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


The Future Isn’t Something You Predict, Rather Than Make Public Guesses About …
December 3, 2010, 6:11 am
Filed under: Comment

I doubt Martin at W+K Amsterdam will ever talk to me again given [1] I take what he say’s and write about it and [2] what I write is a very, very, very poor imitation of what he’s said … however as he lives in Amsterdam and I don’t have to face him every week, I thought I’d do it again after I saw this post he’d written about adlands fascination to predict the future.

The video below is almost 2 years old and for those with good memories – or no life – you’ll remember I’ve talked about it and posted it before … however having read Martin’s post, I came across it again and thought I’d put it up, because it’s always interesting to evaluate what someone said would happen with what actually happened and without doubt, there’s some elements of this ‘facts about the future’ video that are about as questionable as a $2 reading from Gypsy Rosie Lee because some of the ‘data’ they’re using has obviously been chosen with the intent to shock rather than give contextual understanding of what’s really going on and what’s possibly going to go on.

Future gazing is a very clever strategy for people who want to big themselves up, however like death & taxes, the future always ends up as the present and when that happens, the claims made with such gusto a few years before, can be held up to the light and seen for the flimsiness of substance that so many of them had.

Are you listening Mr K Roberts?


44 Comments so far
Leave a comment

in the future, england will still be trying to win a fucking world cup bid.
thats 5 million quid please.

my favourite fucking thing about futurists is the name. futurists. sounds so fucking official and authoritarian when they should really be called “guessers”. the majority of futurists are fortune tellers with better fucking branding and a suit. if they were that fucking good theyd start companies that made the shit they say the future wants but they dont because theres more fucking moolah in selling hope even if the real fucking state of affairs is they sell lies or stats without any fucking answers.

i still want my 5 mill for the fucking england future factoid though. thats fucking grade a info.

Comment by andy@cynic

I like it when you’re angry.

Comment by Rob

my fucking condolences to martin. i predict his career is about to turn to shit after being publically fucking outed as someone you know and talk to about fucking work.

Comment by andy@cynic

Everyone talks about the future the difference is “futurists” talk about it in all encompassing, self-righteous, definitive terms.

Comment by Pete

Dear Mr Cannes jury member, it’s not a scam ad, it’s an ad that’s going to run 10 years from now. Now give me my gold.

Comment by Billy Whizz

the scam fuckers in singapore, thailand and brazil have just crowned you their fucking king.

its not scam, its future shit innit.

Comment by andy@cynic

I’m available for World Cup bid advice too.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Tony Granger at Y&R is going to kiss your feet.

Comment by Rob

fuck me campbell, a comment of such fucking bitchiness i find myself loving you. not in the way you dream about, but its a fucking compliment all the same.

Comment by andy@cynic

In 1750 there were no motor vehicles.

Today there’s lots.

Tomorrow there’ll be different ways to fuel the way the public move.

Ways we don’t yet know that kids not born yet will be doing.

The future is amazing.

Pile of wank.

Comment by DH

youre a right regular fucking nostradamus arent you.

Comment by andy@cynic

You just need to call it a ‘white paper’ and you’re in the land of consultancy.

Comment by Rob

The definition of futurist in the context of advertising is rarely the definition of futurist in the context of business planning. Your post is valid, but more so in terms of the former.

Comment by Lee Hill

I think that’s why people in biz planning like to call it scenario planning (v “futurism”) because it plans for a multitude of outcomes – and tries to be a bit “vague”. I’ve heard some really stupid things said by people with “futurist” hats on (in a biz context – not just in a comms panning context)…special things like “the world is getting faster and faster, it’s not inconceivable that over time we will find ways to cut human gestation time to less than 9 months in order for pregnancy to be shorter…” OR “people are obsessed with making their kids smarter and giving them a step-up in life; in the future we will all be giving our kids special drinks that make them smarter while they sleep.” I am ashamed to say that on both counts I worked with these people, and they weren’t just pissed in the pub rambling over an empty pint glass, but standing up in front of clients (who were all sadly nodding in amazed agreement) sprouting this crap.
But people keep paying for this shit. And they love it. They REALLY love it…
And that to me points to one sad arsed future

Comment by kelpenhagen

who are you? you sound smart but not so fucking smart to keep well fucking away from here.

Comment by andy@cynic

what photos has richard watson got of you lee?

Comment by andy@cynic

There will be snow in the Medway office tomorrow.

Comment by Marcus

theres snow in georges fucking hair. i saw him yesterday, needs the fucking head and shoulders. campbell of course doesnt have that fucking worry.

Comment by andy@cynic

Reminds me of Black Swans. At least that Taleb bloke had the courage to admit we don’t really know what will happen, but for God’s sake, that doesn’t make him a guru.
Only really useful stuff I’ve ever seen was Paul Ormerod’s stuff on Why Things Fail, which basically shows that no one knows what will happen and the only way to future proof is to continually innovate.
However, we all know that Media Arts will save advertising.

