Showing posts from June, 2005

Celebrity Roast

There is something about modern celebrity that I wonder about.

What exactly are the talents of Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson?

Am I being unfair?

Yes they are very attractive women. Well, Simpson is. Not convinced by Britney.

Am I asking too much?

Celebrity is quite different from talent.

Take Paris Hilton. She certainly has a talent for publicity, it seems she can hardly engage in an intimate moment without it appearing on the internet or the front page of every tabloid magazine and newspaper on the planet - and now an Osbourne's style TV show.

I watched Paris' TV road trip show a couple of times. Can't fairly comment on modern media if I don't consume it. To be fair to Paris; the publicity is usually unwanted, isn't it (Yeah right - to coin a phrase.

What was I thinking? A momentary lapse.

My real issue with bimbo celebrity (and I am using that as a blanket term) is that the media/publicity machine churns blonde, beautiful girls with the same intensity as the po…

Kisses aren't contracts

I recently learned that the woman I loved and lived with for three years had been carrying on an affair behind my back for who knows how long before I ended our relationship.

Oddly, I don't mind the betrayal (we'd both been married twice before and had many lovers before we even met; fidelity in that respect seems a quaint abstract - medieval ideas about virginity or 'purity' come to mind), but the deception is a different thing…I could have chosen a different course - had I known - and I like to choose my own path.

It serves to remind me of the misunderstood and certainly overestimated concept of loyalty in marketing - as if we can truly expect fidelity from people in a world filled with infinite choices.

It doesn't matter that people might behave in a fickle way and choose the next brightly coloured thing. More power to them.

Don't simper, don't run after them. Be true to yourself. Enjoy what you do. And adapt.

If you make hand crafted guitars but teenagers…

Much to admire. Little to enjoy.

How bizarre. The British Lions are here in New Zealand. So far it has been terribly dull, Other than the advertising frenzy, led by the likes of Telecom - leveraging their sponsorship investment. And isn't that the point? Money and marketing is far more interesting than the thing itself.

The media has taken the opportunity to wax lyrical about how things have changed since the Lions last toured New Zealand, and further back when the Lions were ambassadors for the Old Country and spent time actually mixing with people in local host communitities - in rugby clubs and RSAs. Back then rugby was still an amateur sport. The Lions touring New Zealand now are an altogether different animal.

Sir Clive Woodward's shadow looms over the team. The puppetmaster. If he could secure the World Cup of Rugby for England, why wouldn't he be able to work the magic for the Lions?

The team has a over 100 personnel. Bear in mind that there are 15 players in a rugby football team. I heard a report …

King of Poop

Well Michael Jackson is found innocent of every charge levelled against him. I heard it on the radio just moments ago.
Not unexpected. Even casually noticing, rather than watching the news of the trial I kind of got the vibe that the single minded proposition (if I can borrow advertising parlance for a moment) was that it was Jackson himself who was the victim. The victim of avaricious people willing to exploit Jackson's weirdness, declining fame and the generally accepted meme that he is a child molester (on the grounds that there is no smoke without fire and funny looking people must be baddies - thanks to Hollywood and the Borthers Grimm ).

The problem with being The One & Only is that, by being iconoclastic and setting yourself apart from the norm, is that you are going to either find acceptance or not. And that acceptance can be fleeting. Jackson once stood astride the world of pop music. His fortune was collossal, his repertoire rightly feted as an important cultural cont…

Mentioned in Dispatches

Squeeze would have been delighted to be honoured by his peers at this year's Axis Awards. Not only because of the accolade, but because he was usually actively involved in the creation of ads and didn't like being billed as part of the support team. Paul wasn't a frustrated creative person, like so many 'suits', he saw his role as to create fertile ground for clients to accept work that was challenging. He liked to build trust with his affable demeanor and boyish charm. He made the process fun.

I've written about Paul before (Sorrow's Gift) and, as the time passes since his death I've thought about him often. Paul tended to consume...objects, food and drink, substances...people. I look at pictures of him socialising with my family when my son was born and feel a certain nostalgia for the time we spent working together. It was often fraught. We walked out of an ad agency together, convinced we had their largest client in the bag. We didn't, as it tur…

Under the influence

I vaguely remember Geoff Ross, the guy who started 42 below Vodka, from an agency we both worked at - though he worked in the Wellington office and I was in Auckland. He seemed a decent enough chap. Quiet, unassuming…Who'd have thought he'd go on to be the founder of one of the most interesting brands in the world - and certainly THE most interesting in New Zealand. I mean, who'd have thought that Vodka would become a hip drink again (it sort of smacks of James Bond and martinis), let alone that New Zealand would become the source of a serious brand contender in a cluttered category.

I've worked on Vodka accounts. It's a tough product to differentiate. Colourless and pretty much tasteless. Sales of vodka used to experience a spike just before closing time (when there was a closing time). Spike being then operative word. Vodka was the great 'leg-opener'. Vulgar concept, but we're all adults here, aren't we? Mix it in with orange (a screwdriver, I be…

Old Dog, New Tricks

Blimey, what am I thinking? I have decided to fulfill my lifelong ambition of playing the guitar. Even signed up for some lessons with the very patient Danny McCrum (who is also teaching my son).

What I wasn't prepared for is how much it hurts your fingers. Ever seen the photo of Pete Townsend with blood running down his hands. Well, that's how it feels. I'm told you get used to it. I hope so.

Maybe I'll start a band. Is it too soon to get a manager? Will there be groupies?

And will I need a garage? (for cred).

Danny McCrum's website

What's Up Doc?

I have just returned from a charity fundraising lunch. My client Dr Tom Mulholland was the keynote speaker. I have worked with Tom for several years now, off and on, but had never seen him in action.

Tom is a living and breathing example of The One & Only. While his message may not be especially 'original' (Turning life's lemons into lemonade) his personal style and story make the critical difference between being a successful speaker and author and being an also-ran.

When I first met Tom he was the founder of the web start up - His vision was to create an online medical consultation service. It mutated into being a powerful database of secure, private health records used by large corporations and institutions. Tom got to the point so many entrepreneurs reach when the time comes to hire a professional manager to run the company. Long story short Tom lost control of his gig and his shareholding in the company he founded was diluted. His wife left.