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

WARNING: I’ve Just Had A Blog Laxative …
March 12, 2007, 2:18 pm
Filed under: Comment

So I am off on a bit of a travel extravaganza from tomorrow, so thanks to a nice amount of blog-laxative, I’m able to give you a great big dump of stuff that will keep you [allegedly] amused till I’m back.

First off … I’m A Millionaire.

I know you can’t read the above thing very well, but I got an email today from some bloke supposedly at Coca-Cola – notifying me that I’d won ONE MILLION POUNDS in a recent global competition they’d run!!

Now excuse me if I’m abit sceptical, but I think this might be spam.


Well, lets look at the facts …

1. The blokes email address was a address which seems abit strange.

2. cynic work with Coke which immediately would void me or anyone associated with the company winning anything from them.

3. Because we work with Coke, I am sure I’d of heard of a competition where the global prize pool was 125 MILLION QUID!!!

4. They want all my contact information [including my bank account] so they can deposit the money and start the full prize-giving publicity.

Yes … most definitely spam … and yet I am sure someone out there will supply the details the thieving bastard wants. 

Are people really that stupid?  Are they?  ARE THEY?

Well, according to Singaporean Newspaper, The Straits Times, they just could be …

Above is a photo of a Singaporean model who has got married.  Can you tell which one it is? 

Well obviously in Singapore, they don’t realise a woman wearing a white bridal dress and veil is quite possibly the special lady because under this photo they printed …

Yes, they actually highlighted the bride was the ‘3rd from the left’.

However, as if that wasn’t mad enough already … the really ugly bloke on the far left of the photo is the models ‘stylist’ whereas the small bloke next to him – with the hat on – is her bloody hairdresser.

What’s going on????

Talking of what’s going on, I got back to Singapore to walk into a venue and see this …

Yep, those fucking Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back … proving that studio execs DO smoke crack!

Anyway, given the green bastards love pizza, you just know that for the next few months, Pizza Hut or Domino’s are going to go mad with this tie-in – flogging little green figurines and massive drinking cups everytime you order. 

I just hope a smaller chain does something cool, like come out with a “NOT TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA FRIENDLY” promotion … offering things like ‘turtle flavoured’ pizza and/or turtle speed delivery.  I won’t hold my breath though …

Talking of food, the hotel I stayed in last week – the very lovely Sukothai – did a mean burger …

Yes, I know I said I was on abit of a health kick, but you know how I equate a hotel by its standard of burger, so I just had to check it out – even, if truth be known – I’ve stayed here dozens of times so know perfectly well what they offer interms of ‘cow between bread’.

You probably can’t see the below piccie very well, but it’s from Kel @ W&K‘s preso about the speed of change in Shanghai.

In 20 years they’ve gone from wasteland to the most thriving metropolis on earth.

Even Superman couldn’t keep up with the speed of China’s evolution … which is another reason why all the energy in the World is currently coming from the East, not the West – despite what many say or would like to think.

Outdoor Billboard Delhi style …

So Bangkok opened their new airport recently and they are encountering a few ‘issues’ …

Infact, they’ve even had to open the old airport again so that traffic can keep moving at a decent enough pace.

Anyway, when I was walking towards my terminal, I realised how narrow the walkways were – which reminded me of a wonderful conversation I had with one of the chief architects of Stanstead Airport

Basically he said that the placement of pillars in airports were vital as they could either maximise or hinder ‘passenger movement’

The basic rule was that if people could see the end of the airport without lots of things [like pillars] obscuring their view, then there would be continuous, smooth movement … however if there was lots of objects breaking up the view, it would lead to bottlenecks as people tended to stop without consideration for the crowd behind them.

It would seem that Bangkok Airport has fallen foul of this architectural rule – resulting in the sorts of bottlenecks you only tend to see in London around December 24th at 3pm!Infact I find what they have done even more remarkable given space [especially in metropolitan cities] is now the ultimate status symbol for property!  Oh well …

Saying all that, I do love how proud the Thai people are of their Royal Family … there are posters all over the city … infact, it seems that if there is a blank bit of space, a poster is shoved up there as quick as possible …

Given the only time most of the UK puts the Queen on public display is when they post a letter, I guess you could say the Thai Royal Family is regarded far more highly that that of the UK mob!

