Portrait of an adman

A painting of Russel Howcroft has been entered into a portrait competition by the artist Matthew Quick, who is gunning for the Archibald Prize.

In the painting, the GPY&R CEO is depicted as a fairly typical adman, leaning imposingly over a boardroom table. And doesn’t his head looks a little big?

Picture courtesy of Matthew Quick

Dr Mumbo is no artist, but thinks it’s a fine effort.

Speaken sie English?

With the NSW elections only days away, the state Liberal Party campaign director Mark Neeham would have wondered whose fault it was that the end frame of a commercial for his party, which ran across New South Wales to an audience of millions this week, contained a rather obvious spelling mistake.

Especially since this is the serious bit of the ad where candidates are supposed to declare their authenticity. Neeham has called the election “one of the most important in NSW history”. A spell checker might have been a good idea.

End frame of NSW Liberal Party TV ad

A lot can happen in 60 seconds

Here’s a decent ad for Sky TV in New Zealand from DDB.

Dr Mumbo says bravo.   Read more »

The Gold Coast – where tasteful advertising goes to die

Regular readers may recall the classy Gold Coast real estate agents who decided that tacky was the way to go with their advertising.   Read more »

The Fully Sick Rapper returns

Former JCDecaux account manager Christiaan van Vuuren, who rose to stardom as an internet rapping sensation from the confines of a hospital quarantine room, is back.

Having won the One80 Project, a competition which funds TV pilots, The Fully Sick Rapper now has $180,000 to spend on a trial show that will air on MTV.

Van Vuuren and his brother, who helped him film the FSR videos, won with a 10-minute semi-authobiographical film called Sick.

The film tells the story of how he ended up in hospital, the first FSR song, how he grew an audience for his videos, and the friends he made – many themselves isolated in one way or another – along the way.

YouTube views of FSR’s videos have reached up to 2.5 million.

the world’s largest user generated feature film, shot in a single day but individuals around the world

The million dollar flop redefines the word ‘enjoy’ with the help of Twitter

million_dollar_dropWhile the ironically named Million Dollar Drop may not have rated as well as Nine would have wished, failing to make the magic million viewers for its first outing, the network did at least generate some online hilarity with its attempts to stoke the excitement on Twitter.

The Nine Twitter account asked its 734 followers “A nail biting #milliondollardrop! Did you enjoy?”

Which provoked answers such as:   Read more »

Business with Soul

Dr Mumbo suspected April Fool’s Day had come early yesterday when he received an email pitching an interview with a Melbourne-based “business guru” called Neville Christie.

Christie has, the email excitedly read, “hit on a new business philosophy that has NEVER been more relevant – especially to advertising!”

His manta is called Business with Soul.

Sadly, the “serial entrepreneur” and author, who “was born under a restless star”, launched his first business at the age of six, and who is related to the once-famous Wirth’s travelling circus, is not James Brown in a pin-striped suit.

But he does want you to board his Night Train. And for a fee of $30,000 – $50,000 a year + GST.

His “revolutionary business paradigm” is to ensure that everyone from the CEO to the tea lady is clear about his or her “personal purposes.”

“A Business with Soul business then integrates these personal purposes with the noble purposes of the business itself – which are far more significant than mere profit,” he opines.

This is an idea he admits he has borrowed from The Body shop, Whole Food Markets, Flight Centre and others.

Which supposedly gives credability to the press release, which barks: “Business with Soul isn’t some wimpy faux religion or new age quackery.”

Ironically, what Christie is giving away for free, is priceless. Launched yesterday, Christie’s website contains a number of “Neville-isms” or “Ah-Ha!s”. Here, James Brown meets Plato.

A few of Dr Mumbo’s favourites are:

  • Mobiles at the table poison the tastiest meal
  • Decide to achieve, and we almost have
  • The successful person is the average person focused
  • Hey, quick! Follow that idea wherever it takes you

A book of Neville-isms, called ‘The Ten Second Mentor’, is available to buy through his site.

The promotion blurb reads: “Your mind will spin with wonder from Neville’s 55 years in business, and over three decades as a professional business mentor.”

Although on another page, Christie notes about Neville-isms: “It’s feasible I’ve ‘stolen’ some of these one-liners. However, I believe they’re original. Anyway, feel free to use them, copy them, and send them on – with attribution.”

Happy to oblige, Neville.

