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

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?

56 Comments so far
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rob, i think you should go into film-making. the storyline of your Behind Enemy Lines part II was hilarious!!

that DMs ad looks like something that wild turkey or jack daniels would put out – for some reason an odd number like 47 matters with scotch. but for shoes? weird. i wonder if they’ll put this ad it out each year: 48, 49 and then when they turn 50, ooh – full page ad in 2 papers? Talk about off-market..

hell, even if they had gone with the whole skin-head thing (not that i condone that kind of violence as a selling point) they would have been way more on target, whether they liked it or not. please go and speak to them rob. for the sake of their dignity.

who sang that crazy ditty: doctor martens, doctor martens, doctor martens boots. i’d like to see that resurrected.. ha!

Comment by lauren

Your wish is my command … George is going to meet with their US guys next week – though I have to say your ditty [doctor martens, doctor martens, doctor martens boots] is UNLIKELY to be a direction we would propose. Ha.

Comment by Rob

Long time reader first time comment. On the DM piece I agree that the visual execution is poor which is a shame because the whole brand deserves so much better. Forgive me for second guessing but I think what they were trying to articulate is how the brand has been adopted by different groups over the years (skinheads, punk, ska, grundge, britpop) and how this has kept the brand original. Not sure they should be talking about product innvovation or originality although I see from the website new things have appeared.

Comment by GH

spoil sport…

Comment by lauren

Hi GH … nice to have a comment from you.

If what you are saying is the case, then not only does it not come through interms of the execution, but I would question the relevance of that idea in the context of Singaporean social society.

To be fair, maybe the client ego had to much influence in what came out – but I feel the end result actually undermines the brand rather than helps bridge the gap between the generation of the past to the generation of the new.

Finally, if their justification for 47 years of ‘originality’ is based on the fact different musical subgroups have embraced the brand, then I would say that is one of the wankiest things I’ve ever heard … [well apart from a planners rationalisation of Johnnie Walker’s ‘Personal Progress’ Campaign which was that people don’t start drinking whisky, they progress to it!!!] … because ANY brand who has attracted different subgroups over the years [even if their product has not altered dramatically] could claim originality be it Fender Guitars, Casio Watches or bloody Volvo’s.

In short, lazy thinking and even lazier execution.

But hey, I am – as my blog say’s – an opinionated sod!

Comment by Rob

Which planner gave you that JW justification? Were they pissed on the stuff at the time?

Comment by Pete

The person Bazza did his faux pas to. Mr Wanker.

Comment by Rob

That explains it.

Comment by Pete

I agree I think they missed it. I think there is a relevance in charting the evolution and adoption by different groups in staying relevant (admittedly they have not done this) and then leading the customer to defining the next chapter. This might sound a bit wishy washy but in a “where will you take it” way.

In terms of the singaporean social society I would argue that English culture and especially english pop culture is understood and appreciated but I think that the issue probably lies in which group would take the brand forward. You culd argue that very small punk, skinhead and grundge sub cultures exist but this is not something new, so how do they move it on to be adopted elsewhere.

I think I just went round in a circle!!

Comment by GH

Hahaha … I do that all the time!

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the Singaporean culture would be aware of UK social subgroups like Skinheads, Punk, Ska, Grunge, Britpop … however interms of whether they had aspirational and motivational appeal [on more than a niche basis], I would say no – and as such would provide little foundation for an Asian based campaign.

Mind you this is all philosophical debate … the one thing we do know, is this DM campaign is crap and they should be hit round the head with a pair of 18 hole boots, ha!

Comment by Rob

“Bros” and if my memory serves me correctly “FiveStar” also wore DM’s; which could be a dangerous association for the brand.

I’ve always thought of DM as the Harley Davidson of the fashion world. Does that makes sense.


Comment by Marcus Brown

Poor GH. Tries to have a serious conversation and look what happens.
I have warm memories of Five Star Marcus, I am officially offended. You’ll be having a go at Deacon Blue next.
By the way, I hate VW. Thanks their ‘Great Pretender commercial’ I’m appreciating a Queen song. It’s all wrong. Maybe they should have used ‘Rain or shine’ instead.
By the way I had thought DM used to work since it was a bit unfinished as a brand – it was appropriated and by different groups who say what they wanted to see.

Comment by NP

Deacon Blue were properly shite.

Comment by Marcus Brown


Comment by Marcus Brown

I knew you’d bite

Comment by NP

That’s not fair NP. You know how I react to Deacon Blue. You’re toying with my emotions.

Comment by Marcus Brown

But now you know how I feel about Queen. Rationality goes out the window – hate, pure burning cold hate.

Comment by NP


Comment by Marcus Brown

Go on, you know you want to.

And Rob loves Queen.

Comment by NP

I have seen Queen 80 odd times – I have followed them round the World – I have EVERY piece of recorded music they have ever done PLUS every concert bootleg. I am officially sad but I don’t care because compared to Deacon Fucking Blue, they deserve their 200 million record sales.

Comment by Rob

There is NO fucking excuse for “Radio Ga-Ga”.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Yes there is … when you compare it to ‘SYSTEM ADDICT’ by your 5* scum!

Comment by Rob

But Five Star knew they were crap. They were also responsible for the best Saturday morning TV faux pas ever.
Queen thought they were a serious band. They weren’t.
Next up, Stereophonics…….

Comment by NP

personally i like the smiths

Comment by andy@cynic

Now you’re talking my language. Andy, have a word with your colleague.

Comment by NP

Oh that was brilliant NP. Are you talking about that live telephone thingy?

So we have little bobby on the phone with a question for FiveStar!

FiveStar: (all together) Hi Bobby!
Moderator: So bobby, what’s you question?
Bobby: Why are 5 Star so crap?

Comment by Marcus Brown

ive tried np, believe me, ive fucking tried

Comment by andy@cynic

Oh you are all bastards …

And besides, the 5* thing wasn’t as good as when Matt Bianco were on …

Matt Bianco: [all together] “Hi Bobby!”
Moderator: “What do you want to say to the band”?
Bobby: “You’re wankers!”

Comment by Rob

Matt Bianco? Jesus people, how old ARE we?

Comment by Marcus Brown

We? We?

Comment by NP

Johnny Hates Jazz?
Curiosity Killed The Cat?
Liquid Gold?

Comment by Rob

Living in a Box.
Living in a cardboard box.

Comment by NP

Rob, that is some hardcore QUEEN behavior! Although I never really got into them much, I salute your fanaticism.

Comment by Age

Thank You Age … far politer than NP! Ha

Comment by Robert

Thing is Dr M has a kind of style, and that ad doesnt portray any of it.

Johnny Hates Jazz! Good grief. Shattered dreams…

I thought Bobby said “Why are you so fucking shit?” to which Sarah Green looked bemused.

Comment by Rob Mortimer


Comment by Rob Mortimer

This is the blog for people who want to try LSD without actually trying it!

Comment by Rob


But still, JHJ…class

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Go West? I played for them once. [Guitar, not groupie stuff, ha!]

Comment by Rob

Also, this blog makes me want to set fire to Evil Knieval in a pit of lions with a gas leak.

Ignorant fucker.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

King of wishful thinking eh?
They werent bad, still filling Doncaster venues we hear on our local station.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

HOLY MOLY … Rob Mortimer swears!

I’m off now, and I will bloody listen to that soddin’ song when I get home because I still have it somewhere. Ha.

Comment by Rob


Comment by Marcus Brown

Yes, theres little more frustrating than ignorant Americans (not all of them are of course) who seem to have no understanding

a: of the middle east
b: of the HUGE role the US government played in causing all this trouble in the first place(and continuing it)

Comment by Rob Mortimer

lol. good call Marcus

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Yep, Americans eh?
‘Imagination never lets us take the blame’

(see what I did there)

What was this post about again?

Comment by NP

haha, great use of GW there!

No idea, Dr Pepper?

Comment by Rob Mortimer

‘Marriage in advertising. What’s the worst that could happen?’

Rob Campbell is a genius. See how he links one post to other on a totally subliminal level.

Comment by NP

I know I am an art director, but the spelling on this blog is fucking terrible. First bad teeth and now bad spelling, don’t those Limey schools teach you anything?

Comment by Billy Whizz

I will not take spelling grammar lessons from a culture that refuses to say vitamins properly.
And as for systematically replacing ‘s’ with ‘z’…

Comment by NP

That the best you can do? Dunkirk spirit my ass.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Dont forget hiding U’s!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Don’t worry Northern Planner, I will sort out our little American friend. He’ll quickly lose the attitude when in about 20 minutes, we visit our quintisential English client with the hottest English Rose secretary in the World. Hope all is well in your life and I look forward to checking out your blog again soon.

Comment by George

iff yous not likeing what we is writing me whizzy billy, yous can go an fuck off.

Comment by Marcus Brown

😉 !

Comment by Marcus Brown

Good man George, good man.

Comment by NP

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