Poor buggers, I bet they still can’t work out how it’s all changed … though I do have to say I still have huge admiration for the Queen, Charles [and kids] and Anne [and kids] … because they actually do stuff and genuinely care about things that really relate to us all. 

As for the rest of them … well as far as I am concerned, they are on the gravy train and I personally couldn’t give two-hoots if they got kicked out and ended up working in Macca’s.

Talking of not giving two-hoots [I’m good at this ‘links’ thing aren’t I!] SONY obviously don’t give a toss about the work we’re doing for them because I saw this monstrosity in the inflight magazine for their bloody re-chargeable battery division.

Feel The Energy?  Come on … someone has to be taking the piss!  Unfortunately not.

OK, so this was done by a local market – whereas we do the stuff for the whole of the region – but you’d of thought that someone, somewhere would have at least contacted us to get a real understanding of what FEEL is meant to mean.  Another perfect example of a company who thinks a single word means an integrated campaign idea.

I feel very, very sorry for whoever authorised this ad because in about 10 mins, they’re going to get called into the ‘big-cheeses’ office and carpeted thanks to my snidey email, ha! 

In all seriousness, this is the sort of thing that stuffs up how consumers view a company … and is often done because the marketing department only cares about what they deem the ‘big things’ – leaving the small, inconsequential campaigns to the local brand manager. I wrote about this recently … and it would seem I have to have a very frank discussion with the SONY board all over again!

Oh, and to Mr Mortimer … the response I had to your post about them was, “Very Interesting”.  I’ll keep you informed on what that actually means once I’ve forced them into a corner and given me a real answer. [And George is talking to you-know-who about you-know-what in the next few days so keep your fingers crossed … or should I say your brother should keep his fingers crossed, ha!]

Are you still with me?

Have you fallen asleep yet?

Oi … WAKE UP and have a look at this … we’re near the end now, I promise.

No … it’s not an ad for a toy car, it’s an ad for some exclusive car imported from Japan that I saw in a Singapore newspaper.

Apart from the fact it looks like an old Jag/Daimler … take a look at that shite logo – would you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a car that [1] you’ve never heard of and [2] has a logo Stevie Wonder designed?

And that whole “move your spirit and passion” bollocks.

I HATE how the word ‘passion’ has been commandeered by brands and advertising these days

Don’t get me wrong, passion within a company can create a real competitive advantage for them – especially as many of today’s organisations operate as soulless, efficient machines – however it seems the trend is to bung the word ‘passion’ onto everything, almost because they haven’t got anything really interesting or tangible to say.

I recently was in a pitch for a brand that wanted to talk about ‘passion’ by showing a picture of a big oak tree with the word ‘passion’ hanging off every branch. 

I told them that in today’s marketplace, it seems ‘Passion Is Growing On Tree’s’ which has resulted in people becoming immune from the message behind it and simply treating it as marketing-wank wallpaper.

We won.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd finally …

A big sort-of thanks to Mr Rob Mortimer for putting a sketch by Charlie Brookers Screenwipe [entitled ‘The 10 Biggest Cocks In Advertising’] on his blog and saying he thought it could be me.

Hmmmmn …

Unfortunately I can see why he would say that … it does sound quite like me in alot of meetings [especially at cynic‘s monthly ‘What have the other agencies around the World done recently’ review] … and if more proof was needed that I am quite like this angry man, I did a massive rant at the conference I was at last week about ‘Marketing Devolution’ and how the delegates had to actually DO what they had learnt – even if it meant FIGHTING their colleagues, bosses and clients to make it happen – because if they didn’t, we’d continue to be subjected to the pointless, mindless, unimaginative, irrelevant advertising shite we get bombarded with each and every day – which not only was/is about as effective [and relevant to consumers] as Princess Michael of Kent, but also likely to make me so angry that I end up coming to each and everyone’s houses and bashing their heads in!

[I said that last bit with a smile though!]

Hmmmmn, maybe I should be on BBC4?  Then again …

It’s a fucking simple industry … and yet we do our level best to complicate it … no wonder I’m so angry, especially when companies talk about their proprietary tools’ which – according to them – have the capability to answer EVERYTHING.

What a crock of total and unadulterated shit. 

Sure some ‘tools’ can be useful in identifying or validating particular areas of interest … but if you rely on them for everything – including creative concepting – then my point of view is that you are the biggest tool of them all. [especially as some data is often so old that it is almost unethical to use!]

