Saint Gerry?

Following his recent appearance on the Channel 4 series “The Bible: A History“, Gerry Adams has come in for a very mixed press.  

Many of his long-standing critics now have another arrow to launch at him, seeing him as the most inappropriate person you could imagine to be presenting a documentary on the last days of Jesus.  After all, here is a man with a very dark past, who has a cloud of allegations around him that is even darker.  

What is it then that has led to Gerry Adams going from the spectre of my youth to becoming a recognised, and often admired, international statesman? Taking his chequered history away, he always comes across as a witty and intelligent man, a clearly charismatic leader and a very determined individual. I assume then it is these skills he has honed over the last 15 years rather than those that led to paths of violence in the seventies, eighties and beyond. He and his colleague Martin McGuinness have become the new men of Northern Irish politics in recent years, with a very well orchestrated PR campaign to show us just how far they’ve come. Nelson Mandela had a long walk to freedom, Adams and McGuinness have an even longer one to acceptance.  

Coming back to the documentary, Gerry Adams has clearly made his peace with God somewhere along the way, I have to believe that. Surely it would be a step too far for him to be touring the Holy Land in a publicity scam. So is he a man of faith now, I do hope so, the documentary showed him praying on his bed and visiting with interest the key geographies of Jesus’ last days. Yes it was well edited and portrayed him in rather saintly light but I must say he was more than convincing. 

Jesus Freedom Fighter

A less conventional view of Jesus from the Churches Advertising Network

Perhaps, he feels an affinity with Jesus; after all He too pushed for freedom, flew in the face of the occupying powers of the day and was a charismatic leader. Is that beard a mere coincidence? Obviously I am in no way comparing Adams to Jesus (be very clear about that) but it is evident that Jesus has entered Adams’ life at some point and the journey towards forgiveness has been one which has yielded positive results not only in his own life but in the lives of the majority of Northern Irish people.  

So what of his critics? They are still entitled to their opinions of him of course, to continue to harbour any feelings of mistrust, anger and heartbreak that they direct at him. I know it takes a lot to get beyond those feelings, I have seen first hand the misery it can bring and the fear of violence that people live under. I also know that this was on both sides of the community. Forgiveness though is a journey, not just a moment in time. Some may never get there.  

Clearly though, even in his West Belfast constituency Gerry Adams is still unpopular, with this graffiti appearing on the Falls/Grosvenor Road the morning after the documentary was shown. Perhaps no amount of public or private repentance can change some people’s views. “Saint” Gerry is still a long way off. 

Gerry Adams Grafitti

Gerry Adams Graffiti on Monday 22nd February 2010

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Nostalgia Marketing

Was prompted to write a post on Nostalgia Marketing after seeing RetroToGo‘s recent article on Fairy’s return to the old white bottle  to celebrate 50 years of squeaky clean plates and soft hands.

It really got me thinking about how many brands have revisited old packaging, adverts and slogans in the last couple of years. I have picked out a few, including my favourite of the bunch – Virgin Atlantic – below but feel free to add in any I have not included.

One I have left out is the Cadburys work (Gorilla/Airport/Wispa) in the last 2 years, which I happen to think was superb first time out but as soon as they re-edited the footage with a new soundtrack it just smacked of pure laziness and lost it’s edge.

What does it all mean for advertising creatives though? Have they dried up? Are they lazy? Are they merely following a trend? More importantly, does it work? Let me know your thoughts.

Fairy

Fairy Retro Poster

Fairy 50th Anniversary advertising

Virgin Atlantic

I simply adore this advert and this was a truly groundbreaking advert for me. Still makes me smile every time I see it.

Persil

M & S

And finally, the TV advert promoting guess what, TV advertising!

Thinkbox

Gaining some direction

The world is becoming a very lazy place to navigate, with Sat Nav becoming a commonplace feature on a lot of mobile handsets now – I do worry that the skill of being able to read a map is going to disappear. Whilst this may threaten the traditional names in navigation such as TomTom and Garmin it is opening up the possibilities of doing more with navigation and mapping both online and in a handheld format. And that has to be a good thing.

Geolocation services are springing up on more and more Apps and allowing people to interact more not only with their environment but also the people within it. A quick can of the “Nearby” function on Tweetie at any major event is a great way to gauge reaction and also see who is there!

I am very impressed with how Nokia have adopted the navigation and mapping services. They have made it part of the core functionality since the Nokia N80 and really got to grips with things with the Nokia N95, offering turn by turn voice navigation bundled with a lot of their contracts. It should be no surprise then that they were responsible for one of the world’s largest interactive installations recently in London. Check out the video below of their textable sign and integrated online campaign. It is beautifully executed and fabulously innovative.

Hyperlocal and the Social Universe

Had a very long and enjoyable meeting on hyperlocal news and social media today. We were joined by Josh Halliday from the rather impressive SR2Blog in Sunderland.

There is a huge amount written and spoken about hyperlocal news and how it should or shouldn’t be done but if you get a moment, you really should check out the SR2Blog site. Josh has built it from the ground up as a “labour of love” whilst studying for his journalism degree.

Young, talented, articulate and not afraid of a room full of suits, Josh is clearly going to end up having a major influence on the future of news consumption.

You can view his presentation from this afternoon below:

Belfast 4 Haiti on Film

The Belfast 4 Haiti fundraising gig took place on 31st January 2010 in the three staged Limelight Complex in Belfast. 50+ Northern Irish bands played to over 1300 people to raise money for the relief efforts following the Haiti earthquakes. Over £22,000 was raised for the Disasters Emergency Committee. Marty Stalker captured the whole event with the assistance from Rick Trainor from Red Sky Photography and Sean Duncan from Red Cap Productions.

Filmed on the Sony EX3 and Canon 5D Mark II, Edited in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 and After Effects CS4.

Rose on the rise

Whether you know about them yet or not, you are going to be hearing a lot more from them this year. A Plastic Rose are a band on the move and have a great following behind them cheering their every success. It seems only right then that you should get involved and enjoy the fruits of their labour by viewing the mighty talented Matthew Patton’s video for their latest release.

Check out the video for Kids Don’t Behave Like This below:

Fight Like Apes

Tom Ryan - Fight Like Apes

Tom Ryan - Fight Like Apes, at the Limelight

This shot was the highlight of my shoot at the Limelight back in December. I knew when I shot it that the light was great but when I took it and looked on the back of the camera, I knew I had caught something lovely. This was the result, straight from the camera with no additional processing.

As for the tunes, well Fight Like Apes are great on a recording but simply stunning live. If you get a chance to see them, especially somewhere like the Limelight in Belfast, you really ought to get along.