Monday, 9 December 2013
Sunday, 8 December 2013
So the Australian summer is well under way now but I haven't had a good scan of the mags for a while, so thought it was an opportune time to take a look at what the marketing people are coming up with. The answer, as always, is not all that inspiring...
One thing that I really love about Alastair Cook is his that he's either unwilling or incapable of doing the patented "stern" expression expected of modern sportspeople for these ridiculous 'rivalry' photo shoots. I'm not sure it's his intention, but it always makes his opposing number look like a poseur.
This on the other hand is brilliant. He was either going for a "Downton Abbey publicity still" aesthetic or someone asked him to act as though the ball was some kind of delicious apple.
On the topic of that shoot, it was for the now infamous "Ashes 2013" computer game that was so horrendously ballsed up by the developers that they're refusing to release it. If you take a look at some of the YouTube reviews from those lucky/unlucky souls who scored an advanced copy, you'll see why. I'll have a bit more on that topic later in the week.
Alright, now into Cricket Australia's efforts. If you stare at this one for long enough you will realise that yes, it is actually an advertisement for cricket. It's just that in sticking with the current CA marketing style guide, there is no actual cricket going on. A packed house, some fireworks and not a cricketer in sight. Not sure if that represents "BIG VALUE" to me but then I'm a bit of a traditionalist and like me some cricket.
So you might be thinking that I was a bit harsh on the Big Bash one and that none of this means anything. Well, you're only a little bit right. This is the way that Cricket Australia are choosing to present the game to the new "consumers" they're after; "Summer's Biggest Dress Up (not sure why that bit needed a different typeface) Party".
Again, just don't mention the cricket, okay? At least this one features the figures of two cricketers, not that you can really make out who they are. A guy dressed up as a Lego man (no, I haven't ruled out the fact that it's actually David Warner) has been given more prominence than the players. That doesn't say everything, but it says something. When there are as many Oompa Loompa's as Australian cricketers in your marketing strategy, you're probably not confident enough in your product.
Don't even get me started on the fact that it's called "The Carlton Mid Series" now. I mean, at least promote a full strength beer. We'll need all the alcohol we can get our hands on to get through the whole Big Bash schedule. Anyway, I won't post the 30 second, Bomfunk MC's-soundtracked TV commercial that forms part of this campaign because the sight of Richie Benaud being reduced to the status of Vaudeville act will make you throw up all over your copy of Willow Patterns.
This time, it's in our backyard, which is the only place that Mitch Starc and James Pattinson will be playing this summer. Can we even rule out the possibility that one of the warring players in this series will actually set the stumps on fire like we see here? Also, I'm pretty sure that's one of the pitches from England's home series that they're standing on.
They may throw their social media team under the bus, make them own their racially problematic tweets by changing the name of the Twitter account and think that no-one will notice, but I'll be damned if CA haven't hit one out of the park here. The official wine partner of Cricket Australia? There's probably a fair bit of lucre flowing into the CA coffers as a result of this deal but I guess the main positive is that James Sutherland can just decant a couple of litres of it before he settles down to read some Gideon Haigh. Bottoms up.
"Our club doesn't have a committee, but we do encourage meetings," but if you're Ricky Ponting, there's no need to put a suit on because we won't be needing to talk to you for very long. "What do you think of the performance of your boss who is sitting right next to you, Ricky? Ha, yeah, that's what everyone's said. He is doing a great job, isn't he? See ya mate."
Okay enough of the cheap shots. It's not fit to buckle the pads of CAs efforts, but I thought this Eureka Skydeck advertisement deserved inclusion for services to (a) bad cricket puns, and (b) completely tenuous links to cricket. I have actually been to the Eureka skydeck and was as impressed as you can be by that type of thing, but I think I definitely would have caused a few red flags to go up in the security control room if I'd tried to head up the lift with my full cricket kit on.
This is an Australian ad for SS TON cricket bats that appears on the back of December's 'Inside Cricket' mag. The thing I like about it is that they've managed to cram in nearly every person who has played a game of cricket in the last year, but not one of them is an Aussie. I mean, even an Irish bloke is getting a gig ahead of our guys.
Flicking across now to the Novemeber issue of The Cricketer, Jimmy Anderson continues his admirable efforts to stock this blog with imcriminating and completely dodgy advertising work. I think he's the only professional athlete who is still promoting those "power band" bracelets that every single scientist in the world has called bullshit on. Here he's taking care of skin, which is a good idea when you're stuck out in the field all day being heckled by bogans.
Jimmy was on the cover of the November Cricketer so I guess we can't rule out some sort of contra deal for the ad above to appear, but I did have to include this shot out the front of the iconic Salford Lads Club for all you fans of The Smiths.
I remember Peter Hook once getting stuck into Morrissey for the fact that the latter apparently just got out of a car and acted on a photographer's orders for that famous shot, whereas Hook and his Joy Division/New Order bandmates actually used to drink there (remember when you read stuff like that and thought it mattered?).
Any updates on whether Peter Hook is questioning Jimmy Anderson's street cred? The last time I saw Hook was from the front row of The Palais in St Kilda as he did an unintentionally hilarious impersonation of Ian Curtis...
