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


Instead Of Thinking There Are Always 2-Sides To Every Story, We Should Acknowledge There Are 2-Sides To Every Situation …
February 10, 2015, 6:25 am
Filed under: Comment, Minimum Wage, Point Of View

A while ago I read a letter in the Daily Telegraph.

It was a letter that literally stopped me in my tracks because it forced me to re-evaluate something, that until that point, I had felt blindly passionate about.

While I could make myself feel better by acknowledging the situation the person raised has not been something I have ever faced, the fact I never even considered it bothers me.

Of course, there will be people out there who will say there are far more people who don’t face this situation than do and so to change it for the minority could undermine and hurt the majority – and I accept that – but it also highlights how as an industry, we tend to prefer focusing on the big commonalities of our audiences, rather than embrace the edges of how so many of them think and live their lives.

I get why, I honestly do … we are trying to find the broadest possible commonality across various segments of society because that enables us to create work with the broadest possible appeal. But as we all know, trying to engage everyone means you often end up engaging no one, plus there is the little fact that there’s no such thing as a ‘standard life’ and just because we have found a way to place people into a fairly simplistic set of characteristics doesn’t mean it reflects the tensions and concerns that are really going on in millions of peoples lives.

Of course exploring these broader edges impacts both time and money – factors many view as an expense rather than an investment – however the argument for doing it is not just that you will have a better understanding of what reality is for your audience [which lets you create work that actually means something to them rather than is more expensive wallpaper] but it reveals the potential implications of your idea/concept/action so you can identify problems before they happen or opportunities before you miss out on them.

This is not about diluting your point of view – that is arguably more important than it ever has been – however having a point of view that is built on simplistic understanding of what is going on means, at best, you end up with work that is noticeable rather than meaningful … which is a problem many agencies, brands and governments tend to confuse with each other.

So to Candice Baxter of Grimsby, thank you. I hope your daughter dreams are realised.


37 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I too had failed to appreciate that implication Robert. It is a very complex situation but everyone should have the right to work and I will be enquiring to see what we are doing to ensure that remains the case. Thank you for the heads up. Good, informative post. It is good to have you back despite feeling you never went away.

Comment by Lee Hill

Nice work.

Comment by DH

you could start by putting a big fucking boot in all of campbell freebies.

Comment by andy@cynic

You’ll be happy to know that I haven’t had any ‘freebies’ in ages Andy. Except maybe the odd upgrade … but surely you wouldn’t begrudge me that would you? [I know the answer, so you can save your blood pressure]

Comment by Rob

no it fucking doesnt you shit stirring bastard.

Comment by andy@cynic

Great read Rob. Your point about a point of view being built on something meaningful rather than controversial is a good one. I’ve seen a lot recently (especially in the Super Bowl) that suggested their goal was to achieve attention rather than create something that made people think and act in a different way. I enjoyed this one but the minimum wage letter was heartbreaking.

Comment by Pete

The super bowl ads were shit this year. More sponsored bad jokes. Lots of contrived emotion stirrers and tons of stupid. Loctite was the most truthful spot I saw. I liked your weight watchers spot as well then I read you’ve won KFC. How does that work with them and Nike? Most places have no compete clauses, you have please compete clauses.

Comment by DH

kfc? those fuckers? does uncle dan need the money because theres no fucking other reason to deal with those merchants of death.

Comment by andy@cynic

I admit I raised an eyebrow when I learnt about it, but in the interests of my child’s future birkenstock collection, I’ll leave it there. At least on this blog. Ha.

Comment by Rob

A point of view without a point of purpose is pointless.

Comment by George

look at mr cunning linguist.

Comment by andy@cynic

I have always admired your insight John.

Comment by George

Oh yes. I like that.

Consider it stolen … like everything else I’ve done. Ha.

[Though I’m going to change it to be more like ‘A point of view without a point of perspective or purpose is pointless’ … because not only do I think it conveys the point more accurately, I can say it’s different when you sue me]

Comment by Rob

You’re trying to get two quotes into a point pot. The original was better.

