The brainstorm – a trojan horse of mediocrity


Image courtesy of Jacob Botter

I hate brainstorms.

I hate running them, I hate contributing to them and I hate using them to solve problems.

They waste huge amounts of time and talent and they are no fucking good at delivering decent ideas.

And so six months ago I cleansed my professional life of this trojan horse of mediocrity, favouring aggregated individual working or two person thinking sessions.

I suggest it’s time you gave them the boot too.

Death the the brainstorm. Long live great ideas.

One from the vaults


Lee Scratch Perry. Image courtesy of Ariel Publicity

When it comes to the back catalogue of the recently departed and much missed HHCL its easy to reel off the famous stuff the agency made over the years from Tango Slap to Pot Noodle’s Slag of all Snacks but I thought I’d draw attention to some of the less famous stuff that I love.
This isn’t easy because most the work predates You Tube and so only exists where fanatics have uploaded old ads, but there is some stuff there to enjoy.
First up is a campaign for Guiness in Ireland and about the launch of Guiness Extra Cold from the early part of this decade.

A new golden age for radio?


Listen with mother – backbone of the BBC light programme schedule form 1950 to 1982.

If there is an orthodox medium that has been given a shot in the arm by new technology it has got to be radio (not Last fm and all that marlarkey) but good old gardeners-question-time type wireless.

Radio is in robust health in the UK, most especially the BBC which has recently seen both reach and share of listening hours increase and part of that success is down to new means of distribution, particularly digital TV and the internet.

So it was nice of those people at RAJAR to put together some charts on all of this when they released the lastest figures for radio listening recently.

Can we have a more intelligent debate on regulation please?


Will regulation hole advertising below the water line?

As if advertising weren’t challenged enough already by consumer behaviour and technology, the regulators are coming.

They have been circling for a long time but until now self-regulation has kept them at bay.

But with pressure to ban the advertising of ‘junk food’ altogether to follow its prohibition in children’s media and increasing calls to ban alcohol advertising things are getting serious.

In defence of DM


Lester Wunderman who identified, defined and named Direct Marketing.

Direct is having a tough time of it at the moment.

In a world of increasing consumer antipathy towards orthodox communications channels (you’ll remember the TGI chart showing the decline in people thinking the ads are as good as the programmes) DM – both mail and its bastard offspring telemarketing – set new standards in irritation and intrusiveness. And you better believe that the in cards are marked by the self-regulation bodies if not the legislators.

And that’s before you get onto the thorny issue of DM’s environmental footprint. Both the consumption of materials and energy to create it in the first place and the residue it leaves in the home – the disposal of which falls to individuals and their council tax.

In all this ethical mess I have recently found some reasons to be cheerful and to recognise the specific qualities that DM contributes to the process of bringing brand ideas to life.

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