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

Sink or Think …
September 25, 2009, 6:28 am
Filed under: Comment

As you can see, I survived. Sorry – I’ll try less hard next time.

Right let’s get on with this shall we?

A while back, people started asking whether Google had made us all stupid because they had allowed all the ‘answers’ to be ‘out there’ …

To be honest, my view was – and continues to be – that anyone who thinks [1] Google is to blame and [2] Google has all the answers is the really stupid one, however as much as it pains me, I do have to admit there does seem to be an ever-growing body of folk who seem to manage to go through life without ever switching their brain on.

People who appear on Jerry Springer.
People who think Zac Efron is talented.
People who support Derby County.
Multinational Ad Agency CEO’s.

OK, so we all have bad days … or in my case, bad decades … however this isn’t the fault of bloody Google, it’s the fault of anyone who advocates ‘shortcuts’ to achievement.

Yes, I know I’ve written about this a million times, but it really, truly, madly bugs-the-shit-out-of-me … however the thing that scares me more is that instead of brands fighting against this ‘dumbing down’ of society, embrace it.

I remember a few years ago being in a meeting where the client was complaining our commercial for their uber-priced television was too complicated.

Now whilst I know agencies can – on occasion – go up their own arse, this wasn’t one of those situations.

After a few minutes, I asked if they wanted an ad that was as easy to understand as Mr Bean, the shit Rowan Atkinson television thing.

“Yes, YES, YEEESSSSS!” they screamed in delight – happy I understood them.

After their euphoria had died down, I calmly pointed out that while Mr Bean may be very popular throughout Asia, I very much doubt someone would buy a US$18,000 [!!!] television he endorsed.

The look on their faces was bordering on pathetic … but it sank even lower when I told them that I wasn’t going to recommend doing an ad that featured pseudo-success imagery either.

For me, there’s two ‘strategies’ that annoy the crap out of me: Spoon feeding [ie: dumb down] & Mirror Success [ie: buy product ‘X’ and you’ll be as successful & good looking as the people on the screen]

Anyway, I’m going totally off tangent because all I wanted to talk about was this …

Yep, it’s a photo of 2 women: 1 old bird and Jennifer Garner.

Now I know it would be wrong to assume the cult of celebratory has infiltrated all levels of society, but given this pic came from US magazine – the tabloid’s tabloid – I really think it was unnecessary for them to add this to the pic …

Can you see what I’m going on about?

Yep, it’s the fact they highlighted Jennifer is the one on the right.

You don’t fucking say!

Look, I know Kylie looked about 50 years older when she stopped pumping botox into her face, but let’s face it, for Jen to be mistaken for her Mum, she’d of had to be in the make-up trailer for some horror movie for about 36 weeks.

I believe adland has incredible power to do good.

I’m not talking about developing ideas that help charities [though they should do that too], I’m talking about countering cultural attitudes and behaviours … I just hope more agencies stop taking the easy path because even though it will make people less ‘advertising gullible’, it will show just what we’re capable of and force [some] brands to start focusing on doing the right thing rather than just churn out more lowest-common-denominator rubbish or the same old thing with a microcosm of change.

My name is Robert Campbell. Remember the name, you might not hear it again!

26 Comments so far
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funny how this post is about thinking yet you missed the real fucking issue here.

if women do end up looking like their mothers then ben affleck has married a reverse and twisted fucking fairytale: a swan that turns into a fucking moose.

sure hes getting good use out of the garner golden years but its all going to end in mirror shattering tears, mark my fucking words.

im surprised mr planner didnt notice this glaring insight unless you did it to weed out the real intellectual colossus on this piece of shit blog of yours which means you are a cunning little bastard as well as a total fucking idiot because there was never any doubt in who that would be. according to me anyway. lol.

Comment by andy@cynic

what bugs me more is that it obviously took three people to fill that page and maybe another one with approx. five photographs and some fifty words.

does anyone know what ben’s dad looks like. might end worse for jen mind you. but let s not talk about superficialities 🙂

Comment by peggy

And all is back to normal. 🙂

Didn’t you do a campaign for someone once with this as the idea? Something like “use it or lose it” or have I just shown I’ve lost it?

BTW I caught your piece on inspiration, you should post it because it was great and links in with this, especially on the future of planning.

Comment by Pete

I don’t know if I should admit this as it shows Andrew’s all conquering influence – but I too had thought of the implications on Ben’s marriage as he grows old with the currently babelicious Jen Garner.

However, to avoid the risk of shit and to show my ‘new man’ credentials, I thought it would be best to keep it to myself, safe in the knowledge that my dear Andy would no doubt see it and show about as much subtelty as a KISS concert.

I feel vindicated. 🙂

Comment by Rob

Adland does have the incredible power to do good…and still the shit we’re supposed to sell. Why encourage the stupidity when we could do work that might elevate the silly masses a notch higher on the IQ scale. And BTW, I love how you all swear at one another. You must all be quite good friends!

Comment by adchick

Hello adchick, it’s been ages – how the hell are you?

