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


Don’t Innovate, Simulate …
December 14, 2009, 6:30 am
Filed under: Comment

So it’s nearly Christmas … that time of year where companies put out all sorts of tat in the knowledge that for much of society, as soon as December 1 strikes, their nerves become a frazzled wreck and their judgement goes up their arse.

I was going to write this post and link it to the planning philosophy I’m finalising/writing up – devious strategy – but I can’t be arsed plus this isn’t really a good example because it’s more about ‘cheating people’ rather than engaging them for a different reason than the brand really represents.

God I’m sounding like ‘one of them’ aren’t I!

Thank god we have a break coming up so I can wash my mouth out with acid.

So anyway, back to the post.

Being a ‘new age’ kinda guy, I was at the supermarket with Mrs C jnr [ie: Jill, my wife] when she spotted this …

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Yep, an overpriced Lindt Chocolate Christmas Reindeer!

To be honest, that wasn’t very surprising, because where chocolate is concerned my wife can spot a smartie at 500 meters – however what we did find interesting is that the ‘chocolate reindeer’ seemed suspiciously shaped like the Lindt Chocolate Easter Bunny.

Could they be infact the same choccie, just with a bit packed onto the end and some different outer wrapping?

I tell you, those ears/antlers look very similar and then there’s the fact we’ve never seen Mr Bunny and Mr Reindeer in the same room at the same time have we???

Something tells me those cheeky Swiss war prospering bastards, have cheaply re-hashed their Easter Bunny offering so they can cash in on Christmas with minimal effort … and I say fair bloody dues to them.

I’ve written before how innovation can be one of the easiest ways to pour money down the drain and whilst I’m all for progression and pushing boundaries, at times of ‘seasonal gifting’ – unless you have something amazingly new to offer – it is maybe better to accept you’ll make as much money from ‘adapting’ your offering as you would developing something entirely new.

Saying that, I still believe a key issue for many brands is that too many of them follow this approach most of the time – even if they claim they’re being innovative – but given the last time I pointed this out, I ended up having a major blog debate, I think I will shut up because it’s nearly Christmas and if I don’t earn some good karma points in the next few days, all I’m going to get from Santa is a great big smack in the gob.



Is This The Greatest Album Cover Of All Time?
December 11, 2009, 6:27 am
Filed under: Comment

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Not sure … but it’s certainly one of the most attention grabbing.

Move over Britney and Miley … there’s a new shock Queen in town and she’s walking in with her errrrrm, legs over her shoulders.

PS: Could Susan Boyle’s record company please not get any horrible ideas for promoting album #2 please. Thank you.



If You Thought Adland Was Bad For …
December 10, 2009, 6:35 am
Filed under: Comment

1/ Puns
2/ Plagiarism
3/ Platitudes

… then have a look at what those folk in financial publishing are up to.

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Jeez …

I guess what this means is that the financial crisis is still alive and well because when a magazine – whose name, type and design is the epitome of boring – has to resort to ‘shock’ tactics to try and attract some custom, you know the rest of the World is still knee deep in the shit.

What next, accountant centrefolds?

Maybe Sir Martin could make a celebrity appearance … with the way WPP’s finances are looking, he might have to.



Celebratory Disendorsment …
December 9, 2009, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

I work in the ‘celebratory endorsement’ capital of the World.

Almost every possible brand in almost every possible category is endorsed by someone or other.

In Japan you get uber-stars selling their soul for any 2-bit brand that has offered to buy them a new house in Beverly Hills whereas in other parts of the region, you see a bunch of people who have seemingly become ‘stars’ simply through the number of products they endorse.

Infact I am convinced MEDIACORP – Singapore’s main media organisation – makes more money flogging their x-grade ‘stars’ to brands than they do from content creation.

From noodles to keep fit machines, you can be sure the ads will feature some pretty Asian face with the words “MEDIACORP STAR” emblazoned underneath their name – even though you haven’t got the faintest idea who they are or what they’ve done.

Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if they got the ‘stars’ to ‘do’ something interesting/different/humouress – but no – 99% of the time they just show them using the product in the belief that is enough to get the general public to rush out and buy the product in their bucketloads.

Sadly it often is …

Of course endorsement is nothing new … and not just limited to the ‘East’ … however whilst I appreciate it can attain ‘cut through’ and can heighten ‘brand cache’, the communication often focuses more on the ‘star’ than the brand which leads to the possibility that when the endorser goes [probably to a competitor] so can the audience – especially if it’s in a fickle category like kids products.

Anyway the reason I am writing all this is because I recently came across this …

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Yes, it’s Mr Handsome endorsing Nespresso.

Now putting aside the fact ‘Nespresso’ is possibly one of the worst brand names since ‘Darkie’ Toothpaste, do you really think George ‘multi-millionaire playboy’ Clooney really drinks Nespresso?

Do we believe he goes to his house in Lake Como – a house that resides in the country that prays at the Church of Coffee – and shoves a Nespresso pod into his Nespresso machine and then sits back and enjoys a cup of black gold from the same company that churns out Nescafe Gold Blend in the local supermarket?

