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

Momentum Vs Perfection …
June 28, 2013, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

Many years ago, I had a detached retina.

It was pretty serious resulting in me needing multiple operations and some rather weird – more obscure – treatments.

After my retina started to look like it would detach for the 4th time, the DR’s started to get even more concerned because they felt it wouldn’t have the capacity to take much more treatment.

In worked a surgeon.

A Harley Street surgeon.

A Harley Street surgeon who was 39 years old.

After having multiple Doctors looking into my eye with all sorts of instruments and then going away and muttering, he walked in, had a look, read my notes and then said,

“He doesn’t need any more treatment, we need to let his eye heal and it will be fine”.

That was it.

After about 10 minutes deliberation, he had come to the conclusion that despite all his colleagues concerns, there was no need to do anything else because the goal would be achieved.

And he was right.

Why am I saying this?

Because sometimes I think planners spend too much time on trying to make everything absolutely perfect.

Perfect for their egos.

Perfect for the clients fears.

Perfect for the creative departments demands.

Don’t get me wrong, you have to have be rigorous in your approach – looking wide as well as deep – and have something that is commercially and creatively interesting and relevant, but when it comes to articulating a particular point of view, my belief is that it’s more important to capture the energy and momentum of the strategy/idea than necessarily identifying the ultimate choice of words.

Of course, in a perfect World, you’d have both … but when you work in a mixed culture office and country, the reality is that people will all have slightly different interpretations of words/phrases [based on their particular frames of reference] which means you can end up complicating the the idea rather than liberating it, whereas when you focus on feelings and direction, it tends to connect to more people, in more powerful – and similar – ways.

So next time you get caught up discussing/arguing/deliberating on a particular word – be it in a brief or presentation or anything else – ask yourself whether you’re talking about something that can genuinely trip-up or misdirect the people who need to be inspired by it or whether it’s simply a case of semantics that someone is using an attempt to make themselves look – or feel – better or more important.

For me, momentum has perfection, but perfection doesn’t always have momentum.

Products That Were Designed By The Fuck Up Fairy …
June 27, 2013, 6:10 am
Filed under: Crap Products In History

You’re an electronics company that wants to boost sales.

You see the travel market – especially the holiday travel market – as having great potential to drive additional revenue.

You do research and find ‘travel speakers’ are particularly hot right now.

People love music and they want to hear it and share it wherever they are – be it the beach or the mountains.

You think about what’s it would take to make the ultimate travel speaker.

+ Small.

+ Stylish.

+ Powerful.

+ Bluetooth.

+ Lets you attach it to your clothes.

+ Lets you can slip it easily into your suitcase.

That’s it, the 6 key criteria … you’re on your way … now you just have to make it happen.

You get your team to develop a design.

It looks great.

You get your engineers to develop the speakers.

It sounds great.

You’re ready to launch it to all the people who will be getting on a plane this summer to go and enjoy the sun.

The millions upon millions of holiday makers who will descend on their local airports for 2 weeks of sheer and utter fabulousness.

What a shame that you made the thing look like a bloody hand grenade!!!

Congratulations Philips, come and get your ‘we didn’t really think that through did we’ prize for 2013.

I really hope you’ve produced your sorry letters for the idiots who bought one and then tried to take it with them on the plane.

Trust me, being strip searched and then arrested for being a suspected terrorist is probably not really good for building brand loyalty.

From The Darkest, Most Devious & Evil Part Of The Mind …
June 26, 2013, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

So I’m pretty old.

Old enough to have seen a great deal in my life.

Old enough to have seen weird, wonderful, twisted and mental.

And when you take into account that I’ve worked in adland for over 20 years, it means that some of the weird shit I’ve seen is truly ‘weird shit’.

However every now and then, you come across something that has the power to literally stop you in your tracks.


Something so utterly insane, that you wonder if it’s creator was a genius or a person of utter depravity.

Well, recently I came across one of those things and this was it …

In all honesty, I literally don’t know what confronts me more.

Is it that there’s even such thing as ‘virgin soap’ … a product so powerful, that I assume, they say it can even clean away your sexual sins?

Or is it that despite trying to present a godly image, they then go and write ‘Touch Me’ at the top of the pack … which, if I’m not mistaken … sort of undermines the ‘virginal’ image they are trying to present.

Or maybe it’s because they don’t just write ‘Touch Me’ on the pack, they follow it up with ‘Please’ … making it sound like the innocent and pretty girl on the pack is some sort of wanton hussy.

Or it could be the ‘free shampoo’ message they’ve tucked away in the corner of the pack … which I now assume is because while the manufacturers appreciate their soap can help you regain your virginal state, they also know you might accidentally let a man climax all over your head so ‘Virgin Shampoo’ allows you to wash your hair to ensure your entire body is as pure as the day it was born. Or something.

I would love to talk to the person who created this.

I would sit them down and simply ask one question: ‘WHY!!!?’

I swear to god, they either have balls of steel, are clinically insane or are utterly deluded.

Seriously, even the Catholic Church wouldn’t try and pull this off – that’s how mental it is.

I can tell you, I’m utterly shocked and this is coming from a man who’s seen Jerry Springer … so to the creators of Virginity Soap, please tell me what ‘planning tool’ you used to come up with this, because it might be the first proprietary process I’d actually pay to use.

Why Smarties Social Media Strategy Isn’t So Sweet …
June 25, 2013, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

Remember ages ago I wrote about how the Smarties Australia social media approach on Facebook was basically a massive slap in the face to the brand?

Well it seems they haven’t learnt because recently I saw this …

Jesus Christ, that’s even worse than last time.

10 likes. 1 comment.

At this rate, they’ll be getting minus likes and comments in the next few months.

Why are you doing this Smarties? What benefit is this having on your business?

In fact, is it actually having an adverse effect, given kids might think Smarties are for losers?

Of course social media doesn’t have to be bad and there may be a whole host of reasons for the continued bad performance of this iconic brand … well, iconic in the kids chocolate category.

Maybe it’s because it’s badly targeted [after all, I saw it and I’m a 43 year old man. Admittedly, a sad 43 year old man, but still 43]

Maybe it’s because it’s utterly crap?

Maybe it’s because there’s no reason for doing this, other than for some social media manager to hit their KPI’s?

Whatever it is, the fact is they seem to have forgotten the fundamental rule of all messaging – especially with digital – if it’s not meaningful to your audience [based on what they want, not what you want them to want] it sure as shit won’t be social.

Not so smart are you Smarties!

Don’t worry, you’re not alone … there’s millions of other companies out there doing the same thing, in the mistaken belief it’s ‘free advertising’.

Shame they haven’t realised that just because the media’s free [which even that isn’t true in a lot of cases] that doesn’t mean it’s valuable to your business. In fact, with the cost of the people it takes to write this drivel, it could possibly be one of the most ineffective communication approaches out there.


Florists With Humour. And Insight.
June 24, 2013, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment