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

How Low Expectations Screw Our Ability To Judge Reality …
June 19, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

So in a few hours, England play their next game in the World Cup and it’s a ‘must win’.

If you looked at the papers after their defeat to Italy, you’d think England were like Brazil and were incredibly unfortunate to come out the losing side.

Oh dear.

The reality is the Italians never seemed to really get out of first gear and yet they managed to keep the England team at bay for most of the match.

That doesn’t mean there weren’t moments of quality from the three lions.

Without doubt, it was exciting to see a young England team go out and attack.

You felt they knew they were the underdogs and so they were just going to go out and enjoy the occasion.

And so they should.

But they were definitely the 2nd best team despite the papers heaping praise on them like they were the 2nd coming.

Which leads to the picture on this post.

The fact is, the people of England have been let down by the England team for decades.

They have flattered to deceive over and over again and yet – at the end of the day – the result is always the same.


And because of this, the country had finally come to their collective senses and realised this team was not going to achieve anything other than gain valuable experience for a future tournament.

However, because they played with the sort of energy we haven’t seen for years, we forgot reality and starting labelling them as heroes.

As I said, they were good, but they were far from good enough.

I’m not blaming the players – well, except Rooney – but the fact is, like Susan Boyle, our pre-match prejudice had already written them off before a ball had been kicked so when they ended up performing better than we anticipated, we ended up giving them a disproportionate level of praise.

Like we did for Susan Boyle.

In other words, rating them good by comparison, not context.

They are the national team of the country that invented the game of football.

It is a team packed with players who earn a fortune playing week in, week out against opposition that features some of the best players in the World.

If that doesn’t mean we should be expecting more from them, I don’t know what does.

I love that we have put out a young squad.

I love that they have a passion and energy that we’ve not seen in years.

I love that you can tell they love the fact they’re playing in the World Cup.

None of this overpraise is their fault … but I also know that where the England team is concerned, the nations support can turn to anger in an instant … so I hope they do us proud today, not by exceeding our [low] expectations, but by genuinely playing well, because when the press stop getting drunk on their delusion, they won’t hesitate to stick their knives into the backs of players who they decided should be World Champions, even when a few weeks prior, they knew they couldn’t be.


When Algorithms – Or Media Planning – Goes Mad …
June 18, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment, Crap Campaigns In History

So I recently watched the latest series from the wonderful journalist, Louis Theroux.

If you don’t know who he is, you don’t know what you’re missing … though I have to say I prefer his Weird Weekend documentaries compared to the new and mature version of himself.

Anyway, one of the programs was on US sex offenders and he mentioned there was an app that listed all the people that appeared on the sex offender register.

Because I was interested – not scared, I would appear on it thank-you-very-much – I tried to download the app and when I found it, I saw this …

Now maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t know many brands – especially luxury brands – who would voluntarily like to be associated with one of the worst groups in society.

That said, maybe it was not an unfortunate accident … maybe someone actively placed LV in the app because they uncovered the insight, ‘When a rich sex offender is discovered, they need help to get out of the country in style’.

I know … I know … that’s sick and horrible. Sorry. I actually feel bad about saying that but not as bad as I’d feel if I worked on LV and they suddenly discovered where their highly curated brand was appearing.

If This Is What Ad Age Thinks Is The Best Brand Tweet Of The Year, We’re Doomed …
June 17, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

Before I start, I must thank my blog content curator, John Dodds, for finding this.

I should also point out that I do find the ‘tweet’ in question mildly amusing.

And I should definitely acknowledge that when it came out, it was very topical because it appeared mere hours after Apple purchased Beats By Dre.

[Sorry Baz]

Last but not least … I accept that in terms of ‘brand tweets’, we are woefully short of anything that is interesting, amusing or genuinely informative, so maybe Ad Age are right and this really is the ‘brand tweet of the year’.

What am I talking about? This:

What do you think?

Were Ad Age right?

Were they selling themselves short?

Or were they simply highlighting how flawed most social strategies are because they focus on finding a way to barge into people’s lives and conversations even though no one invited them in and no one cares about what they’re talking about.

As I’ve said many times, the problem with an incredible amount of brands is they scream what they want their audience to care about rather than talking to their audience about what they actually care about … and when you apply that to a medium that too many regard as a tool to deliver ‘cheap advertising’, we are destined for a life of branded digital pollution.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’ve completely missed the point. I certainly acknowledge there are some brands who use social media in an engaging and meaningful way … be it the BBC to Uniqlo to a whole host of brands in-between.

To help you decide, read this article on what a social media manager actually does all day … it’ll make your decision much, much, much easier.

Oh I’m Sorry … I Didn’t Realise Bananas Were Previously Only Supposed To Be Eaten In The Home. I Guess This Is Real Innovation In Action. Or Just A Sticker. A Stupid, Stupid Sticker …
June 16, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Crap Marketing Ideas From History!

What the hell is next?

Transportable biros?

Mobile smart phones?

Portable shoes?

Talking of ridiculous and mental, I will end this post by saying a very happy birthday to my brother from another mother, Paul.

He’s 44 today.


