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


I’m On Parole … Or I Should Say You Are!
December 22, 2007, 7:35 am
Filed under: Comment

Yes, I’m having an end-of-year blog break but sadly for you, I will be back on the 7th January 2008.

In the meantime, my Oscar Speech for last year can be read here, however if I were you I’d steer well clear.

Ta-ra!

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The 2007 Jesus Come Back Special … [Closing The Door On 2007!]
December 21, 2007, 7:23 am
Filed under: Comment

Elvis Jesus - Comeback Special! 

So another year is over – and what a year.

Engagement … Birth … Death … New Friends … Old Friends … People I love, leaving … People I hate, coming … Marriage … Al Gore …

Oh, and I even managed to squeeze in the odd bit of work as well! Not too much mind!

All in all I’d rate this year a B+ … and while you may think that’s ‘low’, it’s quite positive given the highest grade I’ve given in the last 10 years is probably a C+, ha!

I’m going to be blog free till W/C 7th Jan 2008 … so before I launch into one mad, final rant … I’d like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to all those who have visited this blog [let alone commented on my ranting rubbish] and I wish each and everyone of you a fantastic festive season [see how politically correct I am, ha] with the next 12 months hopefully being the most exciting of your life yet.

[In the case of Gareth and his impending fatherhood, I think it’s safe to say that’s definitely going to be the case! Ha]

Being all sentimental for a moment … if I could have one little wish, it would be that both Mr M and Marcus are [whether they like it or not] employed in an agency that values their passion, charisma and intelligence. Why they’ve not been picked up yet is beyond me, but I am confident common sense will prevail next year and I encourage any agency folk who read this blog to check them out.

While I’m at it, I also want dear Lauren to find a place that lets her shine and grow because she’s a talented bugger who will make great things happen if given the chance. She’s also smarter and more insightful than many planners out there so again, to any agency folk who read my rubbish, definitely check her out.

Finally to my beloved friends Jonathan & Truus who followed us to Singapore and are now heading off back to Holland.

I wish you [and the dog and bird] a safe journey home – thanks for all the friendship, laughter and support over the last couple of years – see you soon and I look forward to witnessing the resurrection of Strawberry Frog, because if anyone can make it happen, you can!

OK … all done?

In that case – lets rant!

____________________________________________________________________

Christmas is always an interesting time.

Relationships form … relationships end [though January is actually the most common month for divorce proceedings to start, at least in Western countries] … people get drunk … people get laid … people get fat … however the trait I find the most interesting of them all is that people suddenly seem to lose all sense of judgement and taste.

OK, so there’s always the idiot who buys a pile of shite because they only realise it’s Christmas at 4:59pm on the 24th December … however even those individuals who can plan things more than a month in advance seem to fall into some weird Third Dimension around December, because they suddenly seem to view crapper-than-crap products as the greatest thing they’ve ever seen and cough up ridiculous amounts of cash to own them because they believe they’re ‘novel’ and a great ‘stocking filler’.

Hell, I can’t talk, in cynic‘s 2nd year we made and sold 10,000 Christmas Cards [“Happy Christmas, Lets Hope It’s Your Last”] and Christmas Books [The Little Book Of Procrastination – which started with  “Once upon a time …” and then had nothing but blank pages throughout the rest of the book] simply because we knew common sense goes out the window the moment tinsel goes up in the lounge.

However I recently spotted something so bad that I thought I’d better warn the blinkered-Christmas-shopper from making a potentially massive mistake.

Ladies and gentlemen, whatever you do, however desperate you are, I beg you not to fall for the charms of the ‘Photo Mouse’ …

Stupid Idea

Yes … you cut out a photo of your loved ones and slide it into some boring computer mouse.

How shit is that eh?

Now putting aside the fact your loved ones have been incorporated into a tool you use for work [I mean, is a dedicated photo frame too much to ask for?] … when you use a mouse, your hand covers the majority of the device – so any photo that’s been carefully placed there won’t be seen for pretty much the entire time you’re working.

For fucks sake, didn’t anyone think about this?

Of course in their communication they say things like ‘Show Your Love’ ‘ Whose The Most Important In Your Life’… however as far as I’m concerned, if someone used one of these products, my advice would be to run for the hills because the bastard who owns it is either going to leave you or kill you.

Talking of killing in association with Christmas, how about this ever-so-subtle ad for internet security …

12/12/2007

How nice is that eh?

I particularly love the Christmas Stocking they’ve shoved on the already cluttered page to make it feel ‘festive’.

Christ, talk about fear mongering.

Why don’t they go the whole hog and put a picture of Gary Glitter [or Dodds, hahaha] caressing the hair of some young, blue-eyed innocent angel.

I appreciate the internet can be a dangerous place – but so can most things – and surely there is a better way to sell this product than basically imply your kid is going to be sold into sex-slavery the moment they go online.

I’m sure it will be effective, but to me it’s lazy advertising using the lowest common denominator approach – and while anything is easy for the person who doesn’t have to do it, I genuinely believe there’s a much better way to approach the communication of this product [which can be just as effective, if not more so] without the over-reliance of fear as a central message.

