“Let-My-Enemies-Live-Long Ltd.” How NOT to pick a name for your business.

Anybody who has named a child knows that choosing names for your offspring is very serious matter.   When my wife was pregnant with our second daughter, we were struggling coming up with an appropriate name for her. We wanted a name that was uncommon, was Yoruba, acknowledged God, and that would be easy for most of the planet to pronounce. Naturally, as the father and self-professed creative in the union, I had a significant role in coming up with…

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Why a lot of Nigerian advertising sucks

“The most important element in advertising is the truth” – Bill Bernbach.   For a people with such an interesting culture, beliefs and attitude, it’s disheartening that a lot of our advertising do not mirror our lives and peculiarities. Let me regale you with an experience I had about thirteen years ago.   A chum was getting married in Jos so I flew into ‘J-Town’ with another friend. It was a Yoruba wedding. The ‘Engagement’ was on Friday and the ‘Church…

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Can ‘Brand Ambassadors’ actually make you buy anything?

I take strong exceptions to people fainting for petty reasons. Fainting is a very serious matter. You faint when a werewolf bears down on you. You faint when Sgt Rogers visits you. You don’t faint because Justin Bieber blew you a kiss. That’s preposterous. There’s a girl somewhere the dude kisses for good. Don’t waste your fainting. Keep it for the crucial. If everyone fainted for every flimsy reason, what’s left to do when you wake up to the company…

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Delusional Marketing

We drink a lot of Zobo in marketing and advertising. In the US, Zobo would be Kool Aid. But they both have the same effect. They encourage a unicorn to believe in itself. Substitute sound reasoning with delusional thinking. We drink them by the gallons in marketing and advertising.   One of my pet peeves in advertising – peddled by some social media and ‘digital marketing’ hucksters – is the ill-founded belief that consumers want to ‘engage’ with a brand…

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The 2017 Oscars. The gulf between awards and market performance.

The 2017 Academy Awards once again recalls the gulf between awards and results. Between creativity and market performance. None of the top twenty box office hits of 2016 made the nominations for Best Picture, the most prized Oscar.   Many creatives and advertising agencies see their works through the lens of a Cannes Lion or a D&AD Pencil. They live on Applausia, where every citizen aspires to awards. Problem is, the paymasters – CEOs and CMOs – live on Earth,…

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’76 or The Wedding Party. Which is the better movie?

We are in the BAFTA and Oscars month! My money is on Casey Affleck winning Actor in A Leading Role for Manchester by The Sea.   When I think about the Oscars, my mind inexorably goes to Nigerian movies. I’m full of optimism though. It’s now clear that if you make a good movie and with the right advertising support, you’ll make money. And when there’s money to be made, quality improves.   There’s always been two Nollywoods. There’s the…

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Nigerian Banks and Product (Un)Truth.

GT Bank is my favourite bank. I use it the most. Not that if Segun Agbaje needed a kidney, I’ll give him one of mine. But it’s a bank with a cause. With a value proposition. I’ll tell you two stories.   A couple of years ago, I was in New Zealand, a country with a 12-hour time difference to Nigeria. I went out one afternoon to use my dollar-denominated GT Bank card at an ATM. It didn’t work. Tried…

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Sleep in the dark. You’ll get used to the monsters.

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield.  There’s something decidedly hare-brained about jumping out of a perfectly good plane. A plane, if it isn’t obvious, is not a boat or a car. A plane flies. In the skies. With birds. There’s a reason we’re not birds. But man has never really been blessed with much discernment, have we?   Sky-diving was something I had always wanted to do. When I was a kid, I wanted to…

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New Airtel advertising. Must be the water in Banana Island.

There must be something in the waters at Banana Island. It was just a few weeks ago that I wrote about Airtel Nigeria’s Lost TV spot and how different and refreshing the spot was from previous Airtel commercials, and indeed from category spots. Lost was a marker set down by Airtel against competition, and unwittingly, against itself. The next spot from the company was always going to draw keen attention. Will it match or beat Lost, or will it crash…

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All I want for Christmas is a warm ad

  I’m a Christmas guy. I love Christmas. It’s my best time of the year. The harmattan. The lights. The carols. “Good King Wenceslas looked out on the feast of Stephen…”“Odun lo so pin O, Baba Rere…” The nice hampers. The dodgy hampers. The teeming malls. Bliss. Joy to the world.   If only brands and companies will give us some really warm Christmas ad. We really could do with some cheer in this country right now.   Back in…

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LAIF Awards 2017. Not a lot to laugh about.

