It is Party Conference time, which really is a silly season.
I have never been to one and cannot imagine doing so. The tone of voice seems so false and obsequious, I think I would shrivel into a little cringy ball.
They are all over the media – to the extent that you can read the Party Leaders’ speeches in the newspaper before they orate them. I am not a PR man but idea of making the speech yesterday’s, rather than today’s, news has always seemed a rather bizarre tactic to me.
What is the status of our three main parties as brands?
And, as brands, do they have any integrity? Read more on Liberal Democrats a compromised brand…
Rarely have I felt so angry.
On 5 August, nine foreign aid workers for the International Assistant Mission
(IAM), including Karen Woo, a British doctor, were slaughtered in Afghanistan.
Last week, on 12 August, further details emerged – http://tinyurl.com/23o3oyy
Here are two of them (my underlining): Read more on More intelligent use of phone technology and new media in Afghanistan War…
So, I have this nagging concern that, with the major social battles of the 20th century fought and won – women’s suffrage, equal rights, free market economics over socialism – and, especially, with all this new media about – why, in the 21st century, is our society diverging rather than converging?
And why aren’t our politicians more sophisticated, more strategic, about how they use these new media opportunities to bring people closer together and unite society – globally as well as domestically. Read more on What was it like?…
A seminal moment in my life came when I was one of the first European business managers to visit Vietnam.
At the time, I was the General Manager of Ogilvy & Mather in Thailand. Our US clients were embargoed from engaging with Vietnam and our European and Thai clients wanted to find potential business opportunities in the Vietnamese population of 70 million ‘consumers’ before their American competitors were allowed in.
I was told I would have a ‘guide’ but that really he was a Government employee who would report back on all of my movements. A spy. Read more on Man’s inhumanity to man…
Until last Friday, I was prepared to give Blair the benefit of the doubt. Once, I even gave him my vote. It was all I could do.
If nothing else, as a brand, our Tone has always intrigued me. In the commercial world, the most successful products deliver to their consumers what the consumer wants to buy. Otherwise they don’t buy the product any more.
Because of this, many brands like, say, Marmite stand the test of time and their consumers stay loyal to that brand because they know what they are going to get (and some of them, like me, love it!). These brands have an essential TRUTH, which occasionally needs refreshment to stay relevant, but the product delivers what you know it says it will deliver – it does what it says on the tin. Look at Hovis. The ad of the decade! Even the Gorilla ends up with a glass and a half. Read more on Tony Blair – no more excuses on Iraq…
So Campaign nominated the COI as the advertiser of the last decade. Effusive was the praise:
“Few clients have held the ad industry’s respect, admiration and affection for so long as COI. Its roster agencies are united in their high regard for the professionalism of its top people and the scrupulously fair way it conducts its business”.
As to agency regard for the COI, my Cynical Hat is nagging “well they would say that wouldn’t they?”. As the biggest spending client in the country (£250million last year), the price to an agency of NOT being on the COI roster would be unthinkable. Read more on COI – could do better?…
Two decades ago, I was privileged to attend a conference in Bangkok where the Key Note Speaker was the CEO of a major American Bank. He may even have been The President. Certainly, he was very important. He had a bodyguard and he arrived in his Bank’s private plane (as it was private, he probably kept it for himself).
His thesis was that ‘Over time, convergence is more likely than divergence’. In other words, all of us would grow closer together – culturally, educationally, religiously, morally, in every way.
I thought this was really clever. The Asian markets were booming, Vietnam was opening up and curious. And certainly there was much more regional awareness. Asian countries knew much more about what was happening in their region than we did in Europe. Above all, there was massive demand for ‘international’ products and brands.
Two weeks ago, I read ‘A Week in December’ by Sebastian Faulks. Set in modern-day Britain, the book exposes a society that couldn’t be more polarised – culturally, educationally, religiously or morally, in every way. Read more on Convergence and Divergence…