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

Lets Hope The Meek Don’t Inheret The Earth …
April 27, 2009, 6:54 am
Filed under: Comment

Before I start, I should say this is another one of my all-over-the-shop posts. Without doubt you will probably find it has contradicted itself by the time you come to the end of the post [if you even make it that far] and without doubt you’ll be scratching your head wondering what the hell I’m trying to say. I don’t know what’s going on at the moment, but this [literal] brain dump is happening quite alot at the moment so just consider yourself lucky you only read this blog rather than work with me.

OK, now I shall begin.


For quite a few years, I have read a bunch of blogs each and every day.

I have always made it a rule to find a new one to check out each morning however I have my ‘faves’ and whilst they cover a whole range of topics – from child education to micro economics – what I want to talk about are the adland ones.

[So strictly speaking that shouldn’t count Lauren, Marcus, Dodds, Neil, Gavin etc … but they write about people, culture, attitudes and life [and write it brilliantly and interestingly] so for the sake of convenience, I’m going to count them in the category I’m about to write about]

Now there’s bloody loads out there … loads … and whilst there’s the obvious brilliant brain ones [Richard, Russell, Gareth, Faris, NP, Charles, Jon, Scamp etc] there’s a whole host of genius from folk who have seemingly been in adland for 12 minutes.

To be honest, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with these blogs …

I love how they are developing their own thoughts/theories/ideas/approaches … it’s so exciting, especially as there seems to be a fashion to just agree with whatever the supposed ‘statesmen of adland’ and/or ‘the new creative gods’ are spouting out of their gobs … however the bit I hate is that they continually get me to question my own abilities and more often than not, I come out on the losing side.

This may read like I’m seeking appreciation … acknowledgement that I’m “OK” … but I’m not.

Underneath it all I know I’m quite good at what I do – well quite good when the stars align and I’m surrounded by my clever mob – however I have noticed that in the last few years I’ve become more mellow. Don’t get me wrong I still want to make things interesting, exciting and better but the hunger/abilities I once had just don’t feel to be at the same level as they once were.

Now I could blame this on age, maturity or having a bit more cash … but I genuinely don’t think it’s that because the will is still there, I just don’t know if the ability is.

I’m not saying I’m ready for the knackers yard yet – but I am saying that when I read some of the ‘new to adland’s’ blogs, it makes me feel invigorated … excited … challenged.

Saying that, this is not all about the power of youth.

One of the big problems with adland is that they happily turn their back on people with a lifetime of experience in favour of some 19 year old without any experience – or worse – someone with a qualification in ‘advertising studies’ or some equally offensive certificate.

I’ve said it so many times … but adland is more about understanding people and how to connect/motivate them than processes, science or education. Sure … those things have an important place in modern thinking/communication … but there’s a bunch of folk out there that think knowing societies thoughts/attitudes/ideals is incidental to producing great creativity and that is plainly bollocks. Actually I should rephrase that … it IS incidental to producing great creative, but it isn’t incidental if you want to produce great [effective] creative.

That’s why I also love talking to people who’ve “been there, done that”.

Sure their experiences may be less relevant interms of the circumstances leading up to a certain situation, but it doesn’t mean they can’t adapt their thoughts to modern times and yet most people over 40 in adland [who aren’t an MD or CEO] are viewed with eyes of pity, as if their time on earth is drawing to a close – it’s pathetic.

Where am I going with this?

God knows …

Oh yes I remember …

The thing is, when I look at the rubbish I write on this blog and then compare it to what others are saying on theirs, I just think I am so superficial and out of the loop.

That doesn’t mean I’ll always agree with the clever thinking that is being said … for example I’ve had more disagreements with Niko than I’ve had with Andy even though I feel he is a really exciting brain … but it does make me happy that there are a bunch of young guys out there [From Rob and Age to Sam and Paul and a whole host inbetween] whose thoughts/ideas could really create positive change even though adland tends to embrace the people with hype rather than opinions and ideals.

When we started cynic, one of the things we decided was that we wanted to surround ourselves with people who were smart, talented, had a wide range of life experience and a pinch of unpredictability.

That didn’t mean they had to be young in age … but it did mean they had to be young interms of thinking and attitude because it meant they would keep us on our toes, learning stuff, questioning ‘rules’ and hungry to do more … and that’s why I suggest to anyone in adland – especially the young, talented and ambitious – that the blogs they should be checking out are not just the ones by the ‘Masters of the Adiverse’, but the ones where people express ideas, thoughts and emotions regardless of experience, viewpoint or industry, because if the future of advertising is getting back to understanding and interacting with the real World, then they need to ensure they don’t only associate with the people who live within the ad bubble.

So to paraphrase as a show of my youth, “Why don’t you switch off this blog and go and find someone less boring instead”

18 Comments so far
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are you trying to butter them up for a fucking loan or something campbell?

