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

Take A Long, Hard Look At Yourself Adland …
September 21, 2009, 9:32 am
Filed under: Comment

Yes, yes … I know I said there wouldn’t be a post until Friday but as I’ll be in China without internet access and this issue has been angering me since Friday, I thought I’d bung in another post for errrrm, good luck.

On Friday at the SPIKES, we had the absolute privilege to see the utterly brilliant Sir Ken Robinson speak.

Putting aside that some people might not know who he is [which say’s a lot more about them than I could ever achieve], the fact is the turn out for this rare opportunity was a disgrace – about 30% at the beginning of the speech – leading to Sir Ken even making a joke about it.

But where were they?

Were they all hungover from pretending they were rock stars the night before?

Maybe some … but it seems the majority of the delegates were attending a workshop on “How To Win A Bloody Cannes Somethingorother”.

What the hell is wrong with these people?

If you want to win a Cannes Lion, all you have to do is something insightful, differentiated, interesting and real.

How long does that take to tell? 13 seconds?

For an industry that talks about ideas and media neutrality – it’s telling that the biggest attended seminars were the ones where a lot of ads were shown. And putting a TVC on the web is NOT digital … it’s called putting a TVC on the web.

As you all know, I’ve been a groupie of Sir Ken’s for many years and I know everyone who saw him left feeling in awe at his intellect, passion, humour and viewpoint on creativity … and for me, he was by far the most inspiring speaker of the SPIKES and the fact he has never even worked in adland is very telling about the real state of our industry, a state very few seem to ever want to talk about publically … or should I say, talk about publically with total honesty.

[I should point out there were some very good and interesting speakers who came from adland – however just like Monica Lewinksky did to El Presidente Clinton, Sir Ken blew them away *]

By sheer fluke, I saw Sir Ken at the airport and after calling on my ‘Baz spirit’ I went over to say hello and ended up chatting with him for a couple of wonderful, glorious hours.

Well, they were wonderful and glorious for me – not sure about him – but given he sent me an email this morning that didn’t feature the words “CEASE & DESIST” I think he didn’t mind too much, but that could be because we both have wives that have an unnatural love for Elvis Presley.

Anyway, I truly believe that if more people in adland followed his philosophy on creativity rather than just chase award ratings, then I reckon we might be an industry with a strong future rather than just a great past – alas, like drug addicts, for all the talk of wanting to think interms of the ‘bigger idea’, the lure of the 30” TVC and print ad is just too much for many of them, even though they all know it’s what’s slowly killing them and their industry at the same time.

* Yes that is the worst analogy of 2009. Sorry.

Where’s Wally? [The Adult Version]
September 21, 2009, 6:08 am
Filed under: Comment

I know we’ve just had a couple of days off [and I was basically ‘off’ all last week], but tomorrow I go to China to spend a few days helping an organisation try and save bears from terrible and wrongful treatment.

Yes, you can call me Noah, Dr Dolittle or simply Mr “I Need The Good Karma Points”.

Anyway, because I’ve been a slack arse, I don’t really have a blog post for today so whilst I will endeavour to have something for Friday – which I’m sure you’re all a quiver of excitement over – here’s something that makes Google Earth look like one of those shit pen telescopes you used to get as a kid.

Well, you did if you were as old as me.

All you have to do is click here and play with the zoom.

Apart from seeing ex-presidents, trophy wives and bored-as-shit people in the audience … you can also see how easy it is to be watched from afar, which is probably great news for the American Secret Service and bad news for Andy.


See you Friday … unless I get mauled.

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 …