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.

Because life is more fun that way.


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Defining posts
What's your problem?

What’s your problem?

All great marketing solutions start with a well and accurately defined problem and a correct diagnosis of the course of action that needs to be followed. So I thought I’d talk a little about this to kick the new year off in a back to basics style. There is a very basic diagnostic tool I...
‘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...
The problem with participation

The problem with participation

Now that’s a swisssh. Image courtesy of ..Emma.. The participation band wagon rolls on in adland with agencies and clients seeming content to sacrifice effective communications for a couple of the clinically insane and the entire staff of the PR agency uploading some old tat to a website in the name of ‘doing something on...
How unspecial are you?

How unspecial are you?

Image courtesy of Lufitoom I was taking afternoon tea with the man-legend Russell Davies this week and amongst many random things we chatted about was the idea of Unspecial. I suppose at its heart Unspecial is about how similar we all are. While we all have our idiosyncrasies, we aren’t that special or unique as...

The Workers Plea

workers plea.jpg

My father and I were talking recently and he suddenly produced a note he has carried in his wallet for the last 30 years. And this is it, 'the workers plea', in all its typewriter written glory.

I thought you might be interested in it whether you are an...

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...

Is blogging killing planning?

115788703_fcfb180e44.jpg Image courtesy of MrTruffle

There is a mood abroad, often fostered by non-blogging planners, that the emergence and popularity of planning blogs is killing the discipline.

I certainly feel that the community, like all communities, has begun to coalesce around specific 'new marketing' ideas that are in danger of becoming an...

Building better brand ideas

Brand idea chart.JPG Thankyou to everyone that contributed to the post on brand ideas and their seeming rarity value.

I had wanted to create a definitive set of criteria for judging whether you had a proper brand idea or not. But this exercise wasn't particularly fruitful - or at least...

The strategy cow


My eldest son has this toy. It is a cow (I think) which normally stands erect but when you push the base upwards it collapses. It perfectly describes how I feel when I come across lacklustre or cliched thinking - flacid, deflated and lacking in the strength to perform simple...

Why are creative ideas a good idea?

CD.jpg And how can Catherine Deneuve, a flamingo and a bottle of scent help us understand the answer? Ok I lied about the flamingo. Image from the V&A

Aphorism toolkit

“You can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think” Dorothy Parker I think aphorisms rock and make any strategy, presentation, brief, conversation go with a swing. So here is a little aphorism tool kit.