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

Stop Being Andrew Lloyd Webber …
July 20, 2009, 11:44 am
Filed under: Comment


I am going to write a much longer post about this soon, but can we all stop fawning over guys who simply re-express an already accepted fact/observation!

To be fair, many of the people who make these statements don’t claim to be the originator of their insight/thought … however the reaction they get indicates there’s a hell of a lot of folk who view them like they’re Einstein 2.0

Don’t get me wrong, there are some outrageously clever people in adland – people I look up to like a 6 year old girl looks up to the Jonas Brothers – but it might help the state of the industry if we looked for intellectual inspiration beyond the usual suspects, because not only will it stop us looking like tits when we claim things like social networking, architecture and symbolism are new phenomenon’s in brand building/communication, but it’ll hopefully also encourage us to explore and discover brand new thoughts/insights which could actually move us forward rather than stay in the same place we’ve been for the last 10 years because we have this habit of putting glitzy new paint on rusty old facts.

Don’t re-invent. Invent.

26 Comments so far
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Comment by Leon Jacobs

in before andy@cynic

his commenting pace is ridiculous. i will read the post now.

Comment by rafik


Comment by rafik

“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.” Einstein

Comment by Lee Hill

Is life that sad for Leon and Rafik that they celebrate being first to comment/beat Andy?

I feel your pain guys, ha!

And don’t worry Rafik, at this time Andy will be in a bar somewhere in NYC getting slaughtered so you can always beat him if I get so bored I find myself writing a mid-morning post, ha!

Nice quote there Lee – though in typical adland fashion, I’ll change one word and claim it as something totally new and more appropriate …

“The secret to advertising intelligence is knowing how to hide your sources.” Campbell.

Comment by Rob

Rob, I was being deeply ironic!

Comment by Leon Jacobs

I know – I just liked the idea of trying to make you look as sad as me.

Comment by Rob

The picture accompanying this post has made me laugh for 10 minutes. Does this make me pathetic?

Comment by DH

Yes … but I’m glad you ‘got it’. Well I am assuming you got what I was trying to say – knowing you, you just like Bob the bloody Builder.

Comment by Rob

Where has this suddenly come from ?

Comment by bhaskar

I saw something today that was being lauded like the person had split the bloody atom even though what was being said had been discussed and accepted by people outside our industry for centuries.

I find if facinating how many in our industry act like they are the only ones with brains and vision when 99% of the time, what they end up producing is nothing more than another piece of faceless advertising wallpaper.

Just annoyed me – and I’ll write about it properly another day, but if you thought my post about social networking [] was stating the obvious, wait till you hear this.

Too many people talking to others in their own industry and not enough exploration outside our little bubble.

Comment by Rob

Is this a snide swipe at Apple? (joking)

Wow. Snide swipe, that’s a nifty cross-bred word.

Anyway, correct as usual. Sometimes it helps to restate things, but unless you are making it easier to understand / clarifying / telling new people / or adding to the original , then there is sod all point really.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Please don’t think I am saying we shouldn’t continually check the relevance/meaning of things we take as ‘fact’ … nor am I saying there’s isn’t value in restating things we know from previous years/generations … it’s the crowd who fawn over the established just because it has a fancy new phrase and/or look and/or famous ‘spokesperson’ that drive me fucking nuts.

Can you tell its Monday, ha!

Comment by Rob

I hope Rob Mortimer is wrong and this isn’t a dig at Apple though I recall your snort of derision when the iPhone was first announced because you felt certain claims ignored current in market technologies being offered by other technology brands.

Moving on, I also remember how heated this blog became when you talked about evolution being mistaken for innovation which may feed into your view there are people within the advertising and communication industries who classify past as present simply because an individual in a position of power has expressed it.

Is it unique to just the advertising industries? I don’t think so but I do think it is especially prevelant, possibly because the R&D department exists in certain employees heads rather than within the 4 walls of their office complex.

I look forward to you naming names and highlighting specific examples. As long as we are exempt which we would be because we would never do such a thing.

Comment by Bazza

I invent all the time. Get’s me nowhere.

