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


The Fatal Flaw Of Planning: Judgement Contamination!
March 30, 2007, 9:09 am
Filed under: Comment

Regardless of the research … the product … the client … the category … the consumer … the past, future or present information … planning has one inherent flaw – it is always influenced by the personal views and experiences of the planner involved.

This is not to highlight the fact we always have a minimum of 2 planners [preferably with dramatically different viewpoints to the same issue] working on each piece of business – though that is something I am proud of – nor is it to say that planning should be done by robots … it’s simply to highlight that if you’re a planner who believes in the ‘Management Consultant / Intellectual Superiority’ approach to brand development [where exposure to ‘real consumers / cultures / life’ is nothing more than an odd focus group and research paper] then you need to realise you are disproportionately responsible for some of the awful communication being inflicted on the masses and as such, should take greater responsibility when the campaign and it’s goals, crash, burn and die. Thank You.



When You Know Humanity, Genius Ideas Happen …
March 30, 2007, 9:05 am
Filed under: Comment

While looking at a letter young Will has had printed in Campaign [well done mate], I spotted a letter by George Michaelides – one of the founding partners of Michaelides & Bednash – the Naked before Naked! [Sorry John – and Niku – but you know it’s true! Ha!]

Anyway, over the years, I’ve had the pleasure to work with these guys on a whole host of things and if I am being honest, their understanding of the consumer was so good that it often led to being the critical factor in moving campaigns from good to iconic [see Tango / Channel 4 / Pot Noodle]

However, whilst I am waxing lyrical about what these guys have done, this post isn’t actually about them … it’s actually about how important is is to truly understand and appreciate how the consumer thinks/acts/feels – not just interms of brand/account planning – but in every aspect of the communication process.

Without going on and on and on, I simply urge you to look at the letter below [with emphasis on the section highlighted] and see how REAL CONSUMER INSIGHT was turned into something that truly motivated a change in consumer action/opinion.

To me, this is a wonderful example of solving a clients business problem through the power of creativity.

It is the reason why we exist … the reason why [a few] communication agencies are miles ahead of management consultantcies and the reason why clients SHOULD not automatically disregard our abilities or influence. 

Brilliant isn’t it!

And this was not a one off in great thinking. Years ago Channel 5 bought some advertising hoardings at a European Football Match which was being shown on ITV.  On each one it said in big, bold letters, “The Match On Channel 5 Is Much Better”.

Genius …

If you want to be part of communication that infiltrates society and moves culture – then you have to remember that before jumping to the pretty pictures, the fancy words and the creative ideas – you should start with one little thing … human insight.



Borat And Forest Gump’s Love Child Speaks …
March 29, 2007, 4:14 pm
Filed under: Comment

Read much more about the warm, wonderful and beautiful Sacrum by clicking here.



Does Anyone Know …
March 29, 2007, 10:50 am
Filed under: Comment

… the divorce rate for executives in advertising, compared to other industries?

Also, is there any skew towards ex-pats versus people working in their home country?

If anyone who can help, I’d be very grateful – and no, this is nothing to do with me or Andy or anyone else I know directly, ha!



Can It Be Creative If It Has No Imagination?
March 29, 2007, 8:48 am
Filed under: Comment

SHOCK HORROR PROBE: Rob is angry again!

What about now? I hear you groan?Well, lots of things – however for the sake of this post, I’ll just focus on these 2 ‘things’.

So imagine my amusement when I went shopping for a film at the weekend and came across this …

There are so many things wrong with this concept, I just don’t know where to start.

Oh yes I do …First of all, the BEHIND ENEMY LINES [I] was actually based on a real event – so unless the ‘sequel’ features the soldier from the original flick at his home … lounging on the couch … watching television … drinking whisky from the bottle and experiencing the odd ‘war’ flashback … it’s a load of made-up bollocks.

Then there’s the fact this movie has the words, “AXIS OF EVIL”

Hmmmmn, wonder which countries that could be referring to eh!

Given the Chinese Government BANNED Mission Impossible 3 because they didn’t like the way the movie projected elements of the city as old [ie: washing was shown hanging from balcony windows] I don’t think BEHIND ENEMY LINES II [Axis Of Evil] is going to go down particularly well with the film fans of in Iran, North Korea and Iraq.

Mind you, lets face it, the only people who will actually watch it are redneck Yanks who think they should drop the bomb on the whole lot of ’em and be done with it.

[Best Ever Quote? Evel Knievel who said, “I am against violence, but I think we should just nuke the whole of the Middle East as that’s the only way they’ll learn!”  Yes Evel, very anti-violence!]

However, as annoying as that film made me, it’s nothing to this absolute abomination …

That is an ad for the iconic DR Marten’s shoes …

Can you believe it?

On one hand, you could be impressed they’re NOT showing any of their shoes in the ad, but then you quickly realise it’s one of the most mental things EVER.

Then there’s the line … 47 YEARS OF ORIGINALITY.

Can you actually be be ORIGINAL for 47 years? 

Surely that means you have to be continually innovating your product to fulfil that claim … and if that is the case, can someone tell me 47 years worth of DM innovation?

This is a brand with a history, a soul, a genuineness … and they honour it with this page of crap.

Devastating … especially for a brand with that much potential.

I remember years ago we pitched for the business and if memory serves me, the idea was around “DM’s Put The Great in Great Britain”

We didn’t get the account because we were ‘off-strategy’ and ‘limiting the brands potential in International markets’.  Well all I can say is that the person behind this rubbish is doing more harm to DM’s than if they featured an ad with a skinhead kicking the crap out of a 10 year old kid.

OK, so this ad was in a Singapore paper – a country where anything with any level of aggression [bar the Armed Forces ads] are boiled out – but come on, surely someone must have realised this was about as ‘off brand’ as you could get.It’s so bloody rare to have a brand that has undeniable soul and attitude … and to see it reduced to this makes me want to scream. And cry.

I think its time we re-approached them … don’t you?