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

Brexit Airways …

So a few weeks ago, I was in Amsterdam and about to fly to London.

I was quite excited because apart from going ‘home’ for the first time in well over a year – even if it was just for 18 hours – I was going to fly into London City airport for the first time and I was interested to see it.

OK, that’s not why I had chosen to pay the higher fair – I had to be in the city at a specific time – and so that airport made things super convenient for me.

About 30 minutes before we were going to board, a member of British Airways came up to me and asked …

“Mr Campbell, would you be interested in catching a later flight that lands at Heathrow. We will provide you with a €25 voucher if you do.”

Now for those of you who don’t know, Heathrow Airport is not in the middle of London and while it is obviously well served with transport links, it’s a much longer journey and probably costs more than the €25 they were offering.

Because of this, I asked …

“Does anyone ever accept that offer?”

The representative looked at me rather sarcastically and said …

“Yes, lots of people actually”.

Now maybe I was a bit jet-lagged.

Or maybe I just didn’t choose the right words.

But I found myself replying with …

“That must explain why you’re no longer the World’s favourite airline”.

OK, that was a majorly dick move, but I still can’t work out how an airline thinks it’s OK to offer an alternative flight that goes to a completely different airport and a voucher that doesn’t come close to covering the higher price I’d paid for my ticket [so I could fly to that specific airport], let alone the probable cost of getting into the city from this new destination.

I get things change and alternative plans have to be made, but brands need to remember that the best way to deal with screwing up is to offer a genuine level of compensation, not something that literally rubs salt into the wounds.

Have they learnt nothing from their war with Virgin?


What Futurists And Egotists Can Learn From Bowie …
January 13, 2016, 6:20 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Culture, Death, RIP, Stubborness

So as we all know Bowie died this week.

Given few people knew he was ill, the news of his death – especially given the release of his latest album and birthday – was particularly shocking.

I loved Bowie.

Not, believe it or not, because he once sang a duet with my favourite band … but because in addition to his music, I loved his commitment to reinvention.

Whereas people like Madonna seem to flock towards whatever trend can help them appear relevant, Bowie did it because he was interested in the unknown.

He never did it in the quest for sales, he did it because he was interested in it … stubborn in his resolve to always do what intrigued him, what he believed in.

Sometimes that incurred the wrath or the laughter of critics – people judging him by their standards, not his – but he didn’t care, because he believed life was about experiences, experimentation and exploration and if people didn’t understand what or why he was doing things, he didn’t really care.

Some may argue you can act that when you are rich, but the fact is he always lived that way.

He never felt he had to convince others of his choices.

He never chased others approval.

In essence, he was the embodiment of ‘his own person’ which is why whatever he did always felt authentic and – to a certain extent – effortless.

Lots of people have written lots of amazing things about him and the response he has received from society – especially in his hometown of Brixton – has been amazing, however if anything highlights how he embraced the future, especially the unknown, the untapped, the unexplored … it’s this comment he made about the music industry back in 2002.

When I look at the ambiguous twaddle so many ‘futurists’ spout, Bowie is articulate, clear and very focused.

You sense that his beliefs were born from serious consideration – never a quest to exercise his ego – which is why he was a refreshing counterpoint to the statements made by so many modern artists today.

Mr Bowie, you have left the World a less interesting place than it was before but we would be in a far worse position had you not been here at all.

The ultimate legacy.

Craft Shows You Care …
May 27, 2015, 6:20 am
Filed under: Comment, Craft, Standards, Stubborness

From my perspective, agencies have only one meaningful thing that sets them apart.

Their standards.

By that I mean the ambitions they have for every project and the way they go about realising it.

Of course sometimes it doesn’t work out as everyone hoped, but I am still firmly of the opinion that if you are doing it for the right reasons and have approached it with the care and commitment it deserves, that is still more beneficial than dropping your price and chucking any old rubbish out.

Of course some agencies – and clients – prefer the quick and easy approach.

That’s fine.

But they will never have the influence high standards affords you.

Where you attract rather than continually chase.

Where you can influence culture rather than just continuously mirror it.

Where you can pioneer rather than be an almost ran.

Where you have the most interesting people in your building rather than the ‘good enough’.

Where you can charge more for your work than what the procurement department say you can charge.

The reason I say this is because I recently read an interesting article about the difference between Apple and other mainstream technology brands.

Yes, I know it’s been written about a million times, but this article captured something that I think lays the difference between the 2 brands bare.

It is not saying everyone else is a bad company.

It is not saying they are makers of bad products.

It’s simply saying that there is an emotional value, whether overtly realised or not, of handling a product that you feel – or know – has been sweated over.

Where little things you may never notice have been given the same love and attention as the big, obvious stuff.

Whether you agree that Apple have it and other brands don’t isn’t the point I am trying to convey.

What I’m trying – badly – to say is that a lot of people think ‘craft’ is justification for being a creative prima-dona.

Sometimes – in the hands of those who want to live up to an image rather than live up to a standard – it can.

But in the right hands, fighting for the craft isn’t about indulgence, it’s about caring. It’s about wanting to do the absolute best thing because you know that makes a difference … not just for the people who will eventually buy your product or service, but for the pride you have in your brand and yourself.

It’s something worth remembering, especially in these days where we are offered short-cuts at almost every junction.

Unfortunately for me, after that heartfelt plea, I am now going to look like a lazy bastard by announcing that by the time you read this, I will be on a plane because I am going away for a few days.

It’s not for work. It’s not because it’s a national holiday. It’s for me.

Yes, I know you all think I am permanently doing stuff ‘for me’, but this time it’s true and maybe at the end of it, there will be a bunch of new things for me to consider, talk about, rant over.

So in some ways, I’m kind-of making an investment in the continued content of this blog.

Yes, I really did type that.

And yes, I feel a bit sick too.

I – and this blog – will be back on Tuesday. That should just about give us enough time to recover from that ‘investment in content’ statement.