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


Sometimes Technology Scares Me …

… no, I’m not talking about the fact a t-shirt company was able to use my data from Facebook and serve me an ad of a product featuring my hometown and my favourite band …

… I’m talking about the fact they think I would want to be seen in that t-shirt.

Yes, I know I have the taste of a 1980’s Australian pub singer, but even I wouldn’t wear that.

Big data might help companies get an idea of what their audience do, but it fails to understand what they like.

For all it’s cleverness, the way the data is interpreted – and used – by so many companies is embarrassingly simplistic.

Not simple. Simplistic.

A strategy of simply mashing random interests together is not a strategy, it’s an embarrassment.

Jesus …



Why You Should Never Ask Normal People To Act In A Video As A Normal Person …

As most of you know, I love car-crash internal videos.

I love them for so many reasons …

The ridiculousness of ego.

The appalling lack of judgement.

The desperation packaged as confidence.

While I’ve written about so many of these things over the years, my favourite has always been Singapore’s Media Development Authorities corporate snuff video.

Or it was until I saw this …

No, it’s not a spoof.

It’s actually meant to make working in the Australian Department of Finance look attractive.

Apparently it cost $4,000 … having looked at it, that’s still $3,995 too much.

What were they thinking?

OK, I get what they were thinking, but how did they think this was good enough to release?

Hell, they should have known it was going to be a pile of fucking awful the moment they saw the ‘script’.

But no …

And then there’s the decision to use the real employees in it.

I appreciate the attempt to make it authentic, but people can’t act being people.

Hell, even Keanu Reeves – a Hollywood actor – finds it hard to act being a person.

I get some intern may not realise the stupidity of agreeing to appear in something like this … but what about the senior guys? Unless they had a gun put against their head, they should have absolutely refused to do it.

Hell, if they were threatened with death, they should have taken that option because the embarrassment of appearing in something like this – or even working in a place that does something like this – is potentially career destroying.

All in all, this is going to be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

They could have saved it if they came out and said, “guess we should stick to working with the numbers that run the country, rather than act”, but no they’ve said nothing which means they might think this is really good.

Oh dear.

The lack of self-awareness within companies and organisations that supposedly understand or represent the masses is mind-blowing.

Worse, their lack of appreciation that everything you do say’s something about you to all who experience it is bordering on insanity.

But on the bright side, their blindness is my light.



Lazy Disruption …

Right now, in supermarkets across super-conservative Singapore, is this …

Yep … that’s a real thing.

The product originates from the UK but – unsurprisingly – had it’s advertising banned there on the grounds of indecency.

[Which is why I’m kind of scared what they mean by 100% natural]

The fact it has been able to run this sort of thing in Singapore highlights the authorities there are either ultra-naive or super-broadminded.

Given the Red Dot Nation is not renowned for its liberalness – despite things like this getting through the system – I assume the introduction of a hoverboard in the visual convinced the powers-that-be that this was a genuine ad for a brand celebrating an active lifestyle.

Idiots.

But not quite as idiotic as the immature boys/expat wankers who’ll buy the stuff thinking they’re being witty. On the positive, the moment they’re seen with a can, they’ll be more hated than a Nottingham Forest owner. And trust me, that’s seriously hated.



Baby Chair Manufacturers Make Donald Trump Look Like A Labrador Puppy …

I’ve written a lot about my hatred of pushchair companies.

How they try and sell their seat-on-wheels as a fashion item or a bloody 4×4 vehicle.

But now iCandy – one of the worst offenders – have decided to fuck me over by releasing this:

I know my hatred is bordering on irrational but I hate this so much.

I hate the name.

MiChair. MICHAIR.

Apart from it being utter bollocks, why can’t they spell it properly.

Oh I know why, because by making the ‘i’ in MiCHAIR lowercase, they think it makes it sound like it’s some kind of next-gen product when all it is, IS A FUCKING HIGHCHAIR FOR A BABY.

Then I hate the Dad in the photo.

Look at him …

They might think he looks young, relaxed and good looking – the sort that holds down an uber-successful job in the city – but I just think he’s a smug fuck who is sleeping with his secretary. Probably in the marital bed when his wife is out at her sisters.

And don’t get me started on that kitchen.

Oh you just know the client demanded it to look clean and contemporary because that reflects ‘the brands values and aesthetic’ or some other contrived marketing buzzword bullshit.

