News round-up 25.11.10


What do space chimps, chocolate houses, cygnets, Fenton, bow ties and David Beckham all have in common? Almost nothing, except they’re all covered in our super-eclectic TBP News Round-Up.

Hello, happy Black Friday (for our Stateside readers) and welcome to another instalment of everyone’s favourite quasi-monthly eclectic round-up of marketing, design and ‘other’. It’s where we quite literally “round up” a whole load of interesting “news” titbits and grind them down into bite-sized chunks for your delectation. Enjoy!

The Cogs of Industry

Month two of the supermarket war, and no winners yet

Supermarket chains are experiencing an abrupt lesson in Newton’s Third Law as all of their aggressive price cut campaigns result in an equal and opposite effect from their rivals, according to a report on the Grocer. The result thus far is a net gain for no-one but Jonny Consumer.

Littlewoods capturing the moment Christmas died

No matter how much you try to deny it, it’s nearly Christmas. Duly, John Lewis has launched this year’s festive ad which you can watch here. It certainly does a better job of capturing the spirit of Christmas than the altogether rather more hateful Littlewoods advert, in which a woman’s nervous breakdown appears to manifest in a shower of consumer goods which crushes the spirit of Christmas and the idea of Father Christmas.

Christmas: happiness and joy

If you’re trying to sell something this Primary Gifting Period, there’s reason to be happy according to the Grocer as UK consumers are lined up to spend £1bn more than last year on the day of joy, up to a whopping £86.5bn. This is despite the impending Financial Meltdown and The End Of The World As We Know It, if the papers are to be believed.

Asda's Smart Price range: more popular than its Idiot Price range

Asda is gearing up for a relaunch of their budget own-label range Smart Price, according to the Grocer. A new logo and on-pack photography will be rolled out to the range in January.

Say hello to the iconic, uplifting and truly universal ‘flourish’ from Dulux
Say hello to the iconic, uplifting and truly universal ‘flourish’ from Dulux

AkzoNobel have unveiled their new brand identity for Dulux and its other global paint brands. We’ve blogged on in our post here as we worked with designers Design Bridge to help deliver an identity which transcends cultural differences between markets and conveys universal positivity.

That'll be £5m, please

Beautiful man and footballer (in that order) David Beckham is taking the place of Jamie Oliver as the new face of Sainsbury’s in what is reputed to be a £5m deal. His first commercial is a tie-in with Sainsbury’s sponsorship of the 2012 Olympics in which he plays blind football alongside the GB Paralympics team.

Avert your eyes!

Lynx, a brand which lives on the line between the risqué and the rude, has stepped over the line in its most recent campaign in the view of the ASA. They ruled that the campaign, pictured, was “likely to be considered offensive by many members of the public, particularly those who were accompanied by children”. The advert has been withdrawn.

Airside RIP

Lovely creative agency Airside has announced that it’s closing after 14 years of business. The partners, including Fred Deakin of Lemon Jelly fame, want to pursue individual goals. Their distinctive style has touched brands like Mastercard, Konditor & Cook and Greenpeace. Illustrator Richard Hogg has written a nice tribute here.

Commentary Corner

Name That Band

This month we’ve written a short post on Marmitian UK pop rockers Coldplay’s consistent design theme and how it’s a great execution of visual brand – or band – language.

Maille: bow selector

What’s the best way to stand out? Be different by thinking outside the box. That’s why Maille’s mustard has an actual bow tie on it. JKR comment here.

Sir Terence Conran

The Guardian have a short history of designer Sir Terence Conran here. There’s a new exhibition of his work at the Design Museum.

Doodling: good for you

Do you doodle? If so you should be disowned for failing to pay proper attention, right? Wrong. Studies show that sketching and doodling improve our comprehension – and our creative thinking, as this TED lecture by Sunni Brown explores.

Can branding save the world? That’s the question the folk over at Design Bridge are asking right here, by looking at whether or not design can encourage us to eat more bugs.

An Aston Martin. No, really.

David Taylor’s BrandGym has an interesting piece on Aston Martin’s bizarre new brand extension, the Cygnet.

Pretty Packaging

Bon Santé pasta - a student project

This student work on Bon Santé’s range is simple but effective.

5:32 bourbon whiskey

This is 5:32, a bourbon whiskey a bourbon whiskey named after the time of the day when Prohibition was repealed. It’s also a beautiful design by Stephanie Levy.

The fourth piggy built his house out of chocolate, but failed to account for the ramifications of the low melting point for the foodstuff in the summer sun, resulting in a structural failing which left him vulnerable to lupine predators

Those folks over at Brand Opus were involved in these intriguing new extensions to the Choc on Choc brand they designed.

Bitter American

I love the characterful beer packaging you get in the States, and here’s a fine example – Bitter American, featuring a space chimp. And why not. Illustrations by Joe Wilson.

Popcorn. POPcorn. POP. Geddit?

Here’s some popcorn packaging that really pops, by Kostym for Swedish food chain Hemköp. More here.

House of the rising DVD

Here’s a brilliant execution of a simple concept. This packaging by Mucho is for a DVD promoting the Pago de los Capellanes winery in Spain. As you open the package, the DVD emerges like the rising sun. More here.

Trumpet Blowing

We have all sorts to blow our trumpet about this month. We were mentioned in Marketing Week’s article on innovative research as well as another article on global pack design, our Twitter has been dialled up to 11 and we’ve got a brand new methodology conducted in shopper labs…

And Finally

Max Dalton's Big Lebowski poster

We really like the work of illustrator Max Dalton.

Snow joke

If you haven’t gotten into the Christmas spirit yet, maybe this will warm your cockles: a nice film of snowflakes falling in HD.

Magic Mountain

This is ‘Tiger & Turle – Magic Mountain’, a walkable sculpture by Heike Mutter & Ulrich Genth. Kind of what the ArcelorMittal Orbit should have been.


What do “Steak”, “Bonehook”, “Droga5”, “The Glue Society” and “High Heels & Bananas” all have in common? No, they’re not rejected X Factor boy bands, but instead are names of marketing agencies. Find out why someone thought they were a good idea here.

If seeing this mangled S upsets you, this game is for you...

The next one is for typography geeks only, so if you don’t know what kerning or leading is, skip ahead now. Ok? Just us? Good. This is Shape Type – a letter shaping game. Enjoy. Especially nice on an iPad.

Google Street View's automatic camera demonstrates a knack for capturing an atmospheric scene

This blog compiles images captured automatically on Google’s Street View which have a beautiful quality to them. Found via JKR.


It’s important to keep up to date with the latest internet memes if you want to be down with the kidz, so here’s this month’s most important viral video: Fenton. And of course, once the original takes off, then come the spoofs.

Simon's Cat

And while we’re on YouTube phenomenons, if you haven’t seen Simon’s Cat then it’s about time you caught up with it. If you’re already a fan, then you might like to get the new iPhone game, which was designed by our genius web designer, Steve Jones of Raffworks.

Name That Brand

And so we come to Name That Brand, the section of the round-up which is last chronologically but first spiritually. We mask the full extent of a well-known brand’s logo or icon using witchcraft and the crop tool, and invite you to speculate upon its identity.

The last Name That Brand was Pixar. RIP Steve.

The last Name That Brand was Pixar.

Here’s this edition’s Name That Brand…

Name That Brand!

Think you know it? Then why not drop us a line on our Twitter. Hey, you could even follow us while you’re there, if that’s your wont.

That’s your lot folks, and quite probably the last one for the year – so may we take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy holiday (more John Lewis than Littlewoods) and a recession-abating 2012.