“It is not that we don’t suffer from [that] and CD copying,” said Martin Mills (legendary British Indy music maestro). “But our music tends to be seen as less disposable and … fans feel they have a connection with the bands.”

guardian article

See also:



…another example of how authenticity is the only currency worth having


‘The great unalignment’

Marketeers have been noting a loss in trust and a loss of brand loyalty for many years now. Seeing it affect politics so directly is a new crease in tapestry.

Some people have claimed that the media, or corporations actually rule us and not governments. I think this event shows that ‘we’ actually rule us and that we don’t really view consumer goods, politicians, media brands or anything else as being deserving of special treatment.

So while we’re all masters of the passive aggressive, retaliative rebuke. It would be nice to see us, the crowd, the demos, the great unwashed, exercising the power we so clearly have constructively.

The health bill is probably far from perfect, as no doubt are the democrats and Obama but in the land of the blind… from the liberal foreigners viewpoint – seeing a democrat heartland turn against Obama is disheartening and even a little cheap.


Its a big subject and i’m only a small person, with a limited attention span. This fascinating subject deserves more time and I hope to come back to it. In the mean time please don’t be too disappointed by how disjointed this lot is :-)

(p.s. for the non-mathmos, the pic is a generic ‘integration’ equation, basically a pretty low quality geek joke)

Should ‘integrated’ be any better than aggregating several ‘silo’ agencies?

Its a bit of a truism, but worth repeating – great marketing relies on intuitive leaps in creative thinking.

In practical terms, it also depends on a great product, distribution and customer experience. Most of the time these things are outside the agency remit – from both the client and agency’s perspective being more the territory of management consultants than copywriters and art directors.

I believe that there is a great untapped potential here. That in fact, rapidly evolving the proposition is actually a far more powerful marketing approach than spending millions on comms – also that creative teams can be invaluable in making exactly those evolutionary jumps if briefed the right way – but that’s a different conversation.

Intuitive thinking isn’t the abstract, unworldly, phenomenon is makes itself out to be. Intuition is the subconscious working with the sum total of experiential stimuli your grey matter has accumulated. If it never got plugged into your brain – then it wont inform your intuition.

So an integrated environment should create a more broadly stimulating environment for creative minds, leading to a higher frequency and quality of creative leaping (don’t try to visualise that one!).

Having said that – the stimulus that anyone gets inside the walls of an agency, no matter how trendy and counter-bureaucratic it is, is arguably only as important (at best) as the stimulus we get outside – ambling through the real world (you know, the one where real people get on with living, loving and shopping).

So ‘integrated’ has a lot of work to do. Doing marketing well is an intuitive exercise. Doing ‘integrated’ properly and systematically is a cultural phenomenon. That means you can’t just switch it on with some magic formula.

It going to take a while for the culture to reach a tipping point – we;re not there yet. In the mean time, there’s a wonderful challenge to bridge the ‘high – low’ planning and creative gap between truly neutral concepts – and the media rooted ideas that are generally more immediately memorable and influential.


A few relevant links:

Say something interesting (form BBH Labs)

Seth Godin

The side wiki (Guardian)

Forget marketing theory and hype for a second and just keep it super-simple in your head. Who do you know that’s a great conversationalist, never boring, always judges the mood right, leaves you with something that maybe pops into your head later?

Probably no-one right? No one’s that perfect. But you get the idea. There are few people who would be bold enough to claim that they are great conversationalists but we all do understand what the rules are. A bit of listening, something entertaining to throw into the mix, a splash of empathy – but not mawkish indulgence.

The marketing challenge is no different in principle, the challenge is that customers face trying to have a conversation with a multi-headed hydra – combining all the people who work inside a company with all their partners, agencies, distributers etc. Talking to someone who’s confused inside their own head can be pretty fruitless.

Getting from where we are today, to a place where the demand for a more natural relationship between brands and their audiences is possible will be as long a road as the one we all go on, learning to be the person we want to be.


Razorfish FEED09



BBH Labs response

A few thoughts:

Digital natives aren’t the mainstream yet, but it wont be long.

The media fragmentation, the future of traditional media, has pretty much been sorted now. Are there still any die hards out there?

The big question is basically sorted. But its still a triumph of belief over reality. Every element of the digital experience is still young. Hardware, software and content design expertise are all moving very fast.

Despite the general tenor of the buzz, tweets, blips, rants, flames, flip vids etc – this isn’t primarily a tech thing. Its cultural, its social, its societal, its political.