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


Why Linkedin’s Secret Sauce Will Leave A Totally Horrible Taste In Your Mouth …

I’ve written a lot about Linkedin in the past.

None of it, let’s face it, that complimentary.

Part of that is because of what some users view as professional and part of that is because they show a total lack of understanding of who their users are … but it also doesn’t help its become a place where bullshit head hunters blindly contact you about bullshit jobs.

Or worse, where they ask you for names of people they can then bombard with their bullshit jobs.

Continuing the theme of bullshit and Linkedin, have a look at this …

WHAT. THE. FUCK?

Seriously, what are they talking about?

Why are they going on about ‘secret sauce’?

Why are they trying to make it sound that the average schmuck can have the same power and influence over Linkedin as THE PEOPLE WHO OWN LINKEDIN?

And given no one actually knows what they’re talking about, why would anyone care how Linkedin uses Linkedin to market their secret sauce … let alone the fact that given no one knows what their secret sauce is, it must mean Linkedin is absolutely shit for marketing.

I swear to god this is nothing more than a bet some people had in Linkedin to see how many times they could put the word Linkedin into an ad. Because any other reason just doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense.

This is another perfect example of when companies try and act in a way that is totally inauthentic to them. Embrace your boringness Linkedin, because at least it will make me think you’re self aware, whereas now, I just think you’re a bloody idiot.



The Most Ridiculous Phone Management System In The World …

American companies – like every other country in the World – love automated telephone systems.

To actually get to speak to a real human, is harder than earning a PHD in astrophysics.

But what makes me laugh is how they try so so hard to make it sound like you’re talking to a real person when it’s painfully obvious you’re not.

However, in America, it has reached new heights.

I was organizing Direct TV and was having to repeat my answer to every question asked by the ‘automated human’ because it doesn’t understand British accents when – finally – it accepted my answer.

Imagine my surprise when immediately after, I heard the sound effect of a person typing.

Seriously, it was trying to suggest they were literally inputing my answer into their system.

If that wasn’t mental enough, the sound they used sounded awfully like a typewriter from the 1920’s.

Apart from the fact that a supposed high-tech company shouldn’t feel embarrassed about not using real people, if they really believe genuine human interaction is more desirable for customers than a computer, then HIRE SOME FUCKING HUMANS.

Another example where a consultancy has come in to improve efficiency and ignored reality.



The Con Goes On …

Back in March I wrote that APAC Insider Magazine had nominated Cynic for an Australian award, despite us ceasing to be a legal entity in 2010.

Well, today I got an email telling me ‘we were still in the running’ and they would be sending details for the award decision and ceremony.

Of course it’s all a load of bollocks, but imagine if you were a small company and thought you were honestly up for an award, you’d probably do whatever they asked because when you’re starting out, you’re continually looking for anything that reaffirms your decision to go it alone.

As I’ve written before, starting your own company is one of the best things you can ever do, but the journey – especially at the beginning – is incredibly fragile and this sort of thing has the potential to bring it all down.

Of course, there’s an argument it could also lift some people up … but if you win an award from a magazine who wants to nominate a company that died 7 years ago, you have to ask if the ‘award’ is something you really want to be associated with.

So, given these fuckers are exploiting the insecurity of small businesses, I’ve decided to give them a taste of their own medicine.

Sure, I’m going to continue going along with their ‘award’ – mainly because I’m genuinely interested to see how far their con goes on – but I’m going to do something else.

I can’t go into specifics right now, but let’s just say APAC Insider Magazine have received an email announcing their nomination for the International Magazine Publishers ‘Promotion of the Year’ and we’re going to see how they like a taste of their own medicine.

#PaybackIsGlorious



Know Your Audience …

So yesterday – on Linkedin – I found this posted on my feed …

Now putting aside the fact I no longer work at Wieden, the fact is that part of the reason WK is so special is because it doesn’t have an abundance of people who have – or want to have – an MBA.

Wieden is born from a desire to use creativity to do it’s fighting.

That ranks higher than absolutely everything and anything else.

Now I should point out that I am not suggesting someone with an MBA isn’t creative, however that qualification does mean you have a greater focus on business than creativity and that ultimately flies in the face of Wieden’s beliefs.

