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


Queen Greatest Misses …
June 23, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

Yes, I know when their Greatest Hits album – the biggest selling album in UK history came out, I wasn’t even a teenager.

But I can dream can’t I?

Besides … as mad as I look in that party hat, I still don’t look as weird as Freddie does in this.

OK, I do.

Bugger.



Goodbye Mr Gorgeous …
June 20, 2014, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

So today, after 3 years, we wave goodbye to the wonderful Tom Suharto.

Well, not goodbye – as we’re moving him to Portland to work on NIKE – but certainly au revoir.

Tom is a very special person.

I don’t mean because of his planning chops – though obviously they’re excellent – but because apart from being related to Indonesian royalty [which he never fails to mention, closely followed by an explanation that he is not associated with THAT Suharto], he is basically the most perfect man in the entire universe.

No, seriously, he is.

It’s not just that he possesses dashing looks.

It’s not just that he’s incredibly smart and articulate.

It’s not even that he created his own ‘pollution app’ and now views himself as a ‘developer’.

No … the reason he is so special is because he has a gorgeous wife, a darling son and cute puppy so when they’re all together, they basically represent the sort of ‘perfect family’ that every US television show dreams of casting.

Never a hair out of place.

Never a piece of spinach in their teeth.

Never any sign of crying, barking or arguing.

Frankly they should all make me feel utterly, utterly sick.

But they don’t.

Because they’re wonderful.

And I’m going to miss them all terribly.

Damnit.

Tom, thank you for absolutely everything.

You came in as a person with no planning experience whatsoever and thanks to me teaching you to do the opposite of everything I do, you leave with a wealth of knowledge and experience that sets you apart from the crowd.

Which means basically I made you.

And you owe me.

But I’m not going to ask for money – oh no – all I ask in return is you stay exactly as you are, because you’re a great person and a great professional.

I’ll miss you. But I’ll also make sure I make your life a misery by booking meetings in your calendar then cancelling them – just so you get an email. Which I know drives you mad.

And while we wave goodbye to a wonderful colleague … someone who made a massive difference to this department and office … I will deal with the pain of your departure by remembering that for all your perfection, I still saw the one moment in your life that you let your ‘perfect’ guard down and allowed me to capture this.

Be well my friend. Thank you for everything and I hope you enjoy your leaving pressie.

And of course our additional gift of your first ever tattoo.

[Before, During, After]

Hey, just making sure you can never forget us … even if you wanted to.



How Low Expectations Screw Our Ability To Judge Reality …
June 19, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

So in a few hours, England play their next game in the World Cup and it’s a ‘must win’.

If you looked at the papers after their defeat to Italy, you’d think England were like Brazil and were incredibly unfortunate to come out the losing side.

Oh dear.

The reality is the Italians never seemed to really get out of first gear and yet they managed to keep the England team at bay for most of the match.

That doesn’t mean there weren’t moments of quality from the three lions.

Without doubt, it was exciting to see a young England team go out and attack.

You felt they knew they were the underdogs and so they were just going to go out and enjoy the occasion.

And so they should.

But they were definitely the 2nd best team despite the papers heaping praise on them like they were the 2nd coming.

Which leads to the picture on this post.

The fact is, the people of England have been let down by the England team for decades.

They have flattered to deceive over and over again and yet – at the end of the day – the result is always the same.

Failure.

And because of this, the country had finally come to their collective senses and realised this team was not going to achieve anything other than gain valuable experience for a future tournament.

However, because they played with the sort of energy we haven’t seen for years, we forgot reality and starting labelling them as heroes.

As I said, they were good, but they were far from good enough.

I’m not blaming the players – well, except Rooney – but the fact is, like Susan Boyle, our pre-match prejudice had already written them off before a ball had been kicked so when they ended up performing better than we anticipated, we ended up giving them a disproportionate level of praise.

Like we did for Susan Boyle.

In other words, rating them good by comparison, not context.

They are the national team of the country that invented the game of football.

It is a team packed with players who earn a fortune playing week in, week out against opposition that features some of the best players in the World.

If that doesn’t mean we should be expecting more from them, I don’t know what does.

I love that we have put out a young squad.

I love that they have a passion and energy that we’ve not seen in years.

I love that you can tell they love the fact they’re playing in the World Cup.

None of this overpraise is their fault … but I also know that where the England team is concerned, the nations support can turn to anger in an instant … so I hope they do us proud today, not by exceeding our [low] expectations, but by genuinely playing well, because when the press stop getting drunk on their delusion, they won’t hesitate to stick their knives into the backs of players who they decided should be World Champions, even when a few weeks prior, they knew they couldn’t be.



When Algorithms – Or Media Planning – Goes Mad …
June 18, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment, Crap Campaigns In History

So I recently watched the latest series from the wonderful journalist, Louis Theroux.

If you don’t know who he is, you don’t know what you’re missing … though I have to say I prefer his Weird Weekend documentaries compared to the new and mature version of himself.

Anyway, one of the programs was on US sex offenders and he mentioned there was an app that listed all the people that appeared on the sex offender register.

Because I was interested – not scared, I would appear on it thank-you-very-much – I tried to download the app and when I found it, I saw this …

Now maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t know many brands – especially luxury brands – who would voluntarily like to be associated with one of the worst groups in society.

That said, maybe it was not an unfortunate accident … maybe someone actively placed LV in the app because they uncovered the insight, ‘When a rich sex offender is discovered, they need help to get out of the country in style’.

I know … I know … that’s sick and horrible. Sorry. I actually feel bad about saying that but not as bad as I’d feel if I worked on LV and they suddenly discovered where their highly curated brand was appearing.



If This Is What Ad Age Thinks Is The Best Brand Tweet Of The Year, We’re Doomed …
June 17, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

Before I start, I must thank my blog content curator, John Dodds, for finding this.

I should also point out that I do find the ‘tweet’ in question mildly amusing.

And I should definitely acknowledge that when it came out, it was very topical because it appeared mere hours after Apple purchased Beats By Dre.

[Sorry Baz]

Last but not least … I accept that in terms of ‘brand tweets’, we are woefully short of anything that is interesting, amusing or genuinely informative, so maybe Ad Age are right and this really is the ‘brand tweet of the year’.

What am I talking about? This:

What do you think?

Were Ad Age right?

Were they selling themselves short?

Or were they simply highlighting how flawed most social strategies are because they focus on finding a way to barge into people’s lives and conversations even though no one invited them in and no one cares about what they’re talking about.

As I’ve said many times, the problem with an incredible amount of brands is they scream what they want their audience to care about rather than talking to their audience about what they actually care about … and when you apply that to a medium that too many regard as a tool to deliver ‘cheap advertising’, we are destined for a life of branded digital pollution.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’ve completely missed the point. I certainly acknowledge there are some brands who use social media in an engaging and meaningful way … be it the BBC to Uniqlo to a whole host of brands in-between.

To help you decide, read this article on what a social media manager actually does all day … it’ll make your decision much, much, much easier.