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


Mask. Cape. Birkenstocks?

So yesterday I wrote about my new birkenstock t-shirt … and I bet you were thrilled with it. Ahem. Well today I’m keeping with the birkies theme, but I’m adding a bit of Hollywood glamour to it.

No, seriously.

You see I was recently reading a copy of Empire Magazine – the film monthly – when there was an article on the classic 90’s romp, Con Air.

For those of you who need a reminder what it’s about, have a look at this.

Did you watch it?

They don’t make movies like that anymore do they.

Sure, it’s bollocks, but it’s absolutely amazing bollocks.

Hmmmmm, that doesn’t look so good written down, does it. Oops.

“So where’s the birkenstock reference”, I hear no one cry.

Well, in the article, they talk about how John Cusack – one of the movies stars – was a bit of a dick on set.

Apparently he didn’t really want to do the movie but – having resigned himself to having to do it – he decided to throw his star power around.

This is how he did it …

Have you read it?

Have you?

Really?

Well if you have, you’ll know that he insisted on his character wearing Birkenstocks.

Yes, bloody birkies!

Apparently his rationale was …

“I want to be the very first action hero who wears Birkenstocks. Charlton Heston wore sandals and he kicked ass. I wanna do the same”.

Amazing eh?

But even more amazing than that is that we now can understand why John Cusack’s career went the same way as MH370.

Which also explains why I ended up in advertising which, a friend of mine recently called, The MH370 of careers.

Advertisements


The Only Way I’ll Ever Wear Socks With My Birkenstocks …
August 30, 2017, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Birkenstocks

… is by wearing my new t-shirt from my friends at RedBubble.

Trust me, if you think you’re offended by it, you should see how my colleagues feel.



To All The Haters …
August 29, 2017, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Comment

Sure, it’s not as good as the politician, Denis Healey’s “like being savaged by a dead sheep”, but it’s pretty good.



Something To Make Monday Feel A Little Sweeter …
August 28, 2017, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Comment

Suddenly stress never tasted so good …



Ricky Gervais Has Forgotten What Made Him Famous …
August 25, 2017, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Culture, Empathy, England, Entertainment, Relevance

So yesterday I wrote about The Office and how David Brent may – or may not – have been influenced by 80’s cricketer Ian Botham.

I love that show so, so, so much so I cannot tell you how disappointed I was when I watched the movie Life On The Road.

Now to be fair, Ricky Gervais said this was not meant to be an extension of The Office, but it did feature the character David Brent so it’s pretty obvious I’m going to make comparisons.

When I first heard of the film, it was like hearing an old friend was coming into town and the trailer definitely raised my expectations but when I sat down and watched the final film, I was left underwhelmed.

I should point out this was not purely because it wasn’t anywhere near as funny as The Office, it was because Ricky Gervais had fundamentally changed the character of David Brent.

As I wrote yesterday, the genius of David Brent’s character was that while he was a delusional, terrible manager … his heart was in the right place which is why the people around him, put up with him.

However in Life On The Road, Brent became a bit of a dick – highlighted by the fact the people around him openly hated him – which resulted in you having little sympathy for the character because his cringe-worthiness was driven by arrogance rather than misguidedness.

This slight shift in character changed everything … and while Ricky Gervais may argue that the desperation to become a Rock Star would result in you becoming a more aggressive character than trying to be a manager of a paper-merchants [in Slough], I can’t help but feel it’s because Gervais has become disconnected to normal life, that made The Office so amazing.

Of course, that is to be expected given he is a multi-multi-millionaire and has the lifestyle that is about as opposite to the one he had when he wrote The Office, which should serve as a great reminder that one of the greatest skills anyone can have is to know when to walk away.

Though when I wrote about the guys at ATTIK, they said it better when they said …

“It’s like retiring from football and ten years later expecting to play against younger guys, it wasn’t the way to go.”



Was The Office A Documentary?
August 24, 2017, 6:20 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Culture, England, Entertainment

The Office.

No, not the American rubbish, the original British classic.

God, what a show … hysterical, cringeworthy and with something that anyone who has ever worked in an office, would relate to.

Then there was David Brent.

Good natured but utterly delusional.

A terrible manager who thinks he’s a brilliant manager.

While there were elements of his character that I am sure viewers recognised in their bosses, you would never imagine one real-lif person could
contain all those traits.

Well, that’s what I thought as well until I watched this old video of English cricketer, Ian Botham.

It’s 16 minutes long … but if you need an added incentive to watch it, here’s one of the amazing quotes Mr Botham says to a TV audience of students.

“People don’t realise there are more deer in this country now than there were in days of Henry VIII. Fact.”

Sit back. Enjoy. Cringe.



The State Of Advertising Is In A State …

I’m back.

Did you miss me?

No, didn’t think so …

Anyway, a friend of mine recently wrote an article in the UK edition of Campaign Magazine about the state of outdoor advertising.

He made many good points – from the fact it’s now been relegated to ‘out of home’ categorisation to so much of it ignoring the basic principles of static communication by shoving so many words on it, you get the impression it’s a print ad, just repurposed for outdoor.

But for me, his point was not just about outdoor, but advertising as a whole.

Have a look at this ad by BBH London.

Nice isn’t it.

It ran in 1997 [I think]

Now look at this ad.

Same product.

Same agency.

Even the same line.

Horrible isn’t it.

OK, it’s not horrible by todays standards, but when you compare it to the ad they made 20 years earlier, it is.

And what’s with that ‘beautifully designed’ copy?

As if a car manufacturer would choose to make an ‘ugly designed’ car.

In the last 20 years, the standard of creativity has been severely dented.

Oh sure, Cannes is out there celebrating winners left, right and centre but there’s 2 flaws in their praise:

1. So much of it is scam.

2. The rest of it is niche.

But here’s the thing, the quality inside ad agencies has not diminished – if anything, it has improved – and let’s not forget, both of these ads were done by BBH … one of the all time greats … so I can only assume the shift downwards is being caused by clients focused on satisfying their ego rather than intriguing their audience.

Which makes me question whether clients understand what advertising is and how it actually works … because it seems they are of the belief the masses are sat at home waiting for them to tell them what they should care about so they can run out at the earliest opportunity and make the purchase.

Of course I know that’s not true and of course, I know there are some amazing clients out there – because I’ve worked with them – but maybe this madness is because clients are more focused on the words/phrases played back in their post campaign research analysis [ie: beautifully designed] rather than aiming for society be intrigued, excited or hungry for their brand.

In other words, for all the research and data we have on audiences, there’s far too much emphasis on what brands want people to care about them rather than understanding – and connecting to them – on what they actually care about.

So to Audi, please get back to communicating driver to driver, because not only is this ‘brand to consumer’ approach not working, it’s making you look like every other bland car brand in the category and that kind of defeats the purpose of investing millions of dollars in marketing.