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

I Spy With My Telescopic Eye …
February 3, 2010, 6:01 am
Filed under: Comment

I am incredibly fortunate that my job requires me to travel … however as the last time I wrote about that, I was accused of being Mother Nature’s nemesis, so in the interests of peace and tranquillity, I will move swiftly on.

So recently I had the pleasure of staying in the delightful Grand Hyatt hotel.

Without doubt I am not the sort of person that belongs in places like that – but they were incredibly kind and gracious and even upgraded me to a bloody suite that just about guaranteed my positive view of them for years to come.

Well it did till I went into the bathroom.


Can you see my problem?

I doubt it because ‘size’ is the very issue I’m about to rant about.

OK, I’ll help you …

Can you see the plug socket?

It’s just below that shaving mirror thing that’s attached to the bloody huge mirror which is reflecting the bathrobe.

See it?

Got it?

OK … now look a bit above that.

You can’t see anything can you?

Well that’s what I’m ranting about because what actually is there is this:


Yep … it’s the world’s smallest bloody clock … a clock so small that even mice would need to put their glasses on to read it.

WHY??? WHY??? WHY????

To make it even more stupid, not only is it small, it’s bloody low down so there is a real chance someone could spend ages in there and never notice the clock at all!

At what point did someone think this was a good idea … and has this person ever interacted with real people and real hotel guests?

To me, this is like one of those ads that people need to have explained to them because the only people who ‘get it’, are the clients who have been talking about it intensely for 4000 years and the creative teams who feel it is a chance to show off their David Lynchesque brilliance, regardless of the fact the thing is supposed to have an actual commercial purpose such as making people notice it and – at the very least – want to find out more.

Doddsy recently wrote a great post called ‘Glanceable Marketing’ … and whilst his focus was on a slightly different issue, the underlying idea is very relevant to this post both interms of ill-placed and ill-sized bathroom components and overly-complex or complicated communication because if someone can’t work out the purpose and meaning of something in an instant, then the chance of them spending more time getting more deeply connected is unlikely.

That doesn’t mean you have to smash people over the head with the obvious, blatant, rational and lowest-common-denominator shit, but it does mean you should understand the needs, fears, wants and desires of your ‘user’ – not to mention the place your message/appliance has in their lives so you can craft/develop it to have maximum impact or heightened importance – because if you only do stuff that appeals to you, then you’re forgetting the reason why people are paying you a shitload of cash and ultimately contributing to the level of scepticism and scrutiny that this industry experiences from business each and every day.

Don’t get me wrong, maintaining high standards is massively important – and should always do things that make you feel good/proud/happy – but if you forget the needs and views of the client and the public in your creation, then you’d better be prepared to either answer a hell of a lot of questions or get some new clients. Quick.

24 Comments so far
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Was going to make a comment but then noticed you were writing about your very small clock.

Comment by John

I’m guessing that it was an afterthought to replace something that used to be there. Maybe a smaller socket.

Comment by John

didnt you listen to what i fucking said yesaterday. at least youve not written a load of wank to build up to the worlds unfunniest joke which is something i suppose.

and if you didnt stay in such fucking gay hotels you wouldnt have bathrooms with clocks that double as an eye test.

i like the glanceable marketing term. doddsy is quite good when the stars are alligned isnt he? pity it happens only on leap years. and your last para is quite good. obvious as fuck but quite good all the same and sure to warm the girdle of auntie georges fluffy little heart. it even made me smile but only because you didnt say the word “insight” because its got fuckall to do with the term planners throw out at will and everything to do with common fucking sense, not that many bastards are capable of understanding that, especially fucking planners who think reading about something in books like that shit brand bubble mean its law and they dont have to get off their fucking arses and talk or check out life first fucking hand. if planners think thats what makes them clever then paris hilton must be a fucking genius.

Comment by andy@cynic

I’m in agreement with Andy about your hotel choice but that clock does seem to have been added as an afterthought or by a designer that doesn’t value practicality.

It’s little surprise so few agencies want to change their remuneration model when the current system allows so many of them to get paid even if they disregard the needs of the client in favour of chasing a creative award.

The advertising industry is as bad as Hollywood for handing out accolades for liitle substance but at least occaisonally their work can make a real difference on attitudes and behaviour.

