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

Opposites Attract …
April 27, 2012, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

So yesterday, I spoke with my good friend, Charles Wigley – Chairman of BBH Asia – at the Asia Marketing Effectiveness conference.

While effectiveness is obviously a serious subject, we decided to approach it from a different angle, which was to basically attack some of the blatantly false ‘truths’ adland likes to bang on about because [1] they think that’s the cool thing to say [2] they only like focusing on the new and fashionable because that’s what they think/feel makes them look hip and relevant or [3] they haven’t bothered to look into the details.

Pulling it together was fun mainly because as much as Chaz and I are old friends with similar views on stuff, our approaches are quite different [read: his is professional, mine is shaky and shonky] so rather than just pull my usual stunt of making a presentation of pictures with a few words on each slide, I had to be a bit more detailed.

I’m sure you can imagine how traumatic that was for me.

Anyway, I think it came out rather well and while you won’t be able to necessarily tell what we’re going on about – especially the ‘piss taking bits’ – I thought I’d upload it anyway, if only for the fact this might be my first, and only, semi-serious presentation of my career.

It’s pretty big, so if you’re suffering from amnesia, may I suggest you get settled in your bed and then pull out your laptop, because by slide 3, there’s a good chance you’ll be in the land of nod, living the dream.

[An ever-so-slightly misquoted review of our presentation – featuring a 7 year old photo of yours truly and a very stylish Nottingham Forest calendar – can be seen here]

Oh, one last thing …

So tomorrow I’m off to Australia to go and insult the intelligence of even more people, so that means you’re free from my blogging rubbish for one, whole glorious week … so enjoy the peace, I know my colleagues will.


See the presentation bigger here.

PS: This is a low-res file because Slideshare only lets you upload 10mb for free and quite frankly, I’m not going to pay US$19 per month just so you can have a fancier looking preso that you won’t pay the slightest bit of attention to anyway.

44 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Brilliant presentation.
Brilliant review.
Brilliant points.
Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Pete

Thanks mate … though naturally the good bits are all Chaz.

Comment by Rob

You think we didn’t know that?

Comment by DH

As Lee mentioned in a comment yesterday, I’m guessing it was your idea to combine the presentation with BBH. Brilliant idea, adds even more authority to an already powerful presentation.

Comment by Pete

Bound to be Rob, you know how he likes to prepare to “share the blame”.

Comment by DH

Or he did it to justify this

Comment by Billy Whizz

You saw through my cunning plan. Not so cunning was it.

Comment by Rob

Sorry for all the “brilliants”.

Comment by Pete

So you should be.

Comment by John

Thank goodness Andrew is not here. I don’t think he would be as gentle as you have been.

Comment by Pete

2 questions.

1. I see Byron Sharp was also at the conference. Did you work with him on your presentation or simply borrow his information to demonstrate your points.

2. Was slide 29 an audience participation moment? More specifically, was it one of the aforementioned “pisstake” audience participation moments? Guessing it was which means that was, you guessed it, brilliant.

Comment by Pete

Purely coincidental. At first it was a case of “oh fuck, he’s going to say everything we’re going to say”, however what it did was basically give our presentation a bit more validity because not only could we be parasites off all his information, we went into a bit more detail regarding Asia based marketing so it all worked out in the end.

Well it did for us, god know what Byron thought of it all.

[Maybe he’s the Byron that slagged me off? Ha]

And yes, slide 29 was a massive pisstake – designed to highlight that not everyone – in fact far from everyone – sits there, desperate to join in some ad campaign.

That bit went down considerably well.

Comment by Rob

Hey Rob, I actually learnt something from this presentation.
Cooper black is your new impact.
The end.

Comment by Billy Whizz

That’s more than I’ve ever achieve before.

Comment by Rob

And W+K has helped you stretch your portfolio of stolen images.
Thanks Dan the man.

Comment by Billy Whizz

He’s still using his “erection” pic though isn’t he.

Comment by DH

Just realised that’s because he’s a big cock. Why didn’t I get that until now?

Comment by DH

I mean why didn’t I get that he keeps using that image. I don’t want any jokes about not getting a big cock till today.

Comment by DH

Nice muppet picture. Apt.

Comment by DH

Thanks. Thought you’d like that.

Comment by Rob

Thanks for sharing Rob, it’s a great presentation.

One of the best lessons from this presentation is seeing how you put something like this together.

Clean and clear slides.
Everything designed to augment your presentation rather than be your presentation.
Even without the aid of a verbal narrative, you can tell each section tells a story.
Serious information expressed in simple and charming ways.
Attention to detail.
Mischievousness built in.

For you, this is a very long presentation but it didn’t feel that way which is testimony to how interesting your point of view was and how well you put it all together.

Hope people recognise how important it is to follow how you express your presentations not just what you say.

Comment by Bazza

Great points Baz. I think you just wrote “Rob presenting 101”.

Comment by Pete

You make me sound far better than we both know I am. Besides, it’s only done so I don’t commit to anything and can wiggle/manipulate my way out-of or into stuff. Ha.

Comment by Rob

You deserve all the praise you will get from this Robert. Great, informative and very enjoyable read. I can only imagine seeing you deliver it in the flesh would increase its entertainment and educational value.

Comment by George

Apparently Chaz and I are the new Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer. Or Morecome & Wise 2.0. Eitherway, I know the role I get out of the 2 and it’s not the cooler, funny one. Damn.

Comment by Rob

Rosewood and Taggart?

Comment by northern

Little and Large.

Comment by John

Artoo and Threepio

Comment by northern

What was the audience reaction? And was there a Q&A?

Comment by John

Good question John.