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – advertising is a people moving industry – it is not a management consultant industry.

We help business because we not only understand what is going on in people’s heads and lives, but can take this information and create an ‘idea’ that motivates them to act in our clients short and long-term interests. [All the time being of direct benefit to them!]

Given this industry is continually losing its boardroom cred, I think it is mandatory ALL ad agencies teach their staff to look into peoples heads rather than just their category habits [regardless of their role in the agency]… because if they don’t, we’re going to be run by the likes of the Management Consultant … which is why maybe so many of the big agency networks are trying to ‘re-invent themselves’ into this mould.

I shouldn’t care as it will lead even greater growth of ‘human-focused ad agencies’ like Mother, Crispin, W&K, cynic etc … but I do care which is why I want people to fight to make it happen rather than blindly follow a system designed for conformance – as opposed to excitement and motivation.

As I said, our new philosophy is ANGER IS ENERGY … which is quite appropriate as I am officially the angriest man in Asia, ha!

Right, that has taken me far too long to write and I have tons to do [good time management there eh!] … but I look forward to writing more bollocks very soon indeed, with my Andy-approved  ‘Creatives Are Forgetting How To Create’ rant just around the corner.

Be angry … it’s liberating and quite alot of fun! 

22 Comments so far
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Comment by andy@cynic

I write a massive long rant … like a MASSIVE long rant … and that’s all you have to say???

Comment by Rob

yes. what do you want, a fucking medal?
im going to bed so ill reread it when i wake up. it might make some sense to me then but i wouldnt count on it.

Comment by andy@cynic

That’s because you can’t count. Except ex-wives and allimony payments!


Comment by Rob

jesus christ rob! i’ve got a pretty good attention span and even i had to go and make a cup of tea in the middle of that rant!!

i really liked that tiny section you gave to architectural design of service spaces.. i think i have to look into that a little more..

while you’re spilling your guts, can you enlighten us on your second act of revenge any time soon? all this secrecy between you and rob m is maddening…ha!

Comment by lauren

Will do … I am just awaiting the optimum time to be a complete and utter shit!

Comment by Rob

That’s the blog version of the Ghandi movie. Holy hell, how long did that take?

I’d pass comment but you have covered so much I don’t know where to start.

Will re-read it and see what I can say later. For once, I agree with Andy. 🙂

Comment by Pete

I like the Sony bit. That’s a good bit. I could talk about that bit.


Comment by Marcus Brown

No secrecy, I have no idea what the revenge is!

I agree with pretty much all that rant, but its hard to remember it all..! I look forward to the full reply about my blog post, and your next episode on BBC Four…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Do you know your problem Rob? You never have anything to say.

Comment by Billy Whizz

OK … OK … so I went on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on. And on.

It’s my bloody blog, you’re not forced to read it … well, except the people who actually work for me, ha!

Very, very stressed today so best I go …

Till next time.

Comment by Rob

BILLY! Hello Billy. You ok? Welcome back. Hurrah for Billy!

Comment by Marcus Brown

Hurrah, welcome back Billy with some choice sarcasm!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

hope you feel better soon rob…

Comment by lauren

feel it.. just feel the energy (sorry about the fox link),2933,225870,00.html

Comment by charlesfrith


Thanks everyone for not passing a single comment on my massive rant … makes me feel very, very worthwhile, hahaha.

Night – got to be up at 4-bloody-am!

Comment by Rob

Hello groupies.I’ve missed you but not as much as you have missed me. I need to squeeze a few more days of “ill health” because I bet the company won’t give me any vaccation time for a while so catch you next week

Comment by Billy Whizz

To be honest Rob, I was so angered by your bagging of the TMNT that I stopped reading your post at that point.

I’ll read the rest after I calm down… cowabunga!

Comment by Age

Sorry Age, I forgot the sort of people who read my blog, maybe the next posts will be better!

Comment by Rob

You know I was joking!
But seriously, I am an olskool Turtles fan.

Comment by Age

Of course I know you were joking, that’s the whole point of this blog, haha

Comment by Rob


And bring back Dangermouse.

By the way, well done for not conforming to the short and snappy convention. Nothing wrong with something meaty for a change.

Comment by NP

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