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

Inconsequential Annoyance …
August 27, 2012, 6:06 am
Filed under: Comment

Hello, I’m back.

I’d like to go on record and say judging/speaking at Adstars was very hard work and being located opposite a beach in the Korean equivalent of Miami was pure torture.

Was that convincing?

No, it didn’t work with my wife either.


Well after a great week meeting lovely people and visiting a wonderful place, the bad news is – for you and my colleagues – that I’m back.


Anyway, a confession.

I am petty.

I am very petty.

I am so petty, that I transcend the pettiness on the TV series, Grumpy Old Men.

I’ve shown how petty I am throughout the years on this blog – with notable low points here and here – however I recently came across something that even shocked me, in terms of the pettiness it stirred up inside.

What was the picture?


I know … I know … it’s for a bloody USB travel “light”.

Seriously, has anyone ever actually needed a travel light?

And if they have, have they needed a travel light that runs from a USB power source?

People must buy them – but why?

Do they think their hotel will suddenly run out of power.

Or maybe they think all bedside lamps will suddenly be banned.

Or possibly it’s a climber who thinks they’ll be a plug socket half way up a mountain so he can plug in his travel lamp and read his map.

It’s mental.

But that’s not what pissed me off, oh no … the issue I have is that the picture on the box shows the travel lamp plugged into an Apple Mac which is completely pointless given they already have a backlit keyboard.

I told you I was petty.

Yes, I know there’s countless reasons why someone might do that, but the story the picture communicates is that the lamp is allowing you to type on your keyboard.

In the dark.

Despite having a backlit keyboard.

And a screen that would be glowing, shining an artificial light on the keyboard.

Basically, that picture has just alienated anyone who has an Apple Mac from buying that product. Well, it has if that owner is petty.

And don’t get me started on their ‘tagline’.

“Why You Busy?”

What the fuck are they going on about???

OK, so it’s a product that has obviously not been developed in an English speaking nation, but with that … a futile picture on the box and a totally pointless product inside the box, I wouldn’t be surprised if it sells the best part of fuck all.

Yes I know this is a pathetic, pointless post [what’s new?] … and I know most people don’t give a damn and will still go out and bunches of products that serve no purpose … but the thing is, these things bother me, especially the packaging element.

Packaging is important. In some ways, it’s even more important than the advertising that attracts people to it.

It’s what creates the ‘ceremony of purchase’ and anyone who doesn’t think it is worth paying attention to, needs a good kicking.

Sure, it can go into total and utter wank, but for me – if you don’t pay attention to the little things [like using a Mac Book with backlit keyboard on the packaging] then why the hell would I believe you when you say this is a good product/brand for me to consider?

Yes, I appreciate this is a long post for something so bloody petty [I did warn you it would be at the start of the post] but the moral of the story [ahem!] is that little things make a much bigger difference than we like to give them credit for, so if you want to improve your odds of success, don’t just focus on the ‘big idea’ and get to know/appreciate and collaborate with people who work in the less glam disciplines of adland – like packaging, sales promotion, retail – because their influence is far greater than you’d imagine.

34 Comments so far
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Why you fussy?

Comment by John

You should see how pissed he got when light bulbs weren’t changed. Complete italian dramatics.

Comment by DH

It was – and is – important. If you don’t notice that a light bulb has stopped working, why should a client believe you’ll notice a mistake in their ad.

And no, I am not joking.

Comment by Rob

of all people, campbell has got no fucking right to be fussy about anyfuckingthing.

Comment by andy@cynic

You’re right and I had the same reaction before skim-reading your words, but is crap marketing for a crap product really the best way to make the point?

Comment by John

+ like.

Comment by DH

Yes, that would have been more efficient … but since when have I ever done that?

Comment by Rob

when it comes to paid work campbell, then youre the most fucking efficient bastard that ever lived.

Comment by andy@cynic

All that writing for the outer packaging of a usb light.

So you had plenty of time to waste at that korea thing last week. We’re so lucky.

Comment by DH

I have a week and a half of blog posts already pre-written. Thank you Korea.

Comment by Rob

Whats more useless and pointless.

A. This blog
B. A USB lamp/torch

Comment by Billy Whizz


I know this blog is useless and pointless, but that USB lamp is worse. Definitely. Categorically. Absolutely. Ahem.

