ivan's blog


And.. we are back

I need to apologize deeply. I made a huge mistake. I didn't realize that the backup system was not working properly. So the daily backups I though are being done, were in fact weren't happening.

One day the hard disk died and I was left with no backup for AotW. I tried to send the damaged disk to a data rescue facility, but after inspecting the hardware, they told me there is little chance to save the data unfortunately.

I only had a local backup that had about 85% of the content. This was put back on the new hard disk. Sorry for all the lost comments and dozens of great ads. I will try to repost them along with the new ones in the next month or so. I also lost the data of about a thousand registered users. So, if you can't login, please re-register. I've learned my lesson, I've set-up off site backups now daily.

Thank you for your kind understanding and patience.

Yahoo! picked up AotW

yahoo! picks

This is pretty big, is it not?

Ads of the World OS X Dashboard Widget

OS X Dashboard WidgetMacintalk Studio created a cool Widget for the Mac users. You require an Apple Mac with OS X 10.4 to run it. Sorry Windows users! (Maybe we can find somebody who can cook up a Yahoo! Widget.)

It is a mini browser that gets the RSS feeds of the front page ads, the forum and the blog and displays them as a list. You can click on each title and it will give you the whole article with a thumbnail of the posted ad. If you are interested in an ad just click the title to arrive to the page in your browser, so you can read the comments. Try it out, it's fun!

You can download it below. Any feedback is welcome!

Completed the move to a new server

Thank you for your patience for the last 2 or so days. I had to move the website to a new server. 7 million page loads a month needs serious hardware:

  • Dedicated server
  • Dual Intel XeonE 2.8 GHz CPUs
  • 1024 MB DDR2-400 ECC RAM
  • 160 GB SATA Hard Drive
  • 1500 GB Monthly Transfer

Please report any other problems you experience in comments.

Your account

If you haven't checked lately, go to your account page, click edit and you will get 3 tabs. The first one is your account settings. There is a new feature to switch on and off certain blocks. The second one is your contact information. You can add any type of instant messanger id. The third section is member information. Here you can add a lot of info about yourself, but most importantly your availability for freelance work and your acceptance of job offers. All these features are optional, so you can fill out as much as you like. Hope these new fields will help us to know more about each other. Let me know if you would like me to add any more fields.

For an example, click my name just below the post to learn quite a bit about me. You may want to drop a comment here if you did update your profile.

AotW is catching up on AdAge.com

Alexa graphJust had a look at the Alexa ranks of Ads of the World and were to surprised to see that AotW is catching up on the top advertising site in the world AdAge.com. See the graph as it is at the moment on the right.

Not in reach at all, but close in ranking and also in pageloads. If you want to know the rating of all sites you visit, you can install the Alexa toolbar.

Time to think of a a server upgrade. If you know of a really good dedicated hosting service please let me know!

AotW Gift Shop

thongAnnouncing the opening of the Ads of the World Gift Shop.

Express your love for advertising, show the world you're part of the AotW family. Get instanly cool by wearing one of the AotW panties, camisoles or cotton tees. Dress up your working table with an AotW mousepad and mug. Or put an AotW clock on the wall.

Oh, btw my friend tells me his AotW cap gets him chicks. Of course it does, everybody asks him about what the hell is Ads of the World?

Got a child

I may slow down a bit in posting ads to the site, because my first child Apple has been born yesterday. Bear with me!

Comments now moderated

Just a friendly note that I started moderating the comments. Any offending comments will be deleted for the sake of staying professional. You can still say: "Fuckin' mosquitoes drive me crazy", but you can't say: "Somebody should go fuck himself". Thank you for your understanding.

Cannes Private View

Tribal DDB is running a promotion for the Cannes advertising festival called cannesprivateview, which is a co-promotion between DDB and Campaign magazine.

