Saturday 28 June 2008


Burma is a very special place for me. It's very poor and like Tibet, the last thing it needs is dramatic regime change or the different states will just slug it out like they did in the Balkans. If you read Monocle recently that article on Kosovo might help you understand because its great but also deeply depressing when the tribes get all....tribal. The best chance it has is for ASEAN to do SOMETHING but Asians have a culture of non inteference to the point where I've seen people run over by a car in Bangkok and nobody helps. It's not evil, its just a cultural fault. We have lots and lots too.

However China pretty much uses Burma as one of its Southern Ports so they have a lot of influence. But probably not enough to tell the Generals they are scum. They may not want to burn their bridges either.

So yesterday I finally bumped into my dealer again. I've been avoiding him because he sold me that Pop Communism painting and even though he's a nice guy, he's a bit pushy on the sales but yesterday was unavoidable so I did the decent thing and took a look around his gallery. That was a mistake because I found a painting about Burma there.

A Chinese person doing a painting about Burma takes a sort of internationalism that is hard to grasp to those outside this country. My heart melted and I bought it instantly. But I've been thinking about it, because I don't necessarily need to stack up on paintings and actually I put a deposit down on another painting that is about China and will be with me for the rest of my life. More on that later.

So I want to repay Burma and Rangoon back for the haunting beauty of Bagan and the tranquility of Pyae by offering this painting for sale. All money to the Burmese even if I have to fly there and stuff some dollars in someone's hand because I think they might be hit by a famine after that cyclone/hurricane/tropical monsoon that wiped out a 100 000 or so. 

It's pretty desperate as I understand things.

If someone knows how to turn this into a meme/contagious content I'd be very grateful.


Thursday 26 June 2008


I know planners shouldn't shine lasers in their mouths but Creatives need inspiration. That's our job.

Wednesday 25 June 2008

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

We're very lucky to have this building barely two minutes away from my house here in Beijing . I've been making the most of it and dropping-by on my electric bike and buying random tickets for the Ballet, Pianists and Orchestras. It's called 'The Egg' locally for reasons I can't figure out.

Last Monday a colleague and I went to see the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and they were seamless. A real transportation away from the outside world, conducted by the hugely talented Yannick Nézet-Séguin from Montreal. A classical superstar in the making , along with a sublime performance by the pianist from Shanghai called Yundi Li who was definitely on another level when he played a Prokofiev piece, Piano Concerto No. 2 in g minor, OP. 16 which is hideously dark, complex and confrontational. I loved it.

They get very annoyed about filming anything in the Egg (actually China loathes anything being photographed if they think copyright is being infringed - which is ironic) and even shine a laser spot on people during a performance if anyone is caught doing so.

Anyway, you know I like to shine, so I sneaked some of the two and half minute ovation they gave to the conductor with some never before seen panoramas (I should work in advertising shouldn't I?) of the auditorium. It's world class and h
ere it is.

Just in case you've got loads of time on your hands there's an expression I picked up in Thailand from a P.R. professional, that also applies here in China. Do it first and ask for forgiveness afterwards. This is how we roll as Sam might say.

Average number of Asian searches

Thomas Crampton makes the witty observation that perhaps the Malaysians should help the Koreans with what they are trying to find.

JC Penney & Saatchi Saatchi

This is a beautiful ad. It feels more wholesome than prurient to me. I understand that Saatchi & Saatchi are saying this ad is nothing to do with them but they are nonetheless trying to take it down.

Tuesday 24 June 2008


I couldn't help laughing at this bag I saw in Xidan over the weekend. I'm probably going straight to hell aren't I?

There's an anthropological/linguistic/ethnographic study in the waiting for this little number above. I'm being serious because actually it's unacceptable in many Asian cultures to wear this and yet the intended irony has gone off-skew with this example I saw in Beijing. Lauren or Angus might have a bit to say on this.

Everybody loves a bit of Exciusive design don't they? Just splendid!

Or can we safely blame Moschino for this kind of stuff.

Lifestyle Advertising

I was reminded of Rob's recent post on lifestyle advertising when I passed by these posters last week, because the people responsible for this kind of stuff evidently have no style and even more scarily, no life whatsoever. I'm hoping someone who can read Chinese might enlighten me on the copy. So bad it's good really. The first pic is worth an enlarged click in case any talent companies are on the lookout for some people in need of help; both clients and erm the talent.

