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

Dear Adland, We’re About Solving Problems That Help Business & Society, Not Problems That Help Let Us Put Out Another Pointless PR Article About Another Pointless, Over-engineered Product …

Can you tell I’m a bit pissed from that blog post heading?

Can you?

I’m pissed because an agency have launched an ‘intelligent peg’ to help people know the best time to do their washing … based on a bunch of weather indicators.

And then, they’ve gone one step further, by saying this is so families can free up more time for the “moments that matter”.

You don’t believe me do you … well watch this.


Have they – and their client – gone completely and utterly insane?

This is not a problem that needs solving … or at least not via a fucking peg.

And remember, I am an idiot that paid money for robot pets, balls and a bloody wi-fi suitcase!

Just think of the time, effort and money that went into making this piece of madness when weather apps and simply USING YOUR EYES TO LOOK OUT THE WINDOW have served people well for years and years.

And then there’s the fact I could argue it doesn’t actually save people any time at all.

Not really.

So it doesn’t even do what it was supposedly ‘invented’ for.

This is just another tragic and desperate attempt by an agency – and client, a client who has actually done really good work in the past – to look interesting.

Well guess what, they don’t. They look desperate.

Oh I’m sure they can make it sound great in their agency credentials …

“And we developed a peg that empowered people to maximise their day through weather aggregation technology”

… but anyone with half a brain will just snort in derision, that is if it ever sees the light of day because I have a sneaky suspicion this is more for award shows than anything the mass market will ever encounter.

And that’s a good thing because it’s a pile of embarrassing rubbish.

However what devastates me is that adland will probably bestow countless awards on it to delude itself that we can help business and do technology in creative ways when really all it will do is show how utterly far away we are from actually understanding how to change our perception and value to commerce and culture.

Seriously, I thought the stuff this agency did for tampons in China was bad but this beats it and I didn’t think that was possible.

Oh hang on it is.

They – and let’s call them out now – JWT, also created a tattoo they say is designed to help Westerners travelling in Japan find out if they have a Soba noodle allergy.

Yes, because that is a massive thing isn’t it.

So massive, that in a bid to show THIS WASN’T A MASSIVE PILE OF SCAM, they gave out 200 of these tattoo’s to one restaurant.

Two hundred tattoos.

For one restaurant.

Apparently Japan receives over EIGHT MILLION tourists a year so JWT can feel really proud that those 200 tattoos … available in 1 restaurant … for an allergy that few people have and that those who have it, probably know about it … will make a huge difference.

You think I’m joking don’t you?

No … here you go.

And given we’re coming up to the Cannes entry deadline, I’m scared this sort of shit is just the beginning of what we’ll be seeing peddled by certain agency networks all over the place.

Thank God not everyone follows this view.

Thank God there’s some agencies and clients who will be recognised for what they really did.

And so they should, because anything is easy when you don’t have anyone – or anything – to answer to … which makes the fact these scam ideas are so utterly rubbish, even worse.

But let’s end this by returning to Peggy Peg.

Given it has been done with such an obvious nod to creative awards, let’s give them what they want. I know … but that’s the kind of guy I am.

To everyone behind Peggy, a huge congratulations. It gives me great, great pleasure to award you the gold shit stick medal for over-engigneered, pointless, PR stunt rubbish, because – and you might not like to hear this – while Peggy might be the first intelligent peg, anyone who uses it is the most stupid and anyone who developed it, is the most desperate.

76 Comments so far
Leave a comment

with all the fucking crap jwt have been going through lately youd think the last thing theyd want to do is get even more attention for being a bunch of lying little fucks.

Comment by andy@cynic

Another perspective on the situation. And a fair one.

Comment by Rob

then theres those other wpp fuckers, grey, who launched some bullshit humanity division that pretends to exist to save the world and all it is is a fucking front for more scam shit. and sorrell gets fucking millions for it. theyre all a bunch of cupid stunts.

Comment by andy@cynic

Here you go. At least this appears to be an idea that has some merit. Though they don’t talk about the distribution volume so maybe it’s just another group of 200.

Comment by Pete

I’ve just judged that. As you said, at least the premise behind it makes some sort of sense – especially compared to pegs that tell you the perfect time to wash your clothes or tattoos to tell you that you might have a buckwheat allergy – but it’s all a matter of scale.