Campaign magazine is launching a mobile text alerts service (produced by Tribal DDB) for the Cannes festival, along with a competition over the whole of next week where the organizers are asking delegates at Cannes to send in MMS photos from the festival. Visitors can then add captions to the pictures and upload them to the site. Photographs are organised by agency, so that you can see what the great and the good are up to, and prick their god-like egos with your cruel satirical wit. The best picture and caption as judged by site visitors will win airline tickets to Cannes and party invitations provided by DDB and Tribal DDB (airline tickets for UK residents only unfortunately). Check out the short dorky promotional film inviting to the promotion.

Sounds like fun to me!

Proud member of the 9rules network

I'm proud to announce that Ads of the World had been choosen to be part of the exclusive 9rules network. Read more about 9rules.

Dear reader, for this great acknowledgement, I would like to thank you! It's you sending me your material, giving me your feedback and participating in the discussions daily that makes up the Ads of the World experience.

9RulesHere are the 9 rules that we live by:
1. Love what you do.
2. Never stop learning.
3. Form works with function.
4. Simple is beautiful.
5. Work hard, play hard.
6. You get what you pay for.
7. When you talk, we listen.
8. Must constantly improve.
9. Respect your inspiration.

Superhero overload

iRiver Batman After the arrival of Batman to the silverscreen, a series of comic book superheroes made their debut in Hollywood. Spiderman, Hellboy, Xmen, Fantastic Four, Van Helsing, Daredevil and Hulk come to my mind and I'm sure I missed many and even more to come.

Superheros are not only popular in Hollywood. They also made it to advertising, as this award winning ad for Volkswagen ad shows from 2004 and another one featured in Archive from Prague showing a drunk superhero.

Superheros are especially big in Indian advertising. I've received at least 10 campaigns in the last 2 month featuring superheros advertising different product.

You must have seen the famous ads from 1pointsize featuring Batman, Superman and Spiderman. Ads of the World also featured another typo superhero campaign from Piyush Pandei's table featuring Superman, Tarzan and He-man.

Can't get enough? Check out the ad created by art director Pallav Medhi and copywriter Kapil Rana at the Dentsu Marcom, New Delhi agency for Daikin AC company. Finally, see the Spiderman, Phantom and Batman illustrations of art director Pawan Pathak from BEI Confluence Communication, Delhi India for iRiver.

Most readers work in the industry

poll results

Should not come as a surprise, but according to this poll we can tell that almost two third of the visitors work in advertising and more than a quarter of the readers are students. Thank you for your kind interest!

Top 10 ads last month

Out of the 1.5 million page loads received last 30 days, here is a list of top 10 most visited ads. No surprise 3 out of 10 ads have nudity.

1. Act up Paris: Aids
2. Morningwood: Wet t-shirt contest
3. Air pollution: Chicago
4. Maxim: Google Earth
5. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited: Yellow
6. Kodak: Face
7. Vim cream: Oh mama!
8. Tsunami: Note
9. Morphy Richards: War
10. Ella Bache: Sushi

Fedex commercial to be

Adrant reports about a cool Fedex Video available on Google video.

It shows an FAA Radar track sequence of a bank of FedEx aircraft getting into Memphis as thunderstorms pass over the airport.

It's highly entertaining, which is surprising considering the nature of the footage. Adrants suggests FedEx should capitalize on the success and entertainment value of this video and turn it into a commercial.

It can not compete with the dino ad shown on Superball for sure. Would this work as a TVC in your opinion? I feel the video has more virality and more brand building value as it is. A hack video in the wild. Once it gets a FedEx logo at the end, it will look lame.

Adverblog posts about our forum

Adverblog just posted a short news item about the forum.

I would like to thank you the reader making the forum a success so far. Your contribution both posting your work and giving your valued opinion makes the forum an interesting place to see new work and new talents in the making.

Captchas added

captcha exampleIf wish not to register for any reason you can still comment on aotw. You have to however pass a test that will qualify you as a human every time you comment. This is done through a so called captcha. See an example on the right. It reads gotmive. It's generated randomly and robots usually can't make it out, therefore they can't spam the site that easily. Hope you don't mind this little extra step.

