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

For Tina …
January 31, 2013, 9:05 am
Filed under: Comment

I know we didn’t really know eachother very well.

I know this outcome was ultimately – and sadly – expected.

But I was still incredibly upset to hear the news.

Incredibly upset.

And while I know writing a post does nothing, I felt I had to.

To mark today.

To honour your bravery, beauty and smiles.

You made a big impression on many. Not just Tim, but everyone.

That’s not the generosity of sadness speaking, that’s the truth.

It was way too soon. It was way too unfair.

Comments Off on For Tina …

Why Kodak Could Only Capture Moments, Not Memories.
January 31, 2013, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment


One of the most overused terms ever known.

It’s up there with ‘love’ and ‘revolution’ and ‘fun’ … and like those words, quite often it’s used in either the wrong context or with absolutely no understanding of what it actually is.

My basic rules of what constitutes an insight are:

+ They are about WHY people do or think or act in a particular way, NOT a descriptor of what they do, think or act.

+ If should take no more than 2 sentences – at most – to explain.

+ In a perfect world – when they hear it – people should nod, smile and say an enthusiastic “yes, that’s so true”.

Now I know some of adland think ‘insight’ is old, boring and creativity limiting – but I couldn’t disagree more.

In fact, I find it laughable that so many people are banging on about ‘global consumer truths’ … because if anything is limiting, it’s that.

It’s also utterly wrong because the way people express those ‘global human truths’ is very dependent on economy, culture, background, societal expectation etc etc.

In my experience, an insight is utterly liberating …

It gives you something you can grasp on to … something you can push up against … something that can create an idea with inherent tension, not just stating the bleeding obvious.

That said, I do agree there’s no such thing as ‘one super insight’

As I said 5 years ago, insights can come from many places and in my opinion, the problem is that too few people are willing to actually go looking for them … preferring to sit in the comfort of their office, hanging out with like-minded individuals and rehashing some research findings that were ultimately designed to confirm rather than reveal.

Ooooh, I got a bit feisty there didn’t I. Apologies.

Anyway, the reason I am saying all this is because I just read something from Alain de Botton that I loved:

OK, that quote doesn’t really explain ‘why’ our childhood is connected to biscuits, light, smell & textures – but lets be honest, it doesn’t take a genius to work out what he’s saying.

While a photo may stimulate certain memories of our childhood, it doesn’t do it with the all-encompassing power of smell, touch, taste & sound.

A lot of this is, in my view, connected to ‘frames of reference’ – those early experiences that set the benchmark/agenda for how you view situations/products/categories in later life … which is why my childhood will always be connected to Bourbon Biscuits, Cans of Tizer, patterned carpet, a golden light streaming in my bedroom because my yellow curtains weren’t totally pulled together and the sound of the Flymo mower on a Sunday morning.

Good memories. Warm memories. Powerful memories.

Which I suppose means all those instagram photos we take have fuck all to do with us capturing future memories life and everything to do with being a generation of egomaniacs.

Damn those insights.

You Know You’re Maturing When You Watch Others Achieve Success With A Sense Of Pride, Not Pettiness …
January 30, 2013, 6:12 am
Filed under: Comment

Once upon a time, I worked with a guy called Cass.

Cass was a ginger haired [despite trying to cover it up with dirty-blonde hair colouring] Scouser who was full of piss and vinegar.

He was also a Tranmere Rovers fan.

Despite all those deficiencies, he was fortunately blessed with a brilliant mind, good humour and a massive dollop of empathy which is why I not only put up with him, but ended up learning a hell of a lot from him.

To be honest, I have been trying to figure out a way for us to work together again for years, but every time I’ve got close to making it happen, he’s found a way to avoid it happening.

Told you he was smart.

Anyway, his latest attempt to build an obstacle to our partnership is to form his own company. The Station.

I’m not going to say how successful it will be because [1] that’s obvious and [2] it already is … but I will say how utterly proud I am of him.

I know this makes me sound like his Dad, but I don’t care.

When you’ve been doing what I do for as long as I’ve been doing it, you meet a whole host of people – some good, some bad, some ridiculous, some awesome – but literally from the moment I met Cass, you could tell he had something special.

Sure there was the odd issue or two [‘Mental Oriental Noodles’ and the ‘Paddle Pop Mit’ were particular highlights/lowlights] but that aside, his energy, passion, creativity and intelligence meant everyone he worked with – and for – ended up in a much better place creatively, commercially and professionally.

Yes, he’s that good.

The bastard.

I’ve always been a big believer in people starting their own company – if only so they can understand the bigger issues clients need to think about when making their decisions – however few people actually do anything about it.

There’s a load of reasons for that – some good, some bad … which is why anyone having a go should be be applauded.

However Cass has done something more.

He’s started a business with real purpose, passion and belief.

A business that stands a chance of actually changing something rather than simply claiming something.

To be honest, I think I can take credit for that.

Not because I taught Cass well, but because he was there at the start of cynic and probably learnt everything you shouldn’t do when starting a company.

I always told him he was too good [& too opinionated] to work for someone else, now everyone is going to learn why … and that excites me more than you would ever know.

When Will I Learn To Keep My Big, Stupid Mouth Shut?
January 29, 2013, 6:07 am
Filed under: Comment

As seen in Campaign.

And sadly, that’s not a one off either …

In their ‘end of year’ special, amongst all the very serious quotes talking about the future of the industry was this ‘gem’ …

If anyone has read Pratt of The Argus, I think I know what Henry Pratt felt, except this is all of my doing which makes it even more pathetic.

Rob Campbell. Lowering the tone of adland since 1989.

How To Destroy Bob Marley’s Legacy …
January 28, 2013, 6:01 am
Filed under: Comment

… by simply pointing out that his advice for finding a good woman …

[See it more clearly here]

… could also be for finding a good client.

Sorry Bob. Blame the lovely Rebecca in Portland, because she’s the one that sent me this.