Think Hard


Creative Edinburgh. Creative and Corporate Love. Tonight, Live in Leith.

Creative Edinburgh Logo

I bet you’d enjoy this.  But you can’t, because you were too slow off the mark.

It’s the latest Creative Edinburgh event tonight on The Leith Agency’s Mary De Guise Barge.

As our membership grows (it’s well over 500 now) our events are getting more and more popular.  That’s why this one’s sold out.

Ed Brooke (Ed of Leith) will share the speaker’s podium with award winning photographer Jannica Honey and Arts Learning Specialist and Drama Artist Fi Milligan Rennie.

Keep an eye on the Creative Edinburgh website for our future evens (we’ve planned hosting and curating of over 50 already this year)

Better still.  Become a member.  It costs very little.

Or pop along to Creative Circles at Brew-Lab.  It’s free.



I have worked in advertising for 25 years

But I have never seen claptrap like this before.

It sucks.

It’s so confusing that I can’t decide if it’s offensive, extraordinarily egotistical, on-brand, off-brand, motivating, purely confessional.

It is beyond bad.

Yup. It sucks.



Three really great advertising talks

Over the last year I have been in the priveleged position of being able to attract great creative speakers to Scotland thanks to STV’s engagement with the advertising creative community and my role in facilitating it. My next speaker in April is Alvaro Sotomayor, Creative Director of Weiden and Kennedy, Amsterdam. But before that I have attracted a great (no legendary) bunch of speakers including Mark Waites (Mother), Trevor Beattie (BMB) and Sir John Hegarty (BBH). In addition Gerry Farrell was kind enough to speak for us in both Glasgow and Aberdeen about creating ideas. Most of these talks are now on STV’s website and here are the links.

I urge you to watch them.

Mark Waites.

Gerry Farrell.

Sir John Hegarty.



The Nightfly back on air Thursday 7th August at 8pm.
I'm going to have to take up smoking agin.  Oh yes, and go on a diet.

I'm going to have to take up smoking again. Oh yes, and go on a diet.

My third year as the Nightfly consists of only one show on Jubilee FM. It’s an online only broadcast and you can find the link here. Not only that you can tune in and listen live.

However very soon (September I think) the station goes fully live on FM and online and I hope I’ll have a regular slot.

If you want to hear my mix of music old and new and certainly not from any regular playlist tune in on Thursday the 7th at 8pm (UK time).



June 4, 2008, 5:45 pm
Filed under: politics, sponsorship

This is a living ad. Great punchline.



