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

Louis Vuitton Declares War On Singapore …

So a few days ago, one of my colleagues – Winson – was looking through a year old copy of Monocle magazine.

Inside was a pull-out from Louis Vuitton for their luggage range.

On one side was a map of the World and on the other was an A-Z of cities.

Here is an example of what they said:

You get the idea.

Anyway, everything was fine until he saw this:

Yes, they really are saying Singapore is part of Malaysia.

Now while it is true that the city state was once part of Malaysian governance, the two countries split acrimoniously many years ago and it has left deep divisions between them.

Pride. Prejudice. Jealousy. Arrogance. Pettiness. You name it, the people have felt it, thought it, expressed it.

What makes it even worse is the the man responsible for that split – and the architect of the country that it became – died earlier this year, which is Singapore’s 50th year of independence.

Now to be fair to Louis Vuitton, not only is this ad a year old, but it could all be part of a campaign showing their heritage.

Maybe the map isn’t supposed to represent the modern age, but how the World was when they first started.

But – and it’s a big but – they don’t say this in any of the work, which is why the photo below – of my planning colleague Ros – sums up how all the Singaporean’s in the office reacted when I showed them the ad.

So folks at Louis Vuitton, now you have the answer why sales of your overpriced, label-ridden bags have suddenly stopped in Singapore.

Happy to help.

Invisible Innovation …
July 30, 2015, 6:15 am
Filed under: Crap Campaigns In History, Egovertising, Innovation


It has kept the World evolving, developing, learning.

It has created new normals for each and every one of us to build off.

It has revealed what humanity is capable of doing and inspired us to believe in what we can still achieve.

Innovation is a wonderful thing.

OK, so a lot of it is – arguably – more evolution than anything else, but it is important which is why companies make a big deal out of it.

Now of course, what some companies think is important innovation is – often in the public’s eyes – nothing much at all.

Sometimes that’s because the public don’t understand the significance of micro-innovation.

Sometimes that’s because it’s innovation for innovations sake – designed for PR hype rather than to provide the audience with something genuinely valuable and useful for their lives.

And sometimes it’s because the company are talking a load of shit because offering a product in 3 new colours is not innovation or evolution whatsoever.

But regardless what the reason is, I think we can all agree that if you’re going to say how innovative you are, you should – at best – create a product where your innovation is obvious for all to see/experience or – at worst – explain what you’ve done.

Which is why this ad for Parker Pens bothers me so much because, on first glance, it appears to do none of them, it just tells you that they have … which is also slightly undermined by showing a pen [and a photographer] that both look like they come from 125 years ago.

OK, so some people may argue that will pique my interest to find out more. And yes, it’s true I noticed the ad and am commenting on it … but I – like 99% of the population – have better things to do [or at least, have more things to amuse them] than search for a website to discover the innovations Parker has brought to the World but maybe, if they’d framed their communication in such a way that it said they were behind many of the things the World now takes for granted, it would make me want look at them – and their products – differently and then I’d want to know more.

OK, maybe that wouldn’t work either … but the odds would definitely be vastly improved.

But alas they didn’t do that because this smacks of an ad that was created simply to make the board of directors feel happy with themselves rather than make the average person on the street give a fuck.

Remember When Ads Were Truthful, Simple & Bold?
July 29, 2015, 6:25 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Audio Visual, Great Ads In History

Contrary to popular belief, I genuinely love the ad industry.

When it’s good, it is very, very good indeed.

However when it’s bad – and I have seen a lot of it recently at Cannes – it’s deceitful, shameful and a load of indulgent bollocks.

There has been a lot written about how Cannes may be ruining the ad industry but I would say the ad industry is doing a very good job of that themselves. Thank god there are a few agencies – of which I am very fortunate to be in one – that don’t subscribe to the scam strategy for success, though I wish the ones who did were named and shamed a bit more regularly because ultimately they are making our lives far more difficult than they should be.

Mind you, if a client chooses an agency on the awards they won through scam, then they deserve all they get.

But that’s not what I want to write about, I want to write about this:

Yes, it’s an old ad.

An old product ad.

An old product, print ad.

But look at it …

Look at the writing – not just the headline, which is British charm at it’s best – but the copy.

How they openly admit how expensive their product is [and don’t forget when this ad came out, 3 grand was probably a years wages for many] … but not because they want to claim it gives you ‘status’, but because it costs a lot to make – and own – some of the best sound products in the World.

It all combines to make an ad that communicates brilliant sound quality, production innovation and brand swagger without once spelling out – or should I say spoon feeding – sound quality, product innovation or brand swagger.

Better yet, they manage to do all that simply and succinctly and in a way that demands to be read, rather than ignored.

Yes, I know it’s from a past time, but when I compare it to many of the print ads – actually, scrap that, ads in general – that get put out today, I can’t help but feel we should be looking to the past for our standards rather than continue to run manically towards the edge of obsolescence. Or idiocy.

Though – to be honest – that statement could also apply to SONY as a company and marketing managers as a whole.

Before We Had Wireless …
July 28, 2015, 6:15 am
Filed under: The Beatles

… we had cables.

Or in The Beatles case, lots and lots of cables.

Let’s hope those little amps were real, or the audience would hear nothing at all.

Actually, they probably wouldn’t anyway.

Not just because of all the screaming, but because that amplification couldn’t outshout a wet fart in an empty pub, let alone a stadium of thousands upon thousands of fans.

Mind you, when you listen to an audio recording of the concert where that photo was allegedly taken [their last ever concert at Candlestick Park in San Fran] you start thinking that the ‘old days’ concerts, weren’t as gentle and innocent as the historians would like us to believe.

We Were Wrong All Along …
July 27, 2015, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment, Daily Fail, Daily Mail

… The Daily Mail isn’t a newspaper, it’s the British version of The Onion.

Now everything makes sense. Including this.

After all, no ‘serious’ newspaper would ever run this as a major story when there’s so much going on in the World that needs genuine reporting.

I feel such a fool. Way to go Daily Mail.