April 23, 2020

If you want to understand the current climate, you’re going to have to dig into people’s need for Safety.


If you want to do that, you’ll have to explore what it is they’re afraid of.


If you want to get to grips with that, you could do worse than look at a film like the Blair Witch Project.


And maybe think about some of the following:


The p...

April 16, 2020

We’re all in this together.


Come together to Clap For Our Carers.


Stand together to beat coronavirus.


It’s the tone, isn’t it? Like a tetchy head teacher.


But it’s also that word. Together.   


Brands are up to it too.


The BBC is ‘bringing us closer’ because ‘together we’ll get through’.


McCain uses the same words...

April 9, 2020

It’s like emotion squared out there at the moment.


The fear, naturally. Everyone’s stopped saying it’s a bit like the flu.


The trust we’re putting in our leaders to work out an exit strategy.


The anger at joggers who confuse metres with feet.


The joy of watching that great dane doing lunges with his owner. 


The disgust that prompted...

April 2, 2020

If you find yourself reading anything by someone who claims to know exactly how the world will have changed by the time things get ‘back to normal’, here’s my advice.




Nobody knows.


Governments don’t know how long they’ll need to keep the restrictions in place.


Healthcare services don’t know if they’ve done enough to be ready for the...

March 19, 2020

It’s all questions at the moment, isn’t it?


Should we self-isolate?


Do I have coronavirus?


Why is it not the coronavirus?


How frequent is a continuous cough?


Have we got enough food?


How the hell are we going to keep the kids occupied?


Did you hear the town of Vo in Italy tested all 3,000 residents and only 3% tested p...

February 6, 2020

“We all want quiet…”


We do, don’t we? From time to time.


“We all want beauty…”


In all its forms. Like waves rolling in as the sun slides into the sea.


“We all need space…”


Space to work, room to breathe. I wrote that once as a proposition for Canary Wharf, in the days when no one wanted to work there.


Now it gets good.


January 23, 2020

I eat this because it’s full of goodness.


Low in fat.






High in protein.




Vitamin D.


No artificial colours or preservatives.


No trans fats.


All natural ingredients.


100% organic.


Locally sourced.


Made by a family business.


Since 1820.



January 9, 2020

Name the brand for these taglines:


1. Did somebody say …?


2. Keep life simples.


3. I’m lovin’ it.


4. Can your insurance do that?


5. Should have gone to …


6. … gives you wings.


7. Vorsprung durch technik.


8. Love it or hate it.


9. Because you’re worth it.


10. Every little helps.


Everyone 10 o...

December 19, 2019

What’s been the biggest problem for the advertising industry in the last decade?


Was it the audience all now streaming, skipping or blocking?


Was it the growth of digital advertising?


Or the growth of social purpose over proper positioning?


Was it the commoditising effect of turning ‘creative’ into a noun?


Was it the lack of new sta...

November 21, 2019

All of us in marketing spend our time clambering up the tree of brand understanding.


Up we go, the roots for the first leap, the solidity of the lower branches, the gradual thinning out of support, closer and closer to where the sunlight dazzles.


Then just when we feel we have a secure grasp of the principles, somebody gives the whole tree the most almi...

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