Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

Perrier and Diesel redefine #LAME

November 12, 2013

Scary is: the perversion of great ideas. Taking something noble and using it as a veneer for greed or cruelty turns my stomach. So I want to throw up frequently – when communism is used to oppress, when faith is used to justify murder, when war is sold as heroism.

And don’t worry if you’re not creative. Diesel will sell you a lie you can buy.


You didn’t write any stories, but you bought the T-Shirt, so you’re cool. Another similar shirt says “Creativity is my weapon”. Actually, if you shop for T-Shirts at Diesel, I’d say money is your weapon, 1-percenter.


It makes for a pretty bottle. I probably bought it for the label without thinking.

It makes for a pretty bottle. I probably bought it for the label without thinking.

2013-11-10 12.07.32

Perrier “inspired” Andy Warhol. No… you idiots. No… you didn’t. You amused him, at most.

And really, does nobody see through this? Warhol was commenting on pop culture, on commercialism. And here it is, exploiting him. Yuck.

‘Wherever you go, whatever you do, your intelligence will be unwelcome.’ – Albert Camus

Bad news for people who “don’t eat anything with a face”!

September 4, 2013

I wonder if Albertsons groceries were intentionally trying to freak out vegans and veggies – or trying to appeal to those who only eat things with faces.



March 13, 2012


What on earth made them think I would get it? The worst thing is that the advertiser is getting fundamentally screwed here. The conversation we were having was a humorous one about story principles, acting methodology, etc. I don’t know what the ads are about. And White Rabbit has nothing at all to do with ice cream. Nothing at all. I wouldn’t dream of clicking.

Steve Hofmeyr loves to watch you pee

December 18, 2011

It's impossible to take this for granted.

I have had quite a few “I know I’m home because” moments. Most of them are amazing; like walking down to the almost empty beach this morning with my mom, swimming around in ice cold, crystal clear water, watching penguins cleaning themselves on the rocks. Or crossing the road without bothering to see if it’s legal. Or going to buy fruit at the market on the beach – spending $15 for a box of 24 peaches, a bucket of lychees, and a bag of plums and apricots. Oh and a huge sack of potatoes. Or being able to buy a lamb curry pie at a petrol station. Or order a rock shandy and actually get a rock shandy. Best of all has been a real sense of religious freedom. I pulled my scarf over my head after the beach today to ward off the sun, without wondering if anyone would give me a dirty look. I don’t have to listen to some vibrating mental case singing “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” every time I turn on the radio. Yes, not everybody in this world is Christian. And I like that.

But then there was the trip to the movies – the side of the second world that’s not so awesome, at all.

Two of the toilets are broken (and smell it). But worse still, I have to look at the multiple posters of a racist (when it's convenient) reactionary (usually) who makes music I hate. MTN, what are you thinking?

And here's the best bit. When you sit down, he's there AGAIN. WATCHING. Freaky. I see someone decided to give him a thought-bubble.

Just cause Malema is worse, doesn’t make the kind of patriachal when-we junk Steve Hofmeyr talks okay. And I certainly don’t want to do kinky German sex stuff with him. Apparently all Ster Kinekor cinema toilets have this awful MTN advertising in them now.

On the plus side, I don’t think liberal or left wing feminists are likely to struggle with their bowel movements when they have this to look at when they go. If I sold laxatives, I’d sue.

I want to be beautiful, to be your girl

June 23, 2011

Ever had that moment when you looked at someone impossibly beautiful and thought: What the hell must it be like to inhabit the world in which that is your body, that is your face, in which you can have literally anything… or so you imagine.

It's not a girl thing.

I’m busy writing a script about that at the moment. The moment when the makeover dream comes true.

Among the discarded tennis raquets, he unwanted teddy bears, the once "have to have" but now pointless elephant sculptures, a cure for obesity. I think it's the kinky holes that do it - the vacuum effect literally sucks the fat out, replacing it with a six pack. (Photo taken in a junk store in Simonstown, Cape Town, South Africa)

Sleepless blogpost of photos I didn’t take in public toilets

March 30, 2011

I have no idea what these pictures are of. That didn’t stop me offering my opinion.