“Speak your mind even if your voice shakes.” Maggie Kuhn     So, I attended the 2017 LAIF Awards, my old stomping ground. I hadn’t been to one in some time and I thought it’d be great to see what the advertising industry was up to these days. When I was at TBWA, advertising awards were a big part of the network and my life. A strong agency showing at an award helped the agency get on clients’ radars and…

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“Life Without Data.” Easily the most arresting Airtel Nigeria advertising in years.

I have always felt that Airtel Nigeria TV spots were the least engaging amongst all Telco advertising in Nigeria. For a brand that has consistently been in the Top 6 of marketing spenders in that last five years, I’d say this was rather unflattering.   Well, not any more. It’s new TV advertising, ‘Life Without Data,’ seems to be grabbing all the attention, in contrast to the marooned protagonist in the spot.     Given that telecommunication offerings in Nigeria are fast…

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Turns out, everybody loves a jerk.

Donald John Trump. They’ve called him many things.   A jerk. A bully. A bigot. Racist. Dumb Trump. A joke.   Well, you can add to the list Mr President.   Yup. Donald Trump is gonna be POTUS. As in P-O-T-U-S. The guy who carries the US nuclear codes on him. The guy whose campaign team didn’t trust with Twitter. That fella who invited Russia to hack into Hillary’s email? Yea, he’s going to be living in the White House.…

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Lindaikejiblogspot. I thought we were all supposed to run away from clutter?

Before the LIB hordes brandish pitchforks and light the bonfire, let me remind them that Halloween is past and that there is no just cause to shedding innocent blood. I fully recognise that no man born of woman dare profane the hallowed grounds of lindaikejiblogspot. I wish to assure all the site’s devotees – amongst whom are some very important people in my life – that my instincts for self-preservation are still strong and that I still wish to continue…

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How long does it take to make eba again?

“Branding is not Rocket Science” – Prof Kevin Keller   The other day a colleague and I went for lunch at one of the ‘posh’ restaurants in Lagos that catered largely to local palates. I have been to this particular restaurant a couple of times. The food is good, the ambience is nice and the service is OK. But I confess that I’m one who believes that for Nkwobi stay with Mama Ogedi, and for soul-lifting Amala, salvation is only…

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4G LTE is great. Sustainable differentiation is better.

  So, I was reading the papers the other day, and walla, Glo has launched a 4G LTE service (wait, didn’t they launch that stuff in 2011?). I thought that was really great because mobile internet speed in Nigeria waver between ‘damn-it!’ and ‘you-gotta-be-kidding-me!’ So, clearly there is a consumer need there. Any network that meets this need can dip its hands into my pocket.   Theoretically 4G LTE is able to deliver speed up to 150Mbps. That means you…

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They have found an Igbo man on Mars

When NASA’s space probes hurtle through the Solar System, they take some pretty astonishing pictures. But there is one picture that NASA dare not release. That is because that picture has profound implications for humanity, and is also deeply bruising to the ego of the West.   They have found an Igbo man on Mars.   Remember that ‘historic’ Neil Armstrong’s footprint on the moon and his “One-Small- Step-for-Man-Giant-Leap-for-Mankind” speech? It’s a conspiracy. That footprint belonged to Akunesiobike. He had…

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Headphone homicide. What Apple wants, Apple gets

iSheep.   That’s what they call people with blind loyalty to Apple. Sheep difficult to wean off the grass of Farmer Job and Farmer Cook.   I’ve owned three MacBooks, one iPad, and four iPhones, so I guess I’m one of those sheep. The folks at 1 Infinite Loop have my number. And how they love to dial it!   Phil Schiller: “Hello Jide, we had you in mind when developed the iPhone 7. We  know 7 is your lucky  …

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Love starts with your brief. It determines if you’ll get some

“Please paint our ceiling for the greater glory of God and as an inspiration and lesson to his people.”   That was the purported brief given by Pope Julius II to Michelangelo for the painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.     I have been inside the Sistine Chapel and seen the ceiling up close. Call me sentimental, but it was hard not to feel an ethereal tingling up your spine gazing at those Michelangelo frescoes. Five hundred…

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Whoever watches a TV ad on YouTube anyways?

