Big Ideas from a Small World

50 cars or 1 coach. Today’s theme is art-vertising.

Posted in Going somewhere?, Method to the Madness by Ryan Thomas on May 4, 2009

Ok I think I’m gonna call this the day’s theme. Plus I have a wicked soft spot for ambient art – and you should too, almost every phone has video capture now.

This campaign comes to you via Acne Advertising in Stockholm.


Jones Soda – Still Cool With Earth Day Stunt

Posted in Method to the Madness by Ryan Thomas on April 27, 2009

Office culture is about enriching environments that challenge staff. Jones Soda did just that this Earth Day – a low cost, green PR stunt.

Only at Jones Soda could you call this a typical day at the office.

To celebrate Earth Day on Wednesday, the company rigged up bicycles to generate electricity.

“This is pretty typical Jones Soda. We do fun, innovative things here, and this is just an example,” said Susan Rozewski, an employee.

The pedal power plan went so well that the company’s headquarters in Seattle went completely off the power grid.

Jones had nine workers pedalling at a time, churning out an electrical charge that gets stored in car batteries. The peddlers produced more power than the office was drawing.

Read the whole story and see the video at

Molson – Your Beard And You

Posted in From Canada, Method to the Madness by Ryan Thomas on April 27, 2009

Molson (courtesy of Zig I think) has produced a helpful set of tips for grooming this playoff season.

Your favourite team’s loss can be a grooming win.

I love the idea behind this – what to do with a playoff beard is a topic that haunts many Canadian men in the post season.

Now all Molson has to do is push this line of thinking and own the Canadian beard market. The winter beard is a pretty uniquely Canadian phenomenon, and nothing says cottage country like the scissor trim. From there it’s a quick jump to supporting charities like Movember.

Welcome to Beard Town polupation: You

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Creative Booster Shot – Happy Friday

Posted in Method to the Madness by Ryan Thomas on April 24, 2009

David Coiffier‘s slow motion HD rugby game.

Mike Winkelmann brings visual story telling to the subprime.

Cadbury’s for the love of Wispa is insane.

G.I. Joe by Warren Ellis, need I say more?

Maciej Dakowicz has a flickr stream of perfectly lit late night photos of binge drinking in Cardiff.

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The World According To Creative – Scrabble from Ogilvy&Mather/Paris

Posted in Method to the Madness by Ryan Thomas on April 23, 2009

In a perfect world every spot would challenge consumers just enough and make the world into a more interesting place.

Yes on occasion we can make art with advertising dollars. I feel there is a mountain of products which fall into aspirational ideals that have the same draw and intellectual capital as Scrabble – combined with the geek culture of the Internet age there is the real opportunity to make actual art out of advertising.

“Of all the tyrannies on human kind/The worst is that which persecutes the mind.”  – John Dryden

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How to get away with the craziest stunts?

Posted in Blue States, Method to the Madness, Red States by Ryan Thomas on April 23, 2009

I have been thinking a lot about this.

If your brand has a personality, consumers expect it to speak in that voice.

If your brand is in the advertising media, your claims need to be true.

If Jimmy K and Mel Gibson want to make brand satire, you can break every rule in the book and talk to your consumers in a real meaningful way… for free.

I’m not kidding.

The age of Jimmy Kimmel’s viewers line up perfectly with KFC’s target market. Peta can’t touch what was said in this spot, there is no opening for counter dialoge if KFC is in on the joke.

It is, in short, the perfect 2:13 commercial. It’s insensitive, brand relevant, top of mind and honestly the funnest most socially irresponsible thing ever.

Sorta like eating at KFC.

Don’t litigate, encourage this kind of behaviour – because sometimes a whole bunch of wrongs make a right.

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Turning Crisis into Opportunity

Posted in Method to the Madness by Ryan Thomas on April 22, 2009

Leo Burnett Lisbon has a plug in for you that will switch the word crisis for opportunity.

Thank you adverbox!


Leo Burnett Lisbon created a plug-in (a device for the internet) that removes the word “crisis” from every webpage and replaces it by the word “opportunity”. This revolutionary digital tool is extremely easy to install, and allows people to replace the most repeated word of the year for the word “opportunity”.
“We want to stop seeing the problem and start seeing the solution.” These words were the foundation of this original idea, available at Here you can download the free plug-in, available in three languages: Portuguese, English and Spanish.

How ball’n is that?

If any of you web programers out there want to tell me how hard an app this would be to create I would love to know.

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Branded Dancing – Why not hire Improv Everywhere?

Posted in Method to the Madness by Ryan Thomas on April 22, 2009

Pretty Green and Initials Marketing have created a viral dancing sketch for Trident and Beyonce, but lets have some fun and track this one backwards.

Here is Pretty Green’s offering:

Which is of course just a reworking of T-mobiles dance party:

Which of course is a just a dance version of an old Improv Everywhere sketch:

Now stay with me here.

All of this really was started when brand Last Minute (dot) Com borrowed an Improv Everywhere idea and produced their airport musical:

Here is the original Improv Sketch:

I think it’s fair to say that what once started as a quirky and unique stunt style has become a full blow genre now.

It’s not enough to simply perform this kind of stunt anymore, it’s about doing it with equity and originality.

I’m not sure that Pretty Green has done that here. They have borrowed equity and really struggled to bring anything interesting to the table.

That being said when NBC got involved with Improv they made magic that was a real benefit to every brand and cultural group involved.

That is how you engage a real community and create something profound for your brand.

Inspiration Corner: Context Is Everything

Posted in Method to the Madness, Red States by Ryan Thomas on April 22, 2009

By now you have seen this local BMW dealership response to Audi’s national ad challenging the brand:


Context is an amazing thing.

So how about a McD’s ad that has something to say about being Pro-Choice?



Now I’m sure this was an accident but next time you’re looking to add value – consider the contextual surroundings of your ad.

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Inspiration Corner: Your Phone Behaviour

Posted in Method to the Madness by Ryan Thomas on April 22, 2009

Renny Gleeson talks about our love of our phones and what it says about us.