And the irony is, by doing that, it highlights how much bollocks this all is because anyone with a kid will tell you that regardless how immaculate a place may be when you start to feed your child, the moment you try and put food in their mouth, the entire room will resemble a war zone within 3 seconds flat.

But I can even overlook all that compared to the worst bit … the line.

LIVE EVERY MOMENT. LOVE EVERY STEP.

What the fuck?

Seriously, what the fuck?

Love every moment of what? Feeding your kid?

Are you insane?

Unless that chair can strap a kid in like their Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs, you’ll never live every moment … you’ll be too busy trying to avoid it.

And then there’s that LOVE EVERY STEP.

Maybe they mean it in terms of how the chair adapts to the different life stages of the kid, but even if it does [which I totally made up, by the way] IT’S A CHAIR … IT CAN’T GO ANYWHERE SO WHY ARE YOU USING WORDS LIKE STEPS???

OK … OK … I need to take a deep, deep breath but I hate how these companies try to exploit the love we have for our kids by making us feel that we are not treating them well unless we put them in some pretend designer bollocks.

To be quite honest, that strategy – while sadly effective – is utterly evil because what they’re saying is it’s the stuff you put around your baby that is more important than the way you actually treat them.

Bastards.

I would absolutely love to know how many of the people behind this are parents.

Then I’d love to know how many have called their kids Tarquin or Apple-Baby-Boo.

I don’t know why knowing their kids name would be important, but I’d just like to know.

Because I’m angry. And irrational. And just really, really fed up of how these companies are turning kids into a fucking accessory for certain parents to show off how fucking rich and stylish they are.

Though I admit, if Birkenstock did a high chair, I’d be there with fucking bells on.

ARGHHHHHHHH!

[I’ll be better by tomorrow. Promise. Well, semi-promise]



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.



When Design Goes Wrong …

I must admit I’m kind of happy to write this post.

You see, over the last couple of years, I’ve been writing endless odes to the creativity and ingenuity of designers … even proclaiming them to be far better at problem solving than most ad agencies.

Which is why I was so happy when someone sent me this milk packaging from Tesco’s.

I hope it’s real. Can someone please tell me it’s real.

[Though to be fair, based on the milk ingredients, it’s ‘on brand’. Literally]



Kickstarter Is The Modern Boy Who Cried Wolf …

To all you poor souls that hoped 2017 was going to be better than 2016, I have some bad news for you.

This blog is back.

I know … I know …

Look, I’m pretty sure you had a good festive season and a drunk New Year – not to mention some time off work – so rather than condemn me as a person trying to ruin your 2017, see me as a kind soul trying to prepare you for the misery the next 12 months has in store.

It’s going to be an interesting year … what with Trump as President and a bunch of other stuff [which I’ll talk about at another time] but to continue with my theme of compassion, I will ease you into the pain of this blog with a little rant.

Kickstarter.

I know, I’ve written about them before … but I came across something recently that really takes the overhyped biscuit.

Shoelaces.

Bloody shoelaces.

I can just about live with the fact they call them ‘reimagined’, but ‘this changes everything?’

Really?

Give me a break.

Sure, it might change it for people who have difficulties like the elderly or the handicapped [am I allowed to say handicapped?] but using a picture of an able-boded, youngish male seems to imply they literally mean every single person – regardless of age or physical capacity.

Better yet, they use a picture where despite having these ‘new-fangled’ shoelaces, you need to bend down and use your hands to ease your foot into the shoes … which begs the question, WHAT’S THE FUCKING POINT.

I liked Kickstarter.

I’ve bought a ton off Kickstarter.

But sadly, I’ve had more disappointing experiences than positive.

Sure, that’s not entirely their fault as they simply act as a hub for the companies trying to raise capital, however it seems that rather than be more stringent in the quality control of companies they allow to use their site, they have decided to take a course of action that involves hyping up average products at an inflation rate that resembles Russia in the mid-1990’s.

This approach may keep some people coming in, but it is increasingly turning people off … because when all their ads on social media promise products that are going to revolutionise/change/evolve/solve/innovate the World as we know it, what they actually say to people is, ‘here is some more bullshit for us to ignore’.

Maybe these shoelaces do change everything.

Maybe they are the product that will bring World peace.

But when you associate with a boy who has cried wolf too many times, you end up being ignored by everyone.

Entrepreneurs, take note.

Oh it’s good to be back.