Of course if you register it will only take you 30 seconds and you will not only be able to skip captchas, but will also get a few neat features that are available for registered users only, like the highlight of new comments since your new visit, the ability to be notified when new comment arrives on a certain content and a few other things.

Speed increase

You may have noticed some slowdowns recently on the site. We've worked hard on speeding things up with my programmer friend at 2bits. Hopefully now you experience a very fast response when browsing the site. More improvements are on the way...

Forum launched

Hey fellow advertising fans and professionals! We've got our own forum to discuss advertising topics. Ask questions, discuss strategies and news events. Hope you will find good use of it. If you have anything on your mind to share with us post a new topic now.

Subscription feature launched

The subscriptions feature allows registered users to subscribe to any type of content or category. A subscribed user will be e-mailed whenever a comment is updated or added. All content will display a new link, "(un)subscribe", which enable users to subscribe or unsubscribe. A new menu option, my subscriptions, allows you to view all current subscriptions and make modifications.

Podcast on Advertising

Katie Kempner, VP and Director of Agency Communications at the world's most successful agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky hosts an insightful podcast about advertising and public relations. The podcast called The Hook features interviews with creative gurus to discuss the latest news and strategies in the industry.

It's great to hear these top people in advertising speak about their views on the subject. It's very inspiring and motivating. The only annoyance is that the podcast is full of silly commercials, but hey we all get an FF button on our iPods don't we?

Subscribe to The Hook in iTunes.

Hit by comment spam

I have to apologise to those who wish not to register to comment. I had to disable comments for unregistred users. I got hit by a nasty spammer who littered the blog with some 200 spam comments. It took quite a lot of time to get rid of them and I wish not to bother you or myself with such things in the future, so do me a favor and take those 30 seconds to register and get yourself an account on Ads of the World.

There are many benefits of registering. You will be able to track your comments. The new comments will be highlighted. And, besides commenting, you will also be able to rank the ads.

Update 1: I've reenabled comments for non-registered users, but they will not appear instantly, but go into a an approval process where I manually approve them.

Update 2: Guest comment appear instantly. Captchas are enabled on the site.

100K+ unique visitors in December

Geo location

Unbelieveable! More than one hundred thousand unique visitors and almost one million page loads in December 2005 on AotW! This is way beyond my wildest dreams. Thank you all for reading and commenting.

Now, we are running on a dedicated server to handle to load, so you should experience better response times when browsing the site.

Please do keep sending the ads! Love you all!

Banner advertising

Banner blog logoAn amazing collection of great banner advertising can be found at the BannerBlog. The great content is paired with a very clean and easy to use design. It's exciting to see so many great initiatives that will hopefully lift the average quality of advertising globally in all media.

Dreamhost site of the month

Dreamhost site of the monthWOW! I just learned that Ads of the World has won the Dreamhost site of the month award! Thank you all for the votes!

And this comes at a time when several big news sites linked the site including Stylegala and Pixelsurgeon. Hope the server can keep the slashdotting whopping 50K page loads a day.

Too bad I don't have time to fix those few annoying bugs on the site that keep it from validating.



Virals are great. They break rules that traditional media imposes on advertisers. You can do sex, violence, racism to an extent and anything that would be a no go in national TV. Actually the more shocking the faster it spreads. The more your audience is outraged the better it works. Whether it does any good to your brand is a different question. You can see some examples right on this site.

They usually spread through personal channels. Mainly email. Friends, collegues and relatives are sending them to each other. Therefore such messages have a personal attachment to them by default. If it's good it becomes a topic of discussion.

However no matter how effective tool viral marketing is, without a good measure of it's success there is little chance a major client would buy into the idea of doing a viral ad. This is where Viralchart comes into the picture. You can add a sprite to your viral videos or games that will enable Viralchart to track your video being played, no matter if it's posted on a blog like Ads of the World or opened as an email attachment.

