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

December 7, 2012, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

The Scent Of Disaster …
December 6, 2012, 6:10 am
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Chanel No 5.

The embodiment of femininity.

Understated. Elegant. Classic.

Sure, they have had the odd moment of madness – like that obscenely indulgent ad by Baz Luhrman featuring Ms Plastic Face, Nicole Kidman – but generally, they’ve stayed true to the perfume brand that was immortalized by Marilyn Monroe and has enchanted and entranced countless generations of women all around the World.

Which makes their current campaign all the more weird, because rather than communicate the essence of their iconic brand [and unlike many that define themselves in that way, this one truly is] in a new way, they’ve seemingly walked away from everything they’ve built up over nearly 100 years and ended up making the sort of rubbish that at first, you think is a massive piss take.

Point 1: They Use Brad Pitt

Don’t get me wrong, Mr Pitt is a handsome fella, but apart from the fact he’s in his ‘redneck, mountain dwelling’ appearance, he’s hardly the embodiment of femininity is he?

Point 2: The End Line Is ‘Inevitable’

I get it. They’re saying that at some point in life, you discover what everyone of a particular mindset – or experience – discovers.

And they’re saying one of those things is Chanel No 5.

I get it, but only from a ‘brand onion’ sort-of sense.

They’re so many words they could have used. Words that are far more evocative than ‘inevitable’ … but it appears the people behind this ad are under the misguided impression the World revolves around them because they’ve ended up choosing a word that sounds more appropriate as the positioning for the latest Twilight movie rather than Chanel.

But it gets worse.

Much, much worse, because there’s a television component to this campaign which leads to my next point …

Point 3: Brad Is Talking Utter Tosh

You could just about justify the use of a male celebrity for a female iconic brand if he was talking about something emotive, sensory and beautiful – maybe how the elusive, yet familiar, scent of Chanel No 5 captivates you while never allowing you to truly capture it – but instead, they have got him rambling some incoherent nonsense that makes you look at the spot in shock rather than awe.

Then laughter. Utter laughter.

You want to see it?

Seriously, you have to, so cop a load of this.

What the fuck were Chanel thinking?

Did someone from TBWA brainwash them with their ‘disrupt at all costs’ philosophy?

A philosophy that ultimately means your competitors influence your positioning more than you do … even though saying something different [or differently] to your competitors is – if done well and for the right reasons – obviously a good thing.

And what if someone doesn’t see the TVC and only the Brad Pitt poster?

Sure, in some ways, that would be less harmful, but surely the response would be either:

1. Ignore it, thinking it couldn’t possibly be an ad for Chanel No 5.

2. Query it, because none of it makes any fucking sense.

3. Avoid it, because they don’t want a perfume that a man flogs.

Seriously Chanel, you’ve gone from being classic to pretentious in one campaign.

Or said another way, from valuable to disposable in a couple of ads.

Even Nokia didn’t achieve that level of brand destruction so quickly.

Your only saving grace is you have so many ‘credits’ in the brand bank, that the huge cost of this campaign [physically & metaphorically] might still keep you solvent.

Though that noise you can hear is Coco Chanel turning like a turbine in her grave.

Utter rubbish.

The Most Influential Place On Earth …
December 5, 2012, 6:11 am
Filed under: Comment

I found this post in my drafts folder, but I thought it was worth putting up because I recently had a ‘discussion’ with a client about how the World’s economic power had truly returned to China.


Yes, because the West was only the dominant power for the past few hundred years and – as we all know – that is definitely not the case anymore.

Of course many people will say that China has achieved that power by exploiting its people and foreign investors so they can go out and buy, buy, buy – and while there is more than an element of truth to all that – I would remind people that [1] there’s a hell of a lot of people/companies who exploited China’s cheap manufacturing for their own gain [2] there’s a hell of a lot of foreign brands that are, in essence, culturally blackmailing Chinese citizens into paying premium prices for average products and [3] no company/Government has had a gun put to their head was forced to sell.

Sure, it’s a very complicated situation – with many twists, turns and perspectives – but I do get very sick of certain people’s myopic view that China is a nation of evil without ever looking in their own backyard.

Anyway, that all aside, the Heritage Federation of America recently put up an interactive map that tracks China’s global investments.

It’s amazing and – if you’re a foreign government – frightening, however as I said earlier, the issue isn’t that it’s happened, it’s why it’s happened and how you need to deal with it rather than just fighting against it.

That approach could be adopted for more than just addressing China’s increasing influence couldn’t it.

Email Used To Be Shit In 1995 …
December 4, 2012, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

So I recently embarked on a bit of computer spring cleaning.

I was utterly amazed how much shit I had kept … with emails being the worst culprit.

Sure, some emails are important … but I’m talking about keeping stuff where you’ve been CC’d about the most inane shit imaginable.

For example:

“Has anyone got a copy of the new expense form?”

No, I kid you not. I really had a bunch of emails like that.

That said, I found one that dates back to 1995 that I’m going to republish here.

It’s contains no gossip or insight into how adland operated almost 20 years ago … it’s just a classic example of the sort of pretentious bullshit you used to receive from people who had started to realize the world wide web could be an avenue for them to live out their global philosophical fantasies.

Of course today, we have blogs for all that shit, but back then it was a different story – if only for the fact it was still kind-of still novel to receive electronic mail.


Anyway, this one was about the value of time.

There’s a really good point to be made about that subject, but sadly – like the time JWT decided to position themselves around the same concept – they end up making you care less about it than when you started.

Seriously, thank fuck it’s 2012.

So ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, enjoy a blast from the past. Something tells me you’ll look at those Nigerian email scams in a much more positive light from now on.


There is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400.

It carries over no balance from day to day.

Every evening deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day.

What would you do?

Draw out ALL OF IT, of course!!!!

Each of us has such a bank.

Its name is TIME.

Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.

Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose.

It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft.

Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours.

There is no going back. There is no drawing against “tomorrow.” You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success! The clock is running. Make the most of today.

To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade.

To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.

To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who missed the train.

To realize the value of ONE-SECOND, ask a person who just avoided an accident.

To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who won silver in the Olympics.

Treasure every moment that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time.

And remember that time waits for no one.

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift.

That’s why it’s called the present!!!


Terrible isn’t it.

OK, I’m being kind, it’s fucking horrible.

It’s basically what I imagine would happen if you crossed a z-grade Al-Pacino wannabe with a Paula Abdul/Oprah Winfrey/Anthony Robbins and a big bucket of treacle.

So if you’ve managed to get through all that, click here – I think you’ll appreciate it.

Monday Conspiracy Theory …
December 3, 2012, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

Of course it’s all bollocks, but we shouldn’t forget, there’s truth and perceived truth and being able to see – and understand – both, is important. As is knowing when to challenge or, as Lucille Ball said, – when to keep your mouth shut.