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


About As Subtle As A Banana Put Down A Pair Of Axl Rose’s Leather Pants …

Saw this recently on Linkedin.

Do you think it’s an employee randomly singing the praises of his company.

Or an employee who is doing this as a blatant attempt by his company to look good?

Either way, I want to smash the smarmy, corporate toady in the face.




Lies, Damned Lies And Kickstarter …

It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote about this so I guess it’s time for another post about another massive lie peddled from a kickstarteresque company.

Yes, I know I ranted about them earlier this week, but I can’t help myself.

Have a look at this …

Let’s move past the fact they have the audacity to claim a lens – held on with a bloody bulldog clip – gives you the equivalent standard of a US$4000 camera [unless they mean a US$4000 camera held onto a smart phone with a bulldog clip] and let’s instead focus on the image they are using to sell ‘said’ item.

Look at the screen of the smartphone.

Such incredible quality.

Such incredible clarity.

Such incredible focus.

Wow, maybe they weren’t joking when they said this simple attachment could make an expensive DSLR redundent.

But hang on, something isn’t right.

That super sharp image doesn’t seem to relate to the ‘live’ image going on in the picture.

Sure, they’ve blurred the shit out of it, but I’m pretty all the action is going on in the middle of the court, not by the net.

OK, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. After all, I do only have one good eye.

But there’s something else bothering me. Hmmmmn, what could it be?

Oh I know, it’s that perfect image on the phone.

Look, I have an iPhone and if I so much as zoom a bloody milimeter on it, everything looks like I’m trying to do an impression of a Tony Scott movie, so either the person holding the phone/lens in the photo has the steadiest hand ever created – especially as they are located on the other side of the court – OR THIS IS A PILE OF BULLSHIT.

I know I’m in adland so look at these things a bit more closely than the average punter, but that shouldn’t mean brands don’t care about this sort of thing.

Why would you supposedly go to all this effort to make a great product and then short-change the work that is designed to tell the World about it?

It’s like my issue with people who spend weeks working on a pitch but don’t rehearse it until the last 5 minutes.

All that effort, wasted.

Of course it’s because people still believe that ‘the quality of the product/work/idea’ will shine through.

In a perfect World – maybe – but in the real World, how you present something is often of equal importance to what you are presenting. Sometimes, even more important.

When I was at HHCL, one of their tenants was the quality of advertising had a commercial benefit on the brand.

In short, the better the work, the more people were interested in you.

Now I appreciate that some may challenge that view, but I passionately believe that what you do says more about who you are than what you say … so while the creators of this lens may claim it can single-handedly put Canon and Nikon out of business, the fact their communication is so obviously bullshit makes me think you’re more likely to find this attachment inside a cheap pack of Christmas Crackers than a high-end photographic store.

Which means if you actually end up buying it, then you have no one to blame but yourself.

And this is coming from someone who paid $100 for a remote control ball!!!

Have a great weekend, only 50 odd weeks till Christmas.



I Lied …

Yes, I know I said I’d finished writing this blog for the year, but someone sent me something that has compelled me to write one more rant.

Besides, I’m in advertising … so you shouldn’t expect us to be honest.

Ahem.

Anyway, I honestly don’t know if you will consider this a Christmas gift or horror, but you will always remember it … of that, I am absolutely sure.

So remember ages ago I said that the Gerard Butler manifesto for Hugo Boss was one of the worst things ever written?

Well, it still is … but this is definitely pushing it for first place.

The only reason Gerard wins, is because I think – or should I say, I hope – the people behind this are trying to take the piss.

I must admit, I have a niggling feeling that might not be the case – I worry, they were inspired by Gerard rather than want to ridicule it – but it’s Christmas and so I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt … especially because their website features a video where they definitely have a twinkle in the eye about what they’re doing.

However, if this was written in January, there’s no way I’d be so gracious and I’d be having a aneurysm explaining why this sort of thing represents the the worst of advertising … contrived self importance mixed with a large dollop of contrived shock value.

Or said another way … the strategy that got Donald Trump elected.

Seriously, there are so many other ways they could have done this.

So many ways they could have made it fun and less cringeworthy.

But no, they decided to follow the same path as that aftershave that supposedly smells of a sweaty vagina.

A path that says as much about the people behind the brand as those who will embrace it.

Anyway, have a look at what the hell I’m talking about.

It is most definitely NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK … but you have to see it.

Then try and enjoy your Christmas, wherever you are.

Or just go back to what was supposed to be my last post and pretend this never happened.



A Kodak Moment Is Now An Embarrassing Moment …

Kodak.

A company that once was synonymous with photography that is now synonymous with failure.

There are a million stories detailing their demise, but fundamentally, it wasn’t because they couldn’t innovate [they were one of the pioneers of digital photography], they didn’t want to bring it to market because they didn’t want to kill their photographic developing business, even though that business was going to kill them if they continued with it.

But this post isn’t a bad history lesson, it’s about the new Kodak … the lean, mean, technology machine.

Have a look at this …

Yep, it’s the World’s first 360 degree action-camera with 4k picture detail.

OK, so you could say bringing out a device like this, years after GoPro blew-up the market, shows Kodak still have a habit of being late to change, but at least this time they are trying to offer a fundamentally better product than what is currently available – not to mention leveraging the 360 degree market, that seems to have come from nowhere.

But even that isn’t what this post is about.

No, what this is about is that based on this ad, Kodak still think it’s the 1980’s.

