January 18, 2010How to save a failing brand

What do you do when your brand is worthless? What do you do when people who’ve bought your product and been burned by past failures to live up to expectations hate your brand so much they won’t ever touch it again?

You go on the attack.

There’s no point launching a ‘new and improved’ campaign — nobody believes those three trite words anyway. It’s not enough to win back people who don’t trust your brand. You could change the name. But if you’re a big company, that gets expensive.

So Domino’s Pizza tried a different strategy. They attacked their own …

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January 11, 2010Tiger, Tiger

I’m very impressed with Woods PR team. In case you haven’t spotted it yet, this is their simple response to all that negative publicity —


A while back, I suggested Tiger ought to try humour to deflect some of the criticism about his adultery. You know, give a lovely smile and a “who, me?” shrug of the shoulders. After all, anyone who’s ever read Robert Greene’s The Art of Seduction knows that rakish charm can be very effective — like it or not, he argues, women love a cad.

This response is better. Tiger’s a number 1 sportsman. Okay, so …

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January 5, 2010The UK election campaign kicks off

As a one-time political student, I have to admit I’m still a bit of a political junkie. But I love election campaigns because they give a real insight into what’s happening in the world of marketing. If world wars force technology to grow faster, then election campaigns are the atomic bomb of the advertising world. The biggest guns are brought out. And very quickly, it can lead to total annihilation.

Remember this blast from the past?


Well, a good campaign does stick in the mind. You have to look at the Tories’ latest offering and wonder what they’re thinking…

Tory NHS poster in situ.JPG

I …

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December 14, 2009Scandal? What scandal?

Call me crazy, but I just don’t get the Tiger Woods thing. The Guardian is already saying it’s a scandal that spells the death-knell for celebrity sponsorship. Personally, I can’t see it.

Of course, the jokes are already all over the place. Nike are changing their slogan to “Just Screw It” — and Durex are going to release a new range of condoms that “bring out the tiger in you!” — but jokes like this actually make a good point. Why the hell should this so-called scandal really affect Woods’ ability to to sell?

Frankly, “rich man has multiple affairs”

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December 10, 2009Branding Snooker

Snooker has a bit of an image problem. To overseas visitors who don’t know the game, it’a cue sport that’s played on a much bigger table than, say, eight ball pool. It’s also a lot more complex. Snooker is to pool as chess is to chequers. It’s a tough but rewarding game.


Bill Werbeniuk, a legend from the 80s

It’s also seen better days. The 1980s are regarded as the heyday of snooker, with the world championship final in 1985 being watched by 18.5 million people. Despite being more of a minority pastime here these days, it’s become big in …

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December 3, 2009Branding yourself

So, after nearly six months, over 16,000 unique visitors and a fair few new clients, I decided to change the look of the site a little. Again, my friend Spencer at, who designed the site, was responsible for the new shoot.

There were a couple of reasons for the change. Mostly, if I’m honest with you, it’s because I’ve noticed that while clients seem to prefer the image of the chain-smoking, three-day-stubble sporting writer on the page, when you show up at a 9am meeting looking like you’ve been on a week long bender and reach for your …

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October 6, 2009The rise of online advertising

I haven’t blogged for a while. When I don’t blog for a while, it usually means one of two things — I’ve been to busy with paid work, or I’ve nothing useful to say. There’s nothing worse than mindless posts.

In actual fact, it’s been a mixture of both this time. I’ve been doing a lot of copywriting, but I’ve not felt as if I have a lot to add in terms of sharing my thoughts with the world. There’s my random musings on Tumblr, of course… but I’ll spare you those here.

The most interesting thing that’s happened for …

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September 5, 2009Learning a lesson from Auntie

The BBC is institutionally biased. What can we as advertisers learn from it?

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August 5, 2009Be your own brand

I’ve been so busy this week I’ve barely had time update my blog. Since being featured on Smashing Magazine, I’ve been responding to a lot of new enquiries and taking on almost as much new business. It’s hard work. Rewarding work. Work that makes me glad I struck out on my own.

I think Smashing Magazine think I’m a little bit arrogant. I suppose my face is plastered all over this site. But as regular readers of this blog know, I’m a big fan of the personal touch — adding that extra endorsement works, whether you’re a one-man outfit, …

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July 10, 2009Guilty Pleasures

Confidence speaks volumes, doesn’t it? Despite being totally out of the blog’s target demographic, I’ve been reading …

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