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


A Picture Says A Thousand Tourism Campaigns …
October 29, 2010, 6:29 am
Filed under: Comment

So today is the 2nd part of the experiment I need your help on.

Before I start, I’d really, really, really appreciate it if you could also broadcast it on your own blogs/twitter feeds etc – because I want to get as broad a perspective on it as possible.

The request is quite simple.

What I want is a single photo [only one] that you feel best embodies China and 2 facts:

1/ Do you live in China.
2/ Have you ever been to China.

That’s it.

Easy eh?

OK, so identifying a single picture that conveys a country – especially a country as old and diverse as China is not exactly a walk in the park – but if M&C Saatchi can claim a single word can do it, then I’m hoping you can too.

Please note what I’m after is a picture of what YOU think best represents China, not what they might want you to think.

I literally don’t care what it is – or whether it’s based on knowledge, experience or pure gut feel – I am very, very interested in your perspective and I hope you’ll help me out on this.

I’ve already got an amazing variety of submitted pictures [the one used on this post was George’s entry], but quite frankly, to get optimum value from this, I need it to be much, much, much bigger hence my request for you to promote this experiment as well as take part.

I’m really grateful for your help and I look forward to explaining more – as well as the initial findings – soon so until then, have a toptastic weekend and please get sending and promoting.



If You Are What You Eat, I’m Fucked …
October 28, 2010, 6:25 am
Filed under: Comment

So I’m doing a bit of a weird experiment at the moment – actually I’m doing a couple – and as usual, I would really appreciate your help with them.

Both are kind of inter-related, however I am approaching them as quite separate entities.

This first experiment requires you to look at the picture below and tell me what food is on the plate.

The only clue I can give you is that it is from a UK pub and it’s supposedly a traditional Sunday ‘roast’.

I know the temptation will be to either [1] take the piss or [2] just write down what you know represents a traditional British roast meal – but if you could at least pay some attention to what you think is on the plate, that would be awesome.

And yes, I did eat it.

Every last bit of it.

And I spent the next day sat on the toilet groaning and – like a person who is hungover – swearing I would never do it again.

Anyway thanks, you have no idea how useful your thoughts will be.



Misery May Like Company, But Clients Don’t …
October 27, 2010, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

Advertising is supposed to be fun.

The people in it are allegedly interesting and exciting to work with.

We claim we understand people so well that we can do stuff that makes them fall in love with stuff.

So how come all the photos agency people have of themselves in the media or in their agency credentials makes them look like the most miserable bunch of fuckers on the planet?

Seriously, if they’re not all dark and moody [always in black & white] …

… they’re contrived wackiness [always in colour] …

Seriously, it’s like there’s some law that you have to either pretend your Bono in his most pretentious of moods or Coco the fucking Clown.

This all came about after I was checking a deck we’re going to present later this week and saw that the entire W+K team had photos that looked like they were either going to a funeral or contemplating suicide.

Who the hell is going to want to work with a team like that?

Our business thrives on relationships – and whilst you’d hope a lot of that is underpinned by respect and quality of work – the truth is how well you get on with eachother plays a massively significant role, and so basically scaring people away from the moment they set eyes on you is probably not the cleverest move in the World.

OK … OK … so I know I scare clients regardless of what facial experssion I’m showing, but it amazes me how adland loves to talk about big things and their ability to understand people and situations and then fail to realise how the little things can make the biggest impression.

Oh, and for those who say that knowledge and personality should conquer all … well yes, it should … however first impressions last and if the first exposure they have to a company is a bunch of miserable and moody photos of the team they would be working with, the reality is they’ll make sure you never have the chance to show how good your knowledge and personality actually is.

It’s a bit like women saying ‘a sense of humour is more important than looks’ … but let’s face it, if the guy has a face like a dropped pie, no women is going to give them the time of day to let them show off how funny they are in the first place.

Hell, I had to lock my now wife in a dungeon for 3 months to make sure she listened to me and even now I wonder if she married me out of fear or love.

So adland, drop the moody and the wackiness and just be fucking normal, smiling people – you might even find people talk to you like a human being after that.

Oh and from now on, W+K are a moody bastard photo free zone.



Marketing Changes Time …
October 26, 2010, 5:45 am
Filed under: Comment

You have to give it to the Koreans, only they could have the audacity to spread a “VISIT KOREA YEAR” over a period of 3 years.

Wonder if other things in Korea follow the same rules?

Do 30 year old women say they’re 10?

Are 5 year warranties on Hyundai cars really 15?

Do you need a degree in higher mathematics to work out how old a mutt is in Korean dog years?

I suppose the thing that bothers me most about this sort of thing is that it probably doesn’t bother other people.

Of course that could be because people don’t give a shit about advertising – but that still shouldn’t justify doing the sort of slight-of-hand, open statement that tends to be the ammunition of the sneaky used car salesman, though something tells me in this case, it’s not the fault of an agency but of the Korean tourism board because we all know how delusional government tourism departments are, don’t we.



Advertisings New Clothes …
October 25, 2010, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

I must admit I am getting a bit sick to the back teeth of hearing how storytelling is the way to go for effective and interesting advertising.

It’s not that I don’t disagree [though some people’s view of what’s needed defies belief. Not to mention many clients budgets] it’s just that the value of storytelling is hardly a new concept.

Even though when the bible was actually written is open for debate, we know it’s pretty bloody old and they were using storytelling to sell stuff before David Ogilvy was even a twinkle in David Ogilvy’s Dad’s eye so can we stop talking like we fucking invented the concept because not only were brands doing it 20, 30, 40 years ago … we look like a bunch of out-of-touch, deluded or egomaniac idiots to the rest of the World.

I’ll go and lie down now.