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WTF is ‘Pulled Chicken’?!

Here’s an ‘authentically me’ experience.   When I was 19, my parents packed me off to university with a crate of violently coloured alco-pops, I think Reefs if I remember correctly, and a disposable camera. I believe their parting words were “have a good time dear, we’re off to spend your inheritance” or something like that. I took their words to heart. Documented evidence of this can be found on my bookshelves in the form of ropey photo’s taken on said camera, including one...

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Nobody likes new, they fake it.

Recently I was lucky enough to see the Book of Mormon. It’s phenomenal. The sceptic in me is always wary of anything that receives that much hype but as the curtains closed on what had been a genuinely hilarious two hours, my friends and I immediately started recounting our favourite bits and analysing why it had been so good. On paper, the show should be a disaster. Any musical about religion is always going to divide opinion, but a musical about...

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Why nobody is listening

In the world of consumer research we deal in conversations. We deal in brands that think they are having conversations with consumers but want them to be better, we deal with conversations that are falling on deaf ears, and we deal in how the hell to start having those conversations in the first place.   Pretty straight forward really.   But we all know that anyone working in marketing, or in agencies or anything else that touches a brand has a tendency towards complication...

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The most awkward date ever.

I love Tuesdays. It’s the one day of the week where the awful northern line commute is made marginally more bearable by reading Timeout. As I was flicking through a couple of weeks ago, one thing in particular caught my eye – silent speed dating.   I have to say I have never been speed dating but I’ve always been slightly intrigued by it. At points in life when I’ve been unlucky in love, for a millisecond I’ve considered giving it a...

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Be Bold, Be Brief, Be Gone.

Stuff, what shall I wear today?  Take out the rubbish later, garbage work, products, blogs I’m supposed to read, must check Facebook, Instagram, texting Jon later to see what he’s up to, email is ruining my life, listening constantly to my sister rant on, music on the radio is shit today, boxsets which one to watch?   More stuff. That meeting with my boss later, that meeting with my other boss tomorrow, what shall I have for dinner?  La la la....

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Love is a lie.

Before the advent of the notion of truth within advertising in the late 60s, the main tool anyone had at their disposal was ‘mythology’; the myth that consumers were sold was of an idealised existence, that they could attain if only they possessed the right products. And so to sell nylons? You sell love, the nylons just happen to be the only visible and therefore attainable aspect of the story. Really what this all boils down to is desire and...

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How much money do you get paid?

I watched a really interesting programme on 4OD last night, using the Pimlico Plumbing group as a guinea pig in a new salary initiative.   The thrust of the show was that by revealing your salary to your co-workers, you would create an environment of equality, trust and respect. That in itself was a very interesting exercise but what really struck me was the strength of the brand that they have built.   I have been working with brands for a fair while and...

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How to make everyone hate you.

Try this quick completely non-scientific exercise next time you are at a party:   Walk up to a stranger and strike up a conversation. When they ask you what you do for a living say ‘market research.’ Now watch their eyes glaze over or alternatively cast around desperately for an exit leaving you bereft and alone. Sad face.   All is not lost, this is just phase 1.   Now you have been left high and dry, walk up to another stranger and repeat the exercise but this...

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1 Tip for an easy life.

One thing I definitely don’t want to ditch is making sure we as an agency get out and about as often as possible.  I once heard a great quote from Martin Weigel that the biggest problem in advertising is that so many in adland ‘breathe in the exhaust fumes of their own rhetoric for far too long’.   This applies to everyone.  It is never a good idea to spend too long wrapped in the cocoon of one’s own industry and peers.  ...

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