Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

Still doubting the power of good audio?

Posted in Broadcasting and Media by Adam Westbrook on February 9, 2010

Cleverly used audio (both natural sound and music) can tell a story – even when the pictures are as simple as…well, a Google Search screenshot.

Here’s how Google used it to great effect with their Superbowl halftime ad:

Give audio a chance!

Want to know more about audio? Check out my 6×6 guide to using it properly, and tips on making a great audio slideshow.

Meet the man who should do every movie review EVER

Posted in Uncategorized by Adam Westbrook on December 8, 2006

Perhaps I’m becoming more sceptical as a journalist these days, but I’m really getting tired of all the advertising toss that barrages me every day on the tube, the TV and the radio.

Like that new Oral B toothbrush that helps you “brush like a dentist.” Ignoring the patronising text that appears on screen (to remind us that the computer generated tootbrush massaging the computer generated teeth is a reconstruction and that they haven’t just shoved a camera inside a cartoon gob) the mere hint that dentists know some magical trick about how to brush teeth that they haven’t been telling us is pure arse.

And don’t get me started on all the freakin’ shampoo adverts that “utilise new hydra-ceramide-completely-made-up-amide with special shine compounds” that really give your hair lift.

But what’s really been bugging me is the film posters. You know the format: glossy image, big title and then little quotes from supposed reviewers telling us – always – that the film is so great it’ll make your eyes haemorrage and bleed out through your nostrils.

Like Zach Braffs piss poor rom-com The Last Kiss. Heralded as “the funniest film of the year”. No it wasn’t.

And that awful Russell Crowe one about the wine. The posters declared “witty and funny…I could watch it over and over”. No way hose. Once was bad enough.So enough lies! We need someone who can tell it to us straight. And I’ve found him. He’s called Charlie Brooker…he’s a writer/reviewer/comic who’s rather good at telling it how it is.

Charlie BrookerYou might have seen him over the summer on BBC Four’s excellent Charlie Brooker’s Screen Wipe and he currently writes a column in the Guardian’s G2 supplement on Mondays called Screen Burn.

He described the McDonald Brothers (thankfully now booted out of the X-Factor) as “the kind of act a child killer might listen to in his car”and thinks we should shove TV psychics in”windowless cells and make them crap in buckets. They can spend the rest of their days sewing mailbags in the dark.”

He’s got a cracking way with words and the sharpest bullshit detector on the planet. So you know that when he tells you a film’s good — it actually is good. And if he tells you a films is so scary “it’ll make you shit your own spine” then you can feel confident taking an extra pair of pants to the cinema. And perhaps sitting on your own somewhere.

And best of all, if film posters adorning tube platforms went something like:

Twentieth Century Fox Presents


“You are stronger than you realize. Wiser than you know.”

Easily the worst dollop of wank to get funding since Kevin Costner. A piss-poor imitation of Lord of the Rings” Charlie Brooker

we could all save ourselves £6.50.

Check out Charlie Brooker’s hilarious TV Go Home (offensive language)

And here’s a clip from Screen wipe where Brooker’s distaste for TV psychics becomes apparent:


Ad Nauseum

Posted in Uncategorized by Adam Westbrook on November 22, 2006

The Advertising Standards Agency reports weekly on any ad campaigns that have received complaints from the public.

TV ads at the moment are nothing short of terrible, so it’s good to see people are exercising their democratic right and telling ad moguls where to stick it.

But check out this week’s top complaints – they border on pedantry…and they were all upheld:

  • The NSPCC advert where the man enters his daughter’s bedroom, with the suggestion of abuse, was deemed too “sinister and frigtening”.
  • Someone complained the Virgin Trains ad with the Native Americans was “racist & trivialised Native American history”.
  • And believe it not, people had a problem with the Lynx advert with the sweaty people. Apparently it was “offensive, insensitive & made fun of sufferers of hyperhidrosis, a condition which caused excessive sweating”.

I ask you.

Tagged with: ,

Comments Off on Ad Nauseum