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

We All Answer To Someone …
August 30, 2013, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

I used to think that if you wanted something bad enough, you could make it happen.

Sometimes you can, but sometimes there’s an obstacle that is more powerful than any weapon of mass destruction.


Timing is similar to time and yet different.

Because in simplistic terms, time is about experience whereas timing is about opportunity.

That moment where everything comes together with perfect precision and lets amazing blossom and flow.

But there are times where timing can be cruel.

Where regardless of will, experience, desire and ambition, it destroys all promise and hope in the blink of an eye.

We never know which side it will show until it decides.

Because timing controls us.

We are slaves to it’s decision and fools to its seduction.

It decides when things can happen and when things can’t.

It chooses when opportunities will be seized and when they will only be viewed from afar.

Timing has the power to tempt us into believing in the impossible or leaving us with the shatteringly painful memories of what could have been … or what once was.

Timing is a bitch.

She toys with our emotions with a total disregard for the consequences.

Taking us to the highest highs or the lowest lows.

Making us and breaking us.

Exciting us and destroying us.

Teasing us and trampling us.

Timing has given me a life I never dreamed possible and a heart that’s been battered tattered and torn.

There are those that say fortune favours the brave.

Or that preparation welcomes opportunity.

Or what will be, will be.

If only it was that simple.

But I wouldn’t change a thing.

And I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.

Because while timing can conquer most things, it can’t beat the will of the idiot.

Cute Stops Competence …
August 29, 2013, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

Oh to be beautiful.

To be able to walk in a room and have everyone immediately pay attention.

To smile and have all around you smile back at you.

To ask for help and have a thousand offers of assistance.

To speak and have an audience immediately captivated by your every word.

But what happens when you no longer are as fresh faced as you were.

When you realise that every word, smile, compliment and praise was based on your aesthetic than your beliefs?

When you see your star fade, only to be replaced by someone younger, cuter, funnier and more charming?

Of course I will never experience this because I’m 43 … I’ve always looked 43 and have a face only a mother could love.

The reason I’m writing all this is that many, many, many years ago, I watched a documentary called ‘Blue Eyes / Brown Eyes’.

In it, Jane Eliott – a schoolteacher – highlighted the ridiculousness of racism by getting people to imagine how we’d feel if we were judged by the colour of our eyes.

It certainly was an interesting experiment, but there was one scene in the documentary that really made an impression on me.

In the audience was a pretty young lady who responded to a question by acting in a coquettish, girly, charming way.

In an instant, Jane Eliott turned on this woman and told her to stop acting cute because all she was doing was destroying her self respect, self worth and potential for being taken seriously in the future.

Watching how this innocent young woman reacted was fascinating because while she was deeply hurt and upset, you could see that she understood what Jane was saying and that it was out of care, not malice.

And that’s the thing … as much as we all want to be liked, the older you get, the more you realise respect trumps likability which is why this clip is a good reminder to not let others define us, but to always be our own champion.

It helps you look in the mirror at night and like what you see staring back at you.

At least in terms of self respect.

This Rob Campbell Blog Post Is Brought To You By Rob Campbell For Rob Campbell In Collaboration With Rob Campbell On Behalf Of Robert Campbell …
August 28, 2013, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment, Crap Marketing Ideas From History!

You might look at the title of this post and wonder what the hell I’m going on about.

OK, you’re probably won’t … I know you ignore everything I write and just jump to the comments because you view them as your own personal social club.

However on the off-chance my moment of post title wordiness has ignited your interest, there is a simple explanation for it and it’s this …

Seriously, what the fuck is that!

It’s pretentiousness on steroids.

Actually it isn’t, it’s twatdom on steroids.

Seriously, what on earth were they thinking.

I thought the Seoul tourism campaign of 2007 was ridiculous, but this is just insane.

If they were doing it tongue-in-cheek – like this utterly wonderful ad for FEDEX – then it might [but only ‘might’] be acceptable …

… but let’s be honest, they’re probably not.

Which simply begs the question, who wants to hit Marc Jacobs in his stupid, egotistical, smug-bastard, pretentious face first?

The Perfect Storm …
August 22, 2013, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

This is a post in two halves. The first half I wrote last week, the second I wrote yesterday.

The first half is this:

So let’s start with the good news.

This is my last blog post till next Wednesday.

WEDNESDAY! How happy must you all feel?

Before you ask, no – I’m not having another holiday thank you very much. I’m not even having a weekend.

[Cue: Violins]

Alright … alright, so I am going traveling, but it’s all genuinely work related, so it’s not like I’m going to be sat on my ass, doing nothing and chilling.

That’s what the office is for. Boom Tish.

