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

I Am The Ghost Of Paul Colman [Except He’s Not Dead So This Is A Crappy Headline To Announce The Feedback From The Last A[P]SOTW Assignment]
March 25, 2008, 7:13 am
Filed under: Advertising [Planning] School On The Web

Want some?

OK folks, it’s taken far too long but over the next 2 days we’re going to have the feedback from the last A[P]SOTW assignment [by Paul] and then we’re going to have the next one which you will have one month to complete.

Like the last assignment I set [even though this one has be done by the lovely and talented John at BBH Tokyo] we have amassed a panel of judges to evaluate your entries – a panel that is made up of more than just planners because because we have to remember, great thinking inspires EVERYONE, not just more bloody planners!

Anyway, that’s tomorrow – today, I am writing up Paul’s evaluation of the last assignment because the silly sod has decided to stop his blog despite loads of us relying on it for life support!

Right, lets get on with it – starting with Paul’s public apology, hahaha!


Dear All,

Sincere apologies for talking so bloody long to come back to you all, there isn’t really any excuse, but there are some reasons.

To cut a long story short, in the last couple of months I’ve been working on a number of huge projects at work, I’ve had to find a new place to live [several actually], and deal with a bit of personal crisis.

So, sorry it’s taken so long, but I hope there are some helpful pointers in the feedback.

Please feel free to mail me any direct questions at paul5458 at hotmail dot com if you feel anything is unclear, and could the winner please contact me for your book. 



47 reject Paul On The Naughty Step

OK, so now the air has been officially ‘cleared’, here’s Paul’s comments to all those people who came up with clever ways to make EXTRA chewing gum have something abit errrrrm, extra!

[Because I only got sent Paul’s feedback and the original assignment docos – I don’t know who some of the feedback refers to as some people didn’t put their details onto their submission [a learning for the future there eh!] so in these cases, I’ve just listed a key point from the preso in the hope you will recognise who Paul is talking about]

Assignment ‘A’ [Not sure who did it, but it’s the one that talks about ‘Helicopter Parents’]

Strange opening, not sure what you’re telling me. Is this our audience?

1 Okay fine, but a bit too psycho babble, but let’s see where it goes

2 Not sure I get the leap here

3 Still not sure, but kudos for quoting Springsteen

4 This is odd, slave trade, Springsteen, gum, I’m not sure what the idea is

5 I’m lost – you need to clearly state what the idea is

6 This is complicated and hard to be excited about

7 Still not sure I get the idea, or why it applies to Extra

There was lots of ideas in there, but wasn’t sure what you’d want me to do as a result of that, or why it would be good for the brand.

Stefano Augello

1 Nice opening slide, it’s good to remind me of the task

2 Good, I like objectives, but worried about the term ‘Lovemark’. Also, I don’t remember setting the second objective about distinctiveness, but interested to see if you deliver against it

3 Good structure, clear slide

4 You have my attention

5 Not sure what you’re saying here

6 Okay …

7 This feels weird here, I think you covered this at the start

8 This is quite convention, although I do like the idea of tastes mixing when people kiss, this could be really interesting

9 There is one good idea here, the rest if clear, but you should have done more with it

Conventional area, but really nice idea of it that you didn’t do enough with, shame I was intrigued. Good effort. 

Assignment ‘C’ [The one that talks about making Extra the ‘Green Gum’]

1 Bad use of clipart, but good reminder of task

2 Useful recap

3 Clear set up for the brand

4 Again, useful background, I’m interested to see where this goes

5 Yes, I get the point – you need to the idea

6 Brave to take on this area, good. But Extra Awards is not very original

7 This is a bit of a wish list, I’m not sure you’ve explained how this will help the brand become more meaningful. It also has the potential to reduce the food values of the brand

8 Seems a bit of a leap

You found an interesting area, but you need to think more about how it relates to Extra now, and their brand perception and benefits.

David Mortimer

1 Nice start, looking forward to seeing how you do this

2 Not sure penetration is the problem, but let’s see where you go

3 I’m not sure this is true – is it really believable that chewing gum is cool?

4 Useful competitor context

5 Some nice ideas, but you need to think about how this affects perceptions across all audiences. I’d also question how credible it is – feels like a marketing gimmick

6 Again, this feels gimmicky, but there is a logic to your ideas

7 I feel the same about this idea

8 This feels like it is talking to a different audience

9 Feels like there is a bit of logic gap here – it’s not banned with the older audience so aren’t they less likely to accept the new perception you’re trying to create for the younger audience?

Overall really clear, but I’d loved to have seen where else you could have taken the idea of ‘rebel gum’.

For instance, what would that look like in packaging, in NPD, in experience?

Zach Glass

1 Good start – I like the idea of an enemy

2 Clear insight into the role of gum

3 Conventional but clear and concise

4 Interested to see where you go with this, it makes sense up until now

5 Nice idea, I like the fact that you’re thinking of media ideas

6 Good to know, I’m ready for the idea

7 Yup, go it, let’s get to the idea

8 Bit cheesy, but I like it. Could make the brand cooler and more resonant, which are major problems to overcome

9 This is a bit far fetched, but why not! I like the sentiment of the thought

Once more I would have like to have seen you take this idea further, but still some nice thinking in here in terms of how context can affect perceptions.