I know I sound a totally hippy shit, but I really believe there is a way to make clients rich through ideas that genuinely benefit the wider society. It’s not easy, but it can be done and yet so many go for the easy option because the time it takes to ‘think’ is now viewed as a cost rather than an investment – which is, in my mind, bloody criminal.

Saying that, in a couple of weeks I hope to show how a little thinking can make my hippy point of view be seen as commercially effective and then I can sit back and look a smug bastard. At least for a minute.

As for us all swearing at eachother. It’s our attempt to look macho because we’re all wimpy buggers. Except me, of course. 😉

Comment by Rob

Yes, but Ben Affleck with probably just dump her for a younger model once she gets a bit jowly

Comment by northern

Good point NP, afterall he did that with J-Lo didn’t he.

Comment by Rob

That last comment made me laugh out loud.

Comment by Bazza

Shows you what effect Hollywood has on people…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Speaking of adland having the power to do good – this is one boy who definitely put his money where his big mouth is. I’m sure you know Rob was in China at the Moon Bear Rescue Centre. What you did not know was that he was very generously helping Animals Asia get on track with their strategy….and that he did!

Thought you might like to know what transpired during the week. Unfortunately I can’t upload photos on here but you can see them on my facebook page –

And if that fails….here’s a summary…

Day 1 – Met a bear called Sunshine, who coincidentally out of 23 bears in the enclosure was the only one walked towards Rob and plonked himself in front of him.
Day 2 – Had the entire management team eating out of the palm of his hand …..some of the women wanted to take him home by the end of the day. And no, it’s not because the bears were the only other option.
Day 3 – Dewormed a 6ft 150kg bear. Yep, Rob dewormed a bear. Well in the form of marshmellows dipped in chocolate sauce….

I think the highlight of his trip was he discovered the size of a bear’s penis….then the comparisons started and I’ll leave the rest to him to brag about.

RC, I can’t thank you enough for donating your time and intelligence to what I think is a really worthy cause. You were brilliant. The only thing bigger than your opinionated gob is your big heart!

I’m going to miss you more than I can imagine.

Comment by Juanita

Or what effect plastic surgery has on Hollywood people 😉

Comment by Rob

I paid them Juanita 🙂

PS: You’re a sweetie.

Comment by Rob

theres 2 reasons why half the women wanted to take campbell home.

1 he looks so fucking rough they knew they wouldnt get mugged
2 they thought he was a fucking bear with facial injuries

and i bet the half that wanted him were the fugly half

Comment by andy@cynic

the only way campbell could brag that his cock was bigger than a 6ft bear is if he was competing against some chick bear. and then it would be a fucking photo finish.

and feed bears marshmallows? pretend to more like then stuff them in his fucking gob when no one was looking.

you dont know campbell that fuking well do you juanita. he is pure fucking evil.

crocodile hunter man must be turning in his fucking grave.

Comment by andy@cynic

and is it a fucking coincidence youre fucking off somewhere after spending a few days in campbells company?

thought not. at least you have more fucking taste than half your fucking bear friends.

Comment by andy@cynic

rob helping the bears and cute sunshine must have touched your heart andy. three comments in a row 🙂

it touched my heart anyway. and i hope there will be more bears saved – or better – not being treated wrong in the first place. now i might sound a little pompous, but… thanks to everyone who is saving animals from suffering. it s a sign of humanity.

i hope the media starts reporting on important issues, instead of celebrities’ mothers, one day…

Comment by peggy

peggy. you really should stop practicing your miss fucking world speech on here because you know this blog is for cutting edge advertising debate only. (consider that your birthday present campbell because just typing it made me fucking sick)

for the record, my day has been totally fucked because instead of doing work ive spent the whole time trying to work out why anyone would want to take campbell home except police fucking pathologists. my conclusion is juanita is a fucking druggie and her comments are the effects of some bad fucking trip.

i know this because i did a sherlock holmes and removed all the other logical possibilities and thats the only one left that my brain and stomach can stand.

going to drink the thoughts out my fucking head. what a fucked friday.

Comment by andy@cynic

This is all very perturbing.

Comment by John

Do you really want me to start offering suggestions on the kind of women who would want to go home with you and why Andy?

Yes, thought not – so let’s leave it there shall we. Love ya!

Comment by Rob

i am a prick. peggy knows why. and shes fucking right. like all women tell me they are.

Comment by andy@cynic

Oh no, what have you done this time?

Actually I don’t want to know – you’re a big boy and I’m not paid by the UN so I’ll leave you to sort it out. For once. 🙂

Comment by Rob

since rob “loves ya” i am sure you are not a prick, andy. don t say anything against that now please. because as you said, i m right 🙂

Comment by peggy

you sound like georges wife. and mine. and 2 exes. and fucking george.

Comment by andy@cynic

[…] So a while back, I wrote a counter argument to the topic “Is Google Making Us Stupid“. […]

Pingback by Stop Blaming Google For Dumbing Us Down … « The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

When magazines state obvious facts like that I just think, “who do you think is reading your magazine? Some person that just crawled out from under a rock?” They really do not think sometimes.

Comment by Christina Cruz

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