Mamma mia. Here I go again…

I was fortunate enough to spend time with a good friend last night who was over for just a few days from Singapore. She’d wangled some free tickets to see Mamma Mia, so after a pre-theatre nibble at Dishoom (which is a must visit if you haven’t been), we trot off to the Prince of Wales theatre.

One to avoid.

Now, I’ve seen Mamma Mia at the theatre before. And the film. There is very little plot to speak of, this we all know. Most people go because they are

a) fans of ABBA

b) tourists, or

c) both.

This production however, was hideous, for a variety of reasons…

  • Most of the cast struggled vocally. Not only were their singing voices poor, they barely enunciated
  • The dancers (term used in the loosest sense), were poor. High kicks barely made it past waist level for most of them
  • Muffin tops were an odd wardrobe choice for many of the usually lithe cast; usually inexcusable for a dancer
  • The fat / skinny sidekick combo mustered a few laughs, but the chemistry between them (and indeed the cast), was non-existent
  • The set, like the costumes and majority of the cast,  were tired

After arriving 5 minutes late, we had to wait to be seated. Thankfully only ten minutes. There was a screen in the bar, but the very loud bar staff had to be asked to turn it up. Twice. Even then, the sound quality was much the same as it was in the auditorium. Poor. And we were in row H of the stalls!

The house looked full. Which we both found astonishing. Had we not been late and brought to our seats, we’d probably have left after 15 minutes. However, we hung on till the interval. And then snuck off to find some gin.

One to avoid. Even if you are getting a free ticket…

Iain G. Morrison can now understand why at Waterloo, Napoleon did surrender…

The future of online display…

Big fan of the IAB. Nice bunch of people (for the most part), and their annual Engage conference is always worth a look. If only to discuss who has the best socks when the mass debates start with the panel. I think I started the #sockgate debate, but let’s not go there today…

So, the future online display formats? Here’s a short vid from the IAB, featuring moodily lit B&W talking heads from some of adlands grainiest.

Can’t fault The Telegraph’s entry. It’s sumptuous. But I’m going to stick my neck out and say the Google / YouTube masthead will prove exceptionally popular with brands that don’t have mega-bucks budgets.

Time, will of course, tell…

Iain G. Morrison hopes if the future is indeed bright, that it isn’t ruddy orange…

Brought to you by the Ministry of stupid made up words…

This is more offensive than Clarkson on a good day.

Sometimes marketers can get away with making up words. This is NOT one of those occasions…

Iain G. Morrison is wondering what Siri will think if I start asking about Womanity… 

Gold for British Airways?

I’ve been very critical of much of British Airways’ marketing over the past few years. Since they left the Saatchi crew, their work (a little like their service), has been somewhat lacklustre. However much I dislike the campaign personally, all the PR they’re pushing out says it’s working, so who am I to judge? Bravo…

However, this new spot to maximise their Olympic sponsorship isn’t half bad. It’s not brilliant, but it’s a massive improvement on the bilge BBH have been trotting out for them these past few years.

I remain to be convinced they are ready, mind.

I’m a massive supporter of the Games and the economic benefit they’ll bring to Britain in 2012 and beyond. But our creaky infrastructure can barely cope at the best of times, let alone with a glut of additional Games time visitors. I truly hope I’m wrong on that one mind. Time will tell…

Iain G. Morrison will be going for gold this summer. In the gin drinking finals, of course. Good odds on a medal…

BRAND OF THE WEEK: Madonna

Been a while since I did brand of the week. And after the halftime show at the NFL Superbowl, this weeks brand of the week goes to the very spritely at 53, Madonna.

The press (miming aside), have been almost universal in their praise. Upshot? Queen of Pop comes back to reclaim crown. Gaga who?

Much whipping of excitement, just before an album launch. My, how convenient. But of course it is. Madonna has always been a master manipulator. Even more Machiavellian than the Dark Lord Cowell himself.

So what was so genius about the performance?

If you ask me, not much. The sheer spectacle and staging were impressive. But her marketing masterstroke? A youthful shot in the arm for her tired, fading brand / star (delete as applicable), courtesy of the young guns.

