Apr

14

FROM MADMEN TO SADMEN

No doubt you’ve seen the TV series Mad Men – the beautifully realised soap opera set in the 1960s on Madison Avenue, New York’s traditional ‘advertising district’. Over the past few years, it’s been hard to avoid the sleek style and seductive storylines of this award-laden show, and especially its chisel-jawed hero: the brooding, bed-hopping, […]

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Apr

13

Scotch Missed

How come the great brands of Scotch are not particularly Scottish? That’s one of the great ironies of international marketing. Certainly, it’s true that all brands aim to build on what makes them different. Since all ‘Scotch’ is equally ‘Scottish’, nationality in itself brings no competitive distinction to any individual brand. So, perhaps it’s not […]

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Feb

05

Sellebrity

When he first appeared on TV in the mid-70s, he was a skinny, spotty, sneery youth with spiky ginger hair. He was a last-minute stand-in on the bland topical tea-time show, presented by Bill Grundy. Asked his opinion of Mozart and Beethoven, the young man mumbled ‘a rude word’. Goaded by Grundy, he repeated the […]

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Jan

05

Xmas Hangover

Did you sit there on Christmas Day, knee-deep in ripped, crumpled wrapping paper? For a fleeting moment, your heart may have felt as empty as your wallet. Then, with the snap of a mint thin, it’s on with the jollity before you could even begin to wonder “Well, how did I get here?” For sure, […]

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Jan
21

Arrogance Gave Him Up

“Is it time for an outbreak of humility in Scotland?” asks Pete Martin.

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Nov
13

see me

Just finished two little spots for a Scottish mental health ‘anti-stigma’ campaign called see me. It’s 5 years since I made the first see me commercial and a lot has changed in that time. The campaign has been tracked in widescale public research, and there’s been a definite shift in knowledge, attitudes and behaviour around […]

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Nov
13

Johnny’s story

“Must have been about  3 in the morning. I was spark out. The phone goes by the bed. I’d had a few beers, bit of a hangover coming on, so I was like – what, what? Gave me a fright. It’s never good news in the night, is it? And… And it was him. Garbled […]

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Nov
13

Vince’s story

“It started off as nothing. I met my mate Tony for a beer. I felt great. Really clear in my mind. Hadn’t seen him in ages. He’s got a new wife, kid on the way, doing great. Had a few beers, nothing much, a great laugh, and then, at closing time, we said cheerio in […]

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Feb
19

Sell-out Scotland

Brandrepublic reports that a significant Scottish client is searching for a ‘London ad agency’. Which is depressing. In a year in which one well-regarded Scottish agency folded, a few of the more (ahem) senior figures in Scotland’s shrinking adland fell out. The sniping with misfiring antique blunderbusses made playground taunts look like Olympic markmanship. It […]

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Oct
14

AS NOT SEEN ON TV

Have you seen the gorilla? You know, the one playing the drums to that old Phil Collins’ track. It’s great, isn’t it? Now, there’s a chance you have no idea what I’m talking about. But, if you have seen this latest piece of ‘gorilla marketing’ for Cadbury, I’m wagering you didn’t see it on TV. […]

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