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

The New Home For The Ambitious …
September 1, 2008, 7:00 am
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Sunshine by you.

So today we launch the second venture I/we have been embarking on in the last few months … and this time it sees us joining forces with M&C throughout Asia to launch a company called SUNSHINE.

Don’t worry, we’ve not been indoctrinated with Google happiness [well, not all of us 🙂 ] but as much as there’s a load of business-justifications behind the choice of name, the reality is [1] we liked that it was the polar-opposite of cynic because it will fuck with a few people’s minds and [2] we love that we will be able to answer the phone in our best Eastend accents and say “Morning Sunshine” and sound like some 1960’s gangster.

Anyway I’ll be linking to the blog/website as soon as they are finished, but the basic premise is that most communication companies think they’re at the commercial end of creativity, whereas we will be at the creative end of commerciality.

The benefit of this attitude is that we won’t ever be able to have an agenda as regards how we solve a clients business problem … we’ll always be focused on identifying and creating the most interesting idea that …

[1] achieves the fundamental challenge set by the brand/business
[2] helps move the brand/business to where they ultimately want to be [financially, emotionally and socially]
[3] motivates the masses to act in our clients best interests because we understand what is [or what they believe] in their best interests
[4] helps the wider community [socialistic capitalism]

All of this stems from a comment Lee said a while back … business success isn’t about media neutrality, it’s about idea neutrality … which is why our goal is to be an agency that ‘creates fate’ rather than just creates television ads – or said another way – a brand liberation business.

Anyway I’ll write more as we move forward – but we’re very excited, because not only does it reunite us with the brilliant guy who got us involved with [and protected us from] WPP, Chris Jaques … but it gets me temporarily away from the hippies of the West Coast who were allegedly turning me ‘nice’.

Finally, because I know you’re all evil bastards, I think I should address the issue regarding M&C’s one word equity before you lot bring it up.

As you know, I’ve always had an issue with this because for me it has – and always will be – too simplistic.

On top of a few things, I feel it ignores the attitude/personality of the brand – which in these days of brand parity is becoming ever more important – however interms of giving a brand a ‘theme’ [ie: NIKE = Confidence / Volvo = Safety / Apple = Creativity] then I get it, understand it and wholeheartedly endorse it.

Saying that, one thing I absolutely adore is their brutally simple thinking.

I love it …

The word BRUTALLY is the key. That single word ensures what you do isn’t about lowest common denominator thinking, but the highest.

It’s about understanding sacrifice … it’s about embracing ambition … it’s about MAKING things happen, not hoping they will … it’s about brave creative intelligence.

[I’ve said many times that an idea should solve the business issue regardless of ads – the purpose of executions is to publicise the solution to as many people as possible, rather than celebrate the problem]

Regardless of all that, I am just excited to be working with/for a couple of guys who have actually ‘been there and done it’ rather than the usual Adland CEO whose only major achievement seems to have been patience … so lets see where this takes us, but I won’t be happy until we’ve taught Asia’s bigger boys a lesson or 12

Sunshine/M&C: the new [or maybe I should say old as that’s when they really were good] Saatchi, ha!

[PS: There is no truth to the rumour we have embarked on this adventure because M&C use the impact font. But it does make it easier 🙂 ]

42 Comments so far
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Congratulations on both bits of news Robert, I know one is already a very successful union and I am certain the other will be just as magical.

Regardless, I believe the greatest praise should be directed towards the M and the C of your latest partner organisation for convincing Chris and now you guys to sign up. They may well find this is one of the best bits of business they’ve negotiated since the companies inception.

Sunshine, Cynic, Lab and however many countless other companies you have in your harem, you really have been listening to our mutual friend and colleague haven’t you.

A great way to start a Monday and I will have some great news to start a Tuesday so call me when you can.

Comment by Lee Hill

i LOVE the thought of everyone answering the phone like with either some gruff east-end accent: “morning sunshine”, or, super-flamboyant peter allen-esque “hello sunshine”! i’m sure you guys will do some great stuff. well, you better or you have the riff raff on here to contend with 🙂

i do have to say, though, i thought the impact helloSUNSHINE was just you fuckin’ around with that font again. but if it’s the ridgy-didge logo.. well.. um, jill? can you have a word with your husband please?

BTW congrats on making it through the first year of married life and here’s to many more 🙂

Comment by lauren

Maybe it is Lauren … maybe it isn’t 🙂

And I’m trying to call you Lee but you’re not picking up … I WANT GOOD NEWS TUESDAY!

[Can you tell I am an only child?]

Comment by Rob

I’m Age Conte and I approve this message.

Comment by Age

Congratulations guys, another company for you to be positive viruses in 🙂

I already know Sunshine is going to be very successful because you’ve admitted your choice of name was influenced by “gay gangster” potential, which is very different to how most companies justify their name as I can now demonstrate with this press release from new brand consultantcy Water.

“The consultancy has been named Water because water signifies purity, clarity of thought, rejuvenation, honesty and transparency. Water takes the shape of whatever one puts it in; like the best brands become one with the consumer. It is the biggest life giver-a role design can play for brands.”

They’re doomed aren’t they 🙂

Comment by Pete

I’m not one to question other companies decisions [cough cough, splutter splutter] but when they say …

“Water takes the shape of whatever one puts it in”

… are they not publically admitting that they are going to say/do whatever the client [ie: the bottle] wants them to say/do?

Yep, a true brand consultancy if I ever saw one 🙂

Comment by Rob

Congratulations to you and Jill too.

PS I like how you’ve made sure creative is in your descriptor, this is going to be HHCL Brasserie 2 isn’t it?

Comment by Pete

I’ve just done a google check and seen the original Brasserie opened 1/9/95. This is not a coincidence is it Robert?