Monday 23 June 2008


I'm very critical of using the word creative in China when its often a case of the Emperor's new clothes. So I want to plug an ad by BBH Shanghai that I saw at the AAAA awards in December. I liked it then and I like it even more now I can see some more strategic thoughts behind it.

Crucially I think it gets across some critical points about the product such as mouth feel, proximity to an open mouth and lastly (most weakly) a new product attribute of the green filling at the end. It's not brilliant but it is good and its fun. I'd expect this sort of creative to come out of Thailand usually.

Now if I could only get the commercial for children's clothes where the strategy, endline and creative was about "Children are illogical little things". It smelt like it had good planning on it. Hat tip to Madison Boom for reminding me.

Sunday 22 June 2008

Quake Talk

I wasn't in China for the Sichuan Earthquake and so it's only when I returned and started speaking to people that I formed some opinions about what this meant and how it is changing China. It's a really big deal because the last earthquake (Tangshan) in 1976 was concealed to the outside world, and to this day revelation of anything that isn't government ordained is a de facto secret.

However I found this picture on Wanfujing high street the most solemn and in case it didn't make it to the Western media I've posted it today because I think it sums up both the extent of the grief that the parents of these children must be feeling and equally it's the most sensitive topic for the Chinese government which has now been clamped down on in terms of discussion in the broadcast media, which is the quality of the school buildings that fell so quickly in that area.

Some of you may recall that I've railed against the quantity not quality approach that seemingly blinds a lot of the business community, including the advertising brigade who avoid any discussion that managing the growth rate and its reciprocal greed is what the business is about. That the any nod towards idea innovation is in the main a desire to be associated with the creative economy. This doesn't mean that China hasn't been an unprecedented success in its idea of how to succeed from a nation state perspective.

I've also recently managed to talk to people who are closer to government and there is some interesting and unsubstantiated gossip that Premier Wen Jiabao whose popularity rating has climbed since the tragedy, leapt on a plane after the quake which
occurred at 14:28:01.42 CST and was in the perimeter of the damage area within 2 hours with a loudhailer and some power to get things done. Not enough power it seems because his immediate call for the military to be deployed through the highest office of Hu Jintao was ignored for two days due to bureaucracy and possibly the potential of political capital being made.

This is unsubstantiated rumour, because even getting a reluctant nod on the names involved was hard enough and I didn't realise until the second time round who was being indirectly held accountable by the Chinese who like all people share information with each other. It's always worth bearing in mind that Chinese culture in the 21st century is both thousands of years old and yet at the same time is just finding its feet. More on that later as I've got a few outstanding posts on how China ticks from what I've learned so far.

Friday 20 June 2008


It's not just the cement. It's the entire industrial 'eco' system that goes with each scraping-the-sky-tower. I hope this graph puts Asia into context for a few people. Managing the growth is a feat in itself. Via Rich and Shanghaiist and The Oil Drum.

NB. Last night while riding my electric bike around the diplomatic area I noticed a large queue on both sides of the road to fill up with gas (petrol). Today I see the price of gas is going to rise in China and that just this news dropped the price of a barrel by $5.

This comes under volumetrics doesn't it?

Thursday 19 June 2008


Some of you are probably familiar with my assertion that particularly with TV commercials it's most powerful when conveying feelings not messages or rather messages wrapped around feelings rather than the other way round. It's probably why Pipes taught me that 'tonality' was 'very important' among many other things. I'm a bit stuck where I swiped this german visual for dimensionalizing (is that a word?) 'feelings'. It's primarily in German but worth translating for those who need a model to work from. I speak prettty crap German so it kind of worked quite quickly for me.

Wednesday 18 June 2008

Fink about the money!

I was over at Zeus Jones blog a few days ago, and Adrian’s post on monetization of social media got me thinking about digital again, and whereas I usually fire off a long comment when that happens, I reckon it’s time to write some thoughts down over here.

Firstly I can’t bear that word monetization. It’s the English part of me I guess, but it just feels crass that everything has to be monetized. I’m reminded of this each time I watch Fox News, because all the bullying of any (pinko Commie bastard) liberal guests they bring on to bait is won by their vulgar but implicit idea that if profit is not made then its not of worth. This is the point where I think the United States has gone slowly wrong in the last 50 years because the values it was built on are not about profit to the detriment of all else. OK I got that off my chest. Back to making money! We’ve also all got bills to pay. The environment of course being the biggest!

Yes of course there should be some sort of transactional value exchange model between social media platform providers and the people who frequent them. It does however feel like the old media model of huge profits and mass market broadcasting persuasive powers has disintegrated.

Micro-transactions work very well here in China for the most popular platform QQ using a virtual currency that is paid for in hard cash. (Kind of like a Second Life model) but this is where I like to think social media should embrace a number of revenue streams and think about revenue diversity because it’s obvious (to me) that good old fashioned bread and butter banner advertising works very effectively in Facebook. I generally love the ad to the left of their pages because they are eerily effective and are mainly China location based services making them highly relevant. In short they work. I like them even.

So we’ve got micro-transactions, and then traditional banner advertising. I like to call this distractive (contextual) advertising because if it’s good enough, then it distracts much like print advertising does today, interruptive advertising which is generally disliked but is based on the commercial break and includes pre-roll advertising as well as the hated pop up and even ideas such as “get this digital mobile phone for free as long as we can give you x number of ads a month”

I also think there are more innovative ideas that could be considered such as tiered or rewarded internet activity. Adrian has done a fine post about social media but as he correctly points out most people are hanging out on the net to get away from dull content and patronizing marketing communications. However the tiered subscription or rewarded activity is based on a model that really needs to embrace some ideas that Adam Crowe was, I think, the first to bring my attention to. The notion of data portability. The information accumulated by internet usage should belong to the customer not us.

If we (or Google or the ISPs) do the unthinkable and give our potential customers their own internet usage data to trade with us we then are truly opening up ideas loosely called the free market economy. It’s probably more American/United States than apple pie and fanny packs put together now that I think of it. This then opens up our potential customers to benefit from their data portability in the best way possible. The provider they choose to allow receipt of marketing communications from. It’s a bit like a bazaar. If you don’t like the voice of the trader or the goods they are selling, you can stay clear of them. Imagine a world where in return for premium content we permitted ourselves to exposure of specific marketing models. If the advertising sucks we make a decision about whether we can get by with lower value advertising-free content or not at all.

Either way I think we are moving into a new era of marketing communications because as an advocate of 'the medium is the message' it's clear to me that I never got ‘spammed’ while watching a commercial in a movie theatre, direct mail is lower down the food chain because its so much more cheaper to indiscriminately ‘target’ (using the language of old) with geography or basic demographics acting effectively to the point where a 3% response rate still makes it worthwhile.

But here’s the context. The internet is both a place where I can watch a Cannes winning Youtube clip and also open up my mail to be offered a larger penis or a fake Rolex watch. That never happens on TV or even direct mail and so the value of the internet is diminished by this activity. There are innovative ways around this if advertisers want to raise the perceived value for a short while. Like for example if I was P&G I would buy all the available online advertising space within a specific digital media aperture. Maybe the whole of the NYT or The Guardian for a few days. Just wipe out every ad in the online editions and put one sponsor message on there, advertising some spot removing clean or dandruff clearing shampoo. Something relevant seems appropriate!

There are ways to be creative on the internet, although finding the clients bold enough to do stuff like this is tough. Anyway in principle the point I want to end on is that it's not us who should be targeting the customers, it’s the customers who should be targeting us.

This is after all the 21st century and not the 20th. We had two world wars in that one.

Update: Adam links to this which is just the sort of example I'm talking about with P&G. i.e. buying space that would normally be filled with ads.

Tuesday 17 June 2008

Beat her into submission

Welcome to the latest agency from WPP. George Parker knows exactly what he's talking about. See you at Cannes next year but only if you punish me. Go on, I'm a consumer...I like.


Via Leland Maschmeyer who has been on a real roll this year with some of the most progressive thinking in our business or the shape of our future business. The video highlights for me what I think is probably one of the more concrete and tangible shifts of the 20th/21st century that is for the better: The emancipation of women in general.

I also happen to think that pitches should be done like this. Charts, strategies, quantitative data and qualitative dimensions mean nothing unless an agency can articulate how it's going to speak on behalf of their clients. The video above is exactly how we should be doing it in my opinion.

Sunday 15 June 2008

Is Google Stupid?

Baidu is the search engine of choice in China. Google has 27% market share here and it is growing, but Baidu has double at 55%. There are plenty of reasons, that extend from cultural inclination, history and product offering, but the one area that Google consistently fails to embrace is the notion that people can be driven to internet services from what I like to call hard media. Time and again I've seen very simple and effective advertising for Baidu. On Friday while taking a subway trip I saw yet more examples of invitations to use Baidu and took a quick picture.