  It would be splendid to know the percentage of Nigerian visitors to YouTube who watch a brand ad to the end, versus the number who click ‘Skip Ad’ after five seconds.   I mostly click ‘Skip Ad.’ And this is without prejudice. It is sometimes impulsive. I just want to get straight to the video I’m after. The advertiser in me nominally registers the brand – if it appears during the unskippable 5-second window – but the consumer in…

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Look like a million bucks and you might just earn it

Take a good look at this chap…   Business executive. Professorial. Looks like he knows what he’s talking about. Then this chap… Respect-inducing. Maybe someone’s husband or someone’s dad.   Now, check out this dude.   They are all one and the same person. Me.   While a big part of the transformation is organic and evolutionary, I have to acknowledge the important role played by the Nigerian Police, foreign Passport Control and my would-be mother-in-law in expediting the make-over.   The Nigerian…

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You get the talent you deserve

A couple of days ago, I got a call from a recruiter. There was a supposed ‘senior’ role in her company they wanted to fill and my name came up.   Well, it was pleasing that my name came up in respect to something other than bills, allowances and pocket money. I’d always believed that the only people who thought about me were my wife and creditors. These days I can’t tell the difference between the two.   Back to…

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The spirit of the Games: not all winners take home medals

In a blog post in April 2016, Damon Stapleton recounted a conversation he had with fellow creative blogger Rich Siegel on the frustration of the latter with a client. Rich and his partner had pitched a powerful idea to the client for the Olympics. It involved telling the stories of athletes who come last in their events at the games. You know, those athletes no one remembers. It was the inverse of the norm. Athletes breasting the tape and the…

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“My employer will do what’s best for it and I’ll do what’s best for me. It’s just business”

“For individuals, character is destiny. For organizations, culture is destiny.” Tony Hsieh   ‘Engaged employees’ is apparently a big thing in business circle these days. It’s gone beyond an HR lingo to what keeps line managers and senior executives up at night. HR is then tasked with getting mojos up and getting employees ‘engaged’ or emotionally invested in the company.   The problem of ‘disengaged’ employees is however more structural than what a quick-fix HR strategy can address. It is…

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Decision-making: why every company C-suite should see Eye in the Sky

Chances are that in the course of your work, you have been frustrated by lack of speed and an officious procedure in decision-making. While the approval processes of many companies are conceived with good intentions and to mitigate against risks, any approval process that makes decision-making unwieldy or makes a company miss out on opportunities ought to be re-evaluated.   Enter Eye in the Sky. It is a movie every decision maker and anyone tasked with drawing up processes should…

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‘My friend Udeme…’ We see the world the way we are. Not the way it is.

The first time the Guinness ‘Udeme’ TV spot was shown to the Marketing Team in Lagos, not many of the lads were sold on it. It didn’t look like a great ad. It had no drama. It was too poetic, not ‘aspirational,‘ and it was apparently shot for the whole of the African market, not for Nigeria, the biggest Guinness Foreign Extra Stout market on the continent and where we needed help.   Importantly, a lot of the lads felt…

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Cojones. Grow some.

When I was an agency guy, everyone at the agency drank the toxic lemonade that the client was god. Even a Brand Manager still in his diapers. This sentiment was true of the whole advertising industry in Nigeria. And is evidently still true.   That lemonade of course always tasted like donkey piss. But I guess agency folks like donkeys because they were always swigging from the bottle. If you didn’t like the taste, how do you like not having…

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Your sales team are muppets? How about giving them a better mouse trap

  A friend has been attending a series of ‘Marketing Director’ or ‘Head of Marketing’ type interviews lately, where it turns outs the companies were looking for an individual who would  function as a ‘Marketing Director’ (40%) and Sales Director/Business Development Director (60%). Given that the said friend is a chap cast in the purist Procter & Gamble-Unilever-Coca-Cola-Nike-Apple-Starbucks-type brand management mould, he always came back from those interviews really frustrated. His experience makes me reflect once again on how businesses…

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The myth of ‘earned media’ in Nigeria and insidious brown-envelope Public Relations

  I once witnessed some interesting PR event in far away Auckland in 2009. I was visiting the office of the top games and software magazines. In the lobby of the company stood two men dressed in white quarantine suits and masks. They carried between them some sinister-looking canister. The canister had a name emblazoned on it, the supposed name of the deadly substance within. The two quarantine expert were waiting to see the editor of the magazine. The men…

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“I’m a Procurement Manager. What’s your super power?”