I liked this post.

Comment by Pete

It’s almost as small as the little smiley face at the bottom starring at you when you look at the mobile version of this blog.

I think agencies often overlook their clients’ needs, fears, wants and desires is because a lot of the people running them are only looking after their own, often very short term, personal agendas. So they act accordingly and it’s all downhill from there. It’s not an easy problem to fix.

Comment by rafik

tick tock….

Comment by fredrik sarnblad

Interesting point regarding agencies preferring to keep their current remuneration model.

I am unsure how true that statement may be but for all the claims relating to being being underpaid and undervalued by business, very few agencies seem willing to do anything new to justify or earn it.

Good post, interesting comments.

Comment by Lee Hill

I don’t have this clock trouble when I travel. That’s because I stay in Accor hotels and have learned to be grateful for small mercies – like towels and toilet paper.

Comment by The Kaiser

firstly, i’m with The Kaiser on this one.

secondly, like a lot of stuff in adland, i originally aimed for optimism, wondering if it was perhaps a worthy idea with incredibly shit execution. my initial reading of it was less glanceable, more ‘discoverable’ design like the chapter 8, verse 12 detail here:
except in this case, the designer probably wasn’t one, or they are terrible at what they do, so it’s ended up a pile of crap.

and then i had another look at the photo and realised that, actually, it’s just a terrible idea and probably a cheap fix for a couple of complaints about the lack of a clock in the room.

as you were.

Comment by lauren

Accor! You posh bastard. I would like to point out that I only stay at hotels when others are paying because I am a tight bastard and could never justify spending $6 on a can of coke, let alone a few hundred bucks for a room that only has a bed that is of any use and even that’s too hard to have a good nights sleep.

Thank you.

Comment by Rob

Oh look … both Lauren and Marcus are back and both are picking on me. Well at least you’ll of made Andy happy.


Comment by Rob

Is in not a creative way to dispose of an unwanted long-service gift?

The shaver socket’s on sideways too.

Comment by Chris

So what you’re saying Chris is the Grand Hyatt shold position themselves as the ‘posh tip’.


It would definitely cut down on their operational costs … you might have just developed an idea that can generate the hotel group a massive surge in profits. Get your invoice in …

Comment by Rob

andy’s never happy, rob. but it’s nice to be back and picking on you again 🙂

Comment by lauren

But he’s a fine judge of people – I’ve always said that.

Comment by John

im happy when im fucking miserable or seeing campbell being bullied by people he likes so after seeing ms swearafuckload and mr shed in action im about as fucking happy as george michael in a public loo in the middle of a park at midnight with no fucking cops to be seen for fucking miles. and thats fucking happy.

Comment by andy@cynic

maybe the loupe got stolen. or the shaving mirror s got a secret function.

Comment by peggy

or campbells client thought he was only good enough to be put up in the reject suite. theyd be fucking right as well.

Comment by andy@cynic

Now wait a fucking minute

I gotta stand up for Campbell on this one..

sure the post could of done with some editing, or a simple link to Dodds’ post.

You could even pick on him for other things like, (from what i have heard, and in no way do i support rumours), taste in clothes, music, his loathing for certain entire nations (AUS), his killing of mother nature mile by mile in a sick twisted attempt to live out his George Clooney fanatasies.

but that is not the point. the point is:

say what you will about him, but without these prewritten, one thought stretched to it’s and ours utter limits (et tu Dodds ? ), posts, we all might, just might be a little less amused and wiser..

Got our back mate! 😉

Comment by niko

Corripe Cervisiam

Comment by John

did you fall and bang your fucking head niko?

apart from fawning over campbell like some cheap whore, ypu made some other mistakes because he did link to dodds post which maybe i should of checked out earlier so id know he didnt really come up with the fucking term so my previous praise of mr pervert is disqualified. lucky for you niko theres still a couple of digs at campbells expense which saves you from being visited by the men in white fucking coats and keeps you in the good books of brown, brown and boucher inc. just.

you have been warned.

Comment by andy@cynic

I honed the insight.

Comment by John

And I retract my compliment.

Comment by John

Niko is on my Christmas card list … well he would be if I actually sent any.

As for the rest of you, I’m going to tell my Mummy and she’s going to bash your nasty-spirited heads in.


Comment by Rob

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