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

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.

26 Comments so far
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I wondered if the idea was to show an old pen so as to emphasise that they’d always been innovative. But I looked them up and their new pens really do look like this, so I think you’re right and they’re just jumping on the latest business bandwagon.

Incidentally, why do so many agencies have innovation labs? Labs are where invention happens. But invention is hard and there’s not a guaranteed supply of shiny new incremental improvements to overstate.

Comment by John

you know youve just said campbell is right? what the fuck is wrong with you. and agencies labs are the same as their fucking digital divisions back in the late 90s (when they all added a fucking “e-” to their name). basically its nothing more than a fucking sign on a door to try and con some poor fucking idiot client in to giving them more fucking cash for something they havent got the faintest idea how to fucking do. the most innovative thing to come out of an agency is the fucking guest speaker from google.

Comment by andy@cynic

How did that happen? What I meant to write was that he had come to the obvious conclusion that would have occurred to anyone with half a brain.

I was distracted by this

Comment by John

I’ve rarely met an innovative guest speaker from Google. Where do you find these? Is there like a special kind of bait or silent whistle I can use?

Comment by Shann Biglione (@LeShann)

Looks like you’re one of the 1% John.

Comment by DH

Thank you John, I will include this in all future references.

Comment by Rob

not sure whats fucking sadder, a posh biro company trying to make out theyre nasa or some planner twat writing a thesis on how fucked it is. we all know the answer.

Comment by andy@cynic

“Posh biro”. Hilarious.

Comment by Pete

fucking fact.

Comment by andy@cynic

How to destroy 125 years of innovation in 2 words.

Comment by Rob

The problem with Parker is that even if you own their most expensive one, you’re always going to look like you’re cheap and old. Still better than owning a Mont Blanc because that is going to make sure you look a stupid tool.

Comment by DH

All this ad tells me is that Parkers definition of innovation is not the same as mine.

Comment by Pete

I know we’re all disappointed not to be reading a third post about drummers but that should not blind us to the fact that 1888 +125 = 2013

Comment by John

You sound exactly like someone I’ve spent the last 2 days with. That is not a compliment.

Comment by Rob

Bet they are saying the same thing about you.

Comment by DH

Parker fuck up the competition with their latest innovation.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Innovation, urban, disrupt, … words I cannot hear anymore. Good to know that I’m not the only one.

Comment by Monika Kanokova

Don’t forget ‘revolutionary’ … that’s another one that adland has completely destroyed the meaning of.

Comment by Rob

Though I do think Parker may have done some stuff that – at the time – was innovative, they just forgot to tell us and tell us in a way that would make us care.

Comment by Rob

I don’t want Parker pens to be innovative I want them to be safe familiar and write like a dream
My mother bought me a Parker pen when I started secondary school and it was really special
innovation: usually what you can do rather than what you should

Comment by Northern

Parker Pens. Putting the no in innovation.

Comment by Rob

I’m pretty sure that in a few months time my brain will want to reuse that line and claim it its own. It thanks you.

Comment by Shann Biglione (@LeShann)

The most upsetting thing about this ad is that Parker advertising (in the UK) used to be so brilliant.

Both CDP and Lowe created amazing work.

Now we get this.

I blame the planners.

Comment by Mick G

They did indeed Mick but as much as I would blame planners for a lot of the rubbish that gets put out, on this occasion I think we should share the blame. For once, this is a situation where “more would be more”.

Comment by Rob

all this fucking ad proves is their 125 years of innovation claim is bollocks. theyve not improved things every fucking year for 125 years, theyve taken 125 years to finally finish a couple of fucking things. their line should be were fucking lazy, we take over a century to improve a couple of things that you wont even fucking notice. bollocks.

Comment by andy@cynic

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