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


Video Killed The Radio Star …
April 23, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: Advertising [Planning] School On The Web

… but it could quite possibly make the next advertising star [but hopefully not like Leo Burnett Sydney] because next Friday we’ll be launching the first A[P]SOTW assignment of 2010 and it’s going to involve you making your submission on video.

Yep … it’s time to comb your hair, wash your face and put on your best smile, because ‘pitching an idea’ is the general theme of the next challenge.

The specifics will be explained next week [as well as the list of judges] but hopefully because it won’t involve writing powerpoint docos or anything like that, it’ll attract more than just planners.

Right, go get your cameras ready and we’ll get this happening next week.

Comments Off on Video Killed The Radio Star …


Dear Leo Burnett Sydney …
April 23, 2010, 6:11 am
Filed under: Comment

… so you cried and whined to Youtube so they’d take the video of you acting like a bunch of muppets taken down.

You think that makes you clever don’t you?

Well sadly it doesn’t … because while you may think you’ve now protected your oh-so-pretentious brand image, the fact is the ad community now know what you’ve done/do and find your strategy of appealing to clients by acting like the lowest-common-denominator court jester very sad and very silly.

On top of that, having the video clip proudly announce that it is no longer available due to ‘a copyright claim by Leo Burnett‘ is just plain mental because you’re basically saying acting like twats is a unique attribute of your agency … no doubt developed through a proprietary tool called “twategy’ or something equally as inane.

But hey, that’s your right and I respect that … so instead of saying how I’d of respected you more if you’d just said it was a moment of insanity, I’ll simply hand this post over to Andy who made a rather insightful comment about your actions on my original post:

“theyve taken it down because leo burnett cried to youtube. you bunch of sad snivelling wankers. you did the crime so do the fucking time.

the good news is im closer to the youtube owners than lb ever will be so maybe a word in their shell like will get them to unrelease the clip and feature it on the fucking landing page.

next time leos talk about viral i hope it chokes them. the ad wankers who dont want to spread their message”

Couldn’t of said it better myself.



The Downside To Travelling Is You Have To Say ‘Goodbye’ Too Much …
April 22, 2010, 6:18 am
Filed under: Comment

I hope she’s right.

So today a friend of mine, Leon, leaves Hong Kong to move to Geneva.

I met Leon through this blog … and thanks to us both living in the same city … have had the pleasure of spending a fair amount of time in his – and his families – company.

Apart from him being just a top and talented guy, I love that when we meet, we hardly ever talk about advertising or communication theory … we talk about life.

Even though Leon is a very successful and highly regarded creative, I’ve always thought he would make an even better planner.

That’s not because his work isn’t great … it’s because he can define and describe emotions better than anyone I’ve ever met.

Whereas many creatives rely on film and music to convey emotion, he does it via general conversation … so things that we may regard as mundane or forgettable suddenly become circumstances of incredible beauty, wonder and magic.

That’s an amazing skill and I wish I had it … but I don’t … which is why whenever I talked to him, I would sit back and bask in the feelings and emotions he was able to create with his words.

Even though technology will allow me to stay in touch with him … it won’t be the same … and last week, when we had our last HK dinner, I got quite sentimental because if I am being honest with myself, I know there’s a good chance that I will never see him again and while that may be of huge relief to him, for me it’s a great loss.

So Leon, thank you for your friendship and support … stay in touch … and write those books.

Especially the second one.



Scam Judging Is More Damaging Than Scam Advertising …
April 21, 2010, 6:02 am
Filed under: Comment

There’s a load of award shows out there … and almost universally they have a fundamental flaw resulting in their validity being open to question and/or ridicule.

For example, I was recently asked to judge a rather well known award show only to be told that no entry was allowed to be given a score less than 5 out of 10.

When I asked why didn’t they just re-do the scoring system to be between 1 and 5, they told me that was just the way they did it … but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out the real reason is because it stops entries being given a publically humiliating score which may cause agencies to stop entering [read: paying] the awards the following year.

