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


Tenuous Tennis …
August 4, 2015, 6:20 am
Filed under: Comment, Crap Campaigns In History, Egovertising, Sponsorship

OK, so Rolex has had a long, long association with Wimbledon tennis.

And OK, Roger Federer is a giant of the game.

But seriously, this ad highlighting Rolex connection to Roger – and Wimbledon – is more tenuous than all those sponsorship ads that proudly say, “We work hard to make a great product and [insert team name] work hard to be a great team.”

Maybe I’m being a bit of a cynical bastard, but does it smack of being a bit shit to you too?

Especially the insinuation that when he checks his overpriced Rolex watch, he will remember the ‘hundreds of thousands of underprivileged kids in Southern Africa’ he is helping.

DOESN’T HELPING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF UNDERPRIVILEGED KIDS STICK IN THE MEMORY BY ITSELF?

I am not blaming Roger Federer – what he’s doing is a great thing – and I’m sure Rolex contributed to what he needs to achieve his goal, but as I said about Hard Rock Cafe’s when they did a ‘feed the hungry’ program, sometimes best intentions end up coming across with the absolute opposite impression, especially when your ego can’t help itself.



When Good Won’t Be Ignored …
August 3, 2015, 6:15 am
Filed under: Human Goodness

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a mate who I haven’t spoken to in a long, long time.

He asked if I could call him when I had some time as he had something he needed to tell me.

My initial thought was that either he was ill or a mutual friend of ours – and Andy’s old creative partner – was ill.

I was wrong on both counts.

He told me about a situation he and his family were going through that was one of the worst things any family could endure.

I literally couldn’t believe my ears and I only realised my brain had registered the news when I felt the tears pouring from my eyes.

And why did he want to tell me this when we had not spoken for so long?

Because it was going to make the national newspapers and he didn’t want me to be shocked when I read them.

I literally cannot work out how a friend of mine can be so generously thoughtful when, quite frankly, he is going through the worst moment of his life. While I don’t know anyone else who has gone through this situation, I do know that many who do, tend to understandably hide and weep and the fact he thought about others at a time when it should absolutely be about him and his family highlights what a special person he is.

Some say society is on its knees. I prefer to think people are amazing. ‪Him most of all.

I am thinking of you all my friend and I am so sorry. So, so sorry.



Louis Vuitton Declares War On Singapore …

So a few days ago, one of my colleagues – Winson – was looking through a year old copy of Monocle magazine.

Inside was a pull-out from Louis Vuitton for their luggage range.

On one side was a map of the World and on the other was an A-Z of cities.

Here is an example of what they said:

You get the idea.

Anyway, everything was fine until he saw this:

Yes, they really are saying Singapore is part of Malaysia.

Now while it is true that the city state was once part of Malaysian governance, the two countries split acrimoniously many years ago and it has left deep divisions between them.

Pride. Prejudice. Jealousy. Arrogance. Pettiness. You name it, the people have felt it, thought it, expressed it.

What makes it even worse is the the man responsible for that split – and the architect of the country that it became – died earlier this year, which is Singapore’s 50th year of independence.

Now to be fair to Louis Vuitton, not only is this ad a year old, but it could all be part of a campaign showing their heritage.

Maybe the map isn’t supposed to represent the modern age, but how the World was when they first started.

But – and it’s a big but – they don’t say this in any of the work, which is why the photo below – of my planning colleague Ros – sums up how all the Singaporean’s in the office reacted when I showed them the ad.

So folks at Louis Vuitton, now you have the answer why sales of your overpriced, label-ridden bags have suddenly stopped in Singapore.

Happy to help.



Invisible Innovation …
July 30, 2015, 6:15 am
Filed under: Crap Campaigns In History, Egovertising, Innovation

Innovation.

It has kept the World evolving, developing, learning.

It has created new normals for each and every one of us to build off.

It has revealed what humanity is capable of doing and inspired us to believe in what we can still achieve.

Innovation is a wonderful thing.

OK, so a lot of it is – arguably – more evolution than anything else, but it is important which is why companies make a big deal out of it.

Now of course, what some companies think is important innovation is – often in the public’s eyes – nothing much at all.

Sometimes that’s because the public don’t understand the significance of micro-innovation.

Sometimes that’s because it’s innovation for innovations sake – designed for PR hype rather than to provide the audience with something genuinely valuable and useful for their lives.

And sometimes it’s because the company are talking a load of shit because offering a product in 3 new colours is not innovation or evolution whatsoever.

But regardless what the reason is, I think we can all agree that if you’re going to say how innovative you are, you should – at best – create a product where your innovation is obvious for all to see/experience or – at worst – explain what you’ve done.

Which is why this ad for Parker Pens bothers me so much because, on first glance, it appears to do none of them, it just tells you that they have … which is also slightly undermined by showing a pen [and a photographer] that both look like they come from 125 years ago.

OK, so some people may argue that will pique my interest to find out more. And yes, it’s true I noticed the ad and am commenting on it … but I – like 99% of the population – have better things to do [or at least, have more things to amuse them] than search for a website to discover the innovations Parker has brought to the World but maybe, if they’d framed their communication in such a way that it said they were behind many of the things the World now takes for granted, it would make me want look at them – and their products – differently and then I’d want to know more.

OK, maybe that wouldn’t work either … but the odds would definitely be vastly improved.

But alas they didn’t do that because this smacks of an ad that was created simply to make the board of directors feel happy with themselves rather than make the average person on the street give a fuck.



Remember When Ads Were Truthful, Simple & Bold?
July 29, 2015, 6:25 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Audio Visual, Great Ads In History

Contrary to popular belief, I genuinely love the ad industry.

When it’s good, it is very, very good indeed.

However when it’s bad – and I have seen a lot of it recently at Cannes – it’s deceitful, shameful and a load of indulgent bollocks.

There has been a lot written about how Cannes may be ruining the ad industry but I would say the ad industry is doing a very good job of that themselves. Thank god there are a few agencies – of which I am very fortunate to be in one – that don’t subscribe to the scam strategy for success, though I wish the ones who did were named and shamed a bit more regularly because ultimately they are making our lives far more difficult than they should be.

Mind you, if a client chooses an agency on the awards they won through scam, then they deserve all they get.

But that’s not what I want to write about, I want to write about this:

Yes, it’s an old ad.

An old product ad.

An old product, print ad.

But look at it …

Look at the writing – not just the headline, which is British charm at it’s best – but the copy.

How they openly admit how expensive their product is [and don’t forget when this ad came out, 3 grand was probably a years wages for many] … but not because they want to claim it gives you ‘status’, but because it costs a lot to make – and own – some of the best sound products in the World.

It all combines to make an ad that communicates brilliant sound quality, production innovation and brand swagger without once spelling out – or should I say spoon feeding – sound quality, product innovation or brand swagger.

Better yet, they manage to do all that simply and succinctly and in a way that demands to be read, rather than ignored.

Yes, I know it’s from a past time, but when I compare it to many of the print ads – actually, scrap that, ads in general – that get put out today, I can’t help but feel we should be looking to the past for our standards rather than continue to run manically towards the edge of obsolescence. Or idiocy.

Though – to be honest – that statement could also apply to SONY as a company and marketing managers as a whole.



Before We Had Wireless …
July 28, 2015, 6:15 am
Filed under: The Beatles

… we had cables.

Or in The Beatles case, lots and lots of cables.

Let’s hope those little amps were real, or the audience would hear nothing at all.

Actually, they probably wouldn’t anyway.

Not just because of all the screaming, but because that amplification couldn’t outshout a wet fart in an empty pub, let alone a stadium of thousands upon thousands of fans.

Mind you, when you listen to an audio recording of the concert where that photo was allegedly taken [their last ever concert at Candlestick Park in San Fran] you start thinking that the ‘old days’ concerts, weren’t as gentle and innocent as the historians would like us to believe.



We Were Wrong All Along …
July 27, 2015, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment, Daily Fail, Daily Mail

… The Daily Mail isn’t a newspaper, it’s the British version of The Onion.

Now everything makes sense. Including this.

After all, no ‘serious’ newspaper would ever run this as a major story when there’s so much going on in the World that needs genuine reporting.

I feel such a fool. Way to go Daily Mail.




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,888 other followers