31 Dec 2012

Christmas has been and gone and everyone’s gutted to be back at work soon, so what better time to remind you all of 2012’s overly rich and sickly Christmas adverts. My first viewing of a seemingly-feature-length Christmas ad from John Lewis (1) was enough for me. All the mushy, sentimental ‘festive goodwill’ smeared over what seemed like an age was too much.
And another thing: whilst getting to the shops at Christmas must have been a gargantuan effort for the snowman, he only bought a hat, scarf and gloves. Despite some solid acting to mask it, I’m sure his other half was infuriated. Will we see her returning to exchange the gifts in the sales this month?

Waitrose (2) and BBH did manage to steer clear of the Christmas drivel served up by most, but their effort wasn’t faultless. Whilst the charitable sentiment of customers deciding which local causes Waitrose’s ad budget went to couldn’t be quibbled with, the ad’s execution could.
They neglected a fancy, frilly effort to instead give money to charity, which even Scrooge can appreciate. But what about the outlay for the ad space? And the studio? Credit where credit’s due, though. They didn’t spend on the actors. They can’t have done based on those performances.

Next up was Barclaycard (3)What was this ad all about then? Toys… or so it seemed until you got to the closing stages. What BBH cleverly did was present an extravagant, Toy Story-esque ad, but use it to show the contrast between finding the right gift (tricky) and paying for it (easy).
Hang on. Scrooge is being a bit positive here isn’t he? Fret not. The saturation of toys just reminded me of kids and presents, so naturally this ad was a write-off.

An interesting idea ran through the eBay (4). festive ad by Venables Bell & Partners: Dad bought the wrong present with calamitous consequences.
Now, other Christmas ads drew criticism because they suggested the stereotype that Mum does all the work at that time of year. But this ad implied that when Dad tries to take over, the house comes crumbling down (almost literally in this case). That’s not fair either is it?
But you’re Scrooge, you don’t care about fair.’ You may be right, but damn it, I feel compelled to stand up for the Dads who correctly buy their daughters toy ponies instead of the more-expensive real ones.

Finally, we come to Go Compare (5)This ad got past the first hurdle with consummate ease; there were no saccharine, Christmassy overtones that slapped me in the face. Unfortunately, it failed at the second with the inclusion of another of the world’s most annoying characters, Louie Spence, alongside Gio Compario.
Those two were enough to ruin anyone’s Christmas… and when I think about it, I am actually eternally grateful for that. Thank you Go Compare and DARE for giving me the perfect note to end on.


30 Dec 2012

Me and my copywriter Leon have wrote our very own Christmas edition of 'Private View' as Campaign does every week. Enjoy our themed (not as Henry and Leon) but as 'The Ghost of Christmas Present (even though it’s passed)' and 'Scrooge'.

The Ghost of Christmas Present (even though it’s passed)
Ho, ho, holy cow, that was a great Christmas for many reasons, but mainly for the advertising. Those big companies just couldn't wait till the big day to give me their presents for delivery… fortunately so in my case. It never hurts to be organised.
Here’s a selection that sparkled onto your screens over the festive period. We'll start with the one we were all waiting to see after 2011’s cracker. John Lewis (1). This ad was beautifully crafted by adam&eveDDB and they delivered a real gem yet again with a love story between a snowman and snowwoman, creating a lovely sentimental value. Five words from me: John Lewis, do it again.

My second present was from Waitrose (2) who delivered a campaign that set them apart from the rest. They donated their budget (thought to be £1 million) to a selection of charities through their ongoing green token scheme. It's admirable that they gave the money away to a good cause. Well done Waitrose.

The next one pleasantly surprised me (I had a sneaky peek before I delivered it). I was under the impression this ad was for a toy company after the first fifteen seconds, but it turned out it was actually an ad for Barclaycard (3).
A man gets taken around a 'Toy Story' style room underneath a toy store. He’s the same size as all the toys that are surrounding him, wanting to be picked by him to be one of his Christmas presents. It was playful with some nice humour in the dialogue. I loved it – one of my favourites over Christmas. And it didn’t get tedious, either; in fact, every time I saw it, I spotted something else happening. If you didn’t catch it, go and watch it now. It's a must-see.

I also managed to fly across the pond to the US and deliver a present from eBay (4). A child gets a surprise because her parents have bought her a pony – the gift every little girl dreams of – with comical consequences. There was a very simple product demonstration here too. It was refreshing to see a Christmas ad that approached the task slightly differently. Five Christmas tree golden stars from me.

