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


Simple Advertising Is Great Advertising …

I’m 46.

I’m a husband.

And a father.

I supposedly hold down a senior job at a highly respected company.

I have responsibilities … mortgages and a bunch of other things ‘older people’ should have.

And yet despite all that, when I saw this ad for Hot Wheels, I totally got what they were saying.

Oh Hot Wheels.

When I was a kid, they were the toy cars to have.

Matchbox made the practical but Hot Wheels made the sexy.

The daring.

The souped up.

The ‘fuck, that looks cool’.

Kids who were good at maths would play with Matchbox but kids who could play the guitar would have Hot Wheels.

I must admit, I am shocked at all this emotion coming out of me despite the fact I haven’t bought – or played with – a toy car for at least 36 years. And that’s why I love this ad so much, because in an instant – and without showing any product whatsoever – I get it.

I totally get it.

Given this ad appeared on a motorway, I am assuming Hot Wheels actually want to target people like me.

Their goal being to awaken my memories of their brilliant toy cars and introduce my kids to them.

It could be because a while back I read Hot Wheels was a billion dollar company under threat.

Not from other toy car competitors, but because parents didn’t know how to play toy cars with their children. Especially Mum’s with boys.

[Don’t call me sexist, this is what they said]

Whatever the truth is, this ad worked for me.

It not only reminded me how much I loved Hot Wheels, it made me want to play with them with Otis. Which all goes to show that while the features of a brand can be copied, it’s spirit and values are always unique.



If You Want To Feel Really Old …
October 12, 2016, 6:20 am
Filed under: Anniversary, Attitude & Aptitude, Culture, Film, Happiness, History, Music

… read the first 2 lines of this article on the 25th anniversary of the brilliant movie, The Commitments.

Scary eh! Almost as scary as the fact The Commitments is 25 years old.

TWENTY FIVE YEARS!!!

Then I remember how good that movie is and realise there won’t be many films made today that I’ll want to see in 25 years time, which helps me feel a teensy bit better about being an old fart. Which is handy, because on top of the first 2 lines of that article making me feel ancient, I’ve been spending the past few months working with Spotify and after every meeting I feel super excited and oh-so-old.

Anyway, for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about – or just want a dose of nostalgia – cop a load of this:



Uniting Generation …

Every now and then I come across an idea that enchants me.

The commonality with them all is they appear painfully simple but solve a fundamental issue.

In this case, it’s an idea that manages to resolve youths lack of [safe] accommodation with the elderlies need for interaction and care.

It’s very simple.

There is an old people’s home in Holland called Humanitas that offers students free accommodation if they agree to spend at least 30 hours a month socialising with the older residents.

Everyone wins.

The youth – who have somewhere to live and to learn.

The elderly – who have someone to protect and engage with.

The staff – who get more time to focus on administering better care.

The company – who can offer patients better standards of care at less cost.

The country – who have people who build bridges with generations rather than burn them.

In some ways it’s another example of what I call devious strategy … where you give people exactly what they want in a way that also solves your own personal needs … but this is done with such gentleness and grace that the word ‘devious’ just seems wrong to use.

What it does do though, is remind us great ideas are still their to be found and in the main, the general premise behind them is almost embarrassingly simple.



It’s Monday. The World Is In A Bit Of Shit. We All Need This …
August 22, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Happiness

No … I’m not talking about a short blog post [though it is], I mean this.


What a champ.