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


Billy Bids Bye Bye …
November 28, 2008, 7:04 am
Filed under: Comment

Elvis on toilet Why Is This Man Single? Ahem.

So today is the day we say goodbye to our tattoo’d love loser, Billy.

Even though it’s nice to know that life will be ‘smoother’ without him, the reality is we’re very sad to see him go because even though he showed none of it on this blog [haha!] he’s a very talented, smart, funny guy who has been absolutely brilliant for us, to us and with us.

In reality, it’s not really goodbye because like his nemesis, Bazza, we’ll still be seeing a lot of him as he’s joining [or should I say, re-joining] our friends at Crispin, however it will be a much quieter place without him and Andy in particular is finding the whole thing very hard to take, mainly because he knows no one else in the team will take his shit like Billy did, so he’s going to have to start being nice, ha!

Anyway, we’re very proud of all you’ve done and know there’s a lot of great things still to come, so go and show the World what you’re made of and never change because underneath it all, you’re one of the good guys.

Make sure you enjoy every second of your leaving party in Vegas because let me tell you, it’s the last thing you’ll ever be getting out of us, ha!

__________________________________________________________________________

PS 1: I know going out after 11pm is exciting for you George, but can you please remember public vomiting is never a good look at your age.

PS 2: Welcome to Pete and his wife Sarah, who are both joining us on Monday.

Fortunately for us [and them] they’re going to be based in San Fran so the likelihood of them leaving because of Andy is vastly reduced.

It’s absolutely great to be working with both of you again and I can’t wait to see you – have fun and please don’t base us on what you see over this weekend, ha!

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To Anyone I Know In India And Thailand …
November 27, 2008, 9:24 am
Filed under: Comment

… I hope you and your friends/families are safe and life gets back to ‘normal’ very soon.

[Apologies to those who I have not got in contact with personally – either I don’t have your mobile number or my new computer doesn’t have your email address]

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I’m Thanking But Nobody’s Giving …
November 27, 2008, 7:00 am
Filed under: Comment

So that’s another lie perpetuated by America 🙂

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Why Do You Ask ‘2 Dogs Fucking?’ [What’s In A Name]
November 27, 2008, 6:46 am
Filed under: Comment

So as we’re close to moving countries again, I have found myself looking at various furniture brochures.

Now if that wasn’t scary enough, imagine how I felt when I saw this …

Yes, it’s a bed called NOTTINGHAM.

To add insult to injury, they then have the cheek to say “A good nights rest comes at a fraction of a price”.

Apart from the fact that I don’t want a good nights rest, I want a good nights sleep – the reality is that the only good night you’ll have in crime ridden Nottingham is either if you’re dead, or in a Police cell.

[That’s a joke BTBB, so don’t tell me off please!]

Trust me, I know how painful coming up with names for brands can be, but I can’t believe that NOTTINGHAM was the best thing they could come up with.

Jesus, I’ve just seen a box of elastic bands that was able to come up with a half decent name [‘TRUE FRIENDS – because we bond forever’] so I can’t believe a product that has real emotional value in the purchase decision [and costs more than 50 cents!!!] can’t come up with something abit better than a place in England with a serious crime problem.

I remember lovely Russell gave a little challenge a while back to come up with a new name for the North Sea.

If memory serves me correctly, the winner was “Ice Cream Sea”.

Rather than hide from the fact it’s a bloody cold bastard, they embraced it and associated it with something positive – Ice Cream – brilliant.

So here’s a little challenge of my own, if you were the guys behind the NOTTINGHAM bed, and were tasked to come up with a new name, what would you suggest – and no, Bedpost Notches is not appropriate, ha!

Right, over to you …



Misplaced Effectiveness …
November 26, 2008, 7:19 am
Filed under: Comment

Wood And Trees By Aremac

I am a huge believer in being able to quantify results because if you don’t do that, you can’t expect to get the money you believe you deserve.

I must admit in Asia, I’ve found it quite difficult to get clients to quantify their business expectations – not because of their ability – but because out here the role of marketing tends to be more about ‘producing stuff’, than ‘producing results’.

In other words the focus of the average brand manager is to create whatever promotional material their sales teams wants [demands] rather than drive ideas that can motivate the masses to do what ultimately their business [and their customers] want.

This situation might sound like a dream come true for certain ad agencies but it’s this lack of responsibility that I believe has contributed to the low value many companies regard adland with.

I know there are many people out there who think ‘awareness’ is a valid metric but I don’t.

Of course awareness can contribute to a brands success but that should never be enough of a strategic target because ultimately, clients hire us to make them more money and if we fail to recognize that – and put in place targets that can demonstrate that – we are failing our industry.

Instant Awareness By Cahobby 13

You see I don’t believe brand value and sales value need be mutually exclusive – infact in these hard economic times, I’d argue it is irresponsible to treat them as separate entities.

