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

What Are SONY Thinking?
September 18, 2009, 6:02 am
Filed under: Comment

This is going to be a short post, simply because I’m in so much shock, I don’t think I can pad it out with my usual bollocks.

As many of you know, I’ve worked on SONY in the past – and one of my big achievements was getting them to adopt our ‘FEEL’ positioning.

Well, all good things must come to an end and SONY have just announced their new corporate end line.

Are you ready for it?


Yes, that’s right … MAKE BELIEVE … in other words, SONY make products that are one big fat lie/exaggeration/delusion.

Who said there was no truth in advertising anymore??


I know someone has told them that having a fullstop between the words makes all the difference, but it doesn’t – and whoever came up with this blatant stupidity [and I have my suspicions] should go and kill themselves immediately, just like all the SONY shareholders who are in for a very long and cold winter before they receive some dividends from their investment.

To be fair, the idea behind the line is alright.

Of course it means SONY have to actually go back to their innovation roots and stop churning out averageness … but as an underlying idea, it works – even though it’s very similar to many other technology brands.

However putting that aside – and the fact I think it has more relevance to certain SONY divisions than the company as a whole – I’m still pretty devastated by it all.

Not because they have moved away from our thinking/work [to be honest, they never embraced it as much as they should/could/said] but because this is a brand I love/d and if they can think this stupid endline sends out a positive message to an ever increasing skeptical audience, then I doubt they’ll be able to identify good and innovative products in the future.

Let’s hope the next incarnation of what they do doesn’t end up being summed up as SONY.DEAD

PS: It’s still a pretty long post isn’t it!

For My Dad …
September 17, 2009, 6:02 am
Filed under: Comment

Happy Birthday.


Comments Off on For My Dad …

Is It Just Me …
September 16, 2009, 6:26 am
Filed under: Comment

… or is the Google search page [in Australia, at least] slowly but surely getting more and more cluttered?

Sure, it’s still better than most of their competitors, but that’s immaterial – it signifies a shift/lapse in the judgement and values of the company.

To be honest, this happens to many organisations at some point, which is why – as I wrote here – I have such respect for NIKE, so let’s hope this post encourages George to cause a bit of a stink in a certain office in Mountain View, though I have the sneaky suspicion that like the Diet Coke post of last year, I will be the one getting the most shit.

Oh goodie …

A[P]SOTW Assignment: The Pen Is Mighter Than The Sword.
September 15, 2009, 6:37 am
Filed under: Advertising [Planning] School On The Web

Proving that men can multitask, Gareth has somehow managed to write the next A[P]SOTW assignment despite starting a totally new job in a totally new city and being a finalist in the best Dad in the whole wide World [as voted by him]

It’s a total corker because it needs you to combine many of the key elements needed to sell [let alone create] powerful and lasting communication: pragmatism, passion, persuasion, ingenuity, intrigue, insight, relevance, resonance, commercialism and simplicity [of the highest common denominator kind, naturally]

So get yourself over there and show us [1] that words can still change the future and [2] I’m not going to be in an industry that just sells sponsored jokes and visual puns.

Comments Off on A[P]SOTW Assignment: The Pen Is Mighter Than The Sword.

Mind Of Confusion …
September 15, 2009, 6:26 am
Filed under: Comment

I am not a clever person.

I don’t think I’m totally stooooopid … but I’m certainly nothing special, as my 1986 maths exam proves*.

However despite this, I’m still a curious little bastard which is why I often literally find myself having spent hours thinking about why something is as it is.

Of course I could just go on Google and get the answer in a second, but I work in advertising during the worst economic recession since 482BC so it’s not like I have anything better to do.

Anyway, over the years there’s been a lot of things I’ve tried to come up with a hypothesis on – and whilst in many cases, it’s all ended up being a total crock of shit [thank you George & Andy] – there has been the odd occasion where it’s led to us commissioning some formal research so I could try and understand [or be told I’m a complete idiot] why – for example – so many female CEO’s [who work in largish organisations] tend to be underweight.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because there’s one thing I’ve been trying to work out since way back in 2001 and despite having some theories, I am still left with more questions than answers and that issue is this …

Plastic knives.

More specifically, plastic knives on planes.


Yes I know they say it is to do with airline security but if they think a plastic knife can cut some tough-as-old-wellies bit of meat, then it sure as hell could cut the delicate neck of some hostie.

And anyway, who said knives had the monopoly on pain?

Forks can hurt like a bastard.

Remember this?

Sure he didn’t die but I bet the little bastard felt it.

Then there’s Mr Spoon. Sweet, lovely Mr spoon …

Scooping sizable portions of delicate chocolate mousse from its little plastic container and transporting it without so much as a complaint, to your eager and open mouth.

Mr spoon wouldn’t harm anyone, Mr Spoon is cutlery’s kindest son.

My arse.

Have you ever been smacked on the head with a metal spoon at full thrust?

Sadly – and for reasons I won’t go into – I have and it’s not at all pleasant.

To be honest, cutlery aside, the whole food tray offers a wide array of potential ‘tools of evil’ … from the tall glass right through to the shitty food they expect you to shovel down your gob.

Banning metal knives and replacing them with plastic ones makes about as much sense as inviting me to speak at a conference and then telling me I’m not allowed to swear!

And this, dear ladies and gentlemen, is my predicament because for the life of me, I just can’t work out what’s really going on.

