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

Money Makes Hong Kong Go Round.
February 16, 2007, 9:22 am
Filed under: Comment

Is this the ponciest hotel breakfast bar in the World?

You didn’t have a table to eat at … oh no … you had to sit on a sofa and try to look sophisticated while shoving bircher muesli down your throat.

You’ll be happy to know I totally didn’t fit in because …

1 I’m not sophisticated.

2 I don’t like the overly poncy.

3 It was full of French people with perfectly sculptured hair.

However the bit I liked was that as stylish as this was, when you looked out the window you didn’t see a beautiful tree-lined street with copious amounts of models walking up and down … you saw this …

Hong Kong in all it’s polluted, hustle-and-bustle glory … where everytime you look up in the air, you see financial institution next to financial institution …

… all trying to look bigger, better, tougher and harder than the other.

Seriously, it’s like a Miss World competition where all the contestants try and flirt a little bit harder with the judges, smile a little bit broader with the cameras and stick their boobs out a little bit further for the men in the audience – except in this case, they’re buildings trying to look mean and imposing rather than attractive and sophisticated.  Hmmmn, not really the best analogy I’ve ever come up with is it?  Oh well …

Inkeeping with the bank theme, I was actually in HK to meet with a bank who was interested in talking to us about doing some work for them. 

Putting aside the fact the meeting was a disaster for a few reasons [it doesn’t help when 50% of the marketing team haven’t seen the brief we were given and don’t know we were there] what I found really interesting was that one of the Bankers said they were a “… much nicer, warmer, caring bank than the competition”

When I asked why she would say that, she said they just were … she couldn’t give me any reasons, that’s just what she thought – which all goes to show how much people can live in denial of the cold hard facts. 

Don’t get me wrong, some banks do operate by an ethical code [Westpac in Australia for example] but in the main, they are a bunch of greedy, arrogant, financially obsessed individuals who have as much interest in humanity as Pol Pot – and given this organisations goal is to triple turnover in 3 years – you can be pretty safe in saying they’re NOT as warm, fluffy and cuddly as this person likes to think they are. 

Sure, compared to George Bush they might be nicer, but in the REAL, EVERYDAY WORLD, they are still pretty crap.   

I love how people involved in areas that are less salubrious – finance, law, weaponry and advertising – all try and justify their position by making lofty proclamations like …

“We help invest in your potential”

“We ensure justice for the people”

“We ensure peace prevails”

“We help people make decisions”

… when in the majority of cases [not all, but in most] the reality is …

“Money is our cocaine”

“We keep big business safe”

“Killing is our business. And business is good”

“Brainwashing for commerce”

I remember once presenting to a bank and the opening slide was, “BANKING IS LIKE ADVERTISING, A NECESSARY EVIL” to which 4 executives simply got up and walked out.  They were outraged because – and this was the scary bit – they truly believed the public loved and valued them!

Of course, not all banks are bad… and to be fair, many categories have a similar arrogance/ignorance in their approach to what they do … but is it any wonder so much communication is so bad when the people shaping it have one eye on their own ego throughout the whole process?

It’s the modern day ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ and I love being the person who shouts out “He’s Naked!” 

40 Comments so far
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now i’d like to see those slogans produced for real – they’re way better than my shitty VD cards!!

Comment by lauren

I take it by VD you mean “Valentines Day” as opposed to you using my blog to announce to some people around the World you’ve got an STD.

Comment by Rob

ah.. yes…

Comment by lauren

For someone who goes on about not being sophisticated, you don’t half stay at some sophisticated places.
Then there’s your jetset life. That’s pretty sophisticated too.
I know you have just insulted Lauren with an STD quip, but that could be just to put us off the scent.
Are you Prince Harry in disguise? OK, it would be a great disguise, but I’ve never seen him or you in the same room at the same time. Coincidence? I think not.

Comment by Pete

Pete, I’ve never been so insulted in my life …

By saying I am Prince Harry, you are saying I HAVE RED HAIR.

