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

I Don’t Want To Be A Member Of Any Club That Wants Me To Be A Member …

So a while back, I received this …

Now I have to be honest, I read it a few times and I still don’t understand what the hell it is going on about.

Of course, the fact they lied at the very beginning put them off to a bad start given none of my close friends work in advertising, let alone at Ogilvy .. but more than that, why would I even care about ‘where I ranked with my peers’.

Ranked based on what?

Hair on your head?

Birkenstock ownership?

Kebabs eaten?

If that wasn’t stupid enough, it then goes ultra-weird by talking about how I am comfortable mingling with ‘creative types’ and that the lifestyle we live is one the ‘mainstream’ crave … possibly because of a TELEVISION SHOW ABOUT A FICTIONAL AD AGENCY BASED IN THE 1960’S!!!




Then, to put the shit icing on the shit cake, they try and lure me in by suggesting my advice might be worth money.

Well guess what … it already is, I’m paid for my advice by clients. And while many of you may find that madness, it’s not nearly as mad as thinking a right-minded person would give me money for my advice on how to live.

And what advice would I actually give them?

The best takeout restaurant to order from?

The best IKEA furniture to buy when you’re too tight to buy something designer?

The average public transport costs to get to and from the airport?

Seriously, what is it about my life – or anyone else’s for that matter – that someone would find interesting, let alone willing to pay for.

And you know what, even if there was something … I’d rather shit in my hands and clap than be a part of this pretentious bullshit.

This industry is bad enough for being disconnected to reality without people actively trying to make it worse … and then there’s the issue that if someone is getting paid for ‘how they live’, that may influence them to live in ways that are not authentic, just because they think that will impress more people and get them more money.

Without wishing to sound horrible, the last people I’d like to spend my social time with are others in the industry.

Actually that’s not true.

The last people I’d like to spend my social time with are others in the industry who measure their value by being in the industry.

Everything about this email insulted me and I hope the people who are behind it – and are a part of it – leave me the fuck alone in future.

Uniting Generation …

Every now and then I come across an idea that enchants me.

The commonality with them all is they appear painfully simple but solve a fundamental issue.

In this case, it’s an idea that manages to resolve youths lack of [safe] accommodation with the elderlies need for interaction and care.

It’s very simple.

There is an old people’s home in Holland called Humanitas that offers students free accommodation if they agree to spend at least 30 hours a month socialising with the older residents.

Everyone wins.

The youth – who have somewhere to live and to learn.

The elderly – who have someone to protect and engage with.

The staff – who get more time to focus on administering better care.

The company – who can offer patients better standards of care at less cost.

The country – who have people who build bridges with generations rather than burn them.

In some ways it’s another example of what I call devious strategy … where you give people exactly what they want in a way that also solves your own personal needs … but this is done with such gentleness and grace that the word ‘devious’ just seems wrong to use.

What it does do though, is remind us great ideas are still their to be found and in the main, the general premise behind them is almost embarrassingly simple.

Born To Be Mild …
August 29, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Comment, Crap Campaigns In History, Creativity, Marketing


The epitome of masculinity.

OK, if you’re driving a 50cc moped, they might not be, but if it’s something over 500cc, then it is more manly than if Trump and Putin had a baby.

When you think of motorbikes, you think power … freedom … wilderness.

You also think America.

Which may go someway to explaining this ad for British motorbike manufacturer, Triumph.

On face value, it captures all those traits I mentioned.

The mountain terrain.

Standing on the edge of danger.

The earthy tones of light all around.

But then you look at the biker looking into the distance … instead of seeing a rebel in leather, you see what can only be described as an accountant wearing a onesie. And not just any onesie … but one that is soooooo big for him, that he looks like he’s wearing shoulder pads straight out of 1980’s TV ‘classic’, Dynasty. And if that wasn’t bad enough, when you look at his legs, they look like they should belong to one of Snow White’s dwarves rather than some man who embodies raw masculinity.

Seriously, if I didn’t know better, I’d swear he was wearing a parachutists outfit.

Which means this ad does 2 things.

1. It reflects the British heritage of the bike perfectly.

2. It proves us Brits can’t pull off ‘wilderness cool’ like the Yanks.

Ending The Week With Love …
August 26, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: Family, Mum, Mum & Dad, Parents

Every now and then, you see a video that just gets to you.

Sometimes it’s something very sad.

Sometimes it’s something very funny.

Sometimes it’s just something that reaches deep down and squeezes your heart.

This is one of those videos.

It’s beautiful.

It’s beautiful for its genuineness.

It’s beautiful for its love.

It’s beautiful for it’s joy.

And while it reawakened how much I miss my Mum – and actually made me cry – it’s also just bloody lovely.

My favourite bit is the moment he realises his Mum is there and immediately runs towards her shouting “Mama”.

Despite not seeing her for 10 years, his reaction is instinctual … not even leaving time for him to pause in shock.

In the blink of an eye, he goes from being a big guy to a little boy.

That’s how important Mum’s can be to you.

They’re special.

My Mum was that for me.

And Otis’ Mum is that to him.

It’s pretty fucking awesome when you think about it.

Literally, the power of love and compassion.

We could all do with a bit more of that in the World.

So have a good weekend and give a loved one a hug or a call. Everyone will feel better for it.

When [Olympic] Advertising Goes Wrong …
August 25, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: Crap Campaigns In History, Marketing, Marketing Fail | Tags:

After last weeks accidental – and incredibly rare – occasion of writing a post at the optimum time for it to appear, I thought I should get back to being ‘topically late’ with my ranting.

Fortunately I did it without realising because as I was scanning through my pre-written posts, I found I’d written this one about the Olympics to appear after the Olympics.

Now that’s a talent. So with that brief intro over, here’s what I wrote …

It’s the Olympics … a time where the world is reminded about the magnificence of sport.

It’s also a time where brands – both official and unofficial – jump on the bandwagon and claim they have an integral role either in athletics or the amplification of it.

Sadly, most fail.

Now this is not going to be a big rant about how Wieden does it better than most.

However what I will say is that the reason we have helped NIKE and P&G be at the forefront of Olympic advertising is because we haven’t actually approached it in terms of advertising, but in terms of truth.

The truth of what the brand stands for.

The truth of what the brand can genuinely claim it contributes to the Olympics.

The truth about what an athlete experiences or feels or goes through on their journey.

In other words, nothing fake, contrived or blatantly untrue.

Like paying money to be ‘the official cheese of the Olympics’ … or some other rubbish.

That’s why we helped P&G be the proud sponsor of Mum’s [sorry, Mom’s] … because their role in raising Olympian’s is true [and P&G has a real connection to them] whereas claiming an FMCG product had directly and significantly contributed to an athletes success, wasn’t.

[A case study of our last Olympic campaign – Greatness – can be seen here]

It’s not rocket science and yet, when I see ads like the one above – from an official Olympic sponsor no less – it appears that maybe it is.