Archive for August, 2009
Thanks to a tip from IFIABTWC I discovered E Squared, the sequel to the brilliant e and the e before Christmas, which finds familiar faces from Millar Shanks now working at meerkat360, an agency ‘so cutting edge you slice your finger on the lift button’.
Read it because its fast and funny, but also to reassure yourself that no matter how uncaring/nuts/unprofessional/immoral/illegal your current agency might be at times, it could be so much worse.
PPS meerkat360 is an agency without Planners. They have hairdressers, clowns, musicians and a trained killer on staff, but no Planners. Is Matt Beaumont (himself an ex copywriter) trying to make a point? :-)
1. It is NEVER OK to be bullied in the workplace
2. Going to the pub after work is not compulsory
3. Manage and protect your workload to allow time for the inevitable crisis that will need dealing with
4. Learn how to tell which battles are worth fighting
5. If you don’t like certain changes, hang in there for a couple of months and they’ll probably change again for the better
6. But if you wake up on Monday mornings feeling sick, tearful or hoping it’s snowed too much to go into work, you need to find another job
7. The more confident you sound, the more clients and colleagues will believe you
8. Work is not a fashion show. But clothes send out signals. Open your wardrobe and ask yourself ‘who do I need to be today?’
9. The more interesting things you do and people you meet outside work, the more valuable your insight is. Overtime does not equal a better planner.
10. At the end of the day, it’s only marketing. No-one died.
pic nicked from The White Rooms in St Albans (UK) - not where I was last night but v. highly recommended
I was at a viewing facility last night and in the second group there was one respondent who was a real pain in the neck for the moderator.
There’s always one (let’s call him Bob), who has an opinion on everything and thinks that they know the right (and only answer) to whatever the poor moderator might be asking the group. They tend to insist on delivering this opinion at considerable volume every 30 seconds, but unfortunately, don’t normally get warmed to full volume until half way through the group when its too late to boot them out.
Poor Louise (the mod) did her very best – she blocked him with body language, ignored him, cut him short, redirected the conversation and engaged every respondent except him, but still he went on. And on.
The clients in the viewing room outnumbered the respondents so I had to shush the giggles as the last twenty minutes turned into something from an episode of The Fast Show. When the lights went up, I pointed out that we should all be grateful that we don’t have to work in an office with Bob every day. Or, as one client piped up, be married to him. But then I went back through my notes – he was (perhaps unsurprisingly) divorced.
I’ve given the blog a bit of a redesign (in as much as is possible without the benefit of a mac, professional designer or any kind of personal artistic talent) and tidy up this weekend. Any feedback and/or bugs to report, please leave a comment. Cheers.
This is brilliant. Writing in Saturday’s Guardian, Lucy Mangan has made of list of what Britain’s rail network really needs.
It turns out the What Britain’s Rail Network Really Needs is not ever-so-slightly-faster high speed rail links, but instead Lucy proposes what she calls ‘a bit of tweaking to highlight its true attractions’:
Make it possible to buy an online ticket, without being reduced to weeping tears of blood down the phone to a helpline manned by people rejected by the KGB for being too protective of information.
Sprinkle ramps and porters on to platforms with a liberal hand, so rail travel does not become the sole prerogative of county sportsmen aged 20-34.
Sticker not just “quiet carriages” banning mobile phones but “reading carriages” that proscribe all electronic devices, non-bookish children and noisy eaters and “reverie carriages” with little pillows to cushion heads that wish to rest against windows while daydreams dance within.
I’d add to that list:
Conductors whose job is to ensure that all passengers behave with good conduct, rather than pounce upon the passengers that are accidentally sitting in Standard Plus or on a train five minutes too early for their off peak ticket.
A buffet car that opens when the train sets off and closes when it arrives. Just because we’ve passed Doncaster doesn’t mean I’m not thirsty.
A couple of weeks ago, one of the Account Directors who sits near me at work merrily declared that for the foreseeable future, all weeks would be now be designated Positive Mental Attitude Week.
Since then, she’s won two pitches.
I’m not suggesting that the two are completely related, but spending every day alternating between worry, stress and full on panic isn’t necessarily the best mindset in which to motivate your team, identify unique insights and turn them into solutions that strategically and creatively delight clients.
Yes, the economy is in a mess (and I think we’re in for a W shaped recession so its going to get worse again before it gets better), client budgets are tighter than ever and job security is a thing of the past. But maybe we need to accentuate whatever positives we can find and try to discover the upsides and silver linings.
After all, confidence is catching.
created by moleitau, CC applies
update: I told Positive Account Director Lady that I’d blogged about her and she says the poster should read:
I think I’ve come up with a fool-proof strategy to hang on to my no claims bonus - I will give extra space and consideration on the road to Cars Most Likely to Crash.
Its very simple, I’ve decided that two cars (coincidentally both superminis) are the main contenders:
The Honda Jazz (particularly any in silver). Mainly driven by people who retired a long time ago and who in my experience fall into one of two camps:
- the reluctant drivers who proceed mega cautiously, hanging onto the steering wheel for dear life, pootling along in the centre of the road so you can’t overtake and travelling at least 10 miles an hour slower than whatever the speed limit happens to be, then braking sharply for no apparent reason
- those who test their 1.2 litre engine to its limits by merrily flinging the car around country lanes well in excess of the speed limit, peering through their bifocals and wondering why people keep beeping at them (yes Grandad, I’m talking about you)
At the other end of the age range we have drivers of Vauxhall Corsas, or more specifically, 5 year old Corsas complete with dodgy body kit and filled with four lads with acne problems wearing baseball hats.
The Corsa Crew tend to appear on the roads after about 8pm and specialise in overtaking on blind corners. Handily, you hear them coming before you see them thanks to Clubland Classics 5 or some kind of Donk being played at ear splitting volume.
Has anyone got suggestions for a compulsory audio early warning system for Jazz drivers? Classic FM on full blast?
Russell has posted an (incomplete) list of speakers for Interesting 2009 – and it looks brilliant.
- Guerrilla Gardening
- Learn Morse Code in 20 minutes
- the rules of gentlemanly conduct
- Ponies I Have Loved; Both Real and Imagined (I’m obviously looking forward to that one)
- everything you know about nuclear power is wrong
- how to conduct a symphony orchestra
The event is sold out, but no doubt a few tickets will turn up on twitter and blogs over the next few weeks as ticket holders find themselves double-booked. If anyone wants to use this blog to find a good home for their ticket, feel free to leave a note in the comments.
In early July they tethered an inflatable dingy (complete with ‘cut rope in emergency’ instruction) to a billboard in an area of central Mumbai notorious for its flooding problems. Within a couple of weeks, it monsooned, the rope was cut and pedestrians were paddled to safety.
But hang on, this wasn’t an impulsive ‘power to the people’ moment, a second glance at the photos shows that blokes with Aircel branded t-shirts were in charge of the whole operation.
In one way this is kind of sweet, the brand making sure that their boat was used properly to really help people – and in another way it makes me a bit cynical, with images in my head of a marketing team sat there waiting for the heavens to open so they could dispatch their branded team of helpers – plus of course a photographer to document it all.
Brilliant coverage achieved, but it all feels a little bit too planned and manipulative to really connect with cynical old me – then again I’m not exactly Aircel’s target audience – and I wasn’t the one getting my feet wet.