The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Uniting Generation …

Every now and then I come across an idea that enchants me.

The commonality with them all is they appear painfully simple but solve a fundamental issue.

In this case, it’s an idea that manages to resolve youths lack of [safe] accommodation with the elderlies need for interaction and care.

It’s very simple.

There is an old people’s home in Holland called Humanitas that offers students free accommodation if they agree to spend at least 30 hours a month socialising with the older residents.

Everyone wins.

The youth – who have somewhere to live and to learn.

The elderly – who have someone to protect and engage with.

The staff – who get more time to focus on administering better care.

The company – who can offer patients better standards of care at less cost.

The country – who have people who build bridges with generations rather than burn them.

In some ways it’s another example of what I call devious strategy … where you give people exactly what they want in a way that also solves your own personal needs … but this is done with such gentleness and grace that the word ‘devious’ just seems wrong to use.

What it does do though, is remind us great ideas are still their to be found and in the main, the general premise behind them is almost embarrassingly simple.



Born To Be Mild …
August 29, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Comment, Crap Campaigns In History, Creativity, Marketing

Motorbikes.

The epitome of masculinity.

OK, if you’re driving a 50cc moped, they might not be, but if it’s something over 500cc, then it is more manly than if Trump and Putin had a baby.

When you think of motorbikes, you think power … freedom … wilderness.

You also think America.

Which may go someway to explaining this ad for British motorbike manufacturer, Triumph.

On face value, it captures all those traits I mentioned.

The mountain terrain.

Standing on the edge of danger.

The earthy tones of light all around.

But then you look at the biker looking into the distance … instead of seeing a rebel in leather, you see what can only be described as an accountant wearing a onesie. And not just any onesie … but one that is soooooo big for him, that he looks like he’s wearing shoulder pads straight out of 1980’s TV ‘classic’, Dynasty. And if that wasn’t bad enough, when you look at his legs, they look like they should belong to one of Snow White’s dwarves rather than some man who embodies raw masculinity.

Seriously, if I didn’t know better, I’d swear he was wearing a parachutists outfit.

Which means this ad does 2 things.

1. It reflects the British heritage of the bike perfectly.

2. It proves us Brits can’t pull off ‘wilderness cool’ like the Yanks.



Ending The Week With Love …
August 26, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: Family, Mum, Mum & Dad, Parents

Every now and then, you see a video that just gets to you.

Sometimes it’s something very sad.

Sometimes it’s something very funny.

Sometimes it’s just something that reaches deep down and squeezes your heart.

This is one of those videos.

It’s beautiful.

It’s beautiful for its genuineness.

It’s beautiful for its love.

It’s beautiful for it’s joy.

And while it reawakened how much I miss my Mum – and actually made me cry – it’s also just bloody lovely.

My favourite bit is the moment he realises his Mum is there and immediately runs towards her shouting “Mama”.

Despite not seeing her for 10 years, his reaction is instinctual … not even leaving time for him to pause in shock.

In the blink of an eye, he goes from being a big guy to a little boy.

That’s how important Mum’s can be to you.

They’re special.

My Mum was that for me.

And Otis’ Mum is that to him.

It’s pretty fucking awesome when you think about it.

Literally, the power of love and compassion.

We could all do with a bit more of that in the World.

So have a good weekend and give a loved one a hug or a call. Everyone will feel better for it.



When [Olympic] Advertising Goes Wrong …
August 25, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: Crap Campaigns In History, Marketing, Marketing Fail | Tags:

After last weeks accidental – and incredibly rare – occasion of writing a post at the optimum time for it to appear, I thought I should get back to being ‘topically late’ with my ranting.

Fortunately I did it without realising because as I was scanning through my pre-written posts, I found I’d written this one about the Olympics to appear after the Olympics.

Now that’s a talent. So with that brief intro over, here’s what I wrote …
________________________________________________________________________________

It’s the Olympics … a time where the world is reminded about the magnificence of sport.

It’s also a time where brands – both official and unofficial – jump on the bandwagon and claim they have an integral role either in athletics or the amplification of it.

Sadly, most fail.

Now this is not going to be a big rant about how Wieden does it better than most.

However what I will say is that the reason we have helped NIKE and P&G be at the forefront of Olympic advertising is because we haven’t actually approached it in terms of advertising, but in terms of truth.

The truth of what the brand stands for.

The truth of what the brand can genuinely claim it contributes to the Olympics.

The truth about what an athlete experiences or feels or goes through on their journey.

In other words, nothing fake, contrived or blatantly untrue.

Like paying money to be ‘the official cheese of the Olympics’ … or some other rubbish.

That’s why we helped P&G be the proud sponsor of Mum’s [sorry, Mom’s] … because their role in raising Olympian’s is true [and P&G has a real connection to them] whereas claiming an FMCG product had directly and significantly contributed to an athletes success, wasn’t.

[A case study of our last Olympic campaign – Greatness – can be seen here]

It’s not rocket science and yet, when I see ads like the one above – from an official Olympic sponsor no less – it appears that maybe it is.



Hijacking Culture …

The term ‘marketing hijack’ is not a new thing.

Arguably created by Wieden and Nike, it is now so widely used that you have to question whether it even works as a strategy anymore.

At least when so many of the ads attempting to hijack actually are just blandom personified.

But it’s not just marketing that has got into this, the film industry has as well.

To be honest, this isn’t anything new either, however I recently watched a movie that seemed to do it more blatantly than most.

This is the movie …

Yes, it’s classic B-Grade, but anyone who watched the previous edition would probably agree with me that it was a bit of fun.

And then and I watched this version and it suddenly dawned on me that it wasn’t a B-Grade movie at all, it was an example of Donald Trump’s homeland security policy if he wins the presidency.

The World is already in a terribly scary place without this idiot trying to add petrol to the fire.

I hope America makes the right decision because I certainly don’t want these sorts of fictional horror movies suddenly turning into documentaries.



And They Say China Doesn’t Innovate …
August 23, 2016, 6:20 am
Filed under: Crap Products In History, Cunning, Embarrassing Moments, Marketing Fail

… and you thought it was just Uncle Martian that was taking the most blatant piss …



It’s Monday. The World Is In A Bit Of Shit. We All Need This …
August 22, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Happiness

No … I’m not talking about a short blog post [though it is], I mean this.


What a champ.




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