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

Why We All Need A Rodi. But Probably Not His Dress Sense.
January 12, 2012, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

This is my colleague Rodi.

Yes, I know his legs are the sort of white that Persil Automatic Washing Powder aspires to delivering … but if you can get past that horrific sight [and I recommend you do because he’s a Russian/Australian martial arts ninja bastard] I’ll explain one of the reasons why he is so good.

Planning – and planners – love to make a big deal out of being curious.

To be honest, this has always made me feel a bit sick because we act like they’re the only people in the World with this attitude.

Let’s be honest, curiosity is a basic human trait and even if planners execute this more than the majority [which I’d say is open to debate] they’re no where near as curious as people in the finance, technology, R&D or criminal investigation industries, to name a few.

Seriously, what does a planner class as being curious.

Going through a client research report?

Reading some blogs?

Doing the odd ‘home visit’?

Give me a break …

And this leads to my other issue with so many planners, they forget our job is two fold:

1. To understand & represent our clients audience.
2. To help liberate our clients business.

That’s not optional.
They’re not mutually exclusive.
They are interdependent and should be treated as such.

And this is what makes Rodi so good.

He understands that to help liberate our clients business, he has to understand our clients business.

Not just in terms of marketing or usage or whatever ‘objective’ has been put down on the brief by the client – but the inner workings of what goes on behind the scenes … from what it takes to make & distribute their products and brands to the factors that influence senior managements decisions and actions.

Now you might think we all do that … and without doubt, we should … but if you were to spend a week with Rodi and compare his approach to what most people class as ‘business curiosity’, the gulf in methodology and result would be as obvious as the breast implants on 90% of Hollywood’s Z-grade female ‘stars’.

His approach doesn’t involve getting on to some subscribed research site or do a Google search [though he does that too] he goes and see’s a whole range of people … both within the company and, for a more objective point-of-view, outside it.

I’ve never seen a person consume annual reports with the sort of relish he does.

And he really looks into the numbers.

He looks where the money has been coming and going.

He compares it to where it was coming and going a year ago.

He analyses that with what their competitors say in their annual reports.

He cross references everything against economic data to understand whether they are acting independently or reacting to wider economic issues.

And that’s before he even takes into account the attitudes, needs, wants & fears of society – which he knows well because he makes it his business to know it well. Plus he has an amazing team around him to fill in blanks and questions.

[Yes, that’s you Charinee & Leon!]

Not only does all this result in him knowing our clients business at least as well as many of them do, he is also able to develop business solutions to problems that go way beyond just ‘making an ad’.

There’s nothing I like more than watching him in full flow as he carefully explains how a particular issue can be solved by [eg] changing their distribution approach or relinquishing their current consumers in favour of a more emerging audience or creating infrastructure to allow people to get involved … especially when he uses the clients – and independent – data to prove his point to any doubters.

Don’t get me wrong, Rodi is not – and doesn’t want to be – a management consultant.

Nor a branding consultant.

He simply understands that to get the right solution you have to have the right questions and his view is that if you follow the money, you end up identifying the problems or opportunities that can be the most powerful, interesting and rewarding for our clients, their audience and our agency.

That is someone who is curious.

Not because he wants to look cool or justify his title, but because he wants to be known for helping deliver business results in the most creatively imaginative, memorable and meaningful ways possible.

So next time you say you’re curious, make sure you mean it more in terms of how Rodi does it than some average person on the street … or I’ll send him round to snow-blind you with his legs.


80 Comments so far
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For future reference Rob, it’s nicer to not use a humiliating photo of a friend or colleague when you’re writing nice things about them. It tends to undermine how positive they feel about such a gesture, not to mention their credibility.

Nice post, good lessons, terrible photograph.

Comment by Pete

How would you know Pete, Rob’s never written anything nice about you.

Comment by DH

Im trying to ignore that point.

Comment by Pete

stop your fucking whining, a compliment from campbell is like an insult from 20 better, more respected people. like rapists, bank robbers and nutfuckingcase dictators.

Comment by andy@cynic

I have written nice things about you Pete. ANNNNND I did it without a humiliating photo. Jesus, what short memories you all have. And jealous eyes. Hahaha!

Comment by Rob

the biggest fucking compliment you can give us is not acknowledging you fucking know us.

Comment by andy@cynic

I think he looks great. Hot quads. Not humiliating at all.

Comment by mareelouise

I hope it’s pay rise time at WK because that might be the only way you can stop Russian Rodi from beating the shit out of you for that photo.

Comment by DH

You do realise you’ve just fucked up every mans excuse for buying Playboy … because you’ve just admitted men only ever look at the pictures, not the articles.

Comment by Rob

you fucking bastard dave.

Comment by andy@cynic

And with one photo, you undermine all that you praise. Now that’s what i call office politics.

Comment by John

campbell politics.

Comment by andy@cynic

You’ve just helped me understand the true meaning of “dilemma”.

Working with you or reading annual reports.

Comment by DH

After pointing out Robert has failed to write about my talent at any point in this blogs life, I’m thinking ‘annual reports’ would win.

