based Apligraf product. The work is decidedly restrained, contrasting wound care circa 1974 (antibacterial ointments and bandages) with an Apligraf patch, touted as “advanced therapy for wound care today.” The product is intended for the treatment of foot sores and leg ulcers, so it won’t help turn you into an entirely new person—yet. But given our looks-centric, hyper-competitive society, such claims—and commercials with bikini models—can’t be far behind. It would be the first campaign ever using skin to sell skin.

—Posted by David Gianatasio

Natasha Kaplinsky attracts new viewers to Five News

LONDON – Natasha Kaplinsky’s debut on Five as the UK’s highest-paid newsreader almost doubled the audience for the channel’s flagship news programme, with 1m viewers tuning in at 5pm and 400,000 at 7pm.

Book Review – Ground-up City. Play as a Design Tool

0aacityplatoool.jpgGround-up City. Play as a Design Tool, edited by Liane Lefaivre and Döll.

010 publishers says: Ground-up City. Play as a Design Tool maps the continuing history of an urban design strategy for play in the city. Liane Lefaivre has developed a theoretical model for tackling playgrounds as an urban strategy. She steps off from a historical overview of play and the ludic in art, architecture and urban design, focusing particularly on the post-war playgrounds realized in Amsterdam as joint ventures between Aldo van Eyck, Cornelis van Eesteren and Jakoba Mulder.


Ground-up City places the playground high on the agenda as an urban design challenge. It also shows how specifying a generic, academic model for a particular situation can lead to a practically applicable design resource.

Urban Golf (image)

The first interesting aspect of the book is that it was written by a theorist and an architecture firm both very keen on exploring the potential of playgrounds as a means to connect people together, to increase a sense of community and to improve the integration of immigrants into the city.

Liane Lefaivre is Professor and Chair of History and Theory of Architecture, University of Applied Art, Vienna, and Research Associate at the Technical University of Delft. The architecture firm D̦ll РAtelier voor Bouwkunst has developed a practice where creativity and innovation are deployed in order to tackle the design task in an undogmatic way.

Lefaivre has been investigating playgrounds for years, tracking the archive of urban playgrounds Aldo van Eyck had told her about before he died, setting up an exhibition about playgrounds and design for children at the Stedelijk museum in 2002, and writing numerous books on architecture, playgrounds and van Eyck.

Bertelmanplein, 1947 (image)

The legacy of Van Eyck pervades the book. The Dutch architect is famous for having designed the playgrounds that almost everyone who grew up in Amsterdam during the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s have played in.

In 1947, the young architect was asked to design a small public playground for Bertelmanplein, a residential area in the Dutch capital. Van Eyck designed a sandpit bordered by a wide rim. He adeed four round stones and a structure of tumbling bars. Bordering the square were trees and five benches. Van Eyck also designed the playground equipment with the objective that it could stimulate the minds of children. The first playground was a success. Many playground commissions followed and Van Eyck adapted his compositional techniques to each site.

Of the 700 playgrounds realised by van Eyck between 1947 and 1978, 90 still maintained their original layout in 2001, though sometimes equipment designed by others had been added. With the playgrounds, he had the opportunity to put the needs of the child and neighbourhood democracy at the centre of town-planning and urban renewal.

Playgrounds are hardly ever taken seriously in urban projects, at least not as much as car parking or street density for example. Besides, the emphasis is usually on safety rather than spontaneity and creativity.

Pink Ghost by Périphériques

In their chapter about “The Nature of Play”, Döll explains that There is a need for an inspiring alternative that cultivates the potential of homo ludens in an urban context. They set out to demonstrate that the city is already full of playful opportunities by listing some of the most inspiring examples of the re-appropriation of public space by city dwellers: Ingo Vetter’s exploration of Urban Agriculture, free-running, urban golf, street football, rockabilly fans gathering for dance sessions in Tokyo parks on Sunday afternoons, Stadtlounge in St Gallen by Pipilotti Rist and Carlos Martinez, a blue house, Pink Ghost in Paris by Périphériques Architectes, etc.

Stadtlounge (image)

Lefaivre then kicked in again with a long and fascinating chapter on the place of play, in particular in the art world, from XVIthe century Dutch paintings to Carsten Höller’s Test Site at Tate Modern. Another focus of the chapter is the history of post-war playgrounds, in particular in Amsterdam.

Playground for the over 60

Lefaivre and Döll had the opportunity to apply their ideal of top-down (driven by the citizens themselves) playground design in a study they realized in two urban redevelopment areas in Rotterdam. Oude Westen in the inner city and Meeuwenplaat in Hoogvliet, both defined as “multicultural neighbourhoods” experiencing social problems. They asked children to give them a tour of their neighbourhood, to take pictures of anything in their area on which they had a positive or negative opinion and to report on how and where they play. See Döll, Work / The World is My Playground.

Image: D̦lll РAtelier voor Bouwkunst

The study has received much interest in the field of public space and play but its materialization into policy and practice is still accompanied by a big question mark.

An interesting appendix is the one made of the interviews carried out by Lefaivre with 2 artists and a curator whose practice involves a particular attention to play: Dan Graham, Erwin Wurm, Jerome Sans.

I picked up that book without thinking too much while i was in my favourite Berlin bookshop, it followed me reluctantly in my suitcase and i only opened it the other day because i was stuck in a hotel room without internet. It might have been one of the very first times that i said “thank you” to the evil and capricious spirits that govern internet connections. Ground-up City is an inspiring little book.

More playground: Playful Parasites, A playground under the table, Playing with urban geography, etc.

Image on the homepage: Daniel Ilabaca does a cat balance, by Jon Lucas.

And one for the road:

CBS set to sign £60m Westfield contract

LONDON – CBS Outdoor is poised to win the estimated £60m internal advertising contract for Westfield London, the £1.6bn shopping centre due to open in West London this year.

EMI eyes revenue boost through digital overhaul

LONDON – EMI is embarking on a global digital strategy review designed to boost the role of the internet in creating fresh revenue streams from its artists.

Andy’s Market: Andy’s Grill

Andy's Market: Andy's Grill

Advertising Agency: Neiman Group, Harrisburg, USA
Creative Director: Jeff Odiorne
Art Director: Joe Barry
Copywriter: John Gilbert
Associate Creative Director: Dave Spink
Published: December 2007

Andy’s Market: Andy’s Spatula

Andy's Market: Andy's Spatula

Advertising Agency: Neiman Group, Harrisburg, USA
Creative Director: Jeff Odiorne
Art Director: Joe Barry
Copywriter: John Gilbert
Associate Creative Director: Dave Spink
Published: December 2007