Scottish Marketing Communications Action Group

smcaction-logo.jpg

You may be aware that I have been steering an industry-wide marketing communications lobbying group for some time now.Tonight is our big night. 120 of us will gather at Holyrood in The Garden Lobby to make a case for close engagement between our industry and our government.The following speech will be delivered by Tim Maguire on our behalf and we will be screening a short film documenting the excellence of our industry. In fact you can view it here. “Tonight marks a watershed in the history of Scottish marketing. It is the first time that we have stood as an industry, shoulder to shoulder showcasing the remarkable output of a nation steeped in a tradition of innovation and creative thinking.That heritage is rightly celebrated not just at home but across the planet. Scotland punches way, way above its weight when intellect is being considered. And yet, Scottish Marketing, a surprisingly large industry, driven by intellect, plods a weary and unheralded path through life.Doing its own thing. Struggling against the weight of competition that comes from every corner of the UK and beyond.Tonight we would like to set in motion a process of change. A process of engagement, not just with one another but with you, our government and agenda setters.We’d like, no we need, to be on that agenda and in the next few minutes we’ll demonstrate why that need is real.But first, a little scene setting.A little over two years ago a collective of Scottish marketing people, led by the Scottish Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, alongside the Direct Marketing Association, The Scottish Marketing Aassociation, The Marketing Society and several media partners were worried about the “challenging times” that their industry faced.They decided that the time had come to address the issue of Scotland’s lack of joined up thinking, representation, dialogue and action in an industry that is a core driver of Scotland’s economic prosperity.So, they went to Scottish Enterprise and match-funded an economic report through EKOS Consulting that threw into stark relief the contribution that Scottish marketing makes to this country’s economy.It hadn’t been done before. The data was difficult and expensive to gather from many different sources.But, six months later that report was delivered and it became the catalyst for a joining together of ambition, a fusing of commitment and a passion and thirst for knowledge and strategy that reaches a crescendo with our meeting here tonight.This industry is desperately important to a nation that has gone through unprecedented constitutional change over the past decade and that stands on the verge of greater things.Just imagine, for a moment, a nation where Irn Bru wasn’t made in Scotland from Girders. Where Simmers didn’t make lovely, lovely biscuits where things didn’t get better than a Kwik Fit fitter; where the bank wasn’t a friend for life and where you couldn’t Live it or Visit Scotland.Imagine a nation where the newspapers had to find their own stories to feed the voracious reading public’s appetite.Imagine a nation where every whisky bottle, beer can, milk carton and bread wrapper came in utilitarian packaging.Imagine a nation that relied solely on imported programming to fill its television screens.Imagine a nation that had not been touched by the new enlightenment where creativity and originality were deemed irrelevant.Daft, isn’t it.Now, imagine a country that sees 75% of its marketing spend disappear to other places, chiefly London, where even some of the tax-payer-funded public sector fails to buy from its own world-class practitioners.Where a new digital economy is being held back by a lack of qualified young people.That’s daft too.But it’s exactly what happens in Scotland. It wouldn’t happen in Ireland – that’s for sure.Ken Livingston is stumping up £50 million a year to back Creative London, so valuable is the creative economy in his eyes. The Danish Government has invested heavily in Copenhagen’s creative industries and seen it rise from 20th to 7th in the European superleague of creative cities since 1999. Why not Scotland?As an industry, we have been backward in coming forward. Like the cobblers children who are seldom shod we’ve failed to engage with the people in our own back yard. We’ve seen business walk away. We daren’t mention the L word, so irritating do we find the drift of money to London.But, we’ve finally come together.We are here tonight to showcase some of our work. The work of our advertising people, our direct marketers, our newspaper writers and TV programme makers, our researchers, our sales promotions experts, our PR people and the bright young things that are driving our digital economy forward.Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you…Scottish Marketing.Driving Scotland’s growth.SHOW THE FILMSo, an industry we can undoubtedly be proud of.An industry brimful of creativity, imagination and excellent strategic thinking.An industry that makes Scotland tick that adds spillover value to all it touches.An industry of over 40,000 highly paid, well-educated people contributing over a billion pounds to the economy. (Who’d have thought?)Who knows, with your help it could become 50,000.But this is an industry that has failed to engage at the highest level with government because it has, in the past, been made up of too many silos.  And it is an industry that is leaking 75% of its income potential elsewhere (chiefly London).Tonight is not about seeking handouts. It’s not about complaints – God knows we are the people most guilty of not making our voices heard.No, tonight is about asking this administration to acknowledge that Scottish Marketing is indeed a key driver of this economy and a vital part of it in jobs and wealth creation in its own right, but it’s an industry that is struggling to keep its head above water.We do need your help.We need you to listen to our issues.We need you to help us plot an economic path to prosperity.We need you to give us your support.Ladies and gentlemen, MSP’s, if you only do one thing in the next 24 hours, please sign Elaine Murray’s motion.If the only thing you do in the next month is to urge your colleagues with economic responsibility in their portfolio to engage with SMC Action you will have furthered the potential of Scotland’s economy.Thank you to Elaine Murray for sponsoring our event tonight.To Business 7 and Denholm Associates for supporting it and to Green Room Films for their generosity in producing the showcase.Lastly, thank you for taking the time to represent our industry and for coming out to listen to our message.



Think Hard sponsors Rust2Rome
May 31, 2007, 2:28 pm
Filed under: motoring, sponsorship

Think Hard has just announced an exciting new sponsorship of one of the lead cars in the 2007 Rust2Rome rally which leaves from South Queensferryb at 10am on Saturday 2nd June and returns 2 weeks later after traversing Europe on its way to Rome.  All cars, including my old Merc were purchased for no more than £250 and I fully expect my classic Merc to be among the leading vehicles in the race.

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For full details of the race and updates on how Marky’s Merc is doing click on the link above, the link in the blogroll or my personal blog at markgorman.wordpress.com.




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