Seriously, if they wanted Paula Abdul to be the judge they should of just asked her … because all this approach does is undermine the value of the awards and maintains the petty, egotistical and delusion view most agencies have of themselves … a view that is ultimately destroying the long term prospects of their industry.

I wouldn’t mind so much if they didn’t take themselves so fucking seriously … but the way they act is like they’re fucking God, and of course the industry backs that view because it helps them feel important even though in the real World, what they do tends to be ignored or ridiculed.

Saying that, I love being invited to judge because I like the idea I can cause change from the inside … and whilst it doesn’t always happen/work … it’s better than just pointless throwing barbs from a distance.

Anyway, despite all that I want to talk about an award I like.

I like it for a bunch of reasons … of which not pretending to be saviour of the industry/universe is one of the main ones.

It comes from WARC … the marketing information people … and they are seeking entries that basically demonstrates unconventional thinking that achieved conventional commercial success.

Because ‘unconventional thinking’ is actually quite easy to determine … it means these awards will be crediting thinking/doing & effectiveness … things that many other awards claim to do, but have a process/system that undermines the importance of at least one of those elements.

Are there ways to ‘cheat the system’?

Of course … let’s face it, “effectiveness” is almost as ambiguous as the word “creative” … but at least the way this is set up means validity of entry is easy to determine: you’ve either embraced unconventional thinking [based on category/industry norms] or you haven’t.

It’s being judged by Alex Bogusky, no stranger to weird-yet-valid … has a US$10,000 prize and – the best bit – is it’s FREE TO ENTER, so even if your agency couldn’t give a fuck, you can submit an entry yourself.

This is the first year it’s running … but if they keep to the spirit of what they’re setting out to do and embrace more of a Simon Cowell judging philosophy rather than Paula Abdul … then this could be one of the most important awards of the industry in the next few years, so have a go – and if you have nothing to submit – make sure you do for next year.



Video May Of Killed The Radio Star, But Stupidity Killed The Agency …
April 20, 2010, 6:00 am
Filed under: Comment

First we that reputation vampire from Mindshare in the Netherlands.

Then Ogilvy in Greece decided to go one better and piss on the grave of their great founder.

And now – even though they took it down as soon as Mumbrella highlighted it [but obviously not as quick as some nimble fingered download evil genius!] – I’ve come across this snuff video from Leo Burnett’s Sydney … showing how excited they get when they win a pitch.

Does this show they’re fun to work with or more that they’re a bunch of jokers?

Maybe it’s me, but I can’t help but feel it looks like the sort of lowest-common-denominator stuff many brands churn out when they’re trying to demonstrate they’re “fun”.

Would Apple do this sort of thing?

Would NIKE?

Hell, would Mother, WK, BBH or Crispin?

Nope …

But then they’re all brands who have masses of inherent energy and can demonstrate it by how they work and what they produce … they’re not the sort of brand who has to create ‘brand mascots’ to walk around local fairs giving out candy to children in a desperate attempt to be noticed and liked, even though the type of children who notice and like this sort of stuff are the ones who have the loyalty of Larry King and the taste of Cher.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Leo’s took it down the moment someone accidently posted it up … however as it appears to be a ‘standard pitch ending video’, I assume its removal wasn’t because they thought it was [1] embarassing or [2] highlighting how they don’t tailor pitches to specific clients … it was because they probably think it’s such genius, they don’t want anyone copying it.

Don’t worry guys, I think your pitch-winning strategy is safe.

There’s some great people in Leo’s Sydney … people who have done some great and exciting work … but this is total and utter car crash material.

I’m sure some of their clients feel it showed/shows the agencies passion and sense of fun … but personally I’d rather drink bleach than work/pitch for the sort of organisation that thinks this is a good idea.

Just incase you hadn’t grasped it, I hate it … but then I hate most things don’t I!

NB: I am happy to make a twat of myself, I do it everyday on this blog as well as sometimes on video – but never to win some business, there’s not enough money in the World for that!