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

Is Being A ‘Certified Ideas Manager’ Just Another Way Of Saying You’re An ‘Unimaginative Corporate Sheep’?
January 31, 2008, 7:09 pm
Filed under: Comment

This is a Trojan horse post – something created for no other reason than to make one person smile, and a whole lot of others moan!

Quick Research Test …
January 31, 2008, 6:39 pm
Filed under: Comment

We’re doing some work regarding what makes someone ‘cool’ and as part of the research, we have created a questionnaire where we can try and spot any trends [interms of attitude or behaviour] that symbolise people with this ‘trait’.

I know this is a contentious issue [ie: can cool ever really be defined in scientific terms] but if you could take our quick test, I’d really appreciate it.

Emails To H.R. Directors That You Should Not Accidentally Copy To Your Entire Company …
January 31, 2008, 6:22 pm
Filed under: Comment


I would like to let you know that I’ve decided to leave the company for another opportunity on the marketing side [details not final yet so I can’t divulge] 

I’ve already spoken to XXX about this.

I need to check with you the notice period I need to serve.

In my contract it is 6 weeks because I was on Employment Pass, but since I changed status to PR, by right should I be entitled to the 4 weeks notice period as well?

Hope you can help advise.



No, I am not making it up. That’s the exact email that got sent to hundreds of people this afternoon.

I don’t know who this person is or what they do, but I hope they’re leaving to be a comedian because they are great at making me laugh!

More Blunderman From Wunderman?
January 31, 2008, 7:15 am
Filed under: Comment

The torture never stops

So a couple of days I went on a complete rant about a book I’d received from Direct Marketing company, Wunderman.

Some people thought I’d gone over-the-top because to them, it was just the usual puffery they expect from communication agencies – but I don’t agree because whilst all organisations are prone to the odd bit of exaggeration, this was going against the principals the company had been set up with.

Anyway, to demonstrate that my post was worthy of a rant, I thought I’d write up WORD-FOR-WORD one of the ‘lessons’ this book professes to teach. [Page 75]


In a traditional laboratory experiment there is a cage with two levers in it:

The red lever dispenses a pellet of food when it is pushed.

The blue lever does nothing.If a few humans are then put into the cage and left there for a week, an interesting effect occurs.

What happens?

After a while, the humans will press the red lever whenever they are hungry.

And they will completely ignore the blue lever.If you then drop a market researcher into the cage, the researcher can learn about their experience.

When the market researcher questions the humans, the humans are likely to tell the researcher that they associate the red lever with statements like, ‘tasty/delicious food’ and ‘the sort of lever I prefer’.

If the humans were sophisticated, they might also agree with statements that the red lever was ‘a lever for people like them’ and ‘part of a positive lifestyle.’

In short, the red lever would have built up all the aspects of a strong, positive brand personality.

And without the humans having been exposed to any television advertising whatsoever.

This is fundamental to digital marketing.

The most powerful driver of brand image and purchase intent is not television. It is experience.

Question mark in Esbjerg

What the fuck are they going on about? 

OK … so I agree a positive experience is more powerful than one dimensional advertising, but as for the rest of their muttering I am at a complete loss what they’re trying to say.

Are they suggesting companies should kidnap their potential customers and hold them hostage till they press a lever that debits a certain amount from their credit card? 

To be fair, I’m sure that would be very effective but I reckon it’s going to be a bit of a bitch to get them to make repeat purchases.

And what’s all this ‘Tasty/delicious food’‘the sort of lever I prefer’ …  ‘a lever for people like them’ ‘part of a positive lifestyle’ bollocks?

I really, really hope they’re taking the piss because otherwise they’ve just fucked over the market research industry as well as direct marketing and I don’t think Sir Martin will be happy given his WPP group now makes more dosh from research than communication.

Big Red Lever

And then there’s the small matter of what this all has to do with the net?

Alright … alright … I know the net is one of the most powerful ways to give a brand experience, short of purchasing the actual product [and sometimes, it’s even better than that] but the metaphor they’re using is hardly the best is it? 

I mean, comparing a situation where someone lives or dies by their actions with how a company needs to be online is abit extreme … but as daft as that is, it’s not nearly as fucking stupid as when they claim this is how to create a POWERFUL BRAND IMAGE!


Go on Wunderman, tell me how that works … how would putting me in a cage make me fall in love with a fucking red lever? A RED LEVER FOR FUCKS SAKE!

Let me tell you, if I was placed in a situation like the one Wunderman describes, I don’t think I’d be saying


… I think I’d be screaming …


Who writes this shit and how come they’re still in a job?


There’s loads more I could write – including the fact many DM companies [including Wunderman] recognise television as a powerful tool in generating consumer response – but I can’t be arsed giving any more attention to an organisation who are obviously so out-of-touch so here and download your very own copy of HOW TO THINK DIGITAL because you’ll be pissing yourself laughing [unless you’re a Wunderman shareholder] in no time.

Still need convincing?

Alright, well let me leave with this snippet on Assessing Relative Scale [Page 63]

Here’s a question for the average guy.

Should you date Paris Hilton?

The answer is no, because:

[i]     She wouldn’t respect you.

[ii]    Her tastes would bankrupt you.

[iii]    All her friends would look down on you.

The central problem: Paris Hilton as a person and as a brand is in a much stronger position than you are.

I rest my case … now get downloading, it’s a real page turner 🙂

It’s A Special Day In Sweden …
January 30, 2008, 7:20 am
Filed under: Comment

swedish flag

… because the man who wears his pants like he’s from Brokeback Mountain is 35 today.

Happy Birthday Freddie … we miss you. [But not your music 🙂 ]

Well Done To My Friends At Droga5 …
January 30, 2008, 7:16 am
Filed under: Comment

VB bokeh

… for winning VB.

I have a fucking fantastic campaign for you if you want it 🙂

That reminds me, I really should put up the mood video of the ad we were hoping to make.

Let me see how politically sensitive that would be – because I’d love to show what I – and the rest of the team – were so proud and excited about. And no, I’m not talking about symphony,  I’m talking about the Angelina thing!

[I know I owe you an email Ted, will call you soon. Like I promised last week, ha!]

When Was The Last Time You Saw Something For The First Time?
January 30, 2008, 7:15 am
Filed under: Comment

Have a look out your window … look up … look down … look into the distance … can you imagine how different your environment would be without skyscrapers? 

Would you still feel you were in a city?

Would you still think you were in the modern age?

The reason I write this is because in Cambodia, they have just unveiled the first of 3 skyscrapers they plan to build … the first that will appear in their capital. EVER.

This is a big thing for the country – not just because it shows Cambodia is worthy of foreign investment [especially when most organisations seem obsessed with China and India] – but because it provides the people of Phnom Penh with undeniable proof their country/city is progressing.

I know a while back I wrote that neon signs made cities feel big and vibrant but I was wrong – it’s skyscrapers – because without them, what you end up with is Grimsby on a cold, rainy November night.