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

We Are Sorry For Any Convenience This May Cause … [And No, That’s Not A ‘Typo’]
June 28, 2008, 9:00 am
Filed under: Comment

Expect delays Photo: Angie7

Because of this – this pile of blog rubbish will not be updated very much for the next couple of months.

I know no one really gives a damn, but I just thought I should let people know incase you think I’ve died and get all excited and happy.

So in the meantime, either …

[1] visit some of the great blogs listed here


[2] get a life 🙂

See you soonish.

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Top Gun II
June 27, 2008, 7:10 am
Filed under: Comment

Because I know no one will be arsed to read my last-for-a-month-or-two blog post, I thought I’d bore you visually instead.

Just like Top Gun had an ‘alleged’ underlying message about homosexuality, my entertainment extravaganza also has a moral – and whilst most of you probably won’t see it for anything other than the usual Campbell bollocks [TM] – there’s a guy on YouTube who obviously has a much higher intellect than you lot because he/she has realised how my ‘pisstake rant’ has the potential to ignite an all out civil war as soon as the Singaporean people connect the increased cost-of-living with their Government’s flagrant abuse of hundreds of thousands of dollars of fuel for ‘aerobatic practice’!

And Zaphenath4 might have a point because I can’t tell you how many Singaporean’s I’ve heard complain about these price increases playing havoc with their ability to buy the latest Louis Vuitton bag!


Anyway, make yourself comfortable, sit back and prepare for the next 7 minutes 18 seconds of your life to be completely and utterly wasted!

Is The Market Research Industry As Deluded As Adland?
June 27, 2008, 7:00 am
Filed under: Comment

So this is it … three and a bit years in a social experiment and it’s all over.

As I wrote here, it has been a very interesting time – but nothing lasts forever and I/we are really excited about what we’re embarking on next. [a clue to one of the things I/we will be doing can be seen here]

Anyway, I’ve packed up the office … I’ve sent away the oodles of shit that I’ve amassed … I’ve said my goodbyes to the people that matter [and the people I haven’t should realise there is a reason for that!] and I’m now typing my last blog post for a while, in a room where I can now hear the echo of every key I tap.




[As an aside, I realised that by filling up my office with so much personal shit – it became abit like a ‘second home’ [not that my real home is so shit-laden] so I was quite happy to stay late because it felt comfortable. With this in mind, maybe companies who claim to care about their employees wellbeing should NOT allow staff to ‘cutomise’ their space because this will encourage them to work more effectively so they can get the hell out and enjoy personal/family time. Of course in reality, most companies want people to work themselves into an early grave, but it’s quite interesting how much personalisation results in increased energy being spent at work]

I feel a real mixture of emotions – happy, sad, excited, apprehensive – and while we took the decision to end the relationship, I have nothing but positive things to say about the guys I worked with because in the main, they were [well, still are actually, ha!] a nice bunch of clever talented people – though I still intend to beat them on every pitch we contest in the future, ha!

Right enough of the sentimentality shite, back to the point of this post. [Yes there is one]

So the question is ‘Is The Market Research Industry As Deluded As Adland?’

And the answer is ‘Yes’

The end.

The Focus Group Guidebook #1 Photo: Miller Info Commons

OK … as you would expect, I have an opinion/rant on this.

So a couple of weeks ago, I spoke at a Market Research Society Conference and to be fair, it was pretty good and the people were [generally] very welcoming.

However despite all this, one thing that really bugged me was how many researchers [and clients] talked about their ‘insights and data’ in absolute terms.

Don’t get me wrong, market research is incredibly valuable – and when done well [and with a real purpose] it’s bloody brilliant – however this blinkered belief that brand and consumer research is undeniably accurate just astounds me.

The fact is that ‘truth’ is relative and given human beings have this thing called ‘a brain’, it means our opinions/thoughts/attitudes/feelings can change or be changed by external circumstances – and yet so many of the researchers at the conference didn’t acknowledge this at all. Hell, one guy even implied he should be able to dictate the creative execution [look, feel, tone, manner, core idea] thanks to the comment one of his research respondents made via SMS.


I know we’d all like to pretend our work/views/thoughts are the most important of the entire communication process – but common sense alone should dictate we don’t talk in ‘absolute terms’. I appreciate business needs to be able to make decisions to go forward, but to blindly believe market research can always tell you what the masses specifically want [or in most cases, what they ‘wanted’] is madness. I mean it’s not like we’re in a science lab dealing with controlled elements – we’re in bloody advertising – dealing with people who sometimes lie and events that can turn on a sixpence!

kiss my ass Photo: Random Dude

Saying that – what really upset many of the delegates was when I pointed out that many Marketing people in Asia don’t really care what their market research says – hell, to a certain extent they don’t even care how well their campaigns perform – their whole purpose is to ensure they don’t upset their bosses and so the research they undertake is more for job justification than to liberate/grow their business.

Not all marketing people are like this … but there’s a hell of a lot of them that are.