Comment by northern groper

Black Swan is unreadable (and in it he has the timerity to declare himself to be a good writer) and I saw Ormerod speak the other week and he was dire.

Comment by John

Are you grumpier than usual? Ormerod’s book was good at least. I’m always suspicious of good speakers anyway, usually there’s a lot of style covering up not enough substance

Comment by northern groper

He spoke well – but despite his assertions, he was still rationality bound. http://bit.ly/8ZYcda

Comment by John

youre signing yourself off as northern fucking groper? fuck me a planner who does as hes told except when i order campbell to talk to you about working for me. i mean us. no, i fucking mean me.

Comment by andy@cynic

The crucial thing is what time-frame is used. Too many businesses only care about the next couple of years and would be better off looking at the past couple of decades where the seeds of that future are planted.

Comment by John

next couple of years? next couple of fucking months more like.

Comment by andy@cynic

Don’t bring up the work thing, are you trying to wind me up? Telemarketing planning, fucking telemarketing

Comment by northern groper

you have to fucking tell me what planning on a telemarketing pile of shite actually fucking is. im intrigued. fucking horrified. but intrigued.

Comment by andy@cynic

Can’t we all just get pissed up on booze?

Comment by Marcus

how the fuck do you think i cope with coming on here everyday?

Comment by andy@cynic

Booze is the future.

Comment by Marcus

Picture the scene. Our hero is busy grappling with WPP media company, that doesn’t share and has no mind, on why owning football is not possible for a bloody engine oil company when the hottie from group marketing sidles and leaves him a note to come and see her.
Looking forward to an audience with Angelina Jolie’s hotter and younger sibling (I kid you not, but perhaps with less dangerous sexuality) he’s crestfallen to find she only wants him to a favour for the telemarketing arm of the group.
They’re pitching for a health insurance company and, as part of it, client wants some thoughts on challenges facing their sector.

Always happy to help, the protagonist does some pretty good STEEP analysis and shares it with said hottie and the phone goons. Only to find, to his horror, that they now want more.

So our hero is set the brief to do some whizzy stuff on the brilliance of web 2.0 and personalisation rather than segmentation, linking all that to the category challenges and the role of telemarketing within a 360% contact strategy. And present it too.

Our intrepid explorer is trapped in the mind clamp of boredom just writing about this, he doesn’t know how he got into a situation doing something pointless in a media he respects less than a JLS fan.

Comment by northern groper

Telemarketing 2.0 – conversational and permission-based.

Good luck with that.

Comment by John

im guessing youre doing work with castrol fucking engine oil. i met the fucker who decided linking with beckham was genius and he got very fucking upset when i said he was adopting the same fucking tactics as the sun newspaper with page 3. and you have to help them and be nice to the stupid twats? you poor fuck. and i bet it doesnt lubricate as much as baby fucking angelina does for you. fuck me you earn your fucking money dont you northern groper. first fucking planner who does.

Comment by andy@cynic

“We’re living in exponential times”
…and I guess, tomorrow’s learners will even have had 38 jobs at age 14.

Anyway, by now the futurists from 3 years ago have new name cards, reading “Social Media Guru” or shit like that.

It’s easier to wank with jargon and stats, than coming up with a real idea.

Comment by Michael

oh. i’ve just seen this post. boy are you gonna have a ball poking holes in my next post about the future and imagination.

Comment by lauren

is that your christmas present to the fucker? id rather have cash thanks.

Comment by andy@cynic

An academic called Philip Tetlock spent 20 years asking experts to predict the future and then seeing if they were right. One finding: slight negative correlation between number of times an expert appears in the media and the accuracy of their predictions.

Comment by innotecture

Makes me wonder about the correlation between a planner’s quality and his appearance in media…

Comment by Michael

campbell is in the media all the fucking time isnt he? ahhh. get what youre saying michael. very fucking true.

Comment by andy@cynic

andy, you seem good at “connecting the dots”. you should become a planner!

Comment by Michael

and to think i was willing to give you the time of fucking day before that.

Comment by andy@cynic

Uh, I am not really familiar with that idiom, but I really got that strange feeling in my stomach now, that I would have fared much better with some 😉 😉 to my recent unreflected posts.

Don’t worry, I can tell a smart planner from his brilliant posts in his very entertaining blog.

OK!?

Comment by michael

youre complimenting campbell. thats almost as bad as telling me to be a fucking planner. youre still new around here so you get some flexifuckingbility but only for another week, after that its fighting talk.

Comment by andy@cynic

thanks. I will mark the week on my Pirelli calendar.

Comment by Michael




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: