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

It Seems I Am The Fine Line Between Famous And Infamous …

How is your 2018 going so far?

I know it’s still early days – but is it looking good or bad?

Well, if it’s looking positive, I’m about to ruin it for you and if it is looking dodgy, I’m going to help you solidify your opinion.


Well, a few weeks ago, a nice guy called Paul McEnany asked if he could interview me about my career.

While I’m sure his reasoning for his request was to help planners learn what not to do, my ego said yes even before my mouth did … and while the end result is the bastard love child of rambling randomness and base-level swearing, it’s the perfect way to justify your pessimism for 2018 or to ensure your optimism for the new year doesn’t get too high.

So go here and errrrrm, enjoy [if that’s the right word for it, which it isn’t] and after you’ve heard my crap, listen to the brilliant interviews with people like Gareth Kay, Russell Davies, Richard Huntingdon, Martin Weigel and the amazing Chris Riley because apart from being hugely interesting and inspiring, you’ll get the added bonus of [1] undeniable proof I’m a massive imposter and [2] the knowledge that if I can have some sort of semi-successful career in advertising, you certainly can.

You’re welcome.


The Final Countdown …

So today is the first of December.How the hell has that happened?

Wasn’t it February 2 weeks ago?!

I suppose the good news is there’s only going to be 2 more weeks of blog posts for the year.

Which – given I only write this rubbish on weekdays – means 10 more posts.

And two of those will be sentimental claptrap … one for Otis’ birthday on the 11th and then some shit ‘2017 wrap up’ … which means you only have 8 truly pathetic posts to endure.

Christ, it’s like I’m giving you your Christmas present early.

But no, I’m going to give you more.

Much more.

Are you ready?

So recently I was sent a TV ad for Rolls Royce.

You didn’t think Rolls Royce made those did you? Neither did I.

And while the song ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’ is an inspired choice, the rest of it is utter pants.

Like utter, utter pants.

It’s absolutely obvious they’re trying to appeal to a younger audience, but the end result says far more about the insecurities of the marketing team at RR – and their agency – than the people they want to engage.

Seriously, I’ve watched it countless times and I’m increasingly coming to the opinion that the only thing they’re actually selling is a ‘colour option’ on the car.

Have a look at this …

What the hell?

Like seriously, what the hell?

It’s like the worst of pretentious fragrance ads interspersed with the most terrible choices of product shot.

Like that analogue clock.

A bloody analogue clock!!!

The whole thing seems to go from being dark and moody to a 1980’s conservative MP in the blink of an eye.

What are they actually trying to say?

More so, who are they actually trying to say it too?

As I mentioned, the choice of music is brilliant. There’s such a powerful idea in the whole thought around ‘for those who want to rule the World’ – and while you could argue Bentley did it before with their brilliant, but scam, ‘Middle Finger’ print ad, that’s still no excuse for making a bad version of a James Bond movie opening title sequence or a very, very, very bad version of Dunlop’s brilliant 1993 ‘Tested For The Unexpected’ ad, just without the charm, wit, self-awareness or story.

Rolls Royce are amazing car makers.

They have incredible attention to detail, quality and – as the star roof demonstrates – a sense of drama.

Nothing in this ad conveys this. Nothing.

All this ad shows is a brand suffering some sort of identity crisis.

Wanting to appear relevant but showing they don’t really know how to be because they mistook an aesthetic for authenticity.

They deserve more.

Brands With Tickets On Themselves …

I’ve written about San Pellegrino before.

I talked about their mental joint promotion with Bvlgari.

And the with Vogue.

I talked about how a brand I previously enjoyed was in danger of alienating me with it’s wanker associations.

To be honest, it’s less about who they partner with and more about how they present that partnership … screaming it out, showing their desperation rather than cool.

Well recently I saw something else …

To be honest it’s something I’ve seen for ages but maybe, because I was in Malibu, it seemed even more ridiculous despite the fact it kind-of fitted-in with all the other ridiculous folks that were there … prancing around in their designer gear despite the fact they were in a little park for little kids.

What am I going on about?

This …

Or more specifically, this …

Lets put aside the fact this is a can of soda wearing a little hat – A. LITTLE. HAT. – and focus on them creating an app that they want you to download before drinking their overpriced flavoured water.

What the hell?

Seriously, how pretentious, egotistical and up-yourself can they be?

Even the millionaire kids on instagram – with their turned up collars and turned down shades can’t pull all that off so successfully at once.

Seriously San Pellegrino, get your shit together.

You seem to have forgotten being classy and sophisticated is different to acting like Kim Kardashian.

I know Italians are capable of some alarming lack of taste, but this might be a step too far.

I Don’t Want To Be A Member Of Any Club That Wants Me To Be A Member …

So a while back, I received this …

Now I have to be honest, I read it a few times and I still don’t understand what the hell it is going on about.