I have no problem with agencies doing these sort of things – especially for NGO’s who need the help – however I hate they do it for ulterior reasons [ie: to win an award] and ignore the real issue in favour of satisfying their delusional ego.

Besides, the ice-bucket challenge was arguably the most successful campaign – for charity or otherwise – and they didn’t use any technology solution whatsoever. Just something fun, involving and amplifying.

Comment by Rob

Isn’t it funny that all these “creative ideas” come out at the same time each year. If I headed up an agency, I would insist we only present ideas to clients in the first quarter of the year with a launch date of April/May because history states this is the only period they are willing to entertain communication that does not follow their usual path of boring and bland. Though I must admit these first quarter “ideas” are more stupid and bland.

Comment by George

It’s always their Asia offices doing this kind of work isn’t it. Does this mean the Western offices of WPP are full of callous and mean people? And they are always helping NGO’s or a Mom and Pop stores. I wonder why. WPP’s Asia offices should be in line for a Nobel given their commitment to the underdog.

Comment by DH

I have a lot of friends at JWT. I once worked for JWT. I know there’s a lot of talent at JWT. But if you look at all the awards their Asia offices have won in the past 10 years and evaluated them against the impact it had on either the issue they claimed they were solving or the audience they claim they were attracting, I think you would find a huge proportion of it may be regarded as niche advertising to the extreme. Maybe.

Comment by Rob

Why have awards at all? They’re judged subjectively and often seem to reward essay writing skils rather than business success. There’s a reason ads were known as commercials and the only arbiter of success should be commercial success. Or maybe I’m missing something.

I aslo don’t understand why high-level practitioners spend so much time judging these thngs rather than work for their clients. It might make their colleagues happy, but if I were a client I’d question what it was adding to their expertise.

Comment by John

Many clients like their agency partners to judge these awards because they have entered them themselves. The agency representative may not be able to judge their own clients work, but they can influence the result.

Comment by George

In Rob’s case, his clients don’t mind him going off judging because it means he can’t abuse them while letting him abuse their competitors.

Comment by DH

Funny, as I’m in Singapore next week to do some more judging. And guess what – even though it’s for advertising effectiveness, there were at least 3 entries I refused to judge because I believe even they were scam. It’s fucking rife.

I get small agencies often find it hard to show their abilities on a greater stage, but this undermines them rather than celebrates them.

By all means do something brilliant, but don’t claim you’re doing it for someone else – do it for yourself.

And don’t enter it into an award. Contrary to belief, the judges are not fucking idiots. Well, not all of them.

Comment by Rob

Another free holiday.

Comment by DH

I am proud we did things the right way when we had cynic. I also believe our approach directly contributed to winning a number of the more intriguing projects we had from clients. With honesty and authenticity becoming even more important in the decision making process, I wonder when the agencies who engage in scam will realise this strategy is harming them?

Comment by George

The tattoo rubbish is even worse than the peg and that is stupid. This is some sick plot by planners to get their revenge on creatives for being told they hinder creativity.

Comment by DH

Definitely worse but the peg is embarrassing. Doing scam is one thing but doing stupid scam means the people approving and funding these things are even more stupid.

Comment by Bazza

I assume you’ve all seen the KFC flavoured nail polish …

Comment by John


Comment by Bazza

i have. and surprise surfuckingprise its in asia again. it could be funny if it was done tongue in cheek but its not, theyre treating it like its fucking diamonds maybe because outside of fucking the us, kfc think theyre posh nosh. twats.

Comment by andy@cynic

Oh yes. As Andy said, if it had been done with a twinkle in the eye [ie: in the spirit of our KFC US work or the old Crispin BK campaigns] then you would smile. But it’s not done like that, it’s done like the sweet, sweet smell of award entry fodder.

Comment by Rob

As a client, this would not impress me. Quite the opposite.

Comment by Lee Hill

you dont have to be a client to think this is shit. the only people who would be impressed with this bollocks are jwt hacks and award judges who think it makes them look like theyre supporting creativity when they’re just acknowledging their fuckwitism.

Comment by andy@cynic

The people behind peggy obviously don’t know much about running a household. It is patronising more than helpful.