I then returned to the UK to offload the last present from Go Compare (5), who carried on regardless with the 'Saving The Nation' campaign that DARE started, showing Gio Compario on the receiving end in a variety of situations.
It was far better than the campaign’s previous efforts and it went against the conventional Christmas ad. Let’s hope they continue their good form this year.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get ready for Super Bowl XLVII where I’ll see what 2013’s big bucks agencies have to offer. You might spot me sitting pitchside (I won’t be wearing the red suit, mind).

Keep an eye out for Scrooge's opinion tomorrow.


16 Dec 2012

Yesterday at Palmer Hargreaves we participated in Save the Children's Christmas Jumper Day. It was great fun, and it was nice to see so many of us taking part for such a good cause. Here's a group shot of us all, I was modelling a very itchey penguin jumper. See if you can spot me.

If you participated, it would be great if you shared your Christmas jumpers in my comment section below.


6 Dec 2012

I've been updating my Art Direction page (Cargo Collective) and I've added a film I did for Ford Accident Management earlier this year at Palmer Hargreaves with Paul Griffin (Director) and Ian Winstanley (Director of Photography). Ford Accident Management is a service that provides hassle free solutions to their customers who have had an accident, this film was to increase awareness about this service Ford provided. 

I blogged about the behind the scenes of the shoot a few months ago, revisit it here

Here's the film for you to watch:

Ford Accident repair from Griffin Productions on Vimeo.

If you watch till the end you might spot me too.


29 Nov 2012

Only a day and a half left of Movember. At Palmer Hargreaves a few of us have been doing it this year (I know their moustaches put mine to shame). 

It's been a fun month, very inchy but well worth it raising £35.00 for the fantastic charity so far, here's my mo space: It's such a great idea that the charity has created, and I'm pleasantly surprised how many people take part (it's huge), look around and you'll see someone taking part, if you aren't.

We've also entered ourselves into a competition 'The Drum' are running, with the winners getting a £100 donation towards their Movember efforts. If you have a minute, please can you vote for us (look out for the posing picture above). There's some funny tash's from other agencies too.

I can't wait till I can shave it off now on the 1st of December.


26 Nov 2012

Last Thursday evening, I was at the Creative Out of Home Awards (COOH) with my Creative Director from Palmer Hargreaves (PH). It's my first piece of ad work that has been shortlisted for an award, so it was an exiciting evening. Here we are checking out Emirates stadium, where the event was held. 

It was for an ambient sticker I worked on at PH, that was put up in tough locations e.g a tattoo parlours window as a welcome sign for the brand Isuzu Motors for their new pick-up truck the
Isuzu D-Max. The copy reads 'Isuzu D-Max Drivers welcome' 'A tough truck for tough people'.

Our work was nominated alongside huge campaigns for Nike, Disney and Warner Bros. But we sadly lost out to the Grand Prix winner on the night. It was a real pleasure to be placed alongside such huge award winning campaigns. Here is a full list of the awarded work.


17 Nov 2012

Sorry, I've been reasonably quiet recently. I've been moving into a new flat in Birmingham from my shared house in Leamington Spa.

I'm currently reworking my illustration and art direction pages on my website, for a better user experience, but for now I've linked my art direction page to my Cargo Collective site. I know it's been ages in the making, but now you can finally see some of my advertising work.


6 Nov 2012

In the past I've seen people grow some amazing moustaches and it's always made me envious; I never thought I'd be able to grow my own... until now. This month, I'm giving it a go for Movember. I've put my razor away for this fantastic charity, so let's see what happens. My picture is me five days in. It’s going to be a long month. 

Please can you sponsor me and share the link: 


11 Oct 2012

I was reading an article that was a write up, from an event put on by Creativepool called 'Speakers Corner 1 - Advertising is a Tax' yesterday, and the article ended with this interesting quote, the article is worth a read. Here's a link to it for you:


24 Sept 2012

Last week Twitter added a few new additions, including a new header. Rather than using one of my previous illustrations and repeating it in the header like a lot of other Tweeters are doing. I thought I'd do an illustration specifically for my Twitter pageI wanted to showcase my illustrations, rather than doing a collage of thumbnails, I illustrated a mixture of picture frames for my work to be showcased in. Go and have a look and let me know what you think.


22 Sept 2012

I was on Creative Review's (CR) blog a few months ago and stumbled across an article on CR that 'Fallon London' have created this nice little project called 'Dog Ear'. It's basically a bookmark that's created by illustrations and stories submissions. When they have enough submissions they will print the bookmark and spread them around a few selected London book shops. It's a really nice idea and it's free to submit, so send yours in and our work might be in the same bookmark.

I've always been a fan of 'Lost' posters (I've got this fantastic book with some bizarre and wonderfully Lost posters, discover it for yourself my illustration is the book shops looking for their bookmarks back, my piece is called 'Lost'.


11 Sept 2012

I was reading this article last week which interviewed Keith Reinhard. He used this quote from the legend Bill Bernbach, I found it so true and something to keep in mind when at work.