This doesn’t mean ads have to feature great big yellow fucking starbursts or pricing on every ad – it means embracing every discipline within marketing, including the sales, distribution and R&D channels because contrary to what some in adland think, they have as big an influence on how well your 30 seconds of CGI glory works as anything else.

Anyway, I’m going off tangent and whilst I’ve just said a lot of Asian advertising has little or no definable targets for its communication, not every company acts this way – which is why what I’m going to write now may seem abit mad … but hey that’s something you should be used to by now.

Calculating Retrenchments By Esthr

Right, an issue that is bothering me is organizations obsession with measurability.

Believe it or not, I’m not contradicting what I said at the beginning of this post … the issue I’m talking about is that too many organisations regard ‘measurability’ as the most important element of anything they do, rather than making the important things, measurable.

Am I making clear here?

Just incase, what I’m trying to say is that too many clients care more about measuring how many people see their campaign rather than what the communication actually achieves.

What this means is that companies are getting commended for their mass market mainstream communication strategies [ie: brainwashing] rather than rating it’s actual effectiveness which is probably contributing to the traditional approach to mass marketing and communication despite almost everyone in the industry accepting it’s effectiveness is not as powerful as it used to be or it should.

To be honest, I’m amazed companies seem to be happy paying continually higher and higher rates for less and less audience – but I guess when you are in a culture of risk adversity [despite what all the companies may say] it’s what is bound to happen.

Emperors New Clothes By Ecpica

One thing that really upsets me with all this is that the industry mags are seemingly perpetuating this madness by running columns that talk about ‘which ad has had the greatest recall’.

Week after week we see bland brands with huge budgets getting labeled as the most ‘effective’ interms of recall when the reality is either [1] that ‘recall’ is having little benefit interms of sales or [2] they own so much of the key distribution channels, that they’d get the majority of their sales with little or no advertising anyway.

Until the industry stops its obsession with blanket measurability and starts focusing on what actually needs to be measured, we’re going to continue down the slippery slope of corporate irrelevance and that’s a terrible thing because adland has the power to make a bigger difference to companies, people and society than every brand and management consultant put together.



Personal Interest Vs Social Interest …
November 25, 2008, 7:00 am
Filed under: Comment

I came across this video of American ‘inspirational speaker’ Anthony Robbins and I have to say, he talks quite a lot of sense – especially when he says how emotions can sometimes work against our best interests.

Saying that, if you’re anything like me, you won’t hear a word he says because you’ll be starring in amazement at just how fucking huuuuuuuuge the guy is.

What did you think?

Did you hear a single word or were you just staring at his enormous jaw and hands?

I have to say I found his constant “Say I” exclamations highly annoying … but not nearly as painful as when he referred to himself as a “Crazy Mofo”.

Who the hell talks like that?

I’ll tell you … the most UNcrazy Mofo’s on the planet.

It’s like people in the pub who tell you they’re “Fucking craaaaaaaaaaazy” and then when you ask what they do for a job, they tell you they are the payroll accountant at Volvo [beige division]

Anyway I digress – however having watched this video a few times, I have now come to the conclusion he doesn’t motivate people through his words, he intimidates them into action through his sheer physical size …

Even though I found some of what the very successful and intelligent Mr Robbins said very interesting [plus he swears which means he can’t be all bad] – I personally find this mild mannered man far more motivating and inspiring.

[Yes I know I’ve shown this thing a million times before, but it’s bloody brilliant and I don’t care!]

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY&feature=channel]

Right, now you’ve watched that [you have watched it haven’t you???] do you agree with me or is it just a Brit thing that makes me like Sir Ken more?

Contrary to what you all probably think, it’s not an anti-Yank thing – how can I hate a country that is helping keep a roof over my head? – I think the reason I resonate more with Sir Ken’s speech is because he is talking about societies values and how it can make the World a better place whereas Mr Robbins seems to be focusing much more on shortcuts to personal success – which to be fair – is what he has been paid to do for decades.

I think it is a Brit thing – because as much as I want to be successful and wealthy – the thought of exclusively focusing on my own path to glory is almost bordering on distasteful, however I appreciate in many cultures, that just the normal way of life.

Explains a lot of why we’re in the state we’re in ….

[This post was NOT paid for by the British Government, but I am open to donations if they feel inclined to cough up some cash!]



Chris Martin Offers An Olive Branch …
November 24, 2008, 7:00 am
Filed under: Comment

As many of you know, I hate Chris Martin and have a bit of a disturbing obsession with the IMPACT font.

Well it would seem the whiny, self important toff wants to apologise to me for every wrong he has inflicted on my life.

How do I know?

Because of this …

Cheers Chris, I’ll think about it – to be honest there’s a hell of a lot you have to make up for – but if you ditch the stupid symbols on your hands and write something happy for once it would be a step in the right direction.

As you can see, last weeks more ‘serious posts’ were an exception!

[Thanks – I think – to Lauren for sending me this!]