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

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 …

Heartitecture …
May 28, 2007, 8:00 am
Filed under: Comment

Ages ago I wrote how the uber-wealthy seemed to be happy to invest in charities and/or art rather than glorious and majestic architecture – and I commented how I found this sad because places like the Taj Mahal don’t just enhance the World, but actually have the potential to make things better for all of humanity.

Anyway, I bring this up because near our house there is a new temple about to be opened and I find it quite exciting.Sure it’s not the Taj Mahal [what is!] … and yes, it is representing a particular religion rather than being a humanity symbol …  but the fact something like this still gets built in this day and age of greed, materialism and ego makes me happy.

I think I am going soft.

We’re Doomed … Doomed I Tell You!
May 25, 2007, 4:50 pm
Filed under: Comment

First Singapore experiences an earthquake … then Second Life experiences a nuclear attack [while you’re there, check out Age’s wonderful post about ‘love’] and then back in Singapore, I casually look out my office window on the 36th floor [at 16:36hrs today] and see this coming towards me …

For a country that is supposed to be nice and safe, it’s bloody given me more scares than my time in England, Australia and America combined!

The Advertising CEO Experiment …
May 25, 2007, 8:10 am
Filed under: Comment


If you work in adland, could you please conduct the following experiment for me.

Simply go upto your CEO and ask them this simple question …

Based on achievement, who do you respect / regard more as a role model for how to grow your business – Rupert Murdoch or Dan Wieden?

Make sure you look into their eyes to be sure they’re saying who they really mean.

Once you have your answer, just post it on this blog – and given the sensitivity, you can of course keep your agency / CEO / names anonymous.

If all this is too difficult / risky … can you then please let me know what you think their answer would be … and again, feel free to keep things anonymous. Ta.

The Best Jillyism Since The ‘Seal’ Jillyism?
May 25, 2007, 7:12 am
Filed under: Comment

Princess Diana, Bristol 1987

I think so … I really, really think so … click here and see for yourself.