A few years ago, I wrote how one of GoPro’s strengths was how they were part of the culture they were making products for. This authenticity separated them from the countless other brands that tried to jump on the bandwagon – even when they had arguably better products.

Two years later and it seems some brands still haven’t grasped the importance of focusing on the culture, rather than the category.

Look at that ad. Look at it.

It’s fucking horrible.

If a photo of the London skyline from a bloody restaurant wasn’t bad enough [what the hell is ‘action cam’ about that???] … what about the utterly terrible shot of the product.

A brown square with a shitty dome on top.

It looks like a crap 1950’s robot toy that you’d find in a Kinder-Surprise.

What the hell were Kodak thinking?

And then there’s the product name and the font choice.

PIXPRO … using a stencil type font in a desperate bid to look cutting edge.

If your product is the ‘future’, you don’t need to use a shitty font because people will work it out for themselves. And even if you decide you absolutely, positively, desperately want to do it … my advice is to not use a font that is synonymous with the 1982!

And what’s that line … ‘Brings You Closer’.

What does it even mean?

Here is a product that gives you 360 degree views [which, arguably, they don’t even show in the ad] and they use that line.

Mind you, here is a product that gives you 360 degree views in 4k quality, and they don’t even help you understand what 4k quality means to the recipient.

There is so much they could do to make people want to know more – even using an old-school print ad – but no, they’ve gone for the worst advertising you could get.

Apparently the product is quite good … but sadly for Kodak, with a name that represents the past rather than the future and an ad that reinforces that perspective, I think the only view they’ll be seeing is their once great name growing smaller and smaller into the distance.



Louis Vuitton Go Wrong …

Louis Vuitton.

A name that conjures all manner of images in the mind.

Luxury. Sophistication. Worldliness.Travel. Wealth.

OK, so in China, it’s also known as the ‘mistresses brand’, because in the old days of China, the only people who could get their hands on the stuff were the lovers of Government officials or international businessmen who bought it when on one of their numerous overseas trips.

Now while ‘perception may be reality’, there’s some perception you don’t want and LV have spent years and hundreds of millions of dollars on changing this.

Given their success in China, you could argue it has worked – however there are two things that I think are potentially going to undermine them.

One: In their quest to keep the cash rolling in, they’re opening more stores in ‘lower tier’ markets. While this is helping wealthy people in those cities buy their products more easily, it’s putting off their core audience because frankly, they don’t want to be associated with individuals from places they regard as ‘being underneath them’.


Two: This …

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

OK … OK … I admit I haven’t seen this first hand [a friend sent it to me] so there is a big chance it’s either a pisstake or associated with an upcoming movie but if not, why-oh-why would they do such a thing?

While some may find a cliche-looking gangster cool, I’m not sure it fits in with the image the average LV customer wants for themselves. And what do you think is in those suitcases?

A pair of pants and some inflatable arm bands?

Probably not … and yet they have the cheek to add ‘the spirit of travel’ to the bottom of the ad.

Where are they travelling too? Jail?

And what are those ‘weapon looking things’ in the arms of the cliched ‘hired help’?

If they’re not fancy umbrellas, someone is going to be getting into a lot of trouble.

Look, I get the luxury inflation rate has pushed brands to basically make ads showing people bathing in a pool of money while burning poor people in their big, open fire but I’m not sure going to this extreme is a good idea.

If the goal was to make LV owners look so successful they don’t give a shit what others think [“Fuck you money”, as I wrote here] then I would have suggested they follow the lead of the brilliant ‘spoof’ Bentley ad below, as opposed to associating with people who might kill you if you even look at them funny.



It’s Red Nose Day Every Day …

I’m back. Which means the operation went well.

Otis is still in Australia but he’s doing well and has starting dancing again so his Mum and me can breathe a massive sigh of relief.

With that in mind, let’s get back to more bland, boring stuff … starting with this:

I’ve always been of the belief that whether it’s an ad or a film or a product … it’s the details that really define who you are.

They can demonstrate the standards of the brand … the quality of the product or the stupidity of the ad agency amongst countless other things.

You see while society is often distracted by the big and the shiny, it’s the little things – often hidden in the shadows – that truly demonstrates whether the people/brands you are associating with, value you as much as they are asking you to value them.

I truly believe that, but the fact of the matter is I’m only saying it so I can post this picture …

At first I thought it was just a genius and cunning idea by the brand/agency to make their fairly bland ad stand out, then I saw the website was partially obscured and realised that it was just another example of lack of craft and care.

If they do that to their ads, I daren’t imagine what that means Cake Box do to their food.



How The Mighty Have Fallen …

OK, I don’t like Gwyneth.

I don’t know why I have that opinion given I’ve never met her, but I don’t.

Maybe I’m just a victim of media propaganda?

Maybe I’m just channeling my loathing of Coldplay on her?

Maybe I’m just a dick.

But her holier-than-thou attitude and pretentious Goop corporation get on my tits.

Recently I saw this ad featuring her.

What the fuck?!

Ignore the fact I haven’t got the faintest idea what it’s for … what about that image?

It may just be one of the most ridiculous images I’ve ever seen.

Are we supposed to believe she is in the throws of laughter while perfectly balancing an unfeasibly small tea cup?

I know her acting gigs have dried up, but I don’t think this ‘act’ will get her very far on America’s Got Talent.

And what is ‘tender’ about that picture?

I’ve seen wrestling matches less contrived than that.

I know Gwynnie is an actress, but I was always under the impression that the best actors make everything seem natural … which means I see more Golden Raspberries in Gwyneth’s future than Oscars.

She must absolutely loathe Jessica Alba.