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

First Day Welcome …
February 28, 2017, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Agency Culture, Attitude & Aptitude, Comment

So recently on Linkedin, I saw this …

Now I don’t want to be rude – and I appreciate the author understands the value of making a new employee feel welcomed – but I’m pretty sure a computer, desk light, post-it notes and pencil are pretty much the basic ‘tools of the trade’ for most employees, so all they’ve really done out of the ordinary is to give a clementine.

A bloody clementine.

Short of adding a note saying, “Here’s your lunch because if you leave your desk for more than 3 minutes, you’re fired” … they couldn’t be more unwelcoming.

OK, so it’s not as bad as the time an old colleagues of mine started her new job and found they’d written the wrong name on her desk. In sweets. But even that – which showing an alarming lack of attention to detail – had more effort in it than placing a random piece of fruit on a desk.

The first day is a big day for most people and while that shouldn’t mean you shower them in presents, you should go out of your way to make sure they feel welcome and are introduced to their team and broader colleagues.

Frankly, giving them a computer and a clementine doesn’t cut it.

I say all this, but on my first day at Wieden, way back in 2010, I came into the office and was the only one here for 3 hours because it had been the World Cup final the night before and everyone was too hungover to come in.

To be fair, that kind of set the expectations regarding China’s time-keeping pretty well.

Another Monday. Another Bit Of Genius From Viz …
February 27, 2017, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Innovation, Insight, Viz

This is so good I can’t even bring myself to add to it.

Except to say I won’t be adding to it.

God, I can’t help myself can I?

The only downside is that if I’ve started the week with posts about shit, how disgusting and low-brow will I have gone by Friday? Be afraid, be very afraid.

One Person’s Kinky Is Another Persons Vanilla …
February 25, 2017, 6:20 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Sex, Taboo Categories

Here are some products from the recent SEXPO exhibition.

I tell you, my childhood memory of ‘space hoppers’ has just been ruined. Forever.

But there’s worse … no really, there is.

Are you ready for it?


OK, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Yes, that really is a G-Spot Squirt Watch.

I don’t know how it works – I don’t want to know how it works – but I must admit I’d love to know how you tell the time with it, not to mention how you wind it up … but assuming you’re as violated as I am, I think it’s best if I just leave it there.

But I bet Rolex are shitting themselves.

Try and have a good weekend.

Has The Ad Industry Become A Hype Industry Rather Than A Creative One?

A while back – unsurprisingly, at Cannes Scam Ad time – an agency made a plate that they said absorbed the grease from food to reduce the calories.

Of course, I’ve not seen this plate anywhere since they entered it into an award … but the reason I bring it up is because I recently saw a real, live, genuine product that frankly, is an embarrassment to that piece of scam.

Worse, it’s an embarrassment to the whole ad industry.

Here is it …

Yep, it’s another plate.

Except this plate doesn’t have mini-holes to “supposedly” drain a small proportion of the bad stuff from your dinner.

No, this one is shaped to reflect the size, shape and capacity of the average human stomach.

That’s it.

At a glance, you can see the quantity of food that should be going down your mouth.

Now of course what food you put on the plate has a huge impact on the effect it will have on your body, but given so many of the obesity issues are caused by quantity, this could have a real impact on your overall health in an instant.

No questionable ‘technology’.

No ads telling you to eat healthier.

Just a product that actually helps you help yourself … albeit in an ingenious, guilt-tripping/educational way.

I’ve said this before, but I genuinely believe designers are currently solving problems in better and more powerful ways than adland. Of course we still do brilliant things, but in our quest to try and make ourselves look good … we seem to be focusing our energies on chasing hype rather than doing something that proves how genuinely smart we can be.

And if you need any more evidence of that, just look at the recent Super Bowl.

An event that should be the best ad for the industry but ends up being the worst … mainly because for all the talk we spout about being innovative and focused on solving problems, we end up making TV spots that sell bad humour, brand ego or z-grade self-help manifestos.

Sure there’s the odd one or two every year who do something genuinely interesting [but rarely as good as this], but at a time where we have a chance to show how good we can really be, they still end up being the exception rather than the rule.

Or said another way.

A bunch of ads that cost millions of dollars are less effective, creative and insightful than an £18 bowl from

Make Problems Your Friend …
February 23, 2017, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

I recently met a creative who was incredibly vocal on how they think all clients are stupid.

Now I know there are some clients who can make Kim Kardashian look like Einstein … but every discipline has their fair share of total bloody idiots, so I asked them what they hated about them so much.

Their reply was “They keep putting obstacles in front of me doing my work”.

When I asked what they meant, they said they wanted to do whatever they think is good.

And here lies the issue … some of us are still confusing commercial creativity with creativity.

But here’s the thing I don’t quite get.

If the goal for these people is to feel they are brilliant … then, in theory, commercial creativity should be a much better way of achieving that.

Is it really a challenge when you are given the freedom to do whatever you want?

Is that really showing others what you are capable of doing … achieving … overcoming?

The fact is, we’re paid money by clients to help them move forward. If we ignore their situation in our solutions, then we’re not doing what we’re paid for and what we are brilliant at.

That doesn’t mean we can’t approach their challenge in very different ways to what was expected.

Hell, that’s actually what we’re supposed to do.

But somewhere along the line, some people have decided ‘challenges’ are inhibiting their creativity and I find that bizarre.

Answering a problem in the most imaginative, intriguing and creative way possible is an infectious feeling.

It shows how you can think and do things in ways few can imagine.

Of course, if the challenge you have been given is the wrong challenge, then you have a point to complain. Just like you do if a client keeps adding challenges to their original challenge … but if people out there think they should be able to do whatever the hell they want – regardless of what the situation requires – then they have 3 choices. Take a long hard look at how they are selling their ideas to their client, pack in advertising and become an artist or start their own business.

Problems are the lifeblood of our creativity, we should look at them as our friend because the harder they are, the more prestige they can give us when we answer them brilliantly.