[I’m talking about the plastic knives, not the ‘no swearing’ thing]

Oh sure, this decision might of reassured some people after Sept 11th for about 3 minutes – but come on, do they really think the masses believe the airlines are now 100% safe just because they’ve hidden all the metal knives in the kitchen drawer?

Unless you tell me differently, I guess the moral of this post is that life isn’t always made up of rational decisions and that too few companies re-evaluate their policies – even if their clientele think it doesn’t add up – so as a planner, you have to appreciate that in many cases, common sense is either not all that common, or pretty fucked up, hence the soon-to-be unveiled new Rob Campbell philosophy “DEVIOUS STRATEGY”.

Have a good one.

[* 2% if you really must know!]

It’s A Fine Line Between ‘Inspiration’ & ‘Frustration’ …
September 14, 2009, 6:34 am
Filed under: Comment

So this week I’m in Singapore for the SPIKES – and even though it’s focus is on the ‘digital’ side of communication life – for all intents and purposes, it is Asia’s Cannes.

Now as I’ve written in the past, I feel Cannes often ends up being a self-indulgent wankfest … but to be fair, most ad conferences end up that way and it drives me nuts because as much as it is important to enjoy and celebrate what this industry can do, its continued reluctance to address some of the fundamental issues that are undermining its value and potential shows a mixture of arrogance, delusion and downright fear.

To be honest, I have high hopes for this conference because putting aside the speakers who attend the opening of an envelope [ie: me and David Droga, ha!] they’ve got a really good cross section of speakers including the inspirational creative advocate, Sir Ken Robinson … however there’s still no company CEO’s or member of the general public being allowed to vent on stage, so there’s still that danger the only debate that will occur is that age old – and to a certain extent – irrelevant ‘the future of ideas’.

I still hope that one day there’ll be a conference where they literally get people from opposing sides of the fence debating against each other – think Michael Moore vs Bill O’Reilly – because not only would it be entertaining, but the audience would get breadth and depth of debate rather than the usual one-sided and gentle approach.

Hell, it might also mean people end up leaving the event feeling both inspired and questioning their own initial views – which given the current state of communication conservatism, might be a great thing.

Anyway, here’s hoping this conference has debate as well as celebration – though I might not be able to tell as I intend to have my head right up Sir Ken’s arse. [Metaphorically, not literally – unless he promises me a romantic dinner]

Nail Your Colours To The Wall …
September 11, 2009, 6:44 am
Filed under: Comment

Yesterday I was telling someone about a post I wrote about Diet Coke [as part of the ‘best beverage’ competition] and how it upset George because they were [at the time] a client of ours.

Well this got me thinking … we’ve not had a good ol’ inter-blog competition for bloody ages.

Do you remember the ‘best meat’ thing that Marcus organised ages ago?

I still think sausages were completely fucking robbed of the title … but it was a lot of fun, even if company productivity ground to snail-like levels.

Then we had the ‘best beverage’ and I think a ‘Smiths vs Boney M’ battle too …

For a whole bunch of reasons, I can’t help but feel our little blog mob has got a bit disconnected as of late.

To be honest, maybe that’s just me trying to share the blame because I know for a fact I’ve been a slack shit for the past 6 months or so … and even though I still visit shit loads of blogs every day, I hardly ever write a comment and I’ve certainly not stayed in contact with people like I used to – which might make a bunch of you very happy – but pisses me off not end, so maybe we need something to pull us all together and I think that thing is the VIDEO GAME face-off.

The rules are that you simply nominate whatever video game you think is the pinnacle of entertainment and then, in the next week or so, I draw lots to see who ‘plays’ against each other so we can identify the best game of all time.

You can choose anything – from any gaming platform – however if you think the system it operates on played/plays an important role in your enjoyment, then you could/should mention it.

I was actually going to make this a ‘Best Documentary’ play-off because I thought it would [1] help broaden our minds and [2] help me fill up my library with more weird shit – but given this whole concept basically needs a high level of public awareness/experience, maybe we’ll save that version for another day.

Right, I suppose I should start things off shouldn’t I.

Oooooh it’s so difficult.

Even though they weren’t real video games, the impact of both BLIP and DEMON DRIVER had on me was immense. Then there was ASTRO WARS – basically a shrunken Galaxian – or CHUCKY EGG on the Acorn BBC home computer.

Shit this is hard … I absolutely LOVED Atari’s POLE POSITION and basically had an addiction to DEFENDER … however the one I’m nominating as the best video game EVER is the ‘Game & Watch’ version of DONKEY KONG.

You know what – I’ve changed my mind.

Hey, if it’s OK for women, it’s OK for men.

Fuck the video game thing – let’s go with something a bit more ‘ad related’ …

Let’s go with what you think is the best ‘brand character’

I’m talking people like Ronald ‘paedo’ McDonald … Bibendum [a.k.a. The Michelin Man] … Mario … Tony The Tiger … Honey Monster … Smash Robots …

Yeah, that’s a much better idea and for me, there’s only one brand character that I will happily support and that is the mighty, meaty PEPERAMI!

So there you go, the competition is officially open … and it’s NOT best video game [we’ll do that another time] it’s the BEST BRAND CHARACTER [ie: they represent a brand rather than are a brand in their own right] so spread the word, get your nominations in and prepared to defend your choice to the death, or at least till you’re voted out!