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

Listen To The Terrible Tones Of The Corporate Toady Choir …

First of all, this is the last post for a week.

I’m away next week for a talk – I know, I know – and not back till Thursday evening so you can go into the weekend with an extra big smile on your face. Assholes.

Anyway, back to the post.

Over the years, this industry has shown an alarming lack of judgement in how it presents itself.

However, of all the terrible ideas, the absolute worst has to be when they decide to show how ‘fun’ they are through the art of song.

There’s been so many examples.

Sapient Nitro – remember them? – started it with something I can’t remember.

Then Mindshare Amsterdam got in the act saying they ‘work hard for your money’.

Not to be left out … Leo Burnett Sydney did – I think – a Sister Sledge song for a pitch.

Then Ogilvy Athens wrote a ‘ballad’ dedicated to David Ogilvy.

And then – one of my car-crash favourites – the Singapore Media Development Authority did a rap that, rumour has it, almost stopped Eminem wanting to continue his career. Maybe.

Despite having written a few times about these symphonies of shit, the reason there are so few links is because over the years, the guilty parties realised it made them look like a bunch of lunatic impersonator ‘entertainers’ appearing on a revival of Stars in Their Eyes.

Which is why I’m so happy that someone has decided to revive the trend with an epic re-write of Elton John’s ‘I’m Still Standing’ … filmed where the original video was shot. Cannes.

Better yet … at Cannes while I believe the festival was on.

Now, to be fair, it is way, way better than the other films mentioned and shown in this post.

That doesn’t mean much given they were worse than the worst musical duo on Britain’s Got Talent musical duo in history, but beggars can’t be choosers.

But I still can’t grasp why anyone would do this.

Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to take yourself seriously while still taking what you do seriously … but to decide you have to ‘show’ you’re fun outside the context of how you’d actually interact with a client seems crazy. Almost as crazy as thinking this shows you’re ‘fun’.

And remember, this is coming from me … who did iPod Singing and wear birkenstocks!!!

So with that, let me send you off to your weekend with this rendition of I’m Still Standing … which still you might think is a joke but I can assure you isn’t as bad as sitting in the Majestic during the festival and watching people pour 2 grand bottles of champagne down their throat while publicly banging on about the economic crisis facing them and their clients.

Happy weekend.

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A Reminder That Wealth Is Not A Sign Of Smarts …

So a few weeks ago, Elon Musk posted this.

What the hell …

The irony is anyone who tries to claim penis size is a symbol of status and superiority is an idiot … most often while being in possession of an appendage that is the size of a drawing pin.

As if losing billions on Twitter wasn’t embarrassing enough … his ‘feud’ with Zuck just makes him look like a more desperate version of Tom from Succession, just with less quality one-liners. Hell, he has made Zuck look good, which up to 6 weeks ago, seemed as likely as making Putin look a cuddly, compassionate grandpa.

I’m not doubting Musk is smart in some things, but the more he acts like a petulant child, the more I am in doubt what those things are.

Seems like he may be the billionaire in this story …

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We Are What We Need Or Dream …


They’re bloody everywhere.

SMS. Email. People knocking on the door.

There seems to be three types …

The hopeful … which is sending the same thing to tons of people and see if it will stick.

The too-good-to-be-true … which is promising untold riches for a fraction of investment.

And the invisible … where it has been so well planned, you may not realise it’s happened until its happened.

While I understand how the latter works – having once been a victim of it – it’s amazing how often the first 2 do.

Part of that can be down to blinkered greed.

The belief we’re all ‘special’ and while friends may think it’s a scam, they stick with it as it reinforces what they’ve aways felt about themselves.

Until it doesn’t.

The other group are people who are desperate – whether financially or lonely – so they take part in a desperate bid to escape their own personal hell.

So while its easy to laugh at people who we think have been stupid, the reality is there are always mitigating circumstances that add to the scammers success.

And nothing shows how successful the crims are by their exaggeration. Look at this …

For just NZ$400, you can get a ‘guaranteed’ NZ$7800 every month.

EVERY MONTH … where do I sign?

But the scammers aren’t completely stupid, so they’ve added a picture of Elon Musk.

Now whether that’s because he’s super rich or is OK with losing billions – as demonstrated with Twitter – is anyone’s guess, but given they’ve bought a ton of ads all over Facebook and other social media channels means they think it makes what is one of the most ridiculous financial investment promises in history, legitimate.

And you know what, it seems it has … which is a great reminder for the marketing community that while customers are often much smarter than we give them credit for, they rarely adopt the logic we like to think/claim they do because ultimately – and here’s the big reminder – they buy for what they’ve need, not what we want them to need.

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Ooops, ‘They’ Did It Again …

In 2019, WARC made the stupid mistake of inviting Martin and I to talk at their event at Cannes. I was so confident that this would be the only time it would happen, I even asked the audience if I could take a photo to commemorate this once-in-a-lifetime moment.

Now, it’s fair to say The Case For Chaos talk went down quite well – hell, I even got a Getty Image of me out of it [number of sales: 0] – but I also think it’s fair to say the reason Covid happened is so Cannes would be cancelled for a few years spot the industry could get over WARC’s shocking mistake.

However, as time goes on, there is more and more evidence that long covid is a thing … where the virus continues to live within people and causes long term negative effects.

I say that because this can be the only explanation as to why WARC have asked us back to present at this years Cannes Festival.

Yep … it’s happening.

June 22 at 3:30pm.

God help us all.

But before you all run off to tell George Bush you’ve discovered a real weapon of mass destruction … there’s good news and bad news.

The good is both Martin and I know we don’t stand a chance of saying anything remotely interesting by ourselves. Because of this fact, we went out and asked/blackmailed/paid if our dear friend – the brilliant Paula Bloodworth – would be a part of this with us.

As anyone who listens to OnStrategy will know, Paula, Martin and I meet up every week on Zoom to put the world to rights. Or bitch. Or ask each other for advice. So we used one of these sessions to beg for her brain and charisma to help make this something people would want to see and would actually get something out of it.

And – because we caught her when she was tired – she said yes!!!

However, it’s because she was tired that we got her to agree what our talk would be called.

Which leads to the bad news.

Because while all the other invited speakers are giving talks about the role strategy in terms of it’s future, it’s role in driving business and effectiveness, the emerging roles, trends and opportunities for the discipline, our talk is called:

Strategy is constipated. Imagination is the laxative.

And while we haven’t written a word of it yet, I’m not joking.

I’m so sorry …

For Paula.
For Martin.
For the discipline.
For all the attendees.

But hey, at least I’ll get another photo op out of it, even if it ends up looking like this:

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When You Become The Beast You Were Born To Slay x 2 …

Sorry Lee, but seriously … WTF?

You need to tell Mr B to ditch the management consultants and get people who actually know the soul of the brand.

Or at the very least, people who will say, “this is a terrible idea”.

I can’t even work out who this is for …

Most young people won’t know who the fuck the Pistols were.

And the people who do know are self aware enough to know how tragic this makes them look.

I know the history between the two brands but …. nooooooooooooo.

No, no, no, no, no.

And it is underpinned by Mastercard.

The ‘priceless’ people.

How can you all get it so wrong?

Well, I know how … but come on, even Stevie Wonder can see how bad an idea this is.

I appreciate you will have personally had nothing to do with it, but christ on a bike.

I bet you’re grateful comments are still turned off? Hahaha.

I’m genuinely so upset about this, but I am also willing to sort you out. For a price, hahaha.

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