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Ironing Art

15 Nov

 

Don’t judge me but I don’t even own an iron so doing something like this personally would never ever happen. That said I have been defeated by a tea towel in what I refer to the ironing wars before now so I don’t think it would just be the ownership of an iron which would stop me do you? From a Moscow based agency a fabulous example of how to create a strong viral / image stunt with both subtle AND strong client branding – in this case for the new Philips Azur iron. (via TTG)

Walking Dead Make Up

14 Oct

Now I hated the Walking Dead Burger Van for ticking the box of every PR stunt cliche I can’t stand but this is amazing. As I say time and time again keeping the message simple and relatively unbranded is the way to get viral coverage, as I feel was done with the Resident Evil 6 Human Butchery. This Walking Dead story another case in point. Uncomplicated, straight forward picture story which tells a fascinating take.

AMC’s zombie drama “The Walking Dead” returns for its third season on Sunday, and for cast members who play “walkers” (the zombies), preparing for the role involves careful, professional application of the ugly stick. Last week, David Walters Banks, on assignment for The Wall Street Journal, photographed Xan Angelovich undergoing this transformation by co-executive producer Greg Nicotero and special-effects makeup artist Andy Schoneberg.

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Resident Evil 6 – Printing Press Packs In Human Blood

6 Oct

Screen printing in human blood is something I have wanted to do ever since I saw this poster from mental band Watain printed in human blood by designer Metastazis. Of course there is also the Saw II stunt were posters were screen printed with blood taken from Saw star Tobi Bell (pretty sure the blood donor bit is just a PR ‘white lie’). Blood also has a firm place in the art world, Marc Quinn most notably casting his face in frozen blood. Finally lest we forget The Flaming Lips also created a poster using the blood of lead singer Wayne Coyne (who I LOVE).

If I am honest screen printing in blood has been in a LOT of new business pitches I have done over the past few years as a result of my fascination with the concept. Capcom being the client who had the nerve to finally go for it as part of the Resident Evil 6 human butchery campaign I headed up, working alongside Full Fat PR. We even got our Capcom client to donate some of his own blood

Despite the obvious PR benefits, my additional reasoning for using human blood was that it seemed unethical to use animal blood for such a trivial (in the big scheme of things) reason as it would mean they would have been killed in order for us to do so, taking blood from humans has no lasting effects on the donor.

First off we had to find a trained phlebotomist (obviously) and the projects ‘medical adviser’ Carla Connolly connected me with the utterly wonderful @zoe_mort who declared my veins “amazing” and “juicy”.  For the first test Zoe took blood from both myself and Carla using a variety of blood tubes (such as gold tops, grey tops…) which contained different preservatives so we could experiment and see which would work best for the project. Necessary as our needs from the blood was only for ‘art’ reasons – not medical – so it was a whole new territory for all involved.

As it turned out the classic preservative free purple topped blood tube was the way to go, and needing to create around 50 prints we also bled our client, Adam Merrett of Capcom and Full Fat’s Dan Walsh (both of whom had never given blood before). After testing the blood we were then ready to rock.

So we had the blood, and my fridge looked like Dexter was a house guest (Michael C Hall can be a house guest anytime) so what next? Luckily I knew wonderful medical illustrator Emily Evans, also a Senior Demonstrator of Anatomy at Cambridge University (teaching the medical students dissection and anatomy) and a councilor of the Medical Artists Association of GB, who was up for it and fair play to her. Even holding my fresh warm blood in my hands was enough to make me feel very very sick. As it turned out only my blood was needed in the end and I recall seeing a tube containing his own blood nestling in Dan’s pen pot on his desk. Well I didn’t want it all to stay in my fridge so gave it back to it’s donor.

Emily created the screen print and began to test the right mixture – the end ratio of pigment to blood was about 20/80 – and a few hours later  we had our blood screen prints to send out as part of the Resident Evil 6 press packs. The ‘human blood’ element was also clearly indicated on the poster in case anyone felt compelled to lick the prints or anything! Ironically these prints were going out as part of a pack that also included ‘human meat’ (more on that later) so these where the least disturbing part of the package. Have to say I am so impressed with Emily’s skills on this as the prints have remained blood red to this day, normally art works created using blood and paper as a medium dries a really icky brown when used in art.

