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

I Ran Away To The Circus But Didn’t Become The Clown …
February 24, 2011, 11:48 pm
Filed under: Comment

So it’s over … and it’s been great.

I had a thoroughly good time and despite being pretty blunt about what adland – and adland in Australia – needs to look at, I’ve not been slagged off too much. Hell, I even won – rather embarrassingly so, as Justin @ Google was fucking awesome – the Big Thinking Of Business.

Have these people got no shame. Or brains?


Anyway, as I wrote yesterday, I saw some fantastic speakers and got to meet some old friends as well as some lovely new ones, but I just want to quickly talk about two things that happened that took this conference to another level.

[New Dad Scott & BBH Asia CEO, Chaz. Those crazzzzzzy ad types.]

After my ‘Specialisation Is Leading To Limitation’ preso, I had a few people come up to me and very kindly say they liked what I’d said.

That felt brilliant by itself, but when the singer from the seriously fucking brilliant house band came up to me and said how much he liked it – a guy who had nothing to do with adland and wants nothing to do with adland – that made my day.

Apparently he liked that I said schools should never be run as a profit centre – which is absolutely true – however I wonder whether he’d of been so impressed with my passion if he’d heard my speech from the previous day where, according to Matt from BWM, I said about Qantas:

“If Qantas are the spirit of Australia, then we’re fucked”.

Who knows, but that genuinely meant a huge amount to me.

[I’m talking about the guys compliment, not my anti-Qantas jibe]

As for the second best thing that happened to me at the conference?

Well, I met Lauren.

Yes, THE Lauren.

After 4 or 5 years, we finally met up and – at least for me – it was awesome.

After getting over the initial shock that a woman I’ve spoken to almost every weekday for years and years on end [even though we had a disagreement on when/who/how we first ‘made contact’] was right in front of me, it was like a couple of old friends catching up, except it meant more to me than just that, it meant the absolute world.

This is not because she got me a Queen 45” record [“I Want It All”] but because she is one of the most wonderful, clever, inspiring, kind, rude, opinionated, passionate people I know.

What I especially love is that at a conference full of planners, this tattoo’d artist – a woman who has never worked a day in adland in her life – is smarter, more aware and more focused on issues and opportunities than many of the people plying their trade with that title on their business card.

To say I was wrapped to meet Lauren is a vast understatement and for some mad reason, when it was time to say goodbye, I started feeling I might cry.

How fucking weird is that?

Almost as weird as when the very, very lovely Katrina Wong @ Droga5 announced …

“I follow you on your blog”.

Lucky for me [and for Katrina] we both pulled ourselves together before we embarrassed ourselves once and for all, however I can honestly say it felt a real and genuine privilege to meet such an amazing and sickeningly talented person and I want to say right now how grateful and happy I am I saw her and I look forward to the time we can do it again and for much longer.

Final point, the people in Australian adland are very fucking gorgeous … way to fucking gorgeous … 4 in particular, but a gentlemen would never reveal their names, mainly because I don’t know them and I’d rather not be greeted off the plane by my wife with a divorce petition in her hand.

Thank you Sydney and to the Comms Council who invited me, it was wonderful and you did a top job.

39 Comments so far
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fucking hell. there are so many fucked up things in this post i dont know where to start.

you won. you fucking won. that is more depressing than thinking some ripe young flesh is being wasted on hugh fucking hefner.

and people fucking liked you. i knew aussies had fucked up taste, but i didnt realise it was that fucking bad.

then you met lauren. you fucking met her. what am i saying. i should be saying it to lauren. you met campbell. you fucking met campbell. what the fuck were you thinking. ill tell you what, you werent doing any fucking thinking at all.

i am ill. fucking ill. this has ruined my day. week. month. year. life.

Comment by andy@cynic

That’s right Andy, my Witch Doctor dance is to blame for all this – I can literally control he future.

Comment by Rob

good qantas ranting. you might have just fucking saved yourself with that.

you fucking won? with that shit? how?

no fucking wonder they have a ginger bitch for pm.

Comment by andy@cynic

Do you think Lauren is wearing her shades so no one recognizes her?

Is that your old army shirt Rob? Surely you have enough money by now to upgrade your wardrobe. Tight ass.

Comment by Billy Whizz

could be billy, could fucking be.

and elizabeth taylors periods come round more often than campbell updates his wardrobe so you shouldnt be fucking surprised billy. but if there was an overpriced fucking shirt made up of overpriced fucking electronic tat, the bastard would be updating his look more often than cheryl fucking tweedy. prick.

Comment by andy@cynic

I am officially hanging my head in shame.

Comment by Rob

I was wearing shades ‘cos the paparazzi were relentless.

Comment by lauren

Congratulations Robert. Do you know if it was recorded so we can also experience your shock and awe presentation in the flesh?

Comment by George

if thats not code for “laugh our fucking socks off at him prancing around the stage and the judges fucking shit taste in presenters” i dont know what is.

heard he had fucking groupies chasing him after his bollocks. groupies. hot ones apparently. maybe jill isnt a scientist doing an experiment. maybe aussie birds are just hot with totally fucking fucked up tastes.

explains that ugly french fuck who elle was married too.

Comment by andy@cynic

I feel sorry for the Australians, they wouldn’t have known what hit them.

Comment by George

first the ashes then fires and floods then campbell turns up in full on fucking fired up mode with scores to fucking settle.
life can really be shit cant it. maybe its all karma for giving us sylvania fucking waters.

Comment by andy@cynic

I tried to do you – and England – proud. I might have failed. Again.

Comment by Rob

one day, Campbell, one day.

