Television is still the king

Television is still the king

Breaking Bad, a fully paid up member of Kevin Spacey’s ‘Third Golden Age of Television’ The legendary Steve Henry once told me a joke about advertising awards. He said that he had hailed a cab from outside the Grosvenor or some such venue and the cabbie had enquired what he...
Maths and magic - the secret of Bletchley

Maths and magic – the secret of Bletchley

Colossus was the World’s first electronic digital computer. Built from Post Office spare parts, it was operational from February 1944 at Bletchley Park, the British Government’s code breaking headquarters. Colossus followed on from the work that Alan Turing had done decoding the signals encrypted by the German Enigma machines. It...
Facebook's nineteen billion admissions of defeat

Facebook’s nineteen billion admissions of defeat

Why did Facebook acquire WhatsApp for $19bn? For the same reason dog’s lick their balls, because they can. There are few organisations on earth that could rustle up $19bn dollars (mainly in cash) for anything let alone a service that at a maximum can only be turning over $450m a...
Should CSOs become CEOs?

Should CSOs become CEOs?

In the 1990s Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse performed an appallingly misogynist sketch series called ‘women know your limits’ in which mock mid-century public information films advised women not to mess with things like driving and intellectual debate. And I wonder if sometimes the same advice ought to be given...
Independent London

Independent London

Separatism appears to be the flavour of the month in the UK. The SNP can’t bear to be British, UKIP can’t bear to be European and the BNP can’t bear to be anywhere near their fellow countrymen and women. But if you are hell bent on separatism why choose the...
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Does oxytocin hold the answer?

Does oxytocin hold the answer?

Chances are that you will be familiar with the properties of oxytocin. Whether male or female you will have enjoyed the sense of warmth it creates just after orgasm, if you are a mum you will probably have experienced its effects during childbirth (indeed its name comes from the Greek ōkytokínē meaning ‘quick birth’) and...
Adland entrepreneurs

Adland entrepreneurs

Pair 27 were made by Amanda. I know that because she has signed them next to the unique reference number that allows you to record and the life of your jeans at their history tag online. These are of course no ordinary jeans these are Hiut Denim jeans named after the founders David and Clare...
What does your brand need more of?

What does your brand need more of?

I’m going to stick my neck out and suggest that I reckon that there are four key characteristics of successful brands. I have no scientific basis for this conclusion or for the four critical ingredients that I have alighted upon. They have simply worked for me (with some alterations) over the past few years and...
The future of planning

The future of planning

A short while ago I figured out how to record the voice over to Slideshare presentations. This a good thing as my slides never make the slightest bit of sense without the narrative that goes with them. And to test it out I used a presentation I gave at the APG’s first Noisy Thinking Debate....
Welcome to the new look adliterate

Welcome to the new look adliterate

After seven years of the original adliterate I have given it a bit of spit and polish. Although I had a fondness its ‘held together with string and blu-tak’ look the truth is the user experience was getting distinctly shonky and the woeful lack of professionalism was a source of personal shame. So I have...
Harrison on Gossage

Harrison on Gossage

I am having a Howard Gossage love-in at the moment – complete with Gossage quotes on twitter and Gossage ads on Pinterest. This has been inspired by Steve Harrison (of Ogilvy, Harrison Patten Troughton and Wunderman fame) whose book on the San Francisco advertising legend has just been published. A copy turned up at work...
The real revolution in social won't be online

The real revolution in social won’t be online

One of the 24 illustrations by Eric Ravilious for Highstreet published in 1938. We are undertaking a major project in Saatchi & Saatchi at the moment on the future of the high street. While this is a subject that has been repeatedly dug over in the past couple of years as the high street has...
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...
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...
Content - lessons from the front line

Content – lessons from the front line

Late last year I was asked to give a talk at the IPA, along with the brilliant Rachel Barrie (from sister agency Fallon), about content driven campaigns. Rachel talked about her experiences working on Gorilla and I talked about our learnings from T-Mobile Dance – both IPA award winners in 2010. It was a rather...
‘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.
Trends are trendy, insights get shit done

Trends are trendy, insights get shit done

My new rubber stamp. If there is enough interest I might get some more made. I gave a talk at Haymarket’s Trends Plus conference this week. I’m sure it was a wonderful shindig – the speakers I saw were excellent – but I couldn’t help feeling a bit contrary about a conference on trends. I’ve...
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