Assignment ‘F’ [It’s the one that talks about ‘Endurance’]

1 Straight in there. Quite safe to think merely about extending the current positioning

2 Right, not sure what this means, so let’s get on

3 Okay…

4 I’m not convinced this is credible, I need more convincing

5 Sounds like you’re saying this is nothing more than a marketing idea, which is a little uninspiring

I feel like you need to think more around the idea you wanted to get across, it felt a little random.


1 Nice slide. Hello

2 Good reminder of brief

3 Again, useful

4 Feel like I’ve seen this before, but let’s see where we go

5 Good image, I’m in a good mood

6 Huh? This suggests that anything that puts a smile on your face good be an area Extra could own, which is a big step

7 Right…

8 I don’t get what you mean here

9 Lots of ideas here which is good, but feels like a massive area to try and own

Clear slides, and some good ideas, but you never really convinced me of the core idea linking Extra – smiling – extravaganza.

Gustavo Gontijo

1 Never a bad idea to quote me (and recap task)

2 Good and interesting research

3 True, you have my attention

4 Yes, simple and interesting

5 Yes, useful to know where we are

6 All very serious all of sudden, but I want to know how you propose to do this

7 Not sure what you mean by ‘flavoured moments’, but maybe it will become clear

8 Good to have lots of ideas but quite conventional, though they do make sense

9 This might sound rubbish but I like this kind of slide, I know the presentation is over and I find out about you, which is all good

Clear and made sense, it just felt like the final area was a bit ‘safe’.

I would have liked you to have thought more about other areas, such as packaging etc.

Good effort though.

Assignment ‘I’ [Positions EXTRA as ‘Mental Hygiene’]

1 Nice slide layout, and point of view

2 Arresting graphic design

3 Yes

4 Get it

5 Clear and easy to follow

6 Simple, which is good

7 Set up that leaves me wanting more

8 New area, very interesting. I like this

9 Clear strategy – I like the boldness of moving the market functionally

10 Really good, these all make sense and fit with the strategy

Really good stuff, clear and simple and interesting.

I would like to have had a final chart finishing things off, but small complaint.


1 Good market information

2 Useful to see where market opportunities are

3 Very conventional position for the UK, but maybe not for Scandinavia

4 Again very similar to UK

5 Safe and conventional

6 I don’t really get this

Some good structural stuff in there, but you need to be a bit bolder.

I know this is a very UK based opinion, but you need to take into account who your audience is, in terms of who is marking.

Assignment ‘K’ [The ‘Take Some EXTRA Time’ idea]

1 Good opening

2 Good research and a rich area

3 This is intriguing, the presentation could be more visual

4 Nice way of looking at it, but you’ll need to convince me this is credible

5 Okay…

6 I get the pun, but the image feels wrong, and I’m still not convinced by the idea

7 This feels like a logical leap in terms of the clash of the modernity that gum represents and the more traditional values you talk about

Although I don’t quite buy it, this was clearly presented and easy to understand.

You could have done with some visuals but it was still easy to follow and quite engaging.

Dennis Volkmann

1 Okay, I follow

2 Still follow, but where are we going?

3 Still following

4 Too much set up, we need to get to the idea

5 Useful information, but maybe should have come earlier

6 Again, useful, but should have come earlier

7 Audience is always useful, but I feel like this should have been explained earlier, I’m a bit lost

8 I don’t really know what the idea is. Is it about relating it to the idea of ‘lasting longer’?

You didn’t really explain the idea, or why you thought it was interesting.

Joao Correia Pereira

1 Good to start with the problem

2 Nice old ad, and exploration of the issue

3 Yes, a given, I think

4 Ditto

5 Again, this is all pretty obvious

6 This feels like one of the benefits a lot of the category communicates now

7 Bit confusing

You didn’t really explain your idea clearly.

There was something in unusual occupations but it needed more thought.

Assignment ‘N’ [Talks about launching new products and how ‘chewing creates clarity’]

1 Nice opening. Clear and simple

2 Useful and interesting – good chart

3 Good thinking, shows you’ve taken some time to understand the market

4 Really interesting to see where you go with this, it’s a useful exercise to think of the portfolio

5 Loads of work and research that reveals the answer

6 Bold, but why not (apart from that fact it’s not on brief)

7 Okay, but how?

8 Okay…

9 Interesting area, I like this

Some really good stuff here, and very thorough.

Thought you could have taken it a bit further, but strong presentation.

John Mills

1 Funny, which is always good

2 Good question

3 Yup

4 I have to admit I’ve never heard of this, but let’s see where we go

5 Okay…

6 Not completely clear why this is important

7 Is this assertion, if so, I’m not sure how convinced I am

8 Yes, but this is simply the task

9 Some good thoughts here

Some interesting thinking in here, but felt a bit reactionary and assertive.

Rajeev Sharma

1 Right, rather grand and general, but that’s cool, let’s see where we go

2 Not sure what this means

3 Okay…

4 I don’t know what you mean, hopefully you will answer

5 Err…

6 This is hard to follow

7 This is even harder to follow

8 There is an absence of strategy here

9 Mmm…

I know it’s hard because you’ve not experienced the product, but the internet makes the world a small place.

