Tivo pop-ups

Remember when Tivo was going to be the death of TV advertising because you could edit out/fast forward through ad breaks? Tivo never really caught on in the UK but there’s an interesting new development in the US which I spotted on www.pvrblog.cm. Even if you fast forward through the ad break (or the programme, I assume), Tivo can superimpose a pop-up ad on your screen. It looks like this:


A writer on the blog says:

This morning, I started watching Ghostbusters 2 on Comedy Central and, as I always do, paused it for a while so I could FF through commercials. At the first commercial, I used my trusty FF button only to see an ad for The Interpreter smack dab in the middle of the screen. Seems Tivo has started placing ads on your TV when you FF or RW live TV. To me, this is quite obnoxious because it takes up most of the TV screen!

I have to agree. This does look like a particularly intrusive and annoying form of advertising. Malcolm White, my old chum and former Planning Director of Partners BDDH, likened this sort of approach to a skinhead battering on your front door. The advertiser is like a skinhead who belives that if he knocks on your door often enough and hard enough then you’ll open the door and welcome him in. The consumer just thinks, the more he knocks, the less likely I am to open the door.

Building continues


This is going to be our ‘shop window’. We’re putting a glass wall here on the Hanbury Street side.


This is the first floor. The green rubber flooring has gone down but it was a bit gloomy today so you can’t really see the colour. It’s redolent of hospitals.


The second floor.


We never noticed this blue plaque above the caff next door until this morning.

According to the bbc.co.uk guide to comedy:

The Crazy Gang was a collection of zany comedians: three double acts – Jimmy Nervo and Teddy Knox, Bud Flanagan and Chesney Allen, and Charlie Naughton and Jimmy Gold – and, perhaps the most comical of them all, ‘Monsewer’ Eddie Gray, a slapstick maestro and comedy juggler of the first order. The acts had enjoyed individual successes but together they were a comedy phenomenon, packing theatres and appearing in a number of films, starting in 1938 with Okay For Sound (director Marcel Varney). ‘Crazy’ was the right word for them: their antics combined verbal gymnastics with farce and elaborate physical comedy, and it all seemed totally unstructured – lunatic stream-of-consciousness complemented by custard pies. Off stage too they developed an infamous reputation as practical jokers, and played many pranks on one another and fellow guest stars; hoaxes that ranged from the harmless to the cruel and, on some occasions, the downright dangerous. The team remained hugely popular for many years, Flanagan in particular being adored by the British public.

Seems kind of appropriate that Wieden + Kennedy is moving in next door to the home of the leader of the Crazy Gang.

Our new home


This is our new building in Hanbury Street, Spitalfields. AS you can see, it’s a work in progress. We’re due to move in at the end of the month so there’s a lot to be done. That’s the exterior view above. Scaffolding must be a sign that something is happening, mustn’t it?


This is The Bear. Our favourite bit of graffiti. We got the bloke who was painting the outside of the building to go carefully round the edges of The Bear.


This is the first storey. New raised floor has gone in.


This is the padded cell, under construction. Yes, we’re going to have a padded cell.


The basement. Lots to do here.


Some more good graffiti.


This is going to be reception.

Thank god we’re getting out of this dump we’re in at the moment (lift and toilets out of order again today) but I really hope the new place will be finished in time. Watch this space to see how things develop.

grrr in the guardian

Nice piece in the media guardian:

Honda has won the top prize at the British Television Advertising Awards for the second year in a row, handing a rare double honour to its agency, Wieden + Kennedy London. A 1960s-style animation advert, featuring cute animals and a folksy song, created by the agency to sell the new Honda diesel engine, gained the top prize at the BTAA ceremony last night, regarded as the Oscars of the advertising industry. Its catchy chorus, "Hate something, change something, make something better" sung by US actor Garrison Keillor, lodged in people’s minds to the extent that the company is considering releasing it as a single. It was named "Grrr" after the voiceover – where Keillor introduces the song as "sung in the key of Grr" – and is a parable of how Honda’s chief engineer came to change his mind about designing a diesel engine after years of hostility toward them.


It’s been a big week for us with the awards juries. On Monday we picked up the Platinum award and five golds at Creative Circle. Chairman of the Judges, Al Young, wrote:

‘It’s unheard of for the same agency to win Creative Circle’s top prize two years running. But to do it with the same client is verging on the ridiculous. Having said that, I have never seen an awards jury faced with an easier choice. Grrr (the Honda diesel ad) was quite simply the most outstanding piece of work put in front of us.’

And then last night at the British Television Awards, the same diesel ad picked up three more golds and was named best TV commercial of the year. This was two years in a row again, as we got best of the year last year for Honda Accord ‘Cog’.

So, the pressure’s on to make it three in a row next year.



It’s my last week at w+k and since I’m one of the few people who post on here and not many people who work here actually read this thing I thought I’d share some goodbye thoughts here and eventually they’d read it – russell


This is Cheryl. Hates to be known as Shezza. Hugely talented and always optimistic.


This is Darren and his hat. He and Lucy are doing great Nike stuff.


This is Emma. Smart. Energetic. Happy.


This is a small, furry dog. He wrote most of the Frisk ads.



Groomy. Mr Run London and always a gentleman.



The lift is always broken.


This is Matt. My career is entirely based on the genius Cog spot that he and Ben did. He always slightly scares me.


Mick. Head of Creative Services. Amateur magician. Keen cyclist. Nicest man in the world.


This is our Nzinga and Emma – our elite cadre of new business operatives. Entirely responsible for us being any good at new business.


Nicholla’s wall



This plate has been there for ages.


We have a higher than acceptable density of Liverpool fans


You remember how Ron Atkinson used to talk about ‘old manning it’ during Italia 90. Meaning not that he was old and useless but that he used his wisdom and experience in all sorts of cunning and unexpected ways to produce brilliant stuff. That’s how I think of Sean. This is Sean. Not that he’s old or anything.


Three small plastic dogs. They worked with the small furry dog on the Frisk stuff.


The studio – a dark and scary place that makes all the work look bright and lovely.


Neil, all suited up, and signing my last expenses.


The dog on the in the snow on the shed roof. Didn’t have anything to do with the Frisk ads.


Bike and barbie in the snow.


Nguyen’s bit of the studio is slightly less gloomy.