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

What Do You Give The Person Who Has Everything?

Gifts are always nice to receive.

You feel a sense of specialness and love and it’s delightful.

Even when you get a gift voucher – which is the equivalent of a bunch of flowers from a petrol station – you kinda are happy, such is the power of the present.

But what if you have to get something for someone who has everything?

Well, I once bought Richard Branson a vanilla latte on his birthday and I can tell you, while he was gracious … he obviously thought, “what the fuck has he got this for me, for?”

Which – ironically – is exactly what Jill said to me when I told her what I’d done.

Well, recently I saw something that may be a solution for you – should you ever find yourself in this predicament. It’s this …

Yes … it’s a computer mouse, with a leather jacket.

And according to Liam, once you’ve used it, you will never go back to a regular, ‘naked’ mouse.

Now this may sound like I’m about to be hypocritical but if someone bought me this – even if I was the richest person in the entire world – I would want to smash them in the face.

Not because it’s bollocks.

Not because if I’m that rich, I’d have someone doing the ‘mousing’ for me.

But because they cost TWO HUNDRED QUID and they refer to themselves as ‘pointer instruments’.


I love how they are trying to elevate the appeal and craftsmanship of what they’re doing by referring to it as an ‘instrument’ … but whatever way you look at it, they’re charging you 200 quid for a shitty mouse wearing a teeny-tiny leather jacket.

But they’re going all in on it.

Read their website and the descriptions of the various products they make.

It’s hilariously depressing, but not as much as the fact they’re selling a ton of them.

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The Lost Art Of Persuasion …

Recently I saw this …

Quite a headline eh?

Amazingly, it wasn’t from the Sunday Sport ‘newspaper’ … though it was from The Daily Mail, so it’s kind of the same thing.

And while it makes for entertaining reading – unless you’re the vicar in question or the Henry Hoover – it did make me think about how rubbish his attempt at persuasion.

Now to be fair, being found with your penis in a vacuum cleaner while wearing stockings would test the limits of any act of persuasion, but even so … it’s just rubbish isn’t it?

You don’t believe it.

You don’t consider it.

You are not in the least moved by it.

And that’s kind of what I feel about a lot of the ads I see these days.

They say stuff but they don’t make you think, feel or react to any of it.

No persuasion … just a rather rubbish demand that you now go and do something or the insane ramblings of an 18 year old French philosophy student. In their first year.

I swear a big reason for this is the lack of actual interest in knowing culture.

A narrowcast attitude of either assuming people blindly love you and wait on your every word or only showing an interest in how people use your product. And nothing else.

An egotistical assumption audiences don’t need to be encouraged to consider why you may be beneficial to their life or the belief people are thick as pig shit and so need to be instructed in detail what to do with you.

So you end up with bullshit like:

Future is an attitude for Audi or Cure Housebarrassment for Wicks Kitchens … which are so stupid/blatant you start to think saying undiagnosed diabetes led you to stick your penis in a hoover while wearing stockings is at least an attempt to make an attempt at persuasion.

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Magic Inside …

Timo Kiuru has written a book on creative leadership.

He said …

“I wanted to find out how the leaders of the most creative organisations in the world do their job. I contacted people I had a lot of respect for and was very thankful for their time. I interviewed countless leaders.

It was hard to narrow them down, but this book includes the fascinating stories of 15 of those inspirational people – stories that dig into your very soul. I hope that the book will encourage readers to be braver in their search for that something special”

One of the people he interviewed is me.


He’s utterly misguided but my parents would be so proud of me. For once.

So thanks Timo and all the colleagues, agencies and clients I’ve worked with who somehow fooled him into thinking it had anything to do with me.

You can find out more [without having to read me] by clicking here.

And yes, I fully appreciate this is a #UnhumbleBrag … but in my defence, I’m from Nottingham and the only books we tend to be mentioned in are a Police Officers.