I remember when we were 8 years old and worked out that we’d be 30 in the year 2000 and that seemed like a lifetime away.

Fortunately for him, he still acts as he did in 1978 so while the years are adding up, the maturity level remains exactly the same.

Happy birthday my lovely man, can’t wait to see you in July.

Time We All Took A Deep Breath …
June 13, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

So after the shocking news of yesterday, I think today needs to be an uber-quiet post so we can all try and catch our breath and not stress out too much.

The good news for you all is that while I will be bringing a ‘mini-Campbell’ into society … thanks to my wife’s genetic influence, it will be waaaaaaay better, nicer, smarter, kinder, more beautiful than I could ever hope to be, so don’t stress too much … I’m sure he/she won’t even like Birkenstocks!

Talking about my wife, it’s her birthday on Sunday, so I want to wish her a wonderful, wonderful day and I hope she won’t mind that her present will consist of baby stuff, because having just done a quick search on the internet, I’ve found out how utterly expensive everything is and I’ll be buggered if I’m going to let my gadget fund take a hit just to buy her something as well.

The Mayan’s Were Almost Right …
June 12, 2014, 6:20 am
Filed under: Grand announcements

So today is a big day.

Not just because the wonderful World Cup starts. [Albeit later due to timezone differences]

Nor because it’s a few days before my beloved Jill and Paul celebrate their birthdays.

But because it’s mine.



How the hell did that happen?

That’s 6 years off 50!!!

That means I have to accept the chances of me becoming an international rockstar, selling stadiums all over the World are almost nil.

As is my chance to play for Nottingham Forest. [Though the way they played towards the end of last season, means that might not be so impossible]

As is becoming a billionaire … unless I count it in Vietnamese Dong.

I know at my age I shouldn’t celebrate my birthday, but I can’t help myself … because as much as sometimes I feel 144, the majority of the time, I feel 21.

Or at least act it.

I have always said 30-40 is the equivalent of the biological clock for men.

It’s the decade where you have a desire to really make something with your life … do things that could make a difference to how the rest of your life turns out. And I still believe that and – to a degree – I did it.

But that doesn’t mean it has to be over when you hit the big 4-0.

As I said before, the older you get, the more I realise I don’t know and the more I want to learn … discover … experience … and that’s why despite being 6 years off the age that I used to consider ‘ancient’, I am putting myself in a position to keep pushing myself forward. Not necessarily from a professional point of view, but from a life point of view.

Whether that’s studying to be a teacher or meeting strange and interesting fellows, I want to ensure I fulfil my parents wish for me, which is to live a life of fulfilment rather than a life of contentment.

Which leads to the title of the post.

Why do I say the Mayan’s were almost right?

Well, because they believed the end of civilisation would happen in 2012.

But it’s not going to happen in 2012, it’s going to happen this year.

And why can I say that?

Because this is happening …

… yep, a baby Campbell is on the way.

If you’re scared, you should see me, I’m bloody petrified.

But I’m also incredibly happy, proud, emotional and excited.

However, what’s even more amazing is how we’re already questioning, evaluating and challenging everything we believe and hope for – and thats before the little bugger is even born yet – so god knows what it will be like when he/she pops out.

For the record, we will not be naming him/her Brian, Freddie, John, Roger or Birkenstock.

Oh, and in a demonstration the universe has a sense of humour, we found out on April 1.

Yes, laugh it up you sickos.

So sorry World, it’s happening – a mini Campbell – but on the bright side:

1. He/she might take after Jill much more than me.

2. If he/she doesn’t, you know you can go out and buy whatever you want, because by 2015, civilisation as we know it will end and that includes no bailiffs knocking on your door demanding cash.

That’s a win:win in my book.

And with that, happy birthday to me … the last one where I get to be the only kid in the house.

Respecting Respect …
June 11, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

One thing I really like about America is how they honour their soldiers.

Whereas people in other nations often view them as thugs or violent killing machines, the US tends to treat members of their armed forces with the upmost respect.

Some people in the UK will say we do a similar thing, but I’m not so sure.

A long time ago, in an episode of ‘Only Fools and Horses’, Granddad said a line that I felt was particularly poignant:

“They promised us homes fit for heroes, we got heroes fit for homes!”

… and while that show was a comedy [even if that line was not], I can’t help but feel it represents how many nations treat their young and brave when they return to shore.

Whether you agree with war or not, the fact people are willing to put their lives on the line for something they believe in incredible choice [though I also accept this can also have negative connotations] which is why I respect America for making sure their soldiers feel immense gratitude for their choices.

Of course it wasn’t always that way – the stories of what happened to many soldiers who returned from Vietnam has been well documented – however in modern society, whether it’s letting them get on a plane first or, as you can see from the Def Leppard picture above, getting discounts for concerts, the US ensures the people who defend their countries values [however fucked up they may be] are treated with the respect they deserve and for a nation that seems to place ridiculous levels of adulation on those who are rich and famous [case in point, the media’s sycophantic obsession with Kanye and Kim Kardashian’s recent ostentatiously vulgar wedding] … that is a wonderful thing to see.