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

On Your Marks. Get Set. Underwhelm …
September 30, 2009, 6:56 am
Filed under: Comment

So last week I went to the SPIKES.

Overall it was pretty good, though as I wrote previously, Sir Ken Robertson [I mean, Robinson obviously – thanks for pointing out my stupidity there Simon, ha!] – a man who has never worked in advertising – stole the show for me both interms of his passion, his views on creativity and his ability to communicate without the need to show a single ad.

But that’s by the by … what this post is about is the gift bag you receive when you register.

Look, I know there’s an economic crisis going on but seriously, some of the ‘freebies’ were bloody awful.

I don’t mind getting cheap stuff – when you’ve grown up in Nottingham you’d regard a punch in the face as something nice – the issue I’ve got is just the bloody awful post-rationalisation that was used to justify the tat.

Come on folks, we’re in the creative intelligence business, surely we can come up with a half decent, semi-interesting/memorable justification for the stuff purchased from the local market stall.

My personal fave interms of total and unadulterated shittiness?

How about this beauty from McCann’s …

STAGE 1: “Oooooh a blue box. Maybe it’s some branded Tiffany’s stuff I can flog on ebay … can’t wait to see what’s inside”.


STAGE 3: “Ahhhhhh, the incredibly feable justification”

Jesus Christ is that bad or what?!

And what does ‘Helping our clients become the 800-pound gorillas in their own jungles’ actually mean?

Is it even 800 pounds? I always thought it was a 600 pound gorilla … which would mean McCann’s are saying they make their clients flabby and unsophisticated … which given a lot of their client roster kinda makes more sense.

Look I know it was an ad conference and all that, but this sort of lame-ass justification just makes them look incredibly sad. They’d of been better off if they’d just said …

“Our bosses won’t let us spend any money on something cool so have a gorilla”


“Something to give your kid to stop them asking you questions about their homework that you don’t even understand”

… because at least I’d smile and think they have a bit of a personality rather than it reinforcing all the negative [and quite possibly wrong] stereotypes that reside in my head about ‘Mcagency’.

Mind you, when you think about it, the whole concept of a ‘delegate’ bag is a bit mental.

As one of my colleagues, Kaj, said … in these ‘environmentally friendly times’, it might be better if we could do away with the whole concept of the ‘delegate bag’ and if it was absolutely vital, then it would be better if it wasn’t chock-a-block with all sorts of random pieces of paper so if you wanted more info about anything, you could SMS a particular number and get it sent back to you instantly.

I like this idea for 3 reasons …

1/ You wouldn’t need spinal surgery after the event because the bag was so heavy.

2/ You’d save a tree.

3/ Companies would be forced to focus on doing something interesting rather than just churning out another brainless leaflet.

But hey, who am I kidding … because for all adlands talk of creativity and intelligence … the only thing most of them care about is the ‘ad’ despite the fact the real proof of a creative environment is in how people [not just the one’s with “creative” on their business card] behave/think/act in the everyday, rather than when there’s an award show going on.

34 Comments so far
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i read somewhere that some guy at mccann said that the only agency regarded as more shit and boring than them was grey and he had no fucking intention to change that. apart from being a twat he looks like hes being true to his mediocre word with that fucking wank giveaway.

with imagination and justification like that i hope mccann get exactly what they fucking deserve and you can interpret that any fucking way you want.

finally pulled a half decent post out your arse campbell, theres probably a few more fuckers in there, theres plenty of pissing room.

have the commies got you? when are you back? not missing you, just working how much longer i can enjoy the peace and fucking nothing.

Comment by andy@cynic

I think you’re being very unfair to McCannt Rob. Rather than use cheap shit gorillas for their cheap shit giveaway they used cheap shit amputee gorillas for their cheap shit giveaway. Where the fuck is its legs and can I say it’s a good metaphor for the agency because they’re always pulling the legs away from their employees?

You’ve saved the bears Rob, what about helping out the poor cheap shit amputee gorillas. It’s fucked they can’t move but being forced into McCannt publicity is fucking cruel.

Comment by Billy Whizz

He may have stole the show and left an impact, but you still can’t get his name right 😉

I think it is 800lb gorilla (weight inflation?) but normally it is used in the pejorative sense by a challenger – seems weird that UM would want to “reclaim” the term…

Comment by Simon Kendrick

I’m appalled yet not surprised. Which appalls me.