(Don’t worry Robert, I know it’s only because you have yet to obtain an embarrassing photograph of me to attach to the nice words.)

Comment by Pete

I thought every photo of you was an embarrassing photo.

Comment by Billy Whizz

I note that Charinee’s far too smart to be similarly humiliated.

Comment by John


Comment by DH

When will Rob’s colleagues realise he’s an evil bastard and must stop letting him take photographs of them in their hour of personal shame? He’s been at WK over a year, have they learned nothing?

Comment by DH

I like this post. Haven’t read the words but no one will let a photo like that hit the internet without wanting revenge. With blood.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Whoever the man in the photo is, I’m sad you were kidnapped and made to dress like a twat at gunpoint then forced to work with Rob. It must be terrible and shameful and I hope the cops find you and set you free.

Comment by Billy Whizz

That’s almost funny Billy. Congratulations, I knew it could happen one day if you tried hard enough.

Comment by Rob

what. the. fuck. is. that?

Comment by andy@cynic

geordie chicks on a friday night lash in a miniskirt in winter have less fucking white legs than that. what the fuck was the bloke thinking. well that’s the fucking point, he fucking wasnt. proof planners arent very fucking bright.

fuck me, i think i vomited in my mouth a little.

Comment by andy@cynic

just read the oprah standard sycofuckingphantic post. now ive vomited a lot.

Comment by andy@cynic

office seems empty, Rodi is doing his worst J Edgar Hoover with that all to familiar roofie look in his eyes and Rob is snapping away with his camera /phone laptop/gadget..

add a set of albino twins and in theory you’d both make some serious cash.. allegedly, because as we all know local and international law prohibits such things and condone such behaviour, dear lawyers

Comment by niko

If WK have HR, Rob’s dead. Well, assuming they can get there before Rodi’s fists.

Comment by DH

Poor Rodi. This is a highly complimentary post with excellent reminders/lessons/tips for all planners and yet the only subject being commented on are his very white legs. I appreciate Rodi let this photo be taken at some point, but still…
For those who have worked with Robert, I am sure you’ll recognise this as a perfect example of his management style. Compliment and acknowledge but never let people get too comfortable, cocky or above their station.
Elements of evil but highly effective.

Comment by George

are you on fucking drugs?

the words “management”, “style” or “management fucking style” shoul never fucking ever be used in the same sentence as campbell unless it also includes “fucked up” or “loser”.

get off the crack auntie, its fucking up your already fucked up judgement.

Comment by andy@cynic

I stand corrected. Appreciate how you selflessly and continuously watch out for my well-being.

Comment by George

selfless? fuck that im charging you for all this good shit. pay up or your kneecaps get whacked.

Comment by andy@cynic

I honestly don’t know if that’s a compliment or an insult George which – ironically – is a perfect demonstration of your management style as well.

Comment by Rob

he fucking got you there auntie.

Comment by andy@cynic

I resemble that remark.

Comment by George

yes you do. yes you fucking do.

Comment by andy@cynic

This post made me feel rather sad.
Curiosity is what feeds us.
Maybe take a rest for a while (me that is).

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

the legs made me fucking sad too. what do you mean take a rest? youve been away as long as campbell and he has more fucking holidays than prince fucking edward. come back ciaran, dont be sad, be angry, its fucking great.

Comment by andy@cynic

Maybe you are right, Andy. And Rodi does sound like the right kind of curious. But why show a photograph of him looking like the word Rob’s mother doesn’t want on this site. Use that word, ban photographs like that. Last week I asked a friend why he thought his mother developed a brain tumor. Got a very interesting answer.

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

Hello Ciaran … how are you?

So are you sad because I used a photograph where my colleague looks a bit of a tit or that I highlighted too many planners think ‘curiosity’ is something only they have – and do?

If the former, I’m a bit surprised because you should know by now it’s all in good fun and let’s face it, the rest of the post is pretty nice about Rodi’s considerable talents so it’s hardly character assassination – which I do pretty good even though I say it myself.

If that latter … I’m in full agreement with you … but eitherway, please don’t take a rest for a while, we like you here and I promise I won’t use any dodgy photos of you when I write about how lovely you are.


Comment by Rob

ignore ciaran, campbell. hes too fucking nice by fucking far. and hes old. i dont know what the fuck that has to do with anything but im going to say it anyway.

but dont go ciaran. its bad enough lauren has managed to find an escape route from this shithole but i cant have you fuck off as well.

Comment by andy@cynic


But you’ve got to talk to your mother about that word. I’ve always thought it to be the the ugliest word in the English language – still do – try to avoid it. But it sure does seem very appropriate for some (a lot) people we come across.

Comment by Ciaran McCabe


There’s a lot of things I talk to my Mum about, but sadly Ciaran, that word won’t be one of them and so it will still be banned from being used on this site … sorry … but you can still ‘think it’ without recourse.

I should point out – even though I hope the post does that – that while Rodi might resemble the word that should not be mentioned, he absolutely isn’t one … he’s a sickeningly clever and wonderful bloke and no, I’m not saying that because he’ll be in the office soon and has fists like dustbin lids.

Comment by Rob

no campbell, thats exactly fucking why you are saying that.

