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

The Fashion Store No Self-Respecting Woman Would Like To Be Seen Coming Out Of …
July 31, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

One of the things I love about Asia – not just China – is their brutal approach to truth.

OK, so the name of this store is obviously a ‘lost-in-translation’ thing, but generally speaking, if you go into a place and they don’t think they have anything for you, rather than waste time, they’ll come straight out and say:

“We have nothing in here for you”.

At first it can be quite confronting.

It sounds rude.



But after a while, you realise that their comments are not designed to hurt you, but to save you – and them – time.

No sycophantic niceness.

No attempt to sell you something that looks – quite frankly – ridiculous and pointless.

Just an obsession with telling it how it is so both parties can move on with their life.

Now if only brands could be so clear cut about what they do/offer, rather than showering society with a multitude of bland, empty platitudes.

People don’t want them or believe them.

So either give us stuff we are genuinely interested in [rather than what you want us to be interested in] or just walk away till another day, because regardless what you think, no one is falling for what you’re selling.

Obesity Explained In A Photo …
July 30, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

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No, I am not letting the food industry off the hook.

Or the governments with their insane food subsidy programmes.

But I’m certainly not blaming the escalator companies.

However, when we allow ourselves to believe we’re entitled to a life of utter convenience and comfort, it’s not that surprising that we have ended up in a situation where the declining standard of health is one of the biggest dangers facing our future.

Just like I said a while back that it’s not google making us stupid, it’s us making us stupid … the same goes for our obesity epidemic.

It might be nice to shift all the blame on to someone else.

It might be easy to say we’re just a pawn in big business’ evil game.

But rarely does something happen unless you want it to and taking notice when something terrible happens – whether to you or someone else – is a dangerous game to play.

As I said, I know there are external factors that influence our choices – and I absolutely appreciate there are socio-economic situations and conditions that impact many people’s lives – however I believe obesity is as much an attitude problem as it is a bad food problem so next time you see an escalator, take the stairs.

Oh, and before anyone says it, I know I am the last person on the planet who has the right to say this with a straight face … but nothing, not even seeing your 36 year old mate almost die a few weeks ago from a torn aorta, aneurysm and mini-strokes, changes your perspective like the impending birth of your first child.

Hell, the kid isn’t even born and he/she is changing my life … I’m doomed!

But not as much as them. Boom Tish.

If You’re An Adult Who Constantly Wets Yourself, You Might As Well Get Pissed To Try Forget About It …
July 29, 2014, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

A while back I wrote about how stressful it must be to suffer from incontinence and how brilliant supermarkets are at packaging – and then selling us – unrelated products because they exploit the ‘romantic notions’ we have in our heads about certain moments and situations, even though they will never, ever turn out as we hoped.

Well recently I saw something in a supermarket that linked the learnings of both these posts and while I appreciate it could have been the work of some evil, genius joker … I still think it shows more consumer insight and cross-selling brilliance than most people in adland could ever hope to achieve.


Starting The Week On A Positive Note …
July 28, 2014, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

While Tom Waites – and I’m sure you will have guessed – is not the sort of singer/songwriter that appeals to my sophisticated ear [ahem], I can’t help but find myself agreeing with what he’s saying in this quote.

It’s especially bad in my industry, where in our quest for acceptance and credibility, we are grasping onto any piece of information like a drowning man clings to a passing piece of wood … without always understanding that sometimes, we’re holding onto noise rather than knowledge.

And don’t get me started about the confusion between money and happiness.

Sure, money makes life easier, but happiness is a totally different state of mind – often only realised when something precious is taken away from us and then you realise you have been preoccupied with glitter, not substance.

Though I don’t agree with everything Mr Waites says.

For a start, there’s a lot of people who don’t even have any money, let alone guns.

Freddie Mercury would never have made that mistake.

But that aside, well done Mr Waites, I couldn’t agree more with what you’ve said, though that could also be because I talked about a similar thing way back back in 2011.

I know, that piece of news has probably devastated you … but on the bright side, it might inspire you to write another of your depressing little ditties which I’m sure some Guardian-reading, wannabe hipster [who drives a BMW and works in the city] will be pleased to hear.

Context Is Everything …
July 25, 2014, 6:15 am
Filed under: Context

So a long time ago – before most of you were born – Mick Jagger and David Bowie got together to do a remake of the classic ‘Dancing In The Streets’.

It was massively successful.

Anyway, for some reason, some cheeky sods have taken the video and removed the music.

In an instant, they’ve made Bowie & Jagger go from global rockstars to weird old men who probably need to be arrested.

[And here’s the original if you’re interested]

The reason I think this is interesting [and I appreciate I might be the only one, probably because everyone has known this for decades and I’m just incredibly slow] is because it highlights the importance of context.

Of course you could – quite rightly – argue the example I’ve used actually highlights the importance of music … but the point I’m trying to make is that too often, we don’t take into account contextual influence, we just march forward with the blind belief our work will be so brilliant, people will flock to it and embrace it regardless of where and how it appears.

This is especially dangerous in Asia – as anyone who has read Richard Nisbet’s excellent Geography of Thought will know – because the cultural norm is to determine actions and response by associative cues and contextual frames of reference.

But there is a positive in all of this and that’s simply the fact that while great can be turned into a shit sandwich by failing to appreciate or understand contextual attributes and elements … it also means mental can be turned into something awesome, just by identifying the right context attributes and elements.

In other words, don’t write off the ‘exciting, but mad’ when you see it.

Explore and experiment with it … because you might just find a place where it turns into commercial genius.