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

And Politicians Wonder Why The Public Don’t Trust Them …
May 23, 2014, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

So I know this weeks blog posts have been a bit weird – even by my standards – but to be honest, I’m finding it harder to write stuff these days.

I know … I know … you would think from the rubbish I write everyday, I’ve been finding it hard to write stuff for the past 7 years, but right now it seems especially difficult.

So why do I do it?

Well, to be honest, it’s about self discipline. The requirement for me to find something to write about every day … find something I find interesting and have a perspective on.

I know, it’s pathetic … but the fact is, if I stopped writing for 2 weeks, there’s a high chance I would stop for good and while that might be music to your ears, for me it’s about ensuring I always have a moment to ‘think’, even if what I’m thinking is utter shit.

Anyway, the reason for all this rambling prologue is because I saw an article in The Week and I wanted to know if others had heard about it and – if like me – you were shocked and appalled.

There’s nothing else to say, the story tells itself, but it highlights why politicians are trusted less than even adfolk, and that’s saying something.

Have a good weekend, even if this will make you feel decidedly uncomfortable.

Celebrated Mischief …
May 22, 2014, 6:20 am
Filed under: Comment

Remember a few weeks ago, when I wrote about Method Planning?

You know … the April Fool that some people didn’t realise was an April Fool because as an industry, we’re obsessed with celebrating our self importance and niche intelligence so we gravitate towards anything that makes us feel special.

Actually I’m being generous, what my bad April 1st joke did was highlight some people don’t read all the ‘facts’, they just focus on the highlights.

Though on this blog, there’s neither of either of those on here.

Anyway, while I was still rather happy with how it all went down, the ultimate validation came when I opened this months copy of Campaign magazine and saw this:

Thank you Campaign … I worry about your judgement, but I’m very grateful for your praise, though most of my thanks has to go to Leon, who was brave/stupid enough to let me use his name and photo in the name of planning pranking.

If Effectiveness Is In The Eye Of The Submission Writer, Fairness Is In The Eye Of The Award Entry Organiser …
May 21, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

So I’m in Singapore today judging the Asian Marketing Effectiveness Awards.

Over the past few weeks – through the preliminary judging – it’s been really interesting to see what some people think qualifies as ‘effective’.

Some seem to think it’s about views.

Some seem to think it’s about likes.

Some seem to think it’s about free PR coverage.

Some seem to think the client had nothing to do with the result.

[And don’t get me started on those who achieve effectiveness by fine-tuning the category convention, rather than taking the category to a new place. I know it still counts, but for me, it’s less about long term change and more about short-term maximisation. Nothing wrong with that, I just think we should – and can – achieve much, much more]

Of course not every entry was like this, there were some amazing case studies … well written and undeniably demonstrating the role communication had on the sales result for the client … but the fact there are still people who think effectiveness is measured on popularity rather than quantifiable, commercially valuable results, scares the crap out of me and makes me wonder who the hell is teaching them that viewpoint.

But there is another thing that I think all award shows need to start thinking about.

I know English is the language of business, but for many agencies across Asia, that is not necessarily true – so to expect people to write entries in a language that is not their own, immediately puts them at a disadvantage.

Yes, I know the results should speak for themselves, but we all know that’s not strictly true – the way submissions are written goes a huge way towards informing [or manipulating] the judges opinion.

I don’t really know how we can change this to result in a genuinely level playing field, regardless of which nation the agency comes from, which is why any agency who wins an AME and doesn’t come from an English speaking language deserves extra praise and accolade for their efforts and successes.

And to then I’ll be clapping the loudest and the longest.

Scary Statistic Of The Day …
May 20, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

The UK’s, Daily Telegraph newspaper recently reported that approximately 10% of all the photographs ever taken were shot in the last 12 months.


Given the first photograph shot by a ‘camera’ was way back in 1826 by French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce [who – in typical French self-important style, named it ‘View from the Window at Le Gras’] and there are allegedly 3.8 trillion photos currently in existence, that’s bloody amazing.

Of course, that massive impact has been driven by the rise of camera phone technology which is why every two minutes, society takes more pictures than the whole of humanity managed in the 1800’s and why everyday, 300 million photos are uploaded to Facebook … which supposedly represents only 20% of the total amount of photos taken by us every 24 hours.

But that aside, what this means is the subject matter of photos is ‘evolving’ from being significant memories of humanity to the food we eat in restaurants and the selfies that are taken by delusional fools who believe they will be spotted and picked up by a modelling agency so they can be the next Gisele.

Even though most of them stand more chance of being mistaken as a gazelle.

Mind you, if anyone has seen my instagram feed, you’ll realise I should shut the hell up given I’m probably responsible for at least 2% of the global volume of photos. Sorry.

An Interview Tip …
May 19, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Experience, Interviews

If you’re in an interview and your excuse for not having done something interesting is because the brand you work on is boring, just know that’s telling the interviewer you didn’t take any responsibility in trying to turn that around.

It doesn’t matter if you work on car tyres, deodorant or cough drops, our job is to find a way to make people care and even if you failed in getting the client to buy your thinking, it’s much better than trying to put all the blame on the client.

And even if you are convinced it was all the clients fault [which it won’t be, but I’ll humour you for a moment], at least explain what you learnt from the situation and how you used it – or intend to use it – in the future because to a potential employer, experience counts for nothing if you haven’t done something with it.