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

This Man Will Boost Your Self Esteem For Cash …
November 14, 2013, 1:03 pm
Filed under: Comment

This is Thomas Harvey.

He works at W+K Portland and is a Southern gent.

No, that doesn’t mean he’s from London, it means he’s from the place where they talk slowly, say Sir and Ma’am after every sentence and like everything fried.

Even lettuce.

He’s a good man … and, sort-of like our Old Spice campaign, he can make you feel you are the man you wish your man was like.

That doesn’t make sense does it?


OK, let me explain what I am trying to explain …

Every year at W+K Portland, there’s a pie making/eating contest. It’s a lot of fun and mayhem and it helps raise funds and laughs for charity.

At this very moment, this event is happening.

Seriously, you can check it out by going here.

Anyway, because Thomas is a suit, he has no problem selling out his principals, so when you ‘sponsor’ him [he’s doing it for cancer research], he will show his gratitude by boosting your self esteem and basically letting you feel like you’re the man you wish/delude yourself you were like.

Don’t believe me?

Just look at the comments and eventually you will see what I mean.

Yes, this means he is a charity prostitute, but he’s a lovely charity prostitute.

[Did that clear up the confusion? No? Bugger!]

Anyway, for a small fee you can save lives and delude yourself you are loved and important, so head over to the W+K Pie site, click on Thomas’ name, make a donation, pay on Paypal and sit back and enjoy the attention and charm of a Southern gent.

Bad Breeds Bad …
November 14, 2013, 6:04 am
Filed under: Comment

A while back, a headhunter in the UK got in touch and asked if I’d “like a chat”.

While I love W+K – and told them that – I said I also love chatting to people, so if they didn’t think it a waste of their time, I’d be up for it if they were.

So we sorted out a mutually agreeable time and made it happen.

I wish I hadn’t.

I can honestly say, the 30 minutes I spoke to her were one of the worst uses of my time ever.

Yes, ever!

Apart from the fact, her view of what great advertising was – and should be – was up it’s own arse, her response to having someone have a different opinion was downright rude.

And lets face it, where rude is concerned, I’m a master of it.

When I said I disagreed with her view that agency creativity and client commerciality are separate things – and then added the whole point of our industry is to help our clients prosper in some way – she replied with …

“You’re a true child of the Thatcher years”.

What an idiot.

Seriously, a fucking idiot.

Putting aside her ridiculous – and utterly wrong – statement, the fact is adland is in the commercial creative business, not the creative business.

It has absolutely nothing to do with political allegiance, it’s got everything to do with making a living.

It was at this point I informed her that it was 2013 and not 1983 and part of the reason our industry now had to contend with over zealous procurement departments and sceptical clients was because of the attitude she was peddling.

The conversation ended shortly after – very shortly after – but what really struck me was that if this was the sort of person our industry was relying on to help fill our agencies with ‘talent’, then for all the talk our industry likes to spout regarding ‘being business focused’, the fact is we have our heads in the sand even more than I feared.

Being commercially focused is not a bad thing.

Christ, it’s a great thing.

Money literally makes the World go round and allows you to do/fix things that might otherwise never get done.

The issue is always HOW you make it and what you DO with it once you’ve got it … and anyone who doesn’t appreciate that – or thinks it means you have to make ‘cliche driven, rationale advertising’ is part of the problem, not the solution.

Maybe the ‘QR’ in QR Codes, no longer means ‘Quite Rubbish’ …
November 13, 2013, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

OK, so I’m a sentimental fool but maybe this is the first time I’ve seen a real use for QR codes.

Have a look at this:

Yes, yes … I know it’s nothing new and there are arguably a bunch of flaws with it [from who would use it to people maybe missing the code when they get a parcel so not getting the message] however I still like it. A lot.

You see while it’s easy to find faults with it, the fact of the matter is the idea driving it is very appealing to gift givers – especially those gift givers who have family and friends living far away from them.