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When You’re Always On, You May Find You’re Always Off …

Social media.

Or for some, digital marketing.

Oh the terms and the tropes.

The guru’s and the chancers.

The rules and the frameworks.

The DTC brand successes and the DTC product commodification.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of social media marketing. I think – done in the right way – it can powerfully drive brand, business and fandom in ways many other forms of marketing can’t hope to reach.

There’s countless amazing examples out there, but underpinning all of them is the inconvenient truth that they’re based on an idea. It may not always be what the ad industry likes to call a ‘big idea’, but it’s an idea all the same.

Something that holds all it does together. Guides it. Shapes what it does. Gives it a reason to exist and add to culture rather than continually try to steal from it.

But the problem is these brands are still in the minority because the vast majority still practice what my beloved Martin Weigel refers to, “the continuous production of social landfill”.

There are countless reasons this occurring …

The belief it gives them ‘free’ advertising.
Their fear they may be left behind or left out.
The attempt to look and act relevant to the times.

But without doubt, the worst reason is ‘people really are interested in who we are and what we have to say’.

Oh my god, that’s the worst of all.

A deluded state that manifests itself into some of the worst behaviour and marketing you can get … liked and supported by those who either work for the company or want to.

So what we end up with is an ever-increasing production of sheer shit.

Pointless, mindless marketing filth that doesn’t so much scrape the barrel, but is the scrapings of the barrel.

Things like this …

What. Is. That?

Seriously, how deluded and desperate must you be to think this is the sort of content the World is waiting for.

Yes, I appreciate they have almost TWO MILLION followers but come on …

And they’ve even incorporated a way to ‘vote through emoji’ to allow their ‘fans’ to interact with the content.

To paraphrase a comment once made to me by a client … sometimes, the people who like your stuff are the people you don’t want liking your stuff.

Pity the poor social media people who have to manage this stuff.

I say pity, because surely they can’t think this is good?

Surely they are the human equivalent of a battery hen … held in a small room and told to keep finding ‘ideas’ to churn out as content.

Stuff that is the very embodiment of social media landfill.

An always on strategy that turns people off.

But my god, what if they think this stuff is good?

What if they believe people wait with baited breath for the latest piece of content they literally are churning out?

What if the client thinks it is driving ‘powerful user interaction metrics’?

I know Colgate Palmolive make many products.

Some of which have become brands that are very, very popular.

But maybe someone needs to tell them that just because people buy them, doesn’t mean people care about them … certainly outside of the environment they inhabit or in the detail Colgate finds fascinating.

Or to paraphrase another old client of mine:

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

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Keep Them Mean To Keep Them Subservient …

As it is the first of August, I thought I’d change the tone of the posts from the rather heavy ones of July to something a bit more ‘light’.

Which is why today I’m writing about cats.

As you know, I love those feline sods.

Specifically my feline sod … Rosie.

The things I’ve done for her.

Taken her around the World.

Got an import licence in China so we could get her her favourite treats.

Built custom ‘penthouse cat houses’ for her, so she could enjoy the outdoors in safety.

Got a company to make a bloody stuffed toy version of her for us.

In fact, it’s so realistic a client once thought she was stuck on a wardrobe during a zoom call.

And what do I get in return?




And a distinct lack of love or emotion.

Oh I know she loves me really.

Not as much as we love her, obvs … but there is affection there. Deep down.

However I recently saw something that not only summed her up, but summed all cats up which perfectly explains why some people hate them, and why some – like me – are at their mercy, will and command.

If humans treated humans this way, it would be considered an abusive relationship.

But cats powers of manipulation has managed to reframe that as ‘personality’.

Seriously, if you want to know the art of strategy, forget the Weigel’s, Bloodworth’s, Ritson’s and Collin’s and just study cats.

They’re bastards. But they’re brilliant bastards … as demonstrated by this photo that, for me, is the best encapsulation of cattidude you will ever see.

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