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


Rob Mortimer Is Innocent Of Hate Crimes Towards Marketing Mediocrity!
May 30, 2007, 7:22 am
Filed under: Comment

Yes Mr M … I am about to write it.  You can thank dear K at cynic for kicking my butt!

Unfortunately this post is approx 247 years late, but Mr M had an integral part in making it happen so the least I can do is tell him what he inadvertently helped happen.

OK, as I have written in the past, I can be a right vindictive shit if friends/family have been unfairly and/or upsettingly impacted by someone who only seemed to care about their own wellbeing and this is one of those situations.

Lady Of Justice Vigilante Justice!

When cynic was about 2 weeks old [literally] we were invited by a friend of ours to speak at a meeting sponsored by Colgate Palmolive. In the meeting we basically explained how society really looked at brands, the devolution of marketing standards and what our philosophy was to make the situation better on both sides.

When we invited questions, one of the Colgate Palmolive execs immediately launched on the offensive saying we were misguided, unprofessional and lacking in any sort of credibility as regards how to make FMCG brands successful – especially when the conference was being sponsored by an organisation who had consistently made its products number 1 or 2 all around the World.

While we didn’t disagree about his declaration we were unprofessional – on the other matters we immediately took the bait and basically went after him and his organisation – highlighting that sales and distribution strength did not equal brand adoration and in terms of understanding consumers, we doubted he even knew what his children were thinking about – other than what soap, toothpaste and shampoo they had to use to keep Dad and his obsession, quiet.

Anyway this went backwards and forwards till the guy said [and I remember the words clearly] “Come back when when we have actually achieved something with our company”

To say we were pissed off is quite the understatement – but it only got worse when we found out the guy we had been arguing with, had made a complaint to our mates boss for letting him invite such ‘an inappropriate company to speak at such a professional and respected conference’

As far as we were concerned, that was a declaration of war.

So years and years pass when about 3 months ago, Mr M tells me about a survey in one of the UK newspapers that shows Colgate Palmolive is towards the bottom of brands that consumers ‘like and trust ‘

Bingo card Bingo!

I ask Rob to send the article over and after Andy had checked that this individual still was working at the company [which of course he would as no one else would have him] the boys conspired to get their revenge.

For reasons I won’t go into, cynic has a company called the ‘International Federation Of Marketing Awareness’ … so they created a certificate from this organisation [including the newspaper article] … had it framed and wrapped with a golden seal … then with a covering letter, had it couriered over to his office.

From here we/I don’t know what happened … but this might be the course of events.

1 Package arrives at Colgate Palmolive.

2 Mr X’s PA delivers package to his office.

3 He reads the covering letter which talks about the organisations commitment to celebrating marketing excellence.

4 His ego takes over and he calls in his ‘team’ to see him unwrap his award for marketing brilliance.

5 His face goes read with anger and embarrassment when he reads …

The International Federation Of Marketing Awareness awards celebrates Mr X* on his ability to spend millions of pounds on mass media communication and achieve one of the lowest levels of consumer brand trust anywhere in the UK. Even lower than Double Glazing Firms and Security Companies. Because it takes a special sort of marketer to reach those depths, we happily bestow this award on you. Congratulations.

Smiley - Shocked

Not big. Not clever. Very Petty. But hey, what does he expect from a bunch of unprofessional who haven’t ‘achieved anything in their careers’. 

And no one has heard anything from him – despite there being an email address he could contact people on.

So to Mr M … cynic thank you for helping them achieve peace-of-mind and justice. You are the Walker Texas Ranger of Advertising. [But without the hair!]

* Mr X is obviously not his real name, but our lawyer advised us it would not be in our best interests to ‘name and shame’ … shaming should be enough. Sorry – I’m a wimp!



Beyond Robot …
May 29, 2007, 3:50 pm
Filed under: Comment

robot 2

Because in 2 days of working at home, I have written the presentations which in the previous 2 weeks, I had failed to do.

Actually ‘failed to do’ isn’t quite right … ‘fuck all’ is a better evaluation.

So what does this all say to me? 

It say’s that if I was unemployed, I’d be bloody efficient. Bum!

Still got one to write, but at the speed I’m working, it’ll be finished errrrrrrrm, probably about 3 seconds before the conference starts next Tuesday!

The words: OWN WORST ENEMY seem quite apt at this point.



