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


Never Phone It In …

Yes, it’s a photo of Freddie.

But this is not just a tribute to him … well, not really.

The reason I love that photo is the intensity of performance.

The bulging vein. The closed eyes. The focused frown.

This photo was taken from their concert in Montreal, on their 1980/81 ‘The Game’ World Tour.

In fact, it was taken 10 years to the day before Freddie died.

But what I love about the photo is that despite Queen having been touring for years – and that concert coming at the end of an 18 month tour – he’s still bringing everything to the moment.

No short-cuts.

No lacklustre performance.

Just a show designed to leave an audience blown away.

I say this because one of the easiest mistakes agencies make is getting bored of their work before an audience is bored of it. A tiredness of going through the slow process of client acceptance. A hunger to move on to the next thing. Excitement of other opportunities that allow a fresh start.

And I get it. I get it A LOT.

But while playing a concert to 50,000 adoring fans and selling a campaign to a bunch of people in suits is pretty different … passion goes a long way in winning both parties over.

So while things should not take as long as they often do to get over the line … making sure you bring your commitment, focus and passion to meetings can go a long way at winning the audience over to your way of thinking.

And if that doesn’t change things – or worse, you see no desire from your audience to be part of something great – then maybe that’s when you need to adopt another Rockstar trait … which is get on the tour bus, speed out of town, never look back and go find an audience who value you – and will reward you – for being at your best.


20 Comments

for fucks sake campbell. its a good point or it would have been before you brought freddie fucking mercury into it.

Comment by andy@cynic

I admire your ability to get queen into any conversation, blog post or strategy. It’s terrible, but I admire it.

Comment by Bazza

It’s a talent I’ve been nurturing for 40+ years. Glad it is finally getting the acclaim it sort-of deserves.

Comment by Rob

A talent no one else has or wants.

Comment by DH

Talking of phoning it in, genesis are touring again soon.

Comment by Bazza

I watched an interview with the band recently about the tour. I imagine the promoter saw it as an opportunity to inject excitement in the fans but it came across as rather depressing.

Comment by Lee Hill

Was it this one?

Comment by Rob

No, that is worse.

Comment by Lee Hill

This feels more like an ad for death than a rock tour.

Comment by DH

Worst concert I’ve ever been to was a Genesis concert. It was on the ‘Invisible Touch’ tour – which was also a terrible album – and the final awful finishing touch was it was all sponored by VW. Hahahaha

Comment by Rob

What you have just articulatedis the difference between winners and champions.

Comment by Lee Hill

Hahaha … good point.

Comment by Rob

And a concise one.

Comment by John

This reminded me of a bizarre conference at the O2 some years ago. Not only were there very few attendees but they had six (yes six) mini stages down the side of the auditorium in addition to the main stage. And there were speakers on all of them simultaneously.

This meant that Brian Solis, a man used to speaking to audiences of many thousands had flown in from the US to find himself in front of maybe fifty people on the floor of the O2.

I’m sure he was underwhelmed, but he presented as if it was SXSW, did a full Q&A and talked to people afterwards. And that is why I have no memory of anything else that happened at that conference and why he has the speaking career he has.

Comment by John

What was the conference? It sounds brilliantly awful. Just like SXSW.

Comment by DH

Is this where I talk about the time you had a minor meltdown because we were going to present concepts to Porsche and you thought they had treated us disrespectfully and deserved nothing?

Comment by DH

I remember that. It was rather amusing.
I am sure Robert would agree he could have dealt with the issue differently. However the issue he had was absolutely correct.

Comment by George

Great article Rob. I love Queen also. I only saw Queen once in the early ’80s but I will never forget the performance that Freddie gave. But I believe Freddie passed away in 1991 and not in 1981.

Comment by Mark Jenson

Finally, another Queen fan.

And yes, he died in ’91. My point was the photo was taken in 1981, 10 years before he died.

Comment by Rob

When you phone it in, you undermine your value and power.
Good post.

Comment by George




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