A new picture of affluence

A new picture of affluence

The well off and wealthy may not take up much bandwidth as you dash out another digital banner on two-for-one sun cream but the plain fact is that they are a critical audience for brands looking to find growth in a sea of stagnation. You don’t need to be Jaguar,...
Interesting versus right - revisited

Interesting versus right – revisited

If there is one defining philosophy of my approach to planning and strategic development it is the mantra that it is vital to be interesting but merely important to be right. This is based on the observation that those that are preoccupied with finding the right solution very rarely turn...
How we slowed down the connection between consumers and creatives

How we slowed down the connection between consumers and creatives

Nothing, I repeat nothing connects a planner and therefore an agency to the people that its is trying to understand better than qualitative research. Instinct is always a great starting point and data is often incredibly powerful but qualitative research, the beliefs, attitudes and stories of real people, told directly...
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...
Latest entries
Love letters to the highstreet

Love letters to the highstreet

Earlier this year we turned our attention to the state of the British High Street and the parlous situation that many of our high streets are in, with 25% failing and another 11% in decline. But instead of talking with the retail gurus and the shoppers of today we focused exclusively on the shoppers, shopkeepers...
You had to be there

You had to be there

My style of presentation is rather frustrating. Not only is there a lot of dancing around, swearing and nonsense at the time. But the slides never make any sense – they are designed for talking to not reading. So putting them on slideshare is rather pointless since you had to be there to understand them....
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...
What planners need

What planners need

Image courtesy of Identity in Newcastle. We have finished the Summer Scholarship for 2012 at Saatchi & Saatchi. It’s a programme where we take ten or so young people into the agency for the summer and then give the best candidate a job at the end of it. Going through this process made me think...
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...
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