I wasn’t there. I don’t know exactly where my fellow student and cinematographer Alex Griffin was when he took these photos. Maybe you can tell him? (Here’s all the detail he supplied: “The first bunch are actually in a bathroom. Very odd. Had a sign asking not to take anything down.”)

Somewhere in California, I suppose.

1000 pictures are worth no wait... would you mind doing the math?

Decor designed to defeat pee-&-flee instincts that ensure survival of the male toilet environment.

How is this different to 90% of art? Oh right. This is the stuff most of us never look at. It it doesn't move, explode or take its clothes off? Forget it. Not interested.

Sarah Palin will be attending, dressed as a young, attractive Maggie Thatcher.

My Little Pissed Off Horny Pony of Hades

Tye die mutherf*&*er 'n the mutherf*k*&' hoodie. I blame the angry church of the latter-day hippies for this one.

Thanks, Alex. If anyone else wants to send me photos of signs to blog about, feel free. I’m keen. You may not be!

LA: How is this is not as good as it gets?

March 3, 2011

I drove to LA for a meeting yesterday morning. I felt like a real screenwriter. You know, driving to LA with a pitch to meet a director in a coffeeshop. On too little sleep. Let’s just say it – it felt real and unreal.

I feel a rising excitement as I get closer to LA, as the grafitti and wall art gets more sophisticated, as the drivers get ruder and the smog gets thicker.

The thrill is still not quite gone.

And sure, it might not work out (thought the meeting went well) but I’m just enjoying this. This is the time when, even if I’m consumed by panic, there’s still time to dream. Everything could still be perfect. And LA is a wonderful place to dream because in LA, a dreamer is never alone, although not every dreamer can afford the coffee.

"I promise you are not just a waitress" - a poster stuck to an electricity box opposite a french bistro staffed by suspiciously attractive waitrons who are probably, actually, actors.

I sat next to two old guys. They were discussing something one of them had written. On the left, two women gave each other notes on a screenplay. A few tables down, two Americans had an intelligent political discussion about Libya. Then went back to discussing a movie they’d like to make. Dreams, dreams, dreams, everywhere here.

If I’ve learned anything in the last four years is that nothing – no matter how wonderful or how terrible – is impossible. I could… find love? Maybe when I’m not looking for it, cause like, I need it like I need a hole in the head. Another hole in the head. It’s possible.

My fellow-blogger Dorothy Black ( collects pictures of "random hearts". Here's one I photographed. Spotted on the floor of a coffeeshop in Vermont Ave., Hollywood.

Or I could wind up a struggling screenwriter, working somewhere, writing something, living in a small but beautiful apartment in an area with really good fish tacos within walking distance.

I could live here. I'm a single.

Or they might send me home to South Africa, where I could… write that movie nobody here ever sees. Or that movie that wins a foreign movie Oscar. Same thing really – except then South Africans won’t watch it either.

Or... they say the sky's the limit. What was once in that building that's now leased as storage? Who's the latest porno superstar at Adultcon? And where are all these cars going to? What new building is that orange cement mixing truck mixing cement for?

I guess I hung around for a while. I bought three different colors of nail laquer so that I could paint all my nails different colours. Then I left. And on the way, I passed this writing on the wall: THIS IS NOT AS GOOD AS IT GETS.

Right now, just being near this alleyway leading to a dumpster excites me.

South Africa: The leader of Advertising’s Free World

February 11, 2011

I was watching the Superbowl at someone’s house and eating pizza and drinking beer. The Superbowl is a game in which they play American Football. American Football is a game I don’t understand very well yet. In it, men in spandex play a form of Rugby. And then they stop, and the adverts come on again.

Many brands launch their advertising campaigns at the Superbowl. It’s a big deal. Unfortunately, the adverts aren’t really good. American advertising is not very good. It’s kinda old fashioned. And all the expensive explosions in it can’t hide the lack of real entertainment value.