Comment by Pete

Normally I hate the idea of putting ‘CREATIVE’ in any descriptor because it should be obvious in what you do rather than what you say – however this is a new company [and a new company in Asia] so we wanted to make sure everyone knows we’re a company who does things differently – not reliant on numerous brand models or with a focus on producing more bloody logos … we’re about making big things happen, big things that benefit client, community, culture and errrrr, us – haha!

And whilst it is a coincidence we’re starting on the same day the Brasserie [that is quite a coincidence!] the attitude, goal and output of the company will be quite similar – but then with Chris and us, I guess that’s to be expected. Saying that, I hope we’ll be a better and more successful business than theirs or we may as well pack up and go home, ha!

Thanks for your comments – though it’d be more powerful it you weren’t going to be working with us, hahaha!

Comment by Rob

PS. Congrats to you and Jill mate, many many more happy years to come!

Comment by Age

Hi ,

Great new , both bits 🙂 congratulations .

Comment by bhaskar

I hate the name.

Comment by Marcus

Congrats to you and Jill – and the cat – on your blissful first married year of many! And who is “we” in Hello Sunshine ? Anyhow … I wanna come and answer your phones for you now, in my best mancunian accent!!

Comment by fan

I know you do Marcus … but as you are trying to be Mr Optimism these days, i think this is one of those moments where you fight your initial reaction and just say “Well done and good luck”


And Fan … there’s quite a few of little rays of sunshine [I can’t believe I wrote that] but given you’re Ms Cat Lover extroidinaire, I guess you automatically qualify. That and the fact you are tougher than the Kray twins on a bad day 🙂

Comment by Rob

I hate impact too.

Comment by Marcus

I’ve done my job well then 🙂

Comment by Robert

Congratulations to Lee for his continued idea leadership and to you and Jill for successful completion of your probation period.

Comment by John

I am honoured and flattered ! Now bloody get back to work !

Comment by fan

Thank you John for recognising my vital contribution, I trust the gentlemen will be as accepting when my invoice lands on their desk.

Comment by Lee Hill

It’s certainly what they need.
If you can combine your attitude with M+C’s simplicity ideal then there is a great potential there.

Congrats on 1 year by the way!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

mazel tov

Comment by nicky rothstein

One of Sunshine’s rules is “potential counts for nothing” so I hope that isn’t what people say about the venture 2 years from now. Then when we remember the immense impact Robert and Chris had in their time together at WPP, I am confident the competition are looking over their shoulder more than looking at them to fail. If only the same could be said for my little experiment 🙂

Comment by George

…but IMPACT George???

Comment by Marcus

To be fair to Robert the font choice was influenced by M&C, however news just in is that it is to be changed which means Robert is probably celebrating his anniversary by crying into his pillow and screaming how life is unfair. His pain is our gain.

Comment by George

yesss!! as much as i love you rob, that logotype only shines out of one place. this is good news george 🙂

Comment by lauren

That comment sounds very much like the t-shirts they’ve had made Lauren, “we can tell you where the sun don’t shine”. And there were people thinking that Robert had gone nice 🙂

I won’t comment any more I’ve already exceeded my quota for the month, I was just trying to keep the side up with Andrew on holiday and Robert crying into his impact font pillow.

Comment by George

And you didnt curse once.

Comment by John

Now if you could get them to have a quota on the b word, things would be really looking up.

Comment by John

Congratulations on both counts, Rob! Now that it’s official, I for one can’t wait to get started. Woo hoo!!

Comment by kajal

It’s all down to you Kajal, none of the buggers on this blog would give me any chance of making it work 🙂


[I was out when I heard, so I cried into my dinner]

Comment by Rob

Not been checking m’ feeds – so if I’m a little late to the party, I apologise.

Hearty congratulations, and best of luck mate. ‘ello Sunshine indeed. 😉

Comment by Will

Thanks Will … do I take it you could do with some sunshine in your working life?

Oh and to Marcus, I’ve just done my first preso as SUNSHINE today and got told it was more evil than cynic. I hope that makes you feel better – though it’s sort of scary for the cynic boys. And me. Ha!

Comment by Rob

more agencies to infiltrate and make great, we deserve the fucking nobel or something

Comment by andy@cynic

I completely overlooked this post. Well first of all happy belated anniversary and congratulations Jill for enduring Rob for quite a while now.

And in opposite to Marcus I like the name (guess it goes without the hello, if not then I don’t like it) and even the sort-of-logo. I think it’s one of these names when you think about having something really simple and when you found it everybody just goes like “oh damn, so simple and good”. Like naked or mother or anomaly or poke.

But I have to say that I don’t like M&C and “one word equity”. I think it’s just another bloody new business tool with a fancy name. But maybe you guys turn them into cool chaps.

Comment by Seb

Thank you Seb – however the logo is being changed [pressure from the Anti-IMPACT society 🙂 ] so we’ll see what you think when it’s finally sorted.

And don’t worry, it’s just SUNSHINE – not ‘Hello SUNHINE’ – and I’m not a fan of ‘one word equity’, at least not in its present guise, but I’ve said that in my post so I won’t waste any more of your time with my rubbish 🙂

Comment by Rob

I love when you write rubbish. That’s why I came to this blog first, ha. Maybe one day I will open an agency called “darling” so that when we may call us one day we say stuff like this:

“Morning sunshine.”
“Hello darling.”

Comment by Seb

Then Andy can open one called “You ruined my life you bitch” 🙂

Comment by Rob

Good luck on the new venture. I’ve only got one thing to say. One word equity is three words. What is M&C’s explanation for this? You should be a good fit if they’ve gotten rid of a few people in Sing/Malaysia as I recall.

Comment by Charles Frith

[…] recently set up an agency in Asia called Sunshine which seems to be touching on some of the things you’re talking about (read the post, […]

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