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.

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It’s OK to not be OK. See Me. Studio Something.

There’s a great wee agency in Edinburgh called Studio Something.  They do lovely work.  Consistently.

Here’s some of it for Scottish mental health charity,  See Me.  I always say clients deserve the work they get.

This is an example of a brave client getting what they deserve.

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.

What happens when media buying isn’t important.

One thing I dislike about the creation of ‘content’ for brands instead of ads is this sort of sloppy rubbish.

The lack of discipline that ‘free’ airtime imposes leads to mushy, over-long epics like this.

The central idea is pretty ridiculous and whilst the football footage is credible enough (difficult admittedly) it outstays its welcome by at least 3 minutes.

And returning to the idea…what is it?

What does it say about Nike other than Ronaldo uses their kit?

Gash.  IMHO.

“Apostrophes are wee arseholes.”

That is the single bestest sentence I’ve read in a long while.

It stemmed from a twitter conversation I had with Helen Sell of The Gate Interactive.

She’d posted this, decent, long copy ad for Currys, but my Lynne Truss-like eye spotted that slap dang gosh in the middle of it was an offence to mankind.

THE MISSING APOSTROPHE.

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Come on Currys.  Come on.

And come on your agency too.

A bloody great retail ad spoiled by a wee arsehole.