There are various reasons for this.
1. America allows competitive advertising: While the South African advertising industry had to come up with something as brilliant as “beats the benz” to get away with it – and still was forced to stop airing the advert – Americans advertisers can simply play the point the finger game. Which is almost as boring to watch as it is to play.
2. Americans are scared of offending each other: Not sure why. Maybe cause they’ve all seen what happens to entire countries that offend Americans. But in any case, tip toes are the way to go. So poop jokes. Cute old people. Puppies. Yawn.
3. English rules America: There is simply no equivalent of “Met Eish”. Multiculturalism is not encouraged. It is, in theory, but without encouraging multiple languages, multiple cultures will get lost. Some things can only be said in certain languages, and keeping those languages enriches culture and keeps people on their toes.

4. Litigation kills creativity: If every advert for adult daipers needs to have a long disclaimer about nappy rash, when are we ever going to get to the funny stuff? I ask you.
5. The USA has a thriving film , comedy, and adult film industry: Desperation drives many of South Africa’s creatives into advertising, rather than film, theatre or porn, where they belong.  Here, people have options.

So to save you time, here are the highlights of America’s best superbowl adverts of the year 2011.

And Xtina’s performance with funny comments. Got to say, it was better than the version I heard at the Ducks’ game I attended.

Oh, and just published my latest column. It’s all about how to piss Americans off without firing a single shot. If you get that reference, congratulations on reading the news occasionally.

Could you be a teen vampire’s school lunch? Apply here…

October 24, 2010

Hey little schoolgirl… and boy. Wanna be in our film? We’ll make you look good. No, it’s not one of your favourite foreign movies. Just an innocent call for background actors for a cool, blood-flavoured student production at Chapman. We need extras who can pass for 17. We’ll feed and water you and later, we’ll party with you. Sound good? Details below.

The producer for the film, Ayelet, uploaded this to facebook. I'm not sure where she's been hanging out.

31 October · 08:00 – 20:00

Location Corona Del Mar High School in Newport Beach, CA

Created by:

More info Wilt- a 1980’s Teen-Horror Film. All background actors will be in high school uniforms (costumes provided). 

Actors will be provided with a meal, copy, and credit.

We will be shooting at Corona Del Mar High School
2101 Eastbluff Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660-4599

Producer: Ayelet Bick
Director: Andreas Chalikias
Screenwriter: Lucien Knotter
Cinematographer: Brad Porter

We plan on a really fun day. Wrap party to follow!!

Facebook link

I made this using the Got Milk thing when I was messing around with photoshop once. You like?

I’m the on set photographer in Wilt. Cool job, right? Here’s a photo I took for use in the decor (aka “production design”) of the house where we’re shooting. It’s of the three main characters.

The actors... they all seem very nice. Then again, everyone in California is very, very nice. Is it real - or is it just a movie?

The pros and cons of competitive advertising.

September 30, 2010

There’s competitive advertising… and then, there’s COMPETITIVE ADVERTISING.

Burger King puts big tacky price specials in the window. McDonalds buys a billboard that towers over their store...

Every fast food outlet with outside seating comes complete with its own Crazy Old Guy who says random stuff nobody understands to whoever swings by. This Burger King is no exception. Off the grid at the grill...

In South Africa it’s not legal to advertise competitively. This makes for more entertaining advertising – there’s nothing more boring than a “I’m better than you” contest. American advertising’s lack of entertainment value is one of the major reasons I chose not to get cable! Way back when, Mercedes filmed a commercial on Cape Town’s gorgeous Chapman’s Peak drive, showing the car speeding along and then flying over the edge. BMW responded with an ad in which it didn’t fly off the edge, with the pay off line, Beats the Benz. They were forced to end the campaign, but it was so memorable that that hardly mattered.

At Cape Town international Airport, two of SA’s top advertising agencies showed how you can get around laws like this.

competitive advertising south africa

I originally blogged this last year in July sometime... possibly before that. The blog, which I wrote in my own time while working as editor of, has now been handed over wholesale to the new editor, Annel Malan, as if she wrote it. Which isn't her fault but pisses me off. I mean, can't they set up a new one for her? Pathetic, people. My name is now nowhere now, so what's next? She gets the byline on every article I wrote for you?