Seeing as we were talking about laces, I thought I'd show you this.
Do you think it's clever? Witty? Or incredibly naff and tasteless?
The nice people at the BBC News website have quoted from this blog, which is very kind.
So, if you've come from that BBC article; Welcome, let me show you around.
I hope you enjoy reading, and feel free to leave comments. I love that.
It's Christmas drinks time.
I had a completely scandalous lunch yesterday with a client who works for a fantastic, incredibly trendy brand. It never fails to amaze me how everyone thinks their brand is boring and stuffy – even the people who work for for really cool ones.
This particular client works for a brand that most people would envy, but they still perceive the brand as being unimaginative and corporate. Is this just an English thing? Is this a branding problem? Is it a political thing?
What do you think?
Good article in The Indy about Kate Moss' comeback and how textbook it was. I agree totally. It was been handled like an ABC of How To Save A Brand. And it's worked brilliantly.
It's almost as if she planned it.
A friend and I were talking about this recently - did she plan it all? Well, consider these points:
1. She looks great in those pictures.
Even though they are grainy, mobile phone shots, she still looks very glamourous and sexy. I bet most celebrities don't look that good after a hard night out.
2. It has done her image no harm whatsoever.
And it probably never would have. She always been a rock 'n' roll model and her fan base don't see cocaine as a big deal. Look at Ozzy, look at Liam and Noel.
3. She can't model forever.
She's already worked longer than most models, but one day she'll have to stop. And where does her career go then? Maybe she needed something that gave her a little more personality, more vulnerability, so she can present or write or something. After all Britain loves a comeback, see Robbie Williams & David Beckham.
Was it a careful manipulated publicity stunt? Stranger things have happened. What do you think? Whilst you're thinking have a look at her comeback ad for Virgin Mobile, it's great.
This is the first in an occasional series.
There is a branding company called Nude Brand Creation. What a ridiculous name.
This might be their website nudebrandcreation.com/ but then again it might not be.
This is quite simply the best title of a book ever.
It’s an old Ladybird book. We’ve started collecting these in the office. They are hilarious, surprising, charming and brilliant all at the same time.
If I ever write a management book, it will be called "What on earth are we doing?".
This is fantastic.
A few months ago Penguin Books launched a Podcast service. This Christmas they are are offering free downloads of the classic tale, Dickens's A Christmas Carol. It will be read by read by Geoffrey Palmer, in five instalments. the first one is available now and the others will be available on the 16, 19, 20 and 21 December.
I think this is a great innovation from a once great, now good, company. I hope this sort of stuff helps them become great again.
Wieden + Kennedy London have a blog. And it's OK. Well it's better than OK actually, but as it's a blog by an advertising agency I expect a bit more. That's all.
Anyway, I digress. They are behind all the recent, brilliant Honda adverts. You know, Cog and Hate Something and the other ones . I like Wieden + Kennedy, I like their approach and I like their work. I love the Honda ads, about bloody time a car manufacturer did something like that.
I think it's a bit lacklustre. I don't think it's as focused or as innovative as the others. And importantly I don't think it's communicates a clear message.
Let me elaborate.
The cog ad ended with the line, "Isn't it nice when things just work". That ad was beautiful, a work of amazing craft. It got across the message that Honda's are beautifully crafted vehicles. We care about this car so much we made a beautiful ad like this.
The hate something ad said that our engineers are so passionate, such perfectionists that they've never made a diesel engine because, well, they're a bit shit. But now, we've invented a diesel engine that even our engineers love.
All great stuff. But I find this new one a bit wishy washy. Impossible dreams? Well, OK, like what? Like a Honda Goldwing? Eh? Like an NSX? Great car, but an impossible dream? Not really. And it looks too much, too much, too much like advertising. And the other ads didn't look like that, they looked different. I guess, I'm saying it looks like advertising for advertising people. And that's a bad thing.
I could be wrong. What do you reckon?
(Still, it's better than all the other car ads around at the moment.)
Paul Arden is the ex Executive Creative Director of Saatchi & Saatchi. He's written a book. The book is called "It's Not How Good You Are It's How Good You Want To Be".
I think it's brilliant. It's pretty much the bible at work - every new employee is given a copy.
It's about ideas, and challenging yourself and pushing yourself to have better ideas. If you hate these kind of books this one is laid out very visually so it's really easy to read or to dip in and out of. It's well structured and features simple nuggets like the ones I've included below.
Buy it from Amazon now.
Don't put your own cleverness in front of the communication
Do not try and justify your salary with witty ideas. Cleverness is simplicity. The issue itself is often the message.
It's all my fault
Blame no-one, but your self, if you have touched something accept total responsibility for that piece of work. If you accept responsibility you are in the position to do something about it. If you are involved don't blame others.
Do not covert your ideas
Give away everything and more will come back to you. They are not your ideas anyway they are God's.
(Seth Godin also talks about this "Unleashing the Ideavirus".)
When the client won't buy, do it his way, then do it your way
Very often having given him what he wants he will give you what you want. There is also the possibility he may be right.
(We do this all the time at work, and it's soo effective.)
The TV ad isn't dead, it isn't even dying but clever brands (or rather clever people inside brands) are realising there are other ways to reach customers. Way that means you don't have to use TV any more. You can still use it. But you don't have to.
And that's the big difference.
Oooh, I might write some predictions of my own...
I've had a lot to do with these books over the last couple of months (for one reason or another).
And I love them. They are beautifully designed, with bold simple shapes and colours and fantastic touchy feely bits for the little ones. They are, after all, aimed at babies.
But what I like best is the simplicity of the idea.
The books are called, "That's not my insert subject here". And inside the story works like this;
That's not my puppy, it's nose is too shiny.
That's not my puppy, it's ears are too shaggy.
That's not my puppy, it's tail is too long.
etc etc and then they end
That's my puppy! It's coat is so cuddly.
You get the idea.
And today I've been thinking about using this idea in presentations.
Imagine it - "That's not my brand".
That's not my brand, it's sales are too small.
That's not my brand, it's competitors are too sexy.
That's not my brand, it's image is too dated.
That's my brand! It's all because of insert presentation subject here.
Can you guys see that working? Thoughts? Comments? Opinions?
I've been writing this blog for about 6 months now, so I thought I'd change the design a little bit.
I've always tried to keep the design as simple as posssible, and with that in mind I've removed the third column. It always annoyed me.
I've added RSS feeds to Russell Davies, Seth Godin and Brand Republic. I'll try and add more when I find (or remember) site that are worthy enough to be featured. I promise I'll only feature sites that I read regularly and I believe will add something to your day.
I've added links too. There won't be the quality control that there is with the RSS stuff I'm afraid, but there will still be some interesting stuff there.