Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Going off track..

Marcus's recent post struck a chord with me about blog voice and things you discuss.

And I quote:

"I’m rather bored of the advertising-blog waffle and, to tell you the truth, some of you use language I simply don’t understand, which, in fact, is rather scary when you think about it. I’m disappointed with the fact the young ones are not as angry as I was when I was 25. I find most of what you write dull. Not all of you, for there are exceptions but most of you. It’s easy to copy the style of Russell, John or Richard but you will never be Russell, John or Richard so why bother? Why not be you?"

Now, I'm not sure exactly who this is addressed at, but I do know that I have been guilty of this in the past. Partly it stems from the attempt to find your voice.

No, I'm not Russell, Richard, Mark Earls or John Grant. I couldn't ever be.

But when you are a junior/apprentice, trying to learn a trade, it becomes important to just shut the fuck up at times, and sit back, and reformat your thinking through those who have been there, seen it, done it, and have the 'I'm a planner, a'right?' T-Shirt.

I hope my blogging voice goes some way to explaining how I'd be in real life - an overly talkative chap who probably likes Championship football a little bit too much and loves watching and trying to read people. Yes, it's been (probably) overly influenced by other people at times.

But I dearly hope my blog has enough of me in it. If not, humble reader, I'll change.

God knows my last 2 weeks worth of hits have been bad enough.

Did you all not like the Unicorn?


Kirsty said...

Don't fret about hits Will, it's not what it's about. And yes, this blog is you.

Rob @ Cynic said...

Only advertising people really care about the minute details of advertising ... a great planner cares about the minute details of everyday life - from the boringly average to the breathtakingly amazing - because then they can really motivate action on behalf of his/her clients brands because they appreciate what is going on in peoples lives and cultures, not just their bored category habits.

Less marketing waffle and more views on life will make you happier, more interesting, more rounded, more opionated and a much better comms person.

I am watching!

Marcus Brown said...

William, I think you are a very clever young man. You should know that. But I'd love to hear more about your love for football, those mates of yours, your move to London, what scares you, love you lost, love you have won and a whole bunch of other stuff.

It frustrates me because I can see you're trying. I'm not asking you to be anything else than who you are that's all. And there are moments when that shines through, briefly, and they are brilliant and interesting.

You should also remember, that I am on the outside and I want to get back in. You, however are starting your journey and are where I would like to be so maybe shouldn't listen to closely to what I say. Rob on the other hand is a heavy weight and knows what he is talking about and could be a potential employer.

I like you Will, I honestly do, and you are one of the very few people who are on my NetVibes thingy. So don't take what I say to heart unless it has struck a chord.

That's it. Hoped that helped a little.

Marcus Brown said...

oh, and do me a favour. When you really truly believe in something, or think that it is wrong, don't ever, shut the fuck up.

Will said...


I will post more randomness and thoughts from now on. However, I'm not going to fully stop the ad posts - I like writing posts like that at times. Helps crystalise some thinking.

Yes, there may be more posts about Stoke (though the season looks like it's about to go pearshaped).

My notebook has helped on the random observations front.

And as for shutting the fuck up? If I truly believed in something, I wouldn't Marcus - it is what I admire about both you and Rob (even if he IS a Forest fan).

Just moved into me new 'ouse, so expect pictures of unfinished washing/poorly ironed clothes to follow.

Rob @ Cynic said...


Only interms of how much I weigh, ha

Rob @ Cynic said...

Will ... and Marcus ... anyone in this industry who has the power to hire probably has specific critera they look for ... and I am just the same.

However, rather than focus just on practical experience or excessive intellectualism [ha!], I seek 4 key things ...

1. Empathy [understand emotions]
2. Ingenuity [new ways to find/do]
3. Opinion [identify the issue]
4. Action [do rather than say]

I like people who have lived life - not just a lifestyle - people who have experienced highs, lows, crap jobs, great jobs ... stuff other than JUST advertising, because whilst adland knowledge is valuable - interms of relating to a Mum with 3 kids who survives on $100 per week, it achieves nothing but potential customer alienation.

You see whilst my job is to make clients rich, I believe success comes from the people - which is why I spend my life looking for ways that can/will motivate them to act in my clients short and longterm interests whilst also adding some REAL benefit to them.

By all means write about ad stuff Will, just make sure you experience life too - because at the end of the day, great ideas come from the people, you just have to have the ability to see them, understand them and action them.

I should point out I am probably not the best to give advice because I'm hardly the most 'loved planner' in the World - but you know what, I don't care because I'd rather be the Branson, Geldof or Moore of Adland than the Management Consultantesque Intellectual who treats the people in a patronising or condecending manner.

Hell ... as Ogilvy said, don't fuck off the customer, because the customer is your Mother. [Or something like that] and you are probably going to learn a damn site more about human emotion watching Stoke screw up another season [as are Forest] than you are only keeping your head in blogs.

I know you're not really like that - I just want to encourage you to be proud of what you think/feel because it has as much validity as Russell, John, Marcus or me.

Hell, we have an ex-IKEA Children's bed designer in our place. As a planner. And let me tell you, he knows more about kids than any researcher I've ever met. He was nervous about joining because he wasn't sure if what he said would be relevant - and our view was that he'd soon learn if he spoke bollocks [we're not backward at being forward] but in all liklihood, he'd be teaching us stuff and that's always a joy.

Keep up the good work, but be a human in adland, not an adperson in humanland.

Amelia said...

"be a human in adland, not an adperson in humanland" - best quote that I have seen for a long time.

Will, to get my 2 pences-worth (for what it's worth), I like your postings about stuff that has struck you and made you think. Your post on travelling in the deep south of America was great as an example.

I like reading blogs because (the good ones at least) sparkle with a sense of real personality and uniqueness. You are right, sometimes it takes time to find your voice. We are all finding our voice, but we do it in public now through blogging!

Hope all is good with you and maybe see you at the next Faris night out?

Rob @ Cynic said...

Thanks for the compliment Amelia ... I trust you follow that philosophy too ...? Ha

Amelia said...

Of course I do Rob @ Cynic, or is it Cynical Rob?

Rob @ Cynic said...

You should call me Rob @ Cynic - because cynic is our company name.

Ironically our philosophy is not about being bastards, it's about idealism - but unfortunately too much of the corporate world is intent of relegating that to the past, which is where we step in on the consumers behalf.

OK, ad over ... back to annoying people, ha

Will said...

Thanks to all for the comments. I will put my two penn'orth in with more photos and random comments.

Don't worry, I plan to stay a human in adland, if I can help it.

Not (too many) wankerish tendancies here.

Rob @ Cynic said...

Good on you my son ...

Rob said...

Good post.

I hope that I have my own voice on my blog, that is certainly my intention; and I hope that is why people still read it.

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