Comment by andy@cynic

are you [1] really ok? or [2] telling your readers to bugger off, because you want to go on a sabbatical? or [3] what andy said

i m already reading all of the blogs mentioned. and many more… and i still come back here, because it is not boring! so from my angle, everything seems to be more than alright with your abilities to make things exciting and interesting. and btw, it s fine with me if the meek inherit the earth 🙂

Comment by peggy

peggster…when will you be writing ur own shite..i see u popping all over the interweb with alright comments. step up little lady

Comment by niko

you made me forget about the expression lines on my forehead for a little while niko… are you hitting on me or something? 😉
i m writing and making things. though i rarely publish. only every three months or so. hence no conversation going on there. it s not really a blog…

Comment by peggy

I’ve never thought about this till just now… but (for me at least) the act of coming to this blog is a lot like going to Uni. It’s like a masterclass, and I come here for the lessons, then my own blog is like homework and assignments – where I take what I’ve learned and mix it up with my own stuff and try to put it into practice 😉

Comment by Age

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm .

I guess people find their own reasons for reading your blog. Good, bad ugly doesn’t matter I guess, they’re probably just interested in your ‘working life’. Like it being revealed here, chapter by chapter 🙂
Some come to learn, as age put it Uni, some for solace, of ideas, and some because it’s probably a summary of all the diverse content you’ve managed to consume.

I guess people come, because they think you’re still young, talented & ambitious :P. ha ha!

Boy, Andy won’t like that!

Comment by bhaskar

I’m in China – and the only way I can read this blog [because unlike NP’s, it’s banned here] is via a anti-firewall thing hence the shit you’ll read at the end of it.

[This is also why there won’t be a post tomorrow because it won’t let me ‘log in’ and shockingly, this was the last post I pre-wrote! Amazing but true]

OK – I’m a bit worried because having read the comments it seems you really think I’m looking for praise and I genuinely am not.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy [and shocked] you guys come along here and pass comment and judgements but I am just saying that when I read some of the stuff you guys write, I feel a total bloody fraud.

Don’t get too big headed though, compared to alot of stuff non-adland people write, you still have a long way to go … just not quite as long as I do, ha!

To be honest this post is totally fucked up because the point of it was supposed to be that the people many younger guys in adland look up to should spend more time looking at their blogs than the other way round – but it obviously got lost in translation from my brain to my fingers, ha!

PS: I’m impressed you could write anything Andy, given your birthday alcohol consumption. And that is not something to be proud of, being sober enough to write even a passing comment after what flowed down your throat means you’re an alcholic in waiting 🙂

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Comment by Rob

Age: I can only assume you went to Nottingham Uni …

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Comment by Rob

I come here because you’re not afraid to reveal stuff about yourself. I love it when I think, ‘I can’t believe he just said that.’

Comment by Emily

it’s not just “uni” though I should add… the people here are brilliantly entertaining too.

Comment by Age

planning at it worst..stating the obvious. though i am sure you will disagree 😉

Comment by niko

here’s my translation:

why the fuck do all you kids wanna be seth godin and richard huntington, for fuck’s sake? they’re ace at what they do, and a bit of masters’ words in your day never went astray, but they’re not gods. so go read/talk to some of your contemporaries and kick some arse. otherwise you’ll just end up another god-damn puppet in this godforsaken industry.

rob campbell supports blog reading in moderation.

[love you rob!]

Comment by lauren

So Emily, you like coming here because my ‘private gene’ is missing. God, you make me sound like Howard Stern, hahaha!

And Lauren, that’s EXACTLY what I meant as well as the fact Seth Godin, Richard Huntingdon [etc] – as brilliant as they are – could do with checking out the blogs of the up and coming opinionated sods and those who would rather work in a sweat shop than adland [same thing?] but still have brilliant [infact, quite often, more brilliant] ideas than those who think they have the monopoly on anything great.

Right, I’m off to be interviewed by the BBC but haven’t got the faintest idea what about so expect Emily screaming “I CAN’T BELIEVE HE JUST SAID THAT” on a radio sometime soon, ha!

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Comment by Rob

We all know what sort of new sites you check out every morning.

Comment by John

Thanks for the ‘big up!’

Its the cycle that adland should follow:

The old influence the new who revitalise the old.

Aka: The Madonna principle. She has big career, inspires young artists who then collaborate with her and influence her later work with a modern edge. (Not that I am a fan…)

The energy and passion that you put into your work is inspiring, and even if you were always wrong (which you aren’t) it would still be so.

Aka: The Thatcher principle

Comment by Rob Mortimer

are you calling campbell thatcher? thats the most fucking insulting thing ive ever heard. i fucking love it.

hey campbell. why dont you do something less boring instead and do some fucking work and pay for yourself for once.

how do you like that fucking idea mr nice guy

(hes not nice really, hes a fucking bastard. work with him then tell me im wrong)

Comment by andy@cynic

happy belated birthday andy! as i guess it was yours…

Comment by peggy

meant to leave you a note way back when you posted this… i’m honored to be mentioned in regard to helping create positive change. thank you. the young part… not so sure about. ha! hope all is going well.

Comment by Paul

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