LMFAO. Nicki Minaj. MIA. Cee Lo Green. And the bouncy internet superstar gymnast. Quite the supporting cast list.

By appearing on stage and paying their dues to pop’s Queen, they send word to their legion of fans. This old-lady star is worthy. They extend to her their own credibility. Their cool. The sneaky and subversive message to their younger fan base.

Look at me performing with Madonna. This is a woman I love. And you should too.

It’s one of the commodities she craves the most. That and an Oscar for film. But let’s be honest. That’s never going to happen.  So, for my money, here are marks out of ten for the performance.

  • Likelihood the album will go straight in to number 1 in many countries: 10/10
  • Jay Leno ad: 7/10, for being relatively amusing
  • The guest stars: 9.5/10, very well cast. All played their supporting roles exceptionally well (short of getting on their knees and chanting ‘we’re not worthy).
  • The miming: 2/10, because after all the practise, she should be a hell of a lot better at it than that
  • The dancing: 5/10, as she’s starting to look like she needs cod liver injections into all moving joints that haven’t been filled.
  • The surgery: 4.5/10, because it’s starting to get more than a little creepy
  • Likelihood Gaga will do something massively outrageous to try and reclaim headlines: A very tiresome 10/10
  • The macrobioticness: 0/10. S’just too try hard…

Iain G. Morrison remembers the scene from In bed with Madonna where they all joked about Madonna still writhing about to Like a Virgin at 50. Oh how they all laughed….

Dawn Porter: How to end a career in eleven words…

How do you end a career in just eleven words? Well, if you are a journalist / presenter / actress, then these should help.

‘That’s all i ever wanted. A country full of clean bums’.

Baby wipes for adults bums. Fair enough, nothing wrong with that.  And don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-infommercial. Far from it. They’ve not been in fashion these past few years and the FMCG crew have been investing in them again. Which usually means cha ching.

We Brits don’t generally do them quite as ‘HOOOO YAAAAAH’ as our friends from across the pond. But botty wipes? Poor love. She’s only ever going to be known as the arse wipe lady…

Iain G. Morrison has a clean derrière. And will not be starring in a botty wipe infommercial any time soon…

#hardandfast

Apologies for the prolonged radio silence. One’s social media time has been somewhat reduced with a major rebrand under way. Excuses plonked to the side, I shall hastily digress.

Hard and fast?

Get the blood pumping, rocking Bee Gees soundtrack, no kissing, ‘hard man’ Vinnie Jones guide to CPR? All adds up to a rather blistering ad for the British Hard Foundation.

Best ad of 2012 thus far. Saving lives and providing smiles. And the use of a tongue in cheek hashtag ALWAYS gets igmorrison’s vote…

Iain G. Morrison is head of marketing & communications for London’s leading social enterprise. And is a lover of all things #hardandfast

Now we know why Arnie succeeded

Terminator. Bleak landscapes.  The machines are winning. Clearly John Connor and his crew were missing a crack team of hamsters.

Yes, I said hamsters…

An amusing little spot from Kia. Certainly made me smile, but certainly wouldn’t get Kia on my consideration list when I’m looking for a new motor. And thanks to the über talented (and design obsessed) @commsgeek for sharing…

Iain G. Morrison is a senior marketer for a leading social enterprise. And might have a script idea for Terminator IV…

Madonna vs. Gaga

Time for a little musical frippery, courtesy of CharlieHidesTV.

Favourite line: ‘My name is Madonna and I’ve not been relevant in five years’…

Pre-packaged pop is the musical equivalent to junk food. Often fills, rarely satiates. I’d rather have me an Adele / Winehouse sandwich…

Iain G. Morrison is the head of marketing for leisure’s most succesful social enterprise. And if he were a betting man, I’d have a fiver on Madonna being gutted Gaga came along before she had a chance to launch Lourdes…

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Facebook at work?

So, Diesel extend their ‘Stupid’ campaign to Facebook. And if my boss happens by, I’ll be sure to let him know how many ‘likes’ I’ve posted in the past hour…

Iain G. Morrison actually does get paid to spend time on Facebook. So take that Diesel…

 

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