Comment by John

Says a man paid a maximum wage.

Comment by Bazza

I was trying to be witty. In writing it looks spiteful. Apologies.

Comment by Bazza

twat.

Comment by andy@cynic

Says the man paid more of a maximum wage than any I know.

Comment by DH

Why isn’t their a delete button on here. Even Facebook has that.

Comment by Bazza

If you listen carefully you can hear Zuck saying “karma”.

Comment by DH

He’s too busy reading books to say anything.

Comment by John

Oh Bazza, that was a stupid thing to do. Especially as the even more stupid thing you did was tell us your salary back in 2010 … which, I assume, is a shadow of what it is nowadays. Amateur mistake.

Comment by Rob

i dont give a fuck about your planning bollocks but that letter is fucking brilliant. didnt think of that and its fucking scary. to move forward some fucker always gets left behind and who the fuck is there to look out for them. no one in fucking government thats for fucking sure. dont have the answer but ignoring the opportunities these people would thrive in isnt it.

Comment by andy@cynic

I like this comment. And your point about ‘someone always getting left behind’ is a great one. I don’t think the NHS would have happened if it was trying to get off the ground today. Hell, they’re trying to annihilate it now which is one of the biggest acts of evil I’ve seen in my lifetime. And I include all the terrorism shit going on.

Comment by Rob

Talking of the NHS, how is your Mum and is everything sorted out with her treatment?

Comment by George

Always look for the unintended consequences, always question your assumptions and always search for the outliers. If great ideas were easy to find, we wouldn’t be surrounded by mediocrity. Simple for me to write, really hard to do. Especially because it probably involves being unpopular.

Comment by John

Good point. It always made me angry when I was in adland and a company would brief us about “a very important project” then only give us a week to respond. We always pushed back, but there are many who don’t.

Comment by Pete

That’s a great point Pete. I remember Ford approaching me when they were going to launch the Kia in Australia.

They said it was possibly their most important launch in a decade then presented me with a budget of a million bucks and a timeline of 4 weeks.

I pointed out if it was that important they are not demonstrating it with their requests and assets. They gave the business to someone else. I’ve never regretted it.

Comment by Rob

What do you consider a good timeline?

Comment by DH

Good question. There is no perfect response – it depends on a multitude of factors, from the request to the reasons behind the request to the objective to the investment level, but while there will always be exceptions, a week or two basically shows you either don’t care about your brand or you are shit at planning … which means someone should look at whether you really belong in that job.

Comment by Rob

Another good post, babies are great inventions, another one to save (post not babies).

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

This is what happens when popularity and convenience are viewed as the most important factors in decision making.

Comment by Mary Bryant

Very true Mary. It’s all about quick wins rather than stuff that will help pave the way for future generations. Though of course they say it will, despite the fact their goal is basically to get the benefits while they’re in their current positions.

Comment by Rob

Thankyou for making me reconsider my very deep held beliefs on this.
It didn’t work with Queen, it did with this
I still have a view that the problem, is the way the great unwashed have subsidized low wages with benefits for working people, until that changes, nothing else will, but REAL stories like this remind how naive hoping this will change any time soon actually is.
And that ‘someone always gets left behind’ thought really hits home.
Oh, and I now despise the younger me that got exasperated with parents in research groups who answered every question from the point of view of their kids, they’re pretty much all I’m bothered about now – although I can hold a conversation without mentioning them as long as it involved 1+ cover, Star Wars or how much I hate Queen

Comment by Northern

I know, it screwed with me too. I don’t know the answer … I know what could be an answer, but society has got so touchy about helping others, that I don’t know if they’d ever buy it. I say that, but there’s still stories that show the good nature of people … but sadly, it seems a tragedy has to happen to jolt people out of their “me, me, me” bubble.

And it doesn’t matter that you hate Queen, you saw them and that let’s me sleep contently at night.

Comment by Rob

“We all know what to do, we just don’t know how to get re-elected after we’ve done it”

Comment by John

Sums up the problem with modern democracy quite succinctly.

Comment by George




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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: