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


A[P]SOTW Update: What The Fuck Is Going On?
November 23, 2012, 6:10 am
Filed under: Advertising [Planning] School On The Web

So some of you might be wondering what the fuck is going on with the A[P]SOTW judging.

Well the good news is that I should have all the comments back from all the judges by Monday evening.

[Are you hearing that judges???]

What that means is that once they’re all in my grubby little hands, I have to read them and then compile them into some semblance of order – and sense – so I can write a bloody epic post to give you all the feedback you’re waiting on.

Given there were over 20 submissions this time, it might be easier if I do it over a couple of posts for fear of getting an entry in the Guinness Book of Records for ‘longest blog post in the entire universe’.

As we’re near the end of the year and you’ll all soon be going out and getting pissed out your heads under the guise of ‘Christmas spirit’, I will endeavor to do this within 2 weeks.

I know Northern will question that, but I will … if only for the fact I’d like to bloody enjoy the anti-climax that is Santa’s annual visit.

Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to shout.

What I can say is that we had a very broad range of responses – with a couple approaching the challenge in a similar way to the way I would have – which I’ll leave up to you to determine whether that’s a compliment or an insult.

So until then, have a toptastic weekend.



The Delusion And Illusion That Makes Us Buy …
November 22, 2012, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

A long time ago – well, 4 months ago – I wrote about how a trip to the local ASDA in Nottingham had demonstrated how supermarkets know more about people than planners.

Well, after my recent trip home for my Mum’s 80th birthday celebrations, they’ve gone and done it again.

While I was running up and down the aisles like a 5 year old who had got away from his Mum, I chanced upon this:

Can you see it?

It’s a book reading light next to the hot chocolates drinks.

In other words, it’s an all in one, ‘cosy for the night’ pack.

Now I know I slagged off book reading lights a while back and so suddenly bigging it up makes me look a hypocrite, but apart from [1] this is not a USB powered light, which was the main issue I had with the previous example and [2] being classed as a hypocrite has never stopped me making hypocritical comments in the past … this product tie-in of hot chocolate and book reading light seems a match made in heaven.

No, not in the sense that people actually do this sort of thing, but because people – or at least some people – like the idea of doing that sort of thing.

It’s called ‘romantic notions’ and it affects everyone in different ways.

I remember when we first moved to Singapore and were buying furniture.

There was a rather glorious chair that Jill wanted.

Really … really … wanted.

But given we had already bought all the furniture we needed, there was no place for it.

Or so I thought.

“But we can put it in the bedroom, by the window”, she declared.

At that very moment, I could see inside her head.

The chair … the bedroom … the window.

No, it wasn’t for some weird sex show for the neighbours, it was so she could sit there – on a Sunday afternoon as the sun was starting to set – legs curled up beneath her, reading some Emily Bronte novel with the cat [which we didn’t have yet] curled up on her lap, gently purring.

THAT is why she wanted the chair.

It was a key piece to live out her romantic notion.

So we bought that chair and you know what she did with it?

Put her fucking clothes on it.

She didn’t sit on it, reading a book, EVER.

NOT ONCE!

And that is why the person at ASDA is such an evil genius.

Because people don’t actually lie in bed, with a hot cup of hot chocolate in one hand, a book – with reading lamp attached to the top – in the other, on a cold, cold wintery night. They only do it in their heads.

Apart from the fact turning the page would be a complete bitch, we all know that within 10 minutes, the person lying next to you will complain that “your light is shining in my eyes so can you please turn it off because I’m trying to sleep.”

Then there’s the fact that according to some, we only use iPads for reading now – which, if it was true [which it isn’t] would have killed the book light reading business by now and yet everywhere I go, I see one of the bastards things for sale.

Supermarkets.

Airports.

DIY stores.

Chemists.

EVERYWHERE!

So remember, planning [yes, here’s the spurious link] isn’t just about understanding societies reality, it’s also about understanding the reality of their fantasy.



If This Is Music, Kill Me Now …
November 21, 2012, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

So I know writing this post is going to open me up to all sorts of abuse.

You’ll say things like:

1. What would I know about quality music when I love Queen.

2. I sound like the 42 year old man I am.

3. I’m making a judgement on societies tastes when I keep saying planners, should observe them, not abuse them.

However I do have a pretty good defense.