[I’d offer some alternatives but it’s been a long year, it’s Christmas, my brains abit fried and no one really reads this shit anyway, ha!]

So there you go, the last little rant of ’07 … I hope you enjoyed it but lets face facts … you probably got bored after the 2nd paragraph and went off to make a cup of tea.

All that leaves me to say is have a great break and I hope to see you all again in ’08 – it’s going to be a great year!

____________________________________________________________________

PS: This is a private message for someone very special to us …

jesus santa Behold, it’s Billy the ‘Jesus Santa!’

Told you he’d do it! 🙂  We miss you.



How Desperate Must Asia Be …
December 21, 2007, 7:00 am
Filed under: Comment

19/12/2007 

… if my blog gets called Asia’s Number 2 industry blog by Media Magazine.

Of course I should try and act all humble and point out that being in an industry mag doesn’t really mean anything to the outside World … however I don’t care, it’s made me happy and even abit proud – despite the fact I’m now going to be on the hit[man]list of twice as many agencies as ever before, ha!

[The only reason I may survive to work another day is because a couple of the campaigns I worked on also made Media’s 2007 list for ‘Top Ten Best Asia Ads’ [SONY & VB] and given the industry I work in are a bunch of whores who’d overlook incest for a bit of praise, it means they’ll probably just spit at me in the street rather than shoot me in the head incase one day I might be useful to have around. As the office cleaner for example]

I don’t know how it has happened or even why it has happened … however I do know most of you lot who come here and rant your pearls of wisdom [or just plain gibberish] have alot to do with it, so on behalf of my Mum [who will see this as a major accolade – which makes a nice change from the usual trouble I put her in] I thank you all.



Lost In Translation Or Mischief At Play?
December 20, 2007, 7:55 am
Filed under: Comment

Klap (2)

I wonder if anyone told the people behind KLAP: The Crab Flavoured Chip that there are some rather unsavoury sexual associations with that name and flavour combination.

What next? PUSSY: The Fish Flavoured Snack.



A Word Can Change Everything …
December 20, 2007, 7:30 am
Filed under: Comment

Saw this article in one of Asia’s Industry Mags

Picture3

I am sure they meant ‘particular’ … but it’s definitely funnier this way!



Bad Recruitment Policy?
December 20, 2007, 7:16 am
Filed under: Comment

Letters Home... 

Yesterday I received a package from a headhunter I’d never heard of based in Japan.

Inside was a copy of Matt Beaumont’s hysterical advertising book ‘e‘ … a covering letter explaining that if any of the ‘comings and goings’ in the book resonated with me, they’d happily find me a new job … and ‘advance’ approval to wrap up the book and give it to someone else if I’d already read it.

All very nice, except …

1 The book is so old I’m sure everyone in adland has already read it.

2 It doesn’t matter if you work at WK or JWT … there’ll be something in the book that resonates with you.

3 Inside the front cover they’ve put a huge stamp of their company logo – so if I was to pass it on to someone else, they’d know I was a bloody cheapskate!

Plus the whole point of advertising is that you get to work alongside the weird and the wonderful – because despite it becoming more and more corporate, every now and then you still get the odd moment of ‘gold’ like the email I got from a German planner thanking me for some advice I’d given them on their upcoming Lufthansa pitch.

Thank you for you kindness Robert. With your help we now are ready for take off and will surely win the glorious Lufthansa account. Wishes of the best to you.

Yes I know it sounds awfully like Pertie van Helden [a character in the book ‘e’] but I swear that is exactly how I got it!  Genius!

Sure you probably get this sort of thing happening in many industries but it’s certainly one of the things that keeps me getting up in the morning … well, that and the cash … so while I thank the nice people at the Japanese Recruitment Company for the book, I have to say they won’t be hearing from me.

At least not yet 🙂

If they really wanted to send a pressie that was original, funny and had the potential to motivate a frustrated individual to seek out their helpthen they should have sent the brilliant ‘money box‘ that the delightful Emah just gave me for Christmas,

19/12/2007

19/12/2007 

How great is that eh?

I’m just trying to work out whether she is implying I’m not happy or she’s isn’t! Ha!



Bill Gates Save My Cats Life …
December 19, 2007, 1:56 pm
Filed under: Comment

Bill Gates selling windows

As many of you know, I have a cat … a cat that has been hell-bent on destruction since we got her about a month ago.

One of her first ‘actions’ was to fuck up my Xbox 360 – however in one of the biggest shocks of the year, Microsoft have not only leapt to the rescue, but they’ve done it in a way that actually changes my attitude towards them. Abit.

Despite it being out of warranty, they’ve not only changed the console without any fuss – but they’ve given me an additional years guarantee as well as a months free [Gold] membership to Xbox Live.

Now that’s service … and it’s way, way, way better than what you get with Apple.

Talk about mindfucking!

I’ve said it many times before, but how a company treats a customer when things goes wrong is the single biggest opportunity to keep them as a customer in the future – and whilst many organisations just don’t ‘get it’, it would seem Bill Gates mob has not only understood, but put it into practice.

Thanks Microsoft … you’ve done good and not only is my Cat going to live another day, but my Christmas is not going to one of total boredom either:)