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

Cats Are The Most Secure Beasts On Earth – You Can’t Impress Them And They Don’t Give A Damn About What You Think Of Them.
October 24, 2008, 6:24 am
Filed under: Comment

You spend a fortune on ‘stuff’ to keep your cat happy and occupied …


… and just like a kid who gets more joy from the wrapping paper than the toy inside, she spends all day either sleeping in a cardboard box she’s basically chewed to nothing.


… or lying on a cushion that she’s commandeered whether we like it or not.


Bitch – doesn’t she realise there’s an economic crisis going on and we can’t afford to blow our cash on things she won’t use???

[And before you say it, my electronic purchases are for research so can be fully justified. Cough cough!]

I tell you, when I come back – I want to come back as a cat – a cat owned [if cats are ever ‘owned’] by someone like Jill and me because that little princess makes Paris Hilton look like she has a tough life.

I have to say I am quite shocked at how much I love that cat.

Normally if someone wakes me up in the middle of the night … interrupts me when I’m concentrating … or ruins my furniture … I tend to turn into a grumpy [grumpier] old bastard, but that cat can do almost no wrong.

It’s actually quite a hard thing for me to reconcile because I’ve always regarded people who treat pets as more valuable than human beings as being fucking mad – and whilst I’m still not at that stage with Rosie – I know she can turn me from anger to smiles with the simple roll of her body.

Now there is a point to all this cat love ranting, because many years ago I was introduced to a book called ‘The Secret To Being Alive’ by a guy called Cliff Havener.

To be honest, I was only given one chapter and then I spent literally 10 years trying to get a copy – however whilst the rest of the book is good – it is nothing compared to the impact that one chapter had on me and now as a animal owner, I realise what Cliff was doing back in the 60’s was even more powerful and insightful than I originally thought.


Maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t help but feel there’s this unspoken assumption that planners today are practitioners of planning 2.0 [whatever that is] but when you see what Cliff was doing/thinking/understanding back in the 60’s [which admittedly was just being a good marketer] you realise that so much of what is spoken today is irrelevant crap.

I’ve written before that anything is easy for the person that doesn’t have to do it – so if I have any advice for any existing/wannabe planner/creative/suit out there, it’s

1/ Meet the people who will ultimately decide whether any idea you have will be successful or not.

[and I mean much more than just the customers, I’m talking about sales, distribution, R&D, finance etc]

2/ Go and see what’s happening in people’s lives – what they want, fear, love, hate, plan, desire etc

3/ Start your own company and realise points 1 & 2 can often lead to a greater result than any ad or ‘big idea’.

Planning is an outdoor job – get out from behind your desks and listen and learn about life – it’s the most valuable thing you’ll ever learn about great advertising.

17 Comments so far
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Comment by lauren

I don’t know how you managed to turn a post about your cat into one about planning but you did and it’s good.

I had forgotten all about your “Secret To Being Alive” chapter so it’s great to have a copy again. Having re read it, I think planning and advertising needs to go “back to the future” because I would say Cliff’s practical intelligence had more effect on brand and sales than much of the high end intellectual debates that are going on today.

Our job is relatively simple but we’re very good at making it sound complex and I believe it has as much to do with our desire to feel important as it does to create the impression of high end value.

Great last sentence, it should be a planning commandment.

Comment by Pete

so all i have to do is wear a fur jacket and fucking roll on the floor every now and then and i get total control over you? where the fuck was that lesson in the management books?

you should be on fucking television campbell. not because you can link completely opposite subjects like a motherfucker but so i can turn you the fuck off πŸ™‚

Comment by andy@cynic

i know you only have one eye but that cat stuff is fucking horrible. it looks like versace, liberace and freddie fucking mercury designed it. no wonder the cat needs to fucking lie down so much it would give me a fucking headache as well

Comment by andy@cynic

said by the man who is god’s gift to men and women the world over…

Comment by lauren

“you should be on fucking television campbell. not because you can link completely opposite subjects like a motherfucker but so i can turn you the fuck off”

that is fucking GOLD!!! hahaha. classic.
I’m gonna have to use that Andy.

*link clicked, chapter printed*

will read over the weekend.

Comment by Age

oh yes – I find cats ARE the great leveller ! I was bawling my eyes out in the shower last night and my cat, who HATES water with a passion, tried to jump in and console me ! BUT if I had wanted to stroke or tickle her, she would have had none of it !! They sure do keep us humble and real!

Comment by fan

Thanks for that Andy … you really are on fire at the moment … pity it’s not literally πŸ™‚

And Fan, why the hell were you crying? I’ve been gone a long time now, get over it.

[You know I love you really!]

Comment by Rob

I remember how excited you were when you finally got a copy of that book and then how pissed off you were when it didn’t match that one chapter you’d been thrusting into peoples hands for 15 years. πŸ™‚

I know people say JWT’s Steven King invented planning but people like Cliff Havener show he just invented the process/discipline rather than the idea itself.

Your cat is cute. How do you do always get attractive ladies in your life?

Comment by Bazza

You know JWT execs are going to hunt you down and kill you Baz! I hadn’t thought of it that way but I can see your point – I might bring that up at the next planning poncefest I’m invited to – put the cat amongst the pigeons a bit.

And to answer your last question, I have no idea – I’m not rich, I’m certainly not handsome and my maturity level is that of a 5 year old [according to a certain ex-client who shall not be named] – I’m just lucky to meet blind/stupid/desperate woman I suppose, ha!

[Excluding Jill of course. I almost slipped up there didn’t I, ha!]

Comment by Rob

Bazza….have the fucking respect to fucking spell my fucking name right when u fucking namecheck me..I’m the fucker that gave the lot of you a hit when your raps was not selling

wow..that embalming fluid is some strong stuff πŸ™‚

Comment by Stephen King

Sorry Stephen and say hello to Walt, ask him if he’s too cold and requires a blanket.

Comment by Bazza

Walt took the elevator to the basement so a blanket is kinda….

I’ll tweet him though, and pass along your concern, ok?

Comment by Stephen King

Thank you.

Comment by Bazza

de nada

Comment by Stephen King


Comment by facu

Cats are ace:

Will read that article as well. Ta mate.

Comment by Will

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