No, I’m not going to say that while later Queen music was a bit pants, their early stuff was brilliant and anyone who likes Muse should check out Freddie and gangs, Queen II or Sheer Heart Attack albums. Nor am I going to say that I am a ‘young’ 42 year old because while I like stupid gadgets, fashion [ahem!] and television – I plainly am not. Nor will I point out that I am not trying to change anything, I’m just making an observation.

Oh no.

My defense is simply quoting some of the lyrics to teens sensation, One Direction, new song – Little Things – which I had the terrible misfortune of hearing in the car recently.

“Your hand fits in mine like it’s made just for me.
But bear this mind it was meant to be.
And I’m joining up the dots with the freckles on your cheeks.
And it all makes sense to me.

I know you’ve never loved the crinkles by your eyes when you smile.
You’ve never loved your stomach or your thighs.
The dimples in your back at the bottom of your spine.
But I’ll love them endlessly.

You can’t go to bed without a cup of tea.
Maybe that’s the reason that you talk in your sleep.
And all those conversations are the secrets that I keep.
Though it makes no sense to me.

I know you’ve never loved the sound of your voice on tape.
You never want to know how much you weigh.
You still have to squeeze into your jeans.
But you’re perfect to me.”

What the fucking fuck????

Dot to dot with the freckles!

You never loved your stomach or your thighs!

Or the dimples at the bottom of your spine!

I know you’ve never loved the sound of your voice on tape!

You never want to know how much you weigh!

You still have to squeeze into your jeans!

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Now sadly, I know why young girls will like this – not just because it’s sung by a bunch of pre-pubecesent pretty boys – but because it covers a bunch of the issues they worry about in their teens [and beyond] – which proves this song wasn’t written by musicians, but by a fucking focus group.

You can take the piss all you like out of Queen and their “Scaramouche, scaramouche, will you do the Fandango” lyrics, but at least they didn’t fucking write utter trite, uber-manufactured tat like that One Direction shit.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about HMV and their owners decision to ban staff from showing tattoos or having long hair.

Well, if they add, ‘do not sell One Direction songs’ to that list, I might let them off, because while every generation has their own ‘musical favourites’, there is no excuse … utterly NO excuse … for this sort of shit and I just hope they go the way of Five Star and countless other ‘flavour of the month/year’ bands and end up in the ‘where are they now’ dustbin.

Sadly, judging by the ‘facts’ presented here, I’m not sure that will be the case.

Come back Wham, all is forgiven, even that ‘Wake me up before you go go’ rubbish.



All Bases Covered …
November 20, 2012, 6:00 am
Filed under: Comment

So when I was driving up to Nottingham – from Heathrow Airport – to see my Mum a few weeks ago, I stopped off at a service station for a coffee and toilet break [not in that order].

While there, I saw a product dispenser that seemed to really understand the needs of the average British male.

Let me rephrase that.

While there, I saw a product dispenser that seemed to specifically cater for the sexual needs of the average British male.

OK, so it didn’t offer you the ability to obtain a nubile, young female to entertain you … but it did sell condoms so you could practice safe sex as well as headache pills so she wouldn’t have an excuse for not having safe sex with you.

Obviously designed by a man who has suffered great frustration in the ‘sealing the deal’ stakes.

In fact, if the machine also offered a ‘how to’ guide on personal grooming and developing a personality, I think it would have pretty much every possibility covered … except for the slightly annoying fact that buying condoms from a service station on the M1 is possibly one of the least erotic things you can do.

Unless you’re from Derby, because those freaks would fuck a hole in the floor.

Or the back of a sheep.

Allegedly.



Am I Nostradamus?
November 19, 2012, 6:20 am
Filed under: Comment

That’s quite the title isn’t it?!

Now I know what you’re thinking, “No Rob, you’re not!”

And you’re probably right.

In fact, I hope you are because otherwise we’re all fucking doomed.

However the reason I wrote that massively inflated ego blog post title is because last week, Nick Brien – the CEO of McCann – was fired and I couldn’t but help remember a post I wrote a while back about what I think one of their fundamental problems is.

Sure, losing an alleged 25% of revenue is a career limiting move for anyone, but again – was it him or was it the structure and attitude of the organisation that didn’t want to change when all signs were/are screaming ‘DANGER AHEAD’.

Mind you, if the CEO can’t do it then they have to go, regardless of revenue loss.

Which makes me feel slightly less guilty that I was such a prick to that guy in the States who ‘wanted a chat’.

As well as slightly vindicated. Ahem.