Vote for Bombay beggars and a giant bottle of gin

Dr Mumbo finds the idea of a giant bottle of gin rising phoenix-like from a pond a bit much to stomach on a rainy Monday, with the weekend’s excesses still sloshing about in the system.

Still, he reckons Dave Morawsky’s entry for the Bombay Sapphire – project your imagination competition is worth a look.

Morawsky won the first round (for Australian entries) with a surreal story about a group of Bombay slum dwellers who are lured by a mysterious blue force to the Taj Mahal.

On arrival, they are enchanted by a massive bottle of Bombay Sapphire, which rises out of a pool of water. Then explodes. Then it rains sapphires.


The use of the brand’s name is a bit literal, isn’t it?

And Dr Mumbo isn’t sure that a gang of grinning beggars heading for a monster bottle of grog is an appropriate message coming from a booze brand.

Anyway, it’s not a bad effort by Morawsky, the head of Melbourne-based talent agency Empire Management, who says he knocked out the idea in five minutes.

But he’s up against it in the final round though, when ‘Sapphire Eyes’ takes on eight other entries from around the world.

Not only does he lack any images to support his entry. But he’s a bit short on Facebook friends to drum up support, poor guy.

If he wins, he gets $8000 and a trip to somewhere special, where his story will be projected on to an ‘iconic building’. Presumably the Taj Mahal.

But if the Indian government allows a gin maker to project images, however inspiring, on their most famous building, the epitome of Mughal art and symbol of eternal love, good on ’em.

Voting closes on March 27.

Vote Dave!

Coles the winner by a knockout

Here’s a branding battle being fought out on Yahoo!7, and across the rest of the media too…

Dr Mumbo isn’t entirely sure who’ll be most cross – Coles or Woolies.

However, he declares Coles the winner in battle for domination of Yahoo7’s telly page.

yahoo_coles_woolies(Hat-tip: Ashley Ringrose)

What no fly zone?

Here’s a piece of contextual advertising where Flight Centre may not really have got great value…

libya flight centre(Hat-tip: Nick Smith)

Think big. But don’t think originally

The inconveniently named oOh! Media  (or is it Ooh Media?) has been pumping out a “Think Big” message for the last few days promoting its billboards.

think_big_ooh_mediaDr Mumbo wonders what on earth might have inspired it.


Yes. Another marketing flash mob

How quaint. A flash mob…

Happy St Patrick’s Day. Why not celebrate with an ancient idea?

Happy St Patrick’s Day. Here’s a new Heineken ad to celebrate:

Seem at all familiar? That’s probably because it is.   Read more »

SMH has its video bullying cake. Then takes a huge slice, forces it into its gob and eats it

smh_bullying_videoSometimes a story in the edition of the Sydney Morning Herald can benefit from a little more analysis.

Take this one, from today’s print edition, a paragraph at a time:

“The virus-like spread of a video showing a bullying attack and retaliation in a western Sydney middle school may be glorifying and even encouraging violence in the schoolyard, a leading bullying expert has warned.”

(The video has also so far spent about 24 hours on the home page of the SMH.) Read more »

Copycat connections

arn_logomcn_logoAustralian Radio Network’s new logo is very pretty. And Dr Mumbo likes the new slogan – “connect – engage” too.

Almost as much as he likes Multi Channel Network’s slogan: “Reach – engage – connect”.

The copycat breakfast

Dr Mumbo does like Sydney Mix 106.5’s new breakfast cereal campaign.

mix breakfast cerealEven if it did look vaguely familiar…   Read more »

Herald Sun: Our editorial space is no longer sacred

Say what you like about the Rupert Murdoch machine, it’s always recognised the value of editorial.

So Dr Mumbo was slightly surprised to see the following message to advertisers from the sales team on the Melbourne tabloid:   Read more »

An editorial review gets shitty

Robert Lukins, an arts writer at weekly music mag Inpress, has taken the expression of disapproval to new lows.

In a rant to Dr Mumbo, Lukins accuses Sunday Herald journalist Wayne Flower of “an attempt to generate disquiet among the Herald Sun readership” in an article about the Melbourne street artist/vandal (depending on your view) Lush.

Not only does Lukins question the factual inaccuracy of the piece, which he says “intentionally misrepresented the subjects of his article.” He goes after its “moral intent” too.

So what better way to claim the moral high ground than to… write a stinging critique of the offending article with a picture of your very own excrement on the masthead of the offending paper?


Dr Mumbo can only imagine what Lukins does when he likes something he’s read.

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