Not really sure. I think people liked it – we certainly had quite a few folk come up and tell us – but apart from the reaction at all Asian conferences being relatively subdued [though that could be just when I present] it might have caused a few uncomfortable moments when we basically highlighted we’re all – in some way – victims of hype. Then in Asia, effectiveness tends to be really measured on whether your boss likes what you’re doing, regardless of it’s ultimate commercial success.

And yes, there was a mini Q&A at the end … nothing really challenging the data, more about questioning how you should approach briefs when armed with these facts.

Comment by Rob

The Geography of Thought is a brilliant book. I’m not used to seeing slide desk that quote brilliant books…

…or any books at all.

Comment by fernandogros

That’s just because we’re more honest about who we’re stealing our ideas from.

Did you like the way we [1] related it to adland and [2] summed it all up in 2 slides.

We could probably re-write ‘War & Peace’ in one tweet.


Comment by Rob

Entertaining and thought provoking. Excellent.

Comment by Lee Hill

Nice rant, very casse-couilles as they say here in France.
The only loose end to me is the so what of TV + Digital interaction. 40% of people already have a device in their hands while watching TV, etc. That kind of stuff.

Comment by adrian r mediavilla (@adrimedia)

Not sure if I understand what you’re saying Adrian.

Yes – 40% of people have a device in their hand, we’re not questioning that or undermining that – the point of our presentation wasn’t “Television Is Better Than Digital” [or the other way round] it was that:

[1] Much of adland likes to deny the power of television in delivering effective reach, which is wrong from an independent data perspective – especially in China.


[2] We don’t think it should ever be a question of choosing one medium rather than the other … and yet that seems to be the debate that rages on, which is ridiculous, especially when we claim to be focused on genuine marketing effectiveness rather than some bullshit/questionable R&F or awareness metrics.

Besides, the most effective marketing of the last 15 years has come through product development, not marketing – which puts it all in to perspective.

This wasn’t a presentation with the goal to big up any specific media, we love digital as much as television as much as print as much as new product development … it was more a presentation to say that if you look at the real facts, a different picture to the one many believe tends to emerge and the rest is up to you.

Thanks for writing in, hope you come back again soon and add some French flair to the commentary bleakness, ha!

Comment by Rob

And one of the biggest myths is that tons of people see above the line stuff and immediately want to go deeper on digital stuff, even if there’s an opportunity in real time
The data doesn’t show this, mostly, of course because the experience on offer is bollocks, but also simply because even the very best ads and stuff cut through but most people have better stuff to do.
There are excpetions of course, but they really are the ones that prove the rule.

Comment by northern

Got the point of TV still growing at a healthy rate pretty much everywhere (even if more so in -no offense intended- ’emerging countries’).

My point is that you say effectiveness grows when you put TV and digital together, but -unless I’m missing something on slide 17- you do not show any figures that prove this point.

As for product development, I totally agree with you. In fact one of the most successful brands nowadays, Zara, does zero advertising. Rien de rien.

I once dared to say that sometimes even Apple, who has traditionally had great ads (although all their iPad campaigns are crap), may not need advertising at all.

You’d love it here in France, the land where the glass is always half empty.

Comment by adrian r mediavilla (@adrimedia)

Fair enough …

At the preso, we quoted a lot of references that highlight that exact point and in the preso, there are references to work and findings by both Peter Field & WARC that back up that point and back it up over years, not just individual campaigns.

Peter Field is fascinating – well worth delving into the work he has been doing, really helps people understand the difference between ‘popular’ and ‘effective’.

Comment by Rob

I would have enjoyed seeing this.
And thankyou for sharing, it’s both inspiring and helpful.
I have one quibble, which is actually with Saint Dan. The thrust of what you’re saying, I think, is that people don’t really care about brands that much and the challenge is to create (relevantly) distinctive stuff that gets their attention in the right way.
That seems at odds with Sain Dan’s ‘we create provocative relationships’ and start that with telly and use digital to deepen it. I hope he means, use the, mostly piddling, number of people who engage or even act on digital to create ‘peer reviewed reach’ and greater cut-through and ‘headlines’.

If it’s a punch up with you and Saint Dad though, the money’s on Dan, he’s old but he looks quite hard

Comment by northern

Yes and no.

We’re not saying people don’t care about brands – we’re just saying it’s far less than the industry likes to claim.

Byron Sharp used a great example when Tropicana changed their logo and then – after public outcry changed it back. The marketing community claimed it was because ‘they had a deep emotional bond with the brand and it’s packaging’ however his studies highlighted that in reality, it was because people couldn’t find it on the supermarket shelves as easily.

That said, the main thrust was that apart from too many marketers thinking they have huge waves of support [even though the data highlighted that only about 10% of a brands sales came from committed users] you have to keep working at developing ‘loyalty and love’ rather than simply doing one thing well, and then try to live off it for 100 years.

In short, NIKE don’t take their ‘fans’ for granted – they keep doing to stuff to earn it, keep it, believe it …. it’s not about resting on some false laurels, it’s about keeping the energy and tension alive.

Does that make sense?

I’m not saying that because Uncle Dan could beat my ass [which he could] it’s because provocative relationships help make people care as long as it’s backed up with good products, good distribution and constant [positive] tension.

Comment by Rob

Whitney Houston could beat Rob up. Even in her present state, so Dan definitely could.

Comment by DH

Good stuff, but I really struggle with your slideshare presentations. They need a sound track. Will there be a video?

Comment by Marcus

It’s my inbuilt copyright protection system. Alright, it’s my ‘let me talk around stuff on the fly because I have left it too late’ system.

Comment by Rob


There’s a recent JWT report on GenZ that talks about how important TV still is to young people. Worth a look.

Comment by Rob Mortimer (Not a fake Andy)

Leave a Reply