If you were not lucky enough to get a screen print then here are some images of the prints below…

 

Photography by Nathan Pask & Emily Evans

#nohopeleft

Faking Murder Scenes – Part 1

28 Sep

Adam Merrett having his ‘6’ bullet hole applied

As part of the Resident Evil 6 launch project, and leading up to the @weskerson opening,  I was recently part of a team who shot a series of murder scenes outside key London media houses in the middle of the night (it was ruddy freezing). These ‘crime scene’ images were then sent to press based in those locations along with an autopsy report which detailed the injuries shown on the bodies in a scientifically valid way, each ‘death’ being a way you could die during RE6 game play. For example I had drag and bite marks, the autopsy report stating I died from blunt force trauma injuries consistent with being dragged along the floor & thrown against a hard surface. Basically I was killed by a Zombie. Using ‘Cakehead Towers’ as a base it was a great, if utterly random, working day and my attention seeking cat was in absolute heaven (see feline photo bomb below). Oh and one final detail is that to freak the press out just a little bit more we ensured all the ‘bodies’ belonged to part of the team they would come face to face with at some point (with the exception of Jade Rand from Amputees in Action). I wanted to create an uneasy feeling as they tried to picture where they had seen us before. In reflection I need not have worried as they were freaked out enough but more of that in a later post.

Here’s the promised behind the scenes imagery…

Emma Watts & Sam Bull were the make up team & did a great job

Photobomb from my cat Fish

Carla having her throat slashed

Organised chaos

Oh dear this is a bit too ‘Hello Boys’

Jade in make up

Dan forgot to bring spare clothes, as he was as a burn victim the only option was to burn his JW shirt in the back garden.

The following week the PR team from Full Fat placed a series of ‘murder’ scene boards in front of the same offices and we started to reel the press in…

Next RE6 post will feature the final murder scene images and autopsy reports. If you can’t wait that long then fret not as you can head on over to No Hope Left.

As soon as the film of the day is ready I will also share here of course.

The Team:

Creative Director – @miss_cakehead

Head of PR – Dan Walsh, Full Fat @rockboywalsh / @wearefullfat

Photographer – Nathan Pask @nathanpask

Make Up – Samantha Bull & Emma Watts

Scientific advisor – Carla Connolly of QMCL @theteasemaid

Anatomically correct police (as we called Emily) – @anatomyuk

Capcom UK – @adam_merrett

Filming – Jason Lord

Wesker & Son – Resident Evil’s Human Butchery

28 Sep

Hello I’m back!!!

One of the reasons I took a break from blogging was I had lots of work on, so posting about one of those very projects which took me away from the site in the first place seems a great place to kick things off again…

Essentially I was briefed directly by Capcom to come up with a concept to launch Resident Evil 6 in the UK and the ‘Human Butchery’ was born. I looked after the creative execution & event planning, working with PR agency Full Fat in executing the PR side of the campaign. What I love about being a freelance creative director is you get to do some really really great things, and despite not being a fan of meat (bleargh) I loved every second of it. If I only did campaigns for clients about things I loved then my work would be limited to shoes, cats, dogs and my dear friends The Futureheads so clearly I have to branch out waaaaaaaaay outside my comfort zone!!! More updates to come on other aspects of the campaign (such as creating murder scenes and screen printing in human blood) but for now I wanted to share images of Wesker & Son itself – a pop up human butchery launching Resident Evil 6, and open to the public on the 28th & 29th September should any of my dear readers wish to buy some tasty human limbs created by the amazing food artist Sharon Baker.
#nohopeleft

See the Reuters video of the event here.

Smirnoff x D*Face

20 Jun

I LOVE how us mere mortals (AKA bloggers) also get invited along to press events these days. This D*Face / Smirnoff activity a great example.

In short Smirnoff have been up to their collaboration tricks again – this time with artist D*Face who I have already featured lots on this blog. If you follow me on Instagram you also would have seen the super cool limited edition D*Face we got along with our luxe invitation >> this excellent attention to detail from agency Splendid all part of Smirnoff’s continued mission to create extraordinary experiences. I’ve included snap shots below and as soon as I get my camera working I will also take images of the great D*Face artwork we also got to take home with us – it’s amazing! Sadly I missed the event (just popped along to say hello and grab my piece) due to this ongoing dental debacle but as you can see from the images below (borrowed from this UK Street Art blog who managed to make a night of it). Follow up later in the week…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lego rolls out the barrel

23 Apr

 

Lego agencies continue to push creative boundaries not just products. To promote the 3D version of Star Wars: Episode One – The Phantom Menace, a barrel made of 20,000 Lego pieces was built and showcased around German theatres. When rotating the barrel played the film’s signature theme tune:

“the barrel was constructed by pro Lego builders Rene Hoffmeister and Axel Al-Rubaie, and features well-known locations from the series, including the Death Star, Tatooine, and Endor”

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