Think Hard

John Lewis and Dougal Wilson hit the back of the net yet again.

Dougal Wilson is a very fine director indeed as he demonstrates with outstanding aplomb in this, his latest, John Lewis commercial for their insurance. (Well done to Adam and Eve too, obviously.)

Sit back, enjoy and watch it pick up every award going.

Quite simply the best written website. Ever.

You want to read a website that inspires?

A website that puts Co culture at its core?

That nails its mission and imbues ever uttering with it?

That makes you want to work with this company with every bone in your body?

And every sinew in your heart?

If the answer to any or all of the above is, yes, then you want to read the Sequoia Capital website.

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 07.44.18

Lessons in life and in business.

I was asked to contribute (as Chairman) to the new Creative Edinburgh blog so I thought I’d draw on some of my personal life-lessons after 30 years at the marketing coal face.  It is, of necessity, rather brief but I’m happy to elaborate with whoever thinks it might be interesting…

Things I am glad I was told


Mark Gorman shares an informed (and humorous) insight on business management in the creative industries.

Given that Creative Edinburgh is essentially about sharing (knowledge, experiences, contacts, opportunities and pizza) I thought it incumbent upon me as the Chair to share a few of my own personal insights gathered over nearly three decades as a creative practitioner.

What follows are the slides from a PPT deck that I created a couple of years ago for a talk I did in Newcastle. Although most of my career has been in advertising I believe the lessons can be applied to any creative business (in fact any business whatsoever).

Some are more serious that others.

Read it all here…

Two great new campaigns. Two very different tones of voice.

The first is the second instalment of the “Like a girl” campaign by Almost that is making an impact Stateside.

(If you missed its predecessor you can view it here)

The second is an hilarious UK take on baby wipes.

A brilliant business insight.
July 7, 2015, 11:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I had an amazing meeting with a client today wherein she suggested that some workplace problems/issues are like the one in this short film, and that, just like in relationships, instead of trying to jump into a solution simply letting the other party express the problem AS THEY SEE IT can actually go some way to resolving it.

And, of course, listening.

Another good awards night.
More 'gongs' collected.

More ‘gongs’ collected.

One of the things I am often commissioned to do is to help my clients write marketing awards entries –  particularly effectiveness awards.

I believe there is a skill and a knack in doing these well, because you have to really engage judges with a good story and of course compelling results.  Often the results are really obvious but sometimes you need to take an ‘angle’ that my clients may not have spotted that will help their paper stand out.

Last week I landed my 51st Award for 27 different clients over the years, some for my own work but increasingly for other people’s work.

Specifically at The Marketing Star Awards, Scotland my papers picked up or contributed to;

  • Three Chairman’s awards
  • One Gold Award
  • Three Silver Awards
  • Two Bronze Awards
  • And three nominations

So, next time you want to enter something and you either can’t be bothered or don’t have the time, give me a shout.  Just to give you a flavour here’s the general highlights.  (NB this doesn’t include creative awards)

  • Scottish Marketing Awards (includes a Grand Prix)
  • IPA Effectiveness Awards (includes 3 Grand Prix’)
  • CIPR Awards
  • Marketing Excellence Awards (21 wins so far)
  • Scottish Recruitment Awards
  • Herald Digital Awards
  • DADI Awards
  • Purple Apple Awards (retail)
  • Scottish Legal Awards
  • Go Awards (procurement)
  • DBA Awards

Think Hard on the awards trail.
June 16, 2015, 11:33 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

OK, so the real credit for this goes to Emperor Design who designed this.  But the copy and the photography was all mine.  So I feel quite pleased too.

Just won at the Print, Design and Marketing Awards in the Report & Accounts category.



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