Think Hard

The New John Lewis Christmas Card. Commercialism with a real heart.

Bugger me.  If this does not bring a tear to your eye (or your cheek like it did to me) you need to chill out a little more.

Extraordinary creativity with a, let’s be honest here, slightly fantastical plotline.

But just pure emotional storytelling and astounding branding.

It has literally become a genre of its own.

A year of awards
FCT Annual Report 2014: Designed by Emperor Design

FCT Annual Report 2014: Designed by Emperor Design

Aside from being nominated for my copy and photography contribution to the FCT Annual Report at the Scottish Creative Awards my day job is all about effectiveness and strategy.

I’m pleased to say that I’ve been commissioned by three different clients this year to help them with their entries and the end result has been pretty decent – 16 Awards and a further 9 nominations for 7 different case studies.  It takes my career total to 43 Awards and 18 nominations for 31 clients, including four Grand Prix’ and three Chairmans’ Awards.

Only one to go this year.

Will The Lane win Best PR and Marketing Strategy for Marketing Edinburgh?  We’ll need to wait until November 12th to find out.

With the 2016 Award Season looming now is the time to start putting plans in place for next year.

So, if you want to enter things but the thought of writing up to two thousand word entries leaves you in a cold sweat drop me a line on

I might be able to remove that hill of pain for you.

Those awards in full

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.


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