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

What You Can Learn About The Danger Of Assumption From The Original Woodstock Festival …

One of the things I do when I first get a brief is try to see the creative opportunity.

Where we can make the biggest and most interesting difference.

Changing something.

Pushing something.

Destroying something.

However the reality is that in many briefs, this isn’t always clear – mainly because so many are written from quite a transactional perspective, designed for an agency to ‘answer it’, rather than use it as a springboard for bigger, more powerful and more sustainable impact.

And that’s why the best thing you can do is ask questions.




Not just in terms of who authored the brief, but the people who are responsible for what comes out of it.

There are some people who think this approach has the potential of alienating clients, but in my experience it has quite the opposite effect. People in power regard this as a demonstration of someone who gives a shit … someone who wants to help them achieve the best outcome in ways that can best serve their business. Ideas they may simply never have seen or considered before.

And that’s exactly why I do it because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t know the level of the clients ambition … their desire for change and impact … and without that you can’t possibly see the creative opportunity you have in front of you and you may go down a path that leads to nowhere because you have made assumptions that simply aren’t true.

Don’t get me wrong, we all need new business to survive – let alone thrive – but my point of view is that if people aren’t excited or clear on what we are looking to do, then it either leads to a painful journey with painful work at the end of it or just mistrust and quite frankly, I haven’t got time for either of those in my life.

So what’s all this got to do with the title of this post?

Because I recently read an article on the famous Woodstock festival and was reminded – from a comment by Tommy James from the band, Tommy James and The Shondells – how dangerous ‘assumption’ can be.

And who is Tommy James from Tommy James and The Shondells?

Well, this might tell you why you haven’t heard of him or them …

Don’t assume the person communicating with you has total clarity on their situation.

Don’t assume the people around you have total clarity on the situation.

Just don’t assume.

Hahahahahahahahahaha …
July 8, 2012, 12:09 pm
Filed under: Comment, Potential Darwin Awards

So I’ve just found out that Business Insider – an organisation that I previously always assumed was smart and insightful – have put this blog in their article:

‘Meet The 22 Most Influential Advertising Bloggers’.

I know … I know … saying any 42 year old, Birkenstock wearing, Queen fan is anything other than tragic, is utter madness.

That said, as much as I’d like to act all casual about it, I feel ridiculously chuffed about it – mainly because I know I shouldn’t be there and I feel I’ve just bagged a night with a young Angelina Jolie who has mistaken me for some big shot movie producer.

For the record [and her lawyers] I am not saying she slept her way into the movie business. It’s just another in a long line of very, very bad analogies by me.

Fortunately Business Insider [who might now be known as Business Outsider, given their endorsement of this blog] bring me back down to earth by basically saying the reason this rubbish is half decent is because of all the people who come on here and swear at me [ie: everyone] but in true Nottingham low self esteem style … I’ll take any compliment – even if it’s an insult.

To end, I’ll leave you with the tweet the lovely Jason Oke said about it:

“If @Robertc1970 making this list isn’t a sign of the advertising apocalypse, I don’t know what is.”

Never a truer word stated.

So thank you to Business Insider for their momentary alarming lack of taste and thank you to all the people who have come on here and abused me – I’m not going to give you any money for it, but I do appreciate how you’ve given my Mum something to be proud of me for … even if Mr Wieden is probably slapping his head in dismay.

There’s No Accounting For Taste …
December 30, 2008, 1:01 pm
Filed under: Potential Darwin Awards

… Slideshare have highlighted my PSFK preso on their homepage.

I can only assume it is an act of sabotage by one of their competitors as there’s no other plausible explanation for it. Oh hang on, there is … it could be one of my enemies [of which I obviously have loads] who see this as a way to get Sorrell, WPP and/or Getty Images to sue me. The sneaky little buggers!

I know it’s not much and that if I had an ounce of ‘cool’ I’d act all nonchalant about it, but the reality is I’m quite chuffed [and shocked] because I still believe no one [other than my Mum and even she’s questionable at times] gives a damn about what I think, let alone would encourage someone else to read it.

[As you can tell, that doesn’t stop me ranting on like a madman though, ha!]

Of course by tomorrow the link [and this post] will be irrelevant, but like the time I got 2% in my maths exam, it’ll live on in my [and my Mum’s] memory forever, ha!

Comments Off on There’s No Accounting For Taste …

Painful Lessons I’ve Learnt #1
December 7, 2007, 7:26 am
Filed under: Potential Darwin Awards

Cat claw

Don’t try and get the kinks out of a pair of iPOD headphones by letting the cable accidentally dangle infront of a kitten …

… a kitten who is standing on a table opposite you …

… a table just above groin height …

… because the mad bundle of fluff will probably think it’s a game …

… a game where she has to jump at the items infront of her …

… a jump that will require her to run full pelt … 

… because what ends up happening …

… is she lands smack bang in your midsection …

… a section where she then rams in her claws …

… because she wants to stay close to ‘the game’ …

… even though in reality …

… she’s digging into a VERY sensitive part of the body …

… a part of the body that will result in her ‘Dad’ …

… never becoming a ‘Dad’ for real.

Yes, this did happen which is why I am now speaking in a much higher pitched voice and have a wife who is wetting herself everytime she looks at me.