Comment by andy@cynic

Don’t worry Rob, you’re the only person who is the c word on here.

Comment by Billy Whizz

well fucking said billy.

Comment by andy@cynic

Last post.

I understood that Rodi was not the manifestation of the word that shall not be spoke. So why show him as one?

Anyway, we’re all getting tired of this, so I’ll slide away.

Be baksun.

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

See George’s first comment. Hahaha!

And I don’t think he looks daft, I think he looks the height of professionalism. At least compared to me.

Comment by Rob

to be fair to campbell, have you seen the fucking photos he puts up of himself? fucking horrendous and theyre just his family pics.

Comment by andy@cynic

Forget the photos, what about how bad this blog makes me look.

That’s way worse than a photo of a man in some sort of perverted Harry Potteresque get-up, even if it wasn’t attached to a highly praising post about him. Ha.

You’re way too nice Ciaran – that’s a compliment by the way, even if it might read as an insult. Ha.

Comment by Rob

i hate fucking agreeing with you campbell, but i agree with you campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic

His legs aren’t as bad as your birkenstock feet. Or this blog.

Comment by Billy Whizz


why rob?

I just found on the web my roommate was (or is) miss new mexico. And I spent lots of time watching incredible pics about her, I mean, in the miss world pics. #OMG

Comment by miss

we only give a shit if you post the links to her swimsuit shots. and her mobile number.

Comment by andy@cynic

If I do it you would be in fucking love andy.

I also understood why when she cut herself her hair and, I screamed at her what the hell did you do she was crying. She was almost ruining her career.

Comment by miss

Don’t do it then … he can’t afford another divorce.

Comment by Rob

“to get the right solution you have to have the right questions”

Brilliant advice.

Comment by Bazza

I would like to say it was me, but it was my Dad.

Comment by Rob

Advertising is not alone in already using that methodology to get the answer it wants. That doesn’t mean it’s the correct answer.

Comment by John

I agree John – but I didn’t mean it in the sense of asking the right question to get the answer you want [even though that is the approach barristers & adland adopt, albeit adland does it in a more obvious way to justify making another 30″ TVC] … I mean it in terms of asking the right question to get the information you need to get a real understanding of the situation, so you can make the right decision.

But you’re right in your comment. Sadly.

Comment by Rob

You think I didn’t realise that? How much does Rodi charge to smack you round the head? Given your humiliation of him with this photo, I’m sure he’ll be amenable.

Comment by John

I don’t like to presume where you are concerned.

Comment by Rob

F*** yeah Rodi! Go show off those legs. Curiosity the way some planners use it is for losers. It’s just a stupid excuse to wait for things to happen instead of making them happen.

When I come over, I want to meet Rodi. That is all.

Comment by Andrea

I note you won’t want to meet me.

Shows you’re smart.

Comment by Rob

has anyone considered thar Rod asked Rob to post that particular picture?

Comment by northern

It’s Rodi and he isn’t a mental so I think that is why no one had considered that possibility. Except you.

Which is a compliment to your twisted brain. Sort-of.

Comment by Rob

It’s curiosity…….

Comment by northern

I need someone to introduce me to Rodi. But his legs may be the beacon that light the way

Comment by andrea

So not only do you not want to meet me, you think I couldn’t introduce you to a man that sits 20 feet away from me.

Jesus, I know I am unpopular but that’s ridiculous.

Or should I say realistic.


Comment by Rob

are your legs as good as Rod’s?

Comment by northern

Are your wife & kids away?

Comment by Rob

Some question whether he’s seen his legs recently.

Comment by John

thats especially mean and fucking bitchy of you doddsy. good fucking work. keep that up for another 11 months and you might have a year to remember rather than one which you try fucking desperately to forget.

Comment by andy@cynic

Was that comment directed at me Dodds?

Comment by northern

this rodi bloke is going to get pissed with me in nyc. if he turns up in his fucking witch gone wrong outfit, im going to have to get absofuckinglutely destroyed.

Comment by andy@cynic

If white legs is paying, I might come and join you.

Comment by Billy Whizz

of course the fucker is paying. he should consider himself fucking lucky i dont charge him my usual acess charge but i figure the poor bastard has suffered enough and thats just working with campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic

Considerate as ever.

Comment by Billy Whizz

too fucking right i am.

seriously, who the fuck do i have to bang to get a sainthood?

Comment by andy@cynic

I don’t know if this is curiosity or rigor, but I’d love to know where Rodi ‘learned’ what he’s doing now (asking the right questions, getting data in the firs place, not drowning in the meaningless form of it, understanding financial data, …) and whether he always worked in adland or in something else.

The way you wrote this, you achieved two things (actually three, if you also count the lovely insulting comments): I want to get to know Rodi (preferably not in this dress during bright daylight) and I feel a bit shit, resulting in heightened motivation …

Good start into the year around here.

Comment by Thomas

[…] 5. Pile up interesting things. Go places. Pull a Rodi. […]

Pingback by Planning: 5 Things in the Day Job « wanky planner blog

wow, I only just saw this, and only just realize what sexy legs Rodi have got.

Comment by Charinee

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