That's a search box in Chinese underneath the English name with the search button on top to the right of it. It's quick, simple and effective. One of the dimensions of media that is talked about very little outside of the creative execution is the notion of trust and credibility. Just buying that media space says a whole lot to prospective Chinese internet search engine customers (think 'we're Baidu and we can afford this space), and I've been irritated for longer than I've been in China that Google has failed to grasp a window of opportunity by using simple and traditional media. I've noticed that the paper tray mats in KFC were also being used by Baidu for a co-promotion recently and the reason why I think Google has slipped up is that I really wanted their Google Talk feature to become more popular. It could have done that and created momentum for user growth in more of their products too, quite easily.

If the internet is today more understood to be about the power of community, then it smacks a little of brand arrogance not to approach people and potential communities in the media that they may have exposure to more easily, or even prefer! Its us that are the digital evangelists. Most people have lives to get on with.

I absolutely love Google and their products (Google RSS Reader kicks ass). There's no doubt that they have been one of the most exciting and innovative companies on the planet. They are also phenomenally successful, a veritable black swan, but I think they have missed an opportunity to make friends, by not talking to people outside of what we are increasingly glued to. Our computer screens.

It would be nice to hear their brand voice elsewhere. The medium is after all the message and the internet isn't the only one that matters. Or even should.

One last point as there is more depth to this issue than I want to get stuck into here, is that Baidu is better at finding free mp3 files which is a contentious point, but in terms of efficacy I understand that Google is better, and for sure in English Baidu's best search result on me is by a long chalk unrepresentative. Yet still my Chinese colleagues prefer Baidu in some contexts.

You know Google; if you're listening, sometimes people like to find what they believe. Not believe what they find. Baidu is better at that function in China and that is the marketing challenge for Google here.

Friday 13 June 2008

The Official Olympic Cheer

In the event that an overwhelming urge to display anomalous feelings of group euphoria in a synchronized or coordinated fashion overwhelms the Chinese spectators during the Olympic games the official Olympic cheer is here to the rescue. More via Sina

I reckon Charlie Gower with burrito in hand doing a Mexican wave would be just the ticket too. Sometimes wish Mark was out here absorbing this stuff. Via Danwei

Update: Will over at Image Thief has a post with the memorable official line "This gesture demonstrates to the world the charisma of the Chinese people and our enthusiasm"

What in the world can stop a G-Class?

Erm....Peak oil and climate change spring to mind. Lovely ad though.

Wednesday 11 June 2008

Sunday 8 June 2008

Chunking Express

This is a long and sweeping post covering Asia and Creativity and Survival. There's no way I am even close to being completely right and there will be gaps, mistakes and contradictions and could easily go on for much longer, but I think I've connected enough of the dots to write this down rather than endlessly repeat what I've been asked about through umpteen Skype/Coffee Shop/Phone conversations around the world even though it was a pleasure to do it one more time for my good man Mark in the early hours of Saturday morning (It was closer to 3 AM Mark, I lost track of time!)

I'm a committed environmentalist, green marketeer, sustainable energy man and yesterday, as promised, offered free B2B marketing consultancy to a Chairwoman I met on Friday night at a swanky hotel bar, who is trying to raise funds on AIM for biomass fuel resource development in China. So cut me some slack on buying this unecessary phone because it is now the stimulus for a long overdue post that I started with Quantity not Quality back here.

OK, so the phone is pictured above. I first saw one owned by the manager of a stall in a Xidan shopping mall that does those funky T Shirts with twisted slogans I love so much. She was kind enough to answer my questions about where to get one, although they were no longer available, and finally Gustavo emailed to let me know he'd spotted them at Silk Street Market.

I have no real desperate need for a secondary phone except as a backup, but here's the skinny. Its shaped in the style of those first 1985 models called the Motorola DynaTAC, only a lot smaller and it is in my opinion, the definitive ironic style accessory. But lets talk facts. It comes with some more stuff than the original despite being a fraction of the original size:

Extra Memory Card
Stylus operated PDA
FM Radio
Two Batteries
Media Player
Sound Recorder

and....... most importantly; a SOLAR PANEL on the rear for charging the battery, meaning I leave it in the sunshine and she's good to go. Oh yeah, and it carries two SIM cards so I can have a double life which is perfect because even though I turned down those alarmingly low paid but discrete approaches by people who insisted on being implicit and not explicit about what branch of government they worked for all those years ago, this phone has a telescopic detachable zoom lens so I can observe Al Qaida operatives long before they spot me, and way after they were called the Mujahedeen and funded by "The American Dream" to win the cold war that was also won by outspending the Soviets on Nukes instead of funding guerrilla fighters who wanted to protect their religion and culture. I digress but check the telescopic lens out.