The article is a real worth while read.


11 Aug 2012

Yesterday we found out at Palmer Hargreaves that the work we did for The Drum's Fauxlympics competition, got Silver and Bronze position in The Hurdles category: Ads which manage to get around the advertising rules. Which is fantastic news. Thanks to everyone who voted for us from my post a few days ago. Both of our pieces are currently on The Drum's homepage, see below.


7 Aug 2012

Last week a group of us at Palmer Hargreaves did some ideas for The Drum's Fauxlympics competition. See details about it and to see everybody's entries

It's basically a chip shop award competition, break all the rules, never having a chance to run in reality (maybe for a few seconds, if lucky). It was fun to work on, laughing going throughout the office as we showed each other ideas.

One of our entries was lucky enough to made it onto The Drum's homepage today and the rest are on their Facebook page, which you have to vote (Like) for them to win.
Here are a couple of our entires below. It would be amazing if you could vote for them and make them win.




31 May 2012

I recently got approached by a site that sell illustration prints, and I was keen. The site is and it is now selling one of my illustrations. The one that was displayed in the London Transport Museum last year 'To Tower Bridge and Beyond' to be exact.

It's being sold as an A2 and an A3 print on heavyweight matt fine art stock.
Go check it out and buy one too if your keen.


8 Apr 2012


I've just done this illustration for one of my best friends, who has just bought a house with his girlfriend up in the city of Lincoln, where we both went to University. I'm visiting their house this weekend for the first time this weekend (now) and I created this illustration which I've framed for them as a house warming present with the date they moved in.


6 Apr 2012

Last month I worked with are retoucher Paul here at Palmer Hargreaves, to creative this image to run on all of Isuzu's pre-launch materials for the new Isuzu D-Max, a pick-up truck. We didn't want to give too much away for the launch (which we're shooting next week), so we created this background to hero the D-Max's close arrival, a little like when the judges walk in on X-Factor, but not cheesy like the X-Factor entrances are. Paul did a fantastic job and the client described the image when we revealed it to them, in the meeting as 'stunning'.

Here are some photographs of some the materials it ran in, 
via Isuzu Facebook page.


24 Mar 2012

I've decided to move my site to .com. Don't worry if you do type in my site, it will redirect you to my .com site.


14 Mar 2012

On the day I'm posting my 50th blog post and surpassed 500 followers on Twitter (thanks to everyone who's following my random links). I've managed to fix the problems with the scrolling feature on my work pages, where it sometimes decided to scroll horizontal (not what I wanted), and update my contact page too, now with my pinterest account and a few slight other tweaks too, I'll let you spot them for yourself. 

I'm busy working away at finally getting around to putting some ads I've art directed onto my site. So please pop back very soon to see some of my ads I've been doing at Palmer Hargreaves.


10 Mar 2012

Just before I started at Palmer Hargreaves, I established a brief, to ‘write a poem about broccoli’. I then created ‘The Deep Fried Broccoli’, a poem I wrote and then created using actual broccoli. I used Flickr’s arrangement options to create a gallery from a new perspective. 

I recently heard that Flickr are going to be changing their picture arrangement viewings, I'm not sure to what yet, but it might destroy the layout. So I've recreated it in Pinterest, the ever growing social site (if you aren't on it yet, join now. It's invite only still, so give me a tweet and I'll send you an invite). 

To view the poem for yourself you'll need to have 5 picture squares across and then just scroll down and enjoy. Follow me too whilst you're there, as I'll be experimenting with the picture layout options soon.


8 Mar 2012

Last week I was art directing a filming/photoshoot for an idea of mine and my creative partner Nicola, for a campaign for Ford Accident Management service, which includes a promotional video and press ads. Over the course of two days and four separate locations, with Paul Griffin (director) and Ian Winstanley (photographer/DOP), who brought our idea  to life. With the help of three great actors/actress and me as an extra too.

The video is split screen, with the right hand side of the screen being quite busy, cutting to three different scenes throughout the video. With the left hand side, being one scene throughout, of a man relaxing at home. I'll share the video and press ads when they run. Paul is currently editing all the footage together which is looking great, exciting times.

Here are some behind the scenes pictures I managed to take.

Day one - AM
Here is the first location of the first day, which is a call centre, one of the busy scenes for the right hand side of the video.

Day one - PM
We spent the afternoon in a garage, our second scene for the right hand side of the video.

Day two - AM
The next day, we were on a drive way for the third scene for the right hand side of the video. I had a little cameo role in the film, here I am with the photographer Ian.

Day two - PM
We finished the second and last day of filming in the directors and photographers studio, where they had built this fantastic set for our living room scene (the left hand side scene of the man relaxing).