  Susan was on the phone to her husband, Mike.   Susan: “So, I’m flying back in two days. I’ve got some time to myself tomorrow.   Is there something you’d like me to get for you?“   Mike thought for a moment and then remembered.   Mike: “Oh, yeah! I’d like a new hair clipper set. A really nice one.”   So Susan comes back home with a clipper set. She thought it was really nice. She got it…

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If you’re going to have a big mouth, have the product truth to back it

It seems sacrilegious muttering Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Muhammad Ali in the same breath. After all, one is probably the greatest athlete that ever lived, a social crusader, a muse and a sheer force of nature. Uncle Sam missed a trick when it could not convince Ali to join the frontline in Vietnam. It would have been a bloodless war. Ali would have floated like a butterfly all over the rice paddies and socked the heck out of the Viet Congs.…

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In-house creative agency. What’s the sense?

Image by Matt Mitchel   Should businesses have their own in-house creative ‘agency?’ Or should they continue to outsource their marketing communication and design needs to the traditional ad agency?   In developments that ought to make ad agencies rethink their value propositions, clients are beginning to set up in-house creative teams.   It’s no secret that big tech companies have been poaching top creative talents from ad agencies. In 2015, Apple recruited Tor Myhren to be VP of Marketing…

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Jose Mourinho. Manchester United. And thirty pieces of silver.

So, Manchester United fired Louis Van Gaal, and if we are to believe widespread reports in the media, is set to appoint Jose Mourinho into the Old Trafford dugout.   Louis Van Gaal had it coming though. His stats were damning. 1.29 goals per match (the worst since 1989/90) and a 2015/16 goal-tally of 49 (United’s worst in the Premier League era). These speak volumes for a coach whose team averaged more possession (58.47 per cent) than any other team…

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To get things done, go straight to the boss

  Sometime in 2008, I sent a parcel from Lagos to London through a notable global courier. The parcel contained my international passport and visa application documents to the Visa Application Center of a particular country who didn’t have diplomatic presence on in Nigeria.   It usually took no more than four days for such parcels to be delivered to London. Only this was never delivered. It was royally detained by officers of Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs at the…

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Budweiser now “America.” So, what’s the worst that can happen?

  From sometime in May to sometime in November, Bud as we know it will be changing to America. That is, the beer formerly known as “Budweiser” will now be known as “America.” Just for six months. Ostensibly to inspire beer lovers to revel in the USA’s and Budweiser’s (now America) ‘shared values of freedom and authenticity.’   While “The King of Beers” had never squirmed at the idea of changing its packaging to reflect its American pride, this is…

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Tiwa Savage, Wizkid, Olamide and the risks in brand ambassadorship

  So the country woke up one morning and Tee Billz, the husband of Tiwa Savage, was going to end it all and jump off a bridge. Now, what could possibly drive the hitherto gleeful husband of our very own Beyonce to self slaughter? Well, for one, it turns out that the mother of Tiwa goes about on a broomstick. And two, Tiwa Savage had apparently enjoyed other mattresses, especially ones belonging to Don Jazzy, Dr Sid and Tu Face…

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The story of Mr Thimble. Beauty and pitfall of brand and line extensions. 

In all of the land of Vuka, there was no better bespoke tailor than Mr Thimble. He catered only to men and his apparels flattered the appearance of all, tall or stout, portly or willowy. The rich and greying, the nouveau riche and debonair, all journey  from as far as the Far Kingdom to Vuka to be measured and fitted in Mr Thimble’s exceptional tailoring.  At the annual Vuka Governor’s Ball, it was not uncommon to find majority of the…

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How I quit smoking. Lessons about emotional and rational messaging.

  There are those who will swear that the greatest human invention is writing.   Nonsense.   It is tobacco.   Or so I believed when I used to smoke.   I smoked for seventeen years before quitting in 2011. Scarcely deserving of any recognition, considering a friend’s grandad smoked till he was ninety. He died on his bed with a big smile on his face and a half-smoked cigarette by his side. He was our hero.   I reckon…

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Sparks fly when insight meets brilliant idea.

  I’d always thought I was never that type of guy, but here I am, combing through rows of Coke for one with my name on it.   Since no one had been thoughtful enough to Share A Coke with Jide (the strange beasts I call friends would rather give me a bottle with ‘Jack’ or ‘Johnnie’ on it), I thought I’d value myself by getting me a Coke with my name on it. I’d been on the hunt for a…

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The client agencies love and the agency clients love

  Now that I am a client, I wonder what my agency thinks of me.   I was a creative. Still a creative. Of the kingdom God’s-Gift-To-Mankind, the phylum Trust-Me-I-Know-What-I’m-Doing and the class He-Who-Cusses-At-Clients-For-Not-Getting-It. A turncoat. The captain of The Black Pearl that joined HMS Interceptor. The Kraken awaits. But that’s topic for another post.   A creative being a client can be both a blessing and a curse for an agency. On the positive side, he or she understands and…

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CSR, Olajumoke and brand fit.

