Think Hard

This is a really great talk from Gerry Farrell.

It’s about flipping oneself away from pessimism in the creative process.

Lasts 30 minutes but worth every second.  Some great showmanship and some great case studies.

Thinking inside the box has never been so interesting.


Good luck Emperor Design

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Forth Children’s Theatre’s annual review.  Created for free by Emperor Design.  Much gratitude and it’s amazing.  Personally I think the photography is neat ;).

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: , ,


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.




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).



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