Anyway, as much as this is no doubt, music to your ears, there’s 2 people who will hear this news with a sense of trepidation and dread.

Fredrik Sarnblad and Northern.

That’s right, two of the nicest people – and certainly 2 of the nicest people in adland – are sat in front of their computers, head in hands, screaming “Noooooooooo!”

The reason for this is that we’re all going to be meeting up in South Korea.

In fact, we’re going to be meeting up later today.

And South Korea thought their biggest threat was from that lunatic dictators ‘oop North’. Fooooooools.

Anyway, as much as adland has many faults, it also has a bunch of good bits and one of those is their pre-occupation with awards.

The reason I say this is because the three of us have been asked to judge at the AdStars festival in Busan.

While that is wonderful in itself, the chance for me to spend some time with 2 special people is awesome.

Especially as I’ve never actually met Northern before.

My adoration of both Freddie and Andrew has been well documented, so how I will end up feeling about them after we’ve hung out for 48 hours is anyone’s guess.

[For clarity, I should point out we won’t be spending all 48 hours in Busan together, we’ll not be showering or sleeping in the same room. At least I don’t think we will. In fact, I’d guess Freddie and Northern insisted I stay in an entirely different country, let alone hotel]

Anyway, the point of this post is that advertising – and blogging – is wonderful because it not only introduced these toptastic people in to my life, but it has let me spend some time with them.

That’s a gift, I really mean it … even if they might have quite a different point of view.

I guess we’ll find out on Wednesday.


So here’s the second half of the post.

While there will be no blog post from me till next Wednesday and I do love advertising for having conferences that let me meet up with people who mean the world to me … the fact is, I won’t be in Busan with the boys.

And I am utterly gutted.

The plane ticket was booked and paid for [by me, for the record] and we had arranged to see each other later this evening, but for some personal reasons that I don’t really want to go into right now, I sadly won’t be.

Maybe Freddie and Northern concocted some magic spell to make it happen … maybe the World decided to conspire against me … maybe it’s just utter shit luck, but I am very disappointed.

So you can sit back and feel glad that good things don’t always happen to bad people.


Be A Cheeky Bastard …
August 21, 2013, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

Many years ago, when we were running cynic, we decided we wanted to make Birthday and Christmas cards.

There was no reason behind it, other than a late night conversation over pizza and beer. [And Diet Coke]

To be honest, that was one of the best things about having your own company, you could just do stuff like that without needing to seek permission or take into account ‘corporate protocol’.

Anyway, we made a bunch of them – all with messages of errrrm, love – like the one above [though my favorite was, “Here’s hoping this is your last Christmas because I hate the presents you send me”] and amazingly they all sold out.

While we could have printed more – and who knows, maybe even of made a profit – the key for us was scratching an itch … doing something that we thought was interesting and fun.

Years later, while I was in the WPP machine, I was so fed up of scam ads, I set up a very short lived magazine called ‘Scampaign’ … where agencies could put their dodgy ads in it and claim it had been published so they could enter regional awards.

While it didn’t stop the scam pandemic, it at least made me a bit of money [emphasis on ‘a bit’] and I got to see all the entries without having to pay some award company a fortune to see them.

Why am I saying all this?

Because I think we’re all being far too sensible these days.

God, I know I am … but at least I have age as an excuse.

While adland is a serious business where we [are supposed to] understand and influence/inspire society on behalf of our clients commercial ambitions, we should also be a place where the slightly-off-the-wall feel comfortable enough to reside. The people who make life fun and interesting. The people who help you look at life in ways you might otherwise not see. The people who you’ll always remember for the right reasons.

Now please don’t think I am in any way suggesting I am one of these people and without doubt, there are – thankfully – some wonderfully eccentric characters still working in the business, but the sad fact is adland has kidded itself that the best way to get clients is to act like them and not only is that wrong, but it is alienating the very people that made us so interesting and influential in the first place.

As I’ve said many, many times, the reason we have lost our seat at the boardroom table is not because we didn’t look like business people, but because we didn’t talk about their business … but that doesn’t mean we should answer things in the way they would expect.

Jesus, if we do that, then what’s the point of having an agency?

Cheekiness is wonderful.

Of course it has to be executed in a way that is mindful of who it is impacting and what it is saying about you – but if done right, it is infectious, energetic and magnetic.

To be honest, the agency that best understood this was the wonderful HHCL … the professional radicals … but while there are still a few agencies out there who understand cheekiness is a positive attribute rather than a dangerous and rogue element, that shouldn’t stop us doing our bit to add life to the world we live in.

Word of advice though … whatever you do, do not auction off Sir Martin’s business card so someone can call him up all times of the night. That is not a good idea.

Not a good idea at all.