  Still bewildering, the Olajumoke Orisaguna make-over. Some girl walks into a photo shoot with loads of bread and she becomes the toast, jam and bacon of everyone. She bombed a photo and no one deemed it necessary to haul her into jail. She bombed something, people! Bombed, devastated, torpedoed, wrecked; cannonaded. Tinie Tempah could have been killed by the aftershock and TY Bello could have been ruined. But what do you have, Olajumoke stars on CNN and in the…

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Let your plumber do the plumbing. Otherwise the crap will float.

  With the exception of the affable Alfred, butler to Mr. Bruce Wayne, we can generally expect a butler to cater to only gastronomic whims.   Oh, most certainly, butlers and cooks of mafia bosses do tend to also multi-task, carrying apparatuses other than cutlery under their suits and aprons. But those types of industries tend not to recruit on LinkedIn. What will the job ad say: “Butler Wanted. Must be adept at opening wine and gut?”   So, while…

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#Buy Naija to Grow the Naira: Sorry folks, I’m sticking to my Kellogg’s.

Now, before pitchforks are brandished and the furnace stoked, pray, give a brother his ‘any last words?’   Let’s be clear. I’m Nigerian. My father met my mother in Ilaro, Ogun State. They fell in love. I happened. Of course if I’d had a say in where I was to be born, I’d have picked a Hawaiian beach sipping a cold Shirley Temple staring into a beautiful sunset while they cut the umbilical cord. But they didn’t consult me. As…

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You couldn’t possibly be talking to me, Mr Senior Manager?

Somewhere out there, there must be a communication targeted at me.   I’m certain I must be some brands’ bulls-eye. I’m a 40-something-year-old, upper middle class fella with a sizeable discretionary income, the disbursement of which, I confess, may sometimes lack discretion. That, in addition to the fact that I use a phone, buy food, drive a car, use banking services, watch TV, wear clothes, travel by air, amongst other sundry consumption, should make me some brand’s target. Yet no…

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Silver bullets kill only werewolves.

  As far as problems-solutions matrices go, I believe that every problem has one solution to neutralise it. A notable anti-problem. Have a vampire and werewolf infestation? Get Van Helsing. Need to live forever? Sip from the Fountain of Youth. Tom slipping into a sedentary existence? Get Jerry.   A roach. A boot. Problem solved.   Obviously you can use a boot to squash a roach, but you can’t use self same boot to beat off a vampire or prolong…

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Creativity in Public Relations. Only way to ‘earned media.’

  “Public Relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you.” – Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)   In the marketing and communication universe, public relations get the short end of the stick. It gets the least budget allocation. It is regarded as a less cerebral exercise than advertising, for instance. It is judged tactical rather than strategic. And it is taken to mean only media relations. For…

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Manchester United brand identity and the Louis Van Gaal conundrum

  It’s trying being a Manchester United fan these days. Not only are the Bournemouths and the Southhamptons failing to roll over and die, the club is no longer the clear favourite in any match.   Not that Manchester United ever feared losing a match. There will always be bad nights. But by Jove, you’ll know you were up against Manchester United. As Steve McClaren, former England boss and one time No. 2 to Sir Alex Ferguson once said “Manchester…

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“Oh man! Not this ad again!”

  Do you feel like that sometimes? Your are watching TV or listening to the radio and that commercial pops up again. That annoying ad saying… what was it saying again?   Some company paid for this advertising. They hope that you will listen to what they have to say. Hope you remember it. Maybe even keep a place in your heart for it. While interrupting your entertainment.   But advertising is not the villain. Poor advertising is.   Ads…

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“Ad agencies same as management consultants? What heresy!”

  The day had finally come. The type of day I was born for. “I got this,” I declared to the new shirt and and freshly laundered jacket laid out on the bed. “I’m landing this baby.”   I’d been involved in a gazillion advertising pitches. I shouldn’t be this anxious. Well, it does nothing for your nerves when the client is rumoured to be in possession of a trillion-dollar marketing budget. Jeez, maybe I can actually get a Lamborghini…

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“Come now. Let’s make us a soup with the CMO.”

I’ve had a dream where, in the C-suite, all the important Cs were seated together at one end of a long shiny table, and the CMO, with his pink pocket square, was seated alone at the other end of the table. The CMO smiled uneasily at the other Cs. The smile was not returned. The CEO then brought out a voodoo doll and placed it on the table. The doll had on a pink pocket square too. The COO brought…

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