How Not To Sell …
May 29, 2007, 3:45 pm
Filed under: Comment

I got this email today from a research company who want me to buy ‘something’ from them.

Just a quick note to let you know about XXX – a core technology and digital marketing services firm located in Belfast and Toronto.

XXX technology and services, enable clients and business partners to engage and monetize their most important user communities (24×7) via integrated, 2-way, multi-channel messaging across mobile phones, instant messaging, email, web and RSS – in a way that unifies, promotes and measures modern electronic “engagement marketing” activities.

Our company (and patent-pending technology) is rooted in research conducted in the field of biology and exploration into the ways animals communicate / collaborate to produce positive outcomes in nature (specifically: ants, bees, geese and dolphins – and their use of “short messaging”)

I’ve read, re-read and re-re-read it and I’m still not sure what they do.

I thought I had it then they threw me with the bees, ants, geese and bloody dolphins! 

How the fuck can a dolphin communicate via SMS. Do mobiles even work underwater??

The only thing I can get out of this email is that interms of Bullshit Bingo, they are the undisputed champs!

Another perfect example of a company forgetting the secret to success is making people want to buy rather than trying to sell.



Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till It’s Gone …
May 29, 2007, 8:00 am
Filed under: Comment

Just found this group of photos I took when I was in Sydney last month. Its the ferry journey from Balmain to the city – a journey I used to do daily – and yet I never really realised how special it was until I stopped being able to do it with ease.

I guess complacence is the cause for many of the things we do in life – both positive and negative – and whilst I am very, very, very happy with the choices I’ve made [including leaving Australia which got right on my tits at times] I do know that sometime in the future I will again call ‘Australia home’ even though [1] I doubt I’ll be involved in a company that only deals with AUS/NZ and [2] the reality is that wherever Jill is, I’m happy. [And I mean that, it’s not just to impress the ‘ladies’]

So what has this got to do with anything?

Well not much … but it does sort of carry on from the theme I talked about a week or so ago, where too many people seem to be settling for ‘mid-level happiness’ rather than follow the things that truly excite, exhilarate, interest and fascinate them.

Of course I understand why this happens [Hell, it’s happened to me too at various points in my life and will probably happen again, especially as I get older with even greater responsibilities] but the thing I keep reminding myself is that my parents wanted me to experience life, rather than a lifestyle and having followed this philosophy for as long as I can remember – making some astoundingly wonderful fuckups and the odd moment of accidental genius along the way – I couldn’t agree with them more.

I’ve said this many times but I do believe planners – and anyone really involved in communication – need to experience life to be able to relate to life because if they don’t do that, then the choices made are often more to do with personal judgement / experiences than what the consumer really feels/needs/wants … resulting in a screwed up situation for everyone.

Yes it is scary to let go of ‘certainty’ … but if we remind ourselves that doesn’t mean we have to let go forever [like me and the Balmain Ferry], then maybe we can go out and do something exciting again. Besides, nothing great happens if you just follow ‘average’. 🙂

 PS: Mr M … your ‘revenge’ post has been written and will be up tomorrow!



The Lies We Choose To Believe …
May 28, 2007, 8:18 am
Filed under: Comment

* “Of Course They’re Real”

So I am reading this book called Quirkology which basically details a bunch of weird and wonderful psychological tests that have been done by all sorts of institutions around the World.

It covers a real hotch-potch of things including how your name influences your life … why women should get men to write their personal ads … why incompetent politicians win elections … how our lives are shaped by when we are born … whether you can be born ‘lucky’ … etc etc.

However the thing I found the most interesting was that they proved the holy grail of advertising – subliminal communication – is a complete and utter myth.

Can you hear the execs at Omnicom, WPP and Publicis crying? Ha!

Anyway, I won’t go into the specifics except to say even the guy who discovered the supposed ‘phenomenon’ admits the concept is flawed … however this does highlight an interesting issue – mainly that society continues to believe there are ‘ultimate answers’ to the needs/wants/desires we have in life, despite in many cases, there being comprehensive proof this is not the case. [Though I do have to acknowledge in the case of ‘subliminal advertising’, there was supposed ‘facts’ to back the claims up, but that raises an issue best saved for another day]

Why do you reckon that is eh? 

Laziness … Hope … Despair … Faith … Intellect …

And while you ponder that, are there any other advertising ‘facts’ that you feel are about as true as the Poodle story I detailed a while ago, ha!  Come on … get angry …