Freaking neat huh?... Back to the point. Asia, and China specifically is staggeringly good at duplication, imitation, reproduction, cloning and replication. I don't mean that pejoratively at all, except that in general it appears very few give a fuck about the environment, but it's not like any fool can do it either. For a start, it takes an entrepreneurial mindset, lots of financial resource, the expertise to duplicate the latest technology, reorganise an existing manufacturing process, disrupt the in-process inventory model (which is a LOT of work), reconfigure supply side distribution management and believe it or not, try and do some marketing.

So even though Asia is brimming with the sort of creative output that humans all round the world are good at when given the right environment, the reality of the region and China specifically is that it does the industrially unprecedented, through scale and volumetrics, plus a monoculture that pretty much insists on a uniformity of mindset and collective action rather than the pluralism and creative tension of the Western model kicked off by ideas from Empedocles and Democritus. China is still closer to the pre-Socratic Eleatics in thinking and while I generally embrace all cultural idiosyncrasies I believe China should think very very seriously about how to embrace pluralism and how to work it together with collective endeavour outside of the neoliberal capitalist model for reasons I'll round up on once I've dusted off creativity.

Now there plenty of exceptions outside of China, of brilliant creative marketing executions. There are however insufficient Pan-Asian successful branding case studies to conclude that out of a few billion people in the Far East, only a handful have figured out how to build on their strengths rather than embrace the reality of not being innovation leaders. Lets list them. Singapore Airlines (had it, lost it), Sony (erratic), Honda (W+K London) erm Samsung/Epson/Panasonic/Asus et al (yawn) and shall we say that'll be the Daewoo? Because when I worked in London at HHCL, no creative could ever deliver a pun as an idea. Oh and by the way Hello Kitty is Asia's third strongest brand.

So back to the product because that is where Asia knows how to rock-it from a manufacturing, pricing and distribution angle. The phone above is a 3rd millenium mashup and I love its solar panel credentials (it's no toy feature) but there is nothing in it that was invented outside of an occidental environment. Hat tip to Charlie Gower for his post that highlighted it was the Japanese at Sharp in 2001 who put a camera into the first popular cellphone. Digital photography though is rooted outside of the country that implemented it first successfully.

Charlie Gower is also one of the most creative idea driven people I know and memorably suggested at The Endurance in Soho, that mobile phones cameras need a small detachable light connected by wire, for taking decent night time shots. He's right too. Lighting is in the top three things for a good picture with composition and subject matter. A serious Asian brand will never do it first because it hasn't been done elsewhere. Sony. You make the best camera phones. What are you waiting for?

And there my friends is part of the challenge.

Whether its manufacturing or marketing by the time it comes to that old chestnut called creativity the absolutely last thing on a serious Asian brand's mind is taking a risk. Monoculture is all about being risk averse.

The marketing psychology over here is all too often 'If everyone is doing the same shit, then its more than likely to be working'. If I go out on a limb I'm risking the whole shebang for some marketing glory. Why on earth would I want to do that? The agencies are quite happy to go along with the illusion of creativity because the remuneration for getting a regular kicking from their clients is worth it. Senior management just shuffle the spreadsheet finance numbers and it's those lower down the food chain that are bullied the most anyway.

Now I could go into the reality that there isn't much need to stuff Asian ads with the usual superlatives of shiny white teeth and happy sterile family stereotypes. In real GDP growth economies here in Asia of say 7% and above all we have to do is bash people over the head with a monologue and make money. Repetition, increased sound volume, general aspirational lifestyle imagery and a million wasted hours talking bullshit about brand values, propositions, transactional analysis (just kidding), rational versus emotional, link testing, likability versus memorability and the rest of that old marketing bullshit that invariably settles on the word passion because of course the client and agency believe the brand is ALL about PASSION. Of course they do! It pays their fucking mortgages for Christ's sake.