Sure, they may never actually end up recording a video, but that doesn’t mean they won’t seek it out because the concept appeals directly to their ‘romantic notion’ of love, friendship and sharing.

The thing is, this idea has – in theory – been around for years yet no one saw it or thought of it. Instead, the industry, me most definitely included, liked to pile shit on QR Codes, just like we enjoy laughing when someone says [for the 10th year running] “this is the year of mobile”.

However one person didn’t subscribe to this collective ridicule.

Instead he/she/it looked at QR Codes and wondered what would happen if they reframed the benefit to a particular audience segment and launched it around Christmas time and the result of that is they’ve come up with an idea that positively differentiates Australia Post from the competition [and I include ‘Amazon’ in that] and raises the overall appeal and value of the brand as a whole.

Simple. Effective. Powerful. Bloody awesome.

Actually there’s something even more awesome than that, an ad agency – BBDO Melbourne – came up with it.

Yes, they came up with a real solution and then advertised it to the masses rather than saying the answer was the ad.

[If you can’t be arsed to sit through the video I’ve linked to in the above sentence – though for the record, it’s what I say at 8 minutes that is key – you can just go here for another example]

Not hard is it.

So well done Australia Post and BBDO Melbourne.

Sure, there’s a lot of people looking at the faults, but the fact is you have done something creative that can directly influence change of behaviour and brand value [both emotionally and commercially] which in my opinion, is much more worthy of praise than adlands obsession with the admittedly good [but not nearly as good as the near mythical status it has had bestowed upon it] Dumb Ways To Die.

Confirming What We Know Is Still Right Can Be Very Informative. Acting Like It’s A Revolutionary Discovery … Isn’t.
November 12, 2013, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

Sadly I’ve seen way too many planner presentations that do this.

Normally under the heading ‘universal human truth’.

As I’ve said before, there’s nothing wrong with talking about that as long as:

1. You don’t act like you’ve just broken the Da Vinci code.

2. You accept that while people might have similar views on a certain subject all around the World … how people ‘express’ it can be very different depending on all manner of criteria – from culture to cash-flow.

By all means do research that ‘checks in’ with where brand/cultural behaviour currently is.

By all means talk about the issues and opportunities that can come from a static situation.

But don’t – please don’t – try and claim you have discovered something new when it has been both the obvious and accepted for decades.

Thank you.

Maybe The Police Should Stop Trying To Stop Sickos On The Street And Just Hang Out On This Blog …
November 11, 2013, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

Look, I know this blog isn’t exactly the most high-brow blog on the planet.

Compared to stuff by Martin or Paul or Northern or even Doddsy, it’s Vauxhall Conference league.

And then, when you take into account the standard of comments, it ends up looking like a pub team from Slough.

However … and it’s a big however … that still doesn’t explain some of the weird ‘searches’ that people use to somehow get to this blog.

“Weird?” I hear you say.

Yes, weird. Fucking weird.

Cop a load of this …

+ Wheres Wally Rude

+ How To Make Big Fuck

+ Massive Cock Death

+ Harry Potter Loves Dick

+ Reset Bottom

+ Fuckmeauntie

+ Michelle Obama Butt


It’s disturbing enough that there is a ‘sexual’ element that runs through all of them, but how the hell do searches like ‘Harry Potter Loves Dick’, ‘Michelle Obama Butt’ and ‘Fuckmeauntie’ end up at my blog???

What bloody posts have I written that the Google algorithm felt was appropriate for some sicko’s search request to link to?

Christ, I can’t imagine how utterly disappointed these people – sorry, I mean perverts – felt, when they ended up on this site.

Imagine looking for some ‘celebrity’ impersonator porn and coming across my face.

Hmmmmn, ‘coming across my face’ was probably not the best choice of words there, was it.

So to the Nottinghamshire Police, if you would like your city to stop being the most dangerous place – per capita – in Europe, ditch the ‘bobby on the beat’ and just get your handcuffs out for anyone who visits this den of depravity … by the look of what’s going on, you’ll improve your crime clean-up rates by about 1000%.