Comment by Angus

If that ape is 800 pounds now, how big was he before they maimed him?

Seems destroying advertising isn’t enough for those guys but looking at their terrible Microsoft windows 7 launch “house party” idea, it is what they enjoy and excel at the most.

Comment by Bazza

Simon’s right, it’s “Robinson” Rob. Calling him “Robertson” won’t make him related to you. I’d change it before you see him or you may find dinner is cancelled.

Comment by Bazza

You would say that Baz. 🙂

What’s wrong with Sir Ken Robertson? Oh you think I mean Sir Ken Robinson … yeah he’s quite good too but not as good as Robertson.

Alright … alright, I buggered up, very embarassing, I will write his name 1000 times on a blackboard for punishment.

Comment by Rob


Comment by Marcus


(I speak Sony_

Comment by northern

I’m still in total shock over it …

Who the hell thought this was a good idea? Odds on they work in a cubicle in the finance department.

Comment by Rob

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
McCann Worldgroup Gorilla.
McCann who?


Comment by seb


Hello matey, how are you. Oh hang on, I’ve just seen you wrote a comment yesterday so will check that out for an update – assuming you gave an update or simply just came on and slagged everyone off for old times sake.

Nice to have you back matey …

Comment by Rob

You think this blog is like Cheers, Seb?

Bloody hell, why not just stick a knife in my back while you’re at it.

Unless that’s a good thing and the German humour didn’t come through. 🙂

Comment by Rob

I though Andy would show some reaction to comparing him to Cliff and Norm. But no. Whatever. All good so far. As I wrote. Lots of work. Lots of decorating the house or being forced to do something. And then the occassional being trapped in a house with the women’s national volleyball team of Sweden and approx. a bathtub full of vodka. Did I mention they were all ex-underwear…yes I did, did I?

Comment by seb

And I’m very happy that McCann was the only agency that didn’t even show a reaction to my application there after I was finished studying. Ahem.

Comment by seb

What a useful box.

Comment by Chris

He probably hasn’t responded to it Seb because he’s still locked in the shower trying to calm down from the sexually gratifying images you have just placed in his head. And yes, I include Norm and Cliff in that …

Comment by Rob

They should put a picture of Andy in the box.
Naked under the shower.
McCann, the man having a stiffy under the shower.
We can make you the man having a stiffy under the shower in your business as well.

Comment by seb

Can you stop putting those horrendous images in my mind – if you’re not careful, I will class this as an act of aggression and be forced to retaliate, which basically means complaining to my Mummy. Ha.

Comment by Rob

Some would say it was stupid for McCann to associate themselves with the metaphor for someone/something who can sit anywhere they damn well please. A tad out of line with the current mood methinks.

But I of course merely deplore the product placement disguised as a blogpost

Comment by John

I was young and needed the money.

Comment by Rob

they should have put some chocolate in there, too. for the mere joy of it.
or just an elephant

don t know how you found this john, but that link is fun 🙂

i like kaj’s idea! it would probably also save money

Comment by peggy

Ever since Emah, CJ and Katerina kicked him to touch, he’s been obsessed with me Peggy. Don’t worry, I have informed the Police.

Comment by Rob

Who leaked my dinner party guest list?

Comment by John

All that does is make me think of Fallon.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

It needs to be a masturbating ape holding some chocolate for that Mr M!

And the High Court leaked your guest list John, all the people have been placed in witness protection!

Comment by Rob

It would have been honest of McCann
to just have a big box. Empty.
Fits their creative culture.

Comment by seb

For Loreal they could use the same gifts they gave out in the 70’s and just stick a new face on them every year.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

this blog is like fucking singapore. nothing interesting ever fucking happens on it. except me. i should be fucking charging campbell for my appearances and wisdom

Comment by andy@cynic

Andy – Your ego is bigger than the sum of every iphone owner’s smug grin X Bono’s causal frown at the UN

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Appearances can be deceptive.

Comment by John

that s all too true since 12:40. you want to start charging rob, too, john? 🙂

Comment by peggy

stop trying to get in my pants mortimer you smooth talking man pleasing bastard.

Comment by andy@cynic

looking for tomorrow’s post, i just had a look at that monkey again. and burst out laughing. i m losing it

Comment by peggy

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