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

Help Yourself By Helping Society …
July 24, 2014, 6:11 am
Filed under: Brilliant Marketing Ideas In History, Comment, Human Goodness, IKEA

So I recently saw a campaign that IKEA did to help a local dog shelter.

Basically they put life sized cutouts of the shelters dogs around their store – on beds, on the sofa, sitting around the dining tables – so that as people walked around, they could see the pooches in a home environment and maybe get tempted to adopt one.

Better still, IKEA ensured that there was a code placed around the collar of each cardboard cutout pooch so that interested parties could get more information and organise an appointment to see them directly at the shelter.

Such a sweet, simple, lovely idea.

Of course, you could argue they should have done it with cats given they were the star of one of my favourite ever ads … but given they were once my public enemy #1, this is a lovely gesture that lets me forgive their past sins.

OK, so I have no idea how many homeless dogs have been adopted which means you could throw the whole ‘awareness counts for nothing’ argument I continually use, back in my face … however there’s a massive difference with this and the clearly defined, commercially-focused, business goal that many companies try and justify.

But all that aside, I think it will have had some sort of positive effect.

You see a long time back, a friend of mine – who runs an animal charity called Halo – asked for help to try and encourage people who were interested in getting a pet to go to him rather than a commercial business.

Sadly I didn’t think of the IKEA idea, but what I did say was that he could take ‘cute’ photos of the animals he had in his shelter and put them on instagram with a #tag.

Given animals are one of the most popular categories of instagram [along with, semi-ironically, food] people picked up on it rather quickly and before he knew it, he was getting comments, interest and offers from all over the World.

Of course, having someone in Australia contacting you when you’re in America is of little use … but he was able to use them to help drive even more awareness and over a period of 3 months, he re-homed 28 animals and raised a significant amount of donations for his charity … all for a cost of a few instagram photos and some emails.

With that in mind, I’m sure/hopeful the cardboard cutout dogs also had a positive affect on finding homes for those homeless pooches, just like I am sure/hopeful it had a positive effect on the perception of IKEA … because when people see a company doing something good for no other reason than they believe it’s the right thing to do [especially for the helpless], it makes society feel more positive and loyal towards them than any amount of contrived, bland ‘we care’ advertising they care to churn out.

There’s Compartmentalisation And There’s China’s Version Of Compartmentalisation …
July 23, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

As you get older … meet more people, have more experiences … you find yourself ‘grouping’ your life into bite-sized chunks.

School Friends.

Family Friends.

Work Friends.

Husband/Wife Friends.

We self segment even though in terms of what we are told friendship should be, there probably shouldn’t be any level of separation between them at all … they’re either a friend or they’re not.

Though given I have some stupid rules about when I can define someone as a mate, I’m the last person who should talk.

The reason I say all this is that one of the big things I noticed when I came to Asia was how many people here segmented their lives into micro groups.

For every big group, there’s a bunch of subsets such as:

School friends who like to party.
School friends who are foodies.
School friends who work in similar industries.

OK, I’m generalising and I’m also not explaining my point at all – mainly because I’m not sure what it is, but I know there is one somewhere – but that aside, all this post was actually trying to do was to justify this photo …

… even though what it actually shows is how the Government segments their industry rather than how their people segment their networks.

And for the record, I’m still looking for the ‘advertising practitioners’ hospital in China, though something tells me it might end up being this.

How Nice Of The Daily Mail To Hire Blind Journalists …
July 22, 2014, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment, Daily Fail, Daily Mail

I give the Daily Mail a lot of shit.

If you look back at some of my old posts, I have accused them of bad journalism … hypocrisy … racism … and while that is all true, I have come to the realisation they are not all bad.

In fact, they might have a heart of gold.


Because it’s become apparent to me that the reason they end up doing the things they do is not mean spiritedness, but disability.

Yes, disability.

Not of the brain, but the eyes.

I know … I know … you’re wondering what the hell I’m going on about.

Well the answer is simple, what other possible reason could there be for them to write an article like this:

No offence, but I don’t think she looks ‘exactly’ like Elsa from the movie Frozen.

She’s a human and Elsa’s a cartoon for a start.

But hey, I don’t want to mock the blind – after all, after my retina collapsed, I am not that far off being legally defined by the same term – so please accept my apologies for all the ridicule I’ve thrown your way Daily Mail, including the time I mocked you for another looks like article [when it looks nothing like the person you were describing]

You’re a guardian for the disadvantaged.

A pillar of society

A beacon of hope.

Or you could just be a bunch of fucking idiots.

As If Your Monday Wasn’t Going To Be Bad Enough Already …
July 21, 2014, 6:20 am
Filed under: Comment

… but I’m back.


The good news for you is I’m too bloody knackered and jet-lagged to write about how bloody awesome my [latest] holiday was – and it was, culminating with me finding out I’m going to have a little boy, which is splendiferous except for the fact the only name we had agreed on was for if we had a little girl which means discussions over what we will call a little lad are still ‘ongoing’ – but I won’t bore you with that [I’m so kind] so until tomorrow … watch this compilation of movie disasters and realise it could all be a hell of a lot worse.


If The Chinese Government Aren’t Going To Give Me A Holiday This Month, I’ll Take My Own …
July 7, 2014, 6:20 am
Filed under: Comment

Yes … as you can tell from the title of this post, I’m going on holiday.

Yes … I know you’ll ask how that is possible when I’m supposedly always on holiday, but I’m going to ignore that as I’m going to be a Father and that means I’ve entered as new phase of maturity in my life.

Well, by my standards of maturity anyway.

So I’m going to be buggering off for some World Cup madness and then some Mum’s hugs which means I won’t be writing any more of this rubbish until the 21st July.

But before you all run around shouting with happiness, I’m going to leave you with a post so horrific, it should burn in your mind until I come back.

OK, so it’s not as bad as this, or this … or this … but it’s as stupid.

Look, I know ‘before and after’ pictures are notoriously bad, but this literally takes the biscuit.

Before: A woman heavily pregnant with her child.

After: A woman after having given birth, exercised regularly and had photoshop.

[And judging by the state of her in the first photo, she had some hair removal too]

Seriously, is anyone going to fall for this rubbish?

What they’re saying is basically this …

… and I’m pretty sure that no one would believe plastic surgery – even plastic surgery done in South Korea – could get that sort of result.

Because I’m a dick, I’ve emailed the stretch mark removal geniuses asking for some more case studies. We’ll find out if [i] they respond and [ii] they send me more utter bollocks, but all that aside, I’ll keep this information handy just in case my wife feels she needs some help after the birth of the most wonderful baby in the World. [patent pending]

That’s a joke.


Oh dear.

Anyway, with that, I’ll leave you to do whatever it is you do … have a wonderful time without me and don’t get too settled because I’m coming back.

Oh yes, I’m definitely coming back.

[Cue: Evil Laugh]