Tuesday, February 19, 2008

a revolution is not a bed of roses...

As Fidel Castro steps down - the old fella has led Cuba since the revolution in 1959 - I'm reminded of an excellent rock'n'roll story.

Welsh prole rockers, the Manic Street Preachers planned an album launch in Cuba a few years back, at the National Stadium or something. In true Manics style they invited Mr Castro to attend.
Record company bods asked the aging President if he would like earplugs for the show as the Manic's might be a bit loud.

'Are they louder than WAR?' asked Fidel...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dons held by little known German minnows...

Little Bayern Munich, from the tiny principality of Germany, defied the odds last night by holding the mighty Aberdeen to a 2-2 draw at Pittodrie in the UEFA Cup. Bayern, currently stuggling at the top of the Bundesliga, who have narrowly managed to scrape into the top 5 of the richest football clubs in the world, were only able to field 11 full internationals for the fixture, while only a fraction of the squad have tasted success as World Cup winners or semi-finalists . The plucky Germans, who have a mere 4 Champions League wins in their history grabbed a fortunate draw as a result of a highly debatable 2nd half penalty.
The Dons will look to finish the job properly at the tiny 69,000 capacity Allianz Arena in Munich in the second leg, despite the lack of atmosphere. Come on you reds!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


At the moment this is filed under WTF?
Anyone who can shed any light please do.
can't get it out of my head though.

via mitch


In their own words...

'A seven – pointed Celtfolkcountrypunk Death Star. Armed to the teeth with tunes to bring a tap to your foot, a tear to your eye, and a bop to your heid'

This is a shameless plug for my brother, Al's, band.

They have just finished recording their self-produced, self-financed debut LP (does anyone still say LP? - it fits with their homespun and unashamedly organic - though not retro - styling) chock full of the aforementioned countrypunkfolk stompers and tearjerkers.

Live, they are a knockout too, the set often features unlikely cowpunk covers of things like Ace of Spades.

"The sheep are still dancing.......which makes them harder to catch, but no worries was a crackin' night!"
Artair Donald - Tiree Times

As a taster debut 'single'- Gotta make that Train/Green Field - is available on itunes, napster, msn and the usual download sites.

You can hear a few of the songs and see some clips at their site theboppinheads.com

Here's the thing. I'm trying to convince Al of the benefits of making a couple of songs available for podcast producers via things like the podsafe music network.
As I'm not a podcast producer meself (yet! - be afraid) I'd appreciate any rationale from anyone out there that might swing it.

The pic here is my - rejected! - album cover design.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

play it sam

Full marks and big congratulations to my buddy Sam who has secured himself a position with TBWA in Dubai.

No teaboy duties and the long, weary crawl up the corporate ladder for our Sam. He goes in straight from Uni as a fully fledged Planner.

Dubai's gain is most certainly the UK's loss.

A lesson I learned from Sam that's stuck with me was as follows.
When describing his disruptive Saatchi baiting antics (much documented elsewhere, so I'll not go into it here again) at a conference we both attended he said:

'When my cv lands on someone's desk, I want them to already know who I am'.

Too bad a UK agency hasn't had the gumption to grab a raw talent.

Best of luck , mate.

value creation agent

Ive been asked a few times recently
'What is it you do?'- ie what is your status?
Now Ive had various 'careers' and job titles through time and traditionally that's what's defined the answer to that question, however on reflection that's not really satisfactory. Where does that leave me if I'm a plumber from 9-5 and a stripper at night?

I quote from the scriptures...
And it is written:

'Keep your silly ways or throw them out the window
The wisdom of your ways, I've been there and I know
Lots of other ways, what a jolly bad show
If all you ever do is business you don't like'

Ian Dury - Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll (1977)

In the interests of creating some value here, this is an excercise in the bleedin' obvious (so obvious it's all too easy to forget).

Something I've come to realise is that;
as human beings 'status' is defined by a combination of the things we think, say and do.

This works for companies, teams or whatever as well, in case you were wondering when the marketing bit is coming in. Ive heard this described as 'inside-out branding'

By first setting a goal (not to be confused with status) - in a digital ad agency for example; give our clients quality, innovation, support and knowledge to help grow their brand and business, or something like that. What do we want to achieve? Stand for something, create value.

Meeting that goal will, more than likely, put you up there in the NMA respected agencies list (that's yer status)

How do you do that? Wisdom and action. That's the cheese and ham in the sandwich.
It's also the difficult bit.
Wisdom = Figure out what to do
Action = and then do it.

Simple - but not easy. What's easy is to bail out if starts getting too hard.

'What is it you do?' - be a value creation agent.

Hat tips to Jason Jarrett and Edward Canfor-Dumas