No bloody way … and though my head is ‘folically challenged’ I can say that even when is sat proudly as a mop on the top of my bonce, it was never, ever red.

Christ, calling me a sophistacted bugger is bad enough – but a red haired bloke? That’s fighting talk.

Comment by Rob

ha! so “over-privileged useless wanker” is ok? red hair – out of the question!

Comment by lauren

Hang on … where’s the useless wanker bit come in? Jeez – now the real Lauren is coming through isn’t it, hahaha.

Nothing wrong with red hair on women – but on men?

There’s a nice phrase that sums it up best …

“About as welcome as a red headed stepson” Evil. Pure Evil.

Comment by Rob

sorry rob, me being unclear, again.. harry = useless wanker… i’m not that insulting.. sheesh!

Comment by lauren

May I quickly ask just WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE? (please).

We are at war, war you hear! How can you bemoan the comfort of your breakfast sofa and your banking friends (I take it you didn’t get the business then?) when there is a SLAUGHTER going on with the sausage.

I’m sorry, but all of this left-wing-rebel-without-a-cause-advertiser posturing has it’s time and it’s place…but not here and not now.

Pull yourself together lance-corporal.

good morning.

Comment by Marcus Brown

*Stands Alert!*

Comment by Age


I was bloody Field Marshall just 2 days ago – that’s the quickest demotion I’ve ever experienced in a history of demotions!

I hear Billy is ill so I guess we’ll just have to push the japs to go sausage mental – you can rely on us, even if we are all jetlagged, cranky and confused.

And good morning to you too.

Comment by Rob

Moans about luxury = stripes on arms!

Billy is not ill. Billy is DOWN! Medic! MEDIC!

Comment by Marcus Brown

Lauren – sorry, I should have known you’re not that rude, it just you’re the rare exception in a life filled with rude sods, ha!

Comment by Rob

Oh and Marcus, 2 things ….

1. Thank you for saying ‘please’ after your use of vulgarity.
2. We’re left-wing-rebel-WITH-a-cause-advertiser ponces thank-you-very much.

Can you tell I have finally got access to a computer for a few minutes? Time for a few more sausage votes thanks to the unique ISP code thingy.

Keep voting, 48 hours to glory

Comment by Rob

Billy is not down (though he did split up with his girlfriend recently) but fingers crossed he’ll be up and at ’em today and if not, I’ve asked K to chase him up on people who we can ‘call in’ for our cause.

K is our Florence Nightingale even though she did say she felt that maybe this was not the best use of her skills.

Comment by Rob

it’s not the IP. It’s the cookie. THE COOKIE!

Our thoughts are with Billy.

Comment by Marcus Brown

And where, in the name of all that it sausage, is Fred?

Comment by Marcus Brown

On behalf of everyone who ever passes a little glance on this blog – PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE can you vote sausage for Marcus, Rob Mortimer, Northern Planner, Age, Lauren, Jill, me and the ‘boy and girls’ of cynic.

WE HAVE TO WIN THIS ROUND – It’s a matter of life or Americana!

Going now … need to sleep for a big day tomorrow. And no, it’s not just for additional sausage voting, though that is obviously what we’re all the most concerned with, I mean what’s our future and career compared to that eh? Nothing.

[Marcus I am joking, I know sausage victory is the be-all-and-end-all of life, humanity and the universe!]

Comment by Rob

It’s the cookie? Why the hell didn’t you tell me, I’ve been poncing around trying to find virgin computers and all I really had to do was empty the cookie cache! Bad troop organisation Herr Marcus.

Fred is on Chinese New Year holiday – but I’ll SMS him to get back into action. I’ll just say ‘sausage’ is English for ‘swedish meatballs’ and he’ll be transdformed back to his Viking roots, fighting to the death for us and the sausage.

Be good mate … I hope when I wake tomorrow the lead is growing – it won’t be for lack of our trying and has Mr Mortimer and Mr NP had any luck with Walls and their blogging pals????