Unfortunately it won't work with press ads and I don't see how it can be done effectively. One simple way would be to embed the images into a flash or Quicktime movie. Of course it will only last until someone makes a screen grab.

Best rejected advertising

Marithe & Francois Girbaud last supper

Good advertising is always going to be about pushing the limits. About destroying taboos and reviewing old conceptions. However, if you look around the world you will find that over top is a very relative term.

While farting is perfectly ok, showing tits is a categorical no in the USA. Ironically in France the opposite is true. Interestingly a rather innocent beer ad would be definitely banned in Saudi Arabia or neighbouring states, not only because it advertises alcohol, but more importantly because it showcases evolution. However, the most brutal violence on TV or the cinema is ok to show even to small children.

Luckily on the internet with an exception of a very few topics almost everything goes. If you are interested what ads got banned and rejected visit the site Best rejected advertising (via Goodness).


An advertising team is working very late at night on a project due the next morning. Suddenly, a Genie appears before them and offers to each of them one wish.

The copywriter says: “I’ve always dreamed of writing the great American novel and having my work studied in schools across the land. I’d like to go to a tropical island where I can concentrate and write my masterpiece.”

The Genie says, “No problem!” and poof! The copywriter is gone.

The art director says: “I want to create a painting so beautiful that it would hang in the Louvre Museum in Paris for all the world to admire. I want to go to the French countryside to work on my painting.”

The Genie says, “Your wish is granted!” and poof! The art director is gone.

The Genie then turns to the account executive and says, “And what is your wish?”

The account executive says, “I want those two assholes back here right now.”

Via Abdul Rehman's blog.

Out of Beta

The site is six weeks old and I can happily say it's out of Beta. For sure this doesn't mean that everything works as intended, but all major bugs are fixed and all functionality I planned for is in place. There are three small things I still want to address.

The first task will be to make ALL pages valid, because currently they are not. These are small syntax errors, which do not affect the user experience in any way, but still bug me.

The other thing is a midly confusing experience on the video pages. When the user clicks the thumnnail it should start playing the video rather than just reloading the page. This is counter intuitive and will be fixed hopefully soon.

The last thing concerns my "favorite" browser Internet Explorer, which displays the news page slightly incorrectly for a reason I don't yet understand.

Thanks for the amazing interest (300K page loads) and the great feedback! Love ya.

What's up?

I'd like to test a new feature on Ads of the World. I collected several advertising blog feeds from around the world to give you a quick update on what is happening in the industry. It's updated automatically and gives you the links to the original sources. Check out News.

If you'd like to suggest a feed please do so. Also, let me know if you find this feature useful.

AotW / Dreamhost promotion

Ads of the World and it's hosting company Dreamhost brings you a discount promotion.

If you subscribe to Dreamhost now you get US$80 off from your yearly price. So you get 1 year of hosting with Dreamhost for US$40 instead of the normal price of US$120. That's only like US$3.3/month and read on what you get for this money:

  • LAMP – Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP.
  • One free domain name – convenient if you want to start a new site.
  • Unlimited domains – run all your websites from this single account.
  • 4.8GB of space – plenty for almost any need.
  • 120GB bandwidth – extremely generous.
  • Unlimited MySQL databases – great freedom for testing.
  • WebDAV – mount your webserver like it was an iPod besides FTP.
  • One click installation of a number of different web site engines, such as WordPress, Mambo CMS, phpBB forum, Menalto gallery and several others.
  • Shell access – full control over your server for pro users.
  • Dreamhost wiki, forums and knowledge base are cover every possible topic you can come up with.
  • Very responsive customer support.
  • Showcase your new site through Dreamhost's site of the month programme.
  • Detailed stats about your site visitors.
  • Advanced control panel with Counter, Formmail, htaccess, Jabber IM, Streaming, Miva merchant, SolidComponents, Frontpage, Dreambook and many other services.
  • Ability to create new users to give access to different accounts – very useful if you're going to work with a third party and you want to give them temporary access to your server.
  • Plus, you are also supporting this web site, because I get a few dollars from Dreamhost for every new customer.

