Think Hard


Songs I liked in 2014.
December 6, 2014, 3:42 pm
Filed under: creativity | Tags: , , ,

This is my eighth year of publishing my best of the year CD.  I think it’s one of the best yet despite reducing my music purchasing in 2014.  Seems what I did buy were high quality (but you can be the judges of that).

It’s an 18 song set (actually the last track is the best Joke ever told) Of the remaining 17 three were published in 2013 and either escaped my attention or I just forgot to put them on last year’s disc.  Best represented country of origin is probably Scotland with 5 contributions.

There are 8 (indie or Alt) rock songs, 5 Pop, 2 dance and 2 electronic/folk.

It’s a misnomer that I favour female singers.  There are only 3 on this year’s release .  and there were only 4 last year.

If you want a copy you only have to ask. (And I’d be interested in your comments.)

Happy Christmas.

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It’s nearly 20 years since we started our advertising agency
July 23, 2014, 3:49 pm
Filed under: advertising, brands, business, creativity, marketing, social media | Tags: ,

Wanna join us?

The only criterion is that you were staff, supplier or client.  But friends will be welcome too.

1576_XX copy

Sign up here or email me.  You should know my email.  Or comment below.



Relax. You’re only a brand.
April 29, 2014, 8:48 am
Filed under: advertising, brands, creativity, marketing, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Movember-Nails-2

Dave Trott’s blog post in Campaign today is one of the best I’ve read in a very long time.

Trotty has the knack of getting to the nub of an argument and making his point eloquently and, well, pointedly.

In this he talks about how the Movember movement, when in its infancy, approached a Prostate charity to offer them the proceeds of their fundraising and asking for endorsement to do so.  They told them they were a serious charity and this was just silly.  (They were essentially ‘above’ it.)

They went elsewhere and have now raised $300million for the second choice (Prostate Research).

The lack of spontaneity in marketing, or the strict adherence to brand guidelines, the unwillingness to take chances, to act like humans act with the occasional throwing of caution to the wind infuriates me at times because great ideas, like this one, are passed over.

My ‘favourite’ response to unorthodoxy?

“Oh I don’t think we could do that.  It’s too creative.”

Well, tell that to the marketing manager at an unknown and struggling Prostate Cancer charity .

 



Another blast from my past

This baby cost about £750k and was a colossal nightmare to produce in the worst weather in Italian history.

Venice flooded, we had two major stars in the cast  (one of whom had just played Jesus – Robert Powell).

The Ferrari crashed into the speedboat.

The director had directed a Bond movie (a bad one).

Our company  (1576 advertising) was about a year old and it could have put us out of business.

But it didn’t.

Enjoy!

 

 



Now this takes me back…

One of the earliest commercials we made at 1576.  It was for a criminal law firm in Edinburgh.  Their target audience was “news” who are drinking buckie in the wee small hours having got back from a night of robbing.  So we ran the ads only after midnight on STV.

The ad stars the traffic manager of the time.  Craig Neilson.

How he’ll laugh when he sees this.

The media cost next to nothing and the production cost was peanuts but it went on to succeed for the client and win us awards.  All in, a jolly good job.  Production by MTP (Glasgow).

 



This is an important read for anyone interested in creativity and Scottish Independence.
April 25, 2014, 9:50 am
Filed under: Books, creativity | Tags: ,

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Unstated.  Writers on Scottish Independence.

Creative Scotland is to be congratulated for supporting the publication of this collection of 27 essays on the issues surrounding Scottish Independence and self determination, published by Word Power Books in 2012 and edited by Scott Hames.

All 27  writers are based in Scotland, but not all are Scottish.  In the process some take swipes at Creative Scotland (in fairness the book was written during their dark times) but the body has chosen to publish with these criticisms intact.  I respect that.

It includes mighty voices like Jo Clifford, Janice Galloway, James Kelman, Alasdair Gray, and Christopher Whyte.

It could not be described in any way as a light read and not all views concur, in fact far from it.  But one thing shines brightly throughout.  The value of self determination and the importance of uncensored artistic views go hand in hand.

It also supports my view then, but one that is rapidly diminishing, that the quality of the debate is poor.  This was most certainly the case in 2012 but I believe the quality has significantly increased.  Not on the front lines in our national media that mostly support Better Together and base their slanging matches on factual dispute, but in the online community most notably in the pages of BellaCaledonia that is represented here by Mike Small.

One passage in his essay says much.  He derides the negative campaigning of Better Together…

“Whilst the will may be there for a positive case for the Union, it remains elusive.  It oscillates from the banal to the ridiculous…Would you move house in a Hurricane? asked one dark tweet…The very institutions that could hold Britain together as an idea have been picked apart, privatised, sold off or dismantled by two decades of neo-liberal politicians who can hardly now appeal to the NHS, The Post Office or a common media voice as indicators of a common future, never mind a shared past.  The lesson for the No campaign team: if you place so little value in these institutions then don’t rely on them to tell your political story…A fractured, discredited print media, a London government that appears like a throwback to the Edwardian era and the catastrophic failure of the Labour party to create a political narrative are combining.”

Magi Gibson uses a, possibly obvious, but brilliant nonetheless, metaphor of a woman in an unloving marriage with a husband she doesn’t love or respect to illustrate the argument.

Janice Galloway harks back to the recent root of our discontent…

“The awful nineties ‘greed is good’ years when the North in general became the Conservative Party’s petri dish were a caustic reminder of our increasing inconsequentiality to just about any Westminster-based party.”

Margaret Elphinsone concludes her contribution by saying “It [post Independence Scotland] needs to know itself, which means being honest, and being ready to listen to all its different voices.  And I think it needs to be psychologically independent, or it won’t be able to anything for itself at all.”

Jo Clifford’s scathing summation is this.  “Can we really not find just a tiny bit of courage?  Does it really make sense to stay attached to England?  To a  failing state governed in the interest of the City of London with its tiny coterie of obscenely wealthy bullies, thieves and robbers?  A state hopelessly stuck in dreams of past glory, forever trying to ‘punch above its weight’, humiliatingly stuck in a self-deluding ‘special relationship’ with its colonial master, incapable of creating any positive vision of its future?”

Sure, it’s leftward leaning, but an articulate, open-eyed, intelligent left.

But then, you show me an artist that leans right and you’ll have to take me to London.

Scotland can become an open-eyed, articulate, intelligent left wing country if we vote Yes and then govern with responsibility under a likely Labour leadership.



Excellent new commercial for St Johns Ambulance
April 23, 2014, 12:21 pm
Filed under: advertising | Tags: , , ,

A friend of mine, Paul Yole, was involved in this with his Agency, The Brand Agency, in Perth, Australia.

Great work chaps.




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