Adliterate has been delivering radical thinking for the brand advice business for over a decade. It is concerned with the future of advertising and marketing, the impact of technology and the nature of potent brands. It takes a radical view in order to solve deep seated problems and it sets its self against orthodoxy in any form. It also aims to be deliberately provocative.

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Articles and columns
Monopoly, the commercial dividend of powerful brands

Monopoly, the commercial dividend of powerful brands

My favourite episode of South Park is ‘Gnomes’. Not only is it properly funny, if you like your humour puerile and immature, but it also holds a small cautionary tale for marketers. ‘Gnomes’ tells the story of a gang of animated garden ornaments that live beneath South Park and steal underpants while its residents are...
We need more 'non-working marketing spend', not less

We need more ‘non-working marketing spend’, not less

There are many phrases to which I take exception. I hate dead metaphors such as “Achilles’ heel”. I hate euphemisms that are designed to disguise their true meaning, such as “collateral damage”. And I hate out-and-out lies such as “we will give the £350m we save from the European Union to the NHS”. But one...
Banishing unconscious bias from your planning

Banishing unconscious bias from your planning

To celebrate the 55th series of Have I Got News For You, the show’s team captains, Ian Hislop and Paul Merton gave a now infamous interview to the Radio Times, a publication not normally used to setting the news agenda. Amid a conversation with ITN anchor-man Tom Bradby, the duo offered a highly criticised answer...
Can brands help the cohesion of divided nations?

Can brands help the cohesion of divided nations?

It’s Winter and that means one thing these days. The National Health Service is in crisis. A perfect storm of seasonal pressure, changing demographics, advances in healthcare and chronic underfunding have conspired once again with predictably disastrous consequences. And yet for all the challenges that the NHS faces, it remains an undeniably central part of...
The real genuis of 'and'

The real genuis of ‘and’

There is one word the advertising industry really hates. In this word lies the root of all perceived evil. It’s only a little word but its sends shivers down our collective spines. The advertising industry hates the word ‘and’. Instead, if we are really honest, we much prefer the word ‘or’.  We tend to be...
Made in Britain

Made in Britain

Heatherwick studio’s cauldron for London 2012. Provenance has traditionally been the last resort of the strategic scoundrel. If you fancy an early lunch at the Delaunay and you simply cannot think of anything else to say about a brand you fall back on where it is from. Australian lagers, German cars, Scandinavian furniture, French sexual...
Crimes against social

Crimes against social

Image courtesy of freefotouk 2012 may not have be greeted by the industry with a great deal of enthusiasm, after all the big Olympic event that should have marked the end of our economic woes will now merely record their nadir. Nonetheless, it is a fresh, crisp, virginal new year so not only is it...
‘Tis the season to obsess about trends.

‘Tis the season to obsess about trends.

  Image courtesy of SonOfJordan. For those of you frustrated by the lack of sense my trends presentation makes when you only have the charts, here is the story. I wrote it as a column for Brand Republic so its not identical but covers much the same ground.
Crisis, what crisis?

Crisis, what crisis?

What’s the plan for planning? Image courtesy of see_another_side. A few years ago in an orgy of self-congratulation and a pithy monographs invoking the spirit of King and Pollitt, planning turned forty. The second great advertising innovation of the twentieth century alongside Bernbach’s pairing of creative teams seemed confident and cocksure with a rosy future...
Keeping the magic alive

Keeping the magic alive

Image courtesy of last.fm Arthur C. Clarke, the legendary science fiction author, formulated three scientific laws over his lifetime. Apparently he stopped at three on the basis that three laws had been good enough for Newton. His first law suggests that when a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost...
Are Superbowl really that super?

Are Superbowl really that super?

Image courtesy of BeckyAV This is an article I wrote in the week after the Superbowl. So it lacks a little in the topical department. Thought I’d post it anyway. In the distant past when advertising was a simpler and somewhat more lucrative business the wine bars of Adland would fizz with excitement every third...
More sex please, were British

More sex please, were British

Image courtesy of Dave Gorman I have long believed that advertising is not a profession. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not embarrassed about what we do and I certainly have little sympathy with the sentiment of that terrible old joke. You know the in which someone asks that his mother is not told that he...
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