Comment by Mary Bryant

My wife would make the best ad award judge.

Comment by George

shed make a fucking good leader of russia too. thats a fucking compliment mary so back off.

Comment by andy@cynic

We shall see Andrew.

Comment by Mary Bryant

Here’s a compilation of campaigns that – by sheer coincidence – all seem to have launched at the same time and all seem to be focused on raising awareness about issues for NGO’s.

Comment by Rob

I didn’t know WPP stood for worldwide pretenders.

Comment by Wayne Green

more like wankers. pricks. prats.

Comment by andy@cynic

we prioritise prizes

Comment by John

[…] Campbell’s latest post about scam ads (work created to please awards juries not actual consumers) the reader is […]

Pingback by Winner of the gold shit stick medal - Mumbrella Asia

I see your post has been picked up by an industry title. Good. But I’m surprised there isn’t a sea of new people commenting on the issue. Have people stopped caring anymore? Has scam won?

Comment by Pete

Not if Robert has anything to do with it.

Comment by George

Classic Campbell. I’ve missed this place.

Comment by fredrik sarnblad

I’ve missed you. Nice to have you come round and smell the place again … even if you’re now running off vowing never to return. Ha.

Comment by Rob

Blimey. You’re annoyed and rightly so..and this is just after I’ve read a thingy on WARC about how a great content strategy is doing stuff that ha a higher purpose. Now I quite like content, I work in a media agency so naturally I do…not when it’s an excuse to not do work that sells things, or stuff that doesn’t add a single thing to people’s lives.
One the best creative directors I worked with used to kill work by saying it was a bit ‘addy’ – but maybe certain twats could do with being a bit more ‘addy’ these days

Comment by northern

Hi Northern, could you pls send me that WARC piece? I’m putting together a POV on “content”.

Comment by fredrik sarnblad

sure Fred, what’s your email now? or mail me and i’ll enclose in the reply

Comment by northern

Prepare for a stream of spam Northern.

Comment by George

You can expect a ton of porn and penis extension spam now Northern. Oh and your bank account to be hacked.

Comment by Rob

The problem with many agencies and clients is they mistake filler for content. Welcome back Fredrick. Hello Northern.

Comment by George

Thanks George! Agreed on content.

@Northern: risky move disclosing your email address in a place full of predators, waiting for any opportunity they can get to exploit media agency people;)

Comment by fredrik sarnblad

On the topic of the glut of all the ‘awards’ work that comes out in April, you seen this? Ps hello Rob.

Comment by Phil

I hadn’t seen that. It’s bloody awesome. Thanks mate – especially for coming on here because I thought you had better standards than that. Ha.

Comment by Rob

This argentinian people did something also stupid… but they know it and doesn’t take themselves too seriously: (Spanish)

Comment by Jaime Ag

adland goes on about how fucking good they are at storytelling and then when it comes to scam they write a story thats so fucking shit it makes the writers of the kardashians look like fucking oscar winners. twats.

Comment by andy@cynic

Classic example of brands ‘creating’ problems only to try and solve them versus solving actual problems that require creative solutions.

In comparison, it reminds me of the Nivea band created for kids at the beach that I think opened the floodgates. The idea worked in theory but like your japanese tattoo example, I have to wonder how many were actually distributed and where.

P.S., Robot pets are legit.

Comment by Tajdar O. Chaudry

To be fair to the Nivea bands – they produced 600,000 of them and they had an 80% redemption rate. The sad thing is when someone actually does something real like that, it is easy to presume it is scam as we have so much cynicism due to things like that sodding peg.

Comment by Neville

Excellent point. But it must be said that example is in the minotity of well intentioned, well supported activities.

Comment by George

I LOVED the idea. Even featured it in a number of writeups on ‘tech done right’. Just wondered about the actual dissemination stats of the technology which you’ve graciously informed me on (: Thanks!

I want to see more of these kind of ideas winning awards.

Comment by tajdaroc

[…] Tajdar O. Chaudry on Dear Adland, We’re About Solving Problems That Help Business & Society, Not Problems That … […]

Pingback by A Reminder For The Future Me To Not Take Things Too Personally … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Hey Rob, here’s another recent entrance to your award show – Samsung’s “smart” surfboard

Comment by Marius Donnestad

Why do you have to do the washing twice if it rains?

Comment by Chris Wragge

Robert. You will be very pleased to learn I have just had a member of our senior marketing team forward me a link to this post with the words, “when this guy is fired, we should hire him”. I have notified him that we could not afford you.

Comment by Lee Hill

I hope you’ve advised HR to scrutinise his loyalty – he sounds like an agent provocateur to me.

Comment by John

Another one for your collection Rob.

Comment by Pete

I see you already have seen it. It’s a strange day when your comment is the most subtle of all the comments.

Comment by Pete

my god. you need a computer clothes pin to tell you when to get the clothes in? How long it will take to dry them? And please dont tell me that if the wet clothes get wet in a rain storm you will have to rewash them…?

This is almost as bad as the ‘clothes washing kit” I saw in the supermarket not long ago, it had a clothesline, about a dozen clothes pins, and so help me god, instructions about how to use the clothesline. and clothes pins.

I did like the snappy/warm fuzzy music though.

Comment by judyt54

[…] So this is a sort-of continuation to my post about Peggy – the pointless tech peg. […]

Pingback by If You Can’t Beat Them, Make It Harder For Them … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

This nails it.

And best of all, an agency in Columbia came up with ‘that hat’.

If it wins a lion this year the circle of bullshit is complete.

Comment by Hamster

[…] written about how awards encourage agencies to humiliate themselves and I’ve written about how the award organisers could help stop this happen … but […]

Pingback by What Australian Television Understands That Cannes Doesn’t … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

[…] The ad industry is notoriously bad at this, often confusing an ad idea with an idea or worse, confusing bollocks, with genius. […]

Pingback by The Bullshit Of Big … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

If you think you have a killer idea, you should execute instead of making a case study and paying to get it featured in front of industry leaders.
I remember one agency stating their ambient work had been seen by 2 million ppl, although the city had only 1 m. inhabitants.

Comment by commintomylife

[…] How Cannes is bringing the worst out of adland. […]

Pingback by The Last Week Of 2016 … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

[…] to mention being light years ahead of adland and their often embarrassing attempts to make a difference to culture. Though, to be fair, that’s because most of them are only […]

Pingback by Samsung Are Right, Apple Do Lead The Blind, But That’s A Great Thing … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

[…] will have to wake up soon, otherwise the bullshit we churn out for Cannes – that we claim is ‘creative problem solving’ will become the benchmark for our […]

Pingback by Little Things Make The Difference … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

[…] a bin [and let’s remember, this is not the first time this has happened] produces more effective solutions than much of adland – and certainly what adland awards at shows like Cannes – maybe it’s time to […]

Pingback by Why A Bin Is Better Than Earth Hour … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

[…] my PSFK talk back in 2009 to my distain of Cannes scam to my adoration of designers and an absolute shedload in-between … and yet I continue to see […]

Pingback by Creativity Can Find A Way … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

[…] has towards who they regard as creative and creativity as a whole – except when it’s Cannes time of course – but I was recently reminded how this view remains by a recent purchase of a […]

Pingback by What Adland Can Learn From Latvia About Creativity … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

[…] explains why our industry often comes up with bullshit like Peggy while other people/companies/brands come up with brilliantly simple but effective handlebar grip […]

Pingback by Innovation Is About Opportunity, Not Just Necessity … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

[…] it is destroying the credibility of our […]

Pingback by Like Walking Across A Minefield In Clowns Shoes … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

[…] I appreciate the need and value of celebrating ‘the best of creativity’, but I have long felt Cannes was less about that and more about celebrating the celebrity of advertising. […]

Pingback by Is The Lion Facing Extinction … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

[…] here. And here. And here. And […]

Pingback by Best Of The Best Or The Least Bad? | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

[…] PR headlines, but it makes people care – and given the alternative is World Firsts like that fucking Peggy Peg from a few years ago – that is a much better position to be in for all of our […]

Pingback by New Is Easy, Right Is Hard … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

[…] to mention another bunch whose entire business model appears to be ‘doing things first’ … regardless of its value to culture, creativity or commerce … however I doubt even those guys would think doing this would be a good idea […]

Pingback by The Fine Line Between Victory And Vulgarity … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Leave a Reply