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


It’s Only Mental When You Use It Inappropriately …
March 5, 2012, 6:16 am
Filed under: Comment

I’ve always loved weird facts.

Stuff that on face value, serves little purpose than to be ‘dinner-party fodder’.

Maybe it’s because I never get invited to dinner parties that I find myself often using these ‘weird facts, observations & stories’ in conversations with clients and colleagues to help illustrate or highlight a specific point.

I don’t mean I throw any old weird shit into any old conversation … I mean that there are times where I have found quoting one of these ‘weird pieces of information’ has helped communicate a view or a solution with far more clarity than alternative means.

Of course this means you have the right fact for the right occasion, hence the title of this post, but if I have any skill at all, it’s my ability to ‘borrow’ information or experiences and adapt them for other situations and uses.

I call it the magpie effect.

When we had cynic, we used to collect a bunch of this stuff and occasionally we would put it on our website.

While cynic is no more, it appears people – probably weirdos – still check it out now and then, because recently I got an email saying they had used one of these bits of info in something they were doing.

Apart from being touched, it encouraged me to re-look at some of the stuff on there and I was shocked to find that I could easily remember a bunch of occasions where I had pretty much used all of that info at some point in the last few years.

I guess what I’m saying is that as much as the planning industry likes to consume and quote viewpoints and philosophies that demonstrate their razor sharp brain [read: ego], the ability to get other people to understand a perspective or a point may often be far more effective when using something far more mundane, yet with a little bit of twistedness about it.

And with that, I’ll leave you with this:

Dyslexia: Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wtihuot it benig too mcuh of a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by itslef but the wrod as a wlohe.


25 Comments so far
Leave a comment

so youve decided to come back from your all expenses paid business trip have you, or as the rest of us call it, another fucking holiday. id like to thank you for coming to the us and not visiting me. whoever planned your schedule is a fucking genius.

Comment by andy@cynic

Yes, you were lucky this time. Or do I mean I was lucky. Shall we say we were both lucky and call it a draw?

Comment by Rob

knowing weird shit might be ok every now and fucking then, but when you throw in so much shit you sound like dustin fucking hoffman in rainman you come across as a bit of a fucking dick.

Comment by andy@cynic

Now you tell me.

Comment by Rob

why ruin my fun of watching you look a fucking tool?

Comment by andy@cynic

hey campbell, heres something that will make you happy.

fcuk you.

see, im learning something from your facts.

Comment by andy@cynic

magpie effect. planning wank for stealing and selling on.

Comment by andy@cynic

I thought that was called ‘creative’ … you know, where you take a clip from Youtube or Hollywood and basically re-create it but claim it all came from you?

Comment by Rob

dinner party fodder is one of the best fucking summations of what good fucking planning is or at least how it should be delivered. ill give you that one campbell, less charts of pointless shit and more info that will stick in your head like an exwife who has your credit card info.

Comment by andy@cynic

Unlike the previous image-based puzzle, this word-based post has me stumped. I can make absolutely no sense of it. Apart from the dyslexia paragraph, but everybody’s seen that before. Glad to be back?

Comment by John

You sound like you’re saying he has made sense before. Crazy.

Comment by DH

yes doddsy, what the fuck is up with that?

Comment by andy@cynic

Unless you’re saying that insights are often counter-intuitive.

Comment by John

ive met brand managers where breathing is fucking counter intuitive.

Comment by andy@cynic

You know more weird shit than anyone else I know Rob. You’ll take that as a compliment, that’s your prerogative.

Comment by DH

Isn’t mental used inappropriately in the headline?

Comment by John

does campbell ever use anything appropriately?

Comment by andy@cynic

I’d rather an unusual but relevant random example than the same old one trotted out time and time again!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

what the fuck are you doing up at this time mortimer? youre not turning into a doddsy are you?

Comment by andy@cynic

Unfortunate side effect of convincing people of a perspective using your seemingly mundane point-of-view to deliver “lightning bolt” insights is an over-reliance of instinct.

I see it all the time with young, inexperienced planners here in India: the instinct is pretty solid (also honed via twitter/slideshare) but there’s very little actual research.

So much so that when you don’t have a perspective, the resolve/capacity for effort to dig through and find a reasonable perspective doesn’t arrive.

Relegates the strategy business to the rudimentary soloist creative, in a way.

Comment by Aayush Iyer (@aayush)

Hello there and welcome.

To be honest, I don’t know if you’re agreeing with me or disagreeing … but if in any way this post has made you think I’m suggesting promoting personal perspectives over rounded & grounded understanding of the genuine situation and issues, I have done myself a disservice.

You’re right that there’s too many people who just throw out their view as if it’s the word of god … but I’m not one of them.

Of course, at some point, every point of view has an element of subjectivity to it, however I believe you need to have the facts and viewpoints before you can state your perspective. The fact I don’t believe boring clients into submission with charts doesn’t mean I believe in making grandiose claims of no substance and while I appreciate some clients do like to be exposed to pages and pages of charts and data, I have found finding ways to present that in a manner that is easier or more powerful to understand drives opportunities to move forward more easily than the alternative.

But that’s just me …

Comment by Rob

I feel compelled to confess that I too used your words recently to impress my Mother (the post your wrote on your Mom)… Thank you for that…she loved it and loves me even more now
and I shamelessly said I wrote it…

Comment by swati

So let me get this straight, you used a post I wrote about Mums, said it to your Mum and she loves you more? That’s the nicest compliment I’ve ever had about my writing. Ha.

Comment by Rob

I guess this means plagiarism is bad only if it is not the nicest compliment?
But, she did love the writing. As for me, she always loved me, it only confirmed what a wonderful honest child of her’s I am.

Comment by swati

The last paragraph is why I never bother checking spelling and grammar

Comment by northern




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