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

A Couple Of Things I Really Love About England …
June 29, 2007, 7:00 am
Filed under: Comment


Pub Sunday Roasts – look like shit, taste like heaven.  


Crap Local Shop Competition Prizes.  

I think it’s the lack of pretence that I love the most … the simple-yet-effective promise that offers no illusion or hype.

It’s reassuring … warm … pleasing.

Maybe it’s because it reminds me of where/how I grew up or maybe it’s because its about as far removed from the image conscious World of Advertising as you can get … but I love it, miss it and want more of it … which all goes to show you can take the boy out of Nottingham but you can’t take Nottingham out the boy, ha!

[Yes I am in HK, but like a sad bastard, I wrote this post prior to leaving and set it to come on automatically today. And yes, I am still pissed off … infact I’m really angry]

Q: Why Did The Tin Man Want A Heart?
June 28, 2007, 5:20 pm
Filed under: Comment

A: Because he knew that’s what he needed to become a good planner.


If you can’t empathise and understand the ever-changing needs/wants/fears of society, then academic intelligence counts for little.

At least in adland.

Or should I say the adland that actually does stuff that means something to people.

Blast From The Past …
June 28, 2007, 7:15 am
Filed under: Comment

… yep, a carphone – as seen in a cab in Cannes.

Given we live in a World where everyone seemingly has a phone in their coat pocket – it was quite a shock to be reminded that once, mobiles used to be permanently attached to a particular space – but then we often forget about the advancements of technology until we see what we regarded as ‘next-gen’ next to what we use now.

Hell, I remember being ‘cutting edge’ when in the late 80’s, I had a ‘Rabbit Mobile’ … a phone that only worked when you stood next to a ‘signal station’ [most often found at Little Chef “Restaurants” on the M1] and could only make calls, not receive them.

What I find sad is that we have stopped appreciating ‘stuff’ … we live in a World of disposability and while we might get excited about things like R2D2 and iPhones, it tends to only last a short while before we are looking for the next big thing or improvement to impact our lives.

Without doubt companies play a big role in the development of this consumer attitude because they are constantly looking at what they can develop next [even if it is a small improvement on what has gone before] in a quest to achieve greater and greater profits … however I also think this ‘disposable materialism’ attitude is symbolic of an increase in the level of dissatisfaction we are having in life.

Dissapointment @ 25 Bday

Now I am not suggesting we’re all living lives of misery … but I do think a great many people feel they are not getting as much out of life as they thought they would / deserve / crave  – and this has quite possibly led to an increased focus on material possession as it helps validate or justify their existence and/or success. [perceived or otherwise]

I’ve written about this in the past [here, here and here] but an event that happened to me last Saturday, has affected me so deeply, I am questioning what I want, believe in and stand for – because I’ve realised how easy it is to never truly treasure what you’ve got.

I won’t go on as I am still formulating my thoughts – and I appreciate as a total techno-addict I am being rather hypocritical – but to me a ‘balanced life’ isn’t about finding a way to manage an equal level of work and play, it’s about finding a situation that ensures you appreciate an equal level of potential and reality and I can’t help but feel many people don’t live that way at all – mainly because the ad industry is fixated on selling ‘fear’ [as a strategy] because they believe it is the most effective way to generate short-term sales!

Unfortunately this all goes back to my point of too many people in advertising having brains, but not using them … but we’re aiming to put that right aren’t we, ha!

[I’m in Hong Kong tomorrow so I just want to wish you all a toptastic weekend!]

I’m Going To The Only Place Where You’ll Find Culture In Australia …
June 27, 2007, 4:23 pm
Filed under: Comment

Yoghurt + Penguin

Just found out that over the next few months, I am going to be in and out of Melbourne – so if anyone who reads this blog fancies catching up, let me know and I’ll buy you a coffee. [Like how I have to buy friendship, ha!]

Anyway, I’m there from this Tuesday, but if that’s inconvenient [which it might be for me as well given I’ll probably be in meetings-from-hell most of the time] I am sure/hopeful we can catch up over the coming weeks/months.

[Age … our burger date is a given and Emily, this is the project I am hoping to get you involved in – just need to find out the lye of the land before I can commit to anything]

Blinkered About Content …
June 27, 2007, 7:20 am
Filed under: Comment

T1 Blinker

One thing I absolutely detest is when I meet people who think a particular media channel can solve all the [business] problems in the World.

Most of them don’t acknowledge the power/value of any other medium … they just say DM / Digital / TV / Cinema / Promo / Poster / Newspaper / etc [delete where appropriate] is the answer to everything, including cancer, peace on Earth and getting laid more often.

What is really bugging me at the moment is when ad agencies go on and on and on about digital.

Don’t get me wrong, I think digital is fucking brilliant but the bit that bothers me is that the agencies rarely talk about the importance of content, they just imply that if you use digital, everything will be brilliant.

The importance of content/creativity is being more and more sidelined and so in an attempt to name and shame, I wrote this letter to Media Magazine [Asia’s Campaign]

I read Shelly Lazarus comment about User Generated Content with interest … not just because I agree this “phenomenon” is the work of the few rather than the masses… but because she said if agencies weren’t better at content than the consumer, then we’d all be out of business.

The thing is, I believe alot of people who embark on content creation ARE already better than many in adland … and if we [the marketing and advertising community] continue to pay lip-service to the importance of creativity, then we might as well pack up our bags and go home.

OK, I am being very dramatic – not to mention generalistic – and I do appreciate it is [probably] easier to create content that only has to ‘entertain’ rather than motivate people to ‘do stuff’ … however I can’t help but feel alot of the industry is out of touch given many still call the internet ‘new media’ and we continue to keep planning and creative awards as separate entities – when in reality, you shouldn’t be able to have one without the other.

Despite ever changing times, the ‘rules’ of great communication are still pretty much what they’ve always been … and yet many in our industry seem to now regard ‘where you say stuff’ as being far more important than ‘what you say’ and ‘how you say it’ . This is not to underestimate the importance or value of channel choice … far from it … but by the same token, we shouldn’t underestimate the importance and value of great creativity as well.

While user generated content may be produced by a relatively small amount of people … it’s popularity is fuelled by the masses … so I hope the industry realises we cannot treat content with such frivolity because society is indicating they won’t put up with crap ads and now have the power to not only avoid them, but show us how it should be done.

public_enemy We All Hate Rob

No doubt in the next edition I’ll be slagged off by CEO’s and Media Directors but if they read my letter carefully, they’ll see I’m not slagging them off, I’m just trying to remind people what this industry is great at – or at least used to be. 

This separation between media, planning and creativity is killing us … but given so many communication disciplines are now their own profit centres [obsessed with maximising their own profitability] … the situation is unlikely to change before it gets too late.

I can totally understand why it happened … and I can see why media companies are so happy it did [given so many were treated badly by many in the creative community] … but this practice is ultimately screwing the longterm value of our industry, and if certain individuals/disciplines continue to ignore the mutual benefit/power of working together, then our ability to reach/influence the consumer will be long gone and so will our ability to make a living.

Can you tell I’m pissed off at the moment? Ha!