So, if you're in market for web hosting service, don't miss out on this opportunity to get this great service and also save some money. Just visit Dreamhost and sign up for one of their packages. The "Crazy Domain Insane" package is the best for a start to get all the above. Follow the instructions and enter the AOTW promotional code to take advantage of the instant 80USD discount.

I hope you like this offer and do ask if you have any questions.

21 days: 100K page loads

What can I say. I'm flattered.

I received dozens of kind emails saying that you enjoy Ads of the World. I received several dozens of submissions. Although commenting is allowed for non-registered users — 85 readers still decided they want to enjoy the enhanced experience that comes with registration. The site received more than one hundred thousand page loads from more than 40 thousand unique visitors in the first three weeks of operation.

The creative ideas expressed in these ads are short bursts of human ingenuity

This level of success is really unexpected and I thank you so much for all this attention. This interest inspires me to keep going and to work further on improving the site.

I'm really happy to be able to share my passion and interest in great advertising with you. I see that many realize that these ads are not just commercial byproducts of our commercialized life. The ideas in these ads talk about the societies we live in. They are based on original insights and sharp observations. They express universal truths. It's contemporary poetry. It's the art of our time.

The key to enjoying life is to find the beauty in life. The creative ideas expressed in these ads are short bursts of human ingenuity. One can not help but admire the cleverness of these concepts. These outstanding ads celebrate the human intellect. The very thing that makes us human. Although watching ads may seem a waste of time for some, but if you do enjoy it you are one of those who understand the beauty of the idea and I'm happy to share this virtual corner of the world with you.

Revamped categories

Reworked the categories of industries. We've got more of them, better named and they cover all the different products and services advertised. Most notably Food, Alcoholic Drinks and Non-alcoholic drinks are separated from each other.

The only thing I can't figure out yet is where services like DHL would fit? Professional services? But than education is professional service as well, isn't it? Hmm..

The next task will be to find a nice way to link campaigns together. Also, flickr style taging was suggested by readers. Let me know if you have any other suggestions.

The ad conceptor

Your brief: product+tone+target

Check out The ad conceptor. The site is a humorous take on the industry and raises some interesting questions about how much of the creative process can you automate. On this site you have to select from a limited choice of product categories, tone of voices and target groups. In return you get an instant concept. Some of the ideas you get are quite good I must say, but of course they are prerecorded.

What if we were to try to make a machine that gives you realtime creative solutions that aren't prerecorded? Very difficult task. Besides the clever algorithms, the system would reqire constant input of social communication to keep the ideas fresh and relevant.

I think good advertising is a very difficult task to automate. Creative solutions by default should be new, so automated processes would need to have an amazing complexity to be even remotely comparable to human ideas.

However, I can see how a sophisticated AI could help the idea generation.

As a first step we could identify the types of ideas that make up 90% of good creative concepts. For example let's take one common tool that used in advertising to dramatize concepts: exageration. See a good example of this practice below for Matchbox.

Matchbox fly

The input sentence for the AI would be something like this: small toy car. The AI would take 4 steps to give you a concept:

1. Take any adjectives and find their opposites. In this case small will generate big, huge, monster, etc.

2. Take any nouns and find related words at least two levels deep. Car will generate wheel, hood, wiper, windshield, etc. On the second round windshield will generate glass, rain, bug, etc. It would run the same query on all nouns.

3. Generate a list of output sentences using the words generated in step one and two. Such as: big teddybear car and huge toy rain that mostly make no sense whatsoever.