Of course, the fact they lied at the very beginning put them off to a bad start given none of my close friends work in advertising, let alone at Ogilvy .. but more than that, why would I even care about ‘where I ranked with my peers’.

Ranked based on what?

Hair on your head?

Birkenstock ownership?

Kebabs eaten?

If that wasn’t stupid enough, it then goes ultra-weird by talking about how I am comfortable mingling with ‘creative types’ and that the lifestyle we live is one the ‘mainstream’ crave … possibly because of a TELEVISION SHOW ABOUT A FICTIONAL AD AGENCY BASED IN THE 1960’S!!!




Then, to put the shit icing on the shit cake, they try and lure me in by suggesting my advice might be worth money.

Well guess what … it already is, I’m paid for my advice by clients. And while many of you may find that madness, it’s not nearly as mad as thinking a right-minded person would give me money for my advice on how to live.

And what advice would I actually give them?

The best takeout restaurant to order from?

The best IKEA furniture to buy when you’re too tight to buy something designer?

The average public transport costs to get to and from the airport?

Seriously, what is it about my life – or anyone else’s for that matter – that someone would find interesting, let alone willing to pay for.

And you know what, even if there was something … I’d rather shit in my hands and clap than be a part of this pretentious bullshit.

This industry is bad enough for being disconnected to reality without people actively trying to make it worse … and then there’s the issue that if someone is getting paid for ‘how they live’, that may influence them to live in ways that are not authentic, just because they think that will impress more people and get them more money.

Without wishing to sound horrible, the last people I’d like to spend my social time with are others in the industry.

Actually that’s not true.

The last people I’d like to spend my social time with are others in the industry who measure their value by being in the industry.

Everything about this email insulted me and I hope the people who are behind it – and are a part of it – leave me the fuck alone in future.

Another Example Why Marketing Directors At Pram Companies Need To Be Arrested. Or Aborted …
January 28, 2016, 6:20 am
Filed under: Babies, Comment, Corporate Evil, Cunning, Daddyhood, Pretentious Rubbish

Maybe pram advertising has been horrendous for decades.

Maybe I only started noticing it because I recently became a father.

[As you can see here and here]

But whatever the reason … the way they market their products makes me ill.

I’m not saying it’s not effective because, let’s face it, lots and lots of people buy it … but what really fucks me off is that they never talk about the baby, just the contrived lifestyle and status cues it represents.

The latest example of their fucked-up thinking is this …

Yes, it’s supposedly a pram for parents who run.

Except it isn’t is it … because if it was, they’d do more than just create a tricycle, they’d fit it with things a parent who runs would value.

Like a tripometer.

Or a drinks holder.

Or an alliance with someone like NIKE.

Or technology that connects to your smartphone to give you valuable data.

Or something that keeps your kid amused – and safe – while you take them out on the busy streets and roads because life is all about you, isn’t it. You selfish dick.

But they don’t because this pram isn’t really for parents who run, it’s for people who want to convey a lifestyle image that doesn’t include being seen as a good, caring, parent.

I cannot tell you how much I utterly hate how this category conducts itself.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s others who are equally as bad, but there’s something about this industry than feels even dirtier than banks … and that is saying something.

But what gets me is how they seem to think people should have multiple prams to satisfy different needs in their day.

The pram you push when you want to exercise.

The pram you push when you need to ‘off-road’.

The pram you push when you need to attend that fashionable party.


Seriously, if I ever met someone who actually bought multiple prams for lifestyle requirements, I think I’d report them to the authorities … though to be fair, that’s much nicer than what I’d do if I ever met a marketing director at a pram company.

Fake It Till You Make It. Even If You’ll Still Be Faking It …
August 11, 2015, 6:20 am
Filed under: Comment, Cunning, Pretentious Rubbish, Social Divide, Unfair Life

Sometimes life reminds you that it doesn’t matter how hard you work, how well you do, how many academic qualifications you gain, how much you try, it’s the people with connections, wealth or a loud-mouth who often get the accolades.

I can’t really complain given how much my gob has helped me over the years, but I recently saw the success of someone I vaguely know that is so outrageous, it makes Paris Hilton look like she has had it tough.

On one hand, I should applaud him because he got off his arse and did something that corporates like and want.

But on the other hand, I know it’s all down to his rich Dad … because having watched his acceptance speech of some major industry award, he continues to spout the same stunted, superficial, irrelevant, mental bollocks that he did when I worked with him 10,000 years ago.

Which leads to the moral of the story.

Life isn’t fair.

Which is why because of this, you may as well have a go chasing whatever job/company/position excites you, because someone is going to get there and there’s a very good chance it will be someone who doesn’t deserve to be in that seat either.

And I’m the living proof.

But my ex-colleague is the 100%, absolute definitive definition of it.