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


Love Bores You To Death …

So now my life is spent on the tube, I get to look an endless stream of terrible ads.

In the main, the vast majority are basically brochures shoved into a small space.

No thought about the audience.

No interest in capturing the imagination.

Just blatantly taking the piss by ramming down what they want to say regardless of who will be exposed to it.

While the example above for eHarmony.com is not one of the worst, it’s not great.

Putting aside the vast amount of copy on there, I don’t like the idea that their version of love is finding someone who is basically a duplicate of you.

Is that love?

Sure, having things in common is important, but isn’t it the differences that makes things magical?

I know for a fact that Jill has made me a better person simply because she is not me.

Her view of the World.

Her experiences.

Her hopes, dreams and ambitions.

The last person I can think I’d want to be with is another version of me.

OK, so they then end their ad by saying ‘meet that one person you never thought you’d meet’, but even though that gives a nod to your ideal partner having as many differences as commonalities, they’re still selling the idea that there’s only one person in the World right for you … which is not only bollocks, but emotionally manipulative.

But if that’s not bad enough, it’s the fact they say they ask 150 questions for each member.

ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY!

Look, I get love is complex, complicated and deeply personal but 150 questions?

Jesus …

I wouldn’t mind, but according to some, you can make anyone fall in love with you if you just ask them 36 questions.

I know there have been a bunch of relationships that have formed because of eHarmony, but I wonder how many of those occurred simply because 2 people were in the right mindset for a relationship rather than because of the answers of their 150 questions.

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Something To Think About On Your Monday …

Don’t let Monday kill you. Let it make you feel alive and then go after what the hell you actually want to do …

I promise I’ll try to sound less like Oprah tomorrow.



Transformer Tech …

When we moved to the US, we bought a new television.

We hadn’t had a new one for 9 years so when we got a ‘smart TV’, it was a revelation.

Sadly, when we were moving to the UK, we had to get rid of it because it wouldn’t work with the UK power grid.

Anyway, we went out and bought the new version of it – and while it is 65″ of OLED, 4K brilliance – the bit I love the most is that it has a feature that disguises itself as a painting.

I know it’s not the first television to do this, but it’s the first one I’ve had that does – and given it’s amazing picture quality – it’s ability to really give the impression it’s art, not tech is amazing.

It also reminds me of the brilliant work the brilliant Red Associates in NYC did for Samsung years ago.

Years ago, Samsung approached them for help on how to sell more televisions.

Rather than respond with solutions relating to branding or distribution, they came back with a more human focused response.

What they had discovered was that men love to show off their tech.

When they buy it – especially if it is for the home – they want to show it off … make it a focus of their World.

But women are different.

They don’t like things that change the focus and flow of the home.

They love technology but don’t want it to overshadow the people and the interactions that go on between the 4 walls. In essence, they want the technology to enhance the family dynamic, not overshadow it.

And so Red Associates told Samsung that they should be looking at changing the frames the TV’s were held in.

Less black and more shades that suit the colour palette of home decor.

Sure the screen would remain dark, but by changing the frame, it would blend in more with the home than stand out.

And you know what … it worked.

Samsung saw a dramatic increase in brand affinity with women.

Which meant when a family wanted to buy a new TV, Samsung increased their odds of being the one chosen because it understood that purchase decisions were based on more than just the tech, but the way it works when it’s off.



UBloodyShitheads …
November 8, 2018, 6:15 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Comment, Corporate Evil, Marketing Fail

One of the things that makes me laugh is when financial institutions try and present themselves as caring about the World.

OK, so some genuinely do – but the big investment banks are highly questionable – and yet, despite countless proof their quest for profit trumps everything, they continue to spout this company line.

Well recently I saw one that reached new depths of tragic.

UBS.

Putting aside ‘Does Cancer Respect Wealth’ is a pretty cold and heartless way to ever communicate, this is not some statement declaring UBS is donating billions to find a cure – oh no – it’s an ad designed to do 2 things:

1. Stop anyone who is disgustingly wealthy feel guilty for being disgustingly wealthy.

2. Invite investment in companies trying to find a cure for cancer. Or said another way, it’s offering the chance to get seriously wealthy if one of the companies finds a cure.

They just can’t help themselves can they?

Look, I know money makes the World go round.

I know money can help solve things – as they so blatantly point out in their tweet, to make them sound like they’re the Red Cross.

But – and it’s a big but – the key is how you earn the cash and what you do with it and UBS don’t have a great track record in that. Sure, there are worse institutions out there, but I would rather they own what they’re trying to do rather than just badly spin it in an attempt to look like they care about humanity when the reality is they only care about humanity if they’re super rich and customers of theirs.



I’m Even More Confused By Who I Am …
November 7, 2018, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Culture, Differentiation

So a while back I wrote about how I had one of those DNA tests done to identify my heritage and when it came back, it didn’t resemble anything I expected.

Well unsurprisingly I recently got an email saying they had ‘updated’ my results to better reflect my information.

“I knew it” … I said, with a self-satisfying smugness that they had got it wrong.

That was until I pressed the link and discovered this …

I’m still only 1% British and 27% Italian … but now I’m a whopping 64% European Jewish.

Now I have absolutely no problem with that, except – as I said in my earlier post – my Mum’s family have been Italian for many generations and my Dad’s family have been British for many generations so either there’s some big family secret or, as I suspect, Rosie the cat did some fiddling with my sample before I sent it off.

The reality is it doesn’t bother me, but it does intrigue me.

What is the truth?

What would my parents say?

Why am I not religious in any way whatsoever?

Whatever the answer – and let’s be honest, we’ll never really get one – it highlights that nothing is as it seems, however hard we try to make it so.

People who voted for Donald Trump should remember that fact in particular.



Authenticity For The Inauthentic …
November 6, 2018, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Authenticity, Culture

This shop is near my house in Fulham.

Now I must admit that I haven’t tried it, but something tells me Chop Chop’s ‘authentic’ Thai/Chinese/Malaysian/Singaporean is targeting people who don’t actually know what authentic Thai/Chinese/Malaysian/Singaporean actually is.

A bit like Wagamama.

Or Gary Vee.

The word authenticity is in danger of going the same way as words like revolutionary and innovative … a meaningless tag used by adland to try and make boring look a little interesting.

I hope not, because authenticity – real authenticity, not the marketing/hype/PR version of the word – has an incredible ability to drive both distinctiveness and loyalty but as James Hetfield of Metallica told me [un-humble brag there] …

“You can’t be authentic if you’re not prepared to be vulnerable”.

Something very few people and brands understand until its too late.

God, this post has gone pretty heavy from being a photo about a noodle shop in Fulham.



Ooooooh Ahhhhhh
November 5, 2018, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Comment, England, Family

No, the title of this post is not some homage to Porn Hub, it’s because today its bonfire night and I get to introduce Jill and Otis to it for the first times in their lives.

I know this shouldn’t excite me, but it does.

OK, I know they’ve seen fireworks before – and sadly, the last time Otis hated them – but this is one of those days where I know I’m truly back in England and I’m happy to share how England does fireworks with my family.

Mind you, now I come to think of it, a dodgy Catherine Wheel, a sparkler that will burn someone and an unsatisfactory hotdog doesn’t really hold up to the extravaganza’s we had in Sydney, Shanghai and Manhattan Beach. Oh god, what have I done …