Of course WK are savvy at business and Mr W is most definitely a business guy.

However unlike many in the ‘commerce World’, they want to grow through creative excellence not ‘optimization’.

Which is why I found this ad so weird.

Has Willamette had a lot of Wieden people there before?

Or had a lot of interest from them?

Or is the reason they are offering such a huge financial incentive means they want them because it will benefit them as much as the student?

Even though a recent decision at WKSH means there are some people who – in my opinion – could do with some basic lessons in how to successfully build a business – the reality is this ad shows how little Willamette know, rather than how much.



A Look Back At 7 Years …

As I have 2 days left of working at Wieden, I thought I’d put up some of the films [some are case studies because I can’t find the actual spot online] that I’ve either had something to do with or happened on my watch while at W+K Shanghai.

To be honest, there’s loads more – including 3 campaigns that haven’t come out yet, of which one is particularly exciting – but I appreciate how indulgent this post is already.

So with that – and in no particular order – here we go …

Converse Lyrics

NIKE Mr Sun

Fiat 500 La Vita E Bella – with thanks to my Mum

NIKE Temple Of Deadly Quickness

P&G Best Job

NIKE Find Your Greatness

Jeep Built Free

Jordan Winning Moment

Heineken Curiosity Pays

NIKE Epic Step

Spotify Japan Music Changes Us

As I said, there’s a bunch more stuff I could put up, but when I look back at this – especially in relation to where China/Asia advertising traditionally sits – I nod and, to paraphrase Phil Knight from the W+K global credentials film, say “It’s not bad”.



WiFi Wickedness …

Just to make sure no one is under the mistaken illusion that this blog is topical, I wanted to bring your attention to something that happened way back in March 2016.

OK … OK … I know for this blog, that’s pretty topical, but let’s put that aside for now.

As I’ve discovered over the years, the car industry may be one of the most competitive industries out there and nothing highlights this more than at Auto-shows.

Seriously, it often appears the focus of the manufacturers is simply to out-do the competition rather than try to engage the potential owner.

Anyway, at New York Auto Show last year [yes, last year] Audi set up a bunch of free Wi-Fi networks and gave them names that highlighted the A4’s features over the BMW 328i.

And because people are always scrambling for free wifi at conventions like this, a huge amount of people not only saw it, but got educated by it at the same time.

Simple, smart, evil.

Of course, this isn’t a new thing, just a smart thing.

A deviously smart thing.



Little Things Make The Difference …

In Asia, hand cleanliness is almost an obsession.

People even eat their sandwiches and burgers with knives and forks to avoid having to pick them up.

OK, so maybe that’s the case everywhere and I’m just showing my common Nottingham roots … but I still find it fascinating.

Everywhere you go, there’s hand sanitisers.

I’m not just talking in hospitals, I’m talking restaurants and all sorts of other places.

Recently, I saw this on my wife’s bag.

Yep, it’s a portable hand sanitiser.

But I’m not saying this because it highlights how long we’ve been in Asia, I’m saying it because making a product that can attach easily to a bag is an act of simple genius.

For a culture that doesn’t want to just wash their hands, but have them truly germ free … this little idea has big appeal.

Sure, there’s other products on the market that do a similar thing, but having something that attaches to your bag gives a peace of mind that wipes hidden in your bag, just can’t do. Plus being permanently on display helps advertise the brand to all who see it. Nice.

I’ve said for a while that I feel designers are doing things in more interesting ways than ad agencies and ultimately that’s down to one simple difference of approach.

Designers want to solve problems whereas ad agencies want to communicate problems.

Not all agencies are like this.

Not all agency employees are like this.

But right now, the design industry is kicking our ass and I swear it’s because we are holding on to remuneration models that reward ‘the old ways’ rather than finding ways to get paid for what we are truly capable of if given the freedom to do it.

[That and the fact adlands creative department hiring policy is still primarily based on art and copy rather than embracing different types of creative people/thinkers/doers]

We will have to wake up soon, otherwise the bullshit we churn out for Cannes – that we claim is ‘creative problem solving’ will become the benchmark for our standards and when that happens, we may as well pack up and go home.

But I have faith it can be done, if only because I saw The Kennedys Shanghai consistently solve problems in imaginative and innovative and intriguing ways for 9 months.