How do we move on? If Asia and China specifically wants to move on to having the glorious aroma of a brand that performs above and beyond product specifications, there is plenty of fertile territory that deeper analysis of the DNA and marketing context offers. So often the really sticky stuff that is insanely interesting about Asian brands are the humble roots of the people who started them, the scalability, the risk taking, the commitment and the reasons they put on their spreadsheet marketeer heads on each morning. For their families and for their dreams. The power of dreams as we all know is quite something which is probably where I should begin to wrap up because the reality is that while I know great brands can be built here in Asia that can go global and attract a lot of customer love we are all facing a much larger problem than flogging the latest tech gadget. The economic model we are using is broken. It operates by extracting resources from the ground, converting it into products and then disposing of them at an exponentially faster rate because that is why technology controls us and not the other way round.

The imperative marketing challenge for Asia and China particular if you are listening because it all rests with you until the Indian demographics kick in is to charge more for less.

More ideas less stuff.

More cost less consumption

How do you do that?

You build proper brands that stand for something your families would be proud of and that means embracing the word creativity and innovation with a view to doing nothing less than rewiring our economies and the corporations so that we have something to pass on to the next generations.

Its really rather simple, and very very complex at the same time.

There's also a lot of thinking some of us are doing about why digital is more sensible for explosive growth populations and why analogue is probably a more intelligent use of resource for the rich folk.

Saturday 7 June 2008

Say it again

When I see citizen created content like this I begin to feel that part of the job of an agency 2 point something is to find an innovative brand association rather than write a brief for content.

Why not write a brief for the media companies to use it in such a way that people connect with the authenticity and creativity that is sprouting up on Youtube and elsewhere? This is probably heresy to the creative community, but in my view this piece of content is better than 90% of advertising. A creative media association would be way more effective.

Via Angus who consistently digs up kick ass digital on the net.

Friday 6 June 2008

Why Advertising Needs Its Head Examined

I was in Dubai earlier this week and had a terrific time. I'll be writing a post about it very shortly as there is a lot to share and a few assumptions that need clarification about this very cosmopolitan part of the world.

However, in the mean time it just struck me while departing through the airport that while it's all fine and good to have a decent monologue with customers beating our brand chests, the whole point about the 21st century marketing and Web 2.0/Digital dialogue is that if brands aren't able to shift into that dialogue mode when circumstances demand, then they end up losing so much of their effort.

Their credibility, their hard work, professionalism, vision and outlook. Everything is contextual (yes I know 'yawn') and if the only context that agencies can think of for their clients are rose coloured Ray Bans with duty free fragrance, then they are aggravating problems and pathologically avoiding the solution.

There is quite possibly nothing more patronising then seeing the output of 20th century marketing automatons delivering a monologue on the virtues of a brand when the reality is all too evident that agencies and marketing folk are a bunch of money grubbing air heads that don't know how to turn around a problem into an a golden opportunity.

As Rob says quite rightly, a customer complaint is a brilliant opportunity to create a brand advocate. I say a problem is when we really need to start talking to customers not just invading their social media/digital arena when it suits us.

All the time these poor folks were dealing with the reality of 3rd millennium air travel and the inevitable delays, a screen the size of three billiard tables above them was spouting forth the usual distorted advertising superlatives that are perfectly applicable when everything is ticketyboo (A Hindi expression "tikai babu," meaning "it's all right, sir.") but are a shameless example of why most marketing blows chunks big time, and why advertising specifically is seen as only slightly higher up the food chain than political rhetoric.

I absolutely love great advertising and I'm a great admirer of Emirates the airline, but if any brand or agency isn't talking about ways to open up a meaningful dialogue with their customers during the inevitable part of life when things don't go according to plan then very simply they are inevitably wasting money on advertising 1.0 and pissing off people with the sort of bad manners we reserve for bores at dinner parties that dominate the conversation with the sound of their own voice. I've got 20 ideas in my head how Emirates and Dubai could win over everyone of the carpet sleepers I saw that night but you can rest assured that filling that stadium screen with more chest beating 'hub of the world' content is way more important than getting some digital/web/advertising 2.0 solutions into the mix.

Making profits isn't as hard as it made out to be. Losing customer loyalty and the money that goes with it is even easier.

Tuesday 3 June 2008


Ed just posted about Chanel and so I've got to get this off my chest. Chanel are kicking retail ass at the moment in so many ways that I can only describe as creative tumescence pour moi. 

I passed their flagship store in Bejing and pulled out the Canon to snap their window display. It's on another level and frankly I could write about just their shoes for a few hundred words. 

I realise that luxury is the opposite of a lot of values I espouse on this blog but never confuse true beauty and design genius with high bills.