Assignment ‘R’ [EXTRA is for people who have more to worry about than their ‘gum’]

1 Good opening, ugly chart

2 Good research

3 This is interesting, no one else considered these fact, you have my attention

4 Bit much here, but useful

5 A lot of background here, I need to know what your strategy is

6 I feel like you’re throwing information at me

7 Again, a lot of information

8 I’m not so interested in what happens now, I want to know what you think they should do now

9 Mm…this is done now. I’m not sure I buy that people do think about it now

There was too much background here and not enough thinking. You need to think about why the data you uncovered matters, and how much I need to see.

The Checkered Flag Photo: Splorp

Bloody hell, that’s a hell of a lot of assignments submitted, how bloody fantastic!

However as there can be only one winner, Paul has decided that this time it’s awarded to the person who did ‘Assignment N’ – congrats!

To be fair, it’s quite a similar solution to whoever did ‘Assignment I’ however they were able to express their argument more clearly PLUS [and this is a big one for me, even though I had nothing to do with this project] they also talked about the importance of ‘doing stuff’ [from product/distribution/packaging] because that would fundamentally differentiate EXTRA rather than just rely on advertising.

Anyway, whoever the clever sod was who did Assignment N, get in touch with Paul and he’ll bung you a book for your troubles.

To everyone who entered, well done and I/we all hope you enjoyed the assignment. As I said at the beginning of this post, if you have any questions, don’t forget to email Paul at paul5458 at hotmail dot com but be patient, the poor bugger is in mad juggling mode.

Now, as variety maketh the thinkerthere’s going to be another assignment tomorrow and this one’s a complete mindfuck as it’s to do with Japan and packaging [Cue: Evil Laugh] … so if you’re up for it, come back in the morning and lets see what your brains come up with, can’t wait!

23 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Congratulations to the mysterious winner.

It was a good brief to work on, even though mine was a bit rushed in the end due to uni deadlines.

Also, “Helicopter Parents” is now my phrase of the week, so thank you to who ever did the first assignment.

Comment by Dave Mortimer

Come on Dave, just admit it you’re pissed you didn’t win again 🙂

Comment by Rob

I’m surprised that Colman didn’t pull the ol’ ‘dog ate my computer’ number.

Comment by Charles Frith

I choose to hide my bitter anger behind a mask of phoney pleasantries and compliments.

Good post by the way…


Comment by Dave Mortimer

Thank you Paul and Rob for the feedback. And congratulations to winner. Is there a way to see the work of others??

Comment by poor\

I’m not sure pooR\ … but on the next assignment [which is up tomorrow] I’ll make sure the feedback lets people get a better understanding of how others approached the task too …

Comment by Robert


Comment by Marcus

I am afraid the dog ate my presentation. (I submitted it to Paul with my name in the filename)

Does this look familiar at all?

Comment by Jonathan


I thought you would publish the documents as I sent them (I took the names off them), then the comments would make sense against each presentation.

Either way, thanks, Rob.

Comment by Paul H. Colman

That would of made perfect sense Paul – but the ‘fuck-up fairy’ decided to pay me a visit so I’m relying on each person to look at their preso and make sense of what you’re saying.

Only problem with that strategy is that Jonathan [the person who commented above yours] has asked where his submission review is and given he is the overall winner [yes, ‘Assignment N’ is his] I am now expecting a spate of “WHERE’S MY FUCKING EVALUATION” because I’m a piece of shit who fucked up with the assignments.

Lets see how it goes and WELL DONE JONATHAN … now email Paul and get your prize before someone else tries to claim it

[Which would be easy given the way I’ve written up the results, ha!]

Comment by Rob

Well done folks.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

i bet everyone is in a quiver of excitement for tomorrows assignment now rob. cock

Comment by andy@cynic

What an excellent piece of planning this assignment turned out to be.

Comment by Marcus

as laurel and hardy might have said, “thats another fine mess planners have got into”

Comment by andy@cynic

there will be hell to pay at “parents evening”. This wouldn’t have happened at a private school you know. Paying parents just don’t tolerate this kind of thing.

Comment by Marcus

I heard tomorrow’s assignment has been postponed due to unforeseen circumstances.

Comment by John

a force majeure that you can see coming neither stands up in a court of law or in a annual parent’s association general meeting.

The assignment IS ON!

Comment by Marcus

I’m having a go at this one.

Comment by RayGrunt

does anyone care?

Comment by andy@cynic

Oh Great. Now I feel like the the winner of a beauty pageant. Me? The winner? No way. The winner? Me? Oooh my god, I am so gonna faint.


Seriously: thanks for your feedback, time and effort.

Comment by Jonathan

Do you want World Peace?

Comment by Robert

That’s very uncharitable of you Andrew, for a man who works for a company that claims to want to work with charities.

Do a bit of work on your tone of voice.

And then maybe I’ll reconsider taking my ball home.

Comment by RayGrunt

Is there anywhere we can see the presentations?

Comment by MissyP

Leave a Reply