4. Put images and words together based on the random senteces that it generated.

Finally, I don't see how the AI would be able to sort out which concepts make sense. A human would have to go through several dozens of nonsensical concepts that the AI generated and pick the one which has an idea in it. He would have to find the visual concept: monster windshield bug and execute it.

We could further enchance such a system to a level where the output is seemingly intelligent, but don't be afraid that your creative job is in danger any time in the near future.

If we look at the level of intelligence chatbots can do at this moment in time, it will take another 50 years till advertising professionals would have to start worrying of AI creatives replacing them.

Unfortunately that's not true for all professions. For example aeroplanes today can fly fully automated. If I were a pilot I would feel a bit frustrated.

Email this page

I've added a function, so that you can easily send any page you think your friend or collegue may find interesting by clicking the email this page link at the bottom of any page. Hope you will this feature useful.

Thank you for helping to spread the word about Ads of the World.

WOW -Thanks!

Just wanted to say that I really appreciate all the kind comments and encouragement. Seems like many of us share the passion for quality ads. We've got more than 15 thousand unique hits in the first 5 days of operation.

I never expected such a positive response in such a short time. I'm very grateful for all the material that has been sent. Keep it coming. If you come accross a smart ad, think of AotW.

Pygmalion effect

You must have heard of the Million Dollar Home Page by now. A 21 year old English guy had an awesome idea to create a medium that is a venue in itself. He's simply selling space on a web page 1$/pixel as advertising space. He has got 1 million pixels to sell, therefore he is planning to make 1 million dollars of advertising money on his webpage. The novelty of the idea draws traffic. And, like an accident on the road - traffic drives more traffic. And, where there is traffic - advertising space can be sold. It's a self fulfilling prophecy.

If you were wondering if he can make it, well he already sold 4% of the space, which made him 40 thousand american dollars. His site made into several blogs and even C|net. As the ultimate sign of success - he got a copycats: The Zero Dollar Homepage, Twenty Thousand Dollar Homepage, The Million Dollar Web, Million Euro Homepage, One Million Pixels and Million Penny Homepage. The ball is rolling and money is flowing.

Moral of the story. You can indeed make one million dollars with a 500 USD investment in the advertising business. All you need is a BIG IDEA!

Squashing bugs

Thank you all for reporting bugs. I've managed to fix a few, but I still have 1 major thing to do:

1. The upload is limited to 2MB, which is obviously too small for movies. I have to bump it to 20MB. I'm not sure if this is a php or Apache issue.

The upload limit has been raised to 7MB.

2. Win/IE and Win/FF displays the front page incorrectly.

I got rid of the details on the front page and bring the thumbs closer to each other vertically. I feel you get a much better overview of many thumbs at the same time, so you get a quick idea of what's new. Hovering over the thumbs will give you a note with the title. Hope it works for you.

3. Right sidebar goes over images in narrow windows.

Removed the right sidebar to give more space for the images on screens at 800px wide.

4. In Windows IE on the front page the right sidebar sometimes overlaps the main content. Weird CSS bug. Thanks for all the help on how to fix it. Working on it.

Managed to fix this issue by adding a conditional CSS for IE only. The layout is fixed (not fluid) for IE, but at least it works. I feel this is a clean solution and will be easy to update once IE7 comes out.

If you find something else please let me know!

Welcome to AotW


Ivan, that would be me.

Thank you for checking out Ads of the World. Let me say a few words about this project.


I always wanted a site that has an ever growing library of ads that is well organized and searchable by keywords. I really like and check out often the Lürzers Archive and read several Advertising blogs (I will post them all here later on). I also wanted to discuss ads, advertising trends and techniques with collegues around the world. I wanted a site that is free and community driven. There are many that can provide several of these things, but not any that has it all. So, I decided to try to set up a site like that myself.


Yes. It's still in Beta, so feel free to report any bugs. I know IE doesn't play well with the front page. Will work on it, until then get yourself a decent modern browser such as Firefox or Safari.

Please check out the about page to read about what the different parts of the site are all about.


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