Comment by Rob

Welcome back Rob.

USB lamps aside (you’re right, why do they exist?) this is a post about the importance of paying attention to detail.

The counter argument would be whether anyone who buys such items cares, but I guess the counter to that counter is it’s more about the standards you wish to operate at than the standards people are willing to accept.

Comment by Pete

Fair point Pete – especially regarding people who actively buy pointless USB lamps [though I do have a plethora of mental USB things – from cup warmers to missile launchers – so I’m hardly one to speak] … however you’re right, I don’t believe it’s just about doing the minimum standard of work to get people to respond to your campaign, it’s about putting craft and style and finesse in it.

Mind you, given the amount of work I witnessed last week at Adstars, putting in the minimum amount of work to get people to positively react to stuff might be a step in the right direction.

If only everything had been so lovingly created like this work for Mr Pizza – a campaign to help their expansion into the highly cluttered, over catered for, US pizza delivery market.


Comment by Rob

is this an ad or an award submission film?

its fucking good but if its an award submission i doubt very fucking much thats how the masses saw the whole campaign play out, more like how the agency and client wished they did.

fucking lovely campaign with a cheeky bastard idea in it and a great submission film, much better than the usual over serious bollocks that agencies churn out.

but why the fuck are they starting this film with some guy in the us, not italy? what am i missing?

Comment by andy@cynic

Good point Andy, I think you’ll find this video better – it’s the full award submission video … which also explains that the purpose of this campaign was to help Mr Pizza break into the US market … a country that already has an abundance of choices and probably doesn’t need another player – especially one from Korea – trying to break into it.


Comment by Rob

fucking magic but those “results” sound like someone trying to justify their production budget.

Comment by andy@cynic

I hate this seond video. Shoe-horning a lot of spurious claims into the mix in a clunky way that is entirely at odds with the original tone.

And QR oodes and the inevitable ROI claim -1600% return regardless of whether unearned media is effective or not. Why don’t they trust the quality of their work and leave it at that?

Comment by John

Because they tried to enter it in – among many others – the campaign effectiveness discipline.

Unsurprisingly it didn’t win that for the reasons – or lack of them – stated (though that unexplained figure of 1600% ROI was particularly creative, something one of the judges felt was more than acceptable) but for imagination and craft it was a corker.

Comment by Rob

Don’t get me wrong, the first video is really good but poorly served by the second.

For example, the seeding devices could have been mentioned in same breath as the v/o about the protest; the obviously fake tstimonies should have been explained as having been elicited from “experts” rather than lamely declare they were invented. That runs counter to the spirit of the original.

Similarly, don’t claim a conspiracy theory, it’s not, it;’s a provocation and when it comes to the ugc I guess it’s ok to mention it but clearly Croatian translations and discussions of Korean nationalism will have very little resonane in the US and so why highlight them?

And is it just me, but didn’t anyone question whether a placard that resembles Bin Laden is a smart choice?

Comment by John

and i thought campbell was being a petty little fuck in this post.

Comment by andy@cynic

I’ll take that as a compliment.

Comment by John

Especially as I’m characteristically highlighting ways to make something good better, whereas Rob is whining about something that’s irredeemably crap.

Comment by John

did your therapist tell you to say that?

Comment by andy@cynic

I can’t afford therapy.

Comment by John

Won’t they pay to study you?

Comment by DH

I can’t get anyone to pay me.

Comment by John

have you considered asking hot chicks to give you cash to leave them the fuck alone?

Comment by andy@cynic

fuck me your winter evenings must fucking fly by.

seriously campbell, all that for a fucking usb light. worse, the packing of a fucking usb light. havent you got better things to do. oh i forgot, you havent have you.

Comment by andy@cynic

Welcome back Robert. An overlong post but with a more important point than many may realise.

Comment by Lee Hill

thats because its buried under all his fucking planner wank words.

Comment by andy@cynic

I’ve tried mr pizza pizzas. They’re shit. Not enough cheese.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Unlike your good self.

Comment by John

the eu fucking stockpile on cheese hasnt got as much cheese as him. i think. fuck me, thats the last time i try and be fucking political.

Comment by andy@cynic

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