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

The Older I Get, The More I Get This Film …

There’s no more to really be said is there.

But if you haven’t watched Falling Down … then I really encourage you to. It’s brilliant. Except for the fact it feels like a representation of how we are made to feel as we witness the slow deterioration into corporate mediocrity and self-interest behaviours.


OK, I get that’s pretty heavy. Especially for a Friday … so let’s leave on a bit of a positive.

As tomorrow is April 1st, there will be no blog post. That is not the positive by the way.

Because of that, I thought I’d leave you with the 2 best ones I ever wrote. Given how old this blog is, that is pitifully low even by my standards … but these worked because both were picked up and talked about by various people in the industry as fact. Which, as I am sure you can imagine, filled me with absolute mischievous glee.

With that, enjoy Method Planning and the Power of Poetry.

Have a great weekend.

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Where I Want To Die …
March 30, 2023, 7:45 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Death, Family, Jill

A few weeks ago, Jill and I were chatting about plans when we started talking about where we wanted to end up.

By that, I mean, where we would want to be when we die.

As in location.

Of course, at the moment of death, the primary desire is to be close to each other … but I am talking about after that. When all the tears have gone and life has recommenced.

Sure, I shouldn’t care as I sure-as-hell won’t know … but apart from being a sentimental fuck, the reality is when you have lived in a lot of places, a lot of places become important to you so we just had this surreal conversation about ‘resting place’.

For reasons I’m still not quite sure of, I asked this question on Linkedin.

I presume my driving motivation was that there must be other people who are in similar situations – at least in living in multiple countries – and I wanted to see what they thought.

So I wrote this …

And while I got a lot of people dismissing my viewpoint – saying the only thing I should care about is being with my family [thanks for that folks, even though I literally said that in my post] … one person sent something that was pretty wonderful.

OK, it didn’t actually help answer the question I originally had, but it’s a wonderful way to imagine the final moment.

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2023: Trends …

A few weeks ago, I posted this on Twitter …

Quite a lot of people liked it for one reason …

It’s kinda true.

For all the shit people throw at the younger generation for chasing the next shiny thing, the same can be said for business.

Worse. In my experience, the younger generations are far more committed to what they think is the right thing and stick with it, even in the face of other things coming up.

OK, so there may be some subjects where they are quick to switch, but it’s not the stuff that costs tens of thousands of people their livelihood just because someone at the top wants to look like they have their finger on the pulse.

Seriously, the way some companies behave is like watching a massive game of Hot Or Not … just with billions of dollars riding on every decision.

Once upon a time, a planning colleague – Rodi – once said the biggest problem with business is they remain interested but never want to commit.

He was – as usual – bang on.

And while there are many schools-of-thought that suggest that because of the speed of change ‘those who commit, lose’ … they’re really missing the point.

Because while you have to know what is happening and shifting, it’s only those who commit to what they believe in who can create something that leads culture to them … rather than continually chasing where they’re going.

It doesn’t mean it will always work out, but we know the alternative achieves that even less.

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It’s Not Easy, But It’s Worth It …
March 28, 2023, 7:15 am
Filed under: Dad, Family, Love, Mum, Mum & Dad

I haven’t heard your voices in years.

But everyday my heart still has conversations with both of you.

Sometimes together.

Sometimes on your own.

Grief hurts.

They say it gets better with age, but it’s not that it goes … it just changes and evolves.

From starting as a tsunami to eventually some waves … waves that seemingly come and go as they please, sometimes close, sometimes only seen from afar.

But when they hit. Oh boy, do they hit.

That intense feeling of being overwhelmed.

Being lost in the dark. All by yourself. Wondering if you’ll survive.

Which is ironic, given those are the moments when we’re probably as close as we can be these days.

So I remind myself all that pain is an expression of love.

A longing. A tension. A harmonious connection.

And so while the pain is pretty agonising when it’s in full flow, it’s so much better than the alternative.

Which is why I love letting the conversations go on … with the hope that one day, your voices are heard, not simply felt.

I miss you Mum and Dad.

Happy 59th anniversary.

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Marketing Is Less About Promoting Your Truth, But Hiding Your Flaws …


The chocolate you only see – and buy – at airports.

The chunky triangular pieces that are guaranteed to give you lock jaw.

And while you may think nothing has changed with that chocolate for 10,000 years, a lot has.

Not in taste.

Not in ingredients.

But definitely in reputation.

You see in 2016, the Swiss chocolate brand quietly increased the gaps between the pieces so they could use less chocolate and maintain their price.

On one hand, that’s a smart way to do it.

However on the other, by not telling anyone that’s how they were doing it, left Toblerone’s owners – Mondelez – look like they were trying to pull a fast one.

A year later, Mondelēz went a step further and reduced the number of triangular peaks in each pack from 15 to 11.

But that’s not what this post is about …

You see, Mondelez shifted a large amount of Toblerone’s production outside of Switzerland.

However, in 2017, the Swiss Government passed legislation that restricts use of Swiss provenance. To be able to market yourself as ‘made in Switzerland’, 80% of raw ingredients must be sourced from the country and the majority of processing take place there.

For milk and milk-based products – ie: Toblerone – the required quota is 100%, with exceptions for ingredients that cannot be sourced in Switzerland, like cocoa. Apparently products branded as ‘made in Switzerland’ can command a 20% premium compared to other comparable goods from other countries … with this rising up to 50% for luxury items.

Given the extortionate prices of all things Swiss, none of this is a surprise.

Anyway, because Toblerlone no longer meets the criteria to use Swiss iconography in its marketing, they have to replace the image of the Matterhorn mountain that has been a mainstay of their packaging for over 100 years.

The Matterhorn was used because of it’s near symmetrical pyramidal peak that mirrors the shape of the almond-and-honey-laced chocolate bar.

Anyway, in a perfect example of diversion marketing justification, just take a read of what an Mondelez say’s to explain this change …

I mean, I know they’re not wrong … but their ability to ignore the reason WHY they are changing the logo is the sort of corporate-toady that I both admire and loathe in equal measure.

Admire … because the willpower needed to be able to publicly sell-out your own morals and standards for the good of your employer is almost impossible to fathom.

Loathe … for exactly the same reason.

I have no problem Toblerone are producing their product outside of Switzerland … but I have a lot of problems with them trying to hide that fact under the guise of some packaging redesign.

But then that’s modern marketing these days.

Rather than opening up opportunities for more people to consider buying you, now it is increasingly about hiding the reasons people might not.

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