Comment by Rob

Sleep. Rest. Dream. You deserve it. A true sausage warrior!

Comment by Marcus Brown

How can one rest when one is living in fear?

However, given Andy is no doubt snoring away and George is pining for his kids, I’ll give it my best shot – right after a couple more dodgy sausage votes courtesy of a clean cache.

Please let my morning be filled with the sight of a big lead.

Comment by Rob

No luck from Walls OR sausagefans yet.

Its so true about HK. An architect once described it as a Feng Shui battleground. If you even have the slightest interest in architecture though, its an amazing place; so many interesting buildings to see, especially on HK Island.

This is one reason why I like Direct Line’s “better” campaign. They arent trying to proclaim themselves as heroes, they know people hate insurance. The message is not that they are saviours, just a bit better.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I love the way that Mr Mortimer tries his best to keep this all sensible. It’s futile though. Utterly futile.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Well, I keep doing my bits for sausagedom!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

You are a recognised sausage champion Mr.M. No doubt about that.

Comment by Marcus Brown

I should be asleep now – do you know that? But I keep waking up in a hot sweat, dreaming we lose by just 1 vote which results in me having to log on and sneak in one more dodgy ‘sausage vote’. I’m bloody obsessed.

And Mr Mortimer – thank you for trying to keep my posts at least a little bit on track. You are my bloomin’ hero.

Now, I MUST go back to sleep – big meeting tomorrow and it would be helpful if I was a bit awake for once. Good luck guys, keep voting and rounding up our followers

Comment by Rob

i’ve stooped to a new low. or perhaps made the ultimate sacrifice for the cause – i posted a bulletin on myspace – a call to all my slack aussie mates to vote for the sausage. hope it helps. it’s my last resort. hope you slept well rob and that there’s good news in the morning. i’m chatting to a foodie friend in dubai – i’ll see if i can recruit the emirates..

Comment by lauren

Lauren – you are the World’s toppest woman. In all of history.

[Lets hope Jill doesn’t read this or I’m dead!]

Neeeeeeeed sleeeeeeeep! Night …

Comment by Rob

While Lauren might feel she’s reached a low – imagine how I feel having ‘forced’ my 74 year old, widowed Italian mother to turn on her computer and give another vote for the mighty banger!

Actually there was no force … I’m her only son and she worships the ground I walk on so rather than feel bad, I feel great – especially as I’ve tapped into the potentially lucrative OAP sausage fan market.

Call your mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles and grandparents … and if you have to promise to be written out the Will, so be it … we HAVE TO WIN!

Comment by Rob

ha! i thought you wrote: ‘and if you have to promise to be written out of the Wii’.. rob m would have had a tough choice on his hands..

Comment by lauren

Well done for telling a few home truths to the bank.

Comment by Charles Frith

Im worried that people get this impression of me sat at home playing on the Wii for hours on end!

Thats not true! Im usually standing…


No seriously, I hardly get time to play on it at all right now. Im planning a session at the weekend so I can actually finish some of my games!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Make time for the important things in life Mortimer. I did other things this weekend when I should have been checking on sausage action, and look what happened.

And look what’s happened to Marcus…, it’s all black

Comment by NP

the dark side NP…

Comment by Marcus Brown

Blacker than black box

Comment by NP

bible black.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Make sure you get priest black. If you get normal black its actually really really really really dark blue, they’re ripping you off!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Oi … NP … you didn’t look out for sausage even though it was the climax of the event?

I don’t know what to say – but I am sure Marcus does …

Comment by Rob

he’s come over to the dark side Rob. His sould belongs to me.

Comment by Marcus Brown

i slaved my guts out for sausages and northern planner is doing ‘other things’?!?
those ‘other things’ better have been worth it NP ‘cos i hate to put it this way, but you let the team down. badly.
if and your ‘other things’ had spent some time voting, we would be gloating like mad, rather than emulating Sith Lords…

Comment by lauren

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