This ad for England's "Official Formalwear Supplier" (don't worry, I think the good people at Nena + Pasadena remain KP's "unofficial" leisurewear supplier) reminded me of a time I was in England and, laid low on the couch for an entire day for some reason, watched breathless rolling news coverage in which the biggest point of discussion was the England Football team's new suits by (insert Italian fashion designer whose name I cannot recall). I thought the AFL media was myopic until then...
Speaking of leisurewear... if a reader of this blog sends me a photo of themselves wearing something from Freddie's new casual collection, I will send you my duplicate copy of Arthur Morris's "Operation Ashes". You can't say I don't show you any love...
Saturday, 7 December 2013
It was a real pleasure to interview Rob Moody, aka "robelinda2" about the tremendous service he provides for cricket lovers with his YouTube uploads. I feel like this piece over at Cricinfo was the least I could do given the hours and hours of enjoyment his work has provided me.
As I soon discovered via Twitter, the love out there for Rob is intense though hardly surprising. He'd get a motorcade around the MCG at the Boxing Day Test if it were up to me. Aside from anything else he's just a lovely bloke with an indefatigable love of the game.
I also have some reflections on the new Adelaide Oval over at The Guardian. I'm a traditionalist when it comes to cricket grounds, but I'm well aware of the realities of the situation.
Other than that, the Guardian OBO is keeping me too busy for lengthy reflections, but Mitch is bowling alright, isn't he?
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Here is something I prepared earlier over at Cricinfo on the rise of soccer and what Cricket Australia thinks about it.
Though I take issue with the way CA calculate and present their participation numbers, I found the man charged with increasing them, Andrew Ingleton, to be honest and articulate in his observations and sincere in his intentions.
Someone immediately commented on the piece and added how refreshing it was for a CA staffer to acknowledge that it's normal and healthy for kids to be involved in multiple sports and I tend to agree. After all, I played every sport I could as a kid and a general love of sports did nothing but enhance my enjoyment of cricket.
As long-term cricket fans, I think we sometimes err on the side of paranoia when pondering what the future holds for the game. I've observed over the years that American baseball fans suffer from a similar neuroses that their kids and grandkids won't love the game the same way as they do. They won't, of course. They'll love it in different ways for it will be a different game.
It's just that it gets harder and harder for us to change with it.
Thursday, 28 November 2013
With my girlfriend overseas for the next three weeks I'm under under a kind of tacit agreement to not even set foot inside the upcoming Mossgreen Sports Auction, but a number of items have caught my eye.
In the past I have unsuccessfully lobbied to have one of the "Spy" Vanity Fair prints reclassified as suitable home decor. I think the doctor is quite fetching but apparently I'm on my own in that analysis.
Sticking to the icons I can't ever see myself having the $3000 loose change to spunk on George Beldam's definitive though ludicrously posed shot of Trumper but we can all dream. It's a lot more fun than shares, surely?
"DON BRADMAN'S FIRST TEST BAT: Full size "Duke & Son - Warren Bardsley" Cricket bat, signed to the reverse under the headings 1928 England and Australia - 19 signatures from the 1928-29 English team headed by Chapman, including Jardine, Tate (2), Hendren, Leyland, Patuadi, Larwood; and to the right reverse 17 signatures headed unusually by Jackson and including an early Bradman, Ryder, Woodfull, Andrews, O'Reilly, Richardson. Later inclusions collected by Bradman for this charity item include Richardson, Ironmonger and Alexander. 47 signatures in all. Unique and desirable."
With an estimate of $120,000-$150,000 this one is for hedge fund managers and members of the Rolling Stones only. It's one of a few Bradman bats in the auction, actually. If I was so rich that I could buy this I would introduce it to people as "a bat signed by Archie Jackson" and then afterwards just note in passing that it was Bradman's first Test bat. I think I'd need to buy a bat rack, actually. That would be about as extravagant as I got as a rich person; 1992 World Cup shirts off eBay, some old Wisdens and a bat rack.
There's an array of very cool and very nerdy caps in this sale ($1200-1500 is surely a steal for Wasim Akram's Pakistan cap, right?) but this is labelled as a "Pakistan Test cap". Really? Please say it ain't so...
I won't bore you by pasting them all in here but the other caps that caught my eye were the Sri Lankan Rebel tour one (no photo guys??) and the uninentional history lesson on the evolution of Tasmania's cap. While we're on cap talk, Albion have put together a brilliant black one with yellow insignia for WA this Sheffield Shield season. Apparently it's based on a photo from their archives. Just a bit of cap chat for you.
Actually no I will paste another, here's the Len Maddocks issue Tassie cap from the 60s. I think you'll see why many players wouldn't be caught dead wearing caps in that era.
Monday, 25 November 2013
Thursday, 21 November 2013
I've been busy stressing out about making my Guardian OBO debut today (it didn't go too badly all things considered; I might get asked back on Day 5), so haven't written anything today. Here's something I prepared earlier for The Cordon:
I love the ABC Cricket Guide. Long may it live.