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

Emperor’s New Clothes …
March 6, 2007, 9:35 am
Filed under: Comment

OK, so last week I used photographs of an Indian Restaurant as a metaphor for [planning] discovery.

Yes I know it was slipping into total wank territory [thanks for pointing that out Andy!] … but the basic premise was that if look deeper, wider, longer and harder, you often find something far more interesting and motivating [for both consumers and brands] than if you’d simply stuck with what the basic research and/or what the category conventions/habits are.

Anyway, continuing with that theme, here’s another thing to be mindful of, SOME COMPANIES BELIEVE THEIR OWN SHIT … and to demonstrate it, here’s another wanky visual metaphor.

So today I had to do another workshop in another horrible hotel room – but to fair everything looked quite scmick and they’d obviously spent quite a long time getting things ‘just so’.

However, whilst looking around the room, I saw a screen covering what seemed to be another door so me being me, I thought I’d have a look and here’s what I found …

Hmmmmmn, not so schmick afterall eh! 

Agencies follow this practice quite alot … they all have fucking cool receptions and meeting rooms and then when you go through to where the munchkins work, you find them all stacked on top of eachother like battery hens. Pathetic.

Sure image is important but too many companies are obsessed with it [especially banks] … and they forget that at the end of the day, it they don’t deliver what consumers want/expect, it’s all going to end in tears or at the very least, lack of trust! 

It amazes me how much communication is seemingly created without any real consumer input … all to often I see brands screaming bland, monotone, promises – when the real opportunity is to address fundamental issues/opinions that the consumer has with them. 

Some companies believe ‘negatives’ should never enter their ‘little World of perfection’ … however I passionately believe that when you understand what people HATE / DISLIKE / GET ANNOYED ABOUT … you can develop a brand idea that is much stronger, relevant and resonant than if you only focused on what people thought was ‘OK’. 

It would seem that too many planners don’t investigate the negative – they only focus on the good things – and whilst there could be many reasons for that including time / client openness / planning philosophy / etc … if we are to truly help business achieve their goals, it’s going to be much easier and effective if we do it by motivating the actions of the millions by understanding and appreciating what’s really going on in their heads/lives – both positively and negatively – rather than expressing messages in the tone, manner and image that the clients wants/believes they have.

I’ve said it before, anger is an energy … so go and find out what’s pissing people off!

11 Comments so far
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thanks for the reminder rob… it’s strat planning time in my world soon – time to find out what the kids are really thinking.

Comment by lauren

When I worked on Smarties, I used to make the researchers give their reports in the playgrounds of schools during break time to ensure the ‘findings’ were always seen in the context of a childs ‘real life’.

After that, I asked teachers in for their views of what had been learnt – because this ensured the client saw the bigger picture of what had been identified rather than simply relying on the myopic view of a focus group. [Often as ‘real’ as Big Brother is]

Comment by Rob

Yet again, excellent rant.
I learn so much from this blog, it’s ridiculous. When you gonna write a book, Rob?

Comment by Age

TOYOTA IS PISSING ME OFF! Make their media campaign go away. Please.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Some companies live in a dream world then expect the consumer to be a part of that. Its so true about agency offices, Ive seen some that appear to be bigger than the rest of the building!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Age … please get out more because if you think you learn alot from me, I am truly scared. [as well as a teensy-bit honoured]

As certain people on this blog know, we have actually written a book [infact 2 if you include the ‘How To Be A Pontificator’ Christmas filler we did a while back – however my lovely partner, Mr Andy, has been buggering about with it for over 12 months but SHOCK HORROR PROBE he has finished it and now it’s awaiting the publishers final edit before it can hit the Best Sellers list of Iraq or somewhere equally as dynamic!

Don’t worry, you’ll know when it’s out – we’ll be pushing it more passionately than even sausages, ha!

Comment by Rob

oh how he passes the buck. did all of you see that? a true master at his art.

well rob, if you are saying i held up the production of the book, you are saying i basically did all the hard work on the book, which means i am saying ill take all the cash from the book. ok?

Comment by andy@cynic

I can imagine the fight for cover space for the names!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Sure Andy … afterall the 20 copies our parents buy won’t generate that much profit for us, ha.

Comment by Rob


besides my ex wives will buy a bunch of copies to make sure they are getting all the cash out of me that they can.

Comment by andy@cynic

Good point my son … with all your ex-wives and fiance’s, we could be in the New York Top 10!

Safe flight, let me know how it goes – fingers [and thumbs] crossed.

Comment by Rob

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