Recent Work: Progressive Partnership.

Progressive-Mockup copy.jpgDoug Cook and I worked on this new website for Progressive Partnership.

It’s the main outcome of an overall positioning research project and a revamp of the entire suite of Progressive’s marketing and presentation collateral.

We slightly tweaked (updated) the branding and designed, wrote, built, filmed, photographed and marketed the new site.

We feel it’s a clean crisp, professional representation of a clean, crisp, professional outfit that has punched well above its weight in Scotland for many years.

Here’s to as succesful a future for Sarah, Diane, Carole and the gang as the past has been.

This may seem a bit new age, but it’s not really, and the sense of it is spot on.

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(Photo Credit: My own)

It’s a quote by a guy called Zen Shin. (They’re all Chinese warriors and philosophers that come up with the best ones are they not?).

Anyway, I spotted it within a talk by Lucky Cloud Skincare at Creative Edinburgh‘s Talking Heads event last night.

What resonated with me is the vanity that pervades my industry and the comparisons we all make with one another for no real gain.

The simple fact is that great work will always stand out by being, great work.

This is my philosophy on how to achieve that;

  • Strong strategy/briefing (follow the ‘Garbage in, garbage out ‘principle as a starting point to keep you straight on that one)
  • Focussed messaging (Meies Van der Rohe nailed that one – less is more)
  • Thoughtfully targeted and placed in the right context
  • Work with (and hire) real creative talent and don’t be in awe (they are as nervous, inside, about any new brief as you are)
  • Enthuse them
  • Immerse yourself in the product/service
  • If it IS great and your client doesn’t bite; sell, and sell hard.  Do not give up.  Do not compromise.  If all fails put it in a drawer for selling later to someone else who has vision

New look blog for Think Hard.

It’s pretty much the same content but I’ve applied a new, more open, theme (called Hemingway Rewritten) and added better navigation.  Here’s a couple of pointers.

Firstly you can access content by category a little easier by clicking on the sidebar

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Next, I’ve reconfigured my Blogroll and made it more prominent.  This means you can directly access some of my other blogs should you so wish.  The red dots are my own.

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I’ve also raised the sign up button to the top should you want updates emailed to you.

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Otherwise, it’s the same old opinionated ranting.

DBA Awards nomination

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Delighted to say that the Glasgow Life (World Gymnastics Championships) paper I wrote for Front Page – well I wrote the original paper, that won a Gold and a Chairman’s Award at The Marketing Star Awards earlier this year and Paula Anderson used that as the basis of the DBA paper – has now been shortlisted at the DBA Awards (extremely prestigious and we won a gold three years ago for Royal Caribbean Cruises).

It’s definitely won an award.  Just don’t know what colour yet.

Update on 7 March 2017:  It won a Silver.

The end of my first decade of Thinking Hard? No, the start of my second!

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Ten years ago I sat at my desk looking out onto Ashburnham Loan without a single client.  I’d walked away from my job as CEO of a Stock Market listed communications group.  Just like three years earlier I had walked away from my role as MD of my own advertising agency (50 strong and highly regarded).

Why had I done this?

(After all, to lose one senior level role is unfortunate, to lose two is downright carelessness.)

But I hadn’t lost either of them.

I’d elected to change my viewpoint on work.  To get out of the hamster’s wheel of eternal financial year ends, HR responsibilities, client bum sucking, to keep the corporate machine rolling on when I didn’t always respect all of the clients or all of the work my team was doing for them.

And that’s actually the crux of it. “the work my team was doing for them“.

I, personally, wasn’t actually a net contributor to anything that came out of either of those agencies.

I was simply a manager, albeit a senior one.

I didn’t want to be a manager.

It’s boring.

And so I walked away.

Twice.

Ten years later I’ve completed 694 creative (mainly) projects for no fewer than 80 different clients.  The vast majority of which I can say I’m proud of.  And have enjoyed the process, liked the people I’ve worked with, and for, and made many new friends along the way.

In fact, it’s the longest I’ve held down a job in my life.

And it’s allowed me to indulge in other things I consider worthwhile; NABS, FCT, The Lyceum, Creative Edinburgh

Thanks guys.

Thanks very, very much.

I hope some of you will stick around for the next ten.