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

Corporate Stupidity?
May 25, 2006, 2:42 pm
Filed under: Comment


This is from a Starbucks document I got my hands on. 

For a company that goes on and on [and on] about embracing the different cultures of the World, it seems a pretty bad choice of photo to use in communication.

Look, I have nothing against Starbucks – infact in Asia, it's the only half decent coffee I can find* – but surely someone in the company realised this photo could play right into the hands of people who accuse them of globalisation.

Yep, another great example of corporate, 'Oops, Should Have Thought That Through A Bit More'.

* I did say 'half decent'

You Can’t Keep A Secret Anymore …
May 25, 2006, 12:24 pm
Filed under: Comment

I love this … and thanks to the MIT Ad Lab for telling me about it.

Hitwise [an internet research company] analyzed internet search patterns over the last week and claimed that Taylor Hicks would become the next American Idol.

"While neither Taylor's soul angle nor Katharine's torch song persona are in the sweet spot for the American Idol demographic, based on the difference in volume of searches for Taylor … he should be announced as the winner."

Were they right?  You bet they were – and this is yet another reason why companies should embrace alternative research methodologies rather than hide behind their much loved [and much flawed] qual and quant.  Of course I'm not saying ALL qual and quant is wrong – but if it was all so perfect, we wouldn't live in a World with so much failure in business – despite millions and millions of dollars being spent on research!

Now if Hitwise could only tell me next weeks lotto numbers!

Will Ugly Be The New Posh?
May 24, 2006, 4:26 pm
Filed under: Comment

I was walking past a 2nd hand shop and came across these wonderful pieces of history.   Boy, has the mobile phone evolved – if mankind was developing at this rate, we'd all be able to fly, not grow beer bellies and have full heads of hair!

Anyway, it reminded me of a time when I was working with IKEA.

We had this theory that because IKEA were allowing the masses to own the sort of 'fashionable furniture' that once was only the domain of the 'rich' … they were inadvertently getting the 'wealthy' to start buying more and more outlandish furniture because they had an inherent need to never feel like [or be mistaken for] one the 'average' class. 

By proving this [well, proving it to a certain extent] we were able to produce one of my/our favourite campaigns 'Wealth Means Shit Where Taste Is Concerned' and it got me wondering whether we will ever see the day where this phenoemon will translate to mobile technology.

Sure we have overpriced, super-simplistic [but made from precious material] Nokia – whoops, I mean VERTU phones – but with even these becoming more and more common [especially in Asia where people will get long term loans to buy this sort of 'status' item] will we get to the point where the rich seek out uglier, heavier and larger phones simply to ensure they are acknowledged as not being 'average'?

Creative Boredom
May 23, 2006, 10:46 pm
Filed under: Comment

Part of my job is running creative sessions for clients – helping them think outside of the cubicle they spend their lives in and maybe … just maybe … take the consumer into account and stop being so self obsessed for once.

So recently I was asked to participate in a creative session run by a research company [oxymoron anyone?] and without doubt, my favourite bit was when they asked all the participants to put on a KKK hat because – according to them – it would help us start to think like consumers.

I have no reason why they believed putting on a paper hat would help us [and we certainly weren't targeting racists] but there we were, looking like a bunch of tossers which is best exemplified by this piccie showing, I think it is fair to say, a seriously disinterested person.

This sort of thing is about as creative as a lounge pianist in a Blackpool resort [out of season] who plays Take That covers every night on a casio keyboard.  Pathetic …

Lies Or Ingenuity?
May 18, 2006, 3:59 pm
Filed under: Comment


I recently got asked my view on whether brands should be in blogs?

My point of view was that it's all dependent on who is the brand, what is the blog and what the brand is trying to achieve from the union.

Saying that, what really bugs me is when brands [allegedly*] get their own people to write entries into sites pretending to be 'everyday punters' because they want to generate hype or stop negative comment.

Apart from the fact, most people can see through this little ploy … I see no reason why brands shouldn't express their opinions open and honestly – infact, doing it might result in an even more positive outcome for all parties involved.

Of course some brands use blogs really well [not just to promote themselves, but to really learn from customers] … however if some aren’t careful, it’ll be another medium they ruin for the masses.

* I say 'allegedly' because just like Mariah Carey CD buyers, no one admits to doing it.