Comment by Marcus

so you are…


Comment by niko

Like when Apple claimed the iPhone had the first ever virtual input screen when the SONY Clie had one years earlier? Is that what you mean Baz? Ha.

And Marcus – yes you do – and it’s funny that [as far as I can tell] the times you get the biggest accolade are when your thoughts are based around more accepted norms, ala Sacrum.

I might be wrong – and I’m sure you’ll tell me if I am – but maybe it’s because we live in a World where people [especially ‘ad people’] are so frightened of saying something different [for fear of conflict and/or ridicule] they only openly support the things that in their hearts, they know is already accepted and right.

Which means adland is pretty similar to how Asian society openly expresses itself.

How disappointing … especially for an industry that makes such a big show of being free thinkers who want to drive things forward.

Of course not all in adland are like this – and there are some genuine brilliant folk [and I honestly put you in that area Marcus] but sadly too many folk seem to be sheep rather than wolves, and that wouldn’t be so bad if they were sheep of a broad viewpoint but it seems many have their blinkers only on the people who work within their specific category and yet the most powerful, exciting and interesting times are when you find unexpected relevance which means looking beyond your bubble.

OK, rant over – time to go home and errrm, whinge.

Oh, and can you tell me if the book launch is still intended to happen at beerfest because you know I want to find a way to be part of it.

Ta-ra all.

Comment by Rob

why are we pissed at the guys saying the obvious and getting all the praise?

If people would not take the bait, confidence artists would not keep phishing.

yes i know it is a bit of a cop out logic, but i am not worried about guys making claims, or even packaging them as the new thing,

I am more worried about people buying in to it. And yes group pressure and herd like behaviour go along way towards explaning our rehashing the obvious in diff ways, but as Bazza said, it is not just adland.

Wall street, Vietnam, all are examples of groups of smart people following eachother and the leader of the cliff.

It seems that at the root of it, social confidence is lacking in a lot of people. confidence to think for ourselves or at least say..”hmm i donno….”

by the time we get to employment phases, it is perhaps to late to correct this behaviour…

stupid is as stupid does..

but Rob, be happy…that is why cynic, droga5, anomoly, IDEO can keep beating the competition..

Comment by niko

i think there are 2 professions that are the best at convincing the world of their continuing relevance without actually accomplishing anything: advertising and politics. it takes skill, you gotta admit it…

Comment by lauren

whose pissed you off this time campbell. is it georges obama snorefest where he tries to claim he invented the fucking helicopter or something?

how many times do i have to tell you. if we were as fucking clever as we think we are (me excluded, we all know how fucking clever i am), wed be writing history not fucking blogs, briefs and ads.

marcus has done more than most in advertising and yet the thick fucks dont realise it makes them look like a bunch of empty word muppets because saying some inane shit or copying some old point of view is easier than fucking having a go and failing with pride.

im with niko, theyre not worth getting angry over, the majority are a bunch of parasites without the skill or balls to make their own fucking sandwich.

Comment by andy@cynic

theres another lauren. yellow pages sales idiots.

Comment by andy@cynic

they come under advertising, as far as i’m concerned. 🙂

Comment by lauren

thats fucking harsh. as if the poor fucks dont have enough shit in their poxy door to door lives.

Comment by andy@cynic

Thanks for your kind words Niko, but I don’t know if the independents are beating the competition, at least the really big competition.

It would be nice to think we are – however I think we’re viewed more as an irritant than anything more – and that should be the goal, turn ourselves into a BDA virus, because what other way can we help them actually start doing good work than to scare them into thinking they’ll lose their stronghold?

Comment by Rob

Thanks for your kind words Niko, but I don’t know if the independents are beating the competition, at least the really big competition.

It would be nice to think we are – however I think we’re viewed more as an irritant than anything more – and that should be the goal, turn ourselves into a BDA virus, because what other way can we help them actually start doing good work than to scare them into thinking they’ll lose their stronghold?

Comment by Rob

rob – yes, I would agree with that.

andy – thank you.

Comment by Marcus

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