On a few job applications i've been asked: we have an issue with binge drinking in the UK, how would you combat this with advertising? 

You see, my thing is, you are never going to change something by telling someone how bad they are. Of course I admire all the wonderful adverts done to stop binge drinking and smoking but i think you need to show people the benefits of not getting wasted, rather then the consequences of it. This is what leads to change. I think. 

I’ve really toyed with ideas on how to do this. From having an iphone app that reads: Instead of drinking 2 glasses of wine tonight i............. and you fill in the blanks. This then links to a network and people share what they did and everyone feels better. But then i thought, this makes people sound like recovering alcoholics which is unlikely to impress. 

Then i thought of an App whereby throughout the night you have to repeat words back to the app and it then gives you a list of messages such as: easy tiger, think it’s time we hit the sack; you’re on the brink, one more drink and your over the edge; think your okay for another cheeky one. Then i realised this would be used for comedy rather than igniting change. I kept thinking and thinking...... 

Alas, Heineken brought into fruition what i was struggling to, but of course they did it so much better. Their advert, ‘til the break of down,’ shows their legendary character on a night out. Whilst everyone else is getting trashy he stays cool. Finally at the end of the night he is able to see the sunrise with an admirer. See here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHUpQZIylVc.

He’s shows exactly why it’s better to be classy and not trashy. Heineken went one stop further and to engage in conversation with their audience, they put sofas in four cities London, San Francisco, Ho Chi Minh City and Rio de Janeiro, in the best places to watch the sunrise. They invite you to photograph yourselves on the sofas watching the sunrise and then to upload it onto their facebook page. 

It’s pretty genius what they have done and they have approached it in a way that’s much better than the normal, point your finger and shout way we are used to. 

Heineken Stay Cool (Even when acting responsible).

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Tuesday, 13 December 2011


I read somewhere, months ago (i’m bad at referencing, please forgive), that now we are expecting more from our brands. We want brands to be more engaging yes, but we also want our brands to demonstrate empathy and act more consciously. 

This is something that Coco-Cola have certainly taken on. Recently, they looked at the 11 million Filipino workers who work abroad; often been away from their families for years at a time, working tremendously hard and sending whatever money they can back home. Often lonely they have an urge to go back home but just can't afford to. And so, Coke addressed the issue.

In this tear jerking, highly emotive video, Coke reunites some Filipino workers with their families back home. It’s definitely a must watch - you will be choked up.

When a brand addresses how they can help people, it does so much for their brand image. It demonstrates genuine care, it helps create emotional connections with their brand. It further shows coke as not just a brand selling fizzy drinks but one that has empathy and contributes towards civility. It’s this that touches people and makes them feel more engaged with the brand.

Coked Up

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Thursday, 8 December 2011

We are in an era of sexual liberation; when naughty is normal and when filthy is classy. 

So why is it that when Nigella Lawson (my favourite tv cook EVER), sits at the edge of her seat in her nightgown, talking about how her Slut Spagetti, is perfect to cook in between entertaining certain gentlemen, it leaves me with utter embarrassment when my nan is sitting in the same room? 

Although i have everyone of her books and have cooked a huge amount of her food, i’ve not quite built up the courage to cook this dish yet. 

I really don’t have anything else to say about this. One thing i will say about Nigella though is she is utilising new media well, she tweets daily, has a great iPhone app for quick meals and engages with her audience effectively. But for god sake Nigella less of the "slutty" food.  

Naughty Nigella.

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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

At a recent work function our boss told us two things: make good use of the open bar and mingle with clients.

I met some really great people, one client stuck out though. The conversation turned quickly from new media to the current economy. He said that he doesn’t look at the economy and ask if it’s good or bad right or wrong. He interprets the market and plans at how he needs to adapt to it. He was critical of people who didn’t plan for the recession as it was “blaringly obvious.” He touched upon what Indra Nooyi said, which was that businesses need to plan for today and tomorrow at the same time. That’s clearly what he does.

He left me the feeling that real entrepreneurs are fearless. Even Cindy Gallop said that when you make decisions out of fear these will be bad decisions. Of course, i'm left asking myself how i can be fearless in the midst of the new market place. When i come up with an answer i will indeed share. 

Of course i asked the generic:” what advice with you give to someone trying to break into the ad-world.” To which he bluntly replied, “start your own company.” He took no prisoners.


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Monday, 7 November 2011

A global theme at the moment is: transparency. It’s trickled down right from the top through to brands and what consumers want from brands.

The world is starting to demand more openness from policy makers, their brands and their agencies. I believe the riots we are witnessing all over the world at the moment are in part because we are angry with our leaders because of corruption and bad leadership. We want transparency from our leaders. This is happening in countries from Libya to the USA, to cities like London and beyond.

It is a theme that has been spoken widely about at this year’s AdAsia’s conference. Indra Nooyi PepsiCo CEO, speaking at the event spoke of these volatile times and said that all companies need to be open to their workers and consumers. John Winsor, CEO of Victor and Spoils, spoke of the future of advertising and the relationship between the client and agency; at the heart of the relationship is trust and trust has eroded. Client’s want to know what they are been charged for and why they are been charged for it. Again and again the theme comes back to transparency.

I believe the reason why transparency is at the forefront is because we want people to be accountable. We have witnessed many businesses that led bad practice go on for longer than they should have. We want our leaders to be accountable and for this to happen we need them and their practices to be transparent.

I am eager to see how these theme develops. 


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Tuesday, 13 September 2011

As i'm looking to break into the advertising and marketing world and build a career in it, I ferociously read anything I can get my hands on which is advertising related: mediaweek, brandrepublic, adliterate, mediaguardian, adweek, campaign, etc. 

One thing that I believe from reading so much is that: what makes a brand sell and be successful is if they create an excellent customer experience. Advertising is important, it's vital. But, so is customer retention. Brands grow when they have loyal customers. 

I thought it was great when Anomaly (New York), who had an account with Virgin Atlantic in 2004, made sure they improved the customer experience; they designed the interiors of the plane and even the layout of the ticket. They did this before they even did any advertising. I think they made the point that adverts are important but customers need to be happy with the product.  

I remember when I was living in New York City this summer, I had to return some jeans to the popular outlet Urban Outfitters. As soon as I approached the counter and the assistant saw I was returning something he said, "I'm sorry you had to come back and return it," which he followed with, "you can pick something else if you like; if you need any help just call me." When in the UK does an assistant ever apologise because you had to return something? When do they greet with you with a beaming smile or offer their help if you need it? 

He created a first class experience, he made me want to come back to his brand again and again. And I did. This is priceless advertising. 

Thus, as my Urban Outfitters experience and Anomaly's methods have demonstrated, advertising is important but creating a great customer experience is vital for a brand as well. 

Customer Experience.

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Thursday, 10 February 2011