Of course if you think he does, then my argument is shot nearly as much as your – and George’s – credibility … but is it really possible Mr & Mrs Bland feel that by simply purchasing a plastic coffee maker and drinking plastic coffee, they are ‘sharing’ a lifestyle similar to Gorgeous George’s?

Oh god, how totally and utterly depressing.

If this is indeed the case, then the only redeeming factor to this shit is that Nespresso are claiming that without their coffee, George Clooney is ‘ordinary’.

If ordinary is being an international film star with a bevy of beautiful women, stunning houses and a shitload of cash in the bank – then where do I sign up – however call me crazy, but I think this is another example of yet more marketing ego and/or unfunny corporate humour which – if there’s any luck/justice in the World – will make people realise the overall premise of Clooney choosing to use this machine [rather than being paid to use it] is so ridiculous that it’s bordering on offensive so the masses will turn their back on it rather than opening their wallets.

And while I’m on a rant role, can I tell you how much I hate ads that end with a question like WHAT ELSE? or WHY NOT?

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Maybe it’s just me, but when I see something like that, all my cynical side comes to the fore which is why my first reaction when I saw that line on that Nespresso ad was:

“BECAUSE YOUR COFFEE TASTES LIKE SHIT”

I tell you something weird though – somehow Clooney still comes across as cool and credible – which is quite amazing even though it’s probably driven by his self depreciating and honest persona and the fact he has publically admitted he only really does ‘blockbusters’ so it can pay for his more personal and interesting projects.

So there you have it, George Clooney is the Robin Hood of celebratory endorsement, so what’s your excuse Tommy Lee Jones?




It’s Political InCorrectness Gone Mad.
December 8, 2009, 6:21 am
Filed under: Comment

A little while ago, on a UK program called “Britain’s Got Talent”, a rather plain, slightly dotty, socially-nervous individual got on stage and within a few seconds, blew the World away.

That individual was called Susan Boyle.

To this day I feel sorry for her … not because of her looks or her uneasy manner … but for the way the World has – and continues to – treat her.

Without doubt she has talent, however I can’t help but feel that if Susan was better looking not only would the World’s reaction to her have been different, but so would the level of her success – and it seems her record company agrees because to accompany the launch of her first album, they’ve used a visual that reminds us of her ‘plainness’ as well as another image that is seemingly there to reassure us that we don’t have to worry, “the freak is less freaky these days” so we can openly buy her music.

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I believe the reason Susan made such an impact is because we’ve become a society who believes talent is in some way linked to attractiveness – mainly driven through media and advertising influence – so when some dumpy lady came on stage, we’d already had the expectation she couldn’t possibly amount to much and then, when she proved us all wrong, we felt a level of amazement and guilt that transformed itself into hype, acclaim and record sales.

So am I saying talented but ugly people have a secret weapon in their quest for fame and fortune?

Well I don’t know if it’s a secret weapon, but if they manage to achieve mass exposure [which let’s face it, is very unlikely and difficult] then it is quite possible they will attain a level of impact that goes beyond their level of talent … even though if that happens, you can be sure they’ll be given an almost immediate makeover [to be more ‘acceptable’ to the masses] and will never achieve the level of success as someone hot – who has less talent – will get, which is another example of societies inherent prejudice.

Whilst adland has always said it has the power to change opinions and behaviour – it might be nice if for once they did it in a way that not only encouraged people to buy/consider PRODUCT X, but also helped change the inherent prejudices that exist in society so ugly people aren’t viewed as talentless, men aren’t viewed as stupid and darker skinned women [in Asia] aren’t labelled as coming from ‘peasant’ stock.

[Are you listening Unilever? Just because you have Dove doesn’t escape the fact you profit from exploiting the fears of millions of women with your ‘Fair & Lovely’ disgrace]



My Wife Thinks I’m Dr Doolittle …
December 7, 2009, 8:13 am
Filed under: Comment

She’s right with the ‘doolittle’ part, but it’s in a very different context to the man who could talk to animals.

What am I going on about? Go here and find out …

Comments Off on My Wife Thinks I’m Dr Doolittle …


The Burgers Aren’t Better At Hungry Jacks / Burger King …
December 7, 2009, 8:12 am
Filed under: Comment

Because I am an uncouth, unsophisticated slob – I have always based the quality of a hotel by the standard of their burgers.

Yes, I appreciate it’s not exactly a great metric – but it means more to me than so many of the poncy travel guides out there.

So ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, fat bastards and anorexic’s … may I introduce you to the King Burger from Hard Rock Hotels.

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Now on first glance, it may not look much – but let me tell you, when you realise those ‘triangular sandwiches’ in the background are actually made from normal, full sized bread, you start to realise that the burger in the foreground is bloody huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge!

Not – however – so huge that our lovely new planner, Kaichin … a mere slip of a brilliantly smart woman … couldn’t shove it down her throat in the blink of an eye despite it actually being bigger than her entire head!!!

So Hard Rock, congratulations – we will most definitely be staying with you again.