And while I’m saying there’s flaws in the market research industry – I don’t want people thinking adland is perfect because there’s even more shit going on there.

The thing is, I believe both disciplines are contributing to eachothers downfall because with clients budgets becoming more and more limited, their business strategies seem to be to undermine the other parties value/credibility in a bid to get their ‘UNfair share’ of the monies available.

Now I appreciate money makes the World go round but all this practice is doing, is resulting in bad research, bad advertising, bad companies, bad results and fucked off customers and bored populations.

pierluigi-collina Photo: Slashkurt

In my opinion, the best market research tends to be when it has been conducted by an independent organisation who have been given the resources to truly understand the issues being faced and the power to be able to truly express them without ‘commercial influence’ – however I do believe that unless both parties come together again [interms of really understanding and valuing what the other discipline does – as well as what the other discipline wants/needs to be more effective] then we are going to see a continuation of this marketing devolution – and that would be tragic as great research leads to great creative.

As I said at the beginning of this post, I truly believe in the power of research – I mean who is going to spend millions of dollars without having certain assurances they’re in the right ‘area’ – however like the legal industry, it is not perfect and seeing so many ‘experts’ continually deny their industries shortcomings upset me immensely. Saying that, the people who should be really pissed off with this attitude are the powers-that-be at WPP because they currently make more money from research than they do from adland so if they allow this ‘market-research-is-infallible delusion to continue, then their future financial revenue could be put in real jeopardy.

Anyway, the reason I was invited to speak at this conference was because the organisers wanted me to talk about the research methodologies cynic developed based on criminal profiler techniques – and whilst people like Malcolm Gladwell think profilers are nothing more than fortune tellers [which is funny given he argued New York’s crime rate was solved by cleaning the subway trains every night] the fact is we’ve had a great deal of success [and some classic failures – but then so have those who have spent millions on classic research] using these techniques to develop potent, pragmatic, relevant [based on ‘now’, not the past] creative and effective communication.

So whilst the preso says very little [you think I’m going to give away 4 years of very expensive research FOR FREE?] … covers most of the points I’ve detailed in this post … is written with Asia in mind … and has case studies that relied on me explaining in person [though if you look, you’ll find most of them detailed in depth somewhere on this blog] … I thought some of you might be interested to see what I blabbed on about, though in all liklihood, most of you probably got bored of this post about 20 paragraphs ago and are now reading something else while supping a cup of tea.

So that’s it … it’s all over.

[“Thank Fuck For That” I hear you cry]

Even though the boys will be keeping me mentally busy over the next couple of months, I’m pretty sure I’ll be posting the odd thing here and there – so in the meantime I just want to say ‘ta’ for all the comments, advice and ideas and may you all have toptastic times and continue the fight against mediocrity!

If you can be bothered, I’ll ‘see’ you when I get back and hopefully I might even have some exciting news to tell. [Well, there’s always a first time!]

A Bit Of Glamour + A Bit Of Humour + A Bit Of Practicality = The Ad That Should Of Won The Cannes & EFFIES Grand Prix!
June 26, 2008, 9:31 am
Filed under: Comment

… well that’s what Scamp would say if Juan/Fallon did it 🙂


What’s the betting Marcus is talking to his bosses about getting Rainhamsheds to upgrade his ‘office’ immediately, ha!

[Thanks to Dodds for this]

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Ask A Stupid Question …
June 26, 2008, 7:27 am
Filed under: Comment

Yes Sarah-Jessica Parker – not only are you the winner of Maxim’s UNSEXIEST woman in the World – but you also are the inaugural winner of the Campbell ‘Making A Fucking Mountain Out Of A Molehill Award’.

Now I know hair colour can change how you feel – well, actually I don’t because I’m a bald bugger however countless women have told me it does – but to publically state an acting role became challenging because you moved from blonde to brunette it is simply outrageous.

Being a single parent and having to feed your kids would be challenging.

Learning to speak after a stroke would be challenging.

Getting divorced would be challenging.

Changing your fucking hair colour because your multi-million dollar paying Hollywood acting job called for it – isn’t.

Mind you what do you expect from a woman who through a hissy-fit because a gown SHE BORROWED had been worn before.

Get a fucking life Jessica-Parker – if they’re the only issues you have going on in your life, consider yourself lucky.

Then you do have to live with Matthew “I’m not famous anymore” Broderick.

Seriously, it is any wonder so many people think actors are full of their own self-importance when they make stupid statements like this.

Which is probably why so many people think adland is full of wankers because whilst they go on about their craft, creativity and intellectualism, the general public just see them as a bunch of over-paid kids who make 30 seconds of inconvenience whilst snorting coke off a strippers tits and living it large in Cannes.

[This is only half true. We make ads in other mediums as well 🙂]

So with all this in mind, I am urging any Hollywood and Adfolk who might read this blog [latest vieweship: zero] to follow this simple advice …


… though I do accept I probably need to follow it more than most, ha!