Comment by marcus

only if youre really very fucking unlucky.

Comment by andy@cynic

He does have a point Marcus.

Comment by Rob

Congratulations on presentation. Would like to see a video of it. Possible?

Comment by Jan (drjanroodt on twitter)

Sadly I think there is …

I say sadly, because the image of my suave sophistication will be turned on its head and I’ll see that in reality, I’m a monster of vulgarity.

Comment by Rob

Discretely point me to the source then. I grew up in the Rocky Horror era, with Kiss, and Gary Glitter, and cut my teeth on Joy Division for measure, so I may be able to stomach it.

Comment by Jan Roodt

As soon as I know, you’ll know then my friend …

Comment by Rob

oh lordy. i spend years on this reputation of being loudmouth tough bitch, and you unravel it with one soppy love letter.

of course i’m playing up to it. it was so ridiculously normal to actually meet you, that it was scary. that’s right kids, normal. and it was hilarious to see people being a bit nervous about rob. perhaps I should have deferred a little more 🙂

and although I think oz adland needs a kick up the arse, I also think that he peeps there possibly will never hear what you really mean. because they didn’t vote for the google guy. in a way, they also proved that adland is totally into limitation 🙂

having said that, you also gave me a much-needed arsekicking, the truly amazing effects of which you will be completely ignorant. which is completely on brand for you. 🙂

next time, shanghai.

Comment by lauren

I know you think everyone thinks you’re a mouth, tough bird – but you have sadly let enough of your ‘other’ side to come out for us to know you’re one of the nicest, empathic humans around.

To prove you don’t know what’s going on, I would say you have completely made up that people were nervous meeting me … unless you mean they were scared of being seen with my ugly mug, which is more than 1000% true.

As you know, victory in the brain thing for business was bitter sweet for me. Of course it’s nice, but Justin @ Google had developed an idea that would revolutionise the ability for democracy to exist around the World and instead, people voted for a mouthy git shouting swear words backed by nice pictures.

Saying that it did highlight 2 real insights.

1/ To win business, you pitch around the issues the audience are directly impacted by, not what you want them to think about directly impacting.

2/ The problem with democracy is that people only vote for themselves – which perfectly demonstrates the slight flaw with Justin’s, quite frankly, amazing preso and viewpoint.

As I said to him afterwards, I felt like Sarah Palin and I’d just beaten Obama. He was gracious in defeat. He shouldn’t have been.

Comment by Rob

Well done on the win.
cheers E

Comment by eaon

See my comment to Lauren – it’s a hollow – but nice -victory.

Comment by Rob

And it was beyond tops to finally meet you matey.

Comment by Rob

Errrrrm, this is a report on my rant.

I should just clarify one point.

My issue with the ‘challenge’ section on the television show, “Gruen Transfer'” is – as I wrote here – that adland makes a big deal about solving clients business problems in media neutral ways and then tends to always solve the segments challenge using an ad.

I’m not anti ads – of course not – I’m just a bit dismayed we don’t realise that we’re perpetuating the myth that lost us our seat at the boardroom table in the first place.

The end.

Comment by Rob

nice use of the word “fucking”.

Comment by Marcus

Apart from gentle berating for false modesty, well done. Even Andy knows you deserve it, he’s too bitter and twisted to bring himself to say it. Whatever next

Comment by northern

I just saw that your other opponent was an old mate of mine from way back.My world is imploding

Unlike your stomach judging by that pic.

Comment by john

you know someone who is thicker than campbell? who the fuck are you, the samaritans for the fucking pathetic?

Comment by andy@cynic

Someone less able to fool a room full of ad-people. Not sure if that makes him thick. Wanting to be there might, but failing, im not so sure.

Comment by john

it makes your friend a fucking idiot if he thought he could convince a a bunch of adfucks to vote for soneone who has a real fucking job. that or hes a fucking egomaniac and if hes that, he should be in fucking adland.

Comment by andy@cynic

Ooooh, you bitch

Comment by northern

how fucking bad must the other competitors feel to be beaten by a fucking advertising twat. an advertising twat who is a planner. suicide inducing. probably what lauren feels like doing after meeting campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic

Congrats on the award, can’t say if it was deserved as I haven’t seen the others, but you are definitely deserving as I like what I’ve seen.

Can’t agree with the Sarah Palin comparison though. I don’t think the world could cope with a Rob Campbell version of Nailin’ Palin.

Comment by Simon Kendrick

I didn’t deserve it Simon … I’m not being modest, it’s true – Justin from Google did- but I’ll take it because it makes my Mum think her son isn’t a complete tool, even if he owes it all to knowing the audience rather than knowing big thinking.

Comment by Rob

Hi Rob,
I don’t want to blow smoke up your arse, but it was a good fucking rant. And if anyone appreciates swearing as much as the poms its the Aussies. That’s not why you won, but it was most likely a contributing factor. Well done, and thanks for the arse kicking. Aussie adland needs it.

Comment by Amy Stephens

Hi Amy, sorry I missed you at the conference – it would have been good to catch up and say some swear words at eachother.

I don’t know whether my words will have any good or not – some of it was done more as a “fuck you for not giving me a job 8 years ago” than wanting to help Aussie adland be better, but if it works [and based on my post last Friday, it seems to of had an impact at least on one person – and a client to boot!] it was worth it.

Hope you come by and say nice things to me again, because no other bastard ever will, ha!

Comment by Rob

Don’t worry, I’m sure after sitting through your presentation they’re kicking themselves they let your opinionated arse pass them by!

Comment by Amy

[…] Many years ago, I spoke at a conference in Australia called, Circus. […]

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